Environmental casualties

It is said that truth is the ‘first casualty’ in war, but it may be that the environment is the ‘final casualty’. Even when the armed conflict in Gaza and Lebanon subsides, the environmental damage done by the Israeli bombardment is likely to provide a lasting legacy. In a call for assistance, the Palestinian Environmental NGOs Network points to a destroyed power plant integral to Palestinian water supply with repercussions for both agriculture and fisheries. Contaminated water affects not only water supply during the hot Gazan summer but also run-off to fields and off-shore areas, undermining the already precarious livelihoods of farmers and fishers. In addition there is ‘a health threat due to an increase in waterborne 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.’

New Internationalist issue 393 magazine cover This article is from the September 2006 issue of New Internationalist.
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