Family blames sewage, trash for deaths of 8 children in Gaza camp

Maan News Agency | Sept 26, 2012

GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — A family in Gaza that lost eight children over two years says the lack of sanitation around their home in al-Bureij refugee camp is responsible for their deaths.

The Salim family lives meters from a landfill in the central Gaza camp, and their home is surrounded by open sewage and trash.

Omar Eslim, 30, told Ma’an that his son Mohammad pleaded not to be taken to the hospital when he fell ill with a fever and had blue spots on his skin.

“Please dad, don’t take me to the hospital, I don’t want to die like my cousins and my brothers,” Mohammad said, according to his father.

Omar took his son to the hospital, where he died minutes after his appointment.

“My two daughters also died from this strange disease. All doctors failed to diagnose the disease, or to give any logical or clear explanation about it. The environmental situation we are living in is difficult, and our children and we risk death at any moment,” Omar added.

“It was sewage water that killed my children and my brothers’ children. They died because of the foul smells this sewage emits and the fatal germs which spread in the area and the smoke of burned waste which intrudes our homes.”

The camp mayor Anis Abu Shamala told Ma’an that municipal officials had visited the Salim family and found flies and insects around their home. Tests on the water revealed strange microbes, and municipality staff brought water sterilization equipment but the family refused to use it, the mayor said.

“The municipality asked local and international organizations to implement a drainage project in the camp,” he said. The mayor urged the UN agency for refugees, UNRWA, which shares responsibility for the camp, to help remove rubbish and waste. He said the municipality removed 60 percent of the camp’s trash.

The 60-year-old head of the Eslim family, also called Omar, said incinerating rubbish and sewage had caused the children’s fatal diseases.

“During the past two years, I lost eight of my children. The main reason, as the doctors said, is the fumes from burning trash. The municipality gathered the rubbish near our house, and burned it. On the other hand, the sewage is another reason as it surrounds our home. The environment here is not fit for human beings.”

He added that he had filed many complaints to authorities but received no response. The local municipality and UNRWA had been piling rubbish near the family’s home for two years, he said.

Muna Eslim, 50, said the death of her grandchildren was due to bacteria, germs and fungi emanating from rubbish and sewage. The grandmother called on officials to intervene before the family loses another child.

She blamed the municipality, the government and the ministry of local governance for the death of her grandchildren, accusing them all of neglecting their responsibilities.

She appealed to Gaza premier Ismail Haniyeh and the minister of local governance along with all concerned authorities to remove the landfill and install a sewage network in the area.

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Martyred By Israeli Occupation Attacks

انّا للہ و انّا الیه راجعون

May Allah Subhana wa Ta’ ala grant the Shuhada Jannatul Firdaus, and ease it for their families, loved ones and anyone around them. Allahumma Ameen ya Rabbil Alameen. ‘ Inna Lillahi wa ‘ Inna ‘ Ilayhi Raji’un, Allahu Akbar


* The list of shuhada does not display, the numerous victims of the zionist occupation which are undocumented by media. Nor it displays the victims of the “silent onslaught” due to restrictions of movement, ability to go to hospitals for treatment or life saving surgery, due to lack of medication because of the blockades and so on. For example: The Slow Motion Genocide by the Siege on Gaza only, killed 600 patients since Gaza got under Israeli Siege.

For an overview of All Israeli Massacres Palestinians go here

Neither does this list, display the avoidable mortality. A clear and statistical factual evidence, about the number of deaths due to indecent ruling by occupation forces. For even an occupier has obligations under International Laws, Geneva Convention and the Hague regulations, which it is neglecting. These circumstances, together with deliberate policies of the occupier to neglect and even deny every basic human right, severes avoidable mortality which is totally silenced by media or reporting organisations. While in the Holocaust, 1 on 6 Jewish people directly died of deliberate neglect, so if we believe the facts over 1 million due to avoidable mortality, neither should these same circumstances be ignores which are ongoing in Palestine. For this report displays a avoidable morality of at least 0,5 million Palestinians.

How many more dead corpses of Palestinians does the international community need to see in order to act? How many more cruelties and violations of Human Rights, Regulations and International Law will be needed to intervene so this ongoing warcrime is being stopped once and for all.

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