Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Gaza - Suffer Little Children

Gaza has a population of about 2 million. Over half of Palestinians in Gaza are unemployed because of Israel’s blockade.

 Because of the Israeli blockade on Gaza, equipment for water purification has not been imported and 97% of its water is now polluted. 

Rising Mediterranean sea levels from the climate emergency are contributing to a salinization of Gaza's aquifer, its only local source of drinking water. These problems could be addressed with infrastructure improvements, but the Israeli blockade stops the importation of the needed equipment. Among the materiel Israel has refused to allow in are water pumps and their components, along with the components for water purification

A quarter of illnesses are now because of bad water, and by 2014, 12% of childrens’ deaths were attributed to unhealthy drinking water, with the likelihood is that that percentage is now much higher. Rates of diarrhea in children have spiked in the past couple of years, and there is an increase in not only gastrointestinal disease but also diseases of the kidneys. Cases of blue baby syndrome have also increased.

Haaretz notes that Palestinians in Gaza spend 33% of their meager income on water, compared to 0.7% in the rest of the world.

108,000 cubic meters of untreated sewage flow daily from Gaza into the Mediterranean Sea, creating extreme public health hazards. Deteriorating infrastructure, strict limitations on the import of construction materials and water pumps, and a diminished and unreliable energy supply have accelerated the water crisis and exacerbated the water-related health risks. Bad water accounts for one in four people who fall ill in Gaza.

Israel imposed the blockade on Gaza in 2007 in the wake of the victory at the ballot box of Hamas. Pro-Israeli media and politicians have endeavoured to portray all 2 million Palestinians in Gaza as “terrorists” because Hamas dominates the politics of the Strip. But half of Gaza’s residents are children. The United Nations still recognizes Israel as the Occupying authority in Gaza, given that it controls air, water and borders. Under the 1949 Geneva Convention on the treatment of Occupied populations, it is a war crime for Israel to impose collective punishment on all Palestinians in Gaza to get at Hamas.


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