Sewage-flood tragedy in Gaza

Laila el-Haddad has a great post on her blog about the collapse of the dam holding back a sewage lagoon in northern Gaza, which sent a flood of human excrement surging into nearby communities. The flood killed two toddlers, two elderly women, and one other person.
Laila writes:

    It was bound to happen. All of the major humanitarian organizations issued endless reports and warnings about its imminent flooding. But even if the funding was available, the permission to expand and renovate the facility was not granted by the necessary “Authorities” who built it (on a major acquifer) in the first place.
    I’m referring to the collapse and flooding of Gaza’s northern sewage treatment facility, known locally as the “Death Swamps”, which you can see here on wikimapia…
    “This was not only foretold, it happened twice before, in 1988 and 1993,” tells me human rights consultant, and friend, Darryl Li, who has worked for Israeli, Palestinian, and International HR groups. Darryl’s last trip was in August, to this very facility…
    The facility stopped functioning entirely in the weeks after the power cutoff last year (when Israel bombed Gaza’s power plant), and later functioned at very low efficiency levels with generators. Water level consuquently rose dangerously high.
    The embankments of the cesspool have also been the target of frequent Israeli shelling, threatening their integrity, says Li.

She also quotes Li as saying:

    “This is life in a ‘disengaged’ Gaza: It is not enough to be locked into an open-air prison by Israel. Nor to be turned into a beggar by the international community for voting in a democratic election. Nor to be torn apart by internal feuding. Now Palestinians have to drown in their own shit? I can’t wait to hear the latest excuse about how this, too, is their own fault.”

Anyway, go read the whole thing.

19 thoughts on “Sewage-flood tragedy in Gaza”

  1. Of course it is their own fault, if they just spent their resources in anything other than AK-47, explosive belts, Kassams, and C4 they could have a decent life.
    The begging goes on, Palestinians received more par capita aid than the entire Marshall plan and they have nothing to show for.
    The densest population area on the planet, and the empty Sinai next to it. HOw is Egypt helping?

  2. Do you think Miss Lilian has any real knowledge at all on the subject? Do you think she has even read any of the studies of this problem and of the situation of Gaza under siege?
    Lilian, I would love to know what motivates you to come here (and maybe go to other portions of the public discourse, too) and vent your emotions on a subject of which you show no evidence at all of having any understanding, and in which, I imagine, you are not any kind of a direct stakeholder? These are the lives of real people that are being blighted and lost. Can’t you even show one moment’s sympathy for that?

  3. Typical hateful Helena. When anyone disagrees with her and doesn’t adopt the “Palestine Uber Alles” party line, she attacks the poster, belittles their knowledge, questions their motivation.

  4. There seems to be quite a bit of political exploitation of this tragedy, first by Darryl Li and then by “Lilian.”
    The mayor of Gaza City, who’s presumably in a position to know, says that the accident was caused neither by Israeli shelling nor Hamas’ weapons spending, but by “local residents digging dirt from the structures and selling it to building companies for US$70 a truckload.” That isn’t particularly uncommon in developing countries – just ask the Nigerians who tap oil pipes to sell barrels of oil on the informal market until the pipes explode. This is an effect of poverty and lawlessness, and another reason why stability and poverty reduction are among the most important priorities in Gaza.
    In the meantime, Israelis and Palestinians are cleaning up together, which seems a lot better than trading accusations.

  5. Joshua,
    Please God somewhere there’s a quark portal that you and Lilian will one day get sucked through. And come out the other side as Palestinians in either the Gaza Strip or, say, Hebron. And then you’re away – you get to live the way they have to live, put up with what they have to put up with.
    But you’re a very lucky boy. And Lilian’s a very lucky girl. Your sojourn is just a “visit”. When you’re ready – assuming that’s possible – you and Lilian get to come back and bear witness.

  6. This “Lilian” appears to be nothing more than a troll. Her posts here and in the UK-soldiers-in-Iran thread had no arguments, just obscenity riddled slams.

  7. “Lilian’s” posts are in content, if not in tone, vaguely reminiscent of those of our resident Ummologist, Doris.

  8. Joshua,
    As you well know it’s not Palestine Uber Alles. It’s Palestinians Uber Their Land – and not even their land which was stolen from them in ’48. Just their land that the Greater Israel putzes have been hell bent on stealing from them since 1967.

