Two Palestinian babies have died in freezing temperatures in the Gaza Strip, where residents lack proper shelter and electricity following a devastating Israeli war and amid a brutal winter storm.
Gaza emergency services spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra said a one-month-old boy, identified as Adel Maher al-Lahham, from the city of Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip, died on Saturday due to the extreme cold, which has struck the Israel-blockaded coastal sliver.
He added that a four-month-old girl, identified as Rahaf Abu Aasi, also lost her life in az-Zanna area of Khan Yunis on Friday.
Rahaf suffered from bronchial inflammation, which choked her to death, Qudra said.
The harsh winter weather has aggravated the sufferings of Gazans, who are now using candlelight and relying on sandbags to protect their already damaged homes against heavy downpours and flooding.
On Wednesday, freezing rain and gale-force winds battered Gaza, where tens of thousands of homes were destroyed or damaged in the Israeli regime’s military offensive last summer.
Hundreds of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip have been forced to leave their homes, which were heavily flooded in the storm Huda.
The only power plant in Gaza, which is already grappling with a severe fuel shortage, can supply only six hours of electricity to the densely-inhabited Palestinian territory.
Near-freezing temperatures are also wreaking havoc on Gaza’s economy, with farmers fearing that the bitter cold could damage crops.
Israel unleashed aerial attacks on Gaza in early July 2014 and later expanded its military campaign with a ground invasion of the Palestinian coastal enclave.
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.
(Source / 10.01.2015)