Messages from Gaza Now – November/December 2023 – Queuing for Cooking Gaza

Queuing for Cooking Gas

I left the market and headed toward Salahaddin Street. There was no transport in the market between the thousands of people and the crowds. I walked in the direction of Khan Younis to meet my colleagues to prepare a report on their work providing psychological support to children in the schools where they had sought refuge.  There were a few old, battered cars working on cooking gas or cooking oil mixed with petrol. A choking smell came out of them.  No alternative.  The prices were a joke. No stable prices but no price was less than three times normal.  And if you complain, there is a ready answer.  The gas has been cut. Cooking oil costs three times its normal price, like everything else.  Everything sold in the market costs at least three or four times the normal price. In a cart in which four people fit, the driver will stuff 5 or 6 passengers.  You have no right to complain. That’s what’s available. Shall I take it, or shall I leave it? You arrive with your muscles aching with the pressure on them from the journey.

The road from Nuseirat to Khan Younis, Salahaddin Street, remains in tact.  It hasn’t yet been destroyed. On both sides of the street, from time to time, you see demolished buildings, houses, factories, bakeries or a bank, all bombed and destroyed. Some of the rubble from the destroyed buildings is scattered on the road.  Cars avoid it easily because the road is wide.  

On the horizon you see a long line.  As the car gets closer you can make out that they are cooking gas cylinders weighing 12 kilograms and next to each cylinder stands its owner.  The queue stretches for more than a kilometre till it reaches the filling station on Salahaddin Road. Hundreds of those queuing will not get their turn for days.