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During Ramadan, the holy month of fasting, Gaza risks starvation.

When Ramadan arrived in Gaza on Monday morning, there was a bitter irony for the people who lived there.

During Ramadan, the holy month of fasting, Gaza risks starvation.
During Ramadan, the holy month of fasting, Gaza risks starvation.

Five months of conflict had already been suffered by Gazans. Almost everyone in the population already needs food assistance to survive.

According to Dr. Amjad Eleiwa, the deputy director of the emergency room at al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, “the people here have already been fasting for months.”

“They scour the city looking for food to survive, but they cannot find any.”

The destruction of farming and food infrastructure throughout the region has resulted from Israel’s assault on Gaza in retaliation for the Hamas attacks on October 7. Aid organizations claim that increased Israeli security checks on delivery trucks have caused delays in the distribution of aid to the populace.

This Monday, the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC), the international authority tasked with defining famine, released a study stating that 1.1 million people, or over half of Gaza’s population, were already experiencing starvation and that the remaining population may face famine by July.

The north of Gaza is where the food situation is the worst. Residents there cannot look forward to filling their bellies with iftar, the meal that is served after sundown, or satisfy their hunger with suhoor, the pre-dawn breakfast, unlike in prior Ramadans.

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Devastation, death, and a daily struggle for sustenance have taken the place of street decorations, drummers, and vendors selling sweets. What little wheat or flour is available now costs five times as much.

“I recall the previous Ramadan; there was delicious food—juices, dates, milk, everything you could possibly want,” remarked Nadia Abu Nahel, a 57-year-old Gaza City woman who looks after an extended family with ten children.

“Compared to this year, it is like heaven and hell,” she stated. “The kids are dreaming of a loaf of bread right now; they are yearning for it. They are getting softer in the bones. They have trouble walking and are lightheaded. They’re getting really skinny.”

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