Part 6 of a 12 part series examining the ecological impacts of Israel’s occupation of Palestine.
A synopsis of the findings is here.
by Dick Callahan, reposted from DickCallahan.net
Sewage Quiz and nowhere to go
“…with clear waters and action packed beaches, each one of Tel Aviv’s 16 beaches has its own style and attracts certain personalities.” Israeli Ministry of Tourism website
“But you cannot have clean water if people are still defecating in the river.” The visionary Jack Sim, founder of the World Toilet Organization.
Okay, fellow Americans. It’s time for a pop quiz.
1) How many metric tons of raw or hardly treated sewage go straight into the Mediterranean Sea from Gaza every day?
a) 1 Mt
b) 11 Mt
c) 11,000 Mt
d) This is a trick question. Hamas wants to drive Israel into the sea.
2) Which direction does the current in front of Gaza flow?
c) in circles
d) Towards Jerusalem, the eternal capital of the Jewish people.
3) How far from Gaza is Israel’s nearest Israeli desalination plant in Ashkelon?
a) 5 miles
b) 50 miles
c) 500 miles
d) Doesn’t matter. God gave it all to Israel.
4) How many times in 2016 did the Ashkelon desalination plant shut down because of massive sewage plumes coming from Gaza?
b) at least four
d) Gay kaken ofn yam. (Yiddish insult, “Go shit in the ocean.”)
5) Gaza’s water and sewer infrastructure collapsed because:
a) The Israeli military destroys the sewage plant, power plant, and underground pipes every few years.
b) Israel’s blockade against Gaza is over ten years old and counting.
c) Gaza can’t make repairs because Israel won’t let supplies through the blockade.
d) Arabs hate Israel more than they love toilets
e) Israel routinely cuts fuel and power to Gaza so the plants don’t run even when they’re otherwise viable.
f) Israel is intercepting ground water that would refill the Coastal Aquifer.
g) Israel doesn’t allow West Bank Palestinians to share West Bank water with Gaza
h) all of the above except d.
6) According to the United Nations, Gaza is in a humanitarian crisis and will be uninhabitable by 2020 because what percent of the drinking water is unfit for human consumption?
a) 14 %
b) 32 %
c) over 97 %
d) The UN lies. There is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza.
7) In 2015 Israeli authorities closed Tel-Aviv beaches when they deliberately dumped how many cubic meters of sewage while making beach upgrades?
d) None. Israel doesn’t deliberately dump sewage.
8) How many streams flowing through the West Bank/Israel are polluted with sewage?
9) The German government funded a sewage treatment plant on Palestinian land in the West Bank village of Salfit. It didn’t work out for the Palestinians because:
a) Israel denied permits for the project for years.
b) Israel wanted to connect an illegal Jewish colony to the project.
c) The Israeli army stole the equipment.
d) Arab sewage treatment is an existential threat to the Jewish and democratic state of Israel.
e) Israel permitted the project at another site then announced a segregation wall will be built between the project and Salfit, cutting off the Palestinians but leaving the project accessible for Jewish colonies.
g) a, b, c, and e.
10) Israel has been criticized for allowing Christian baptisms in the Jordan river when coliform bacteria counts are how many times above the maximum where the Health Ministry is supposed to close Israeli beaches?
a) 6 times higher
b) 3 times higher
c) 2 times higher
d) half as high
11) Israel’s Health Ministry is supposed to close beaches when fecal coliform bacteria counts are above 400 per 100 ml of water. Tel Aviv once closed beaches to swimming, sailing and fishing after a sewage spill produced fecal coliform bacteria counts of:
a) 500/100 ml
b) 8,000/100 ml
c) unknown because fecal coliform tests exceeded the lab’s testable maximum of 20,000/100ml.
d) under 400/100 ml but beaches closed just to be on the safe side.
12) Who is responsible for dumping sewage on Palestinian land?
a) America for enabling Israel.
b) Jewish colonists.
c) Israeli cities who export their sewage sludge to the OPT.
e) Israeli military camps.
f) all of the above more or less in that order.
