Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Heat wave brings added suffering to displaced Gazans


GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- A heat wave sweeping across the occupied Palestinian territories has brought further suffering to Gazan residents whose homes were destroyed during last summer's deadly Gaza war.

"All the citizens who live in caravans are in very dire and disastrous living conditions," said 60-year-old Abu Ahmad, who lives in a mobile home in the Khuzaa neighborhood of Khan Younis in southern Gaza. "Death is better than our life."

Abu Ahmad said that since the war ended a year ago, his children had left him to live with their grandfather as conditions inside the mobile homes were too poor.

"We are humans, not animals, and we can't live in these caravans," he said.

The 60-year-old urged the Palestinian authorities to help improve living conditions for displaced Gazans, saying: "We are not asking for the unattainable, and we don't want them to put us in paradise."

"All we are asking for is to speed up reconstruction of our houses so we can get rid of this suffering."

Gazans have sought to house their families in whatever way they can following last year's devastating war, in which Israeli forces destroyed or severely damaged some 18,000 homes.

At the height of the conflict, the third in six years, the United Nations had transformed 91 of its schools in the Gaza Strip into shelters to house some 300,000 displaced. Short of money, the UN agency for Palestinian refugees recently closed the last shelter.

Some of the displaced have been able to return home, but more than 100,000 remain homeless -- more than five percent of the Strip's 1.8 million population. more

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