Families in Gaza struggle to locate water and food for their children while Israeli airstrikes land on the area.
Amal al-Robayaa sets out every morning at 8 a.m. to find food from the United Nations school, where she has sought safety with her extended family since the start of the Gaza War.
“I always consider how I’m going to feed the kids first thing in the morning when I wake up.”
Her spouse, six kids, daughter-in-law, and two grandkids are among the mouths she has to feed.
Since October 7, Amal’s everyday battle to provide for her family has turned into a lethal assault course due to the ongoing fear of shelling in Gaza.
She searches the debris between her house and the school in the south of Gaza, in the Shabura neighborhood of Rafah, in the hopes of finding neighbors who might have some flour for making bread.
Suleiman, her 24-year-old son, rushes to a neighboring bakery early thing in order to get a number in line before rushing to a water source.
Suleiman stated, “I try to fill a canteen or two with water before returning to the bakery before it opens.”
He claimed that the arduous procedure “takes two hours, when you’re lucky, but more often four or five.”
Nor is there any assurance of victory in the end. In the line, we alternate. When it was my time two days ago, after four and a half hours of waiting in line, I was informed that there was no bread left. His mother claimed, “I begged them to give me just a few pieces for the kids, but they refused.”Minimal water
Amal claims that on the first day of the conflict that followed Hamas’s onslaught on Israel, in which 1,200 people were murdered, the most of them civilians, Israeli authorities demolished the apartment building she lived in with an Israeli bombing.
The family lives in the debris of their former house for the day.
Later on, Nesrin, Amal’s 39-year-old sister-in-law, shows in clutching a little sack of flour like a prize.
The two got to work right away, combining the flour and water. While the other dug among the debris for cardboard and wood to start a fire so they could bake the flatbread, one person worked the dough.
“Observe me! Even I’m pitching in!” Bilal, nine, stated as he spread out his garments on concrete slabs to dry.
The little amount of water available must be utilized wisely; some must be used for showers and laundry.
“I usually wash the kids and myself every four to five days. Amal gestured to her bathroom, which was still standing amid the debris, saying, “There are times when there is no water and we have to wait longer.”
“We can have some privacy because of it, but we’re always afraid that a chunk of concrete will fall on our heads,” she said.
Imed, her husband, attempts to keep the kids busy by playing some more contemporary music on the ney, the traditional Arab flute, as well as some ancient Palestinian melodies.
“I have my flute to cheer me up and make the kids smile, even though my oud was buried under the rubble,” he remarked.
By afternoon, the family had procured a 500-gram (18-ounce) bag of pasta, a packet of sauce, and 27 litres (seven gallons) of water, which they planned to distribute among about fifty individuals.
“We begin by feeding the kids,” Imed said as the younger family members waited in line for a few bite-sized morsels of food that vanished rapidly.
The parents got themselves a cup of tea apiece after supper. They have to use the little powdered tea they have left.
The family returned to the UN school, where they slept with thousands of others, as the sound of drones grew and evening approached.
Amal stated, “The children don’t have winter clothing, and the temperature drops a little bit every night.”
Sister-in-law Nesrin said, “The kids don’t get much sleep, and when they do, they wake up screaming in the middle of the night.”
“So, in order to get back close to home, I spend the night waiting for the sunrise.”