Feature: Displaced Gazans endure shortage of daily necessities as winter sets in-Xinhua

Feature: Displaced Gazans endure shortage of daily necessities as winter sets in

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2023-12-20 22:17:15

GAZA, Dec. 20 (Xinhua) -- Unlike previous years, the winter season has become a bitter guest for Jalal Mosaad, a Palestinian displaced man, who lives in a temporary tent recently established in Rafah City in the south of the Gaza Strip.

"In the past, I used to wait for the winter to enjoy our winter rituals, including preparing some hot food and drinks, and spending time with my eight-member family inside our house," he told Xinhua.

But now, the 45-year-old father of six said that he had to be busy extracting rainwater from inside and around the tent using primitive means as long as the rainwater poured.

The man told Xinhua that life has turned upside down since the Israel-Hamas conflict broke out on Oct. 7. "We became homeless without having life requirements in tents that we were forced to live in while the deadly fighting is still going on."

Since he was evacuated from his house in eastern Khan Younis city with his family, along with dozens of thousands of displaced Palestinians, he spends his days obtaining food and water for his children. But winter has doubled his suffering.

Because of the bad and cold weather, the kids of Mohammed al-Hajjar, another Palestinian displaced man, became sick and needed to visit a doctor to get treatment.

However, the 34-year-old father of three said that "all medical centers, hospitals, and field hospitals are crowded with injuries."

What made the matter worse was that medicine stocks were running out from the local pharmacies.

"Everything is running out and we need to receive our treatment and goods in the enclave," he stressed.

Gaza has been under massive Israeli siege and bombardment since Oct. 7, which has killed 19,667 Palestinians, according to Gaza-based Health Ministry as of Tuesday.

The Israeli escalation came in retaliation for an attack by Hamas that killed about 1,200 in Israel and took away more than 200 as hostages, according to Israeli reports.

The United Nations estimates that approximately 1.9 million people in Gaza, or approximately 85 percent of the total population of the Strip, have been displaced since the conflict broke out, while some of them were displaced several times to escape Israeli attacks and search for safe refuge.

According to statistics from the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), it shelters nearly 1.3 million displaced people in 154 facilities affiliated with the agency throughout the Strip.

UNRWA stated that due to the overcrowding and poor sanitary conditions in its shelters, it observed significant increases in some diseases and infectious conditions such as diarrhea, acute respiratory infections and skin infections.

On average, UNRWA shelters in the central and southern Gaza Strip are currently housing nine times the number of displaced people as planned.