Initially, Youssef Mehna thought the conflict can be over quickly. Then he was injured, his home was destroyed and he was pressured to outlive “25 days with out something”.
So like hundreds of others, Mehna finally fled from northern Gaza to the south.
Sitting on vans, crammed into automobiles, pulled by donkeys on carts and on foot, tens of hundreds of Palestinians are fleeing the Israeli military’s assaults on the territory wedged between Israel, Egypt and the Mediterranean Sea.
On the Bani Suheila intersection in Khan Yunis, on the immense Salah Al-Din street that crosses Gaza from prime to backside, the processions have gotten more and more quiet.
Folks fleeing Gaza Metropolis are joined by these leaving Khan Yunis and transferring additional south in the direction of Rafah, the final metropolis earlier than Egypt.
Mehna left the Jabalia refugee camp in northern Gaza Metropolis at 7 a.m., additionally hoping to succeed in Rafah.
However his journey resulted in Khan Yunis, after eight hours of touring simply 25 kilometers (15 miles).
“I’ve already paid 500 shekels ($130) to get out of Jabalia so I’ve nothing left to take to Rafah,” he stated with a contorted face, surrounded by his six kids.
– ‘Not even a chunk of bread’ –
As a result of his sick spouse is in a wheelchair, he needed to lease “carts pulled by donkeys, vans, automobiles” to move her.
Every journey was quick, as gasoline shortages imply drivers will not settle for long-distance fares.
Generally they had been pressured to stroll between automobile journeys. “So it was me who pushed my spouse’s chair,” he advised AFP.
Tons of of households had been ready round him.
Youngsters sleep on the ground subsequent to folks who surprise how they are going to dwell in an space the place the United Nations says greater than 1.5 million individuals have been displaced and almost one in two properties has been destroyed.
In southern Gaza, overflowing with displaced individuals from the north, rents of $150 a month are actually rising to $500 to $1,000.
“I do not also have a piece of bread to feed my kids,” stated Umm Yaaqub. “I have been trying all over the place since six within the morning.”
“I can not give them something to eat,” added the 42-year-old, who arrived in Khan Yunis three days in the past together with her husband and 7 kids from Gaza Metropolis.
The UN has stated that entry to bread within the south is “difficult” as a result of “the one working mill in Gaza remains to be unable to grind wheat as a result of an absence of electrical energy and gasoline.”
On October 7, Hamas, which was in energy in Gaza, launched an assault on southern Israel, killing about 1,200 individuals, largely civilians, and taking 239 hostages, in keeping with Israel.
Since then, Israel has bombed the Gaza Strip and, in keeping with the Hamas Ministry of Well being, has killed greater than 11,000 individuals, largely civilians.
Earlier than the conflict, simply over 80 p.c of Gazans lived in poverty and, in keeping with the UN, virtually two-thirds trusted worldwide help, primarily for meals.
Now, 50 kilo baggage of flour have elevated in worth from 40 shekels to 150 shekels, so it is even worse.
– ‘Not a single shekel’ –
However starvation isn’t the one concern for Umm Yaaqub. “My husband has coronary heart issues,” she says.
And her 20-year-old daughter Rim “is generally in a medical mattress.” “However all of us sleep on the bottom, within the mud, and we do not have a single blanket, regardless that the nights are very chilly.”
Her husband Atef Abu Jarad, 47, is staying in a classroom on the primary ground of a faculty the place the household is now tenting, alongside dozens of different displaced individuals.
“I’m the top of the household, however I haven’t got a single shekel to purchase something for my kids,” he complains.
Retailers in southern Gaza lose virtually every part. Bottled water, kids’s milk, diapers, pasta and juices are actually virtually unimaginable to search out.
In accordance with Abu Jarad, some meals help is trickling all the way down to the displaced: “a portion of rice to share between seven” members of his household.
“So I take somewhat spoonful of rice and inform them I am full to allow them to eat,” he says.
Water flows from a faucet the place lengthy teams of displaced individuals are queuing. “Individuals are pushing and I haven’t got the power to withstand,” he says.
His daughter Rim had to surrender the painkillers she had been taking since delivery as a result of she has spinal and shoulder deformities.
“I can not sleep due to the ache, however we won’t purchase medication,” she says.
She additionally forgoes meals as a result of her brothers and sisters “want extra to eat.”