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Sunday, October 4

Events in October
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Events in October that I will attend and speak at (Also note below on start of new uprising)

October 9-10 Rhodes, Greece: Every autumn since 2003 the ancient Greek island of Rhodes hosts a session of the World Public Forum "Dialogue of Civilizations" called the Rhodes Forum that brings together public figures and statesmen, academics, religious figures and representatives of the arts, mass media and business spheres from all over the world.

October 16-17 Holy Land Ecumenical Foundation in Washington DC, USA

October 18 and 19: Boston, Massachussets, USA: let me know if interested and I will send you details of my speaking engagements.

October 28 to November 1: Ubud Writes and Readers Festival, Indonesia
Held annually in Ubud, Bali’s artistic and cultural heartland, the Ubud Writers & Readers Festival has become Southeast Asia’s largest and most renowned cultural and literary event.

Note: An uprising is on the way here despite Mahmoud Abbas's promise and futile attempts to prevent it. The rampage by colonial settlers started with the arson attack on the Dawabsheh family home several weeks ago (mother, father and child martyred, second child still in hospital). Reactions were expected and the settlers are now getting green light to massacre Palestinians and attack their holy sites. The arrogance of Netanyahu unleashing his settlers on AlAqsa mosque and then staring down the United Nations and lecturing them about Iran was like a Greek myth: tragic and theatrical. This theater of the absurd would be comical if it was not so devastating. The silence of the US validates the widespread belief here that this theater is intended to hide a deal struck between Netanyahu and Obama whereby the US will let Israel proceed with its plans to Judaize Jerusalem and annex other areas of occupied territories. All politicians played their assigned role and Mahmoud Abbas continued to beg from position of weakness he created (by weakening his people). Yet, freedom is coming sooner than most people believe. If you are interested to learn more about why I say so and the relationship of resistance to hope, please read my book available in many languages "Popular Resistance in Palestine: A history of Hope and Empowerment" (see )

The importance of what is happening here to regional and international issues will be highlighted in my upcoming talks. For example here is my abstract for Rhodes Forum:

In this paper we discuss the current mayhem in the Arab world as an inevitable outcome of a historical process originating in Europe 100 years ago with three key dates: the 1916 Sykes-Picot agreements, the 1917 Balfour and Cambon declarations in support of Zionism, the 1919 Paris "Peace Conference", and the 1920 San Remo Conference. The unifying thread of these key events was western support for fragmentation of the Arab world via sectarian and ethnic divisions spearheaded by the formation of a Jewish state in the heart of the area. Rational voices in the Western world argued for a more collaborative approach that takes into account the interests of the common people of those areas (i.e. self-determination). Such voices were silenced because of elite and moneyed interests. Some of those rational voices correctly predicted the mayhem that we see ourselves in this year including extremism, terrorism, flood of refugees, and apartheid racist systems. To reverse this trend is difficult but not impossible. We must first recognize the above diagnosis and begin to reverse western discourse that is now dominated by the USA (itself under significant influence from the Israel or Zionist lobby). We show that there are really only two paths:1) the path of status quo, militarization, and hegemony aided by puppet dictors which leads to no winners, or 2) the path of human rights and justice which leads to accommodation, justice, and equality. The latter path is explored in detail showing that key to it is starting with democratization in Western dependent countries like Israel and Saudi Arabia. In particular, evidence shows that it is critical to allow Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and lands and create a secular pluralistic democracy in historic Palestine as this was and is the main destabilizing element in Western Asia. We show that it is possible to arrive at this humanistic outcome throughout the region via non-armed methods such as popular resistance and the growing boycotts, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement.

