Gaza Summer Fouled By 100,000 Cubic Meters Of Beach Sewage

Gaza, one big concentration camp.

Gaza summer fouled by 100,000 cubic meters of beach sewage (Haaretz, June 29, 2014):

Fuel shortage halts work at waste treatment facility, leads to mass pollution of Gaza’s beach.

When Palestinians in the Gaza Strip seek some relief from the grind of life in an enclave plagued by conflict and hardship, they usually need to look no further than their sandy beaches.

But this summer, access to the cooling waters of the Mediterranean is gradually being closed off to Gaza’s 1.8 million residents, due to pollution stemming from fuel shortages that have halted work at sewage treatment facilities.

Baha al-Agha of the Gaza Environment Quality Authority said about 100,000 cubic meters of untreated waste water are being pumped into the Gaza shore daily.

“Swimming is prohibited” signs have gone up at several beaches. But at one of Gaza’s most popular beaches, dozens of people, including children, splashed in the water over the weekend despite the posted warning.

“Things are getting worse day by day in the absence of real and quick solutions,” Agha told Reuters. He called on the Palestinian unity government formed earlier this month to act immediately “before Gaza beaches are declared a disaster area”.

Egypt’s closure of most of the estimated 1,200 cross-border smuggling tunnels run by Islamist group Hamas has virtually stopped cheap Egyptian fuel coming into Gaza.

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