Middle east

“Famine” Reemerges in Northern Gaza, Looming Shadow in the Center and South

With the death toll exceeding 37,000 Palestinians in the Israeli war on the Gaza Strip, famine is reemerging in northern areas, and its shadow looms over the central and southern parts of the besieged strip.

The Gaza Strip, besieged by Israel, is experiencing a severe humanitarian crisis, with the war displacing 75% of its population of approximately 2.4 million people, who are now threatened by famine according to the United Nations.

In its latest report, the UN warned that by mid-July, more than one million Palestinians in Gaza will face “starvation.”

According to UN organizations, over 250,000 people in northern Gaza are already experiencing famine, amidst fierce battles in various neighborhoods of the northern province, and a near-complete halt in the entry of aid and goods.

Local residents said that for about ten days, no goods have entered Gaza except for trucks carrying limited amounts of flour and canned food.

Prior to that, the entry of vegetables and frozen meat into the strip had completely stopped.

Facing this humanitarian crisis, residents of northern Gaza areas, including Jabalia, Beit Hanoun, Beit Lahia, and others, fear that the halt in the entry of goods and aid will bring famine upon them again.

These areas experienced severe famine in recent months, claiming the lives of several people, especially children and the elderly.

Currently, the same fears grip the residents of central and southern Gaza as the prevention of the entry of goods and aid continues.

Children Starving

Humanitarian workers at the UN stated earlier this month that the humanitarian aid reaching people in Gaza is so minimal that children are starving. They reiterated their call for Israel to respect international law regarding the safe passage of life-saving relief aid to the war-torn strip.

Warnings came after findings revealed that more than four out of five children “did not eat for an entire day at least once in the past three days.”

Speaking to journalists in Geneva, WHO spokesperson Dr. Margaret Harris said: “These are children under the age of five who are not getting food all day. So the question is: Are supplies reaching them? The answer is no, children are starving.”

According to the UN, since mid-January, over 93,400 children under the age of five in Gaza have been screened for malnutrition.

It was found that 7,280 of them suffer from acute malnutrition, including 5,604 with moderate acute malnutrition and 1,676 with severe acute malnutrition.

Avoidable Horrors

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs highlighted the risk of lethal malnutrition and famine among the most vulnerable individuals in Gaza.

OCHA spokesperson Jens Laerke said: “They are certainly not getting the amount they desperately need to prevent famine and all kinds of atrocities we see. The aid that is coming in is currently very little.”

Last week, UN Deputy Spokesman Farhan Haq reiterated in a press conference that access to people in need, wherever they are in Gaza, depends on the ability of relief organizations to reach them safely, sustainably, and without obstacles.

The World Food Programme reported that insecurity, access restrictions, and damaged infrastructure continue to hinder ongoing efforts to safely transport food to and within Gaza.

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