The Gaza Strip, home to 1.2 million Palestinians, has faced an unprecedented rainfall this week that has resulting in flooding in many places. With all major bridges having been obliterated by Israeli bombing of infrastructure this summer, the floods have literally cut off the nothern half of the Gaza Strip from the South.
Completely surrounded by Israeli military forces and electrified fences, the residents of Gaza have no other route by which to bypass the flood. Gaza residents had been using makeshift dirt roads through the canyon and (normally) shallow river that runs from east to west across the middle of the Strip, since Israeli bombs had destroyed the bridges.
But the rains have rendered those tracks impassable. In an interview with Qatar-based Al-Jazeera television, Nabil Taha, 45, and his 11 year old son described the night they spent sleeping in their minibus, unable to make it through the flood: “”When we crossed the first time, the waters weren’t too high, but when we tried to get back across we couldn’t.”
Waters have been steadily rising in central Gaza since the winter rains, heavier than usual, began several days ago.