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|December 9, 2009|
Palestinian sources said the delegation had already arrived at Erez crossing point in northern Gaza Strip before Israeli soldiers turned the legislators back.
According to the statement, the Israeli army cited "security concerns" in denying the delegation's entry. This is precisely what I was told when my entry was initially canceled the afternoon before my scheduled trip into Gaza. But perhaps it was my relentless phone calls that caused them to reconsider, and allow me to enter Gaza.
Perhaps Israeli officials didn’t want the delegation to see the hundreds of bombed schools, and hospitals, or the thousands of destroyed homes. Or the destroyed sewage plant and the fact that raw sewage is now pouring into the sea- where the fishermen are permitted to fish just a mile or two from the shore, in the polluted water. Actually, all the water in Gaza is contaminated. The nitrate content in water is 300 times World Health Organization standards. Babies are being born with nitrate poisoning. Doctors told me that they are seeing a rise in babies with deformities. We wonder what was in the bombs that fell on them. Is white phosphorus the cause of the birth defects? The agricultural economy is dying from the contamination and salinated water;.
The UN has proposed two sewerage repair projects but they are awaiting approved by Israel. If the blockade could be lifted just to let these building materials and equipment into Gaza, to let water works begin, it would give many thousands of babies and children a chance.