UN experts say Gaza children dying in Israel's 'starvation campaign'

AFP , Tuesday 9 Jul 2024

UN rights experts on Tuesday accused Israel of carrying out a "targeted starvation campaign" that has resulted in the deaths of children in Gaza.

Gaza malnutrition
Palestinian baby girl Wateen al-Adasi who developed a skin condition due to malnutrition rests at the Kamal Adwan hospital in Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip. AFP


"We declare that Israel's intentional and targeted starvation campaign against the Palestinian people is a form of genocidal violence and has resulted in famine across all of Gaza," 10 independent United Nations experts said in a statement.

The UN has not officially declared a famine in the Gaza Strip.

But the experts, including the UN special rapporteur on the right to food Michael Fakhri, insisted there was no denying famine was under way.

"Thirty-four Palestinians have died from malnutrition since 7 October, the majority being children," said the experts, who are appointed by the UN Human Rights Council, but who do not speak on behalf of the United Nations.

The UN experts meanwhile listed three children who had recently died "from malnutrition", after a number of others were said to have starved to death in northern Gaza earlier this year.

"Fayez Ataya, who was barely six months old, died on 30 May 2024, and 13-year-old Abdulqader Al-Serhi died on June 1, 2024 at the Al-Aqsa Hospital in Deir Al-Balah," they said.

Nine-year-old Ahmad Abu Reida died just two days later "in the tent sheltering his displaced family in Al-Mawasi, Khan Younis", they said.

"With the death of these children from starvation despite medical treatment in central Gaza, there is no doubt that famine has spread from northern Gaza into central and southern Gaza," they said.

The experts decried that the world had not done more to avert this disaster.

"When a two-month-old baby and 10-year-old Yazan Al Kafarneh died of hunger on 24 February and 4 March respectively, this confirmed that famine had struck northern Gaza," they said.

"The whole world should have intervened earlier to stop Israel's genocidal starvation campaign and prevented these deaths."

"Inaction is complicity."

Gaza has been facing a deep humanitarian crisis since the Israeli war on Gaza erupted.

Israel has carried out a bloody war that has killed at least 38,243 people in Gaza, mostly women and children.

The UN has been warning for months of a looming famine in Gaza, especially in the north, but one has not yet been officially declared.


* This story has been edited by Ahram Onlie.

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