The New Humanitarian Annual Report 2021

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Kazim Abdullah, East Jerusalem, “I’ve never felt such cold before”

Kazim Zohoudi Abdullah says the cold was too much for their three youngest children and the family is now split up.
(Tom Spender/IRIN)

Palestinian mother Kazim Zohoudi Abdullah, 48, lives with her family in a tent (see slideshow) supplied by the Red Cross  after the Jerusalem Municipality demolished their home because it was built without a permit.

“The conditions are so bad that our three youngest children - Anin, 6, Abdullah, 8, and Alia, 12 - can no longer live with us. After a couple of weeks we had to take them to hospital because they got serious flu. Now they live with my in-laws.

“I’m so sad because I hardly see them. They are supposed to come every Wednesday but they didn’t come this week because it was too cold for them.

“My 29-year-old son Anam’s wife and their baby son have also moved out – but he has stayed to help.

“The cold is also affecting my health – the joints in my legs are getting very stiff and I’m having trouble moving. Perhaps if it were summer we might be able to deal with things a bit better, but it is winter and it’s just impossible.

“I have two boys of marriage age and things were going well. Alim is 21 and he had a girl he was hoping to marry. But now we don’t have a house, her parents are no longer interested.

“For myself, I can no longer leave the tent. The Israelis demolished our house without giving us a chance to take our stuff and my identity card was buried under the rubble. I have been given a piece of paper instead but there is no picture on it and at the checkpoints the Israeli soldiers will not let me through.

“So I am scared that if I leave the house and pass through a checkpoint I will not be allowed to return. I went out once and when I tried to come back through the Givat Zeev checkpoint they refused me entry. I had to go all the way around to Qalandiya, a long way away. I won’t do it again.”


This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information:

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