Itongadol.- An estimated 1.2 million Palestinians in Gaza still have no running water, according to report released by organization that has directors based in Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority.
As parties from the region prepare to gather in Cairo next week to discuss the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip, the environmental organization Friends of the Earth Middle East called upon the Israeli government in a report released on Thursday, to take several interim measures "to alleviate the water and sanitation calamity" in the Palestinian coastal enclave.
FoEME. an organization with directors based in Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority, is recommending that Israel implement three key measures toward reviving the water quantity and quality in Gaza in the near future. First and foremost, the group is advocating for the expansion of the volume of the approximately 4.7 million cubic meters of water delivered annually to the Strip through two existing connections to match their capacity of 8.5 million cubic meters.
In addition, FoEME is supporting the transfer of water to Gaza through a recently completed connection at Nahal Oz, which has a capacity of 12 million cubic meters. Thirdly, the organization is urging the government to move forward with the sale of up to 30 million cubic meters of water to the Palestinian Authority, a measure agreed upon in December 2013, in a trilateral memorandum of understanding signed among Israel, Jordan and the PA in Washington.
"The lack of a clear Israeli strategy for interim involvement in the rehabilitation of Gaza\’s ability to provide adequate water for its citizens is extremely detrimental to both the international efforts which are currently being mobilized to provide Gaza with a better future, and Israel\’s own best health and security interests," Gidon Bromberg, Israeli director for FoEME, stated in the report.
Bromberg, alongside Michal Milner from his own organization and Dr. Oded Eran, a senior research fellow at the Institute for National Security Studies, also released a detailed report on Thursday on "The Water, Sanitation and Energy Crises in Gaza." While the brunt of the report was drafted prior to the summer\’s conflict, a foreword added to the document provides recommendations for immediate measures that take the conflict under consideration.
Describing "a serious humanitarian crisis in Gaza" that involves water at its center, the authors stressed that an estimated 1.2 million Palestinians in Gaza still have no running water. In addition, insufficient electricity supplies bar them from treating or pumping sewage, causing a risk of pandemic diseases such as cholera or typhoid.