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Israeli bombs ignite pesticide stores, spew dangerous chemicals in Gaza

Israeli warplanes bombed the largest warehouse of agricultural material in the Gaza Strip, burning tons of dangerous pesticides and setting off an unfolding environmental disaster.
MOHAMMED ABED/AFP via Getty Images

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — As he was trying to calm his terrified grandchildren during Israel's bombing of the Gaza Strip on May 15, Mahmoud Khudair received a phone call telling him that the storehouses of his family's business, the Khudair Pharmaceuticals and Agricultural Tools Company, had been bombed.

He hurriedly called the fire department to put out the huge fire that spread over company's six acres in the Beit Lahia neighborhood of al-Atatra in the northern Gaza Strip. Hundreds of tons of pesticides, fertilizers and agricultural materials such as plastic, nylon and water pipes stored by the four companies that make up the Khudair group went up in flames.

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