More results...

Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors

More results...

Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors

The Great Gaza Sewage Tsunami of 2007

Sometimes, devoting all your time and money towards killing Jews can cause some unwanted complications.

At least six people were killed Tuesday when the wall of a large cesspool collapsed, flooding the northern Gaza Beduin village of Umm Naser with mud and some 56,000 cubic meters of raw sewage, Palestinian officials said

Officials said dozens were injured and about 11 people missing, with some saying up to 10 people were killed. The rest of the village’s 3,000 residents fled or were evacuated by rescue crews.

A 70-year-old woman, two toddlers and a teenage girl died in the sudden flood, and 25 people were injured, said Dr. Muawiya Hassanin of the Palestinian Health Ministry.

387 houses were deemed unhygienic and 96 of those houses were either destroyed or deemed unsafe to live in. Up to 4,000 people are being affected by the flooding, officials said.

Rescue crews and Hamas gunmen rushed to the area to search for people feared buried under the slide of sewage and mud.

An official in Gaza City said the raw sewage was presenting a particular danger to health and that the situation was not yet under control.

The Palestinian Medical Relief Society, which has a functioning health center in the area, plans to test all people in the region for diseases. Results will take seven to ten days, according to Dr. Abdul Hadi.

UNRWA is providing some 300 tents while the International Red Cross and the Palestinian Red Crescent are distributing hygiene kits, portable latrines, food parcels, mats and blankets. UNICEF is providing clothing to those affected.

Officials say all local and international institutions are coordinating their relief efforts and are working at a high emergency status.

Not surprisingly, Hamas are blaming the outside world.

Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum blamed international “sanctions against Palestinians, including Gaza and the West Bank” for the condition of Gaza’s infrastructure. Most foreign donors froze aid to the Palestinian government after Hamas swept to power in a 2006 general election, but Shepard said the Umm Naser project had not been affected by the boycott.

But residents aren’t buying it.

It was not immediately clear what caused the sewage to erupt from the reservoir, but local residents blamed the municipal government for failing to address the mounting sewage problem.

And they have their own unique way of articulating this.

Newly appointed Palestinian interior minister Hani al-Qawasmeh rushed to the scene to inspect the damage, but angry villagers chased him off by firing guns at his convoy and wounding two policemen, witnesses said.

Meanwhile, it is important to note that Israel offered assistance straight away, despite the fact the palestinians are trying to drive us into the sea. We were initially turned down, but now it seems as though the palestinians would rather suffer accepting help from the sons of monkeys and pigs, than live like pigs.

Israel’s Mekorot Water Company is to give humanitarian assistance to the village at the instruction of National Infrastructure Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer by helping pump the sewage using a 700-meter hose and other equipment, as of Wednesday morning.

The Palestinians plan to use the hose to temporarily move sewage to prevent a further disaster to an open area which was a former settlement in the north of the Gaza Strip close to the village.

The assistance came after an appeal by Palestinian Water Authority Director General Fadel Kawash.

Earlier, Defense Minister Amir Peretz offered the Gaza Liason Administration any assistance necessary.

Sources at the administration said that they had been in touch with their Palestinian counterparts and offered medical aid, as well as the raw materials needed to fix the wastewater wall that caved in.

On Wednesday, Israel representatives of the Palestinian Water Authority and World Bank will meet at Erez Crossing to consider further options.

Of course, had they had not accepted our help, I’m sure they could have relied on help from other sources.

About the author

Picture of David Lange

David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media
Picture of David Lange

David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media
Scroll to Top