Environmental assessment of the areas disengaged by Israel in the Gaza Strip
In 2005, the major event in the middle-east region was the disengagement by Israel from Gaza. UNEP was requested by the environmental authorities in Gaza to carry-out an environmental assessment that would identify areas of environmental concern and use the results for interim corrective measures, if required, as well as long term resource planning Consequently UNEP fielded a team to Gaza between 9-18 December 2005. The team successfully carried out the field work, covering all 21 disengaged settlements and the Erez industrial site. Samples were taken and shipped to an independent laboratory in Europe. The team consisted of a total of 8 UNEP staff members and external environmental experts, with expertise in asbestos, contaminated land, hazardous waste, marine & coastal environment, and water resources. UNEP's partners were the Palestinian Environmental Quality Authority (EQA) and the Palestinian Water Authority (PWA) on the Palestinian side, and the Ministry of Environment on the Israeli side.