The heads of the Gaza envelope communities on Sunday sent an urgent letter to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, warning that as a result of the collapse of the sewage treatment in the Gaza Strip, the desalination plant in Ashkelon, which supplies one-fifth of the drinking water of the citizens of the State of Israel, has collapsed as well, Israel Hayom reported.
It appears that following the reduction in the supply of electricity to the Gaza Strip, sewage is flowing into the vicinity of the communities surrounding the Gaza Strip, polluting local streams and the drinking water of the entire southern region.
“We are on the brink of a health crisis that does not obey political borders,” the letter said.
The joint letter from the five mayors of the Sha’ar Hanegev, S’derot, Ashkelon, Sdot Negev and Eshkol communities, is asking government to take the lead in order to prevent a health crisis at their doorstep.
“This is an absurd situation in which the State of Israel invests enormous political and financial resources in maintaining the security of our residents’ lives, while at the same time 90,000 cubic meters of sewage from Gaza flows into the region’s water system,” wrote the five mayors.
“As heads of municipalities surrounding the Gaza Strip, we are well aware of the complexity of the Gaza issue and all of its derivatives, and we are certain that a range of strategic considerations stood before your eyes when the decision (to cut off the electric supply) was made,” the mayors added. “This is an internal Palestinian conflict whose victims are residents of the Gaza Strip.”
However, the mayors stressed, “We must do everything in our power to prevent the possibility that this conflict will directly and severely harm the residents of the [Israeli] Gaza envelope and southern communities.”
“Without a fundamental and long-term solution to the health crisis that is knocking on our doorstep, we will face—in addition to the threats of tunnels and missiles—diseases, sea and coastal pollution, pollution of drinking water and pollution of agricultural water in the area,” the mayors warned.