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When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

  • Scott Bobb

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery.

It's mid-morning in Gaza City and people are queuing to buy bread at the local Hasouna Bakery. They have ventured out of their apartments during a lull in the fighting between Israeli forces and Palestinian fighters.

Employees work feverishly to satisfy the demand for this most basic staple. The customers are in a hurry. They don’t know how long the calm will last.

In the women’s queue, Sohad al-Moghrabi waits her turn. She has to come every day to feed two large families, hers and her brother-in-law’s that is living with them.

“I have a refrigerator in my house but it doesn’t work. We used to have electricity three hours every day but now, nothing at all," she said. "I can’t keep bread or any other food because it will spoil. So I have to go and buy everything every day."

Vegetables, fruit and other perishables must also be bought daily. Civil servant Haitham Katoa says he spends six hours a day shopping. But that is not the biggest problem.

“Everything is expensive right now because they bombed the factories and places where we get food," he said. "So prices have doubled for vegetables and fruit. But we are handling this. We will hold on."

Al-Moghrabi says she lives in constant fear.

“The future looks bleak. The two sides need to reach a deal and make peace because I’m afraid for my children and their future," she said. "I don’t want them to suffer this again. This war is taking too long and we cannot take it any longer."

The same is true all over Gaza. Survivors of the violence must meet the needs of daily life when they can.