Azmi Keshawi, a U.S.-educated researcher at the International Crisis Group, is living with his family in Gaza’s southern city of Khan Younis, facing constant bombardments and threats of death and destruction.
The Israeli military has been relentlessly attacking Gaza in retaliation for a Hamas rampage in southern Israel, and the Keshawi family’s sense of desperation is growing. Food is running out, and Israel has stopped humanitarian attempts to bring it in.
The family hasn’t shown up in days since Israel cut off Gaza’s water and fuel supplies. They get drinking water from a U.N. school, but it tastes salty due to the desalination stations stopping working when fuel runs out. Keshawi is angry at the world’s attention and the lack of action taken by Israel.
In Gaza, the situation is dire, with airstrikes causing food scarcity and chaos in the market. The line for bread is chaotic and takes five hours, with bakeries bombed and others closed due to lack of water or power. Authorities are still working on logistics for humanitarian aid delivery from Egypt. Keshawi, a Palestinian man, has money to buy food for his grandchildren, but they have hardly anything to buy.
The children frequently consume stale bread and consume powdered milk. Some Palestinians run take-out kitchens from their homes, asking customers to wait for hours to get a meagre plate of rice and chicken. The water used in these kitchens is disconcertingly yellow and he wishes he didn’t see it from a donkey cart.
The toilet in their house is nearly full of urine, and they don’t use the bathroom much. Nights are the hardest, as adults muster little resolve to soothe the children when airstrikes crash nearby.
However, older kids are terrified, as they see the news of the airstrikes crushing thousands of homes and killing over 3,000 Palestinians in Gaza so far. Keshawi tries to put on a brave face, but often, he can’t stop weeping.