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Palestine | International

Starving Gazans Survive On Grass
by IOL (reposted)
Monday Dec 15th, 2008 7:31 AM
Jindiya Abu Amra's heart breaks when she looks at the sunken faces of her hungry children.

"When I find nothing, we eat this grass," Abu Amra, a mother of eight, told the Sunday Times on December 14, pointing at the wild grass that grows along the streets of Gaza Strip.
She now goes out with her 12-year-old daughter Rabab every morning to scrounge for the types of grass that the family can find edible.

"We had one meal today - khobbeizeh," said the 43-year-old mother, showing the leaves of a plant growing wild in the streets.

Despite international criticism, Israel closes all commercial crossings with the impoverished Gaza Strip, home to 1.6 million people.

UN officials affirm that people are left to eat grass because the densely-populated territory is starving.

"Two weeks ago, for the first time in 60 years, we ran out of food," said John Ging, director of the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) in Gaza.

"We used to get 70 to 80 trucks per day, now we are getting 15 trucks a day, and only when the border opens."

UNRWA, which offers handouts to nearly half of Gaza's population, has only four days of food in stock for distribution among the most desperate.

Eight British rights organizations have warned in a joint report that Gazans are living through the worst humanitarian crisis in 40 years due to the Israeli closure.

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