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Gaza survivors seek respite from Israeli bombs, heat and tents by the sea. (Photo: Abdallah Aljamal, The Palestine Chronicle)

By Abdallah Aljamal – Gaza

The Palestine Chronicle spoke with four displaced Palestinians who described the horrific conditions they are experiencing and their ongoing struggle to survive. 

Temperatures are rapidly rising in Gaza where hundreds of thousands of people are still displaced and are living in tents, due to Israel’s genocidal war which is now in its seven month.

The refugees are experiencing catastrophic conditions and try to escape the heat by camping near the coastline in Deir Al-Balah, Khan Yunis and Rafah. 

The Palestine Chronicle spoke with four displaced Palestinians who described the horrific conditions they are experiencing and their ongoing struggle to survive. 

We Love the Sea 

“I currently live with my children and grandchildren in tents in the city of Deir Al-Balah in the central Gaza Strip,” Abu Wael Jarwan told the Palestine Chronicle.

“My son was martyred, and my house was bombed by the occupation. We have lived in these tents throughout the winter. Now, spring has come, but the war still continues, and we are still living in the same tents,” he said.

“The tents we live in are only about 400 meters away from the sea. As the temperatures began to rise, my grandchildren asked me to take them to the beach,” Jarwan explained.

“I thought they just wanted to sit on the beach, but when we arrived, I was surprised to find thousands of displaced people swimming in the sea,” he said.

“I couldn’t control my grandchildren, and they ran towards the sea, trying to escape from the heat of the sun that scorched our bodies in the tents,” he added. 

“They stayed in the water for more than three hours, and it was hard for me to get them out because they did not want to return to the tents. They love the sea and swimming in it makes them feel just like before the war.”

Seeking Dignity 

Ahmed Abu Subha was scared of taking his children to the beach of Deir Al-Balah, due to Israel’s relentless bombardment, especially by gunboats firing towards the Gaza coast.

But when photos of Palestinians swimming in the sea emerged on social media, his children insisted so much that he was forced to venture out and reach the Gaza beach. 

“The place was filled with thousands of children, women, young people, and the elderly. Everyone was trying to find an escape from the heat of the sun, and from the tents that are a constant reminder of war and suffering,” Abu Subha told us.

“Everyone here wishes to return to our old lives and be able to provide a safe, dignified environment for the children.”

My Secrets

“We have no relief amidst this war aside from the beach,” Mohammed Aladgham, who was displaced from northern Gaza to Deir Al-Balah, told us. 

“We go to the sea to release the negative energy that has affected us since the beginning of the war,” he added.

“We sit on the beach for several hours while our children swim and play on the seashore. The temperature is high these days, and we are not used to living in tents. But this is just a phase until we return to our homes.”


Rasmi Obeid, another displaced refugee from northern Gaza, often goes to the beach alone, to restore the balance of his spirit.

“I do not want my children to see how tired I am. We are tired of this war and of life in tents. These days, I can only entrust my secret thoughts to the sea, confide my fears and worries to the ocean.”

“Sometimes I take my children and my wife to the beach. The temperature inside the tents is very high, and my children have developed allergies and skin rashes,” Obeid said. 

“This life is very difficult, and there must be a solution soon, so we can return to our homes as quickly as possible,” he concluded.

(The Palestine Chronicle)

Abdallah Aljamal is a Gaza-based journalist. He is a correspondent for The Palestine Chronicle in the Gaza Strip.

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