If things weren’t bad enough for residents of the Gaza Strip, the ocean — the only place where they could escape the heat and their suffering — has been declared off-limits to bathers in much of the area. The decision was taken by the Gaza municipality, citing the severe pollution of the beaches. Gaza’s sewage-treatment plants have shut down due to the ongoing power shortage, and as a result, untreated sewage has been flowing into the sea.
“The only place we could go to have fun has been closed too,” said T., a Gaza City resident, in a telephone interview. “There are a few beaches in the northern Gaza Strip where swimming is still possible, but they’re far away. So where are we going to go? There’s no pay, no power, no beach. We’re swimming in shit,” he added, laughing bitterly.
Anyone in Israel inclined toward schadenfreude about the Gazans’ suffering might be advised to reconsider. The Mediterranean currents could easily carry Gaza’s sewage to the beaches of Ashkelon, Ashdod, and farther north…. read more