5 Environmental Impacts of Israel-Palestine Conflict

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a protracted and deeply ingrained disagreement that has not only resulted in unimaginable pain for people but also has the potential to seriously harm the environment.

When discussing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in Gaza, explosions, shootings, and physical violence are frequently depicted as the causes of building destruction, fatalities, and shortened life expectancies for future generations. But has anyone ever considered the environmental impacts of Israel-Palestine conflict?

The purpose of this article is to examine the environmental catastrophes that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is likely to cause or exacerbate, emphasizing the urgent need for action to prevent and resolve these problems.

Israel and Palestine have been at odds since 1917. It wasn’t an intense war at the time. The Balfour Declaration, which obligated Britain to build Jewish communities in Palestine, touched off the conflict.

The program resulted in alterations to the population and the seizure of communal property for the construction of Jewish colonies. Badly, the fight turned into a full-fledged war.

The Palestinian Hamas has launched an attack on Israel in Gaza. Israel’s harsh response to the attack sparked criticism from around the globe. Not only are there deaths from this fight, but there are also material, social, psychological, and environmental losses.

Environmental Impacts of Israel-Palestine Conflict

The war’s effects on the environment are frequently overlooked. However, environmental problems will progressively become a threat to the survival of those who reside in conflict areas. Because military operations persist, harm can still be done in the absence of conflict. The possibility of environmental harm from conflict is as follows:

  • Greenhouse Gas Emissions
  • Water Scarcity
  • Pollution and Contamination
  • Deforestation and Habitat Destruction
  • Gaza’s Environmental Crisis

1. Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Weapons, vehicles, and other military hardware are manufactured, distributed, and used in ways that release greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Coal, petroleum, and mineral energy are used to manufacture those.

There are significant carbon emissions from the mining process, and this energy source is non-renewable. Because greenhouse gases release carbon into the atmosphere, they have the potential to exacerbate climate change. The earth’s temperature will rise further as a result.

2. Water Scarcity

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict exacerbates the region’s serious environmental problem of water scarcity. Water resources, especially the Jordan River and the Mountain Aquifer, are vital to both Israelis and Palestinians.

Water supplies are being depleted, water quality is deteriorating, and salinization is rising as a result of excessive water extraction for residential, commercial, and agricultural uses.

Furthermore, during times of conflict, utility service disruptions and infrastructure damage can seriously hinder access to clean water for both Israelis and Palestinians.

In addition to having an impact on human health and sanitation, this water shortage has long-term effects on ecosystem health and agricultural output.

3. Pollution and Contamination

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has a detrimental effect on the region’s environmental quality, with pollution and contamination posing major risks to both communities.

Infrastructure, such as sewage treatment plants and industrial facilities, frequently sustains significant damage during armed confrontations. Raw sewage is released into rivers, subterranean sources, and the Mediterranean Sea as a result of this devastation and the lack of money for upkeep and repairs.

Untreated wastewater contributes to the development of waterborne illnesses and the deterioration of marine ecosystems, posing a serious risk to public health.

The use of hazardous materials during battle, uncontrolled waste disposal, and chemical spills that contaminate soil and groundwater further worsen environmental deterioration and complicate post-conflict cleanup operations.

Food supplies, clean water, healthy soil, and the original ecosystem of the area are all lost as a result. It causes protracted food and water crises among humans. More war casualties could result from the issue.

4. Deforestation and Habitat Destruction

Land conversion on plantations, woods, livestock, or towns can be brought on by war. Land becomes a battlefield, military outpost, and evacuation route during times of conflict. Land conversion to create open military base zones can happen even in the absence of conflict.

Road construction, security barriers, fencing, settlements, and military operations are all direct causes of large-scale habitat degradation and deforestation.

The destruction of forests, olive groves, and other natural habitats—which are essential to the biodiversity of the region—often results in the extinction of endemic species, a decline in ecological resilience, and a reduction in the region’s ability to sequester carbon.

In addition to encroaching on natural ecosystems, the continuous Israeli settlement development in the occupied territories is a factor in the loss of agricultural and forest areas.

Along with the change of land, conflict also depletes biodiversity by upsetting the environment. Ecosystems that are damaged deny animals and plants a place to live and nourishment. A species’ population will decline if it is unable to adapt.

In addition to harm to ecosystems, military weaponry that wipes out living things can also cause a decline in biodiversity.

Ecosystem degradation and fragmentation cause long-lasting ecological scars on the region’s environment by upsetting wildlife movement patterns and reducing biodiversity.

5. Gaza’s Environmental Crisis

People in Gaza have been coping with an environmental disaster for many years. They deal with pollution, dirty water shortages, temperature increases, and variations in rainfall and seasonal patterns.

Due to pollution and the scarcity of clean water, the community is facing a clean water crisis. The cost per barrel ranges from 4,89 to 12,55 dollars, even for contaminated water.

Gaza’s surroundings are likewise polluted in other ways. Both liquid and solid trash harm the ecosystem around them.  It lowers the soil’s fertility. In society, waste also contributes to illness. However, the use of weapons of mass destruction is also contributing to a decline in air quality.

Temperatures in the area rose as a result of Gaza’s climate problem. According to research, Gaza’s temperature has increased by 2.5 oC since 1800. Since they are aware that hot weather occurs more frequently during the day and night than cold weather, people are noticing the temperature rising noticeably.

Rainfall is certainly impacted by the climate issue. The rainy season has arrived later than usual since the war. In Gaza, the rainy season now begins in November or December instead of October as it used to. In Gaza, the amount of rain is likewise quite variable.

Conclusion: Handling Post-War Environmental Damage

It is important to recognize that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has important environmental ramifications in addition to exacerbating human misery.

Urgent action is required to ameliorate the effects of water scarcity, pollution, contamination, deforestation, and habitat destruction—some of the major environmental disasters linked to the conflict.

Both sides must communicate and come up with long-term solutions to overcome these issues.

Prioritizing post-conflict environmental rehabilitation initiatives, investing in environmentally friendly infrastructure, and establishing collaborative efforts to manage and maintain shared water resources are all essential steps in the right direction.

Initiatives aimed at environmental preservation, restoration, and sustainable development in the area also require the backing of international organizations, non-governmental organizations, and the global community.

Not only will the environment benefit from the inclusion of environmental factors in political discussions and peace processes, but it will also advance human well-being and reconciliation.

We can work toward a more resilient and sustainable future for both populations by tackling the environmental devastation caused by the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, demonstrating that environmental care and peace go hand in hand.

Improving soil quality and lowering pollution levels are the first steps that can be taken to restore the ecosystem. Restoring the environment in other areas, such as the food, water, and climate crises, begins with resolving these two issues.

The goal of soil restoration is to eradicate war-related contaminants and replenish soil fertility. A rich soil is essential for the growth of plantations, forests, and agricultural land. It will assist people in producing food supplies on their own and lessen air pollution brought on by the use of armaments in conflict.

In addition to air pollution, waste, and garbage contamination can cause environmental pollution, which needs to be addressed right away. Pollution lowers the quality of the water that people drink. Improving the waste and rubbish management system facilitates the resolution of the water situation, which is a fundamental need for civilization.

Given the duration-intensive nature of ecosystem restoration, addressing the environmental fallout from conflict necessitates substantial and sustained efforts. Close cooperation is necessary to help war-torn countries overcome these environmental obstacles.


Editor at EnvironmentGo! | providenceamaechi0@gmail.com | + posts

A passion-driven environmentalist by heart. Lead content writer at EnvironmentGo.
I strive to educate the public about the environment and its problems.
It has always been about nature, we ought to protect not destroy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.