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UN experts say Gaza children are dying in Israel’s ‘starvation campaign’

Jana Ayad, a malnourished Palestinian girl, lies on a hospital bed at the International Medical Corps field hospital in Deir Al-Balah in the southern Gaza Strip, June 22, 2024. (File photo by Reuters)

UN experts have sounded the alarm about the Palestinian children in the besieged Gaza Strip losing their lives due to Israel’s “starvation campaign.”

“We declare that Israel’s intentional and targeted starvation campaign against the Palestinian people is a form of genocidal violence and has resulted in famine across all of Gaza,” ten United Nations experts said in a statement on Tuesday.

The UN experts said the regime's complete water, food, fuel and medicine blockade to Gaza had led to famine in the territory.

“Thirty-four Palestinians have died from malnutrition since October 7, the majority being children,” said the experts, including the UN special rapporteur on the Right to Food, Michael Fakhri.

The UN experts’ statement was immediately slammed by the Israeli regime’s mission to the UN in Geneva, which claimed “Mr. Fakhri … [is] spreading misinformation” about the inevitable famine reported by officials.  

Meanwhile, UN experts listed three children who had recently died “from malnutrition,” after a number of others were said to have starved to death in northern Gaza earlier this year.

They named, “Fayez Ataya, who was barely six months old, died on 30 May 2024, and 13-year-old Abdulqader sl-Serhi died on June 1, 2024 at the Al-Aqsa Hospital in Deir Al-Balah.” Also, Ahmad Abu Reida, 9, died just two days later “in the tent sheltering his displaced family in al-Mawasi, Khan Younis.”

10-year-old Yazan al-Kafarneh and a 2-month-old baby also died of hunger on 4 March and February 24, respectively, proving famine had struck northern Gaza, they said.

“The whole world should have intervened earlier to stop Israel’s genocidal starvation campaign and prevented these deaths.”

For months, UN officials have been warning of a looming famine in Gaza, especially in the north. However, the international body has yet to officially declare the famine in Gaza.

Israeli forces have been preventing the entry of aid into the Gaza Strip for 64 days, threatening an increase in deaths due to hunger, especially among children.

The complete closure of the crossings is part of deepening the famine and continuing the genocide crime against civilians, children, and women for the tenth consecutive month.

According to reports, the regime intensified its starvation policy in the governorates of the Gaza Strip, particularly in Gaza and the northern governorates, by closing humanitarian aid crossings and targeting food warehouses and production facilities.

The Gaza government said in a statement it holds Israel "and the American administration fully responsible for the ongoing crime of starvation against our Palestinian people, whether through genocide or the prevention of aid entry."

"We call on the international community, the United Nations, various international organizations, and all free countries of the world to pressure the 'israeli' occupation and the American administration to stop the genocide war, open the crossings, and allow the immediate and urgent entry of aid. We also call for intensified international efforts to lift the siege on the Gaza Strip," it said.

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