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Palestinians dying of hunger as world watches in silence: Gaza official

Displaced Palestinian children carry rations of soup distributed by volunteers in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on February 18, 2024. (AFP)

The world is watching in silence as the Palestinians are dying of hunger in light of Israel’s savage campaign in the besieged Gaza Strip, says the civil defense spokesperson in Gaza.

Mahmoud Basal said on Friday the Palestinian people were dying every day “under the light of a suspicious Arab and international silence.”

“The suffering of citizens in Gaza and the north is worsening daily, as thousands of them are waiting to die either due to hunger or Israeli targeting.”

He said more than 700,000 people are facing starvation and death every moment if Israel continues to prevent the entry of basic food and medical supplies.

“The Israeli aggression against the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip is entering its 140th day without anyone with a conscience acting to save the remaining lives in Gaza.”

The United Nations has also warned of the growing risk of famine in Gaza.

The UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) said it desperately needs resources as nearly all the 2.2 million inhabitants of the territory are facing crisis or worse levels of hunger. People of Gaza are “in extreme peril while the world watches on,” UNRWA said.

“Without adequate food and water supplies, as well as health and nutrition services, the elevated risk of famine in Gaza is projected to increase.”

Since October 7, 2023, many humanitarian agencies, not least UNRWA, have had to halt operations in the Gaza Strip, meaning hundreds of thousands of people will not have access to aid. Israel ignited its bloody war machine on that October day.

One in six children under age two — 15.6 percent — are acutely malnourished in northern Gaza, according to nutrition screenings conducted at shelters and health centers in January.

Of these, almost three percent suffer from severe wasting — the most life-threatening form of malnutrition. That health condition puts children at the highest risk of medical complications and death unless they receive urgent treatment.

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