For most of the 2 million people in this overcrowded strip of land – largely cut off from the outside world – the beach and sea are the only affordable form of recreation. The only option now is to swim and even fish in filthy water

It is high summer on Gaza City’s beach. A horse and cart patrols the shore selling brightly coloured swimming rings. A small boat is giving joy rides out to sea. Families sit on chairs while a few children play in the water.

Normally, in the midst of the school holidays, the beach would be crowded. Particularly this year, as an electricity crisis makes many homes unbearable during the heat. But these days many parents are keeping their children away.

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