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“We are dying slowly”: how hunger hangs over Gazans

“We are dying slowly”: how hunger hangs over Gazans

“We are dying slowly”: how hunger hangs over Gazans

O United Nations Palestinian Refugee Agency (UNRWA) warned on Thursday that it could be forced to cease operations at the end of February. This is after 13 countries suspended their donations due to the alleged complicity of some of their workers in the Hamas attack on Israel on October 7th. Consequently, if today the situation in Gaza is catastrophic for civilians, what is to come is a large-scale famine in the Palestinian enclave.

Already on Wednesday World Health Organization (WHO) reported that the population of Gaza is “dying of hunger” Due to the limitations imposed on the humanitarian help since the beginning of the war between Israel and Hamas.

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“It is a population that is dying of hunger. It is a population that is on the brink of the abyss“, said the director of the health emergencies program at WHOMichael Ryan, at a press conference in Geneva.

Displaced Palestinian children eat with their hands food provided by a group of young Palestinians in the Rafah refugee camp in the southern Gaza Strip. (EFE/EPA/HAITHAM IMAD). (HAITHAM IMAD/)

“The Palestinians of Gaza are immersed in a huge catastrophe”but “if you ask me if the catastrophe could get worse, yes, completely,” he said.

“The civilians of Link They are not part of this conflict and must be protected, just like health units”, he stated.

Ryan ensured that the healthcare system Link is hanging by a thread and that any additional restrictions imposed on it would be fatal. He remembered that Healthcare professionals work in dire circumstances and with fewer and fewer resources.

In turn, the head of the WHO office for the Palestinian territories Rik Peeperkornremembered that in Link Before the war there was no shortage of food thanks to the sea, which offered a source of protein in fish, while vegetables and fruits were produced. But Fishing and agricultural activities have been completely paralyzed since Octoberreported the AFP agency.

Displaced Palestinian children hold empty plates as they queue to receive food aid provided by a group of young people in the Rafah refugee camp in the southern Gaza Strip on February 1, 2024. (EFE/EPA/HAITHAM IMAD).

Displaced Palestinian children hold empty plates as they queue to receive food aid provided by a group of young people in the Rafah refugee camp in the southern Gaza Strip on February 1, 2024. (EFE/EPA/HAITHAM IMAD).

The war broke out in October 7th after the surprise incursion by Islamists of Hamas to Israel, where they killed around 1,140 people, most of them civilians, and kidnapped around 250.

That same day Israel played a offensive to “annihilate” Hamas. The attacks in Gaza have so far left more than 27,000 people dead, most of them women and children.

Israel also imposed a total blockade of the Gaza Strip. The entry of food, water, medicine, fuel and electricity services was prohibited.

Then Israel made the entry of food more flexible, but the quantity that enters the enclave is minimal compared to what this territory where 2.4 million people live needs.

Displaced Palestinians hold empty pans and containers as they line up to receive food aid.  (EFE/EPA/HAITHAM IMAD).

Displaced Palestinians hold empty pans and containers as they line up to receive food aid. (EFE/EPA/HAITHAM IMAD).

A CNN report described the tragedy civilians are facing in Link.

The American network explained that If Palestinians find water, it will likely not be drinkable. When aid trucks arrive at the enclave, people climb over each other to grab what they can. Children living on the streets, after being forced to leave their homes by Israeli bombings, they cry and fight over stale bread. Others walk for hours in the cold in search of food, risking exposure to Israeli attacks.

O UNRWA It was created in December 1949 by the UN General Assembly after the first Arab-Israeli conflict that broke out after the creation of Israel in May 1948, according to an analysis by the AFP agency.

Its role is to provide humanitarian assistance and protection to registered Palestinian refugees in its area of ​​operations, “pending a fair and lasting solution to their situation”.

The agency operates not only in the Palestinian territories, but also in Lebanon, Jordan and Syria.

