#GazaUnderAttack | Water delivery drivers dice with death in war-torn Gaza

Mahmud carries a water hose after filling up a water tank at a UN school in Gaza City on August 23, 2014.(AFP/Roberto Schmidt)

GAZA CITY (AFP) — Mohammed al-Khatib fears for his life every time he gets behind the wheel. In wartime, providing drinking water to homes and schools in Gaza means dicing with death.At 23, Khatib is a veteran of two previous wars between Hamas and Israel, in 2008 and 2012, but nothing prepared him for the bombings, shredded nerves and death toll this time around.

“When I’m driving, I always feel frightened, upset and nervous,” he tells AFP in the small warehouse where he loads up his truck with drinking water, as Israeli air strikes boom in the distance.

It’s an essential job in Gaza, where at least 90 percent of municipal running water is not fit to drink and war damage means that for many people the only water comes from private vendors or desalination plants.

But at his boss Hossam Huneif’s desalination plant, down a sandy track in Gaza City, Khatib is one of the few drivers who turn up. Many of the regulars have stayed away since war broke out in July.

Khatib says he is exhausted by over-working, and lack of security, fuel and electricity. Then there are the horrors he has encountered.

“Perhaps I’ll go to fill a house with water and find that house has been targeted by an Israeli air strike.

“For example, the Mata family — I always filled their tank, then one day we went and their house wasn’t there anymore. It was bombed.”

Three of his friends have been killed and others have been injured. At home his family of eight has swollen to 30, as they welcome in refugees escaping the worst fighting in eastern Gaza.

“Mohammed has a brave heart,” smiles Huneif, the plant owner.

Pointing at another driver who has just sauntered into the warehouse, he adds: “when he hears a bomb going off, he stays at home.”

“If there is bombing after 3 p.m., his wife calls him all the time saying ‘come home,’ ‘come home’,” Huneif chuckles.

“There’s another driver who’s only been to work one day since the war started. His family locked the door and said you can’t work!”

Huneif owns the plant, a smart title for the small warehouse on a corner block where donkey carts rumble past.

Trucks are parked around the corner. In the morning, they fill up with water and set off to supply schools and homes across north and central Gaza, navigating craters and rumbling past bombed-out wrecks.

The charity Oxfam estimates at least 600,000 people — a third of Gaza’s 1.8 million population — are without running water.

Many others get running water as little as one or two hours every two days, such as in the badly destroyed neighborhood of Shujaiyeh, and repairs have been on hold since air strikes resumed.

‘Fear. Death. That’s what I feel’

Before the war Huneif was fending off growing competition from other desalination plants.

In wartime, his 24-year-old son Mahmud, fresh out of university and an IT specialist, has had to take on shifts to replace drivers too nervous to work.

“At the beginning of the war, I didn’t have a problem distributing water but after the tanks and soldiers came in and people evacuated to the center I faced many difficulties,” Mahmud says.

“People would stop the truck in the middle of the street, saying ‘please, my child doesn’t have water to drink,’ and people would climb onto of the vehicle in their rush to get water,” he adds.

Wearing cut-off green trousers and with gelled hair, he fishes out his smart phone to show a short video of the incident that perhaps scared him the most.

One day when he was handing out water, there was an air strike right in the street in front of him. People fled the truck in panic as ambulances, sirens wailing, rushed to the spot.

The jumpy footage shows paramedics pulling a blanket over a dead body in the road. But it wasn’t his only close shave.

“Fear. Death. That’s what I feel,” he says.

Then there was the time he took water to a regular customer and the neighboring house was bombed.

Mahmud says he happened to be in the next street when a series of Israeli bombs targeted Hamas’s military commander Mohammed Deif, flattening a building and killing Deif’s wife and two children.

But it’s not safe back at the warehouse either.

“Yesterday open land was bombed just 100 meters from here,” says his father. “But we have to keep working. This is a humanitarian job. It’s not just a private company to earn money.”

Follow the genocide in Gaza - In Photos and Video

Click here to watch the genocide in Gaza – Day by Day -In Photos and Video

For who does not understand the need or concept of resistance of Palestine, recommended read:

The History of Resistance – The Eagle of Palestine


Is Resisting Genocide a Human Right?

81 Notre Dame Law Review1275(2006). Conducting an in-depth study of the genocide in Darfur, Sudan, and also discussing other genocides, this article details the inadequacy of many of the international community’s response to genocides, such as “targeted sanctions” or international peacekeeping forces. Examining international legal authorities such as the Genocide Convention, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the International Court of Justice, the article demonstrates that groups which are being subjected to genocide have a legal right of self-defense. International treaties, Security Council arms embargoes, or national gun control laws cannot lawfully be enforced in a manner which prevents self-defense resistance to a genocide in progress, because under international law, the prohibition against any form of complicity in genocide takes legal precedence over lesser laws. With Paul Gallant & Joanne D. Eisen. In PDF.


  • The Palestinian Right of Self Defense
  • Brayer: The Absolute Right of Palestinian Resistance – Source
  • No. Israel Does Not Have the Right to Self-Defense In International Law Against Occupied Palestinian Territory – Source
  • If Jews in WWII  Warsaw would have had rockets: They would have fired them too – by occpal


  • The “Rocket” from Gaza MythPhotography
  • More facts about the Rocket from Gaza MythsStorify
  • Half the story: What @IDFSpokesperson leaves out about #Gaza ~ by @yousefmunayyer
  • Israel and #Gaza: Context Behind Projectile Fire ~ by @yousefmunayyer
  • Truths and lies behind Israel’s attacks on Gaza and its whining about rockets ~ by @AliAbunimah
  • Israel is not looking for peace. Nor talks. But: This


* 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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