Gaza witnessing the ‘worst of the worst levels of child malnutrition!’

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A young girl in the Kamal Adwan Hospital in the north of the Gaza Strip

‘Gaza is witnessing the worst of the worst levels of malnutrition, especially child malnutrition, and it’s entirely man-made,’ Save the Children’s Alexandra Saieh said on Sunday.

‘Children in Gaza are being starved, they are being deprived of clean water and they are being deprived of adequate medical assistance.
‘And this is all being fuelled by the systematic obstruction of humanitarian aid and the ongoing hostility. A medical point in Tal as-Sultan (Rafah), which was addressing malnutrition, had to close this past week due to (Israeli) attacks in the area.’
Of the 36,000 Palestinians killed by Israel since October 7th, 15,000 are children.
Saieh predicted ‘an acceleration of deaths due to malnutrition, starvation, disease and dehydration, possibly even higher than what we are already seeing, which is just the tip of the iceberg.
‘We actually fear that the situation is much worse. Back in March, the United Nations warned of a famine, and we have not, as humanitarian organisations, been given the access to stave off that famine.’
Israel’s parliament (Knesset) has advanced a bill to designate the United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) a ‘terrorist organisation’, a move slammed as an unjustified assault on humanitarian aid.
Created in 1949, UNRWA supports some six million Palestinian refugees who live within and outside Palestine, and coordinates nearly all aid to Gaza.
It is by far the largest aid organisation in Gaza, employing 13,000 people there and providing direct services, such as schools, primary health centres and other social services, to more than half of Gaza’s population.
UNRWA’s funding was slashed earlier this year after Israel accused some of its Gaza staff of participating in Hamas’s October 7th attack.
An independent review of the agency said Israel had not provided any evidence for its leading allegations – and most key donor countries have since resumed funding to the agency.
A group of 28 aid organisations warned earlier this year that, without funding for UNRWA, Gaza’s humanitarian aid response risked completely collapsing.
Hundreds of aid trucks have been stuck in Egypt, with food supplies rotting, for weeks after Israel took control of the crucial Rafah crossing last month.
Pressure is mounting on Israel and Egypt to reopen the crossing, which connects Gaza to Egypt, to allow aid deliveries. Officials from Egypt, the United States and Israel are set to meet in Cairo to address the issue.
On Friday, UNRWA chief Philippe Lazzarini called on Israel to stop its campaign against the organisation, saying: ‘Israeli officials are not only threatening the work of our staff and mission, they are also delegitimising UNRWA by effectively characterising it as a terrorist organisation that fosters extremism, and labelling UN leaders as terrorists who collude with Hamas.’
On Saturday, Saudi Arabia condemned the Israeli authorities’ attempt to undermine UNRWA by labelling it a terrorist organisation.
In a statement, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that Israeli criticism of UNRWA seeks to strip ‘immunity from employees who are doing their duty to alleviate the severity of the humanitarian catastrophe that the Palestinian people are going through.’
The ministry said that Israel must abide by international law and stop obstructing the work of international organisations.
Qatar also condemned Israel’s attempt to classify UNRWA as a terrorist organisation, viewing it as an extension of a systematic campaign aimed at dismantling the agency, which is increasingly needed due to the catastrophic repercussions of the ongoing war in the Gaza Strip.
In a statement on Sunday, Qatar called for the international community to stand firm against Israeli plans to liquidate the agency, which would deprive millions of Palestinians in Gaza, the West Bank, Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon of essential services.
Jordan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has also condemned the Israeli move, with spokesman Sufyan Al-Qudah on Saturday calling it illegal and a violation of international law.
Al-Qudah urged the international community to act promptly to protect the Palestinian people and support the vital role UNRWA is playing in providing services to Palestinian refugees. He emphasised the importance of the refugee agency’s mandate, as granted by the United Nations, and called for continued global support.
Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council, Jasem Al-Budaiwi, also condemned Israel’s actions, saying the Israeli occupation must facilitate UNWRA’s work in accordance with international and humanitarian resolutions.
The Muslim World League also strongly rejected Israel’s designation of UNRWA as a terrorist organisation, viewing it as an attempt to undermine the agency’s humanitarian efforts.
The MWL emphasised that Israel, as an occupying force, must adhere to international laws and norms, including its obligations concerning the work of international organisations.
The Maldives Government’s Press Office has announced that Maldivian President, Mohamed Muizzu – following a recommendation from the Cabinet – has resolved to impose a ban on Israeli passports.
Maldives’ Minister of Homeland Security and Technology, Ali Ihsaan, announced the decision at a news conference held at the President’s Office on Sunday afternoon.
The Cabinet decision included amending necessary laws to prevent Israeli passport holders from entering the Maldives, and establishing a Cabinet subcommittee to oversee these efforts.
Additionally, in the case of Palestine and Israel, the President decided to appoint a special envoy to assess Palestinian needs, read the press release.
The Maldives’ President has also decided to set up a fundraising campaign to assist the Palestinian people, with the help of UNRWA, to conduct a nationwide rally under the slogan ‘Falastheenaa Eku Dhivehin’, which translates as ‘Maldivians in Solidarity with Palestine’ to show support, said the release.
Also on Sunday, Kuwait declared its firm support to the United Nations and all its agencies, including UNRWA.
In a statement, the Kuwaiti Foreign Ministry affirmed Kuwait’s condemnation of the threats made by the Israeli occupation forces against UNRWA, after Israel threatened to list UNRWA as a terrorist organisation, and demanded that it evacuate its buildings in East Jerusalem.
Kuwait said the international community must come together to protect the multilateral global governance system of the United Nations and its agencies of which UNRWA is a part.

