Israel announced Wednesday it will double the drinking water quota to the Gaza Strip, amid spiraling water crisis in the Palestinian enclave.
The annual water quantity will be increased from five million cubes to 10 million cubes, Israel’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, Major General Yoav Mordechai, said in a statement.
“The decision was made following the increased need to improve the water supply to the Gaza Strip,” said Mordechai. “There is a serious water problem there due to excessive use of groundwater in the coastal basin,” he added.
The move came two days after UN envoy to the Middle East Robert Serry urged world countries to speed up the rehabilitation of Gaza following last summer’s 50-day fighting between Israel and Hamas.
“I urgently call on all stakeholders, including the (Palestinian) Government of National Consensus, Palestinian factions, Israel, Egypt and the international community to change their failed policies,” Serry said during his visit to the war-ravaged enclave.
“Six months after the ceasefire, I am deeply concerned that not enough progress is being made to address Gaza’s underlying issues,” he added.
According to a recent UN assessment, Israel’s massive shelling left Gaza in ruins and affected more than 600,000 people, many of them still lack access to the municipal water network.
Israel and Egypt imposed a blockade over the Gaza Strip since the Islamist movement Hamas took over the control of Gaza in 2007.
Since then, Israel has employed a restricted permits policy, allowing people to leave the region only in rare humanitarian cases. Enditem