Gaza authorities to pump sewage straight into the sea as crisis worsens

PNN / Bethlehem

Municipalities across the Gaza Strip announced on Wednesday that raw sewage waste will be pumped directly into the sea due to fuel shortages as the humanitarian situation in Gaza continues to worsen.

‘The beaches of the Gaza Strip will be completely closed and sewage will be pumped into the sea because the municipalities are unable to provide fuel (for treatment plants),’ said the head of the Gaza City municipality, Nizar Hejazi, in a report published by the AFP.

‘We announce a state of emergency in the cities and municipalities of the Gaza Strip.’

Hejazi denounced the policy of ‘collective punishment’ being imposed on the people of the Gaza Strip, and warned as a result of emergency measures, state services could by cut by as much as 50%.

Last week it was reported that hospitals across of the Gaza Strip had run out of fuel to power their generators and we’re relying on back-up generators or emergency reserves.

‘Well, it’s already run out of fuel. In particular as of yesterday,’ said Ali Abunimah, co-founder of the pro-Palestinian news outlet The Electronic Intifada, in an interview with Russian paper, Sputnik News. ‘The health ministry had announced 19 health facilities 16 sixteen clinics and three major hospitals had run out of emergency fuel for their backup generators.’

Additionally, health services had shuttered last week in response to ongoing strikes by hospital cleaners across Gaza.

Cleaners went on strike earlier this month to protest withheld pay.

As a result, the Al-Shifa Hospital closed for the first time since 1964, last week. The hospital, which is the main healthcare facility in the Gaza Strip, closed when doctors walked out in protest of accumulated medical waste resulting from the absence of the striking cleaning staff.

The Qatari envoy to Gaza, Mohammed al-Emadi, announced on Tuesday that $9 million in emergency aid would be delivered to Gaza, $500,000 of which was earmarked by al-Emadi for the purchase of fuel for local hospitals.