Okay, pencils down. How’d you do? Answers are: 1)c, 2)a, 3)a, 4)b, 5)h, 6)c, 7)c, 8)a, 9)g, 10)a, 11)c , 12)f . If you answered ‘d’ to every question the Israel Lobby may fast-track you for a seat in Congress.
Gaza sewage to Israel: turd terrorism
Day by day a non-political northbound current calmly, quietly, carries 11,000 metric tons of what Gaza Palestinians had for dinner last night right onto Israeli beaches and into the intakes of Israeli desalination plants. Here’s a free slogan for the Tourism Ministry: Come to Israel, where Hamas is in the water.
For most of history Gaza was what UNESCO has called, “One of the most important coastal wetlands in the Eastern Mediterranean.” Wadi Gaza, was one of just a few high quality migratory bird stop-over stations along the flyway between Europe/Asia and Africa. Soaring birds like cranes, flamingos, storks, and raptors that migrate using thermal updrafts along the coasts all congregated at this bird oasis. The place had a clean water supply and a naturally productive ocean fishery whereby hundreds of families made a good living.
Today Gaza’s ecosystem has devolved into a vast man-made breeding lagoon that produces two million diadromous turds a day. These foul fish migrate down the wadis, take a right when they reach the Mediterranean, and start swimming for Israel. Birds still land on wadis and wetlands, because they have to, but the shore is so contaminated that over half the water samples off Gaza contain sewage parasites and contaminants. Beaches smell bad. People regularly end up in the hospital after beach outings. A little boy died last summer from infection caused by a family trip to the beach.
During the summer of 2017, away from the coast in northeast Gaza, raw sewage was piling up and Palestinians, with no way to treat it, watched it run into Hamun stream that flows out of Gaza past an Israeli colony and west towards Ashkelon. In what can only be described as a ‘Code Brown’ the Israelis brought fleets of vacuum trucks to try sucking mess out of the stream on their side. The attempt would’ve made a great joke video on the internet. Undaunted, elite units of the most powerful military in the Middle East stormed into Gaza and attacked the little stream, trying to block it on the Palestinian side by plowing in dirt. When that also failed, the head of the nearby Israeli Jewish Council said, “What we’re seeing here is an ecological terror attack.” I kid you not. An ecological terror attack. The Councilman called on the Israeli government to resolve the crisis.
As turd terror heads north in ever increasing concentrations the Israeli technological solution is…wait for it…they want America to fix it! No really—they do. Israel blows up Gaza’s sewage treatment plant and won’t allow repair materials or fuel to run the plant through the blockade. For years they laughed at suffering Gaza. But now, as shoals of turds wash onto beaches like spawning grunion a group of Israeli mayors wrote a letter to US Special Envoy Jason Greenblatt asking the US to clean up Gaza’s sewage catastrophe—that Israel caused—because, “Without providing a fundamental and long-term solution to the crisis, it will be coming to our doorstep.” Reading between the lines, of course, what they want is for America to pay for a cleanup.
Should we do it? Sure we should, but with two provisos: 1) We take the money right off the top of the billions we give Israel every year and 2) if Israel blows up Gaza’s water and sewer infrastructure again we stop funding Israel altogether. This would benefit everybody. Gaza gets cleaned up. Israel no longer has Gaza sewage in their beaches and Bibi’s coffee; and America does a good deed in the region for a change.
West Bank sewage to Israel
Israel’s Nature and Parks Authority Environmental unit says all nine major West Bank streams are badly polluted. How bad is it? There are an estimated 178 kilometers of sewage stream flows overall. A 2007 analysis revealed sewage, salts and heavy metals leaching into the mountain aquifer below the West Bank. Contaminated streams are the Kishon, Shechem, Kana, Shilo, Soreq, Mod’in, Michmash, Kidron and Hebron. To take one example, 43 km of Hebron stream is untreated sewage water.
