Contaminated and scarce water owing to Israel’s brutal siege and bombing of infrastructure leads to death and disease.
A Palestinian woman bathes her son with water from a tank filled by a charity inside their dwelling in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip July 3, 2017 [Mohammed Salem/Reuters]
Sandy Tolan, Al Jazeera, 29 Oct 2018
This article is the first of a two-part series on Gaza’s water crisis. The second, which examines solutions to Gaza’s water and health catastrophe, was published on Tuesday, October 30.
Gaza – The unshaven doctor with circles under his eyes enters the children’s ward at Al Nassar hospital in Gaza City. It’s a Thursday evening, almost the weekend. The ward is bleak and eerily quiet, but for the occasional wail of an infant.
At each cubicle, sectioned off by curtains, it’s a similar image: A baby lies alone in a bed, hooked up to tubes, wires and a generator; a mother sits in silent witness at the bedside.
Dr Mohamad Abu Samia, the hospital’s director of paediatric medicine, exchanges a few quiet words with one mother, then gently lifts the infant’s gown, revealing a scar from heart surgery nearly half the length of her body.
At the next cubicle, he attends to a child suffering from severe malnutrition. She lies still, her tiny body connected to a respirator. Because electricity runs only four hours a day in Gaza, the baby must stay here, where generators keep her alive.