The recent deaths of more Palestinian children due to hunger and malnutrition leaves no doubt that famine has spread across the entire Gaza strip, a group of independent UN experts said today.

‘Fayez Ataya, who was barely six months old, died on 30 May 2024 and 13-year-old Abdulqader Al-Serhi died on 1 June 2024 at the Al-Aqsa Hospital in Deir Al-Balah. Nine-year-old Ahmad Abu Reida died on 3 June 2024 in the tent sheltering his displaced family in Al-Mawasi, Khan Younis. All three children died from malnutrition and lack of access to adequate healthcare,’ the experts said.

‘With the death of these children from starvation despite medical treatment in central Gaza, there is no doubt that famine has spread from northern Gaza into central and southern Gaza.’

The experts said the death of a child from malnutrition and dehydration indicates that health and social structures have been attacked and are critically weakened. ‘When the first child dies from malnutrition and dehydration, it becomes irrefutable that
famine has taken hold,’ the experts said.

‘We declare that Israel’s intentional and targeted starvation campaign against the Palestinian people is a form of genocidal violence and has resulted in famine across all of Gaza. We call upon the international community to prioritise the delivery of humanitarian aid by land by any means necessary, end Israel’s siege, and establish a ceasefire.’

‘When a 2-month-old baby and 10-year-old Yazan Al Kafarneh died of hunger on 24 February and 4 March respectively, this confirmed that famine had struck northern Gaza. The whole world should have intervened earlier to stop Israel’s genocidal starvation campaign and prevented these deaths,’ the experts said. ‘Thirty-four Palestinians have died from malnutrition since 7 October, the majority being children. Inaction is complicity.’

Source: National news agency – Lebanon