American Journal of Environmental Protection
ISSN (Print): 2328-7241 ISSN (Online): 2328-7233 Website: Editor-in-chief: Mohsen Saeedi, Hyo Choi
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American Journal of Environmental Protection. 2015, 3(4), 151-158
DOI: 10.12691/env-3-4-6
Open AccessArticle

Assessing Heavy Metals Pollution in the Agricultural Lands of Gaza Strip that Has Undergone Three Successive Wars

Al- Najar1, , H. Alrayes N.1, Dokhan Al.1, Saqer A.1, Silmi R.1 and S. Al-Kurdi2

1Environmental Engineering Department. The Islamic University of Gaza, P.O.Box. 108 Gaza

2Department of Chemistry. The Islamic University of Gaza, P.O.Box. 108 Gaza

Pub. Date: June 29, 2015

Cite this paper:
Al- Najar, H. Alrayes N., Dokhan Al., Saqer A., Silmi R. and S. Al-Kurdi. Assessing Heavy Metals Pollution in the Agricultural Lands of Gaza Strip that Has Undergone Three Successive Wars. American Journal of Environmental Protection. 2015; 3(4):151-158. doi: 10.12691/env-3-4-6


The intensive airstrikes on agricultural lands in the Gaza Strip create craters of 20 m diameter and 10 m depths. Samples from the craters are collected from fourteen different locations, were analyzed to assess the impact of war activities on soil pollution. Soil samples were analyzed for major heavy metals (Ni, Cr, Cu, Mn, Co and Pb) by using hotplate digestion and A Perkin-Elmer Analyst 600 GF-AAS analyzer, equipped with pyrolytically coated graphite tube with integrated platform Zeeman background and correction. The results showed that most of the soils had mean Ni concentration that was over four times higher than the control, Cr was five times, Cu was thirty one times higher, Mn was greatly higher than the control (114 times), Co was five times higher while Pb was twelve times higher than the control. Due to its texture, some samples from sandy soil origins had not significant higher metals concentration than the control. Ni, Cr, Cu, Mn, Co and Pb clearly contributed by the content of munitions of the airstrike. Soil pollution by Cu, Mn and Pb was more widespread than the other heavy metals, which was contributed mostly by munitions. The results also indicate that the concentration of specific heavy metals depends on the type of the explosives material and the soil texture. The current research highlighted the danger and risk of munitions on the agricultural lands. It is highly recommend for the relevant institutions to monitor and follow up research program to investigate the fate of the metals in soil, groundwater and food chain to protect the environment and health.

Gaza strip soil contamination heavy metals munitions and airstrike

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