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Gaza residents forced to use seawater for bathing and washing clothes

October 31, 2023 at 1:26 pm

A Palestinian man fills empty bottles with sea water due to water crisis as a result of the suspension of water flow in the water pipes from Israel to the Gaza Strip in Deir al-Balah, Gaza on October 29, 2023 [Mustafa Hassona/Anadolu via Getty Images]

The Palestinians in Gaza are forced to use seawater for bathing and washing clothes due to the scarcity of fresh water, Euro News has reported. This is a direct result of the Israeli occupation government cutting off water and electricity sources in the besieged Gaza Strip.

According to Reuters, some people have started to dig wells in areas adjacent to the sea, or relying on salty tap water from Gaza’s only aquifer, which is contaminated by sewage and seawater. As Israeli air strikes continue to pound the Gaza Strip, the enclave’s residents are getting more desperate as water runs out, rubbish piles up in the streets, explosions flatten homes and hospitals struggle to cope.

Even before the latest conflict erupted and Israel cut electricity and fresh water supplies to Gaza, 90 per cent of the water was undrinkable, according to the Palestinian Water Authority. The territory’s only aquifer is contaminated by sewage, chemicals and seawater and neighbourhood desalination facilities and their public taps were a lifesaver for some of Gaza’s 2.3 million residents. The 10 per cent of the aquifer’s water deemed safe to drink is often mixed with poor-quality water during distribution, making it good only for washing.

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