GAZA CITY, Palestine
Amid relentless Israeli airstrikes on the Gaza Strip since Oct. 7, Gazan refugees have been grappling with the absence of basic needs essential for a life of dignity.
Trapped within an endless cycle of daily tribulations, they find themselves ensnared in the complexities of their precarious existence.
An Anadolu team toured the areas that have become, despite their fragility, shelters for people displaced from northern Gaza to the central and southern regions of the strip. It observed the difficulties faced by the displaced people, which have been exacerbated by heavy rain and cold, particularly impacting the children.
Shuhada Al-Aqsa Hospital camp
Bashir Abu Armana, a Palestinian man who fled the Gaza City for the Shuhada Al-Aqsa Hospital in the Deir al-Balah city, in the central Gaza Strip, was attempting to keep his children warm inside their small tent in the hospital courtyard, using some light blankets he obtained from neighbors in the adjacent tent.
Abu Armana told Anadolu that they sought refuge at the Shuhada Al-Aqsa Hospital, set up this small tent with pieces of fabric and nylon.
"Five families with their children and women live in our tent. It offers no protection from rain or cold as it is uncovered. The children sleep on the ground without mattresses or blankets," he said.
"Last night, due to extreme cold, I covered my daughter with my own coat. The men stay outside the tent all night, while the women and children sleep inside. There's not enough space for everyone," he added.
"Diseases are spreading rapidly among us, and all my five children have gastrointestinal infections. The biggest problem is that there is a garbage dump next to our tent.
"This tent will collapse if rain intensifies. We are at the beginning of winter, and we have no means of heating. We can't even gather firewood," Abu Armana said.
In a neighboring tent, Iqbal Abu Al-Saud, a woman in her 60s, sits surrounded by her grandchildren, attempting to keep warm in the severe cold.
Abu Al-Saud told Anadolu: "The Israeli army bombed our house in the Sheikh Radwan neighborhood, north of the Gaza City, and we moved from one school to another before coming to the Deir al-Balah city, where we set up a tent at the Shuhada Al-Aqsa Hospital.
"We have 30 children inside the tent, all of them my grandchildren, and there is no shelter for us from the heavy rain and severe cold."
She added: "There are also a newborn and a pregnant woman, and we have no clothes because we fled our home after it was bombed."
Abu Al-Saud said she managed to get "a coat from the neighbors to warm one of her granddaughters who was feeling extremely cold."
- Nasser Hospital camp
In the Nasser medical complex in the city of Khan Yunis, the southern Gaza Strip, Ibrahim Salha searches for pieces of wood to set a fire to warm his children amid intense cold.
Salha told Anadolu: "We woke up to heavy rain, so I brought some pieces of nylon and started covering the tent to prevent the rain from reaching our clothes, mattresses, and blankets."
Salha fears that in the coming hours and days, the rain may intensify, causing the tent to completely collapse and get flooded.
However, Salha does not have any other shelter, so he will remain in his tent with his family even if the rain intensifies, exacerbating their suffering.
In another tent, An'am Abu Tarabish camps with 14 family members after being displaced from the Karama area in northern Gaza to the city of Khan Yunis.
"This tent will not protect us from the rain, and it will collapse if the rain intensifies because it is very fragile," Abu Tarabish told Anadolu.
"We don't have clothes or mattresses to protect us from the cold. We left our homes under bombardment without taking anything," she added.
Abu Tarabish managed to get some winter clothes from her displaced neighbors to keep the children warm. The clothes were not sufficient as the cold is severe, and the rain is extremely heavy.
The Israeli assault on the Gaza Strip has been ongoing for 40 days, with at least 11,320 Palestinians, including over 7,800 women and children, having been killed. Thousands of buildings, including hospitals, mosques and churches, have also been damaged or destroyed in the relentless air and ground attacks.
The Israeli death toll, meanwhile, stands at 1,200, according to official figures.
*Writing by Ziad Aslan in AnkaraAnadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.