Thursday, March 29, 2007

Bedouin Village: 21st Century Ghetto.

At 9am on Tuesday morning sewage flooded a section of the Bedouin village North of the Gaza Strip.

The village is surrounded in the North by a border with Israel and large pools of sewage in the South. The pools take up 350.000m2.

The pools were built in 1976 under Israeli military order. They were constructed over the purest water aquifer in the Gaza Strip and have begun to seep into the aquifer, creating huge risk of polluting water in Gaza.

Four people were killed on Tuesday, including two young children and an older woman who were swept away in the sewage.

The pools were built to serve 50,000 people, by 2003 they were being used by over 200,000. In 2006 a separate pool was built on a hill over the village to which overflowing sewage was pumped.

On Tuesday morning the pool broke, causing the sewage to flood into the village in the valley below. According to a villager the water reached 3 meters in some places.

The Palestinian Authority has long been warned that this environmental crisis needs to be addressed. This situation was not made a priority.

Israel on the other hand continues to prevent building materials from entering the Gaza Strip.

Such a catastrophe brings to light Israel’s unwillingness to take the responsibilities it is required to as an occupying nation.

The Bedouin Village is the 21st Century ghetto.

the sewage pools
The sewage ran down this hill and flooded the valley below
Homes and shops are flooded

destroyed shacks
A collective funeral tent
Sand is pilled in front of homes to prevent further flooding

returning to 1948: refugees yet again