The Palestinian Center for Human Rights issues a study on the situation of infrastructure services in Gaza Strip

Ref: 95/2000

Date: July 23, 2000

The Palestinian Center for Human Rights has issued a new study entitled “Infrastucture Sevices in the Gaza Strip: A Case Study on Economic and Social rights.” The study surveys the situation of infrastructure services during the Israeli occupation, and the efforts of the Palestinian National authority to rehabilitate and develop them after many years of negligence by the Israeli Authorities. These authorities gave no attention for their improvement; on the contrary, they contributed to its destruction in the aim of obstructing the development of the Palestinian society, in order to facilitate its dispersion and exile.

This study focuses on the situation of infrastructure services in the Gaza Strip. It is based on the importance of providing infrastructure services for improving living conditions of the people, and providing them with their economic and social rights. In addition, it is important for paving the way for investment and the development of the Palestinian economy. The study aims also at considering the role which the Palestinian National Authority has played in rehabilitating and developing infrastructure services since its establishment in 1994 up to the end of 1999, which includes project planning and implementation, and the role of ministries and agencies supervising these projects. In addition, the study considers the most important objective and subjective obstacles which have obstructed the process of developing infrastructure services in Gaza Strip during the first 5 years of the Palestinian National Authority’s administration.

The study concludes a number of recommendations, which PCHR hopes they would be followed by the relevant authorities, in the sake of improving living and environmental conditions of Palestinians, and developing infrastructure services in order to put and end for their suffering of intentional negligence during the years of Israeli occupation. Following is a number of recommendations which the study has concluded:

  1. Starting immediately with the establishment of central treatment facilities in order to put an end for people’s continuous suffering as a result of absorptive holes, which are a source of several environmental and health dangers that threaten the lives of people.
  2. Supporting the role of municipalities and rural councils in infrastructure services development. This requires the allocation of development budgets for municipalities in order to enable them to serve their people.
  3. Giving priority in infrastructure projects to neglected and excluded areas, which have not been considered during the last five years.
  4. Encouraging private sector to invest in infrastructure projects through putting strategies and laws in this regard.
  5. Reconsidering the agreements signed with the Israeli side, particularly those which give Israel the right to intervene to obstruct infrastructure projects in the Palestinian National Authority areas.
  6. Raising the demand of getting our complete water rights from the Israeli side and dealing with the issue of water carefully in Final Status negotiations. There is also a need for decreasing consumption, protecting water resources from pollution, and trying to get benefit of treated water in agriculture. In addition, wells which are drilled randomly and without a license have to be closed. There is also a need for developing authorized wells and networks to improve the transmission and distribution of water.
  7. Developing systems for solid waste treatment, improving the ways of collecting it, treating it in a healthy way and closing unhealthy and random facilities, which have dangerous effects on health and environment.
  8. Developing road networks and providing them with appropriate lighting and traffic signs.