Sewage flowing into the Mediterranean in Haifa.
(photo credit: Gil Cohen Magen/Reuters)
The Egyptian National Commission for the Protection of the Environment in North Sinai has accused Israel of causing pollution levels to rise in Sinai's coastline, Egypt Independent reported this week.
The commission's head, Abdallah Hijawy, claimed that since Israel's withdrawal from the Gaza strip, Jerusalem has removed major water pumps that were used to stop massive amounts of sewage from reaching Sinai, according to the report.
“In front of the international community, Israel is responsible for the service sector in the occupied lands," Hijawy was quoted as saying, "even the color of the water has changed and the smell is terrible."
According to the report, an increased level of pathogens in the Mediterranean, caused by industrial waste water excreted from Israel and the Gaza Strip, has raised human susceptibility to cancer and other diseases.
Hijawy said he plans to pursue a course of action through an international court, after being told by an Arish court that they had no jurisdiction in international cases such as these.
This is not the first time Israel has been accused by Egypt of interfering with the Sinai coast.
In 2010, reports surfaced claiming that the Israeli Mossad spy agency was being considered by Egypt as the possible perpetrators behind a shark attack which claimed the life of a female German tourist.
“What is being said about the Mossad throwing the deadly shark [in the sea] to hit tourism in Egypt is not out of the question, but it needs time to confirm,” South Sinai Gov. Muhammad Abdel Fadil Shousha was quoted as saying by the Egyptian state news site egynews.net.Michael Grubb and The Media Line contributed to this report.