Just over a month after the start of the Israeli offensive in the Gaza Strip, the humanitarian situation has reached alarming levels, with 2.2 million Palestinians, the entire population of the enclave, facing the imminent risk of dying from malnutrition.
The offensive began on October 7, in response to an attack coordinated by Hamas against Israeli territory.
In December, the NGO Human Rights Watch (HRW) accused the Israeli government of starving civilians as part of the war and reports indicate that restrictions imposed by Israel on the supply of food, water and fuel to the territory further worsened the crisis.
Second The globe, Palestinians in Gaza have reported resorting to eating grass and dirty water to survive, while children cry and beg for food in the streets. The meager supplies still found in Gaza are trading for more than double their original value.
Food shortages also impact pregnant women, with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) warning of an increased risk of miscarriages, premature births and children being born underweight. The situation is especially difficult for the 50,000 pregnant women in Gaza.
Hanadi Gamal Saed el-Jamara, a mother of seven, describes the agonizing reality of her family, where hunger and thirst have become a constant threat. “We are slowly dying,” she told CNN. “I think it’s even better to die from bombs, at least then we will be martyrs. But now we are dying of hunger and thirst,” she added.
The situation is worsened by her husband’s health condition, who suffers from cancer and diabetes. The entire family also suffers from diarrhea and malnutrition.
Mass displacement, destruction of neighborhoods and loss of life have made the last 100 days of war especially difficult for Gazans.
The suspension of funding to UNRWA (UN humanitarian assistance agency) by several Western countries worsened the situation by depriving the population of humanitarian assistance.
Unicef has warned of the extreme vulnerability of children in Gaza, where all 350,000 children under the age of five face a serious risk of malnutrition.
“The organization had already reported that the enclave became, after the war, the ‘most dangerous place in the world’ for a child”, highlights the report. Unsanitary living conditions, lack of electricity and the inability to refrigerate perishable food worsen the humanitarian crisis.