EU: 95% of Gaza water ‘unfit for human use’

Israeli occupation steals Gaza’s underground water throughout deep wells dug across eastern borders of the coastal enclave


Gazans fear that the Israeli occupation might destroy the new EU-funded desalination plant like what has happened with the EU-funded sole electricity plant

Days of Palestine, Gaza Strip -Senior European official visited Gaza on Tuesday said that 95 per cent of water in the coastal enclave “unfit for human use.”

“As a result of repeated Israeli offensives on Gaza, 95 per cent of the water in Gaza is unfit for human use,” EU Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn said during his visit to the first and only desalination plant.

He continued: “Therefore, we are supporting this water purification plant to provide pure and clean water to more than 150,000 Palestinians.”

The plant was build using a €10 million EU grant and construction on it began in March 2014. However, Gazans fear that the Israeli occupation might destroy it any time like what has happened with the EU-funded sole electricity plant.

In 2006, the Israeli occupation forces targeted for the first time and later on, they targeted it several times, causing much irreparable damage in it.

Beside the repeated Israeli offensives on Gaza, Israeli occupation steals Gaza’s underground water throughout hundreds of deep water wells across the eastern borders. This caused salty sea water leaks to the Gaza aquifer, increasing rate of its salinity.

Hahn said the EU is committed to supporting water sector with millions of Euros in order to help improve the enclave’s water sector.

He stressed that Gaza is in urgent need for affordable water supplies to keep up with the need of its 1.8 million inhabitants, many of whom live in poverty.

(Source / 15.06.2016)

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Video of the Week New Clashes Erupt Between Israeli Security Forces, Muslim Worshippers

Temple Mount temporarily closed to Jewish visitors after clashes with police

The Temple Mount was temporarily closed to Jewish visitors on Wednesday at the order of Jerusalem District Commander Yoram Halevy after Jews broke visitation rules at the holy site, police said. The Jewish visitors were expelled from the compound for bringing sacred books to the Mount and trying to pray there. After one of the individuals was cautioned, another took out a holy book, and the group was expelled. Meanwhile, renewed clashes erupted between protesters and Israeli security forces near the Lion's Gate in the Old City, where police used stun grenades against the demonstrators. A regular dynamic has developed involving clashes between Palestinians and Israel Police over the past several days near the Lion's Gate. Dozens of Palestinians are present at the site on a regular basis, urging devotion to the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount and condemning Israel. During Muslim prayer times, particularly the midday and nighttime prayers, hundreds and sometimes even thousands have been gathering there.

There have been outbreaks of violence during these periods, including stone-throwing or physical confrontations with the police. In most of these incidents, the police have been using stun grenades and sponge-tipped bullets to disperse the crowds. In a number of cases, journalists in the area have also suffered violence at the hands of the police. On Tuesday, Hassan Shaalan, a reporter for the Ynet news website, was struck by a policeman even after he identified himself as a member of the press. A group of Jerusalem-based journalists released a statement of condemnation over the incident and called on the police to permit reporters to do their jobs. The Jerusalem Police responded: "This involved an incident that took place in the course of violent disturbances of the peace that occurred in Jerusalem while the police were acting to remove the demonstrators from the street after some of them refused to vacate. The forces working on the scene are under constant threat to their lives.

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