A brief introductory overview of the environmental issues facing the Gaza Strip and West Bank, with facts, figures and further reading.
A dense population and recurring conflicts have placed the Gaza Strip’s environment under considerable pressure, damaging critical infrastructure and generating debris. Environmental governance in both Gaza and the West Bank has been made more complex by the occupation, which has compounded and often actively worsened issues such as water scarcity, pollution, land degradation and waste management.
Since March, Palestinian protesters have been launching incendiary kites and balloons over the border into Israel. The ensuing fires have affected agricultural areas and nature reserves, with no end in sight protected areas are the conflicts’s latest environmental casualty.
The latest report by the International Law Commission in its ongoing study into the protection of the environment in relation to armed conflicts deals with environmental protection in situations of occupation. This blog looks at the new draft principles, their basis and argues that they should be strengthened.
The widespread damage to urban areas in the latest conflict in Gaza has generated a range of toxic remnants of war, from debris, to sewage and water contamination to the residues of weapons, there is a pressing need for an environmental assessment in the affected areas.
Twitter: #Gaza / #OPT
New briefing from @UNOCHA on the humanitarian impact of restrictions on access to land near the perimeter fence in the #Gaza Strip highlights Israeli herbicide spraying and impact of agricultural restrictions
The humanitarian impact of restrictions on access to land near the perimeter fence in the Gaza Strip, August 2018
News and Press Release from UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, published 03 Aug 2018
Sewage pollution and water shortage are causing a serious emergency in #Gaza, posing a threat to 2m people. Despite numerous challenges, the long-awaited construction of the new North Gaza Wastewater Treatment Plant is now complete
Delivering Life-Saving Sanitation Services in Gaza
Sewage pollution and water shortage are causing a serious emergency in Gaza, posing a threat to two million people, their health and the environment. ...
Report on the use of aerial herbicides by the Israeli Defence Forces on agricultural areas along the border of the Gaza Strip and its implications for human health and the environment.
OCHA | Poor infrastructure and lack of funding put over 560,000 people at risk of flooding in the Gaza Strip
During periods of rainfall, the sewage/storm water station receives rainwater mixed with sewage. This must be pumped out to the storm water infiltration ponds, to the sea or to open areas.
Israel has set out less stringent regulations in industrial zones in settlements and even offers financial incentives such as tax breaks and government subsidies. This policy has made it more profitable to build and operate waste treatment facilities in the West Bank than inside Israel.
Even without a peace plan, environmentalists have recognised that the pollution and water problems need common solutions.
The humanitarian problems posed by the substandard living conditions in Gaza require the attention of international actors associated with the peace process. If the living conditions in Gaza do not improve in the near future, the region will inevitably experience another round of conflict, more violent than the last.
This report found that insurmountable domestic legal barriers were creating environmental injustice.
The broad objectives of this study were to: highlight the longer-term effects and implications of current developmental and social trends and challenges affecting the Gaza Strip; raise awareness of these both locally and internationally; and, inform the strategic programming of the UN.
The report reveals in a striking manner the linkages between environment and security in the occupied Palestinian territory.
The aim of this desk study was to outline the state of the environment and identify major areas of environmental damage requiring urgent attention.