GAZA, (PIC)-- The Gaza-based Ministry of Agriculture has warned of an impending “health and environmental crisis” that is rapidly unfolding in the Gaza Strip due to the barrages of rocket fire unleashed throughout the recent Israeli offensive, which took away the lives of some 1,850 Palestinian civilians.
Nizar al-Wahidi, head of the general directorate of soil and irrigation in the ministry said: “Israel’s shelling of agricultural lands over the past 30-day-long offensive will trigger a real health and environmental crisis. This is a slow-death-tactic that threatens our people’s food security, contaminates our soil and poisons our agricultural crops with chemical substances released by the Israeli rockets and bombs.”
“The soil will be contaminated with carcinogenic and radioactive contaminants. Gaza cancer rates have already been on the rise over the past few years just as has been the case with abortion and deformity rates,” al-Wahidi told Anadolu News Agency.
“We’ve been made to endure the loss of large numbers of livestock and the emergence of genetic mutations on plants and animals in the wake of the two former Israeli offensives,” he added, wondering: “How’s the situation going to look like after the discharge of loads of Israeli missiles identified by some human rights sources as internationally prohibited weapons?”
“Things just bode ill for our citizens as large quantities of the discharged chemicals have been absorbed by the soil and plants. We’ve come across strange-shaped fruit in many greenhouses. They were almost ripe due to the –hyper-heated fire released by Israeli rockets,” he noted.
The Israeli occupation has launched three offensives on the Gaza Strip. The first aggression on December 27, 2008, claimed the lives of some 1,436 Palestinians and left 5,400 others wounded.
The second offensive, launched on November 14, 2012, lasted for 8 days and killed 162 Palestinians. Some 1,200 were wounded throughout.
The third and most notorious aggression occurred on July 7, 2014 and was kept up for one month. Israeli carnages perpetrated throughout the offensive resulted in the mass-murder of around 1,850 Palestinian citizens, mostly women and children.
“Expert authorities have been heading to Gaza to examine the soil. But we’ve not been provided with the findings,” al-Wahidi concluded as he raised alarm bells over the estimated 90% of dearth to be endured by Gaza markets, and called on international authorities to assign special investigatory envoys to check up the affair.