PRESS TV, Gaza
On World Water Day, water pollution has reached an alarming level in the besieged Gaza Strip. The enclave's coastal aquifer is almost completely polluted with various contaminants.
The groundwater in Gaza has high levels of nitrates and other dangerous pollutants with contamination levels three times higher than international standards for safe drinking water.
The Israeli regime has imposed tight restrictions on the entry of badly needed equipment to maintain water and sewage systems and targeted them during wars.
In recent years, Gaza municipalities were forced to pump untreated raw sewage directly into the sea due to lack of electricity for treatment plants. Raw sewage seepage into the ground has worsened the water crisis.
Palestinian officials say Israel has for years deprived residents of Gaza of healthy water supply and stolen their underground resources.
The Israeli blockade and wars have taken their toll on Gaza’s water infrastructure. Experts say the tiny seaside sliver is currently in a chronic state of water emergency.
According to human rights organizations, depriving people of water supplies is a clear breach of international law.
Experts say that the complete lifting of the Israeli blockade is the first step towards easing the water crisis in the coastal enclave.