Deaths of Gaza Children ‘Likely to Rapidly Increase’ amid Israeli Siege – UNICEF

The scarcity of food and safe water is compromising women’s and children’s nutrition and immunity. (Photo: UNRWA Tw Page)

The United Nations children’s agency UNICEF warned Sunday of rising child deaths in the Gaza Strip as the Israeli offensive and siege on the territory continues, Anadolu news agency reported.

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.

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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 percent – 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.

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“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.”

Currently on trial before the International Court of Justice for genocide against Palestinians, Israel has been waging a devastating war on Gaza since October 7. 

According to Gaza’s Ministry of Health, 30,410 Palestinians have been killed, and 71,700 wounded in Israel’s ongoing genocide in Gaza starting on October 7.

Moreover, at least 7,000 people are unaccounted for, presumed dead under the rubble of their homes throughout the Strip. 

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Palestinian and international organizations say that the majority of those killed and wounded are women and children.

The Israeli aggression has also resulted in the forceful displacement of nearly two million people from all over the Gaza Strip, with the vast majority of the displaced forced into the densely crowded southern city of Rafah near the border with Egypt – in what has become Palestine’s largest mass exodus since the 1948 Nakba.

Israel says that 1,200 soldiers and civilians were killed during the Al-Aqsa Flood Operation on October 7. Israeli media published reports suggesting that many Israelis were killed on that day by ‘friendly fire.’


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