Israel-Hamas war, Houthi strikes, Gaza crisis

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Displaced Palestinians gather outside makeshift shelters in Deir al-Balah, Gaza, on Sunday. Majdi Fathi/NurPhoto/AP

Displaced Gazans spending their days in makeshift tents or huddled around outdoor fires have told CNN about the additional hardships winter has brought.

Temperatures have dropped close to zero in the eastern Mediterranean in recent days, and there have been several winter storms passing through, bringing heavy rainfall to the region.

Ayman Jamal, who moved his family to Deir al-Balah in central Gaza from Shujaiya in the north, showed CNN inside his tent. Its walls consist of thin nylon sheeting attached to a rudimentary wooden structure; there are gaps between the sheeting where the rain can get in. There is no groundsheet to offer protection from the damp ground — just compacted, sandy earth. 

“It was extremely cold last night. We couldn’t sleep, moving from one place to another inside the tent. The rain seemed to follow us wherever we went,” Jamal told CNN. “My children were freezing.”

In another corner, 10 children, all under age 10, gathered around a pot filled with water being heated by a simple charcoal fire. They were barefoot, and raised their hands to the steam to keep warm.

“All of us are sick and no one cares. We don’t have any medicine,” one of them said. “We are so dirty. We haven’t taken a bath in a long time. Please stop this for a little while.”

The United Nations estimates almost 90% of Gaza’s population of more than 2 million people have been displaced by the war.


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