Around 5.9 million Palestinians are registered with UNRWA and can benefit from services such as education, health, camp infrastructure, financing and emergency aid even in times of armed conflict, indicates the AFP.

At the Gaza strip 2.4 million Palestinians live there. Of these, 1.7 million have refugee status. Until the start of the war, on October 7, 63% of its inhabitants faced food insecurity and depended on international aid and more than 80% lived in poverty, according to the UN.

Martin Griffiths, the UN’s emergency relief chief, told CNN that The vast majority of the 400,000 inhabitants of Gaza classified by UN agencies as at risk of famine “are in fact in a situation of famine”.

Furthermore, CNN recalls that UN human rights experts warned that ““Israel destroyed Gaza’s food system and uses food as a weapon against the Palestinian people.”

Children stand on top of a small hill near tents in a makeshift shelter for Palestinians who fled to Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip.  (Photo by Mahmud Hams/AFP).

Children stand on top of a small hill near tents in a makeshift shelter for Palestinians who fled to Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip. (Photo by Mahmud Hams/AFP). (MAHMUD HAMS/)

“We are slowly dying”he told CNN Hanadi Gamal Saed El Jamarawhose family was displaced from the north Link and now lives in Rafa, in the south. “I think it’s even better to die because of the bombs, at least we will be martyrs. But now we are dying of hunger and thirst” he added.

El Jamara told CNN that The only distraction from hunger she has for her seven children is to put them to sleep. “Now they are weak, they always have diarrhea, their faces are yellow”said the woman, who said she tries to feed her children at least once a day.

Mohammed Hamoudaa physiotherapist posted to Rafah told CNN the day his colleague, Odeh Al-Haw, died while trying to get water for his family.

Al-Haw was queuing at a water station in the Jabalia refugee camp in northern Syria. Linkwhen he and dozens of others were hit by Israeli shelling, Hamouda said.

“Unfortunately, many family and friends are still in the north of Link, suffering a lot,” Hamouda, a father of three, told CNN. ““They eat grass and drink contaminated water.”

“People sacrificed a donkey to eat its meat.”Hamouda added what his friends in Jabalia told him in early January, when food shortages were getting worse.

A girl holds a makeshift white flag as she walks with other displaced Palestinians fleeing Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip on January 30, 2024. (Photo by Mahmud Hams/AFP).

A girl holds a makeshift white flag as she walks with other displaced Palestinians fleeing Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip on January 30, 2024. (Photo by Mahmud Hams/AFP). (MAHMUD HAMS/)

“There is not enough food in the sheltersthe sun is setting and we haven’t even had lunch yet,” El Baz, who lives with 10 relatives inside a weather-beaten tent in Rafa. She cares for her husband, who she says fell and broke his arm while dizzy from exhaustion.

“There are no drinks, no drinking water, no clean bathroom, the girl cries asking for a cookie and we can’t even think of what to give her,” he says.

Shadi Bleha, 20, told CNN that her family of six twice a week he receives two bottles of water, three biscuits and sometimes two cans of food from UNRWA in Rafah.

“It’s not enough to meet my family’s needs,” he said.

The spokesperson for WHOChristian Lindmeier, said at a press conference in Geneva that the UNRWA had in Link 22 health centers before the war, but by mid-January only six were still in operation.

Israel reported that at least 12 UNRWA employees, out of a total of 13,000 working in Link, participated in the October 7 terrorist operation. This caused U.S and other major donors would cut aid, leaving the UN agency without funding until the end of February.

Faced with this situation, a group of 20 aid organizations, including Oxfam and Save the Children, published a statement in which they stated that the suspension of funding is a disaster: “The population faces starvation, imminent famine and an outbreak of disease due to Israel’s continued indiscriminate bombing and deliberate deprivation of aid in Gaza,” they said.

Main contributors to UNRWA.  (AFP).

Main contributors to UNRWA. (AFP).

Source: Elcomercio

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