Professor Mazin Qumsiyeh teaches and does research at Bethlehem and Birzeit Universities. He is director of the main clinical cytogenetics laboratory and director of the Palestine Museum of Natural History and Institute for Biodiversity Research ( He previously served on the faculties of the University of Tennessee, Duke, and Yale Universities. He published over 130 scientific papers on topics ranging from biodiversity to cancer. He published hundreds of refereed articles and several books including "Mammals of the Holy Land" and "Sharing the Land of Canaan: Human Rights and the Israeli/Palestinian Struggle"

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Wednesday, September 30

Galilee and more
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The Pope's visit to the USA seems to have played its desired effect of causing common people to rethink their blind support for "national policy". In particular it was nice to see news that the pope shunned dinner with key congressional politicians to eat with the homeless people. Zionist occupied congress and media in the USA are not happy about this Pope's messages that emanate from the message of Jesus: love and charity to the oppressed and marginalized. Locally, 18 year old Hadeel Hashlamon was shot to death allegedly for rejecting an order by an occupation soldier. Witnesses say she posed no threat to soldiers and Amnesty International called here killing by 7 bullets from a distance of less than two meters extrajudicial executions. But such killings have become commonplace. Israel also will impose new penalties on participation in demonstrations against its brutal repression. And if a child throws a stone he can be shot or if caught sentenced to many years in jail for this demonstrative act. More fascist and anti-democratic laws continue to be added by the government of apartheid Israel almost weekly. But as you will see in the report below about my trip to the Galilee, I am energized and more optimistic than ever.

From Sunday to Wednesday, we were busy at the Palestine Museum of Natural History doing research, writing, education, managing, gardening and more. I hesitated for many reasons to go on this two day trip to the north of Palestine organized by the Bethlehem Rotary Club. It was not just the personal risk for me but the fact that three people died in the three days leading up to this trip. Al-Aqsa mosque was being attacked regularly. Nearly a thousand pilgrims had lost their lives in Mecca thanks to the Royal Family’s incompetence and neglect.  All these negative vibes plus the anxiety at seeing more of what is now “Israel” ruling over these historic parts of Palestine. In the end my curiosity won (and the fact that we will go to the occupied Syrian Golan which I never visited). I am glad I took time to do it. We started in Bethlehem at 6:30 in the morning crossing the checkpoint and had breakfast around 9 AM at a stop along the way. We ate Jerusalem Kaak and Falafel and eggs that we had brought with us.

I marveled at the buses and other tourists stopping there: Russian Jews, ignorant young Americans coming to visit “Israel” without a clue about the natives, old hateful Jewish Zionists eyeing “Arabs” with racism almost dripping out of their angry eyes. But I smiled to everyone and enjoyed the remaining beautiful natural areas not yet destroyed in the mad dash to “Europeanize” Palestine. I contemplated the emptied houses we saw along the way: remnants of some of the 530 villages depopulated 1948-1950 to create space for colonial settlers and change a multi-religious Palestine to make it into the “Jewish state of Israel”. The trip showed me the utter stupidity of this scheme of transformation. Most of all, the determination of non-Jewish and some Jewish citizens of the state to oppose its apartheid. As I talked to some of the many Palestinians who happen to hold Israeli citizenship, I got very encouraged.

We arrive in Haifa early afternoon and have lunch in the area just below the Bahai temple and gardens. The area was known as the German colony which has since been looted by the Zionists. Haifa sits in the valley between the Carmel mountains and the Mediterranean sea and along the banks of the river Al-Mutalaa’ ((المطًلع which was renamed by the Zionist colonizers the Kishon river and basically destroyed.  The Carmel mountains showed evidence of Neanderthal and Cro-Magnon human dwellings and life continued in the foots of these hills uninterrupted through our Aramaic speaking ancestors the Canaanites for thousands of years. Yet the population that that the area could support remained small. Haifa was the first planned Palestinian city built (started 1758-1761) by Daher Al-Omar (Zedani) who is credited by many as the first Palestinian ruler who managed to develop an independent modern government inclusive of all religions that covered much of what is now northern Palestine (see Haifa grew rapidly in the 18th and 19th century and first half of the 20th century (with a brief control in 1799 by Napoleon Bonaparte and for a few years by Ibrahim Pasha from Egypt ending in 1840). Its population also grew due to Zionist colonization activities so that by 1947 the Jewish population actually slightly outnumbered the Muslim and Christian population. The latter Palestinian population of some 65,000 was largely ethnically cleansed in April 1948. Most of the citizens of Haifa were removed in 1948 and the 3000 remaining were squeezed into Halsa and Wadi Nisnas against their will (now they number some 35,000 due to natural increase). On Land day (30 March) we had an activity in these areas including the paintings by Palestinian Children who originate from the area indicating their love of Palestine.  Today the highest Israeli court in the north is built on top of ruined buildings but also overlooks abandoned Arab homes and businesses. It must be some sight from the windows of that glittery building looking down on to what is left of Arab Haifa. The historic train station built in 1905 to take pilgrims to Macca through Jordan is slated for demolition. Next to Al-Istiqlal mosque, there is a monument with a faded inscription: "Faisal (emir Faisal who dreamt of Arab Unity) said that no freedom is given but it is to be taken by struggle.." More on Haifa here

