Shopping, queuing for bread, looking for water: Life in Gaza City continues

Gaza City, Gaza – Another sleepless night, another heavy morning weighed down by the horrific aftermath of Israeli attacks.

Israeli forces have bombarded the besieged Gaza Strip from air, land and sea since October 7, killing thousands of people and leaving widespread destruction.

According to the government media office in Gaza, more than 18,000 tonnes of explosives have been dropped on the blockaded territory since the beginning of the Israeli assault.

For the past three weeks, “every kilometre inside the Gaza Strip received about 50 tonnes of explosives”, the media office said.

More than 8,500 Palestinians have been killed, including more than 3,500 children, according to Palestinian authorities. Another 1,870 people are missing under the rubble, among them 1,020 children.

The Israeli bombardment has levelled entire neighbourhoods, and targeted densely populated refugee camps.

In the Shati (Beach) refugee camp west of Gaza City, Ahmad Ghaben stood at a bombed-out site where homes used to stand.

“The whole area is gone,” he said. “Young and old have been killed. Abu Mohammed al-Jabari’s family, Abu Mohammed Abdelsamad’s family…all gone. The Hassouneh family had elderly sick people. Three missiles rained down on us.  Do they [Israel] think we’re an army? We’re all civilians here.”

Inside supermarkets, empty shelves have become commonplace after Israel imposed a total siege on the territory, severely restricting supplies of water, food, fuel and electricity, and limiting access to network connectivity.

Still, the streets of Gaza City, despite the strewn rubble from destroyed buildings, have not been deserted. Residents still go about their errands, looking for basic necessities such as clean water and bread, and joining long queues at bakeries.

Others searched for gas canisters to use for cooking, and some residents set up their wares on the side of the streets to sell.

The message is clear: the residents of Gaza are aware that life goes on, and are determined to live it.

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