We have nothing to sell"... Empty shelves in shops in southern Gaza

Most of the shelves were empty at Hassan Abu Shabab's shop in the centre of Khan Younis, a city in the southern Gaza Strip, whose population has grown as tens of thousands have fled from the northern Israeli-besieged enclave.

Only a few bottles of cooking oil and cans of tomato paste remain on one shelve, as well as some candy, toilet paper, dishwashing liquid and some other inedible goods.

There was no bread, flour (flour), sugar, rice, meat or cheese inside. Outside, there were two empty refrigerators that were mostly filled with soft drinks.

Abu Shabab said while in his empty shop on Monday: "Before the war, we used to sell goods for about a thousand shekels ($260) a day. Today we have nothing to sell. People have money but there's nothing we can sell."

"I go to all the places around Khan Yunis to look for goods, but there is nothing," he said.

Outside his shop, um Ibrahim al-Agha, a displaced woman, sat down to take a break from her desperate daily search for food.

"Now you go to the biggest shops in Khan Younis and you don't find anything you need. There is no flour, sugar, rice, salt or anything to offer your child."

"We went to a store and couldn't find a single packet of biscuits. We found toilet paper and diapers. Do we eat that?"

Shortages of food, water, fuel and other goods have worsened since Israel launched a military offensive and imposed a blockade on the Gaza Strip following attacks by Hamas on its southern towns on Oct. 7.

Israel says Hamas fighters killed 1200,240 people on Oct. 11 and kidnapped <> others. Israel's offensive on Gaza has killed more than <>,<> people, according to health officials in the enclave, and caused a humanitarian catastrophe, aid groups and the United Nations said.

Smell of sweat

As residents of northern Gaza fled airstrikes and Israeli ground forces now besieging Gaza City and dividing the Strip in two, Khan Younis was filled with makeshift tent towns, while displaced families rushed to schools, hospitals and even the parking garage.

Philippe Lazzarini, commissioner-general of the U.N. agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), said overcrowding was severe at facilities run by the agency, such as the school he visited on Sunday and now a camp for displaced people.

Speaking via videoconference at a news conference for donor countries, he said: "The humidity in these corridors comes from people. You can smell the sweat of individuals in the corridors. It's beyond the boundary. People continue to sleep here because of the UN flag."

Some aid trucks are allowed to enter Gaza from Egypt through the Rafah border crossing, but their number is not enough to meet the growing needs, according to aid groups.

Lazzarini noted that about 39 percent of food needs have been met.

"In one governorate, individuals receive one or two loaves of bread and a box of tuna for a family, and in Rafah they receive one or two loaves of bread and a box of cheese for the family," he said.

Places where food stocks are still available are scarce, although it is only a matter of time before stocks run out unless new supplies arrive.

In the southern Gaza city of Rafah, a group of residents was preparing meals of rice and meat donated by a benefactor who did not want to be named to feed the displaced, but stocks are rapidly running out.

Cook Abu Mohammed said residents prepare 3000,<> meals a day, use firewood to cook meals and wrap them in aluminum foil to distribute to camp residents and shelters.

"We cook on wood because there is no electricity or gas. In a couple of days we will have to stop because stocks are running out."

"Open the border, open the border. They sent us rice and ghee, they sent us salt and sugar. We have nothing."