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Cablegate: Mggz01 - Israeli Gaza Incursion - Idf Incursions

VZCZCXYZ0000
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHJM #2852 1881423
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 071423Z JUL 06
FM AMCONSUL JERUSALEM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3277
INFO RUEHXK/ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC IMMEDIATE

UNCLAS JERUSALEM 002852

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

NEA FOR FRONT OFFICE; NEA/IPA FOR
WILLIAMS/GREENE/WATERS/WAECHTER; NEA/RA FOR LAWSON; NSC FOR
ABRAMS/DORAN/LOGERFO; TREASURY FOR NUGENT/ADKINS; USAID FOR
BORODIN

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: SENV PHUM PREL KWBG
SUBJECT: MGGZ01 - ISRAELI GAZA INCURSION - IDF INCURSIONS
STIR UP SEWAGE PROBLEMS

1. (SBU) Summary: USAID Gaza-based staff report that the
IDF incursions in Gaza are directly impacting the treatment
and handling of sewage in Gaza, portending negative
environmental and health-related consequences. End Summary.


2. (SBU) IDF operations in northern Gaza continue to prevent
maintenance workers from accessing the Beit Lahiya and Beit
Hanoun sewage "lakes," according to USAID staff. (Note:
Beit Lahiya lake covers 30 hectares (300,000 square meters)
and contains over 2 million cubic meters of sewage. End
Note.) The maintenance crews also have not been able to
shore up the levies on a regular basis, as a result of which
sewage could flow into the residential areas below them. A
breach of the levies could also cause untreated sewage to
flow into the Mediterranean. According to USAID staff, this
sewage could reach the Ashkelon Desalination plant intake
pipe 8km north of Gaza.

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3. (SBU) In central Gaza, IDF shelling caused damage to two
pipelines in Nuseirat. As a consequence, the pipelines were
rerouted to stream sewage directly into the Mediterranean.

4. (SBU) USAID staff said that the IDF bombing of the power
plant transformers in Gaza in late June and the ensuing
electricity and fuel shortages have limited the operations of
wastewater treatment plants in Gaza. The Coastal
Municipalities Water Utility (CMWU) issued a report July 4
warning that wastewater could pollute the groundwater aquifer
if treatment plants remain inoperable. The CMWU also
indicated that 33 sewage pump stations throughout Gaza have
had to restrict their operations because of the reduced
electricity supply. The report highlighted that this sewage
could also overflow into the low-land residential areas of
Gaza.
WALLES

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