Friday, 15 August 2014

Authority: $34.4 million worth of damages to Gaza water sector


The Palestinian Water Authority said the water distribution network in Gaza had suffered $34.4 million worth of damage as a result of the Israeli offensive over the last five weeks, including dozens of destroyed facilities.

The immense scale of the destruction of Gaza's infrastructure has only become increasingly apparent over the last two weeks, as a relative calm due to back-to-back temporary ceasefire has allowed authorities to survey the damage.

The water authority said in a statement that 11 water wells had been completely destroyed and 15 partially destroyed in the assault, while 17 kilometers of water supply networks were completely destroyed and another 29 partially destroyed.

The authority also said that 5 water containers were completely destroyed while 11 water containers were partially or severely damaged, while two desalination units were completely destroyed, and four were partially damaged.

In addition, more than seven kilometers of sewage networks were completely destroyed and more than 10 kilometers partially destroyed, while 12 pumping sewage stations were severely damaged and four waste-water treatment stations were partially destroyed. more

FAO: Gaza agricultural sector sustained long-lasting damage


NEW YORK, (PIC)-- The UN food and agriculture organization (FAO) said in a report released on Friday that "the fighting in Gaza has forced farmers and herders to abandon their lands and has paralyzed fishing activities."

The report pointed out that the local food production has been halted, severely affecting livelihoods.

The recent fighting has resulted in direct substantial damage to Gaza's 17,000 hectares of croplands as well as its agricultural infrastructure, including greenhouses, irrigation systems, animal farms, and fodder stocks and fishing boats, the report said.

According to the latest update by the FAO and the world food program (WFP) Gaza has lost half of its population of poultry birds, either due to direct hits on their shelters or lack of water, feed or care resulting from access restrictions.

The report pointed out that losses by Gaza's fishing sector so far are estimated at 234.6 tones from July 9 to August 10, equivalent to 9.3 percent of local fishers' yearly catch. more

Man injured by live fire in Bethlehem clashes


A Palestinian man was shot and injured late Thursday when Israeli special forces raided Aida refugee camp in Bethlehem.

Locals told Ma'an that Israeli soldiers shot a 24-year-old man from the Abu Srur family in the foot before detaining him.

Clashes broke out in Aide refugee camp and along Hebron road as Israeli soldiers fired rubber-coated steel bullets, live ammunition and tear gas canisters.

Israeli soldiers deployed heavily by a military watchtower near Rachel's Tomb during the clashes. more

Deputy PM: Unity government to rebuild Gaza


The Palestinian unity government will take responsibility for the reconstruction of Gaza following Israel's devastating month-long assault, deputy prime minister Ziad Abu Amr said Friday.

"The Palestinian government will take responsibility for the Gaza Strip and its needs," the deputy prime minister said during a visit to Gaza's Shifa hospital.

Abu Amr visited the hospital with Minister of Public Works, Mufid al-Hasayneh, Minister of Labor, Mamun Abu Shahla, Salim al-Saqqa the Minister of Justice and Haifa al-Agha, Minister of Women's Affairs.

The official praised the "heroic" actions of medical staff in Gaza while health minister Yoused Abu al-Rish said the visit was a boost amid the suffering of medics who were injured or killed during Israel's offensive. more

Gaza death toll hits 1,980 as dozens succumb to war wounds


GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- A Ministry of Health official warned Friday that the death toll in Gaza was expected to continue to rise as dozens succumbed to wounds sustained during the offensive and more bodies were recovered under the rubble of homes.

Healthy ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qidra said that the death toll had hit 1,980 on Friday with at least 10,181 injured.

Dozens have been added to the death count despite a fragile calm maintained through back-to-back ceasefires in recent weeks.

Al-Qidra said that many of those injured are still in a critical condition, and are not expected to survive their wounds.

The low survival rate is also due in part to the continued lack of appropriate medical supplies and facilities for injured patients, while 18-hour daily power cuts and a lack of fuel for generators aggravate the condition of those hospitals still functioning.

The PLO estimates that that 17 hospitals and seven clinics were damaged during the assault, 10 hospitals and 44 primary health clinics were closed, 22 ambulances were damaged, and 83 health personnel injured, along with 19 health personnel who died in Israeli airstrikes. more

3 elderly Palestinians succumb to wounds from Israeli assault in Gaza


GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Three Palestinians died on Thursday evening as a result of injuries they sustained earlier during the Israeli assault, the Palestinian Ministry of Health said.

Health ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qidra named two of the dead as Jihad Ali Abu Zeid, 61, and Mahdheyah al-Mebayyed, 91, both of whom died as a result of injuries sustained during the Israeli offensive on the Shujaiyya neighborhood of Gaza City, which left more than 100 dead in less then 48 hours.

The third deceased Palestinian man was identified as Ibrahim Ismail Abu Odeh, 64, from Beit Hanoun. more