On Sunday, 26 November 2017, heavy rainfall flooded a number of neighborhoods in Gaza City with water reaching up to one meter in neighborhoods of Al Zaytoun, Al Sheja’iya, Al Tuffah and Al Nafaq.
The flooding caused damage to many homes, despite municipality-, civil defense, and ambulance crews efforts to stop the rush of water and to limit the damages.
Floods have been recurring in the past few years, with lives and properties at risk. This situation is caused by years of neglect of the infrastructure, mainly due to restrictions on import of materials imposed through Israel’s closure and frequent military attacks that targeted the civilian infrastructure. Lack of building materials and the outdated equipment have hampered development of vital sectors and hindered reconstruction of infrastructure that was destroyed in the military attacks on Gaza in 2014.
Al Mezan urges local government authorities, especially those where floods are recurrent, to cooperate with the Water Authority and Coastal Municipalities Water Utility (CMWU) to take proactive preventive measures concerning this problem. The authorities are under an obligation to respond in a way that ensures the protection of human rights.
Al Mezan calls for an end to Israel’s closure and blockade of the Gaza Strip.
Al Mezan also calls on the Palestinian parties to accelerate the process of reconciliation and to promptly address this crisis.