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'There's No Milk, How Do We Feed Our Children?' Asks a Palestinian in Gaza

Ahmad is a resident of Tel Al-Hawa, a popular neighbourhood on the Gaza Strip that has been turned into rubble.

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Video Producer: Maaz Hasan
Video Editor: Prajjwal Kumar, Karuna Mishra

"This might be the last opportunity for me to speak with you," said 58-year-old Ahmad (name changed), struggling to survive in Gaza.

"At 2 pm Al Quds time (4:30 pm IST), the Gaza Power Plant will probably shut down, and within a couple of hours, I will run out of charge in my phone," he added.

Just hours after Ahmad spoke to The Quint on 11 October, Wednesday, the last operational power plant in Gaza stopped working as it ran out of fuel, The Wall Street Journal reported quoting the head of the Palestinian enclave's energy authority.

Ever since the 'surprise attack' by Hamas on Israel, the retaliation by the Israeli forces on the Gaza Strip has destroyed several neighbourhoods in the city. Tel Al-Hawa, a popular neighbourhood where Ahmad used to reside, has been turned to rubble by the Israeli forces.

Ahmad is a resident of Tel Al-Hawa, a popular neighbourhood on the Gaza Strip that has been turned into rubble.

The view of Gaza's Tel Al-Hawa locality from a visibly destroyed balcony of Ahmad's flat.

(Image accessed by The Quint)

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‘My Family and I Hid in One Room, Fearing for the Worse’ 

Recounting the horror from a bunker where he and his family are currently hiding, Ahmad said, "On Monday, 9 October, I survived a certain death situation. This was probably one of the worst attacks I have seen. My flat was on the seventh floor of a building in the Tel Al-Hawa locality of Gaza. We were two men, three women, and seven children in the house when the Israeli forces started bombing our locality. The loud sound of the bombs... the crashing, splintering sounds of the buildings falling around us were harrowing to say the least."

Ahmad is a resident of Tel Al-Hawa, a popular neighbourhood on the Gaza Strip that has been turned into rubble.

Gaza's Tel Al-Hawa locality is completely destroyed in the Israeli attacks.

(Image accessed by The Quint)

Ahmad and his family say they are counting the days until fate catches up with them.  

"One bomb fell very close to our building, erupting into an explosion," said Ahmad, who worked for an NGO. "The force of this blast triggered the collapse of the neighbouring building, and the balcony of our building shattered."

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Ahmad is a resident of Tel Al-Hawa, a popular neighbourhood on the Gaza Strip that has been turned into rubble.

Palestinians leaving their destroyed houses with their belongings in Tel Al-Hawa.

(Image accessed by The Quint)

That very moment convinced Ahmad that he and his family would not be able to live to see the next day. So, they all gathered in one room of the flat without hope, fearing the worst.

Ahmad's son had a flat on University Street in Gaza. On Tuesday, 10 October, Ahmad walked through debris of fallen buildings to his son's flat to find out that he too had met a similar fate. His son had managed to escape the missile attack. 

Ahmad is a resident of Tel Al-Hawa, a popular neighbourhood on the Gaza Strip that has been turned into rubble.

University Street of Gaza, too, has been razed to the ground.

(Image accessed by The Quint)

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'With Minimal Usage, We Can Survive for Two More Days'

"Since then, my friend's family and I have been hiding in a building with less than half a tank of water. With minimal necessary usage, we can survive for two more days. Without electricity, neither can we use the motor to pump water nor the refrigerator," he said. 

The family is surviving on bread, but according to Ahmad, their real challenge is to feed their children, with one of them just a year old. "Shops, mini-markets, supermarkets – everything is destroyed. The ones that still stand tall are now running out of essentials. We cannot get milk to feed our children," said Ahmad in despair. 
Ahmad is a resident of Tel Al-Hawa, a popular neighbourhood on the Gaza Strip that has been turned into rubble.

The debris of the fallen buildings on University Street in Gaza.

(Image accessed by The Quint)

After Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant pledged to launch a ground offensive in Gaza following Hamas' attack – and a call for a complete blockade of the region – the situation has got worse. On Wednesday, 11 October, the Health Ministry in the Gaza Strip said that the death toll from Israel's airstrikes had risen to 950. The ministry said more than 5,000 people were injured – 60 percent of whom were women and children. 

"Once the Gaza Power Plant shuts down, it will be difficult for hospitals to treat the overwhelming number of patients," Ahmad said. 

Ahmad could charge his phone with the help of domestic batteries, but that, too, is now out of charge. 

Ahmad is a resident of Tel Al-Hawa, a popular neighbourhood on the Gaza Strip that has been turned into rubble.

Empty buildings of Gaza that survived the bomb attack of Israeli forces.

(Image accessed by The Quint)

"This isn't the first time I have witnessed such a situation. The only difference this time is that Israel is attacking us to defend themselves from Hamas. In the 2014 Israeli bombings, I lost my mother," said Ahmad.

When asked about his plans for the future, he said, "We never had one. We have been under siege by Israelis for decades now. This is one of the many destructions I have seen." 

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Topics:  Gaza   Hamas   Gaza War 

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