Gaza Strip - impending sanitation crisis with stoppage of fuel supply
2007-06-17
MEDIA RELEASE
Grave reservations of an impending sanitation crisis in the Gaza strip,
following fuel supply stoppage by the Israeli "Dor Alon" company.
 
Warning of pollution in the Mediterranean Sea.

June 17, 2007

In the wake of a fuel supply cutoff to the Gaza Strip by the Israeli "Dor Alon" oil company, there is a real danger that part of the sewage system in Gaza will collapse due to the inability of pumping stations to function.

If indeed the pumps cease to work, raw sewage will flow into the Mediterranean Sea or will pile up untreated. In addition, without fuel for trucks, garbage removal for cities in the Gaza Strip will not be possible either.

"Friends of the Earth Middle East" warns that the collapse of the sanitation system, already in a state of disrepair in the Gaza Strip, will lead to long-term grave consequences for both Palestinians and Israelis. These could include the outbreak of diseases and infectious illnesses, coupled with the loss of an already reduced water source as a result of pollution.

In addition, untreated sewage flowing into the Mediterranean Sea will reach the beaches of Ashkelon and the new Israeli desalination plant located there.

"Collapse of the sewage system during the summer months could be a real catastrophe. Diseases associated with water are the number one cause for child mortality in the world", says Zacharya Tagar, Deputy Director of the organization.

"Outbreak of diseases and illnesses would double the humanitarian crises taking place in front of our eyes. Even if Israel is not to blame for the events taking place in the Gaza strip, it is possible to contain the humanitarian and environmental crisis if we prevent rash acts, such as cutting off fuel supplies".

For more information, contact Zacharya Tagar, zach@foeme.org 03-5605383 ext. 7, or 057-7492201