Contaminated wastewater from Hamas-ruled Gaza is streaming into Israel and reaching the nearby coast of Ashkelon, which shares a border with Gaza, as a result of the growing energy crisis in the Palestinian coastal enclave.
The amount of sewage flowing directly into Israel’s Hanun stream from Gaza has increased dramatically during the past weeks, raising alarm among officials.
Vacuum trucks used to filter the Palestinian sewage in Israel’s water are no longer effective, and the water has become flooded with hazardous waste. The situation rapidly deteriorated in recent days when Palestinians deliberately broke through mounds of dirt raised by the IDF, which serve to stop the flow of sewage into Israel.
“What we’re seeing here is an ecological terror attack. The Israeli government must immediately resolve this crisis and not leave the Hof Ashkelon Regional Council to deal with it alone,” said Yair Farjun, head of the Hof Ashkelon Regional Council, Yedioth Ahronoth reported.
“The water level rises daily and if the situation remains as it is, the stream will overflow,” he added. “Beyond the visible pollution, the sewage water also pollutes the [region’s] coastal aquifer very severely.”
Since Gaza’s only power plant ran out of fuel in April, the Hamas-controlled territory has primarily relied on electricity supplied by Israel and paid for by the Palestinian Authority (PA). But the PA recently decided to reduce its payments to Israel for the electricity, leading the Jewish state to cut the power supply to Gaza by almost a third, precipitating the current crisis.