  9. “Can’t you even show one moment’s sympathy for that?”
    No, Helena, No! She cannot. Neither can Joshua, nor ….
    Sympathy is not a human instinct, and hence it is not shared by all members of the species. It can especially be suppressed extremely effectively with feelings of racial, national, or other forms of superiority. Can you not see the outrage of the “White man Uber Alles” who are simply torn to see an English marine woman in a hijab? I wonder how they would have felt to see her in one of those Abu Gharib head-cones with electrodes attached to her …
    No, Helena, the answer is a loud resounding NO.

  10. Of course Helena I am a stakeholder. We all are when these chronic refugees take their frustration on others. Do I lose sleep because the folks that invented suicide belts, perfected international and airline terrorism, and passed candies on 9/11, had a plumbing incident and were flooded in feces for 15 minutes? Nope. Let them fix their own plumbing using their own and their brethren priorities. Call a plumber from Egypt, move some people into the Sinai and ease that unbearable density mother of all pathologies.

  11. Lilian,
    I hope the ADL gets after you. You’re the sort of girl who could give a bad name to philosemitism.
    Second thought. Car bombs – where do they figure in your weltanschaung, given that they were, if not invented at least perfected by the Stern gang, Irgun, etc.?

  12. Greetings, Leila and Helena:
    Helena, I was an intern at the Gaza Community Mental Health programme in 2000-I love Gaza! Helena and Laila, I want very much to organize to bring about a UNESCO Palace in Gaza…what with its rich history and archeological gems…Might you help?
    All the best,

  13. Lillian yammers on, not having a clue what she is yapping about:
    …the folks that invented suicide belts…
    What have the Sri Lankan Tamil Tigers to do with any of this?
    international and airline terrorism
    Well, the Zionists were the first airline terrorists, they invented the letter bomb and were masters of the car bomb, and they were quite busy little international terrorists decades before Palestinians ever thought of it. They kept it up pretty well even after achieving their goal of a Jewish state. In fact, you might say that the Palestinians learned terrorism at the hands of the masters.

  14. Some people have to be spoonfed. The modern face of terrorism is 90% Palestinian. It has been for decades and still is.
    – Belts
    – Airline hijackings and explosions
    – Food poisoning
    – Murdering olympic athlets
    – Achille Lauro
    – Gutting people and sticking bloody hands out the window
    – Kidnapping BBC reporter
    – Blowing up buses and hotels
    – Kassams
    – Blowing up underground tunnels
    When terrorism turns into a way of life, what can you expect? Allied with every possible enemy of the US, from the Nazis, the KGB Soviets, Saddam, now Iran. The terrorist allies of my enemies are my arch enemies, and stop begging the US for aid. Go work and build your own future.

  15. Ms. Lilian: Your The modern face of terrorism is 90% Palestinian
    … I’m just wondering which planet you inhabit? And whether you have read any newspapers or looked at e.g. the State Dept’s annual terrorism reports any time in the past five years??
    Have you heard of the Tamil Tigers? Have you read anything about the extremely shocking daily toll of people killed by terrorists in Iraq? Do you know anything about the makeup of Al-Qaeda? Etc., etc…
    Again I ask: What motivates you to come here and occupy space in this tiny portion of the blogosphere to vent your completely ideology-derived rather than fact-derived opinions (and emotions)? When asked, you adduce no evidence for your assertions– generally because there is no such evidence. Instead, assertions like that one you made are clear examples of uninformed, anti-Palestinian hate-speech.
    Your hatred of the Palestinians even seems to extend to the point that even when invited, you can offer no words of condolence to the families of the five people– including two toddlers, two older women– who died in that stinking flood. Your Palestinophobia is perhaps sociologically interesting to the rest of us; but otherwise it really has no place here.
    And so, now on to a discussion of HOW and when the current process of radical de-development of Gaza can be reversed. Which in a broad sense is what the main post here is all about.

  16. Helena, that was an exemplary reply-we need to learn from you-particularly, it is hatemongers such as Ms. Lilian who have the ear of so many in Congress.
    Helena, what of the idea I posted regarding a UNESCO palace in Gaza City?

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