Israel forces Gaza Children to Wade through Sewage as Creepy, Evil Blockade Continues

The health minister in the Gaza Strip has warned that the territory is on the verge of a major health catastrophe.

Children are risking cholera and worse because they have to walk through raw sewage to get to school. The sewage has flooded the streets in Gaza City because the sewage treatment plant has no electricity. It has no electricity because the Israelis are blockading the strip, including its children (50% of the population). The Israelis are not letting cheap fuel in. Some inexpensive fuel used to come in from Egypt, but the military there has blocked smuggling tunnels leading into the strip from the Sinai Peninsula.

The Israeli military has since 2007 punished the whole Palestinian population because the Hamas Party won the 2006 elections. It actually produced figures on how much nutrition could be let in while keeping both children and adults among the Palestinians “on a diet.” US State Department cables revealed by Wikileaks show that the Israelis are deliberately keeping the Palestinians of Gaza just on the verge of a humanitarian catastrophe. As a result, 56 percent of residents are “food insecure.” They aren’t starving but they are just one or two lost paychecks away from starving. This kind of social engineering experiment on human beings (i.e. keeping Palestinians “on a diet”) is unconscionable to anyone in their right mind. It is also illegal in international law to impose collective punishment on an Occupied population. Some 70% of the 1.7 million Palestinians in Gaza are from families expelled from what is now southern Israel by the 1948 ethnic cleansing campaign of Jewish settlers. Many could walk home in an hour or two but they are kept in refugee camps by the Israeli military. They are besieged on three sides by Israel and on one by Egypt, whose officers are cooperating with the Israeli-imposed blockade.

Here is a paraphrase of a report on the situation in the Palestinian Gaza Strip from AP:

“A Palestinian official in Gaza City , Gaza Strip, said that treatment plant sewage is overflowing into the streets because of the shortage of electricity needed for waste treatment . Gaza officials said that the spill could harm the environment and affect 20,000 people. The smell is rancid and the water is lapping at car tires. Gaza has been suffering from fuel shortages and power cuts that cause hours of outages. The electricity brownouts are due to closure by Egypt of smuggling tunnels on the border with the Gaza Strip , which provides fuel to the Palestinian territories. The transfer of higher-priced fuel prices by the Israelis continued.”

BBC Monitoring quotes from the Israeli Arabic press:

“Al-Ittihad [organ of the Communist Party] [From editorial] “As though the accumulated tragedies which the people of Gaza Strip live as a result of the occupation, its crimes and siege, are not enough, power cuts for 18 hours a day constitute a tangible danger to life, safety and health of Gazans… The power cuts are caused by a fuel crisis… The matter has reached the extent of threatening lives of premature babies in hospitals and poverty stricken quarters where the evil has reached the extent of sewage water flooding streets and homes… It is the duty of those with a conscience to make a resounding call in order to save the people of Gaza from this killing darkness, killing siege and killing silence…”

PressTV reports:

18 Responses

  1. The West, Egypt, Israel and Abbas are responsible for this terrible state of affairs, the occupation must be ended, but instead Abbas facilitates it [no doubt due to intimidation from Israel/US] In my opinion applying for membership of the remaining 63 UN Agencies, and, more importantly ratifying and pursuing war crimes charges at the ICC are not even acts of resistance, they are what any normal person would do when when such crimes are perpetrated against them. The International Court of Justice [ICJ] has already declared in an opinion in 2004 [The Wall case] that Israel is in breach of the Geneva Conventions 49.6, their opinion [15 judges to 0] was that Israel could not transfer its own citizens into belligerent occupied territory, the planning and execution of such polices is a grave war crime, to which any individual including Government Ministers like B Netenyahu can be indicted at the Hague.Many people correctly regard these talks as an annexation process, the sooner Abbas and his Government stop this charade and put pressure on the ICC prosecutor to open an investigation and let an independent court with the power to implement it’s decisions take it’s course, things will only get worse.

    • The Palestinian Authority could, pursuant to its observer state status at the United Nations, go to initiate a process of bringing criminal proceedings in the ICC against Israeli leaders, but has chosen not to.

      There were war crimes investigations against Israel after the Operation Cast Lead offensive and the Goldstone Commission Report laid blame against Israel for war crimes and crimes against humanity victimizing Gazans. The U.N. used its veto power to stop any adverse action against Israel using its veto on the Security Council.

      Israel actually imposed a “Gulf War” tax against Palestinians to compensate them for damage caused by Iraqi Scuds in 1991 as well as other ludicrous levies. Many West Bank Palestinians refused to file tax returns or pay taxes to Israel as they were imposed without representation. In the West Bank city of Sahoura, the IDF raided 350 homes and seized millions of dollars in property, then-Defense Minister Yitzhak Rabin called the seizures necessary to show the Arabs they will obey Israeli tax laws – the United Nations Security Council voted unanimously to condemn the Israeli seizures – except for a U.S. veto.

