Shopping market emerges in the Jabalia refugee camp

Jabalia refugee camp
(Photo: Twitter/X)
GAZA – Ever since the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) withdrew from several areas in northern Gaza, Palestinians in the Jabalia refugee camp have established a popular market despite the destruction and difficult living conditions.اضافة اعلان

The residents and displaced citizens in northern Gaza are trying to coexist, even partially, with the challenging circumstances they face due to the Israeli war and the extensive damage that occurred in their areas during the Israeli incursion, Al-Ghad reported.

“We wish to live freely and in peace.” Inside one of the clothing stores in the Jabalia refugee camp market, the shop owner, Mohammed Nasr, discusses with an Anadolu Agency correspondent the lack of any winter clothing items. He mentions that they only have summer and spring clothes available.

“Thank God, we have small quantities of goods. We sell them and help people. Goods have not entered Gaza since the beginning of the war,” said Nasr. “Goods are scarce, prices are high, and people have no source of income. We want to live like other people around the world. Our children wear spring and summer clothes, and newborns do not have suitable clothing for these weather conditions.”

Nasr calls for intervention to bring in goods, especially clothing so that families can buy what their children need to protect them from the harsh winter cold. He points out that no clothing trucks have entered since last October.

“Despite the ongoing aggression and Israeli airstrikes in various areas of northern Gaza, we remain determined to live. This is evident from the activity within the market,” he added.

Moreover, residents in northern Gaza are facing humanitarian, health, and environmental crises. Diseases and epidemics are spreading due to sewage overflow and the lack of medical clinics or centers.

Abu Sakhr Kattak, a resident of the Jabalia Camp, describes it as the “most expensive area in the world.” The conditions there are extremely difficult, and the situation is deplorable. Overcrowding is a significant issue.

Kattak, while strolling through the market, sees the market opening as a step in the right direction. It signifies the residents’ determination to live despite the ongoing aggression.

He highlights the harsh conditions faced by the people in northern Gaza. Traders are taking advantage of the current situation, and the well-being of the population is not being adequately considered.

Kattak, whose family is scattered between the North and the South, hopes for a swift end to the aggression and a return to safety.

“The bombardment is relentless, and no place is spared. People have fled from Jabalia Camp and the northern areas to schools and clinics,” he added. “We hope the war ends and life returns to how it was before.”

The suffering of Um Mohammed Al-Afrangi, another resident of Jabalia, is no different. She says, “We are scattered, and our situation is terrible. Our children have died; our little ones have died; everything in us has perished. Our lives have been shattered, and hunger prevails more than satiety.”.

Um Mohammed, displaced to Abu Hussein School, emphasizes the urgent need for flour, which is currently scarce. Inside the shelter center, conditions are dire. Basic necessities such as water and electricity are lacking, and diseases are spreading among the displaced population. Food is in short supply, and Palestinians are experiencing a true famine.

While she expresses happiness about life returning to the market, she also mourns her inability to shop due to the overwhelming circumstances and the steep rise in prices for basic goods.

Ibtisam Al-Ashqar, who works as a teacher in an UNRWA school, has been displaced six times within the northern areas of Gaza.

She describes the situation during the invasion of Jabalia as extremely difficult. They were forced to drink contaminated water and stood in long lines just to obtain a gallon of salty water.

Ashqar characterizes the situation as tragic, emphasizing the lack of basic necessities such as water, flour, and electricity. She laments the soaring prices of goods and the erosion of purchasing power as the war on Gaza enters its fourth month.

“People are surviving on rice, and pasta is unavailable. Even the basic requirement of bulgur is scarce. The situation is extremely challenging, and thousands of women cry out in despair,” she added.

The humanitarian crisis in Gaza is reaching alarming levels, with casualties mounting, hospitals shutting down, and essential services failing. Urgent action is needed to alleviate the suffering of the population. If we do not act promptly, the situation could deteriorate further.

According to the UN and Palestinian Health Ministries, over 23,000 people have been killed and over 50,000 injured, mostly children and women, since October 7, 2023. The Israeli bombardment has caused extensive destruction of infrastructure and an unprecedented humanitarian catastrophe.

The work of UNRWA has become “mission impossible” due to the widespread impact of the bombardment on facilities across Gaza.

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