Hamas is refusing to power a local sewage treatment station, causing an “emergency event” and contaminating groundwater in the area.
By: JNS.org and United with Israel Staff
Israel’s Ministry of Health warned farmers on the Gaza border not to use water from Sderot and Sha’ar Hanegev wastewater reservoirs to irrigate their fields due to sewage contamination from Gaza.
Tests performed by the Ministry of Health indicated that water quality has become too poor to use in irrigation as a result of negligent water treatment in Gaza.
Regional communities were instructed by the Water Authority to build a new sewage pipe from Gaza to Israel after the sewage-treatment facility there was shut down due to Hamas’s refusal to utilize electricity for sewage treatment.
Even prior to that, Gazan sewage leaked into nearby streams, contaminating the groundwater in the area of Moshav Netiv HaAsara.
The Water Authority said the massive flow of waste from Gaza into Israeli sovereign territory is an “emergency event,” and that the entity is working to reduce damage and protect wells. The authority accused Gazans of neglecting to protect water sources long before the electricity crisis.
Farmers on the Gaza perimeter expressed concerned, given that the rainy season is almost over and agricultural irrigation will be required in a few weeks.
In July, the amount of sewage discharged into the Nahal Hanun stream increased so significantly that pumping sewage out of it was no longer effective. Israel was forced to respond by utilizing IDF forces to block the stream from the Gaza side with dirt.
The plan was thwarted when Palestinians broke through the mound and continued dumping sewage into the stream.
Hamas’ Abuse and Misuse of Civilian Infrastructure
In January, President Donald Trump’s special Mideast envoy, Jason Greenblatt, toured the area surrounding the Gaza Strip and stated: “Hamas’ continued exploitation of the people of Gaza and Hamas’ threats to stability and security in the region.
Greenblatt said the tour, which included a visit to a terror tunnel destroyed by the IDF, gave him “general insight into the current situation and greatly improved [his] understanding.”
“I strongly encourage all countries and institutional donors who are trying to assist the people of Gaza to take this tour to understand this difficult, tragic and complex situation,” he said, calling on them to work together to “help the people of Gaza, ensure Israel’s and Egypt’s security and improve lives.”
Greenblatt has been working with Israel on various projects and policy measures that would help residents in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip.
“I sincerely hope that the international community will commit to funding these measures according to development priorities and providing the necessary resources to bring them to fruition,” he said.
“Gaza needs options besides Hamas and its enablers. Time to stop pouring money into violence and hatred, and to start investing in a real future for Palestinians in Gaza,” he tweeted.