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PA official: Israel damaged sewage system to spread disease and made water undrinkable during 2014 Gaza War

“Adalah Al-Atira, Head of the Environmental Protection Authority, disclosed that the Authority is inclined to sue Israel for crimes against the environment [committed] in the Gaza Strip during the recent war. Al-Atira told the Ma’an news agency that the Environmental Protection Authority has been in touch with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) regarding the sending of international environment experts to examine the soil, water and air in Gaza, especially in the wake of the Israeli war.
Al-Atira expects the experts to arrive next month to prepare a reliable report that could be used against Israel in the future. Al-Atira said discussions were being held regarding the organization of an international environmental conference in Palestine.
Al-Atira described the environmental situation in Gaza as ‘catastrophic,’ as the Gaza Strip served as a laboratory for Israel’s unconventional weapons. She noted that harming the environment is considered a war crime according to the Rome Statute… She also said that the destruction of the sewage system has led to leakage which is liable to contaminate the drinking water and cause diseases in the future. According to research, approximately 90% of the water in the Gaza Strip is undrinkable. The PA is taking steps to provide [Gaza with] a desalination system in order to prevent this pollution from affecting lives. Al-Atira said that about 70% of Gaza’s sewage was emptied into the sea during the aggression (i.e., Israel’s Operation Protective Edge, which aimed at destroying Hamas' terror infrastructure and ability to launch rockets at Israel), while the rest seeped into the ground.”