Extreme Summer Heat In Gaza Worsens Conditions For Palestinians

by | Jun 27, 2024 | Climate Crisis, Environmental News

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The extreme summer heat in Gaza is making life increasingly difficult for the 2.3 million inhabitants. Nearly all residents have been displaced by Israel’s ongoing military campaign. The region is grappling with almost no electricity and a severe shortage of clean water, exacerbating the dire living conditions.

Extreme Summer Heat In Gaza Worsens Conditions For Palestinians

Struggles in Crowded Shelters

Families are now living in tents, crowded shelters in U.N. schools, or crammed into private homes. Without air conditioning, showers, or a functioning health system, they face rising temperatures amid increasing rates of malnutrition and disease.

In Khan Younis, in the southern Gaza Strip, Amal Nsair, 38, shares a classroom-turned-shelter with other families. She is deeply concerned about the heat, humidity, and the increase in mosquitoes and other insects, which threaten their health.

My son cannot sleep, and I have nothing to cool him except a fan made from cardboard,” Nsair said. Her family fled their home in Beit Hanoun, in the northern Gaza Strip, earlier in the conflict. “My son’s body is full of heat. I need water to wash him, but it’s scarce. I’m very worried about my husband’s health too. He has lost half his weight from carrying water,” she added.

Rising Temperatures and Depleted Resources

Temperatures in Gaza are forecast to exceed 30 degrees Celsius (90 degrees Fahrenheit) this week. Recent years have brought a series of lethal heat waves across the Mediterranean, intensifying as summer progresses. Gaza’s electricity, largely provided by Israel, was cut off as soon as the war began, along with fuel for the territory’s only power station. Diesel for private generators ran out soon after.

The conflict started on October 7 when the militant Palestinian group Hamas sent fighters across the border from Gaza, killing over 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and taking 253 hostages, according to Israeli tallies. Israel’s military campaign began the same day, levelling large parts of the enclave, destroying most infrastructure, and killing more than 37,600 Palestinians, according to health authorities in Hamas-run Gaza.

Health Concerns Amidst Increasing Insect Population

Insects and mosquitoes are biting us all night long,” Nsair said. “I don’t sleep so that I can apply the cream on my child or any ointment so he does not get bitten. They are scratching all night,” she added, describing the relentless battle against the growing insect population.

The lack of basic necessities and the relentless heat are taking a toll on Gaza’s residents. The region’s health system, already stretched thin, is struggling to overcome the rising cases of heat-related illnesses and malnutrition. The combination of extreme summer heat in Gaza, limited resources, and ongoing conflict paints a grim picture for the people of Gaza, who continue to endure unimaginable hardships.

Also Read: NASA Visuals Reveal Impact Of Greenhouse Gases On Earth’s Water Bodies


  • Sarah Tancredi

    Sarah Tancredi is an experienced journalist and news reporter specializing in environmental and climate crisis issues. With a deep passion for the planet and a commitment to raising awareness about pressing environmental challenges, Sarah has dedicated her career to informing the public and promoting sustainable solutions. She strives to inspire individuals, communities, and policymakers to take action to safeguard our planet for future generations.

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