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As “Israel” Seized Rafah Crossing: Less than A Week of Food Left in South Gaza

As “Israel” Seized Rafah Crossing: Less than A Week of Food Left in South Gaza
folder_openPalestine access_time 2 days ago
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By Staff, Agencies

Displaced Palestinians in central and southern Gaza have less than a week's worth of food left, after “Israel” seized the Rafah border crossing last week.

On 6 May, the “Israeli” military took “operational control” of the Palestinian side of the crossing between southern Gaza and Egypt, essentially cutting off aid into the coastal Strip.

Since then, just six trucks of food have entered Gaza through the Karem Abu Salem [Kerem Shalom] crossing, Juliette Touma, spokesperson for the United Nations' Palestinian refugee agency said.

The "very minimum" number of trucks needed is 500 per day, carrying a “combination of fuel, aid supplies and commercial supplies”.

With so little coming in, food supplies are dwindling and prices soaring. As a "full-blown famine" devastates northern Gaza, sources in central and southern Gaza described a "miserable" situation that could turn into a "real crisis" in a matter of days.

“We could be seeing a new famine in the displacement areas. Displaced people are very worried about the lack of supplies. A major crisis, too, is related to the lack of water fit for drinking,” Mohammed al-Hajjar, a Palestinian journalist in Deir al-Balah, said. There are no water sources and bottled water is no longer entering Gaza.

Goods have disappeared from the markets. Potatoes and other vegetables have not been available for a week.

“A few vegetables, such as tomatoes, onions, cucumbers and garlic, and a few legumes, such as lentils, beans and fava beans are all that's left,” Eman Mhmd, a math teacher in Deir al-Balahsatted “There's no chicken, no eggs, no tissues - many other things have gone.”

Hajjar further added: “The sudden presence of thousands of displaced people has created a state of chaos in the markets of Deir al-Balah.”

“The price of bread tripled within two days. The price of flour has nearly tripled, and it could reach a fivefold increase today. There is a big liquidity and cash crisis in several areas of Gaza that has been ongoing over the past few months. People cannot buy things with such high prices.”

The al-Yassin Water Station, in al-Sultan in western Rafah, “used to distribute water to hundreds of thousands of people for free”, Abu Aziz said, but because it is now being targeted by 'Israel', the water is no longer available.

No equivalent facility exists outside of Rafah and Deir al-Balah and other central and southern areas “do not have fresh water, they have salted water which has not been filtered properly. This could lead to a health crisis that ravages the citizens in Khan Younis and the central areas.”

Mhmd said that civilians who “used to live on cans of beans they got through UNRWA can no longer find them. People are resorting to extending their hands to ask for help from others to obtain their daily food”.

“The food available now is what was previously brought in as aid from the Rafah crossing. But if the crossing continues to be closed, there won't be anything to eat,” she added.

"The markets are still operating, with few resources and high prices, but I don't know how much longer they will survive under this stifling siege, the closure of all crossings and the prevention of aid.”

Displaced Palestinians are selling food they previously received as aid in order to buy other essential goods.

“People can't buy anything. If they had some money saved, those savings are gone now,” Mhmd said.

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