Since the outbreak of hostilities between Israel and Hamas on October 7, the humanitarian situation in Gaza has reached a critical point. The Israel Defense Forces report striking over 22,000 targets in the region, leading to widespread displacement and suffering among the civilian population.
A Struggle for Survival
The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) estimates that nearly 1.9 million people, constituting over 85% of Gaza's population, have been displaced. As winter approaches, bringing colder temperatures and rain, the challenges for these displaced individuals intensify.
Many are living in makeshift shelters, grappling with a lack of basic necessities such as food, clean drinking water, and protection against the elements and the spread of disease. CNN's conversations with civilians and aid workers paint a vivid picture of the hardships faced.
Salwa Tibi, a 53-year-old aid worker, described her desperate search for blankets to keep her family, including infants, warm.
"If the situation stays this tragic, then Gaza is going to starve,” Tibi expressed her concern.
Dire Conditions and Pleas for Help
Rana Al-Najjar, a 13-year-old girl, spoke of the struggles her family faces living in a tent that floods with water during the rains. Shadya Arafat, 51, lamented the loss of the comfort once brought by rain, now a source of misery as her family sleeps on the floor without beds or blankets.
Hazem Saeed Al-Naizi, who runs an orphanage, shared the ordeal of fleeing with children and infants, many with disabilities. His account of abandoning essential supplies to carry a child reflects the heart-wrenching choices many are forced to make.
Shadi Bleha, a 20-year-old student, described his family's plight, cramped in a tent made from nylon, often sleeping outside due to lack of space. Islam Saeed Muhammad Barakat, a displaced civilian, highlighted the spread of illness among his family and called for international intervention.
“Enough siege, enough starvation, enough killing, enough abuse, we have the right to live,” he implored, emphasizing the rights of children to a peaceful existence.