The West Bank produces about 56 million cubic meters of sewage per year, of which an estimated 17.5 mcm/year is excreted by Israeli colonists. In addition, tens of thousands of occupation troopers do their ‘daily duty’ while on duty in the OPT.
Jewish colonists, have taken over and built their settlements on the West Bank’s high grounds. It’s common practice—well documented—for the Jewish colonies to divert their sewage onto Palestinian fields and groves below the colonies. During the last olive harvest, for instance, Jewish colonists from the illegal colony of Elon Moreh stole the Palestinian’s olives (Palestinian farmers in that place are not allowed in their orchards except to harvest but Jews are allowed to go into those Palestinian orchards anytime), then the Jews dumped their sewage down the hill onto the olive trees. This treatment doesn’t just make the Palestinian’s lives harder. It renders the land unusable, and eventually the stuff is carried to streams by surface runoff or seeps down into everyone’s water table.
Israeli sewage impacts in Israel, the OPT, Jordan, Syria
Do you suppose a place that irrigates crops with treated wastewater; a place where sewage has tested positive for Wild-type poliovirus-1 (WPV 1), hepatitis, and other ills, would be anything less than hyper-vigilant? Or, do you imagine they’d deliberately dump massive amounts of sewage into waterways? Well, actually it’s…number two.
Israelis deliberately dumping their own sewage into their own waters is a strange but recurrent phenomenon. In 2015 Ashdod’s pumping station needed to fix a pipe so they simply diverted the main sewage line sending tens of thousands of cubic meters of sewage into Lachish stream. Nahal Kidron, which was called the most polluted stream in Israel and the West Bank in 2015, flows with a foul composition largely of untreated sewage from illegal Israeli Jewish colonies, Palestinian villages in East Jerusalem, and from villages the occupied West Bank. The gunk runs into a reservoir where part of it is treated and piped to illegal Israeli settlements to water Jewish date groves in the occupied Jordan valley. North of Jordan valley, in 2017, thousands of cubic meters of sewage killed fish and turtles in Galilee’s Betzet stream.
Nahal Sorek is a wadi that Israel made flow year round by the technological advancement of running Jerusalem’s sewage through it. The Israeli Water Authority bought into a scheme to build holding reservoirs for treated sewage which would later be pumped to irrigate Israeli crops. Things went down the drain in 2016 when Israel had to shut down the country’s largest desalination plant after sewage from the reservoirs was deliberately channeled into Soreq stream. It seems the Water Authority had decided to stop paying for holding reservoirs, filth was piling up, so someone made the decision to press the lever and flush the mess out to sea.
A dangerous modern component of sewage is prescription drugs that people either pass through their digestive systems or flush down the toilet without using. Sewage samples turn up estrogen from birth control pills, heart medications, ketamine, hydrocodone, barium enemas and, especially in Israel, the central nervous system stimulant Ritalin. 904,453 Israelis, over 10 ½ percent of everyone in the country, are on Ritalin (methylphenidate hydrochloride) or Ritalin-type drugs. Side effects of this drug may include psychosis, aggressive behavior, anxiety, nervousness, confusion, agitation, and…Hey! This might explain some things…Drugs end up concentrating in and around the waterways, where they can mix and synthesize with other prescriptions and a variety of petro chemicals, industrial solvents and fertilizers. Most sewage treatment plants don’t filter out even half of the drugs that go through them.
Israel’s poor performance with sewage is made worse by politics as the country has notoriously used money it owes the Palestinians to build sewage treatment plants on the Israeli side of the Green line. It works this way: decades ago, as part of the Oslo accords, Palestinians agreed to a five-year interim plan, part which included a scheme where Israel would collect tax money on behalf of the Occupied Territories then turn what was collected over to the Palestinian Authority. Israel is still collecting that money all these years later and, instead of turning the money over so the PA can treat Palestinian and Jewish colonist sewage at the source, Israel lets it contaminate the OPT and tries to clean it up when it reaches the Jewish state.
