Point-blank: Egyptian water for Gaza

Mohamed Salmawy
Tuesday 2 Apr 2024

I would have thought the international media would pay some attention to the news about an important project Egypt has implemented in Rafah.


Egypt has constructed pipelines across the border and through the Philadelphia Corridor into the Gaza side of Rafah, bringing desperately needed fresh water into the Strip. In the past few weeks, many of the hundreds of thousands of civilians who had been forcibly displaced to Rafah have died because the little remaining water in Gaza is no longer safe to drink, leading some to resort to seawater despite its salinity. Videoclips circulating on social media have underscored the urgency of the Egyptian water lifeline into Gaza where the besieged population has been subjected to an inhumane campaign of mass starvation. Not only have the Israeli Occupation cut off all food, fuel, electricity, and medicine, they also deliberately bombed essential water infrastructures making it next to impossible to find potable water. The videoclips on social media depicting Palestinians’ joy at the fresh water supply from Egypt cast into relief the barbaric cruelty that has caused their heartrending plight.  

Egypt has constructed three water desalinisation plants in the Egyptian Rafah and laid down the pipes to convey the fresh water into Gaza, thereby breaking the ruthless blockade the Israeli Occupation imposed on the Palestinians in October.  Not surprisingly, Egypt’s humanitarian act incurred the wrath of some Israeli authorities who were angered by this circumvention of the occupation’s blockage of the delivery of humanitarian aid to the Palestinians through Rafah.

Surely this should have been the subject of an investigative report, explaining how Egypt extended these water pipelines across the metal barriers, improving the lives of people in Gaza if only a little. This project also refutes the Israeli claim that Egypt is complicit in the siege of Gaza. Unfortunately, so far only the people’s media has focused on the subject because it concerns the lives of our brothers and sisters in Gaza. But this media is basically limited to the footage filmed by mobile phones, which is a far cry from the on-location in-depth coverage this story merits.

* A version of this article appears in print in the 4 April, 2024 edition of Al-Ahram Weekly

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