Gaza: All citizens 'drinking unsafe water' due to Israel's war and siege

Gaza: All citizens 'drinking unsafe water' due to Israel's war and siege
Israel has barred the entry of materials to treat water in Gaza and as a result the health of all the territory's residents is at risk.
2 min read
28 April, 2024
Gaza is plagued by unhygienic conditions and the territory's residents have to drink unsanitary water due to Israel's war and siege [Getty/file photo]

The health ministry in war-torn Gaza said on Saturday that all of the enclave’s residents are drinking unsafe and unclean water as Israel’s siege has prohibited the entry of materials to test and treat water.

The ministry attributed its inability to test drinking water due to Israel's refusal to allow the delivery of chlorine or other alternatives, as well as the closure of the public health laboratory, as Israel continues with its indiscriminate war on the territory and wreaks more and more havoc.

"All citizens of the Gaza Strip are drinking unsafe water that puts their lives at risk," they said.

Israel began its war on the Gaza Strip on October 7, after a surprise Hamas attack, and has killed at least 34,454 Palestinians, mostly women and children.

It has imposed a complete siege on the territory, depriving Gazans of basic needs such as clean water, food and fuel.

Israel’s atrocities prompted South Africa to raise a case at the International Court of Justice (ICJ), accusing Israel of committing genocide against the people of Gaza.

 In January, the ICJ ruled that Israel must allow adequate quantities of humanitarian aid into to Gaza, but Israeli authorities continue to obstruct the delivery of aid and essential materials.  

In a statement later on Saturday, the health ministry warned of the spread of diseases and epidemics as a result of the overflow of sewage and the accumulation of waste in streets and around displaced people's tents.

It also warned of a surge of insects and other fauna as the temperature in Gaza soars, which also threatens the sanitary situation in the territory.

Earlier this week, the health ministry said it had been monitoring cases of meningitis and hepatitis due to sewage overflow and lack of safe drinking water.

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The ministry has appealed to humanitarian and international institutions to quickly intervene as the drinking water situation worsens.

Since the beginning of the war, Israel has cut off supplies of electricity, water, fuel, food and medicine to the residents of Gaza, and has devastated the territory's infrastructure, reducing entire districts to nothing but rubble and debris.

Municipalities in Gaza have repeatedly warned that large parts of the territory will be submerged in wastewater, as a result of Israel's targeting of main sewage lines.

Israel has also targeted and destroyed water wells across Gaza, amid its deadly bombardment and shelling.