GAZA CITY (AFP) — Feriel al-Zaaneen hasn’t had a shower in more than a month. Like thousands of Palestinians, she doesn’t have enough water to wash, adding to the miseries of life in war-battered Gaza.
In searing summer heat, where temperatures can reach 93 Fahrenheit, Feriel is one of more than 218,000 refugees sheltering in 87 UN-run schools from a conflict that has killed at least 1,980 Palestinians and 67 on the Israeli side since July 8.
“There’s no water here and the toilets are very dirty; this is no kind of life,” she said.
Zaaneen, her children and grandchildren, some 50 people, fled the Israeli bombardment of their homes.
She says she faces a daily struggle to get water, a precious resource in the enclave which has been under Israeli blockade since 2006.
The UN says that 365,000 Palestinians are still displaced in Gaza, like 37-year-old Faten al-Masri, who has to wash her children with bottles of drinking water.
As she sprinkles cold water on her two-year-old daughter, the toddler screams, her skin covered in angry red blotches.
“All my children got sick here because of the dirt and the lack of hygiene, they’ve all got skin infections and scabs,” Faten said.
“There is no water in the bathrooms, and they were so dirty that we couldn’t even go inside,” she said.
“I have been bathing my sons every three days here in the classroom with bottles of water.”
She herself has not taken a shower since arriving at the school two weeks ago.
“Some people use water bottles inside the class, but I can’t bring myself to do it. It would feel like I was taking a shower in the street if I did that. Anyone could open the door and come in, there’s no privacy,” she said.
“I feel really bad. Not being able to shower makes me feel restricted and anxious,” she said.
Muntaha al-Kafarna, a mother of nine who has been living in a small tent she set up in the courtyard of the same school, near the toilets, managed to shower at a nearby hospital in the northern Gaza Strip.
“The water was cold, and there wasn’t very much of it, but I didn’t have any other solution,” she said.
“People are fighting here in the school to use the toilets, my sons wet themselves before their turn comes,” she said.
She points to her children, stood around her. She bends down and inspects the fair hair of her one-year-old son, picking out a louse.
“My sons have caught lice and nits because they can’t shower here,” she said.
“I wish a missile would hit us, me and my children. Dying is better than this life,” she said in despair.
Her husband Hazem agreed.
“It’s not really living,” he said, his chin pocked with red spots he says were caused by poor hygiene in the school.
Ashraf al-Qidra, spokesman for the health ministry in Gaza, says skin diseases, rashes, and itchiness have been reported in shelters housing refugees.
Among the children, there have been “many cases of chronic diarrhea” and “several cases of meningitis reported,” he added.
Adnan Abu Hasna, a spokesman for the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, says there are water shortages not only in shelters for the displaced but across the entire enclave.
“Because of the Israeli bombardment of the infrastructure, there is a lack of water across the Gaza Strip,” he said.
Most residents suffered water shortages even before the war, but now Monzer Shoblak, an official from the local water board, said war damage meant that Gaza was pumping 50 percent less water.
Shoblak’s water authority declared Gaza a “water and environmental disaster area.”
The territory’s only power station was knocked out by Israeli shelling during the conflict, practically stopping the provision of drinking water, he said.
Samar al-Masbah, 27, who lives in al-Zahra City southwest of Gaza City, said water to his home had been cut off around 10 days ago.
“When the water comes, the electricity cuts, so the water doesn’t get to the tanks on the roof because it needs a motor to push it up,” she said.
For who does not understand the need or concept of resistance of Palestine, recommended read:
The History of Resistance – The Eagle of Palestine
- Special Topic – All Israeli Massacres on Palestinians
- iRemember… – Confirmed Names of Martyrs Occupation (*)
- Special Topic – Ethnic Cleansing
- Israeli escalation in Gaza – A cover-up for settlement activity
- “Slow Death” -International report: Collective punishment of Gaza has reached critical stage – Incl Full Report PDF
- A “Leaflet” to the World about it’s own “forgotten” Extermination Camp called Gaza
- Gaza Siege Harshness Continues. Israel’s committing slow-motion genocide ~ by Stephen Lendman
THE LEGAL RIGHT OF RESISTANCE
81 Notre Dame Law Review1275(2006). Conducting an in-depth study of the genocide in Darfur, Sudan, and also discussing other genocides, this article details the inadequacy of many of the international community’s response to genocides, such as “targeted sanctions” or international peacekeeping forces. Examining international legal authorities such as the Genocide Convention, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the International Court of Justice, the article demonstrates that groups which are being subjected to genocide have a legal right of self-defense. International treaties, Security Council arms embargoes, or national gun control laws cannot lawfully be enforced in a manner which prevents self-defense resistance to a genocide in progress, because under international law, the prohibition against any form of complicity in genocide takes legal precedence over lesser laws. With Paul Gallant & Joanne D. Eisen. In PDF.
- The Palestinian Right of Self Defense
- Brayer: The Absolute Right of Palestinian Resistance – Source
- No. Israel Does Not Have the Right to Self-Defense In International Law Against Occupied Palestinian Territory – Source
- If Jews in WWII Warsaw would have had rockets: They would have fired them too – by occpal
MYTHS & FACTS ABOUT THE ROCKETS FROM GAZA
- The “Rocket” from Gaza Myth – Photography
- More facts about the Rocket from Gaza Myths – Storify
- Half the story: What @IDFSpokesperson leaves out about #Gaza ~ by @yousefmunayyer
- Israel and #Gaza: Context Behind Projectile Fire ~ by @yousefmunayyer
- Truths and lies behind Israel’s attacks on Gaza and its whining about rockets ~ by @AliAbunimah
- Israel is not looking for peace. Nor talks. But: This
* The list of shuhada does not display, the numerous victims of the zionist occupation which are undocumented by media. Nor it displays the victims of the “silent onslaught” due to restrictions of movement, ability to go to hospitals for treatment or life saving surgery, due to lack of medication because of the blockades and so on. For example: The Slow Motion Genocide by the Siege on Gaza only, killed 600 patients since Gaza got under Israeli Siege.
Neither does this list, display the avoidable mortality. A clear and statistical factual evidence, about the number of deaths due to indecent ruling by occupation forces. For even an occupier has obligations under International Laws, Geneva Convention and the Hague regulations, which it is neglecting. These circumstances, together with deliberate policies of the occupier to neglect and even deny every basic human right, severes avoidable mortality which is totally silenced by media or reporting organisations. While in the Holocaust, 1 on 6 Jewish people directly died of deliberate neglect, so if we believe the facts over 1 million due to avoidable mortality, neither should these same circumstances be ignores which are ongoing in Palestine. For this report displays a avoidable morality of at least 0,5 million Palestinians.
How many more dead corpses of Palestinians does the international community need to see in order to act? How many more cruelties and violations of Human Rights, Regulations and International Law will be needed to intervene so this ongoing warcrime is being stopped once and for all.