In this Thursday, May 31, 2018 photo, Walid al-Hattab, right, distributes free porridge during the holy fasting month of Ramadan in Gaza City. (AP Photo/Adel Hana)
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Gaza families pushed deeper into povertyLarge 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 Gaza, where electricity is off most hours of the day, unemployment approaches 50 percent and the Hamas Movement rules with a tight grip.Hasan, who shares her unfinished cinder-block home with seven of her 12 adult children, three daughters-in-law and 16 grandchildren, said she joined the border protests repeatedly, intentionally getting close to the fence in hopes of getting shot and killed by Israeli troops.Need has grown exponentially, with some 1 million people in Gaza now receiving U.N. food aid, compared to 80,000 two decades ago, agency spokesman Chris Gunness said.At the same time, the Trump administration has blown a $305 million hole into the agency's annual $1.2 billion budget – the result of a decision earlier this year to suspend most aid to the Palestinians until further notice.As a result, 20,000 Gaza families aren't receiving food vouchers and about 2,200 people eligible for job-creation programs are staying home, she said.
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