‘Food for My Injured Daughter’ – Starving Palestinians in Gaza Speak to The Palestine Chronicle

Well over half-a-million people in Gaza are "one step away from famine", according to the UN. (Photo: via WHO)

By Abdallah Aljamal – Gaza

We spoke with three Palestinians from Gaza, whose families are experiencing severe shortage of food and basic supplies.

Well over half a million people in Gaza are “one step away from famine”, according to the United Nations, as Israel continues to deny access to humanitarian convoys, especially in northern Gaza. 

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported that Israel only allowed half as many aid trucks into Gaza in February as had in January.

Additionally, on February 29, Israeli forces shelled and opened fire at a large crowd of Palestinians awaiting aid in Gaza City, killing and wounding nearly 1,000 people. 

The Palestine Chronicle spoke with three Palestinians from Gaza, whose families are experiencing severe shortage of food and basic supplies.

‘Food for My Injured Daughter’

Abu Anas al-Shansheer could not leave Gaza City due to the intensity of the Israeli shelling. 

“The occupation killed two of my sons and my daughter in a bombing. My other daughter was injured, and her foot was amputated,” he told us.

“I had five children, but now only two daughters are still alive. One of them is wounded and she needs food to heal. But there is no food in Gaza City: no bread, no flour, no meat, nothing. We survive on eating wild plants and some herbs that grew because of the rain”. 

“Even animal feed has run out in Gaza City. Every day, we hope that we will see some trucks entering Rashid Street with aid, but the Israeli occupation does not allow humanitarian convoys to access the area,” he said.

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But the desperate father is not giving up.

“I keep waiting, every day. I know it is dangerous, but I need to provide some bread for my injured daughter. Every night, however, I return home with empty hands.”

‘No Food at All’

“We no longer know the taste of meat, we just want to eat bread,” Suad Hajjaj, a Palestinian woman from southern Gaza, told the Palestine Chronicle. 

“I live with my family in the Al-Mawasi area, west of the city of Khan Yunis. The occupation vehicles surround us from the east, making it impossible for us to move,” she said.

“My children used to dream of eating meat, but we haven’t eaten it since the beginning of the war. Today, we just dream of eating bread.”

Hajjaj explained that the only available flour is provided by the United Nations Agency for Palestinian Refugees, UNRWA, but the quantity is very limited.

“We only received two bags of flour from UNRWA over the last five months of war. We ran out after 20 days, and now we have been left with no food at all,” she told us.

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‘In This Together’

Hajjaj’s children are not the only ones in Gaza to dream about eating bread.

9-year-old Samia Jaha told us about the dire situation in Gaza City.

“I stayed with my family in Gaza City. For the last three months, we have not eaten bread. I miss it so much. My father does not have any money, and there is no food in the house. I dream every day of eating bread,” she said.

“I miss the days before the war, when I used to sit  next to my mother as she baked bread in the oven,” Samia recalled.

“Now, we only eat one very small meal every day. It is not filling at all but there is no food available. We live in a shelter and everybody is in the same situation.”

(The Palestine Chronicle)

Abdallah Aljamal is a Gaza-based journalist. He is a contributor for The Palestine Chronicle from the Gaza Strip. His email is abdallahaljamal1987@gmail.com

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