Palestinian groundwater specialist Nizar Al-Wahidi warned Monday that the building of a steel wall on the Palestinian-Egyptian borders poses a serious strategic threat to the groundwater aquifer in the besieged Gaza Strip.
Wahidi said that this wall is considered a water blockade on Gaza and similar to the trap wells built by Israel along Gaza's eastern borders, siphoning water supplies from the aquifer before they reach Gaza.
The specialist explained that the aquifer on the southern Gaza borders is a shared and overlapping underground reservoir, calling on Egyptian experts of water and environment to swiftly intervene to protect the aquifer in Gaza from further deterioration.
He added that the blockade this time would not be imposed only on food, fuel and other vital needs, but it would escalate into besieging Gaza water resources, noting that this wall would divert the water in Gaza valley and block it from flowing into the Strip.
The specialist also warned that this wall would force Gazans to dig tunnels at great depths and practically, this is impossible in most areas on Gaza borders with Egypt because of the presence of groundwater at these lowest points.
In the same context, spokesman for the Palestinian government in Gaza Taher Al-Nunu said Monday that the real alternative to the tunnels is the opening of crossings permanently especially the Rafah border crossing before the movement of people and vital needs.
Spokesman Nunu highlighted that the tunnels were never the choice of the Palestinian government in Gaza, but it was always a necessary step invented by Gaza civilians to obtain food, clothing and medicine.
The spokesman affirmed that the government is in constant contact with the Egyptian side to discuss the issue of the metal wall and its implications, noting that the government confirmed to the Egyptians its keenness on the security of their country.
For his part, Sheikh Abdelmajid Al-Zindani, the head of Al-Iman university in Yemen, on Sunday strongly denounced Egypt for building a steel wall on its borders with Gaza.
In a statement to Al-Aqsa satellite channel, Sheikh Zindani said that everyone who is involved in besieging a Muslim is an aggressor and a murderer, and if the besieged Muslim who struggle for his livelihood is killed, he will be a martyr, urging the Egyptian scholars to illustrate to their government the seriousness of this act.
For its part, the European campaign to end the siege on Gaza said Monday that the steel wall which Egypt is building deepens the hatred between Arab nations and its construction without finding a real way out of the stifling blockade would cause disasters to Gaza people.
The campaign appealed to Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak to take an immediate decision worthy of his humanitarian and moral obligations towards Gaza people to lift the siege on the Strip, open the Rafah crossing and stop the building of a steel wall on Gaza borders.