Israeli Beach Sewage
In the winter of 2016-7 various Israeli beaches were closed for a total of 310 days. On a beach where people were swimming and surfing, the Israeli environmental group Zalul, found fecal coliform to be 69,000 per 100 ml of sea water. That’s over 170 times the level where authorities are supposed to close the beach. Also in 2017 an Israeli main sewage pipe collapsed closing seven beaches near Tel Aviv.
In 2015 six Tel Aviv and Herzliya area beaches were closed until further notice after the authorities decided to deliberately pump 180,000 cubic meters of sewage runoff into the sea while the Israelis were making beach ‘upgrades.’ The following year sewage samples taken around Tel Aviv between December, 2016 and June, 2017, showed 7 of 15 were positive for hepatitis A virus. Tel Aviv’s Gordon Beach has closed multiple times because of fecal contamination. The technological solution in 2011 was to run a sewage pipe to a marina where nobody swims and discharge the stuff there.
In 2010 Israel’s Health Ministry shut down fifteen public beaches in Tel Aviv, Haifa, Herzliya, and Ashdod because of sewage contamination. Apparently the technological solution to Israel’s aging sewage system is to pump the stuff out to sea when the system becomes overwhelmed. Environmentalists also accuse industrial plants of regularly pumping chemical waste into the sea.
In 2017, years of clean-up work were undone in a few days by a massive deliberate raw sewage discharge into the Yarkon from a treatment plant that, its operators claim, was being inundated by four times more sewage than the plant was designed to treat.
Countries promoting themselves as a tourist destination, find protracted beach closures are terrible for the image. After hearing that surfers at an Israeli beach had burning throats and other symptoms from contaminated seas, Maya Jacobs, Executive Director of the Israeli environmental NGO Zalul developed a Smart phone app, with help from the public, the road-navigation app developer Waze, and the Health Ministry, that sends users a pop-up alert on pollution conditions when they get within 12 miles of a waterway.
“Earth felt the wound, and Nature from her seat,
Sighing through all her works, gave signs of woe.
That all was lost.” John Milton 1608-1674,Paradise Lost
(*Graphic at top by artist Kari Dunn http://kdunnart.weebly.com)
Recognition 6: Sewage: Selected Sources
07.17.2013 Sanitation recognized as a basic human right United Nations Israel signed on with 122 other countries to recognize Sanitation for All, as a basic human right.
07.30.2017 Watch: thousands of fish found floating in Yarkon river Jerusalem online by Becca Noy. Fish killed by sewage iand pollution n the river.
5.19.2017 Israel launches criminal investigation into water treatment execs over sewage spill Haaretz by Zafrir Rinat “ongoing illegal pumping of raw sewage into the Yarkon River Basin.”
06.09.2017 Swimming in sewage. World ignores Gaza’s waste water crisis Middle East Eye. Because of the Israeli siege there’s no fuel, because of no fuel the power plants can’t operate, because the power plants can’t operate the sewage treatment plants can’t operate, because the sewage treatment plants can’t operate 11 million liters of sewage runs out of Gaza every day, because 11 million liters of sewage goes into the Mediterranean from Gaza the tide carries it north to foul Israeli beaches and into the intakes of Israel’s desalination plants. Gaza has the 13th highest growth rate in the world (4.2%/yr). with a fertility rate of 4.4 children per woman. In 1997 there were 300,000 in Gaza. Today there are 2 million. 75% of the population is under 25 years old.02.28.2011 Sewage without borders Haaretz by Zafrir Rinat.
11.13.2017 Sewage pours into northern Betzet stream, kills fish and turtles. Jerusalem Post by Max Schindler. Thousands of cubic meters of sewage into Betzet stream.