From Haifa we traveled to Nazareth, and visited the two churches (Greek Orthodox and Catholic) each thought to be the site of the Bishara (place were Mary received the angel telling her she is to have a child). This is the city of my grandmother and I felt at home in its streets despite the attempts to transform it to a “Jewish city”.  But again the young native people we met were inspiring and most welcoming of fellow Palestinians. The next day we traveled to the Golan Heights where we were warmly welcomed by Syrian Druze who all reject the Israeli occupation and annexation of their territory. Statues and monuments to Syrian heroes and martyrs of 1925 rebellion (against French occupation) and other Arab national struggle are prominent. Ofcourse the civil war in Syria is reflected n divided opinions about Bashar Assad. But we saw no divided opinions here on Israel: all reject the Israeli occupation. We gorged ourselves and carried much apples, pears, plums. Figs, and other fruits from this rolific Syrian territory (the real reason why it was occupied in 1967). From the Golan we drove down to Lake Tiberias. The town of Tiberias was ethnically cleansed of its Palestinian population in 1948. The mosque and a few old buildings remained. But on the day we visited, thousands of Palestinians (from places like Nazareth, Haifa, and the Triangle) also visited. As it was also the eve of the Sabbath and the Jewish holiday, we saw very few settlers. The 100 people who took the boat with us were all Palestinians and only the Captain (friendly chap) was Jewish Israeli. We thus danced to Palestinian music. We had a nice dinner of fish and arrived back to the ghetto/concentration camp of Bethlehem at 11 PM. We are renewed in our energy and renewed belief in the inevitability of coexistence and full equality in a liberated Palestine after the defeat of the apartheid regime.

Here is a report of another trip to the Galilee in 2010 and a video

Event: I will be speaking at a panel at the meeing of theHoly Land Ecumenical Foundation in Washington DC Oct 17

Event: The South West Bank Nonviolent Popular Resistance Committees in partnership with the Baraka Presbyterian Church in Palestine present their compliments and wish to extend an invitation to you to attend the Conference on “Beit El Baraka Defense Conference” to be held in Beit Ommar Town, North Hebron in Palestine, October 3. 2015 at 10:30 am- 13:30 PM. The Conference will bring together all sectors of the Palestinian society,Israeli and International NGOs and activists, officials, Political parties leaders.  The Conference will cover the following topics: the importance of Beit El Baraka, The Israeli occupation military procedures and colonial plans in the area, legal Aid, The Palestinian Political efforts in regard to Beit El Baraka, Outreach and Media, Nonviolent popular Resistance Plans in the area, and how to protect and save Palestinian land surrounding Beit El Baraka from Israeli colonial plans. Contact Details of the organizers:
Younes Arar: 00970 599965272, Rev Danny Awad: +972598901662, Yousef Abu Maria: +972 598139591, Hasan Bregieh:+972 599347072 ,

The Arab Spring, five years on, is here to Stay and Win

The Strange Case of American Tax-Exempt Money for Settlements: Untaxed American funds fuel settlement growth in East Jerusalem and the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

UN erases 1000 year old Palestinian heritage!

and you are always welcome to visit us in occupied Palestine where hope and peace and justice are intertwined.

