Gaza became the centre of international media attention as violence escalates at the border with Israel. At the same time, another major crisis has also been unfolding, almost silently, away from the 24 hour news broadcasters.
Severe restrictions on movement of people and goods imposed by Israel and Egypt, internal Palestinian division, rapid population growth, deteriorating infrastructure and the chronic energy shortage have all contributed to the bleak situation the two million people living in the 365 square kilometres strip are facing.
The numbers are disheartening. Out of the running water available, 97% of it is unsuitable for human consumption because of sewage pollution or high salinity levels. Three times more water is pumped from the ground than the aquifer can naturally reproduce. Over 100 million litres of barely treated sewage is flowing daily into the Mediterranean Sea.