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How Gaza’s only escape turned deadly

Owing to the power crisis, coastal pollution worsens, causing death and disease.

Strolling down Gaza's coastal area, the stench of human waste is inescapable [Ahmed Abdelal/Al Jazeera]

On a hot summer day in mid-July, Ahmed al-Sayis, a Palestinian from Gaza’s al-Zaytoon neighbourhood, decided to take his four daughters and five-year-old son Mohammed to the Sheikh Ejlin beach west of the city, to cool off.

Temperatures were nearing 40 degrees Celsius and electric fans were paralysed by the unprecedented power shortage.

As the sun blazed over the desert-bordering Gaza, the beach seemed like the only escape.

“The new school semester was approaching and the heat was unbearable. The children needed a breather so we tried to find a clean spot in which to swim and cool off,” al-Sayis told Al Jazeera.

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