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Israel is starving Gaza’s children to death, HRW warns

10 Apr 2024 - 20:22

Children in Gaza have been dying from starvation-related complications since the Israeli government began using starvation as a weapon of war, a war crime, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said today.

 “Concerned governments should impose targeted sanctions and suspend arms transfers to press the Israeli government to ensure access to humanitarian aid and basic services in Gaza, in accordance with Israel’s obligations under international law,” it added.
“The Israeli government’s use of starvation as a weapon of war has proven deadly for children in Gaza,” said Omar Shakir, Israel and Palestine director at HRW. “Israel needs to end this war crime, stop this suffering, and allow humanitarian aid to reach all of Gaza unhindered.”
A United Nations-coordinated partnership of 15 international organisations and UN agencies investigating the hunger crisis in Gaza reported on 18 March that “all evidence points towards a major acceleration of death and malnutrition.” The partnership said that in northern Gaza, where 70 per cent of the population is estimated to be experiencing catastrophic hunger, famine could occur anytime between mid-March and May.
Gaza’s Health Ministry reported as of 1 April that 32 people, including 28 children, had died of malnutrition and dehydration at hospitals in northern Gaza. A day later, Save the Children confirmed the deaths from starvation and disease of 27 children.
Dr. Hussam Abu Safiya, who heads Kamal Adwan Hospital’s paediatrics unit, told HRW on 4 April that 26 children had died after experiencing starvation-related complications in his hospital alone. He said that at least 16 of the children who died were under five months old, at least ten were between one and eight years old, and that a 73-year-old man suffering from malnutrition had also died.
Dr. Safiya said one of the infants died at just two days old after being born severely dehydrated, apparently exacerbated by his mother’s poor health: “[She] had no milk to give him.”
The Israeli government has deliberately blocked the delivery of aid, food and fuel into Gaza, HRW said, while impeding humanitarian assistance and depriving civilians of the means to survive. This, it added, is a form of “collective punishment” which is a war crime.

Story Code: 631345

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Taghribnews (TNA)