Settler Attacks on Humanitarian Convoys to Gaza: 27 children starved to death so far

Residents of the northern Gaza Strip are grappling with severe hunger, exorbitant prices, and a humanitarian crisis that has left many surviving solely on bread

by Sededin Dedovic
Settler Attacks on Humanitarian Convoys to Gaza: 27 children starved to death so far
© Ahmad Hasaballah / Getty Images

Residents of the northern part of the Gaza Strip, where hunger is most prevalent, say they are facing shortages of vegetables, fruits, and meat, and are living solely on bread. They report that the available food items on the market are sold at exorbitant prices, with the price of a kilogram of green pepper at 320 shekels or about $90, whereas it was around one dollar before the war began.

The price of onions is around $70. Um Muhamad, a mother of six children, said, "We are facing hunger; the whole world has forgotten us." She has been staying in the northern Gaza Strip for over eight months during the Israeli military operations.

Several times she and her family have left their home to seek shelter in UN schools. "We only have flour and bread. We have nothing to eat with it or dip it in. We eat dry bread," she said.

Ban and Exploitation

Palestinian officials and workers in international humanitarian organizations said that at the end of May, the Israeli army lifted the ban on selling fresh food from Israel and the occupied West Bank to those in the Gaza Strip.

But on social media, residents accuse "unscrupulous traders" of exploiting people's need by buying goods in Israel and the West Bank at normal prices and selling them at significantly higher prices, taking advantage of the security collapse in the Gaza Strip.

Um Muhamad told Reuters via messages, "There is no meat or vegetables, and if they are found, the prices are unbelievably high."

Inevitable Hunger

The delivery of United Nations aid to the devastated Gaza Strip has been greatly disrupted since the start of the Israeli military invasion of Rafah in the south of the Strip, which is the main crossing into Gaza from Egypt.

Israel is under increasing global pressure to alleviate the crisis, while humanitarian agencies warn that hunger is inevitable.

: Israeli right-wing protestors, including settlers, block aid from entering Gaza at the Nitzana crossing© Amir Levy / getty Images

Israel says it has placed no restrictions on humanitarian aid deliveries to civilians in the Gaza Strip and blames the United Nations for slow deliveries, claiming its operations are inefficient.

Witnesses reported on Friday that planes dropped aid packages in Al-Qarara and Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip. "A large part of the population in Gaza is facing a catastrophic level of hunger and conditions resembling starvation," said World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Wednesday.

He explained that severe malnutrition has been diagnosed in over 8,000 children under five years old, of whom 1,600 are suffering from acute malnutrition.

Children Dying

The Ministry of Health in the Gaza Strip reported on Friday that 27 children in the Strip have died from malnutrition since the beginning of the Israeli offensive in October and confirmed that the north of the Strip is experiencing a humanitarian tragedy.

The Central Committee for Emergency Situations of the Chamber of Commerce, Industry, and Agriculture in the Gaza Strip issued an urgent appeal on Friday, stating: "We call on the international community to pressure to end the war, lift the siege, and open doors for humanitarian aid to ensure that food and medicine reach those who need it most." It added: "Besides the shortage of food, water, and medicine, the north of the Gaza Strip suffers from a severe lack of many basic necessities, including personal hygiene items." The statement continued: "The lack of fuel and electricity, the lack of health services, the non-functioning hospitals, and the complete destruction of all public and private facilities are an attempt by Israel to make life impossible in the north of the Gaza Strip."

The Guardian: Israeli Army Providing Attackers with Information on Humanitarian Aid Trucks

The Israeli army and police provide settlers and far-right activists, who attack humanitarian aid trucks for the Gaza Strip, with precise information on their location, enabling them to attack, reports The Guardian.

The newspaper confirmed, citing witness testimonies, that Israeli soldiers responsible for protecting aid convoys did not protect the drivers and trucks from settler attacks, which have been occurring frequently lately. In recent days, videos have spread showing settlers attacking aid trucks heading to the Gaza Strip, including trucks from Jordan, saying that "food aid should not be sent to the enemy," referring to Hamas.

The trucks, which were attacked at the Tarkumiyah checkpoint west of Hebron, came from Jordan and were heading to the Gaza Strip, where hundreds of thousands of Palestinians face food and aid shortages. The White House condemned the attack, describing the "plunder" of aid convoys as a "complete horror." The United Nations emphasized the need for Israel to protect humanitarian aid convoys heading to Gaza from settler violence.

Additionally, the Israeli army often protects settlers during their attacks on Palestinians and their villages in the occupied West Bank. Residents of the Gaza Strip face shortages of food, medicines, and medical supplies, particularly because the Israeli army closed the Rafah and Kerem Shalom crossings early last month.