Daily Israel Report

Gaza in Deep Sewage, under Egyptian Siege

Raw sewage floods Gaza City neighborhood, and 13 more sewage stations are close to overflowing.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 11/21/2013, 9:18 PM

Raw sewage plant in Gaza
Raw sewage plant in Gaza
Flash 90

Raw sewage has flooded streets in a southern neighborhood of Gaza City in recent days, threatening a health disaster, writes the New York Times. The reason: cheap diesel fuel can no longer be smuggled in from Egypt, because Egypt's army has shut down the smuggling tunnels that connected Gaza with Sinai.

The Hamas government shut down Gaza’s lone power plant on November 1, causing a pump station to flood. Three more sewage stations in Gaza City and 10 others elsewhere in Gaza are close to overflowing, sanitation officials said, and 3.5 million cubic feet of raw sewage is seeping into the Mediterranean Sea daily. "The sanitation department may soon no longer be able to pump drinking water to Gaza homes," writes the Times.

Hamas has refused to import Israeli diesel because of taxes imposed by the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority, which is led by rival terror organization Fatah.

Gaza's residents now face daily power failures of 12 or even 18 hours. "Businesses have cut back production, hospitals are rationing electricity to keep dialysis and cardiac support systems running…" all because of Egypt's cutting off smuggling, and Hamas' refusal to pay Ramallah taxes.

The number of trucks bringing goods, including fuel, into Gaza from Israel has actually increased 18 percent since the ouster in July of Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi, while the number of Gazans allowed to leave through Israel’s Erez crossing is up nearly 30 percent since July. Exits through Egypt’s Rafah crossing in October, however, were a third of what they had been in January.

And yet, in reporting on the situation in Gaza, Iran's PressTV succeeded in blaming Israel anyway (see video below).

During Morsi's yearlong presidency, Gaza received 30 megawatts directly from Egypt and enough diesel via the tunnels to provide 85 megawatts through its power plant. Gaza is run by Hamas, which is connected to Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood. Besides cracking down on the smuggling tunnels, Egypt has been fighting Islamist terrorists in the Sinai, some of whom came from Gaza.