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The situation here is not in our hands

We heard about the ceasefire at 12.30 today. It ended at 4 and, at five past 4 exactly, the shelling started again. As soon as the bombing stopped, I went to the shops where I went to get food for me and my children. I noticed Gaza is very sad. There are few cars on the street. I expected to see hundreds of people out on the street but there weren’t many at all. I saw some going to the shops. I didn’t manage to get bread for my children as there were so many people waiting. I went to four bakers and I didn’t find any for my children.

Three hours, believe me, is not enough. It finished so quickly. If we want to work and go to the north and to the south to reach children who need our help, we need more time.  It takes time to distribute humanitarian aid.

I went to the Save the Children office to download my emails for the first time since 27 December. Imagine, it was quarter to three when I looked at my watch and I had to rush to the shop.

Everyone was in a hurry to get food and supplies. Most of the people out were complaining and saying ‘It’s not enough, it’s not enough’. There were lots of people queuing. Children, women, old men, youths. Everyone was waiting.

So far Save the Children have distributed 2103 aid parcels in total in the Gaza strip. It’s so important for us to provide aid in this situation. I feel so happy when I find we’re one of the first organisations in terms of the aid we are providing. It’s really good for the people.

Save the Children have even found 750 food parcels with a vendor in the south who started to distribute today. We were keeping parcels in our warehouse in Gaza city for the south, but, because Gaza has been split into two, we can’t reach them, so are using them for the north.

But, even now, Gaza city has only received 180 food parcels and there’s such a high need for more. We only have 600 food parcels left in the Save the Children stores. We need more.

We didn’t get anything across the border today. But toys, blankets, first aid kits and hygiene kits are expected tomorrow. This is what I heard yesterday. Inshallah, I hope they will succeed to get them into Gaza.

I have heard that there will be another ceasefire tomorrow for three hours but it’s not confirmed. If there is, we hope to contact our volunteers in Gaza city and in the North to come to our warehouse and to help distribute more food.

All of the people are suffering. A huge number. Yesterday I received an appeal from a school in Beach Camp who haven’t got any mattresses. Some people haven’t got blankets even. There are 7,000 people living in this beach camp. And everyone’s trying to sleep in these schools. They are getting some food here, but it’s not enough.

We started to look for mattresses yesterday, but there aren’t any in Gaza. We need more money so we can find these supplies and bring them across the border. The children are suffering such trauma too. They’re thinking such bad thoughts about the killing and about the blood.

As I talk, we haven’t heard bombing for half an hour, so my daughter is so happy. I can hear her laughing.

The ceasefire today was good. When I was walking outside and seeing people going to the shop and seeing the children playing football, I was very happy. But only having three hours! We were so angry. We thought ‘Come on! So quickly!’ They started bombing at 4pm exactly and demolished a house in the north!

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