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Situation in Palestine is a major man-made humanitarian disaster

GUE/NGL MEP Martina Anderson, Chair of the European Parliament's Delegation for relations with Palestine, has said the situation in Palestine is a major man-made humanitarian disaster, unfolding right before the eyes of the world.

Speaking at a GUE/NGL initiative in the European Parliament focusing in “Supplies for Life in Palestine: Health Energy and Water”, where Dr Mads Gilbert, Dr. Mazen Ghoneim, Minister of Palestine Water Authority and Dr. Omar Kittaneh, the Minister of Energy of Palestine were in attendance, Ms Anderson said:

“Because of the terrible conditions imposed by Israel, people in the occupied Palestinian territories suffer from a chronic lack of access to the resources to maintain their daily needs and basic health.

“Access to water in particular is in a state of emergency in occupied Palestine. In the West Bank, Israel has taken control of most of the water from the Jordan River, denying Palestinians access to most freshwater in the region.

“Meanwhile Israel takes 80 percent more than was agreed under the Oslo accords to supply fresh water for Israeli agriculture and towns, and frequently for illegal settlements, while Palestinians go without.

 Ms Anderson continued: “In the Gaza Strip, things are even worse. Almost all of Gaza's 1.8 million residents suffer from a severe lack of water for drinking and washing.

“Gaza also suffers chronic electricity shortages, particularly since Israeli bombing has seriously damaged critical infrastructure, meaning people can't pump water to their homes.

“Over 95% of the water in Gaza is drawn from brackish groundwater, or is polluted with sewage. Many people are unable to afford to buy fresh water and are already entirely dependent on supplies provided by UN and humanitarian aid agencies.

“Here, a major humanitarian disaster is unfolding before the eyes of the world.

“Where Israeli military attacks have inflicted the most horrific war injuries on men, women and children, resulting in the criminal blockade and the lack of basic necessities, making recovery impossible, the international community must come together to support.”