Israel has been cutting drinking water supplies for the Gaza Strip since last Wednesday, Quds Press reported on Monday. The move was made without any prior notice being given.
“Mekorot, the Israeli water supplier, told us last Wednesday that they would cut water for a couple of hours for maintenance purposes,” explained Maher Salem, the Director of Gaza’s Water Authority.
“Since then, the water has been off. The pumping of water was not resumed as was agreed with them. This has affected the distribution of water in Gaza.”
According to Salem, up to 200,000 Palestinians in the coastal enclave are benefitting from the water supply from the Israelis, which comes from deep wells located along the eastern border of the Gaza Strip. Mekorot sells water to Gaza following an agreement signed last year.
All of the irrigation wells used by farmers near the Gaza border have collapsed due to Israel taking the underground water sources through their deep wells. The Palestinians in Gaza are not allowed to dig wells more than 100 metres deep.
The residents of Gaza suffer from a severe lack of drinking water. Up to 95 per cent of water in the territory is unfit for human consumption, according to World Health Organisation standards.
Photo on front page: Palestinian children walk through dirty water due after flooding of tunnels in Gaza, 2015. Source: MEMO. Graphic on this page: Map from the Sustainable Management of the West Bank and Gaza Acquifers study (2004), indicating the concentration of Israeli pump wells that extract the naturally flowing ground water from Jamal al-Khalil before it reaches the Gaza Strip.
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