Raw wastewater and sewage from Gaza is being pumped into southern Israeli streams, and garbage is being amassed along the Israeli border fence, causing an ecological nightmare for Israelis living near the border.
According to according to a report by Israel’s Ynet, polluted sewage is being pumped from the Gaza cities of Beit Hanoun and Beit Lahia into Nahal Hanun, which travels through Israel before emptying out into the Mediterranean Sea.
In the process, Israeli groundwater is being polluted, and causing an invasion of mosquitoes and flies in the moshavim and kibbutzim adjacent to Gaza.
Due to the difficult conditions, Israel’s Water Authority has established a pumping station near the Erez border crossing and begun to purify the water.
Gaza’s government is responsible for the treatment of wastewater in the region, but the Hamas regime has deprioritized funding for basic infrastructure, opting instead to allow waste to be leaked into Israel and into the sea.
“The dangerous thing is that the Palestinians in Gaza pump water from water wells in an uncontrolled manner, polluting the groundwater we use,” David Rosenberg, director of infrastructure and water in the Sha’ar HaNegev Regional Council told Ynet. “They do not have the knowledge and the tools to pump groundwater. … The environmental damage that’s being done is tremendous.”
Three giant landfills have also been set up by the Hamas government bordering the Eshkol Regional Council, causing the smell of trash to waft into the Jewish communities.
Residents reported that the landfills are periodically lit on fire, causing the release of dangerous chemicals into the air. Insect and rodents are also breeding in the landfills and then infesting the communities, along with disease-ridden cats and dogs that breach the fence and scavenge in the garbage.
The situation comes after months of incendiary balloon and kite attacks by Gazans that have burned thousands of acres of agricultural, residential and protected nature lands, causing millions of dollars in damage. Additionally, in 2018, approximately 330 rockets were fired from Gaza into southern Israeli communities.