With a metal box for an oven, planks of wood for fuel and a folded strip of cardboard for a makeshift potholder, a baker on a Gaza City street turned out tray after steaming tray of flat bread on Saturday.

A staple food before the war, bread has become rarer and rarer in the Gaza Strip, with bakeries shut across the heavily bombed north and flour in short supply after mills and storage warehouses were damaged in fighting between Israel and Hamas.

To Abu Abdullah Muhaysa, the volunteer who came up with the idea to bake bread for remaining residents of the devastated city, the improvised kitchen is a "response to the catastrophic situation in the Gaza Strip".

"We crafted this by hand with iron sheets to provide bread for people and their children, to help them survive and fulfil their needs after all basic necessities were cut off," he told AFP.

Patrons are asked to pay just a token amount to cover the cost of gathering firewood.

"Our efforts and manpower are solely dedicated to the sake of God and our community," Muhaysa said.

Since Hamas's bloody October 7 attack on Israel sparked an Israeli pledge to crush the Palestinian militant group, a humanitarian disaster has been unfolding in Gaza.

The World Food Programme has warned that the population faces a "high risk of famine", and only a trickle of aid has made it into the territory.

Earlier this month, one of Gaza's last grain warehouses was hit by Israeli strikes, and at least two of its five flour mills have been damaged.

Azmi Abu Assira was among those who turned out for bread in Gaza City on Saturday, the second day of renewed Israeli bombardment after a week-long truce fell apart.

"We were compelled to come here as there are no bakeries available," he said, adding that the price of a 20-kilogramme (44-pound) bag of flour had shot up to between 300 and 400 shekels (between $80 and $100).

"The people are suffering, as you can see," he added, calling for "a ceasefire to relieve us from the hardship".

Muhaysa, for his part, urged the international community "not to apply double standards, but to grant Palestinians their right to a normal life".

"We seek attention for our cause so that Palestinian children can smile like children everywhere else in the world," he said.