PunditFact on impact Gaza conflict has on water

St. Petersburg, Florida - The ongoing conflict in Gaza between Palestinians and Israelis is putting hundreds of thousands of people in danger and not just because of the fighting.

The International Committee of the Red Cross says water is in the line of fire in Gaza, because repeated bombing is devastating the area's fragile infrastructure. 10 News anchor Allison Kropff and PunditFact take a look at one prominent Palestinian journalist's claim about how bad the water situation is in Gaza.

Recently, Palestinian journalist Rula Jebreal slammed the U.S. media for what she considered "biased" coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

MSNBC invited her on to not only to defend its coverage but give her a chance to explain some of the news that goes unreported. One item had to do with access to water in Gaza.

Here's what she said:

"They don't know anything about the siege, the 1.8 million Palestinians living under siege in extreme poverty, with 90% that don't have access even to water."

That statement surprised fact-checkers at PunditFact and they found Jebreal may be mixing up her statistics.

"In the current crisis now, the U.N. Estimates 2/3 of people living in Gaza, so 1.2 million of the 1.8 million population, have very limited or no access to running water in their house," says Aaron Sharockman, with PunditFact.

That's 67% of the population, not 90% as she claimed. The only source of fresh water in Gaza comes from an aquifer in the southern part of its coast.

"And that water, 90-95% of it, is not potable, it's not drinkable. So the houses in Gaza, they have access to running water but 90-95% of it isn't drinkable. So what the folks in Gaza have to do, is they essentially have to buy private water," says Sharockman.

PunditFact figures most people would understand that Jebreal was talking about "drinking water," but since she skipped the words "drinking" or "potable" they rate her claim "Mostly True."

The current conflict is only making access to water supplies worse, because the bombings are damaging Gaza's infrastructure.


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