Jabalia and Beit Hanoun declared disaster areas as Gaza’s children die of malnutrition

Ahram Online , Sunday 2 Jun 2024

The head of the Municipal Emergency Committee in North Gaza declared the Jabalia refugee camp and the city of Beit Hanoun disaster areas due to the unspeakable destruction caused by Israeli bombardment.

Hana Al-Rai, 3, left, who suffers from diabetes, a weakened immune system and malnutrition, rests at Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in Deir al-Balah in the central Gaza Strip, , June 2024. AP


The committee said in a press conference that the Israeli occupation destroyed 50,000 housing units and bulldozed drainage networks and roads in most municipalities in northern Gaza, indicating the destruction of 35 water wells, schools, and UNRWA facilities.

It also warned of an imminent famine in northern Gaza.

Meanwhile, civil defence teams recovered on Sunday the bodies of 50 Palestinians from the Jabalia refugee camp, bringing the total number of bodies retrieved since the withdrawal of the Israeli army from the camp to more than 120, WAFA news agency reported.

On Friday, rescue teams recovered over 70 bodies, including 20 children. The search continues for dozens of missing individuals among the rubble of homes, shelters, schools, and hospitals, all of which were not spared from the relentless Israeli bombardment and destruction.

Children are starving

Gaza’s children are dying of malnutrition as Israel's Rafah operation heightens threat of famine in the Palestinian Strip, the Guardian reported.

At least 30 child victims of malnutrition have been recorded in Gaza, but almost all died in the north.

The Israeli seizure of the Rafah crossing in May means hunger now threatens the whole strip.

On Friday, UN humanitarians said that far too little aid is reaching people in Gaza to the extent that children are now starving, in a renewed appeal to Israel to respect international law regarding the safe passage of lifesaving relief in the war-shattered enclave.

The alert from the World Health Organization (WHO) follows the finding that more than four in five children “did not eat for a whole day at least once in the three days” ahead of a food insecurity survey.

“These are children under five who are not getting food all day,” said WHO spokesperson Dr. Margaret Harris. “So, you ask, ‘Are the supplies getting through?’ No, children are starving.”

Additional worrying data from the food insecurity snapshot survey indicated that almost all of the youngsters surveyed in Gaza now eat just two different food groups per day, when the WHO recommendation is at least five.

According to an update this week from the UN aid coordination office, OCHA, since mid-January, more than 93,400 children under five have been screened for malnutrition in Gaza; 7,280 were found to have acute malnutrition, including 5,604 with moderate acute malnutrition and 1,676 with severe acute malnutrition.

Ongoing massacres

The Palestinian health ministry said Sunday that Israel killed at least 60 people in Gaza over the past 24 hours, raising the Palestinian death toll to at least 36,439 people since the war began in October.

Fighting rocked Gaza overnight and Sunday, with the military reporting more air strikes and ground combat, AFP reported.

Heavy fighting has flared in far-southern Rafah, where Israel sent tanks and troops in early May, ignoring concerns for displaced civilians sheltering in the city.

Israeli Apache attack helicopters on Sunday opened fire on targets in central Rafah, a jet fired a missile at a house in the western Tel al-Sultan district, and artillery shelling targeted the southern Brazil neighborhood, witnesses said.

Elsewhere in Gaza, Israeli helicopters fired at targets in Gaza City's Zeitun and Sabra areas, and an air strike hit a house in the city's east, AFP reporters said.

Three people were killed including a woman and a child, when an air strike hit a family apartment in Gaza City's Daraj neighborhood, a hospital medic said.

Artillery shelling also targeted areas of Deir Al-Balah and the Bureij and Nuseirat camps, witnesses said.



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