Gaza residents to welcome cold winter without shelter

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Winter this year will find thousands of residents of the besieged Gaza Strip – still reeling from a recent Israeli military onslaught – without shelter from the elements.

Israel’s recent offensive left thousands of homes in ruins and others partially damaged, further aggravating the suffering of thousands of Gazans as they prepare to brave the winter season.

“Most homes have no windows now because of the Israeli attacks,” Samah al-Masri, Gaza resident and a mother of six, told Anadolu Agency.

Al-Masri, 35, said she would have to use pieces of plastic and cloth to seal up the windows and prevent the chill wind from blowing inside.

The Popular Committee for Breaking the Gaza Siege warned in a Thursday statement that residents of the strip would face “catastrophe” if winter came before they had found shelter.

It went on to urge the international community to find a swift solution for thousands of Gazans rendered homeless by Israel’s recent 51-day onslaught.

Israel’s offensive against the blockaded Gaza Strip finally ended on August 26 after Palestinian and Israeli negotiators signed a cease-fire deal in Cairo.

Along with thousands of homes totally or partially destroyed by the offensive, Israel’s onslaught also killed more than 2,150 Palestinians and injured more than 11,000.

Fadl al-Helw, a 40-year-old unemployed worker, lost most of his modest home to the Israeli assault.

“I can’t buy a new house,” al-Helw told AA. “That’s why I have to stay here along with my family.”

He said he was bracing for a cold winter season, which should show signs of arriving in the Gaza Strip this weekend.

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