Home NewsAsia Hospitals become deathbeds as malnutrition grips Gaza

Hospitals become deathbeds as malnutrition grips Gaza

by Zahid Jadwat

Malnutrition has gripped Gaza amidst an Israeli onslaught. [Picture: AFP]


The world is witnessing the “mass killing of children in slow motion” in Palestine, according to a nongovernmental organisation Save the Children International. Malnutrition gripped Gaza as bombardment continued, with little aid reaching desperate civilians.

The health ministry in the besieged enclave said six children died from dehydration and malnutrition at the Kamal Adwan and Al-Shifa hospitals. Others are in critical condition, it added. This comes as the enclave edges closer to man-made famine.

This comes amidst urgent pleas from humanitarian organisations that aid should be allowed unhindered into Gaza. Nearly 30 000 people have been killed by Israeli bombardment in less than five months.

That number is feared to rise as the United Nations humanitarian agency (OCHA) warns nearly 600 000 of the Strip’s population are on the brink of famine.

“Here we are, at the end of February, with at least 576 000 people in Gaza – one-quarter of the population – one step away from famine,” Ramesh Rajasingham, the deputy chief of the UN humanitarian agency (OCHA), told the UN Security Council (UNSC) this week.


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Airdrops amidst malnutrition

This week, attention turned to humanitarian airdrops in the Gaza Strip facilitated by several countries. The United States (US), the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Jordan, Egypt and France delivered 160 packages of food and medical equipment by air.

But the chief of Refugees International, Jeremy Konyndyk, said such initiatives were “negligible” and, if anything, signalled a “major policy failure”. It also makes Israel look like the good guy.

“Facilitating airdrops – and driving media coverage around them – gives the public appearance that Israel is cooperating with humanitarian efforts,” he said, in a post on social media. “The fact that they need be considered is a major policy failure.”


A viral video depicted soldiers from the Occupying Forces targeting a number of Palestinians who were queuing for aid on Al-Rasheed Street in the northern Gaza Strip. The man recording the video can be heard lambasting the world for remaining silent amidst genocide.


“We have to die and be humiliated for a bag of flour. Because the world is silent, complicit, and happy. We don’t want to bother you! Stay asleep, while we die for a bag of flour.”

According to the UN’s Rajasingham, one in six children under the age of two in northern Gaza suffers from acute malnutrition. Moreover, practically all the 2.3 million people in the Palestinian enclave rely on “woefully inadequate” food aid to survive.

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