Israel’s illegal occupation led to sanitation issues: Water Minister Ghunaim

Swachh Bharat mission initiated by PM Modi has become an unlikely platform for Palestine to verbally attack Israel for its sanitation issues.

Palestinian water minister Mazen Ghunaim’s speaking at conference stated the nation’s sanitation challenges will only end with Israel’s occupation over Gaza, TOI reported.

Narendra Modi was the first Indian PM to visit Israel as well as Palestine last year in the month of June.

Minister Ghunaim in his presentation said “illegal” Israeli settlements are releasing effluents to the Palestinian sewerage system.

He added that Palestine’s wastewater sector has been “completely neglected between 1967 and 1994” due to Israel’s occupation until the Oslo Agreement was signed.

His presentation said the nation’s “political challenge” is to safely manage its wastewater till 2030, but, several wastewater projects, submitted to Israeli–Palestinian Joint Water Committee, “were not approved because of the Israeli side”.

In order to improve Palestine’s sanitation service, he said, the nation needs $1.3 billion till 2032.

The groundwater is the main source of water in Palestine’s West Bank and Gaza Strip which provides more than 90% of all water supplies but Israel controls 85% of these sources only leaving 15% for Palestine said the Palestinian Water Authority.