(February 22, 2018 / JNS) Officials in the Gaza Strip announced on Wednesday that if Hamas doesn’t loosen its grip on fuel provisions to the towns, they will be forced to begin dumping sewage directly into the Mediterranean Sea.
“The beaches of the Gaza Strip will be completely closed, and sewage will be pumped into the sea because the municipalities are unable to provide fuel” for treatment facilities, said Gaza City Municipal head Nizar Hejazi.
“We announce a state of emergency in the cities and municipalities of the Gaza Strip,” he added, noting that services to residents would be cut in half.
Last week, Gaza’s only power plant stopped producing electricity due to a lack of fuel and was forced to import it.
Pollution from Gaza has been a decades-long concern for Israelis and other nations on the Mediterranean coast. The local waste-treatment facility, built with $100 million of international funding, does not fully function because of Hamas’s refusal to allocate electricity, as well as on the ongoing energy crisis in Gaza due to tensions between Hamas and the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority.