Those living in Gaza are experiencing acute respiratory infections, diarrhoea, lice and scabies.
15 years ago, a 23-day war in Gaza left 17% of farmland “ruined with little to no feasibility of rejuvenation,” according to a UNDP fact-finding report.
Now, 70 days into the current war, experts warn that irreversible damage is being done to the environment of the narrow strip that is one of the world’s most populated regions.
Air pollution has spiked, water-borne illnesses are on the rise and wildlife is suffering.
In October this year, Human Rights Watch confirmed that Israel had dropped white phosphorus on Gaza and Lebanon. This chemical is known to have a severe and fatal impact on humans, animals, and the environment.
The highly toxic substance burns through human flesh and reignites. It damages soil, contaminates water sources, and poisons aquatic ecosystems, says Khaled El-Sayed, managing director of the Cairo-based Synerjies Center for International and Strategic Studies and advisor on sustainable development.
“Research indicates that the intense heat generated during the combustion [of bombs],” says El-Sayed, “could alter both the physical structure and chemical properties of the soil, thereby reducing fertility and elevating the likelihood of soil-borne diseases.”
Read more: euronews.com