But remember, Israel is a "democracy".

That's what we're always told. Israel is a democracy, and not only that, but the only democracy in the whole Middle East. It's a civilized place. Just don't look in that corner over there, where they keep the Palestinians. Because it's dirty, and it smells. But other than that, it's just the greatest democracy you can imagine. You betcha.

The new station receives up to 40,000 cubic metres of waste water every day, and it should pump 120 cubic metres an hour through each of six water pumps.

However, only three pumps were installed in the station because the Israeli closure and blockade since June 2007 had prevented the essential parts needed to build the remaining three from entering Gaza.

Power cuts have also been affecting the efficiency of the station. The emergency generator is not functioning well as it requires maintenance and spare parts are lacking. The limited amount of fuel that is let into Gaza is not enough to run the generator for long hours.

...This station was supposed to be a blessing for the neighbourhood but it turned out to be a curse, a health hazard for us all.

Sewage water is filling the streets surrounding the station and flooding nearby houses.

The stench is unbearable.

Tenants in ground floor flats were forced to move in with neighbours on higher floors. People are now using sand bags to absorb the sewage water which continues to seep into their houses.

The amount of children who have been taken ill has increased considerably. Cases of diarrhea are mounting by the day. Even now, children continue to play outside amongst the raw sewage – where else can they go?

And we are now facing a public health crisis.

What disgusts me is that this could all have been prevented had the Israelis opened one checkpoint to allow the spare parts and fuel through.

...Despite the blockade, we have to continue our daily lives, otherwise we will have nothing left. When the crisis started, some families bought their children gasoline lamps to study by when electricity was cut. Now that fuel is not available and very expensive, children do their homework and study for their exams in candle light.

To add to the deplorable situation, a friend of mine heard on the news yesterday that the course books for the new term will not reach us for at least another month.

They have been stuck at the Israeli checkpoints along with spare parts, fuel, food, and medical supplies; people are not let in or out. Gaza has now become a prison for us all.
When a Hamas rocket falls near Sderot, the Israelis are rushed to the hospital via ambulance and treated for shock. A single injured or killed Israeli civilian will be reported around the globe as a tragedy worthy of harsh retribution. But in the same country, Israel, 1.5 million Palestinians live in a cage. Palestinian children play outside in raw sewage and do their homework by candlelight.

The Palestinians live in a third-world ghetto that Israel has explicitly set aside and created for them via destructive and malicious policies. These policies have been specifically designed to prevent the Palestinians from making any sort of normal life for themselves. The Israelis complain that the Palestinians are such a burden, but of course they have created this very situation and do everything possible to exacerbate it. It would be ridiculous if it weren't so tragic.

Israel calls itself a democracy, but that is a sick joke. Israel's cruel and vindictive behavior toward the Palestinians must be named by it's proper name. Israel is an apartheid state. Anyone who continues to insist that Israel is a democracy enables that government's continued abhorrent behavior which violates international law and basic human decency.

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