Inside a displacement tent in the city of Rafah, south of the Gaza Strip, the family of Palestinian Jihad Ashour is busy preparing circular pieces of pizza pie and thyme manakish, as part of a small project they recently started to earn a living. It started with the worsening economic situation of the population due to the ongoing Israeli aggression against the Strip since last October 7.
To complete the work at a faster pace, the family members, inside this tent that they had set up on a street in the city, distributed the stages of pie making among each other. One of the women works on preparing the dough and the other works on rolling it out so that it becomes a flat surface.
As for Ashour, he helps organize the simple pizza ingredients on these pies, including tomato sauce, very small pieces of meat (mortadella), a few slices of sweet pepper, and some mayonnaise.
Ashour barely succeeds in finding these simple ingredients in the markets, so he buys them at double the price, because this pizza is missing its most important ingredient, which is cheese, because the demand to buy it is limited, and because Displaced people are unable to buy supplies or bread.
To attract customers to buy these hot pies, Ashore cooks these pies in an oven running on wood and coal instead of cooking gas on the public road.
Most of the displaced depend on canned food for their food, as thousands of them are deprived of hot food, and these hot pies are an opportunity for them to break the daily food routine and get some warmth.
In separate interviews with Anatolia, some displaced people said they went without a hot meal, due to a lack of cooking supplies (pots or firewood), or due to a reduction in the amount of food received as aid. spend weeks. They are unable to purchase it due to lack of financial liquidity.
Since the outbreak of the Israeli war, Israel has cut off supplies of water, food, medicine, electricity and fuel to Gaza's residents, who are about 2.3 million Palestinians, in addition to allowing entry of many people. The crossing has been closed. Small number of assistance and exit of some sick persons and people with foreign passports.
According to UNRWA, humanitarian assistance entering the region in general does not meet the needs of 7% of the population for all food and relief supplies.
Despite constant attacks by the Israeli occupation forces, thirty-year-old Ashour, who was displaced from the al-Zaytoun neighborhood in the east of Gaza City to Rafah, did not surrender to the conditions created by the difficulties of this journey. , and started thinking about sources of obtaining livelihood.
He told Anatolia that the idea of preparing pizza and manakish pie arose from suffering, as these foods are only rarely available, and in areas far from their area of displacement, in addition to the lack of availability of ingredients and the means to obtain them. Difficulty of doing.
He explained that amid the lack of food aid and alternative sources of income, he was forced to take up jobs to provide livelihood to feed his family.
He said he sells a piece of pie for up to two shekels (one dollar equals 3.60 shekels). He said that this amount is barely proportional to the cost of the ingredients, while the day ends with a small amount that contributes to providing the minimum necessities.
During the war, the Gaza Strip saw rising prices of scarce food items, leading to shortages due to the closure of crossings and Israel blocking their entry.
Ashour says he was displaced from the al-Zaytoun neighborhood after Israeli warplanes bombed his home, and “We went through several difficult displacement journeys, and we ended up in the far south of the Strip, in the city of Rafah. “
In turn, his wife of twenty years, Fida Siam, says that she was immediately displaced to the Shifa Medical Complex after their house was destroyed. After some time spent there by the family, they were displaced again to a shelter center in Gaza City, where it was targeted at the time, and many were martyred, as he told Anadolu.
This targeting, he said, forced them to flee towards the town of Khan Yunis, which they fled after a recent Israeli offensive, and towards Rafah.
Since January 22, the Israeli occupation forces have launched a series of intense air and artillery attacks around Khan Yunis and the hospitals there, amid ground advances of their vehicles in the southern and western neighborhoods of the city, killing thousands of Palestinians. Had to run away from this.
Siam described life during the war and several displacement trips as “hard and difficult” and reported that repeated displacements left the family in Rafah without supplies, clothing or money.
He explained that displaced people who left their homes “took with them all the money they had, and after 4 months of war, they ran out of money because of the high prices they were experiencing.”
This project represents a lifeline for the Ashour family from falling into the mire of hunger, as Siam says their living conditions have barely improved after this sale of pies.
She explained – as she baked some bread to feed her family – that life is hard, and humanitarian and food aid is missing and nothing is reaching us. Despite the war, thinking about opening small economic projects saves families from hunger and poverty.
He said the project contributed to providing livelihoods for their children, in view of the lack of means of survival, prevention of entry of food supplies and continued siege.
In mid-November, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) announced that all residents of the Gaza Strip were suffering from food insecurity due to the Israeli blockade imposed on them since 7 October.