      It was the oppressive Israeli tax levies and American inaction that helped fuel the First Intifada that had begun in 1987.

      • “The Palestinian Authority could, pursuant to its observer state status at the United Nations, go to initiate a process of bringing criminal proceedings in the ICC against Israeli leaders, but has chosen not to.”

        Because it is more inclined to be obsequious in the presence of Israel’s leaders.

  2. People suggest that a Palestinian state can live side by side with such a monstrosity as Israel? Israel must be reformed, that is the only way to peace.

    • I have seen several military and other authoritative sources suggest that Israel and the Palestinians must separate.

      Around the time the Oslo Accords were announced the Council of Foreign Relations magazine Foreign Affairs conatined an article that the Palestinian Authority reliance upon Israel politically or economically gave the P.A. an appearance of being a quisling government acting at the behest of Israel.

      The IDF’s control of West Bank highways via checkpoints is a key element of harassment of Arabs. No meaningful peace can be achieved without the IDF withdrawing from the West Bank as it did in Gaza in 2005.

      To this day in the West Bank, the real political power has resided with the IDF’s Civil Administration, presided over by an Israeli brigadier general with IDF colonels acting as military district governors, who are despised by the Arab population; see http://www.kawther.info

  3. Why don’t we see stories such as this on the front pages of the NY Time, WaPo, and other major papers? Why is a story such as this not a topic for corporate television channels? That’s right. They are more interested in informing their readers and watchers about the Toronto mayor’s smoking crack or some piece of forgettable nonsense about some celebrity enjoying too many minutes of fame.

  4. just tragic. Why is it that there isn’t much we puny little Americans, with hearts in the right places, can do to assist?
    My dad was a retired United Methodist pastor and seminary professor, he spent several years near the end of his life residing in the West Bank, in order to stand in solidarity with The Living Stones. But that’s extreme. I just wish we could get good reports from the refugee communities about what they need.
    Regards,
    Julia

    • This is despicable, and probably making Israeli people less safe.

      The leaders of Israel are depraved.

      • And the prime minister of Israel received 29 standing ovations from his puppets, our representatives and senators when he gave them a pep talk at one of his rallies in Congress. There were basically good people among those senators and representatives, and it is extremely difficult to believe they were sincere in their hand-clapping gestures, but it looks like they lacked the moral courage on this (and other occasions) to do the right thing and tell AIPAC and the rest of the Israel lobby to go to hell.

  5. I get so outraged when I see our media interview Bibi, like he’s a US politician. It’s like we’re bound at the hip. Not even a question about The Issue, only what should be done about Iran!

  6. I cannot express strongly enough my disgust with both Israel and the US. Sensa, some ideas for ways to help, maybe:

    1) Write or call Obama and your representatives in Congress. If you send a message by email, you might embed a link to this article. I’ll do that next.
    2) Donate to American Near East Refugee Aid (ANERA). I do.
    3) Do you suppose if we donated a thousand pairs of rubber boots, that they could get through the blockade?
    4) As Molly Ivins would say, were she still with us, “RAISE HELL!”

  7. I lived and worked in the Gaza Strip for three years, returning just a year ago. I think it is important to stress two things:

    1) There is a wealth of blame to be shared here. Yes, Israel deserves the largest portion, but increasingly Egypt is equally the jailer. Ever since Sisi deposed Morsi and took over, the Rafah crossing into Gaza has been closed to human traffic most of the time, and as Juan reported, the majority of the tunnels have been destroyed. On top of that, Egypt has joined Israel in shooting at Gazan fishing boats that come too close. BOTH countries must allow traffic in and out, for people AND goods. If Egypt doesn’t want the tunnels, then it should expand the Rafah crossing to accommodate commercial goods, so Gaza is less at the mercy of Israel.

    And by the way, Abbas/the PA deserves some blame too. The PA is exacerbating the fuel crisis by insisting on taxing supplies from Israel at a rate Gazans can’t afford.

    2) The Palestinians in Gaza don’t need aid/handouts in the traditional sense. They have plenty of most consumer goods, like boots. (The desperate shortages are selective, such as in fuel, construction materials and a variety of essential medicines.) What they want most is FREEDOM! They need to be able to EXPORT so they can have a viable economy, and they want to be able to travel out to visit family, attend school and build business. Is that too much to ask? THAT is what we need to keep pushing for!!!

    • And, it is said, those who live by the sword shall die by the sword; although, in Israel’s case several observers give decay and moral corruption odds for doing the job.

  8. Abbas , Assisi & Netanyaho GANGS with the help of the Arab Regimes are surrounding Gaza///GAZA will not surrender

  9. That America is supporting Israel no matter what they do is not only indicative of the stranglehold that country has over the US, but of a complete collapse of moral, ethical and spiritual values.

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