Elderly and disabled Gazans starving to death!

Disabled Gazans displaced and dependent have difficultyin getting food and medication

On a daily basis, the death toll among Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, particularly the elderly, is increasing due to hunger, malnutrition, and lack of medical treatment.

This is happening in the context of ongoing brutal massacres and genocide carried out by the Israel, along with a suffocating siege that prevents aid from entering the Strip, for more than five months.

A report issued by the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor confirmed that most of these cases do not reach the partially functioning hospitals in northern Gaza due to the difficulty of access and the danger of movement under continuous Israeli military attacks.

Consequently, they die and are buried near their homes or in temporary cemeteries scattered throughout the Strip, which have now exceeded 140 cemeteries.

The report showed that the direct toll of the Israeli attack has risen to more than 40,000 killed, with about 92% of them being civilians and about 7% of them being elderly individuals.

This occurred within five months since the start of the genocide crime.

It also confirmed that thousands of victims fell and were not documented in hospitals due to hunger, malnutrition, and the absence of healthcare.

The Euro-Med Monitor documented the death of a 72-year-old elderly person on March 6th at Kamal Adwan Hospital in northern Gaza due to malnutrition and dehydration, pointing out that this is one of the few cases that managed to reach the hospitals.

Mohammed Shihabir, a resident of Gaza City, reported the deaths of eight elderly individuals in the Sabrah neighbourhood where he resides in the past three days.

They suffered from various complications due to hunger, lack of medical care, and cold weather.

The Euro-Med pointed out that the number of elderly people over 60 years old is 107,000 according to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics for the year 2023, representing about 5% of the population of the Gaza Strip.

All of them have become victims of Israeli violations, which have created a dangerous humanitarian situation for all segments of society, exacerbating the impact on vulnerable groups due to ongoing Israeli military operations that systematically and extensively target civilians.

This has led to the spread of famine, severe malnutrition, and deprivation of essential healthcare necessary for survival.

An elderly woman, Shifa Salah Al-Haj Saleh, narrates the details of the famine experienced by the residents of northern Gaza:

‘In addition to the destruction and killing we have been going through for more than five months, we are now experiencing a severe hunger war unlike anything we have witnessed before.

‘I have five children and 14 grandchildren, and I constantly worry about what these children will eat because we are living a real war in providing livelihood.

‘I suffer from hypertension, and I always need to eat before taking medication, but I can’t find food. And if I do find it, I always say that I will feed it to my children.

‘During this war, I lost my house, and my daughter and her husband were killed, while my other daughter was injured.’

Elderly man, M.S.,65 years old, who requested not to be named, said: ‘I couldn’t evacuate to the southern Gaza Strip because I am in a wheelchair. All my children have fled, and I am staying with my daughter.

‘We move with difficulty, shelling is everywhere, and sometimes I go for two days without eating anything. I have hypertension and diabetes, and there are no medications available.

‘We rely on what our neighbours provide us, and my daughter manages to get some supplies from time to time after travelling long distances.’

The Euro-Med monitor confirms that the elderly have paid a high price for the Israeli attack due to their vulnerability and inability to move, in addition to 70% of them suffering from chronic diseases that make them more susceptible to the repercussions of Israeli attacks and the deteriorating humanitarian situation.

It is noted that the forms of targeting the elderly varied between direct targeting during the shelling of homes with residents inside, where a large number of casualties were recorded among them, and the killing of dozens of them in extrajudicial executions, either through sniper operations or firing from quadcopter aircraft.

The elderly have also been affected by injuries, with difficulties in their recovery due to their advanced age and the lack of appropriate healthcare.

The Euro-Med Monitor explains that the elderly displaced people, among approximately 2 million displaced people, have also been subjected to additional suffering due to their health conditions, which worsened with the severe cold, lack of food and safe drinking water, lack of suitable sleeping places, and the absence of treatment, care, medical devices, and support equipment.

It is further added that those who survive Israeli gunfire remain vulnerable to death due to other deliberate crimes, foremost among them being starvation, dehydration, and the diseases associated with them, alongside the deprivation of basic and necessary medical care.

The Euro-Med Monitor has warned that hundreds of thousands of civilians, especially the elderly and children, are facing a real and imminent threat of death due to hunger and dehydration.

This is a result of the ongoing Israeli blockade on the Gaza Strip, which has led to a worsening famine crisis and continuous obstruction of humanitarian aid, particularly in the northern part of the enclave.

Meanwhile, the spokesperson for the Ministry of Health in Gaza, Dr. Ashraf al-Qudra, stated that the reported death toll only reflects those who have made it to hospitals, and dozens of others are silently dying due to famine without reaching medical facilities.

Al-Qudra affirmed that the famine in Gaza has reached lethal levels, especially among children, pregnant women, and individuals with chronic diseases. He called for immediate entry of humanitarian and medical aid.

He also urged the international community and the United Nations to use all means of pressure to ensure an immediate cessation of aggression and to take urgent measures to prevent the humanitarian and health catastrophe in northern Gaza.

The spokesman for the UN Secretary-General, Stéphane Dujarric, called on countries with significant influence on Israel to exert their influence to impose ceasefire and allow the entry of aid.

He described the situation in Gaza as catastrophic and emphasised the need to open additional corridors for entry of aid.

Dujarric added: ‘Without a ceasefire, we cannot carry out our humanitarian work in the required manner, nor can we meet the needs of the people on the ground.

‘Now, we are doing humanitarian work whenever the opportunity arises, trying to reach those in need to the best of our ability.

‘Therefore, we urgently need to open additional corridors for aid entry because the Rafah and Kerem Shalom crossings are insufficient.’

He also emphasised that air and sea drops are not a substitute for opening land crossings.

Since October 7th of last year, Israel has been waging a genocidal war on the Gaza Strip, resulting in tens of thousands of deaths and injuries, mostly among children and women, as well as massive infrastructure destruction and a humanitarian catastrophe.