Friday, January 16, 2015

Gaza's Winter - freezing temperatures, flooding and 110,000 homeless due to Israel's war

Dear friends,
Over the last few weeks in Gaza, the impact of Israel's massive assault in July and August continue to be felt.  In July and August, Israel carried out a 50 day assault on the already besieged and blockade enclave, leaving almost 2,200 dead, the majority of whom were civilians, including over 500 children. Gaza, already in the grip of winter, like other parts of the Middle East has been hit with storms and freezing weather. 

In November, Gaza was hit by severe flooding forcing more than 100 schools to close.  Now in January, Storm Huda hit Ramallah with snow and Gaza with more flooding. In Gaza, Palestinians have already been finding it difficult to keep warm or to find shelter from the weather due to the massive destruction rort by Israeli bombardment in mid 2014. With more than 500,000 displaced from their homes in July and August due to Israel's bombardment, almost 110,000 continue to remain homeless.  Many have attempted to shelter in what is left of their homes, while most are living in tents with little shelter from the severe weather hitting Gaza this winter.

The inclement weather has resulted in several people dying, including children. On January 9, two month old baby Rafah Ali Abu Assi died of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease as a result of the severely cold weather affecting the region.  The child's family house had been severally damaged by Israel's bombing campaign. With no where else to go the family had attempt to continue living in their home despite the destruction. 

In early January, independent American journalist, Dan Cohen who is based in Palestine, visited besieged Gaza.  Dan documented his time in Gaza via twitter, posting photos and comments about the current situation in Gaza in the wake of Israel's assault.

I have included below some of his photos.

If you would like to follow Dan on twitter, you can find his twitter profile by clicking here.

You can also check out some of Dan's previous articles and writing on Mondoweiss by clicking here and Middle East Eye by clicking here.

As we start the new year, the Palestinian struggle for self-determination and human rights continues.  Please consider how you can support the Palestinian people and their struggle in your home town and country. Please join the Palestinian lead Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign and stand up for human rights, freedom and self-determination.

In solidarity, Kim












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