Israel Palestine Conflict

Dehydration, malnutrition at Gaza hospitals kill six children

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Two children have died “of dehydration and malnutrition” in war-torn Gaza, the Hamas-ruled territory’s health ministry said Wednesday, the latest reported deaths as the UN warned of “imminent” famine.

The latest fatalities were at Al-Shifa hospital in Gaza city, the largest hospital in the besieged territory, said health ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra.

“The death toll from the famine among children rose to six martyrs as a result of dehydration and malnutrition,” Qudra said.

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The deaths could not be independently verified.

“We call on international institutions to take immediate action to prevent the humanitarian catastrophe in the northern Gaza Strip,” the spokesman added.

UN agencies have said the latest humanitarian convoy was allowed into the north more than a month ago.

The United Nations humanitarian coordination office on Wednesday said two children had died earlier of dehydration and malnutrition in northern Gaza’s Kamal Adwan hospital -- deaths previously announced by Qudra.

A dire humanitarian emergency is unfolding in Gaza as Israel continues its relentless bid to eliminate Hamas in response to the Palestinian group’s October 7 attack.

The surprise attack on southern Israel resulted in the deaths of around 1,160 people, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally based on official figures.

Nearly five months into the war, the Israeli campaign has killed at least 29,954 people in Gaza, mostly women and children, according to the territory’s health ministry.

With aid still blocked from entering northern Gaza by Israeli forces, and only entering the rest of the territory in dribs and drabs, the World Food Programme said on Tuesday that “if nothing changes, a famine is imminent”.

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The UN agency for Palestinian refugees, UNWRA, has reported a 50-percent drop in trucks entering Gaza so far this month compared to January.

The UN humanitarian office OCHA also cited projections indicating that “the entire population of the Gaza Strip faces crisis or worse levels of food insecurity.”

More than 500,000 people out of Gaza’s 2.4 million inhabitants are “facing catastrophic conditions characterized by lack of food, starvation and exhaustion of coping capacities”, it warned.

Read more:

UN warns of impending famine crisis for over half a million people in Gaza

Dead horses, scraps, leaves: Gaza’s hungry get desperate

WHO says humanitarian situation in Gaza is ‘inhumane,’ calls it ‘death zone’

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