Gaza: refugee camps washed away in storms

  • Gaza

 Gaza is no longer in the headlines. But following Israel's three week assault on the territory, more than 16,000 Palestinians were made homeless and forced to live in makeshift tents. In the last few days, high winds and heavy rains have torn through the region and many of the tented camps have been completely flooded out.

A Caritas spokesman said: " From one catastrophe to another now they have to face a natural one. They have lost their life completely, their memories, homes, loved ones, and now they have lost their last hope of a shelter.

Ashraf Abed Rabo who is a father of nine lost his house in a missile attack by an Israeli plane. The house was demolished so he was forced to seek shelter in two tents that were provided to him by UNRWA. Ashraf explained: "We were sleeping in the tent when suddenly we heard a strong noise as if it was an earthquake. Then we realized it was the rain, so I gathered all my children without knowing where to take them to."

It was as if history was repeating itself. This time the Abed Rabo family were completely homeless.

"My children were so afraid so they began crying from the heavy rain, thunder and lightening." People who still had homes began taking in the homeless families so that they won't spend their night in the cold. After Ashraf made sure that his family was safe, he went back to the camp and spent 12 hours there helping other families find shelter.

After two days of heavy rain homeless people returned to check on their tents to find their pillows, mattresses and everything else soaked in water.

"We have no one except God to bring us out of this misery. My children have no clothes, no shoes. There is nothing! I think the life of a beggar is better than ours", he said.

Ashraf's children are suffering from flu and high fever like many other Gazan children who have been living in tents. Ashraf's seven-year-old daughter said: "The lightening was just like the flash that comes out of a camera yet it was scarier, my stomach ached so much because I was scared and cold."

Source: Caritas Jerusalem

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