PENGON is a local environmental organization with several local and foreign experts working under is auspices. As the news focuses on the human suffering of land confiscation, Wall and settlement construction, and home demolition, the environmental affects are often downplayed. PNN received the following statement which IMEMC is reprinting.


 “During the early hours of 28 June 2006, Israeli forces launched a ground offensive in southern Gaza. As part of the assault Israeli air craft attacked three bridges and the Gaza City power station, cutting power to much of the area.

“One of the bridges is in the Gaza Valley where some environmental NGO’s involved with PENGON have implemented a solar energy powered lighting project in the area as a means to promote environmentally friendly technology and to reduce pollution from fuel based power generation. Part of the project has been destroyed from the strike as well.

“The transformer station is also used to help pump water from the water network to apartments in Gaza. As the power has been severed, the water cannot be pumped and Gazans are unable to access water. As a result, some 860,000 residents in Gaza are currently without electricity and running water.

“The public health and safety and environmental hazards stemming from the damage caused to infrastructure as a result of this military operation include water shortages, contaminated remaining drinking water, uncontrolled discharge and untreated sewage flowing in the streets resulting in groundwater pollution, pollution of agricultural land which Gazans will now be unable to cultivate to harvest crops, negatively impacting their earning power.

"There is also damage to marine life as untreated wastewater flows into the sea, migration of fish to other parts of the coast, resulting in a reduction in the number of fish available to be caught resulting in economic loss to fishermen, direct exposure to untreated wastewater in open systems, indirect human health risks due to consuming polluted crops and fish, and an increase in water borne acute and infectious diseases as a result of additional viruses, bacteria and protozoa in the water. These are likely to cause serious illnesses ranging from gastroenteritis and cholera to liver failure and death.

“The United Nations Undersecretary for Humanitarian Affairs, Jan Egeland, has warned that Gazans are three days away from a deadly humanitarian crisis unless Israel promptly restores fuel and electricity required to pump water. ‘They are heading for the abyss unless they get electricity and fuel restored…there are hundreds of thousands of children who are now without water and electricity…without clean water in the hot summer weather we would see in days a major humanitarian crisis,’ he said.

“’s military action has impacted innocent civilians, and thus violates international humanitarian law. PENGON calls on the international community to pressure into stopping the assault immediately.”