GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip – Large numbers of Gaza families have been pushed deeper into poverty in recent months by Palestinian political infighting and the freezing of U.S. aid.
Life is tougher than ever for most of the 2 million Palestinians locked into tiny, blockaded territory, where electricity is off most hours of the day, unemployment approaches 50 percent and the Islamic militant group Hamas rules with a tight grip.
Samia Hassan used to have enough money to feed her two dozen children and grandchildren. Now she spends much of her time worrying about food, scouring Gaza's vegetable markets for end-of-day discounts or walking miles for a pot of free gruel from a soup kitchen.
Growing despair in Gaza has helped drive recent Hamas-led protests against the border blockade by Israel and Egypt.