06.09.2017 Swimming in sewage. World ignores Gaza’s waste water crisis Middle East Eye. Because of the Israeli siege there’s no fuel, because of no fuel the power plants can’t operate, because the power plants can’t operate the sewage treatment plants can’t operate, because the sewage treatment plants can’t operate 11 million liters of sewage runs out of Gaza every day, because 11 million liters of sewage goes into the Mediterranean from Gaza the tide carries it north to foul Israeli beaches and into the intakes of Israel’s desalination plants. Gaza has the 13th highest growth rate in the world (4.2%/yr). with a fertility rate of 4.4 children per woman. In 1997 there were 300,000 in Gaza. Today there are 2 million. 75% of the population is under 25 years old.
10.24.2018 Israeli colonists flood dozens of Palestinian olive trees with sewage International Middle East Media Center. Jews from illegal colony of Elon Moreh flooded Palestinian olive trees with Jewish sewage. The Palestinians are only allowed onto their own land twice a year to harvest olives and prune trees. That’s when they discovered the sewage and that Jewish colonists had stolen the crop from many of the trees because the Jews can go on the land at any time.
10.11.2017 Pollution kills thousands of fish in Lachish River. Ynet news. by Ilana Curiel. A local diver reports that this, “happens almost every year.” Authorities diverted river to Mel Ami beach supposedly to make an escape route to the sea for fish that were still alive. Unsure exactly what is killing the fish, authorities warned people to stay away from that beach.
03.17.2016 Gaza Sewage Crisis is a ticking time bomb for Israel The Jerusalem Post by Michelle Maealha Grossman. [nothing could be more Israeli than this headline.]
07.06.2017 Gaza sewage forces shutdown of Israeli beach The Jerusalem Post by Sharon Udasin and Tovah Lazaroff
08.31.2017 Israeli mayors call on U.S. to solve Gaza electricity crisis CNN by Oren Liebermann and Baeer Salman. ‘Electricity crisis’ is the sanitized-for-US-viewers euphemism to describe Gaza’s sewage treatment collapse.
08.20.2017 Al Mezan: Suspected cause of death of child is sea pollution and delayed medical referral International Middle East Media Center A little five-year-old boy, Mohammed Salim Al-Sais, died in Gaza City. Because of extreme heat, and no air conditioning due to the Israeli siege cutting off fuel, the boy’s parents took their kids to the beach, which is rank with sewage, also courtesy of the Israeli siege. The kids got sick. Next morning when the boy wouldn’t rouse his parents took him to hospital. Diagnosis was Ekiri Syndrome—a lethal toxic encephalopathy (brain swelling) from swimming in the water. Doctors didn’t have what they needed to treat the boy—also because of the siege. Parent’s couldn’t get permission cross the Israeli check points to get him to Palestinian hospital in Ramallah. After a week, in intensive care he slipped away, and died.
08.07.2017 Reign of sewage in biblical valley may be coming to an end Reuters. Ari Rabinovich. 12 million cubic meters of sewage per year, [33,000 cubic meters per day], flow down from Jerusalem and West Bank. Some is collected in a large pool that is used to water sewage resistant date trees. [yuk]
0.7.20.2017 Ongoing hepatitis A among men who have sex with men (MSM) linked to outbreaks in Europe and Tel Aviv area, Israel, December 2016-June, 2017 Europsurveillance, Yael Gozlan, et al. of 19cases of hepatitis A virus (HAV), 17 were identified in Tel Aviv area. 7 of 15 sewage samples were HAV positive.
07.03.2017 Israel shuts down beaches along central coastal city over sewage spill Haaretz by Ido Efrati sewage pipe collapse closes eight beaches.
06.25.2017 How safe are Israel’s beaches? The Jerusalem Post by Sigal Ben David.
04.21.2017 Israel pumps sewage water onto lands in Bethlehem. Eye on Palestine. Jewish military camps have been pumping sewage onto Palestinian lands. Landowners have been filing complaints to Jewish authorities since 2002, to no avail. Farmers don’t plant there so as not to contaminate their crops. The sewage harms local plants and animals but encourages rats and flies which spread disease.
05.06.2017 UN envoy warns of dire crisis as Gaza faces power cuts, gallons of raw sewage pouring into the sea. “An environmental disaster for Israel, Egypt, and Gaza is in the making.” Nicolay Mladenov, UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process.