Mazin Qumsiyeh
Professor and Director
Palestine Museum of Natural History
Bethlehem University

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Friday, September 18

United Nations envoy warns a new war in Gaza will be devastating and cruel
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The United Nations Middle East peace envoy Nikolay Mladenov warned that any new war between Israel and the Palestinian factions in the Gaza Strip will be devastating and cruel and will force donor countries which contribute to the reconstruction process to reconsider their financial support for the enclave’s residents.
At a press conference in Gaza City yesterday, Mladenov stressing that the United Nations will do everything possible to prevent the deterioration of the security situation, calling for “a series of measures like preventing missile attacks to preserve the state of calm”.
The UN official said the process of lifting the Israeli siege must be carried out in cooperation with the Palestinian Authority after it extends its control over the enclave, mainly border crossings, noting that the United Nations will continue to support the Palestinian Authority to be able to restore the unity between the West Bank and Gaza.
Mladenov also stressed on the importance of completing the Palestinian reconciliation and the reunification of the institutions in the West Bank and Gaza Strip and activating the work of the PLO National Council, adding that the international community will continue to work with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to hold new elections.
The UN envoy pointed out that the process to bring life to the Gaza Strip is still very far away in light of the current problems and the great pressure experienced by the enclave’s population, especially the great devastation that befell them during the Israeli war last summer.
He said that considerable progress has been achieved in the reconstruction process during the past two months.
The UN envoy stressed that the closure of the Rafah crossing has contributed to poor conditions, and to prevent freedom of movement in light of the deteriorating security situation in the Sinai Peninsula, stressing on the need for Israel to assume its responsibilities towards Gaza residents.
Source: Middle East Monitor, 18 September 2015 VIA WUFYS

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Declassified CIA Report: Israeli Offensive in Six-Day War Surprised the United States
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THE ALGEMEINER – A newly declassified Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) report sheds new light on how the U.S. intelligence community viewed the outbreak of the 1967 Six-Day War, suggesting American officials were surprised by the clashes.

“Hostilities began early this morning,” reads the President’s Daily Brief (PDB) from June 5, 1967, which was classified as Top Secret. The report, in the form of a detailed intelligence summary, was presented to President Lyndon B. Johnson. It notes that “both sides report heavy fighting in the air and between armored forces along the Israeli border with Egypt.”

The brief later indicates that Israel fired the first shot of the war, stating, “Reports are still fragmentary, but the signs point to this as an Israeli initiative.”

It would later become apparent that Israel had indeed taken pre-emptive action after concluding that the diplomatic efforts to end a several-week standoff had failed. Operation Moked, launched in the early hours of that day, essentially decimated Egypt’s air force and secured Israel’s triumph in the war. “Israeli planes raided airfields in Cairo and other areas beginning at about 8:00 a.m. local time (2:00 a.m. Washington time),” the CIA report reads.

The brief is one of the roughly 2,500 PDBs from the Johnson and John F. Kennedy administrations that were officially released by the CIA on Sept. 16, along with a 40-page booklet describing the documents and the PDB process during that period.

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The Sabra and Shatila massacre is personal
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These last few days, as they do every year, weigh heavy on every Palestinian’s heart. For me, and my family, the heaviness is also personal.

Every Palestinian carries around two hearts. One is similar to that which all others carry; it keeps us alive, active, working, loving, moving, singing, playing, and hopeful that tomorrow will bring a better day. The second is very difficult to explain; it is the one that carries within it dark and heavy memories of our existence. Every Palestinian carries this dark heart, albeit the number of chambers in each varies; for far too many, new chambers are added daily, yet others are calcified but fully preserved.
Read on at:

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Sunday, September 13

2016 Colors from Palestine
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Dear Friends

I want to take this opportunity to thank you for your support; and remind that the 13th edition of the fundraising calendar “Colors from Palestine” series (2004-2016) has been published; we could not have done it without your encouragement.

The 2016 calendar is a fundraiser for the “Free All political prisoners” campaign and it feature 12 Palestinian political posters spanning over 50 years.

To view and buy the “Colors from Palestine” 2016 calendars please click on the following link:

If you prefer to pay with a personal check or over the phone, please see the following links:
International orders:
USA and Canada orders:

For bulk orders special group discounts, please email your request to

Please forward this email to your contacts.
Thank you for your continued support


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We chose action
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Things are moving along as usual with some negative and other positive developments both at the local level and the global level. Globally we see news of flooding in Japan and the burgeoning refugee crisis among other negative news. But we also see how common people mobilized to help others in these areas. The generosity and quick mobilization of individuals puts to shame the failure f governments to act, governments who created some of the problems by accepting the US disastrous foreign policy (made in Tel Aviv). In other positive news we see the failure of AIPAC (Zionist lobby) in getting its way with the US congress and this shows that when a US president actually begins to show a backbone, that they can get a different course than the course that led us to endless wars and endless flood of refugees from 1948 until today.

