Middle EastPalestine

Bitter cold threatening Gazans

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A fierce storm that has plagued the Gaza Strip with bitter cold, rains and winds is threatening the lives of tens of thousands of the Palestinian people in the war-ravaged enclave.

The brutal cold has already claimed four lives, including those of three infants, in the past few days.

The Gaza-based Palestinian Health Ministry said on Sunday that a 3-month-old infant froze to death in the northern Gaza town of Beit Hanoun in a shelter for those displaced by a devastating Israeli war in the summer of 2014. A one-month-old boy died at home in the southern city of Khan Younis on Saturday. A 4-month-old baby also succumbed to the cold on Friday.

A Hamas spokesman, Taher el-Nounou, said the Israeli occupation is responsible for the death of the three innocent infants because Tel Aviv’s blockade has caused a shortage of electricity and other crises for civilians.

International aid agencies warn that the severe weather condition is mainly causing difficulty for those whose homes were devastated during the Israel’s 50-day war on Gaza in 2014.

Gazan officials are warning that more people could die as tens of thousands are still displaced in the wake of the recent Israeli war, waiting for money for the reconstruction of their houses.

About 1,500 buildings and structures were demolished during the Israeli offensive, which started in early July 2014 and ended in late August that year.

Over 2,140 Palestinians, including 577 children, were killed in the Israeli onslaught. Over 11,100 others, including 3,374 children, 2,088 women and 410 elderly people, were also injured.

Gaza has been blockaded by Israel since 2007, causing a decline in the standard of living, unprecedented levels of unemployment, and unrelenting poverty.

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