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Israeli genocide: Seven Palestinian infants die from malnutrition in Gaza

The grandmother of Palestinian baby Idres Al-Dbari, who was born during the war and killed in an Israeli strike in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on December 12, 2023. (Photo by Reuters)

Seven Palestinian infants have died of malnutrition and starvation in the war-torn Gaza Strip in the past 24 hours as the Israeli war has taken a heavy toll on Palestinian civilians, the Information Office of the Palestinian Authority in the Gaza Strip said.

In a statement on Saturday, the information office announced that unless the Israeli war stops and the blockade of Gaza is lifted, a catastrophe would happen, blaming the United States for the famine in Gaza.

One of the seven infants, a two-month-old baby, Mahmoud Fattouh, died of malnutrition in Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, the WAFA news agency reported, citing medical sources, amid stringent restrictions that have severed essential supplies to two million Palestinians.

The baby died after his family was unable to find milk and basic supplies. The paramedic said Mahmud was taken to the ICU with acute malnutrition, but didn’t survive.

The spokesperson for the Ministry of Health in Gaza, Ashraf Al-Qudra, stated on Saturday that the dire situation in the strip, with over a million people suffering from malnutrition, has exacerbated due to the Israeli Occupation's refusal to deliver essential medical supplies and fuel to the north of the strip.

The UN has warned of looming famine in northern Gaza as the food crisis worsens. There have been reports of families, including children, going days without eating.

Gaza City is in the northern Gaza Strip, where almost no food has been delivered since the beginning of the year, and UNRWA and the WFP have both now suspended aid activities.

The statement said that the Rafah crossing, which had been used to provide humanitarian aid to desperate people and was once called aid "lifeline" into Gaza, is now closed and the news about its reopening is not true.

Rafah, housing more than 1.5 million displaced Palestinians, had been a safe zone, but it is now bombed by Israeli warplanes ahead of a potential ground invasion by the Israeli forces.

Children, women suffering from malnutrition

“Children are eating food that lacks essential nutrients for their growth,” Moaz Al Majida, a pediatrician in Gaza said, adding that nursing mothers are unable to breastfeed their children as their health worsen, affecting the health of their babies.

Earlier this week, a new analysis from the UN children’s agency (UNICEF) and other aid organizations said that “a steep rise in malnutrition among children and pregnant and breastfeeding women in the Gaza strip poses grave threats to their health.”

The situation is “especially serious” in the north, where one in six children under the age of two - 15.6 percent- is acutely malnourished, it added.

The health condition puts children at the highest risk of medical complications and death unless they receive urgent treatment.

“The Gaza Strip is poised to witness an explosion in preventable child deaths which would compound the already unbearable level of child deaths in Gaza,” said Ted Chaiban, UNICEF’s deputy executive director for humanitarian action and supply operations.

The Israeli strikes come amid growing calls for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, where almost five months of Israeli aggression has killed 29,606 Palestinians, mostly women and children, and injured 69,737 others.

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