GAZA, January 10, 2015 (WAFA) – The frosty storm affecting the Palestinian Territory claimed the life of a newborn infant whose home was bombarded during the 51-day of Israeli aggression on the Gaza strip during the summer of 2014, said local medics.
Witnesses said that the due to lack of shelter, the family continued to live in their damaged house despite the destruction. The family reportedly sealed their house windows using plastic bags in an attempt to keep the cold out.
Palestinian medics were quoted by local media as saying that two-month-old Rahaf Abu ‘Asi died of pulmonary obstruction as a result of the freezing cold in al-Zanna to the east of Khan Younes in southern Gaza Strip.
The newborn infant was taken to a Gaza hospital for medical treatment but pronounced dead on Friday afternoon.
Temperatures in Gaza have recently plummeted to only few degrees above freezing point as a severe cold storm lashed the region, bringing freezing rains and gale-force winds.
Hundreds of Palestinian families were forced to evacuate their houses in the flooding-prone parts of the Gaza Strip due to torrential downpours, further burdening the capabilities of local authorities in coping with the effects of the recent Israeli summer aggression on the coastal enclave.
During the Israeli summer aggression on the Strip, thousands of homes were destroyed and around 170,000 Palestinians were consequently left homeless.
Palestinian Civil Defense teams evacuated families using boats after their makeshift houses were inundated with floods in Khuza‘a to the east of Khan Younes, to the west of Rafah, and in al-Zeitoun neighborhood to the south of Gaza in southern Gaza Strip.
Already underdeveloped as a result of Israel’s seven-year blockade of the Palestinian territory, the strip’s rickety infrastructure sustained further damage during Israel’s 51-day offensive in July and August 2014.
The situation of the displaced families was further exacerbated by the lack of fuel for electric power with blackouts lasting between 16 to 18 hours. Israel has regularly limited the supply of industrial fuel needed to operate the Gaza’s sole power plant.
During the aggression on Gaza, Israeli jet fighter bombed Gaza’s only power plant, setting the main generator on fire.
Over 2,160 Palestinians were killed – and some 11,000 injured – during Israel’s seven-week military onslaught this summer, which caused the Gaza Strip an estimated $5 billion in economic losses, according to Palestinian government figures.
Gaza still suffers from the repercussions of the Israeli aggression which took place in the summer of 2014; the infrastructure along with thousands of homes were completely destroyed, displacing thousands of families who up until the moment live in caravans on the rubble of their homes.
On January 5, the Gaza city municipality made an appeal to promptly begin with the reconstruction of Gaza. An international aid conference to help rebuild Gaza was held in Cairo on October, where donors pledged $5.4 billion in Gaza aid, however, the reconstruction work has not started yet due to Israeli restrictions on the entry of materials and failure of United Nations rebuilding mechanism.