Thursday, May 23, 2024

Gaza Strip Buried Under More Debris Than Entire Ukraine War Theater

HomeWARGaza Strip Buried Under More Debris Than Entire Ukraine War Theater

In a jolting revelation, the United Nations has sounded the alarm that the bombed-out Gaza Strip is entombed under even vaster mountains of rubble and shattered debris than the entire frontlines of war-ravaged Ukraine. The shockingly immense scale of destruction concentrated in the claustrophobic Palestinian coastal enclave is a ticking time bomb of environmental hazards that will take a massive, multi-year effort to clear.

Mungo Birch, the head of UN demining operations in the territories, dropped a bombshell statistic – as of mid-April, there were an estimated 37 million tonnes of pulverized rubble strewn across Gaza’s narrow confines. That equates to a mind-boggling 300 kilograms of smashed concrete, metal, and who-knows-what per square meter blanketing the besieged strip.

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“Gaza has more rubble than Ukraine, and to put that in perspective, the Ukrainian frontline is 600 miles long while Gaza is just 25 miles long,” Birch stated bluntly. The concentrated level of obliteration packed into Gaza’s densely populated 25-mile stretch is truly apocalyptic in scale.

But the seemingly endless Grey mountains of rubble aren’t just an obstructive eyesore – they conceal even more insidious threats lurking within. “This rubble is likely heavily contaminated with unexploded ordnance,” Birch gravely warned, adding ominously that the pollution hazards “will be further complicated by other hazards in the rubble.”

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Specifically, the UN has terrifyingly estimated over 800,000 tonnes of cancer-causing asbestos could be intermixed with Gaza’s rubble from destroyed buildings. Disturbing and removing asbestos requires extensive safety protocols to prevent disastrous inhalation exposure.

While UNMAS has secured $5 million to initiate rubble removal, Birch conveyed the herculean recovery task will require hundreds of millions more over multiple years. Just keeping operations funded for the next 12 months alone needs an additional $40 million injection.

The nightmarish aftermath stems from over a year of dramatic escalations as Palestinian militants exchanged fire with Israel’s military over control of the territories. Well over 34,000 Palestinians have perished according to Gaza’s Hamas government, overwhelmingly civilians including many children and other non-combatants caught in the crossfire.

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With such a staggering volume of hazardous wreckage strewn across one of the world’s most crowded concrete jungles, removing every last deadly grain while protecting workers will be a truly Sisyphean task of biblical proportions requiring the full-throated support of the global community. Otherwise, Gaza risks being reduced to little more than an apocalyptic junkyard haunted by the ghosts of unexploded ordnance and carcinogens.

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Mezhar Alee
Mezhar Alee
Mezhar Alee is a prolific author who provides commentary and analysis on business, finance, politics, sports, and current events on his website Opportuneist. With over a decade of experience in journalism and blogging, Mezhar aims to deliver well-researched insights and thought-provoking perspectives on important local and global issues in society.

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