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ActionAid Palestine to Organize Webinar highlighting Impact of War against Gaza on Palestinian Environment and Climate

A photo for participants in the webinar on impacts of War against Gaza on Climate and Environment


Occupied Palestinian Territory (oPt) – ActionAid Palestine (AAP) organized a webinar entitled “The Impact of the War against Gaza Strip on Climate and the Environment,”. The webinar shed light on the effects and repercussions of the ongoing war on climate and the environment As the Israeli war against Gaza enters its eighth month killing more than 34,000 Gazans and causing injuries to  77,000 people.

Attended by over 90 participants concerned with issues of climate and environment, human rights, agriculture and international law. The webinar aimed to highlight the adverse effects of the war on the degradation of Palestinians natural environment, especially in Gaza. It presented facts and examples on the huge impact on Gaza's ecosystems and biodiversity including extensive environmental devastation in Gaza and razing nearly half of Gaza’s trees and farms. This destruction has led to an environmental crisis, with air and water pollution reaching alarming levels.

Through his moderation and opening remarks, the country director of AAP,   Jamil Sawalmeh highlighted the issue of climate justice in Palestine which can’t be separated from Israeli occupation which controls natural resources as water and energy and livelihoods and achieving climate justice in Palestine needs  addressing the root causes of climate injustice. Sawalmeh emphasized the commitment of ActionAid towards working on climate justice issues.

The webinar included a number  climate justice advocates panelists as Teresa Anderson, Climate Justice Lead at ActionAid international, Bahjat Jabarin, director of the Department of Monitoring and Inspection at the Palestinian environmental quality authority, the Palestinian expert from MAAN development center which AAP’s partners , Majed Hamadeh, Abeer Al Butmeh, coordinator of the Palestinian Environmental NGOs Network, Abbas Melhem, the executive director of Palestinian Farmers' Union and international climate justice activist, Asad Rehman. They took turns discussing the impacts of war against Palestinian environment and climate. 

Teresa Anderson stressed that climate justice movements show their solidarity with Palestinians and ActionAid works in the countries of the global south affected by climate change . Anderson demonstrated that ActionAid’s work focuses on struggling for creating solutions and making changes for better future through lobbying and advocacy climate justice campaign at national international levels taking into consideration the particularity of each context. Anderson says: “Palestine is affected by climate change as other countries by late of rainfall, loss of agricultural livelihoods lands and drought but Palestine is not similar to any other country due to Israeli occupation that denies access of Palestinians to their agricultural lands that they live on, and they are prevented from developing policies and regulations aiming to create solutions related to climate justice”.  

Bahjat Jabarin presented facts about damage caused by the war affecting all components of environment since the beginning of the war. He emphasized that this war damages lands and agriculture, destroys building, renewable energy and infrastructure leaving huge scale of rubbles and creating many disasters through the use of internationally prohibited weapons as white phosphorus causing air pollution and climate change. 

Najla Abdellatif is a Palestinian environmental activist who leads the initiative of “Zero Waste Palestine, said: “climate justice can’t be separated from political and social justice and human rights. Climate justice can’t be achieved in the absence of human rights under oppression system. Palestinians are victims of the environmental injustice resulting from colonial destruction rooted in controlling lands and natural resources, home demolition and destroying agricultural lands”. 

Talking from Gaza, Majid Hamad highlighted that this war has created an unprecedented environmental catastrophe saying: “Gaza was heavily targeted with bombs and other illegal and banned weapons like white phosphorus that have completely damaged all elements of life in Gaza and cause increasing global warming. War effects include climate change, accumulation of huge quantities of solid waste and destroying 35% of agricultural lands of Gaza.” 

Through her remarks on the short and long-lasting consequences of the ongoing war on Gaza’s environment, Abeer Al-Butmeh demonstrated that the impact of Israel’s heavy use of weapons and artillery will last for a very long time. Al- Butmeh explained: “thousands of tons of chemicals penetrating the groundwater and soil. Marine life will be affected where chemicals are seeping into the sea and destroying the marine population. Respiratory diseases will also likely increase because of all the chemicals and emissions, including white phosphorus. The reconstruction of Gaza will take more than a decade and will itself have a massive environmental impact. Disposal of this construction waste will be a major challenge as there is a mix of medical waste and domestic solid waste”.

Describing impact of Israeli settlers attack on Palestinian farmers and agricultural lands in West Bank, the head of Palestinian Farmers' Union (PFU) said that there is another war against agricultural lands in West Bank led by Israeli settlers under the protection of Israeli army, Since October 7. Those attack against Palestinian farmers increased to displace them from their lands. Farmers can’t reach their lands for looking after and picking their crops as accessing olive trees during olive harvest. These violations should be held accountable”.    

Asad Rehman, the director of War on Want talked about importance of ending impunity that Israel enjoys and enforcing accountability mechanisms for holding violations’ perpetrators accountable and implementation of international laws related to Palestinian case including UN security council resolutions calling for ceasefire in Gaza. Rehman criticized the double standard in application of international law which is being applied in some places while it can’t be applied in other places. Rehaman said: “When we fight for Palestine, we do not simply fight for Palestine, we fight for all humanity.” 

All panelists ended their interventions with common demands which are reaching an immediate ceasefire and holding Israeli occupation accountable for its violations of all international resolutions, covenants and human rights documents. They all stressed that climate justice can’t be achieved under occupation. 

Background Information

ActionAid in Palestine (AAP) is a part of global federation working for social justice and gender equality and eradicate poverty in more than 45 countries around the world. AAP started its work in Palestine in 2007 to strengthen the resilience of Palestinian People as ActionAid believes that they should enjoy their rights to freedom, justice and self-determination. AAP implements a number of programs through its engagement with communities and women and youth groups seeking to empower them and enhance their influential civil and political participation to understand their rights and undertake collective activism to address the protracted rights violations resulting from the prolonged occupation of Palestine. AAP works simultaneously to enhance their leadership capacity and knowledge to practice their citizenship in holding authorities and other duty bearers to account.

For more information, please contact

Riham Jafari

Coordinator of Advocacy and Communication in Palestine


+972 (0) 595242890