05.11.2017 Gordon beach closed after sewage discharge Ynet news Gordon Beach closed again from sewage because of pumping station failure. Article notes the same thing happened last year.
08.25.2016 Gaza is sick of sewage and time is running out to contain it the Middle East Eye by Kiernan Cooke. Ashkelon desalination plant shut down at least four times because of Gaza Sewage this summer.
11.29.2015 Deliberate sewage dump closes 6 Tel Aviv beaches Times of Israel Staff report. Beaches closed because authorities decided to release some 180,000 metric ton’s of sewage while they are making beachfront ‘upgrades.’
09.30.2015 Sewage leak kills thousands of fish near Ashod Haaretz by Ben Zikri. Raw sewage deliberately diverted to stream for 10 hours while workers repaired a pipe. Thousands of cubic meters of sewage killed thousands of fish, stream organisms and animals that drink from the stream.06.18.2015 Baptism by mire? In lower Jordan river sewage mucks up Christian rite.Times of Israel by Melanie Lidman. Christians are being baptized in effluent soup of ‘treated and partially treated sewage, agricultural runoff, fish and pond waste, and saline waters from springs to reduce salinity of the Sea of Galilee.’
11.19.2012 Check this app before you swim in Israel Israel 21c by Karin Kloosterman.
06.05.2012 Sewer runs through river at heart of Israel’s most important Nature reserve. Haaretz by Zafrir Rinat.
07.12.2011 Sewage shuts Tel Aviv’s Gordon Beach again Haaretz by IIan Lior Beach closed for third time since May because of high coliform bacteria counts. The city diverted the suspect pipe flow to a marina where nobody swims and reopened the beach.
08.12.2010 Sewage row on Tel Aviv’s beaches The JC by Anshel Pfeffer. Israeli Health ministry closed 15 beaches so far this summer because of excessive sewage. Cities were beaches closed were Haifa, Tel Aviv, Ashdod, and Herzliya.
09.22.2008 ‘Polluted West Bank streams pose threat to a third of Israel’s drinking water’ Jerusalem Post by Ehud Zion Waldoks.
05.11.2017 Gordon beach closed after sewage discharge.YNet News
07.30.2017 The “apolitical” approach to Palestine’s water crisis al-Shabaka by Muna Dajani.
Gist of the article is that well-meaning donors are helping Israel pull the focus off Palestinian water rights.
09.18.2016 Drowning in the waste of Israeli settlers Al Jazeera by Jaclynn Ashly. Jewish colony of Ariel has fouled al-Matua spring and stream with sewage. Ariel, Ariel West and Barkum colonies’ treatment works break down, or over flow often and when they do the Jews aim their sewage down hill at Palestinian villages and streams.The smell keeps people awake at night, mosquitoes are rampant, children get sick from the sewage, sheep die from drinking the water. Local rabbits, deer, foxes and other species that used to live there and come to the spring are gone.
Abu Dis, at Wadi Abu Hurdi, the Jews built a toxic waste dump on Palestinian land. It’s the largest dump on the WB. Chemical smells make people sick. Liquid waste pools kill sheep.Israel closed the dump in 2015 as part of a plan to forcibly evict local residents.The local Bedouins were forcibly relocated to live near the dump in the 1990’s. Now Israel wants to remove them altogether or, alternatively to flatten out the dump, put dirt on it, and make the Bedouins live on top of the dump itself. Finally, Jewish colonists from Qedar dump their swimming pool water into the valley where Palestinian sheep get sick from the chlorine.
Altogether about 19 mcm/yr of the West Bank’s 83 mcm/yr of waste water/sewage is from the illegal colonies (Knesset Research Institute). About 12% of Jewish colony sewage is dumped untreated into Palestinian streams. In 1967 Israel declared that uncultivated land, hilltops where it’s hard to grow things for example, was state of Israel land. Taking over the hilltops also made it easier for Jews to oversee and control the area. As the Jews built settlements they forced the Arabs further down the hills.