On the local level, a third member of the Dawabsheh family died from the severe burns inflicted in the terrorist attack on their homes about a month ago. Reham, the mother and mathematics teacher was laid to rest in a grave next to her husband and toddler baby. Thousands of mourners attended her funeral. The only remaining family member is a boy who is slowly recovering from severe burns but still was not told of his tragic loss of family members.The criminals are still free and the Israeli government continues to subsidize and encourage the racist Jewish colonial settlers living in that area and attacking Palestinians with impunity. Israeli forces still besiege Al-Aqsa mosque and the Dome of the Rock and prevent free access. Jerusalem is still besieged and millions of us are prevented from entering our city in violation of International law. Gaza is even worse and people are literally going hungry.  My friends in Gaza ask for help and we can only send them so little. Still 40% of the meager humanitarian aid that comes from abroad ends up in Israeli hands thanks to the disastrous Oslo accords (Paris economic supplement). On positive news: people still struggle, resist, build and innovate. We started a new academic year last week and I am teaching an advanced course in molecular genetics at Bethlehem University. At Birzeit University we started a new master in Environmental studies. Today we open the first Palestinian National forum for innovation and excellence highlighting innovations from young people (organized Higher Council for Innovation and Exellence, of which I am a member).

We continue to develop our museum of natural history and its botanical garden. We have 13 senior students from Bethlehem University doing their community service with us and we have a dozen other volunteers on a regular basis which will allow us to accelerate our development (see first year accomplishments here ). But we still seek volunteers and activists in all areas. We still have a choice whether we are pessimistic or optimistic; the choice is apathy or action. We chose action ....

Good news: First national trade union in the US votes to endorse BDS

Action: October 14 is International day of action for Palestine on college campuses. It is on the 62nd anniversary of the Qibya massacre. October 12 is also indigenous people day in the US. Organize an event on your university or college campus for freedom including for ending the siege on Gaza and for all indigenous rights

Action: Vote for Adalah to receive the Tulip award

Arrests and chaos outside Downing street for visit of war criminal Netanyahu

Israeli soldiers ordered to "map entire Palestinian civilian population"

EU Council on Foreign Relations slams Israeli settlements and demands differentiation of products

US Aid to Israel updated 2015

Higher education in Palestinian areas (EU report)

Mazin Qumsiyeh
Professor and Director
Bethlehem University

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Thursday, September 10

Palestine Overwhelmed by Illegal American Immigrants
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By Juan Cole

If there were a Palestinian Donald Trump, he’d be fulminating against illegal immigrants swamping the Palestinian West Bank. And he’d be complaining that fully 1 in 6 of these undocumented squatters are Americans .Since Americans have trouble understanding the basic facts of the situation, it is worthwhile underscoring that the United Nations General Assembly’s partition plan for British Mandate Palestine in 1947 did not include Gaza or the West Bank of the Jordan. Those territories were never awarded to Jewish settlers or later Israelis by any legitimate authority (even the UNGC is not an executive body and the Security Council should have signed off to grant real legitimacy in law). Israel militarily conquered Gaza and the West Bank in 1967 and have by now so altered the ways of life, economy and society of these occupied territories that the Occupation is illegal by the Hague Convention of 1907 and the Geneva Convention of 1949 (designed to prevent atrocities against occupied populations of the sort the Axis carried out during WW II).
It is strictly illegal for the occupying power to attempt to annex occupied territory or to transfer its citizens into militarily occupied territory. Mussolini’s Italy pulled that stunt with the parts of France he occupied during WW II. When you hear that someone has violated the Geneva Convention, that isn’t just an abstract matter. It means that someone is acting the way the dictators acted during the war, because it is that kind of lawless behavior the conventions were attempting to forestall from happening again.
Israel illegally annexed part of the Palestinian West Bank to its district of Jerusalem and then settled it with Israeli squatters. Am I comparing Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to Mussolini in Menton, France? If the shoe fits . . .
Outside the territory annexed to Jerusalem, there are at least 350,000 Israeli squatters who have usurped Palestinian land.
This link explains the process of illegal Israeli
 squatting on and theft of Palestinian land (a process the International Court of Justice ruled is illegal in 2004).
Some 60,000 of the squatters, today’s equivalent of Mussolini’s Black Shirts , are Americans, according to a new study.
Those American politicians like Mike Huckabee and Donald Trump, who make exaggerated and untrue statements against undocumented workers in the United States but who defend illegal Israeli immigration into the West Bank, are supreme hypocrites. The Israeli squatters, moreover, are often hostile and aggressive, excluding Palestinians from the townhouses they construct on stolen property.
Juan Cole teaches Middle Eastern and South Asian history at the University of Michigan. His weblog is Informed Comment.

