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Gaza Winter: three babies freeze to death as world remains silent

January 20, 2015

Following Israel’s attack on Gaza in the summer, over one hundred thousand people remain homeless, living in highly inadequate tents which were intended to be emergency shelter. Israel has not allowed adequate rebuilding materials to enter Gaza, leaving these civilians facing a deadly winter. The children are facing the harshest challenge, and so far, three infants have frozen to death due to the lack of basic human essentials such as shelter, electricity and food not being accessible due to the siege of Gaza.

2 month old Rafah Ali Abu Assi died in her partially destroyed house in Khan Younis refugee camp due to lack of heat. Her family has no choice but to continue living there. One-month-old Adel Maher al-Lahham, also from Khan Younis also died from freezing weather. These deaths have gone largely unreported in the media, despite being the direct consequence of Israeli state policies against Palestinians.

Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians in Gaza cannot protect themselves from the brutality of the freezing weather, and many have been suffering immensely from the winter over the past weeks withstanding storms, freezing temperatures, floods and vicious winds.

Following the summer attacks, Palestinians continue to face perpetual consequences and desperate living conditions. In a report by Al Jazeera, Palestinian families are shown to be living in graveyard sites, having no choice but to cook and raise their children in these dire situations.

Gaza’s main and only power station, which was heavily damaged during the war, is severely lacking fuel and is only capable of supplying on average 6 hours of power per day, which is less then half its original capacity. Only 30 per cent of the population has regular access to clean water.

The Turkish government has offered to provide Gaza with a ‘floating power station’, to provide some electricity and heat throughout the winter, but Israel blocked this donation. A new year was meant to bring new hope, but Israel determined to trip Palestinians of all human rights, dignity, and in the case of these babies, their very lives.

 

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