Water Shortage in Gaza Continues Amid Disputed Israeli Claims

Web DeskOctober 16, 2023

Key Developments:

  • Tons of aid from NGOs and various countries are held up on trucks in Egypt.
  • UNRWA has stated that its teams are forced to ration water, and an official has described Gaza as being “strangled.”
  • Prime Minister Kakar has accused Israel of engaging in “deliberate, disproportionate” targeting of Gaza civilians, which is in violation of international law.
  • The US president has cautioned that any Israeli attempt to occupy Gaza would be a “significant mistake.”

Hamas stated on Monday that despite Israel’s promise to resume water supplies to the Gaza Strip, no such action has been taken. In response, an Israeli official indicated that some water was indeed being provided to a southern area of the enclave.

Israel halted the distribution of water to Gaza in an effort to enforce a blockade aimed at preventing the entry of food and fuel into the territory, which is home to 2.3 million people, many of whom are impoverished and rely on aid. This action followed a surprise offensive by Hamas on October 7, which resulted in the deaths of approximately 1,300 Israelis, according to officials.

In the wake of the deadliest attack in its history, Israel launched a relentless bombing campaign on the Gaza Strip. The Gaza health ministry has reported a death toll of around 2,750 as a result of Israeli airstrikes, with approximately 9,700 people sustaining injuries. Moreover, some 600,000 Gazans have been displaced, and essential supplies are running critically low.

Hamas interior ministry spokesperson Eyad Al-Bozom declared on Monday that there has been no resumption of water supplies, leading to a serious health crisis as residents are forced to consume unsafe water.

An aide to Israeli Energy and Infrastructure Minister Israel Katz acknowledged that water was being provided in the community of Bnei Sahila, near southern Khan Younis, although the quantity of water supplied was not disclosed.

Katz emphasized on Sunday that restoring water supply in southern Gaza could lead Palestinian civilians to congregate there, as Israel continues to target Hamas in Gaza City to the north. Residents of the northern half of Gaza, including Gaza City, have been urged to relocate to the southern region.

“Gaza is being strangled, and it appears that humanity has been lost in the world right now,” stated United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini in a desperate appeal for the delivery of critical aid.

“We all understand that water is life, and Gaza is running out of water, which means Gaza is running out of life,” he added.

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