Hunger-stricken Gazans brave Israeli fire for bags of flour: Report

Thousands of Palestinians gathered in Gaza City, seeking to obtain flour after it ran out in the region

19:52 - 24/02/2024 Saturday
File photo
File photo

GAZA CITY, Palestine (AA) - Palestinian Mutaz Abdul Jawad, 56, walked back home in Rashid Street, west of Gaza City after successfully clutching a bag of flour from the humanitarian aid that arrived in the famine-stricken city.

Regardless of the risks he faced from Israeli army gunfire as he receives aid from a truck that came from the southern part of the Gaza Strip, what matters to Abdul Jawad is feeding his family, which has suffered from severe food shortages in recent months.

The army targets Palestinians gathering to receive aid near Street 17 in the Sheikh Ajleen neighborhood or Kuwait Roundabout south of Gaza City, resulting in casualties, according to eyewitnesses.

Thousands of Palestinians gather in Rashid Street to obtain flour after it ran out in the enclave, forcing them to resort to animal fodder to alleviate their hunger amid an unprecedented humanitarian catastrophe due to shortages of food, water, and medicine exacerbated by Israeli restrictions, according to the UN.

Palestinians try to protect themselves from Israeli fires either by seeking cover behind barriers or by lying flat on the ground.

Such scenes encapsulate the catastrophic conditions in the densely populated Gaza Strip, where about 2.4 million Palestinians live.

- Ethnic cleansing

"We reached the Sheikh Ajleen area and approached the tanks that were firing at us to get a bag of flour," Abdul Jawad told Anadolu.

Describing the dire conditions in the northern Gaza Strip, he said: "The situation is tragic. ... There is no food, and we eat animal fodder, which is running out."

"What is happening in the Gaza Strip with the occupation is ethnic cleansing," he added, calling on Arabs, Muslims, and the UN to "provide food and drink for the people of the enclave."

- Dying from hunger

Moin Salim, 34, described to Anadolu the perilous mission of getting a bag of flour, saying: "We have come to throw ourselves into death because of the difficult circumstances."

"We are making every effort to obtain a bag of flour, which has reached a price of 2,500 shekels ($690) in the Gaza Strip and is extremely rare," he said.

He elaborated: "When aid reaches Gaza City, the army opens fire, resulting in casualties and injuries among the people."

Meanwhile, Faisal Al-Hasani, 49, said: "We have reached this difficult situation because Israel has been besieging us for five months."

He added: "The received aid barely covers the people's needs, no more than 20% of essentials."

"If there were flour in Gaza, people wouldn't risk their lives and venture into danger," Al-Hasani explained.

- Critical threshold

According to recent UN malnutrition screening results, there is a significant increase in the general acute malnutrition rate among children aged between 6-59 months in Gaza.

General acute malnutrition has reached 16.2%, exceeding the critical threshold set by the World Health Organization at 15%.

Israel has pounded the Gaza Strip since an attack by the Palestinian resistance group Hamas. The ensuing Israel attack has killed at least 29,600 Palestinians and injured nearly 70,000. Less than 1,200 Israelis are believed to have been killed in the Hamas attack.

According to the UN, the Israeli war on Gaza has pushed 85% of the territory's population into internal displacement amid acute shortages of food, clean water, and medicine, while 60% of the enclave's infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed.

Since its establishment in 1948, Israel, for the first time, has been accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice, the highest judicial body of the United Nations, for its war against Gaza.

An interim ruling in January ordered Tel Aviv to stop genocidal acts and take measures to provide and guarantee humanitarian assistance to civilians in Gaza.

#Gaza City
#humanitarian aid
#Israeli army
2 months ago