Gaza child deaths ‘likely to rapidly increase’ amid Israeli siege: UNICEF

SuchTV  |  Mar 04, 2024

Gaza child deaths ‘likely to rapidly increase’ amid Israeli siege: UNICEF
At least 15 Palestinian children died from dehydration and malnutrition at the Kamal Adwan Hospital in the northern Gaza Strip as Israel tightened a crippling blockade on the area, according to local health authorities.

“There are likely more children fighting for their lives somewhere in one of Gaza’s few remaining hospitals, and likely even more children in the north unable to obtain care at all,” Adele Khodr, UNICEF regional director for the Middle East and North Africa, said in a statement.

“These tragic and horrific deaths are man-made, predictable and entirely preventable,” she added.

UNICEF said the widespread lack of nutritious food, clean water and medical services in Gaza is “a direct consequence of the impediments to access and multiple dangers facing UN humanitarian operations.”

According to the UN agency, nearly 16% - or one in six children under two years of age - are acutely malnourished in northern Gaza.

“Now, the child deaths we feared are here and are likely to rapidly increase unless the war ends and obstacles to humanitarian relief are immediately resolved,” Khodr warned.

She called for allowing humanitarian aid agencies to bring aid into Gaza from all possible crossings, including to northern Gaza.

“The sense of helplessness and despair among parents and doctors in realizing that lifesaving aid, just a few kilometers away, is being kept out of reach, must be as unbearable, but worse still are the anguished cries of those babies slowly perishing under the world’s gaze,” Khodr said.

“The lives of thousands more babies and children depend on urgent action being taken now.”

Israel launched its military campaign on the Gaza Strip after the Oct. 7 cross-border attack by Palestinian group Hamas which Tel Aviv says killed nearly 1,200 people.

At least 30,410 Palestinians, mostly women and children, have since been killed and 71,700 others injured besides mass destruction, displacement and conditions for a famine.

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