UNICEF Warns Child Deaths in Gaza Due to Israeli Siege Will ‘Increase Rapidly’

At least 16 Palestinian children have starved to death in recent days

At least 16 Palestinian children have starved to death in the Gaza Strip over the past few days due to the US-backed Israeli siege, and the UN’s child relief agency is warning that the number of child deaths will “rapidly increase” if conditions don’t immediately change.

“Last week, we warned that an explosion in child deaths was imminent if the burgeoning nutrition crisis wasn’t resolved,” said Adele Khodr, UNICEF’s director for the Middle East and North Africa. “Now, the child deaths we feared are here and are likely to rapidly increase unless the war ends and obstacles to humanitarian relief are immediately resolved.”

The latest Palestinian child reported to die of hunger was Yazan al-Kafarna, a 10-year-old with cerebral palsy who was in the al-Najjar Hospital in Rafah. Fifteen children have also died of malnutrition and dehydration at the Kamal Adwan Hospital in northern Gaza.

The UN has previously warned that Gaza’s entire population of about 2.2 million people is facing “crisis” levels of food insecurity, and at least 576,000 Palestinians in Gaza are “facing catastrophic levels of deprivation and starvation.”

Despite the dire situation, the State Department reaffirmed on Monday that it will continue to provide military assistance for Israel’s genocidal war. The US is still not pushing for an immediate ceasefire or using military aid as leverage over Israel to allow more aid trucks into Gaza. Instead, the US dropped aid out of planes over the weekend, a move criticized by aid groups as a public relations ploy since the amount was just a drop in the bucket of what’s needed in Gaza.

According to the latest numbers from Gaza’s Health Ministry, 30,534 Palestinians have been killed by Israel, and 71,920 have been injured. About 70% of the casualties are women and children.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of Antiwar.com, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.