Fuel shortages, power cuts, aid shipments blocked by Israel — the UN now describes conditions faced by Gaza's 1.5 million people as "the worst ever." A recent BBC report tells how four Gazans are coping.
Musba Al-Shantri, a bakery owner, says the inconsistent electricity, water problems, gas shortages, and lack of available ingredients forced him to layoff five of his 12 employees and almost forced him to close. Musba admits to depending on material that comes from the smugglers' tunnels under Gaza's border with Egypt.
Fady Al-Burbar, who runs a shop selling meat and fish with his father, says, "A lot of our meat and fish has been spoiled because of the power cuts. Within two weeks I will have to close if the electricity problem continues like this — from now I will not bring more goods for my shop because I am not willing to buy things that will just perish."
Bakar Abu Al-Kas, a taxi driver in the Shujaiyeh neighborhood of Gaza City, also relies on the smugglers' tunnels for needed fuel. Afraid of running out of fuel from border closures, he is storing as much as he can afford before his access runs out.
"The closure of the borders affects economic life here," Bakar explained. "Daily life becomes really tough. The borders are the soul for the Gaza Strip."