Half of Gaza's water sites destroyed or damaged by Israel, satellite analysis reveals

Half of Gaza's water sites destroyed or damaged by Israel, satellite analysis reveals
Gaza's water infrastructure has been devastated by Israel's bombardment, leading to a proliferation of disease.
2 min read
09 May, 2024
Gaza's health ministry has warned of a proliferation of disease amid extensive damage to water and sewage infrastructure [Getty]

More than half of Gaza's water facilities have been damaged or destroyed by Israel since 7 October, new satellite analysis has revealed.

According to the BBC, 53 percent of the 603 water facilities in the Gaza Strip have either been damaged or destroyed during Israel's war on Gaza.

Most of the sites that are affected are in northern Gaza and Khan Younis, which have been heavily targeted by Israel in its indiscriminate attack on the Gaza Strip.

Additionally, four of the six wastewater treatment plants in the Palestinian territory have been damaged or destroyed, with the remaining two being shut down because of lack of supplies entering Gaza, according to an aid agency quoted by the BBC.

The BBC also noted that some damage to sites may not be visible from satellites, and that other sites may not be fully operational due to lack of fuel supplies.

This includes the UNICEF desalination plant in Deir al-Balah which is at 30 percent capacity due to fuel shortages, according to UNICEF.

The BBC also said that a maintenance warehouse in the al-Mawasi neighbourhood used to repair Gaza's water facilities had been severely damaged.

The extensive damage to Gaza's water infrastructure has resulted in a proliferation of disease in the enclave.

Gaza's health ministry has warned that a range of diseases have become endemic as a result of sewage pipes being destroyed and sewage water spilling out into streets and in displacement camps.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has also reported a significant rise in infectious diseases in the enclave, with the Palestinian Health Ministry in Ramallah reporting that a surge of preventable illness and premature death had occurred due to "dire water and sanitation conditions".

Around 85 percent of Gaza's population has been displaced by Israel's war on the enclave, which has killed 34,904 Palestinians, with a further 78,514 injured.

Israel's war has devastated Gaza's wider infrastructure, including the health sector which has been repeatedly targeted by Israel. Around 69,000 housing units have been destroyed by Israel's bombardment, with a further 290,000 units damaged, according to the UN.

BBC said that the Israeli military denied targeting the maintenance warehouse in al-Mawasi and four other water sites identified in the analysis and shown to Israel, saying it struck Hamas targets in the area. It additionally denied there was an airstrike on another site identified in the analysis.