Two babies die in Gaza freeze

Two Palestinian babies have died due to cold weather in the Gaza Strip, an official said Saturday, as winter storms lashed the region.
A two-month-old girl from the southern Gaza town of Khan Yunis died on Friday of “a pulmonary obstruction caused by the cold,” Health Ministry spokesman Ashraf Al-Qudra said.
A one-month-old boy, also from Khan Yunis, died on Saturday, he said. Gaza’s civil defense service said that dozens of homes in the coastal territory, already ravaged by last year’s war with Israel, were flooded in the brutal storms that brought freezing rain and gale-force winds. Worst hit was the southern town of Rafah, on the Egyptian border.
“After heavy rainfall houses were flooded to a depth of one meter (and) in places one and a half meters,” a spokesman said, adding that occupants were evacuated to schools. The service rescued some stranded people using small fishing boats, an AFP photographer reported.

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