A weekly Green Prophet series that looks at the Arabic “green” blogosphere and online communities
After looking at “The Forum of the Ornithological Society of Kuwait, the Saudi Green Blog, The Oman Eco Group Blogs, the UAE Environment & Life Blog, and the Yemenite Blog for Sciences and the Environment, we are now continuing our journey through the Middle East. Today we are arriving at the Gaza Environmental Engineering Blog.
According to the Blog’s summary, it deals with environmental engineering as well as scientific news. Its aim is to “supply all the pioneers in the fields of environmental engineering and sciences in beneficial and satisfactory information concerning the fields of environmental sciences and culture.” All this is done with an environmental encyclopedia. Active since December 2009, it is written in Arabic and administered by the students of the Department of Environmental Engineering within the Islamic University of Gaza.
General Articles on Environmental Engineering and Sciences
This blog includes many general articles on environmental engineering and sciences such as: an article on Environmental Engineering, important environmental links, international environmental dates, climate change, reports on environmental chemistry, environmental pollution, and more.
Environmental Issues in the Gaza Strip
This blog includes also many articles concerning environmental issues in the Gaza Strip. One of these articles is titled “Corrupted Fetus in Gaza because of the Israeli Nuclear Waste”. According to the authors, a Palestinian institute for human rights said in December 2009 that the birth rate of corrupted fetus in the eastern areas of the Gaza Strip increased as a result of the radiation emanating from the Israeli nuclear plants and its waste, which is buried throughout the Israeli border with the Gaza Strip.
The Palestinian Institute said that only 48% of the toxic waste from the Israeli plants is buried in the formal waste burial places, while the burial place of 52% of the toxic waste is unknown. It is suspected that it was buried in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.
Another article titled “Al-Mizan Center Publishes A Report concerning Environmental Pollution and the Issue of Medical Drainage in Khan Yunes” gives information about another environmental issue which is prevalent in the Gaza Strip.
On December 15, 2009, the Mizan Center for Human Rights issued a report on environmental pollution and the issue of medical drainage in Khan Yunes. According to this report, Khan Yunes is suffering from the issue of medical drainage, also because of the negligence of Israel, which needs to establish a mechanism to drain the waste water.
Some of the recommendations mentioned are to allocate emergency funding to complete the mechanism to drain medical waste water in the city; to allocate money out of the general budget to develop the sources of water in the Gaza Strip; to prepare the rain water drainage network, and to work on benefiting from the rain water. At the end of the report, the Mizan Center stressed that Israel is to blame for the creation of the issues of the medical waste drainage as well as the pollution of ground water in the Gaza Strip and especially in Khan Yunes.
It also demanded that the international community push Israel to lift the siege from the Gaza Strip in order to allow needed materials to complete a medical waste water drainage system.
According to an article dealing with medical waste purification stations in the Gaza Strip, there are three such stations. Beit Lahiya station in the north was established in 1976 and serves about 190,000 people; the Gaza waste water station, which was also established in 1976 and serves all the population of the city of Gaza. And there is a station for the treatment of waste water in Rafah.
Moreover, an article titled “Wadi Gaza… and the Going On Blow on Human and Environmental Rights” tells the sad story of Wadi Gaza, which according to the writer of the article, instead of being a natural reserve has become a polluted river. Wadi Gaza begins near Hebron and spills into the Mediterranean Sea in the Gaza Strip. Its length is about 160 kilometers.
Wadi Gaza within the Gaza Strip is full of animal corpses, debris, solid waste, and waste water. This results in the pollution of the ground water within the Gaza Strip. The writer of the article blames Israel for all of this damage. This is because Israel built a few dams and water reservoirs in the streams of Wadi Gaza, which caused the Wadi water to stop taking its natural course and to flow less in Wadi Gaza. According to this article, Israel has been preventing water from flowing to the Gaza Strip for a long time by way of Wadi Gaza in order to build dams on the border between Israel and the Gaza Strip. Thus, in case of floods or heavy rain, the agricultural lands on both sides of the Gaza Wadi are flooded.
Sum On the Gaza Environmental Blog
The Gaza Islamic University Environmental Engineering Blog is a very unique environmental blog, since it brings to the fore the concept of the environment as seen by a militant radical Islamic group, in this case Hamas. This blog provides valuable information concerning the environmental concept of the Islamic University in Gaza, ruled by Hamas.
While giving valuable information concerning some of the environmental issues and challenges faced by the Hamas government in the Gaza Strip, the blog writers claim that the State of Israel is the source and to blame for all all these problems.
This blog is a window through which one can see how radical groups, in this case Hamas, take advantage of the environment in order to attack their enemies, in this case Israel, and blame them for all their problems, including environmental ones.