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Waning food, essential supplies: Canadian describes ‘chaos’ of living in Gaza during war

Mansour Shouman, a Canadian currently in Gaza, says basic necessities such as food and clean water are becoming more scarce as Israel expands its ground operation.

At the time of his interview with Global on Saturday, Shouman said the last 24 hours had been “chaos” after Israel’s bombardment over the weekend.

“I’m seeing less food, less clean water available. I’m seeing that the hospitals are full of refugees sleeping on the floor. I’ve seen injured people with casts, instead of sitting in their beds, they are right now sitting outside,” Shouman told Global News.

“The doctors are complaining that they are running out of medical supplies. The fuel is so much less than before.”

Tanks and infantry pushed into Gaza over the weekend as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced a “second stage in the war”. The attacks knocked out most communications in the territory late Friday, cutting off Gaza’s population of 2.3 million from the rest of the world.

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“It seems the Israeli side has cut all forms of communication. No cell phones, calls can’t be made, there’s no internet,” Shouman said.

“We don’t really know what’s happening around us.”

Communications were restored to much of Gaza early Sunday.

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The Israeli military said Sunday it had struck over 450 militant targets over the past 24 hours, including Hamas command centres, observation posts and anti-tank missile launching positions. It said more ground forces were sent into Gaza overnight.

A massive blast also killed hundreds of people at Al-Ahli Baptist Hospital in Gaza City on Oct. 17, according to hospital officials, with both Israel and Hamas trading blame.

The widening ground offensive has come as Israel also targeted Gaza from all fronts more than three weeks after Hamas’ initial Oct.7 attack against Israel where 1,400 people died.

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The Israeli military says it only strikes militant targets and accuses Hamas of operating among civilians in an attempt to protect its fighters.

“I see that there is a frustration in the… Israeli military not being able to conduct any successful land invasion and then sticking it out on the civilians,” said Shouman, who lived in Calgary.

The U.N. agency for Palestinian refugees, known as UNRWA, said Sunday thousands of people had broken into aid warehouses in Gaza to take flour and basic hygiene products.

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UNRWA provides basic services to hundreds of thousands of people in Gaza. Israel has allowed only a small trickle of aid to enter from Egypt, some of which was stored in one of the warehouses that was broken into, UNRWA said.

“I am seeing that the people of this world are not able to open a humanitarian border, to let in hundreds of food, water, fuel, necessities for 2.3 million civilians that are suffering to death,” Shouman said.

Shouman says he has been separated from his family for a couple of weeks, and believes they are living in very harsh conditions.

The neighborhood which they took refuge in, which they lived in an apartment with eight other families, has been battered by four different battles. And it is very hard for them now to access clean water and food,” he said.

The Hamas-run Gaza Health ministry says the death toll among Palestinians has passed 8,000 people, and will likely continue to climb as Israel presses its ground offensive.

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Shouman says he is focusing on sharing with the world what is happening in Gaza.

“All of my feelings are being now suppressed and channeled into action,” he said.

-with files from Global News’ Daniele Hamamdjian and the Associated Press.

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&© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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