Northern Gaza bakeries work again as they try to overcome war

AWP , Wednesday 1 May 2024

Owners of bakeries in the Gaza Strip are preparing to reopen, after being closed since the ground incursion into the enclave began in late October.

A Palestinian worker arranges freshly baked flatbread at a bakery in Gaza City on April 14, 2024. AFP


Mahfouz Ajour, the owner of a bakery in the Al-Daraj neighbourhood in Gaza, said he had started the maintenance of the machines to re-open his 

“We wish the bakery could work and feed the people once again. The work is very good, and everything is fine. We have cleared paths for easier movement of citizens, repaired the machines, and established new power generators,” he said.

Ajour appealed for flour and diesel oil so that the bakery could reopen.

“We appeal to all international organizations and whoever is involved to help us work, so that we can provide bread to the people. If the bakery works, it will solve many problems, including the famine spreading in the Gaza Strip. People cannot find anything to eat, and have no flour,” he said.

“We have to work. We want power generators, flour and diesel oil so that we can continue working. We have made everything available. We have started maintenance on the machines, and all we need now is diesel oil and flour,” he noted.

Mohamed Al-Shawwa, a Palestinian man from Al-Daraj neighbourhood in Gaza, spoke of his daily suffering to get bread.

“Every day since the war started, I have gone to the bakeries of Al-Kuweit, 17 and Al-Nabulsi to get bread for me and my family,” he said.

He said he felt good about the bakery reopening but was later disappointed.

“Today, my mother told me to go to the bakery. I went there, but I was told there was no flour, yeast or anything,” he added.

“Please find a solution to this problem, for God's sake! The people of Gaza are dying. We need a solution,” he appealed.

Abdel-Nasser Al-Ajramy, the Chairman of the Bakery Owners’ Association in Gaza, affirmed that the bread crisis will continue, as the majority of Palestinians in the Strip are no longer able to make bread at home or in displacement sites, due to power cut-offs and the scarcity of cooking gas and firewood, which has caused long lines outside bakeries.

Before the war on Gaza, the enclave had 140 bakeries, half of them automated, while the other half was semi-automated or manual.

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