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Please Endorse "Stop G4$ in Canada"
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Please ask all groups you know to endorse this important call.

Dear Friends:

Recently, BDS Vancouver-Coast Salish joined the global campaign to boycott and divest from G4$, the world's largest security company that has contracts in Israeli prisons and detention centres, including those that incarcerate children and administrative detainees. We are working to intensify this campaign in Canada, and we are asking groups to endorse our call-out statement, which was printed last month in
As the conclusion to the statement noted:
"Within Canada G4$ is profiting from the most socially and environmentally destructive projects – tar sands, pipelines and mass incarceration of migrants. We therefore call for a complete boycott of G4$ and for all institutions – unions, student and faculty associations, religious, faith based organizations, pension funds and government bodies – to divest from G4$!"

Please join us and help broaden this important campaign; group endorsements should be sent and will be posted on our website.In Solidarity
Hanna Kawas

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Sunday, September 6

Israel Is Bombing Gaza Again and Anonymous Just Hacked The Government In Response
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The State of Israel has once again launched a missile attack on the Gaza Strip, according to Israeli news sources.
The Times of Israel reports that Israeli warplanes just hit buildings in Gaza early Thursday morning. This is the second of such missile strikes on Gaza in the past week alone.
The State of Israel tried to justify the missile campaign, but suggestion that “several houses” in the Israeli town of Netiv Haasara, were hit with “sniper fire.” That remains to be seen and has certainly not been confirmed.
But after last year’s attack against Gaza, which saw the deaths of 2,140 Palestinians, including 557 children, Anonymous Red Cult has lashed out at the Israeli government, taking down a large number of Israeli government websites in retaliation.
The Paste Bin info sent to us by Red Cult is as follows:
When Israel choose to attack Gaza haphazardly, we, the Anonymous, choose to attack deliberately!
Early today, two missiles were reportedly fired in an attack on Gaza by Israeli warplanes according to The Times of Israel. This attack is the second of its kind against Gaza over the past week, and in order not to forget that last summer, the Israeli regime launched a brutal attack against Gaza, killing 2,140 Palestinians, including 557 children, we remind them of our Cyber attack the time we choose to do so…
And Remember, We are Anonymous, We are Legion, We do not forgive, We do not forget, Expect us.
The list of sites currently down from the Anonymous attack is as follows: descr: IDF – Israel Defense Forces descr: Ministry of Defence descr: Office of The Prime Minister descr: State of Israel-Ministry of Finance descr: Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs descr: Israeli Immigration descr: Domain Internet Ltd descr: Shifra Har descr: Israel Earthquake Center descr: Ministry of Finance descr: Merkava – Ministry Of Finance descr: Integrated Foreign Trade System descr: Israel Institute for Biological Research descr: Israel Institute of Productivity descr: Office of The Prime Minister descr: State of Israel-Mail descr: Economic Mission U.S. descr: The Israeli Antitrust Authority descr: Galil Development Authority descr: Israeli embassy in the United States descr: Public Works Department descr: Israel Economic and Tourism descr: Yemen – lost children descr: Local Authorities Data Processing Center Ltd. descr: Israeli Tech Tehila descr: Ministry of Foreign Affairs – Hebrew descr: Foreign Affairs Ministry descr: Office of The Prime Minister descr: rights and services for Holocaust survivors descr: Israeli ministry of justice descr: Israel Information Technology descr: Shalom civil service reform-Minister Michael Eitan descr: Ministry of Industry and Trade descr: Israel Defense Forces descr: National Insurance of Israel descr: Israel Ministry of Interior descr: The Israeli Antitrust Authority descr: Israel Ministry Of Finance rights and services for Holocaust survivors descr: Shaam – Information Systems Poaly Zedek 4 descr: Israeli Rabbinical Courts descr: Israel Police Department descr: Agricultural Research Organisation Volcani Center descr: Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs descr: Kranoth Hishtalmut LeOvdei Horaha descr: Shaam – Information Systems descr: Ministry of Communications descr: IsraelGovernment Printing Office descr: Israel Airport Authority descr: Israeli Immigration descr: Israel Securities Authority descr: Nativ Project – PMO

