Messages from Gaza Now – November/December 2023 – I arrive at the Market after a journey of an hour

I arrive at the market after a journey of an hour (more or less)

The market.  Market Street which divides the camp from Salahaddin Street in the east all the way to the west and the sea. The market stops there.  Many of the buildings have been bombed: two bakeries, a supermarket, clothes shops, electrical goods shops, a pharmacy, an apothecary.  Between each bombed house and another one, is a house partially or completely destroyed. Most of the shops are closed after 50 days of no goods getting through.  The shops ran out of everything.  They were completely empty.

Another market was shut down, only street vendors walking up and down or people spreading their goods on the ground, or on cardboard boxes or small tables, or on a donkey cart.  The only available goods were four types of vegetables: potatoes, tomatoes, green peppers, lemons.  The prices rose daily – day after day. Some of the materials distributed by UNRWA to the displaced in the schools – tinned beans, meat, tuna fish, sugar and rice and lentils, sweet potatoes, a piece of plastic 4 or 5 meters long to cover the roofs dripping rainwater onto the heads of those living in poor houses.  Displaced people eat what they could of the UNRWA food, then spread blankets on the ground in the market so they can sell what they have left or have denied themselves and their children to make the money they need to buy the essentials that UNRWA doesn’t distribute, like winter clothes for their children, sanitary towels for the women, medicines for the sick, cigarettes and coffee for selfish fathers, who prefer cigarettes and a cup of coffee to proper food for their children.