Tragic Incident in Northern Gaza: Children Famine Claims Lives – WHO

Palestinian children carry items as they walk at the site of Israeli strikes in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip, December 6. REUTERS/Ahmed Zakot

According to the head of the World Health Organisation (WHO), children in northern Gaza are losing their lives due to lack of food.



Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus
mentioned that the agency’s visits to the Al-Awda and Kamal Adwan hospitals over the weekend were the first since early October.

He shared unsettling discoveries in a social media post.



10 children died due to a shortage of food and “severe malnutrition”, with hospital buildings being destroyed, according to reports.

According to reports from the health ministry in Gaza, 15 children have tragically passed away at the Kamal Adwan hospital due to malnutrition and dehydration.

Another child passed away on Sunday at a hospital in the southern city of Rafah, as reported by the Palestinian official news agency Wafa on Monday.

Dr Tedros highlighted the dire situation in northern Gaza, where an estimated 300,000 people are facing severe levels of malnutrition, children dying of starvation, serious shortages of fuel, food, and medical supplies, and destroyed hospital buildings.

“The absence of food led to the passing of 10 children,” he shared on X, previously known as Twitter.

The WHO’s visits were the first in months, despite their efforts to gain more regular access to the north of Gaza.

“The situation at Al-Awda Hospital is particularly concerning, with one of the buildings being destroyed,” he mentioned.

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Last week, the UN issued a warning stating that famine in Gaza was highly likely.

A senior UN aid official issued a warning about the dire situation in the Gaza Strip, where a significant portion of the population is experiencing severe food insecurity. Additionally, a concerning number of young children in the north are suffering from acute malnutrition.

The regional director of the UN’s children’s agency, UNICEF, expressed concern about the child deaths due to malnutrition in the Gaza Strip.

Adele Khodr emphasised the preventable nature of the recent deaths in a statement on Sunday, calling them tragic and horrific.

Over the weekend, the US conducted its inaugural airdrop of humanitarian assistance in Gaza, delivering over 38,000 meals.

Nevertheless, aid agencies have expressed that these deliveries, previously conducted by the UK, France, Egypt, and Jordan, are not an effective method of distributing supplies to individuals.

Deliveries have occasionally resulted in fatalities. Last week, over 100 Palestinians lost their lives as they gathered around trucks transporting aid with Israeli tanks nearby.

Israel reported that the tanks fired warning shots but did not hit the trucks, and stated that many of the casualties were trampled or run over.

However, Hamas has contested this claim, stating that there is clear evidence of direct firing at citizens.

Several aid agencies have encountered challenges with the authorities. Philippe Lazzarini, the leader of the UN’s primary human rights organisation in Gaza, UNRWA, claimed on Monday that the Israeli government is attempting to eradicate its presence in the region.

Israel has frequently criticised various branches of the United Nations, such as Unrwa, for showing bias and even antisemitism. Some western countries, like the UK, have halted funding to UNRWA following accusations by Israel against certain staff members regarding the 7 October attacks.

According to Mr. Lazzarini, the actions were not solely a reaction to staff neutrality breaches but also had broader political implications, such as efforts to remove refugee status from consideration in future political agreements.

According to him, if his organisation is dismantled, the entire humanitarian response in Gaza would collapse.

An extensive air and ground operation was initiated by the Israeli military to eliminate Hamas, identified as a terrorist organisation by various countries, following an attack by the group’s gunmen that resulted in casualties and hostages.

Over 30,500 individuals, primarily women and children, have lost their lives in Gaza since that time, as reported by the territory’s health ministry.

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