Gaza’s rising humanitarian disaster is finally registering in Israel as a pressing problem requiring “clear and quick” action. However, it isn’t the impact of the disaster on the inhabitants of Gaza that’s sounding the alarm bells in Tel Aviv, however the potential environmental harm Gaza’s ongoing distress might trigger Israel.
On June 3, researchers from Israel’s Tel Aviv and Ben-Gurion universities offered a report, commissioned by the environmental organisation Eco Peace Middle East, by which they warned that “the collapsing water, electricity infrastructure, & sewage in the Gaza Strip pose a cloth danger to Israel’s groundwater, seawater, beaches, and desalination plants.”
One would expect any report on the environmental situation in Gaza to deal with the truth that almost two million Palestinians in the Strip live in inhumane circumstances attributable to a relentless 12-year Israeli blockade and repeated devastating military assaults, that are rending the area “uninhabitable by 2020”.
Instead, the report has implied that the local residents are solely accountable for the imminent environmental disaster in Gaza which is threatening the safety and wellbeing of Israeli residents. Israeli newspaper Haaretz, which revealed an in-depth report on the presentation, also spun the problem as a matter of nationwide safety.
However what Israel has now recognized as a “national safety problem” is certainly a disaster of its own making. The occupation, colonization, dispossession, and aggression towards Palestine and the Palestinians have brought on so much environmental harm that now even the Israeli occupier is suffering.