The European Water Movement (EWM) strongly condemns the ongoing invasion of Gaza, the massacre, injury and mutilation of innocent civilians, almost half of whom are children, the denial of water, food, fuel, medical care and other essentials, the repression, segregation and systematic destruction of homes of Palestinians in all the occupied territory and asks for :
- an immediate ceasefire
- end to any violence against population
- humanitarian corridors
- end of Israel’s colonization and apartheid regime
- recognition of the right to self-determination of Palestinian people.
EWM reminds that indiscriminate massacre of civilians, cutting off of water, food, fuel, medical care and other essentials, forced expulsion of people from their territories, destruction of their homes are themselves a violation of international law and constitute war crimes.
The denial of water in particular marks a cruel and inhumane intensification of the water apartheid that has long been in place across occupied Palestinian territory. Israel now controls 87% of water resources in the region, diverting water to homes and industries in illegal settlements and Israel itself. Meanwhile, Palestinians have only intermittent access to water, consuming far below WHO minimum standards, are denied control over water resources and prevented from developing infrastructure of their own.
During the now 16 years long blockade of Gaza, water quality has deteriorated to the point where 97% of the water is not fit to drink. This has had grave public health impacts as residents turn to unsafe water from over-extracted wells and other contaminated sources, leading to elevated rates of infant and maternal mortality and levels of waterborne diseases. This was before supplies of water and fuel, required to run water treatment plants, from outside Gaza were cut off, and prior to the destruction of vital infrastructure by the ongoing Israeli bombardment.
After warning Palestinians to leave Northern Gaza and target areas, Israel has continued to intensify bombardments, and its troops are occupying the territory. The small amounts of aid entering Southern Gaza are insufficient to address the enormous impact of Israel’s assault, as casualties, injuries and mutilations mount and Palestinians struggle to survive amidst the destruction of hospitals, schools, churches, refugee camps, UN and aid organization buildings, and homes still occupied by the more than 2.2 million Gazans with nowhere to go, over one million of them now displaced.
Water, food, medical care are Human Rights.
Gaza needs them NOW.
End the siege, End the blockade, End the occupation!
Palestinian lives matter! Freedom for Palestinian people!