Gaza to pump sewage straight into sea as crisis worsens

Sewage water runs next to Gaza Strip’s power plant at Nuseirat, in the central Gaza Strip. (File Photo: AFP)
Updated 21 February 2018
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Gaza to pump sewage straight into sea as crisis worsens

GAZA CITY: Municipalities in Gaza announced Wednesday they will pump sewage straight into the sea from the Palestinian coastal enclave due to fuel shortages and the desperate humanitarian situation in the strip.
“The beaches of the Gaza Strip will be completely closed and sewage will be pumped into the sea because the municipalities are unable to provide fuel” for treatment plants, said Nizar Hejazi, head of the Gaza City municipality.
Hejazi also noted “the policy of collective punishment (which) continues to be imposed on the population,” in a statement representing municipalities across the strip.
“We announce a state of emergency in the cities and municipalities of the Gaza Strip,” Hejazi said, noting services would be cut by as much as 50 percent.
The only power plant in Gaza stopped operating last week due to lack of fuel, leaving the strip totally reliant on imports.
Israel has imposed a crippling blockade on Gaza for more than a decade, while Egypt has also largely sealed its border in recent years, with both citing security measures.
Residents currently receive only a couple of hours power per day.
The Rafah crossing with Egypt was opened for four days from Wednesday for humanitarian cases, only the second such opening this year.
Last month the United Nations envoy warned the enclave was on the verge of “full collapse.”


Iran commemorates war with parade of tanks, missiles

Updated 41 min 3 sec ago

Iran commemorates war with parade of tanks, missiles

  • Saudi Arabia and the US have accused Iran of a Sept. 14 drone and missile attack on oil facilities

JEDDAH: As Saudi Arabia prepared to celebrate its National Day with entertainment events, firework displays and cultural events, Iran staged a military parade in Tehran on Sunday with tanks, missiles and armored vehicles.

President Hassan Rouhani and Iranian military leaders saluted as ranks of soldiers marched past them in tight unison, followed by an array of military hardware.

Among the weapons on display in the parade, held to mark the anniversary of the start of the Iran-Iraq war in 1980, was an upgraded warhead for the Khorramshahr ballistic missile, said to have a range of 2,000km, and the Kaman 12 drone with a range of 1,000km. Speedboats and warships were shown in video footage on state TV.

Saudi Arabia and the US have accused Iran of a Sept. 14 drone and missile attack on oil facilities in the east of the Kingdom. After the attack the Pentagon ordered US troops to reinforce Saudi air and missile defenses.

In a speech at Monday’s parade, Rouhani denounced the US presence. “Foreign forces can cause problems and insecurity for our people and for our region,” he said.

“If they’re sincere, then they should not make our region the site of an arms race.

“Their presence has always brought pain and misery ... the farther they keep themselves from our region and our nations, the more security there will be.”

The US aims to avoid war with Iran and the additional troops are for “deterrence and defense,” US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Sunday.

“If that deterrence should continue to fail, I am also confident that President Trump would continue to take the actions that are necessary,” he said.