Fri 17-May-2024

Starvation in Gaza, trapped Gazans eat dead poultry and tree leaves

Thursday 14-December-2023

The stranded people in the besieged Gaza Strip have no choice but to eat dead poultry and tree leaves in a scene that the reader might think at first glance that he or she is observing in one of the books on Prophet Mohammed’s biography, when Quraysh suffocatingly besieged the Prophet, peace be upon him, along with his companions in the Valley of Abu Talib, to the extent that they had to eat tree leaves due to the severity of the siege and the hunger that befell them.

Today, the scene is repeated in Gaza in the present world where civilization and modernity are claimed to be the main features of this age and where the international community is bragging about advocating human rights, except that the people in the besieged, devastated Gaza who are deprived of “a drink of water, a pill of medicine, and a morsel of food,” are left with no choice but to “eat tree leaves and dead poultry.”

This is a miserable situation that warns of a real famine in the Gaza Strip, according to the World Health Organization and the United Nations which are content to describe the scene without doing anything to break the unjust siege and bring aid to the people of Gaza by the force of law which has been abandoned due to the blatant double standards pursued by the West regarding the Palestinian cause.

In Al-Jalaa neighborhood, Israeli occupation forces (IOF) besieged the residents, placed barriers on the roads and blocked traffic under death threats by a sniper.

Some people managed to approach the doors of their houses, but could not move in side streets due to the siege that has been lasting for 12 days, Ahmed Rizq, one of the inhabitants of the neighborhood, said.

Riziq, who is 27 years old, was trying to get internet service so that he could communicate with his family who were displaced to the city of Khan Younis.

Speaking to Al-Arabi Al-Jadeed, Rizq revealed that he, along with his family, has recently eaten tree leaves with bread, and they chose leaves that did not contain white gum. He explained that green herbs grew in a small garden near his house that he believed were a kind of chickpeas (a perennial edible winter plant), so he put them in two loafs of bread and ate them and so did other five people in his house. Some of them refused to take the herb at first, but after a couple of days they accepted it.

“When I was a child, I remember once that I ate tree leaves after I had seen someone doing it in a movie scene, and that I did not get hurt. When my mother found out, she punished me so that I do not do it again. Finally, I did it again but, this time, when I told my mother who is displaced in a UN school in Khan Younis, she cried really hard,” he said.

As for the northern Gaza Strip, the pain is no less severe and the situation is no less miserable. The 34-year-old Nawal Abu Saif made bone broth to feed her family and other displaced people. She boiled poultry bones after drying them under the sunlight and added to them chicken broth she found on the ruins of one of the destroyed houses in the middle of Jabalia camp. Then, she added dry bread without knowing whether it was edible. At least it was not moldy because of cold weather.

Abu Seif then prepared a dish out of bone broth and bread, which together becomes Fattah, a famous dish in the Gaza Strip, but without rice or meat, she remarked.

After all, and despite the tragedy, she managed to prepare a meal which has become a difficult task in the deteriorating conditions in the northern Gaza Strip. Nevertheless, everyone, her family members and the other displaced people got their own little portions of that food.

Over the past days, the Israeli brutal occupation has been intensifying its siege of all cities, including Rafah, whose people are blocked from reaching Khan Younis, as IOF soldiers are advancing into the northern and eastern outskirts of Khan Younis, with eastern death barrier and armed vehicles isolating Gaza City and the north of the Gaza Strip from all necessities of life.

The trapped Gazans have to search for food among the rubble in the northern Gaza Strip and even Gaza City, hoping to find canned food or other edible items.

Warnings of impending famine
The United Nations World Food Program renewed its warning about the risk of imminent famine and starvation in Gaza, saying that people in the Strip have only one meal a day “if they are lucky.”

The UN Food Program highlighted, in a post on “X, the need to expand the zone of secure and unhindered access to aid to prevent a potential famine in Gaza, stressing the need for peace in the current time more than any time before amid the fact that starvation is increasingly spreading in the besieged Strip.

However, the worse situation lies in the fact that Israeli soldiers have been confiscating and burning the little aid brought into the Strip, while relief convoys pile up on the other side of the Rafah crossing without the world having the ability to open the crossing and bring in aid to solve the famine catastrophe that all international institutions are warning of.

Nine out of Ten people in Gaza cannot eat everyday
Director General of World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said last Sunday that the health sector in Gaza is facing “catastrophic” repercussions due to the Israeli aggression on Gaza.

For his part, Karl Skau, Deputy Executive Director of the United Nations World Food Program, said, “Half the population is starving, and 9 out of 10 people cannot not eat every day. It is obvious that the needs are enormous.”

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