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Gaza faces water crisis as Israel targets wells and pipelines

Palestinians displaced by the Israeli ground offensive on the Gaza Strip queue for water at a makeshift tent camp in Rafah, Gaza Strip, Monday, Feb. 19, 2024   -  
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Mohammed Dahman/Copyright 2024 The AP. All rights reserved

Gaza attack

In the Jabaliya refugee camp, families line up for hours under the sun, in front of water barrels waiting to fill up their buckets and containers with water. Every single drop is precious and is carefully rationed.

Gaza's entire potable water infrastructure has almost all been destroyed by Israel.

“There is no water or food. Our children died of dehydration. We can’t wash up or use bathrooms. I can’t find any water to drink,” Bassam Abu Rokba, a disabled displaced living in Jabaliya said.

Israeli forces entered Jabaliya weeks ago, and have subsequently pulled out after weeks of fighting.

Israeli strikes have previously destroyed 75% of water wells in the area, the head of the Jabaliya municipality told local media outlets in March.

“There is almost no food or water because of the lack of aid coming into Gaza. Our clothes are dirty. All the water wells are destroyed and not a single one of them is functional,” said Hassan Adwan, while waiting to get some water.

The United Nations alerted about the risk of diseases - including cholera- in the enclave, due to a lack of clean drinking water and poor sanitation as summer temperatures surge.

Israel has been accused of deliberately damage civilian infrastructure in Gaza as a weapon of war.