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Cold, Rain and Flooding for 1.8 Million Palestinians in Gaza this Winter

Written by Amira Al Hussaini On 16 December 2013 @ 22:02 pm | 1 Comment

In Disaster, English, Environment, Feature, Middle East & North Africa, Palestine, Photos, Video, Weblog

Around 10,000 Palestinians in northern Gaza were displaced from their homes after four days of torrential rain. Their problem is compounded by the fact that the strip's only electricity power station had been shut for 50 days, thanks to a shortage in fuel in the besieged enclave.

The Gaza Strip is home to 1.8 million Palestinians, who have had to endure up to 14 hours a day, without electricity, for the past seven weeks. Following the flooding, triggered by the Alexa storm [5] which just hit the region, the United Nations declared northern Gaza “a disaster zone” and Qatar stepped in to pay for fuel [6] for the power station.

Omar Ghraieb, from Gaza, notes:

He adds:

And Palestinian Nour Odeh exclaims:

Footage shared online shows a horrible humanitarian situation.

This video [12], by Jehad Saftawi, shared by the Institute for Middle East Understanding [13] (IMEU) starts with a bare-footed Palestinian child running in icy conditions (Videos used under CC BY License):

The commentary provided with the video, which shows families in unheated shelters, reads:

Residents of Gaza City's An Nafaq neighborhood are seeking shelter wherever they can find it, including at the Abdel Rahman bin Auwf school shown in this footage from today. Some of the scenes, which includes a child shivering in an unheated concrete classroom, are made even more disturbing by the fact that they are not the exception in today's Gaza, but the rule. Like much of the 25-mile-long strip, An Nafaq has been devastated by flooding made worse by a suffocating Israeli siege. UN spokesperson Chris Gunness minced no words when he called today for an end to that siege: “Any normal community would struggle to recover from this disaster,” said Gunness. “But a community that has been subjected to one of the longest blockades in human history, whose public health system has been destroyed and where the risk of disease was already rife, must be freed from these man made constraints….”

This second video, also filmed by Saftawi for the IMEU, shows submerged areas in the Palestinian enclave, and sheds light on some of the suffering Gaza's inhabitants have to endure in this worsening humanitarian situation:


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URL to article: http://globalvoicesonline.org/2013/12/16/cold-rain-and-flooding-for-gaza-this-winter/

URLs in this post:

[1] #Gaza: https://twitter.com/search?q=%23Gaza&src=hash

[2] http://t.co/3IlcwTUy40: http://t.co/3IlcwTUy40

[3] pic.twitter.com/kzUKdnNil4: http://t.co/kzUKdnNil4

[4] December 13, 2013: https://twitter.com/YousefMunayyer/statuses/411529676067069953

[5] Alexa storm: http://gulfbusiness.com/2013/12/wintry-storm-alexa-grips-middle-east/#.Uq93y_ZSZ5g

[6] Qatar stepped in to pay for fuel: http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2013/12/storm-hit-gaza-gets-emergency-fuel-20131215135632430478.html

[7] December 16, 2013: https://twitter.com/Omar_Gaza/statuses/412689516013428737

[8] December 16, 2013: https://twitter.com/Omar_Gaza/statuses/412695043011391488

[9] #siege: https://twitter.com/search?q=%23siege&src=hash

[10] http://t.co/PnIGUQslOk: http://t.co/PnIGUQslOk

[11] December 15, 2013: https://twitter.com/nour_odeh/statuses/412301739803836416

[12] video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z30kyj4079I

[13] nstitute for Middle East Understanding: http://imeu.net/

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