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U.N. Warns Israel’s War on Gaza Has Led to an Unprecedented Environmental Catastrophe

HeadlineJun 21, 2024

The United Nations Environment Programme warns Israel’s war on the Gaza Strip has spawned an unprecedented environmental crisis, with worsening soil, water and air pollution, and risks of irreversible damage to Gaza’s natural ecosystems. In a new report, the U.N. finds Israeli attacks have generated 39 million tons of debris, with severe damage to Gaza’s water, sanitation and hygiene systems, the destruction of solar panels and the dispersal of heavy metals and explosive chemicals. This is Fatima al-Shenbary, a displaced Palestinian whose family is sheltering in Jabaliya.

Fatima al-Shenbary: “Every week my son stands crying because of the pollution of water here. We have hepatitis, which causes yellowing of the eyes. We also have intestinal infections — not just me, but the whole shelter. Everybody suffers from this condition. There is no clean water. The water is not suitable for drinking. We are forced to drink it even though it is not clean at all. I swear to God, we do not accept it. Even filtered water isn’t really filtered. We fool ourselves and pretend it’s filtered.”

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