Workshop: Gaza soil contaminated with radioactive materials and unfit for use

Workshop: Gaza soil contaminated with radioactive materials and unfit for use

GAZA, (PIC)– Palestinian officials and academics said Saturday that the soil in the Gaza Strip became contaminated with radioactive and phosphorus substances during Israel’s war on the Strip and thus it is no longer fit for use.

During a workshop organized by Ma’an development center, Nizar Al-Wahidi, the deputy director of planning and policy in the Palestinian agriculture ministry, said that the Israeli war on Gaza caused damages and losses for 8,478 farmers and 33,000 agricultural workers, and destroyed 4,011 trees.

Wahidi added that the total losses sustained by the agricultural sector after the war amounted to about $587,000,000.

For his part, Awni Naim, the deputy head of the environmental quality authority, stated that Israel dropped on Gaza 3,000,000 kilograms of explosives at an average of one ton on each square kilometer of land.

Naim warned that the recycling of rubble without making sure it is free from radioactive materials would be hazardous to the health of coming generations.

He noted that the environmental quality authority finds it difficult to continue its work due to the lack of capabilities and the refusal of international and Arab worlds to deal with the Palestinian government in Gaza.

Assistant professor of environmental science at the Islamic university Abdelfattah Abedrabbo said that Israel destroyed 17 percent of 170,000 dunums of the total agricultural area in Gaza with 5 percent no longer valid for land cultivation.

Abedrabbo added that the war has seriously affected the environment in Gaza and made the agricultural lands vulnerable to desertification and the loss of soil fertility faster, pointing out that the rehabilitation of the soil in these lands will cost a fortune.