World Bulletin/News Desk
At least ten Palestinians were injured in the Gaza Strip on Thursday after a winter storm, dubbed "Huda," hit the embattled coastal enclave, Gaza's civil defense department said.
"Civil defense personnel treated eight injured people on the spot while two others were taken to hospital for treatment," department chief Said al-Saudi told The Anadolu Agency.
Most of the injuries were minor, caused by flying debris from homes destroyed during Israel's deadly summer offensive, he said.
Dozens of Palestinian families have already left their homes in several parts of the coastal strip in expectation of flooding amid an ongoing cold snap.
Residents of flood-prone areas vacated their homes after local authorities warned that the area was in danger of being flooded with rainwater and sewage.
Gaza City's local authorities have said the anticipated cold spell could cause a "humanitarian disaster," as the city's war-battered infrastructure could not withstand heavy rainfall.
Already underdeveloped as a result of Israel's seven-year blockade, the strip's rickety infrastructure sustained further damage during Israel's 51-day military onslaught in July and August.
In December of 2013, thousands of Gazan families were displaced when a severe cold snap and torrential rains flooded entire neighborhoods.
Over 2,160 Palestinians were killed – and some 11,000 injured – during Israel's seven-week summer offensive, which, according to Palestinian government figures, also cost the Gaza Strip an estimated $5 billion.
No deaths reported in Syria
Meanwhile, nobody was reported killed by fighting in Syria on Wednesday, the first day without casualties in three years, after a fierce winter storm quelled violence, a group that monitors the war said on Thursday.
Freezing temperatures brought new hardship for refugees and civilians but "the cold protected the Syrians from bombardment and fighting," said the head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, Rami Abdulrahman.
An average of 150 people died every day through December in a conflict that has killed around 207,000 people since it erupted in 2011, according to Observatory figures.
But the UK-based organisation, which uses sources across Syria to track the conflict, did not register any deaths on any side as a result of fighting on Wednesday, Abdulrahman said.
One fighter died in Darraya near Damascus as a result of wounds sustained earlier, he added.
Blizzards, rain and strong winds have buffeted the Middle East this week, raising concerns for refugees who are facing the winter in flimsy shelters.
Last Mod: 08 Ocak 2015, 14:59