“Public health conditions in Gaza are getting worse by the hour, and with water running out the threat of disease is spreading fast.”
Head of Oxfam in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and Israel
Published: 5 August 2014
Despite a pause in the month-long bombardment, the people of Gaza are facing a critical public health crisis due to the destruction and contamination of Gaza’s water supply, worldwide development organization Oxfam warned today.
The bombing has destroyed dozens of wells, pipelines, and reservoirs, and fresh water is contaminated with raw sewage. 15,000 tons of solid waste fills the streets, water pumping stations are on the verge of running out of fuel, and many neighborhoods have been without power for days.
“We’re working in an environment with a completely destroyed water infrastructure that prevents people in Gaza from cooking, flushing toilets, or washing hands. The current public health risk is massive, and while a 72-hour ceasefire is a positive step, Gaza’s infrastructure will take months or years to fully recover,” said Nishant Pandey, head of Oxfam in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and Israel.
Even before the violence of the past month, people in Gaza were already extremely vulnerable due to the Israeli blockade, a collective punishment of an entire civilian population, which stops people and goods moving in and out, destroying the economy and eroding basic rights.
“Public health conditions in Gaza are getting worse by the hour, and with water running out the threat of disease is spreading fast. The ceasefire alone will not be enough to end Gaza's suffering—the blockade of Gaza must also end if there is to be real recovery and lasting peace for both Israelis and Palestinians,” Pandey said.
For media: Oxfam has staff in Gaza and Jerusalem who can do interviews in English, Arabic, French, Spanish, Italian and Dutch.
Nate McRay International Media and Communications Advisor Oxfam Currently in Jerusalem +972 54 637 7092 (local) +972 59 799 2261 (local 2) +31 6 1393 3517 (roaming) firstname.lastname@example.org twitter:
After seven years of Israeli blockade, 1.7 million Palestinians continue to be trapped in the Gaza Strip, largely cut off from the outside world. The current escalation of violence is causing more human suffering. We are calling for an immediate end to all hostilities.
The crisis in Gaza is fast spiralling out of control with water supplies critically low and a public health crisis imminent, Oxfam warned today. The collapse of the latest brief ceasefire announcement means many more lives will be at risk.
With the crisis in Gaza mounting, hospitals are struggling to cope with the growing influx of casualties. Three quarters of the dead and wounded are civilians, including many women and children. In the past few days, as the Israeli ground offensive escalates, on average one child an hour is being killed in Gaza.