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Israel annexation plan aims to ‘Judaize’ Palestine

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
This picture taken on April 14, 2016 shows a general view of the Israeli settlement of Moddin Elite near the West Bank city of Ramallah. © AFP

The Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has warned of plans by Israel to annex the occupied West Bank.

The warning on Tuesday came a day after minister of judiciary affairs Ayelet Shaked said she was working on a plan to apply Israeli law to illegal settlements in the occupied territories.

In a statement, the Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the measure aims to “Judaize the land of the State of Palestine and impose Israeli sovereignty over it.”

Israeli actions “have always aimed to build a proper climate for imposing new facts on the ground” and obtaining Tel Aviv’s “real goal: the annexation of the Palestinian land,” it said.

These are “trials” to test the reaction of the international community towards the Israeli measure, it said.

The Palestinian ministry called on the international community to “deal very seriously” with the issue and take a “clear and explicit position” against Israeli actions.

Over half a million Israelis live in more than 230 illegal settlements built since the 1967 Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank including East al-Quds (Jerusalem). All Israeli settlements are illegal under international law.

Gaza water crisis deepens

In the Gaza Strip, a report said the plight of the Palestinians continues to deepen amid a crippling Israeli blockage. 

The besieged coastline is reportedly facing a pollution crisis, with authorities saying the flow of raw sewage into the sea on a daily basis as a result of power outage have contaminated Gaza’s limited fresh water supplies.

Children make their way in sewage water in Mighraqa neighborhood on the outskirts of Gaza City, on April 13, 2016. © AP photo

“We can say that 100 percent of the water is not potable,” Ahmed Yaqubi, a water resources consultant at the Palestinian Water Authority, told the Associated Press.  

Environmentalists and international aid organizations say that if the problem isn't quickly addressed, it could spell even more trouble.

Repairing Gaza's water infrastructure would likely require Israel to ease restrictions on the import of building materials which the regime is refusing. 

Poor sewage treatment in Gaza is the result of a rapidly expanding population, an infrastructure damaged during Israeli wars and a chronic shortage of electricity to run the wastwater plants that still function.

In 2007, a sewage reservoir overflowed in a village in northern Gaza, drowning five people.

Israel has waged three wars on Gaza since 2008, including the 2014 offensive, which left more than 2,200 Palestinians dead and over 11,100 others injured.

The only power station in Gaza Strip has been forced to shut down due to fuel shortage. According to the United Nations said, parts of the coastal sliver have been without power for 20 hours a day, compared to 12 hours previously.

A Palestinian woman washes dishes with water stored in a damaged plastic water tank in her house in Khan Younis refugee camp, southern Gaza Strip, on April 16, 2016. © AP photo

Israel and Egypt have maintained a blockade of Gaza since 2007, wreaking havoc in the enclave of 1.8 million people. 

Eitemad Abu Khader who lives with her four daughters north of Gaza City where sewage collects in huge ponds said she cannot afford purified water.

Instead, she and her daughters drink tap water and bear the consequences.

"I spend my time from doctor to doctor, hospital to hospital," she told the AP. "My daughters always have rashes."

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