Region | Palestinian Territories

Gaza residents eat grass to survive

Faced with a failing economy and acute hunger and with nowhere to go, families in Gaza are also turning to painkillers to take the edge off their unending misery, pharmacists say.

  • Gulf News Report
  • Published: 23:17 December 14, 2008
  • Gulf News

Gaza: Gaza residents Jindiya Abu Amra and her 12-year-old daughter have been scrounging for green grass ever since they ran out of food two weeks ago.

"We had one meal today - khobbeizeh," said Abu Amra, 43, showing the leaves of a plant that grows along the streets of Gaza.

"Every day, I wake up and start looking for wood and plastic to burn for fuel and I beg. When I find nothing, we eat this grass."

Abu Amra and her unemployed husband have seven daughters and a son. Their house has had no furniture since they burnt the last cupboard for heat.

"I can't remember seeing a fruit," said Rabab, 12, who goes with her mother most mornings to scavenge, as convoys of blue-and-white United Nations trucks loaded with food wait every night for Israeli permission to enter the blockaded territory.

Conditions for most of the 1.5 million Gazans have deteriorated dramatically in the past month.

Faced with a failing economy and acute hunger and with nowhere to go, families in Gaza are also turning to painkillers to take the edge off their unending misery, pharmacists say.

Thus there is a boom in the use of tramadol, a painkiller that causes dependence if used over a long period.

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