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Unconscionable inhumanity: 90% of water in Gaza Strip is undrinkable
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More than 90 percent of the 

Gaza Strip's water is 

undrinkable. The rest is quickly 

running out. A combination 

of factors is rapidly depriving 

the population of this most 

basic of needs. RT investigated day-to-day life under these 


RT - 

Just one fresh water source exists today, according to 

the locals - a coastal aquifer beneath the ground that is 

shared with Israel and Egypt. But Gaza is situated 

downstream from Israel, and Palestinians accuse the 

Jewish state of using the situation to its advantage, 

employing water deprivation as a tactic against the 

civilian population.

The grim water statistics are part of a recent UN report on 

Gaza, which says the strip will become uninhabitable by 

2020. A number of reasons compound the problems, 

according to the document by the United Nations 

Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). 

The Gaza Strip's GDP dropped 15 percent in 2014, with 72 

percent of households suffering extremely low food security 

and unemployment at a record high of 44 percent. Further 

stress was added by relentless IDF assaults. With three 

military operations in the last six years, coupled with eight 

years of economic blockade, prospects for recovery are 

looking very bleak. 

The UN says that 500,000 people have been displaced in

Gaza as a result of last year's IDF operation alone. More 

than 20,000 Palestinian homes were destroyed, and 148 

schools and 15 hospitals and 45 primary health-care 

centers were severely damaged. Gaza is one of the most 

densely populated areas in the world. 

But worse still is when the populace is deprived of the prime 

source of life - water. Without it, no reconstruction and no 

rebuilding of lives can take place. Medicine, sanitation, 

hygiene and crucial facilities that depend on water all suffer. 

RT investigated the extent of the hardship under these 


"We can't drink it, cook with it, or wash in the kitchen with it... 

we are forced to buy all the clean water separately," said 

Umm Ibrahim Amna Abdel'al, as she stood in her kitchen, 

little more four bare cement walls and a sink. 

A delivery pickup truck trundled through the streets outside 

with a water tank sitting in the back. 

"The last war on Gaza, of course, resulted in the 

destruction of some of the infrastructure, the water 

holes and the pumping stations were [heavily hit.] More 

than 50 percent of the water infrastructure could not be 

accessed," said Mahmoud Elkhafif, UNCTAD's special 

coordinator for assistance to the Palestinian people. 

"Part, of course, vanished," he added. 

RT's Lizzie Phelan tasted what remains of the Strip's water 

for herself: "This coffee tastes like it has salt not sugar in it. 

That's because the water that's used to wash it - like much 

of Gaza's water - is contaminated with sea water." 

The woman went on to describe how "tiny kids suffer 

from cramps and colic" - a syndrome commonly 

associated with stomach infections. 

"See my hand?" she pointed to the irritated skin on her palm. 

"It is because of the salty water. I have a skin infection. The 

water is full of salt. It is like sewage." 

And salt isn't the only problem. The water coming into 

homes is also full of nitrate - a carcinogenic. The levels rose

 even higher last year, during Israel's bombardment of 

sewage pipes and clean water pipes. Now, the two 

chemicals have mixed. 

But even though the water is filthy, Gazans pay an 

exorbitantly for it. 

Elkhafif put it bluntly: "Gaza suffers a catastrophic issue 

with water quality and water supply. And it's a shame on 

the world that they are still watching this." 

Unless the situation is resolved, the Strip stands on the brink 

of a full-scale humanitarian catastrophe much greater than 

any airstrikes can cause.

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