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Israel announces increase in water supply to Gaza Strip

Oct. 31, 2016 10:44 P.M. (Updated: Nov. 1, 2016 6:57 P.M.)
GAZA (Ma’an) -- Israel’s Coordination and Liaison Administration (CLA) to the Gaza Strip announced on Sunday that Israel would be increasing its water supplies to the besieged coastal enclave.

CLA released a statement saying that, in coordination with the Palestinian liaison administration in Gaza, the construction of a new water reservoir was finished a few days ago.

According to CLA, the new reservoir was constructed to increase the quantity of water supplied by Israel to the Gaza Strip, by connecting it to the water line in the Nahal Oz kibbutz in southern Israel, along the border with Gaza.

According to Israel’s Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), the reservoir will be able to retain about 5,000 cubic meters of water, which will lead to an annual increased transfer of 1.5 to 3 million cubic meters of water per year to the Gaza Strip.

The estimated annual increase, according to COGAT, will serve as an addition to the approximately 5 million cubic meters of water that are being provided by Israel today.

The new reservoir will provide approximately 200,000 residents in Gaza access to clean water.

“We welcome the completion of construction as part of the efforts to improve the lives of residents in the Gaza Strip,” COGAT added.

CLA added in its statement that they were continuing efforts “to help carry out the reconstruction process in Gaza and to coordinate hundreds of international projects to develop and reconstruct the Gaza Strip.”

The Gaza Strip has suffered under an Israeli military blockade since 2007, when Hamas became the de facto ruling party in the territory. Residents of Gaza suffer from high unemployment and poverty rates, as well as the consequences of three devastating wars with Israel since 2008.

The UN has warned that the besieged Palestinian territory could become "uninhabitable" by 2020, as its 1.8 million residents remain in dire poverty due to the nearly decade-long Israeli blockade that has crippled the economy.

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