Israeli workers clean up Gaza's sewage
Israeli workers clean up Gaza's sewageHof Ashkelon Regional Council

Sewage from Gaza poured into the Hof Ashkelon Regional Council last Wednesday, after repeated warnings failed to alert the government enough to stop it.

Hof Ashkelon Regional Council Head Yair Farjoun demanded the Israeli government put a stop to the sewage flowing out of Gaza.

"For several years, the Hanoun Stream has been a source of West Nile fever, which endangers the public's health," Farjoun said. "In addition to the immediate health risk, the sewage flowing in the river causes hydrological pollution."

Farjoun also contacted the Knesset Ministry of Internal Affiairs, Environmental Protection Minister Ze'ev Elkin (Likud), Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Beytenu), and National Infrastructure Minister Yuval Steinitz (Likud).

A month ago, Farjoun contacted Liberman and Elkin, as well as COGAT Coordinator Yoav Mordechai, and warned them about the sanitation hazards presented by the sewage flowing from the sewage treatment facility in northern Gaza's Beit Hanoun into the Hanoun Stream.

"As we expected, the solid sewage flows into the Shikma Stream, causing an awful stench and polluting the coastal aquifer," the Hof Ashkelon Regional Council said, noting that they have already begun the cleanup.

Council workers began to create piles of dirt to stop the flow of the sewage, and simultaneously began pumping the sewage out to avoid polluting the soil.

"This problem is a result of the fact that Beit Hanoun's sewage treatment facility does not work full-time," the Council explained. "Because of internal conflicts between the Palestinian Authority and Hamas leadership, electricity to Gaza was cut, and the sewage treatment facility is suffering."

"This situation endangers residents of Jewish towns near the Gaza border and in the Hof Ashkelon Regional Council."

"We give Gaza sweet water," Farjoun said. "Hamas and Fatah area always fighting, and they give us back sewage."

"This is a war which requires ammunition and weapons. We need to ask the government, 'What do YOU think should be done?'"