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Gaza: assistance for displaced Bedouin families

22-09-2006 Feature

The ICRC is organizing emergency help for Bedouin families who have been forced to move to an open field near Rafah, in the south of the Gaza strip, because of repeated Israeli military incursions.


  ©ICRC/B. Barrett/il-e-2691    
  A Bedouin father with two of his seven children.    

The ICRC provided similar assistance to the families in July and August while they were living on private land in two areas near Rafah City. At the end of August the families moved to the present site, which is owned by the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA).

Because the Be douin want to remain with their livestock, they cannot be accommodated in the schools or apartments normally used to shelter displaced people in the area.

On 10 September, the ICRC delivered food and hygiene parcels to 87 families at the new location, while the Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) provided tents for 74 families who lacked proper shelter. 

The parcels contain a month’s food for a family, as well as hygiene items such as soap, toothpaste, underwear and babies’ nappies. The ICRC has also given mattresses, blankets and jerrycans to nine families who had lost all that they owned. 

Most of the families are from Shoka, in the south-eastern part of the Gaza Strip, the scene of repeated military incursions and extensive damage since the end of June.

  ©ICRC/B. Barrett/il-e-2689    
  87 Bedouin families are living at this temporary camp in Rafah.    

The PRCS organizes regular medical clinics at the camp and, with UNWRA and Médécins Sans Frontières, has installed lavatories and wash places. The ICRC has set up three water tanks, with a total capacity of 3,500 litres, and is planning additional food distributions in the camp.

" Many of these people no longer have a place to live, " explains Amal Eweini, of the ICRC office in Khan Yunis. " But even the others will not be able to go back until the situation in the Shoka area returns to normal. "

She says the ICRC will be watching out for new families arriving at the site, to ensure that their basic needs are covered.