Winter Conditions Bring More Misery to Gaza

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At night, amid heavy rains and dropping temperatures, Heba and Ehab Ahmad held their two youngest children tightly, relying on their body heat and a thin blanket to keep them warm as water and gusts of wind blew through the holes in their makeshift tent.

“We have nothing to keep us warm and dry,” said Heba Ahmad, 36. “We are living in conditions that I could have never in my entire life imagined were possible.”

The Ahmad family is among the 1.9 million Gazans who the United Nations says have been displaced since Israel began its relentless bombing campaign and expanded ground operation in retaliation for the Oct. 7 Hamas-led attacks on Israel.

They came to Gaza’s southern Al-Mawasi neighborhood three weeks ago, just as winter crept in. The family of seven took shelter in a small, flimsy tent that they built using overpriced nylon sheets and a few wooden planks, said Ehab Ahmad, 45. They share it with 16 other relatives, he added.

“It’s not even a proper tent,” he said, jokingly. “Those who are staying in real tents are the bourgeois in Gaza.”

During the daytime, Mr. Ahmad said, he and his eldest sons attempt to find firewood and cardboard to keep a small fire going, which they use to cook and stay warm. “I’m speaking to you while the smoke from the fire is blinding me,” Mr. Ahmad said in a phone interview on Sunday. In the background, someone could be heard coughing uncontrollably. “The smoke is also hurting our lungs,” he added.

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Winter Conditions Bring More Misery to Gaza

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