Living conditions for the family have gotten much worse since my visit. They have electricity four hours a day, medicine is in short supply, and they have to get all their water delivered by truck. Overall unemployment in Gaza is 27 percent, with youth unemployment at a staggering 60 percent, according to the World Bank.
That high unemployment presents the biggest problem, said one of my hosts, family member Jihad Mosalami, an English professor. "People can't survive," he told me in a phone interview.
Many of Mosalami's students were among the tens of thousands who have gathered to demonstrate at the fence separating Gaza and Israel of the past several weeks. "A few went to the fence to throw stones," he said. "Others went to the fence to pray."
It didn't matter to Israel Defense Forces soldiers, who shot tear gas and live ammunition at the gathering Palestinians.
"It was like hell," said Mosalami.