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Displaced Palestinians in Rafah. (Photo: Mahmoud Ajjour, The Palestine Chronicle)

By Abdallah Aljamal – Gaza

My family and I were exposed to the risks of starvation. I have lost over 25 kilograms of weight, my wife lost over 10 kilos.

The ongoing Israeli war on Gaza, which entered its seventh consecutive month, has killed and wounded well over 120,000 Palestinians.

Aside from relentless Israeli strikes, the war and the total siege imposed on the Strip have also resulted  in numerous diseases and epidemics.

Moreover, the continuous war of starvation has led to significant and dangerous weight loss for the majority of Gaza’s population.

According to the United Nations, “data indicates that the “entire population’ of Gaza – some 2.3 million people – are enduring high levels of ‘acute’ food insecurity. This includes 1.11 million suffering from ‘catastrophic” food insecurity’.

I was not spared from the hardship of war. As a Palestinian citizen, before being a journalist, I underwent what the rest of the people in Gaza experienced. 

I have been living with my children under intense Israeli bombardment. 

My family and I were exposed to the risks of starvation. I have lost over 25 kilograms of weight, my wife lost over 10 kilos. Even my children lost a significant amount of weight, amid a disastrous food shortage in every area of the enclave.

We spoke with other Gaza residents, who are experiencing the same horrific conditions. 

Children Come First 

“Our house was severely damaged after the bombing of our neighbor’s house in the Nuseirat camp in the central Gaza Strip,” Noor al-Hawajri told The Palestine Chronicle.

“We decided to flee, along with thousands of people, to the southern city of Rafah after the occupation invaded the camp. During this period, we lost a lot of weight due to the lack of food,” she continued.

“I lost over 15 kilograms, and my elderly mother lost over 30 kilograms due to grief over the loss of our home to Israeli airstrikes and the scarcity of food”.

“When I was displaced in tents in the city of Rafah, I lost at least 20 kilograms,” Khalil Rouss told us.

“There is no food to eat, no water to drink. The situation in the tents is catastrophic and dangerous, and the environmental risks are very significant,” he added.

Rouss said that “anyone walking through the city of Rafah can see at first glance that disease, fatigue, exhaustion, and weight loss have afflicted all the displaced people in the tents.”

“We barely manage to have a very small meal a day, and if it is available, we prioritize our young children over ourselves, because we can endure hunger, but the little ones cannot bear hunger and thirst.”

‘Dizzy, Tired, Exhausted’

“I have been living in a school for displaced people in the city of Rafah for five months. I have lost 18 kg, my son Muhammad lost more than ten and my younger son lost so much weight that I can clearly see his ribcage,” Umm Muhammad Bakr told The Palestine Chronicle.

“We try to provide a meal for our children each day, but on some days we fail to do so. Disease and weakness have struck everyone. We constantly feel dizzy, tired, and exhausted,” she continued.

“I live in a classroom, along with dozens of women and children. Each family has about two to three meters to sleep in,” Bakr said. 

“We hope to find food for ourselves and our children, we hope to return to our homes and we hope the war ends.”

(The Palestine Chronicle)

Abdallah Aljamal is a Gaza-based journalist. He is a correspondent for The Palestine Chronicle in the Gaza Strip.

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