Israel-Hamas war, Gaza humanitarian crisis, Rafah crossing news

Palestinians crowd to buy meat in Rafah, Gaza, on December 30. Abed Rahim Khatib/picture alliance/Getty Images

Palestinians displaced inside Gaza have described cramped living conditions, sky-high prices for food, children going hungry and poor sanitation. 

CNN spoke by phone with several people trying to survive in Rafah, in the south, which tens of thousands have fled to despite it already being the most densely populated part of Gaza.

“The way I am getting by is by begging here and there and taking help from anyone,” said Abu Misbah, a 51-year-old building worker trying to support a family of 10.

Vegetables and fruit were unaffordable, he said. His children asked for oranges, but he was not able to buy them.

“We never (been) through this situation before; we were a middle-class family,” he said. “Now, since the war, we are buying dates — which we used to find everywhere for free. We want a solution to our miserable suffering.” 

Umm Omar, 50, is also displaced in Rafah, and lives in a tent. During the truce, his family had briefly returned home only to find all the windows and solar panels broken, and the kitchen destroyed.

“We are nine people in a tent of two meters by one meter,” she said. “We have bought this camping tent ourselves; no one helped us or provided it.”

Omar said the group was getting by on canned food, and estimated that most foods were at least four times as expensive as before the war. Medication is also hard to find.

“Life is difficult and humiliating; the word humiliating is not even close to describing it,” she told CNN.

In recent days, large groups of civilians desperate for food have been seen surrounding aid trucks coming into Gaza in a desperate scramble for help.

The United Nations has warned that the humanitarian situation in southern Gaza is deteriorating. It warned that the volume of aid entering the enclave “remains woefully inadequate.”