A Gazan resident says the “suffering of the people” in the Palestinian territory is “huge” as the stark reality of their desperation for food and other supplies is laid bare in new footage captured by Sky News.
An elderly man says he has eaten food off the floor, while a young girl says she and her family moved as they “had nothing to eat”.
The United Nations estimates that nearly 85% of the territory’s 2.3 million population have been displaced from their homes by the fighting between the ruling Hamas group and Israeli forces since the war was sparked by Hamas’s massacre on 7 October last year.
Also, one in four of the enclave’s residents face starvation, with only a trickle of food, water, medicine and other aid entering through the Israeli siege.
Some 576,000 people are at catastrophic or starvation levels, according to the UN.
In a street in Rafah, southern Gaza, people have come together to help those most in need, serving small pots of rice.
Khokho Bila Ahmed al Gathi tells Sky News that he and others, including “Good Samaritans”, prepare two big pots of food.
But he says: “This is not enough for the whole area… The suffering of the people is huge.”
In the footage, he picks up a small pot containing rice and says: “This for 30 people!? No. May God take our revenge. Those who can help the people in need should do so.
“The suffering here is real, we used to hear about things like this before but now it is real. We are living it now.”
He also states “40% of the people get food, including those who travel far distances to get here [but] 60% of the people leave unhappy without getting any food”.
“This is because it is not enough for all. We can cook only two to three big pots of food.
“Even if we make it 10 pots it will still not be enough, this is because the area is very densely populated.”
The footage shows dozens of people queuing up to try to get their small pots filled.
An elderly man says he had been helped by an aid programme but “the help is not enough, the aid is not enough”.
He also says he has eaten food off the floor – “anything that is edible”.
“Look at my hands with the pot in my hand… the time I was waiting to get this food. I forced myself to the front with the pot and got the food. It was not enough. I told them to put more in. They said ‘no’.”
The desperate man says there was “a lack of everything” and “it’s not enough, I swear it is not enough”.
“Look at all the people, they all want it, all the people are queuing and it is not enough, they tell us to leave.”
He says he will eat whatever he can find, “even if it’s a piece of bread I will pick it up and eat it. I eat food off the floor, anything that is edible I will pick up and eat”.
“I don’t care what it is, I only care that I need to eat.”
Also, an 11-year-old girl called Jodi Lubad says she and her family came to Rafah about a week ago after being displaced from northern Gaza.
She says: “We have come… to take food because we do not have any food nor do we have any wood to cook food with, we have nothing to eat.”
Meanwhile, US secretary of state Antony Blinken has said the UN will carry out an “assessment mission” to determine what needs to be done to allow displaced Palestinians to return to their homes in the north of Gaza.
Since the war began, Israel’s assault in Gaza has killed more than 23,000 Palestinians, about two-thirds of them women and children, and more than 58,000 have been wounded, according to the Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza.
Israel has vowed to continue its offensive until it has destroyed Hamas throughout the territory, in response to the 7 October attacks when Hamas fighters killed 1,200 people, mainly civilians, in southern Israel and kidnapped around 250 others.