Four children died in Gaza as a result of hunger and malnutrition

A total of ten children died during this week as a result of hunger, the doctors of the Kamal Advan hospital are watching very difficult scenes, children aged 3 or 5.6 die in great agony due to malnutrition and dehydration

by Sededin Dedovic
Four children died in Gaza as a result of hunger and malnutrition
© Ahmad Hasaballah / Getty Images

In the besieged Gaza region, where hunger looms after five months of relentless conflict between the Palestinian Hamas and Israel, the number of innocent lives continues to rise. Another four children tragically succumbed to malnutrition and dehydration at the Kamal Advan Hospital in northern Gaza, the Hamas Health Ministry announced this evening.

"In a heartbreaking continuation of this crisis, four more children succumbed to malnutrition and dehydration at Kamal Advan Hospital in northern Gaza," ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Kudra lamented in a somber statement. The devastating announcement brings the total number of child deaths in the past few days to ten, all succumbing to the same harrowing conditions that afflict the population of Gaza.

Those children had only had a few meals in the last couple of days, and the only meals would have been white flour bread. According to the United Nations, a staggering 2.2 million individuals, who make up the vast majority of Gaza's population, teeter on the brink of starvation in the besieged territory, where delivering humanitarian aid remains a herculean task, particularly in the north, where destruction, conflict and looting have made distribution nearly impossible.

vital aid. Especially since there is now fear among the Palestinians, because 2 days ago the IDF started a tank attack on civilians who were starving and wanted to collect humanitarian aid. In an incredible massacre, a burst of fire was opened on a mass of civilians, women and children, where at least 150 people died and almost 760 people were wounded.

Palestinian children collect water from a water filling station as people suffer water shortages due to the war on February 29, © Ahmad Hasaballah / Getty Images

The grim reality of impending famine is great, reiterated Jens Lerke, spokesman for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), once again warning that without significant intervention, famine is almost inevitable.

"Yesterday, what was supposed to be a lifeline for many turned into a tragedy as Israeli soldiers opened fire, causing chaos and carnage," he said. Eyewitnesses described scenes of horror as Israeli troops opened fire on a desperate crowd of people clamoring for aid trucks in Gaza City in the north of the territory.

After this tragedy, the number of dead rose from yesterday's 115 to 150, and about 760 were wounded, according to the Hamas Ministry of Health. An Israeli army official admitted that the soldiers had indeed fired "limited rounds", claiming they felt threatened, adding that a clash ensued, which left dozens dead or injured and some aid trucks overturned.

The word massacre caused great controversy, because none of the people who asked for help were armed in military uniforms, nor was a shot fired at the IDF. No IDF soldier was killed or wounded, but they define the shooting of civilians as a "massacre".

As the international community demands accountability and calls for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, almost five months since the October 7 conflict began, sparked by a bloody incursion by Hamas into southern Israel, the situation of civilians in Gaza is becoming increasingly dire.

The roots of this ongoing tragedy go back to the long-running conflict between Hamas and Israel, a cycle of violence characterized by reprisals, airstrikes and rocket attacks that have left countless lives destroyed and infrastructure in ruins.

Against this backdrop of chaos and despair, innocent civilians, especially the most vulnerable – children – bear the brunt of the suffering.

Palestinian children hold placards during a march demanding an end to the war and their right to live, education and play on Feb© Ahmad Hasaballah / Getty Images

Human Rights Watch: Israel is starving Gaza

In January, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) issued a ruling ordering Israel to implement six interim measures, including the immediate and effective provision of essential basic services and humanitarian aid to address the adverse living conditions faced by Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, which was indicated by the court as the number one priority.

However, according to a statement by Human Rights Watch (HRW), Israel did not comply with the court's order to provide assistance. HRW presented as evidence a 30% reduction in the average number of trucks transporting aid to Gaza after the court's decision.

There have been claims that Israel is deliberately defying the ICJ, and that this decision by the highest court in the world is counterproductive when it comes to the right-wing government of Benjamin Netanyahu. The organization also assessed that Israel is obstructing the delivery of fuel and blocking the delivery of aid to the north of the Gaza Strip.

The United Nations World Food Program (WFP) recently announced that it was forced to suspend aid in the region due to the chaos and violence facing convoys. Namely, Israeli soldiers mistreated and even physically attacked one of the humanitarian teams that was transporting aid in trucks in the south of Gaza.

Omar Shakir, HRW's director for Israel and Palestine, said that "the government of Israel is starving 2.3 million Palestinians, putting them in even greater danger than before the binding order of the world court." He also accused the Israeli government of ignoring the court's ruling and, on the contrary, increasing repression and further blocking the delivery of life-saving aid.

Israel denies accusations that it is restricting the entry of aid, instead blaming humanitarian organizations operating in Gaza, claiming that hundreds of trucks full of aid are parked on the Palestinian side of the main border crossing.