06.09.2017 Swimming in sewage. World ignores Gaza’s waste water crisis Middle East Eye. Because of the Israeli siege there’s no fuel, because of no fuel the power plants can’t operate, because the power plants can’t operate the sewage treatment plants can’t operate, because the sewage treatment plants can’t operate 11 million liters of sewage runs out of Gaza every day, because 11 million liters of sewage goes into the Mediterranean from Gaza the tide carries it north to foul Israeli beaches and into the intakes of Israel’s desalination plants. Gaza has the 13th highest growth rate in the world (4.2%/yr). with a fertility rate of 4.4 children per woman. In 1997 there were 300,000 in Gaza. Today there are 2 million. 75% of the population is under 25 years old.09.02.2015 Most polluted river in Israel and West Bank to stay filthy because of government vacillation Haaretz by Zafrir Rinat. ‘Nahal Kidron the most polluted water way in either Israel of the West Bank…’ The river is an open sewer for untreated sewage from illegal Israeli Jewish settlements and Palestinian villages in East Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank. The sewage flows into a reservoir where part of it is treated and piped to illegal Israeli settlements to water date groves in the occupied Jordan valley.
07.21.2015 Gaza-Cholera Outbreak AP Video Riyad al-Zaanoun, Chief Palestinian health official, confirmed that 20 cholera cases are in hospital. This is the first cholera outbreak in Gaza for 20 years. Officials are worried that the disease could spread rapidly in Gaza’s overcrowded slums and refugee camps.
06.18.2015 Baptism by mire? In lower Jordan river sewage mucks up Christian rite.Times of Israel by Melanie Lidman. Christians are being baptized in effluent soup of ‘treated and partially treated sewage, agricultural runoff, fish and pond waste, and saline waters from springs to reduce salinity of the Sea of Galilee.’
04.18.2015 Parting the brown sea: Sewage crisis threatens Gaza’s access to water Al Jazeera by Jen Marlowe. [Very well done article] Because of the Israeli siege, Israel destroying infrastructure, and choking electrical and fuel supplies, every single day 24 million gallons of raw or partially treated sewage goes into the Mediterranean off Gaza through seven pipes. It has created massive sewage lagoons, destroyed wetlands, plankton, fish and fisheries. Over pumping Gaza’s only aquifer is resulting in sewage laced seawater intrusion of the aquifer. This is a crisis that the UN says could make Gaza 100% of water undrinkable by 2016 (96% is unfit for human consumption now) and Gaza uninhabitable by 2020. [Article doesn’t mention that prevailing currents flow from south to north up the coast. Meaning that what is coming out a Palestinian’s ass goes right upstream to Israeli desalination plants and into an Israeli’s mouth every time he or she drinks water.]
06.05.2012 Sewer runs through river at heart of Israel’s most important Nature reserve. Haaretz by Zafrir Rinat. Nahal Sorek is a Wadi that Israel made flow year round with the technological advancement of running Jerusalem’s sewage through it. The Israeli Water Authority came up with a scheme to build reservoirs that would hold treated sewage which would be later be pumped to irrigate Israeli crops.
09.22.2008 ‘Polluted West Bank streams pose threat to a third of Israel’s drinking water’ Jerusalem Post by Ehud Zion Waldoks. Most West Bank sewage from Israeli settlements and Palestinian villages is untreated. Ariel Cohen of Nature and Parks Authority Environmental unit says all nine major West Bank streams are badly polluted. 2007 analysis revealed sewage, salts and heavy metals leaching into the mountain aquifer below the West Bank. Streams are Kishon, Shechem, Kana, Shilo, Soreq, Mod’in, Michmash, Kidron and Hebron. Palestinians produce estimated 56 million cubic meters of sewage per year, Israeli occupiers produce and estimated 17.5 mcm/year of which 31.5% isn’t treated. 43 km. of Hebron stream is untreated sewage water. There are 178 kilometers of sewage stream flows overall.