  • A small crowd gathered to support a big mission in London on Friday: to send off the Freedom Flotilla boat the ‘Handala’ on its journey to Gaza. Severe weather had prevented the boat’s sailing.

John Turnbull, of the Freedom Flotilla Coalition, said: ‘The purpose is to break the siege. There’s so much aid being delivered now by so many nations.
‘Our Istanbul partners have delivered more than 5,000 tonnes in a cargo ship, Akdeniz, other countries have sent so much and there are trucks waiting.
‘Obviously we all know this, the problem is not the amount of aid, the problem is the IDF (Israeli Defence Force) will not allow it to cross into Gaza to be given to people; it’s as simple as that.’
May 31st marked the 14th anniversary of the Israeli raid on the Mavi Marmara, one of the six ships carrying hundreds of activists from over 50 countries to break the siege of Gaza. Israeli forces killed 10 of them.
From UK waters, the Handala will call at ports in Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, and The Netherlands, on its way to physically challenge Israel’s illegal embargo on Gaza as the US-backed Israeli genocide rages on.

  • Grammy award-winning American singer and songwriter Kehlani has released a new music video in support of Palestine, and in dedication to the Palestinian children killed by Israel.

Kehlani said that proceeds from the song’s related merchandise will go to Palestinian, Congolese and Sudanese families.
On Friday, the 29-year-old singer, who has been voicing her full support for Gaza and Palestine since October, released a song titled ‘Next 2 U’ with a Palestine-themed accompanying video.
In the music video, she, along with dancers, can be seen waving Palestinian flags while wearing suits adorned with the Palestinian keffiyeh.
‘As an artist, I was nervous, terrified, worried after losing so much of what I’d valued for an album … paired with the crippling wonder of what music is appropriate to drop during the most historical tragedies of our generation,’ the singer said on Instagram.
‘I remembered my favourite revolutionary poets, singers, filmmakers. I remembered how much impact we have.
‘I thought about my favourite James Baldwin quotes about the role of an artist in society. I listened to this song enough to recognise a love song is a protector’s song, is revolution,’ she added.
The music video opens with an anti-war quote from American-Palestinian poet Hala Alyan that said: ‘Keep your moon / We have our own / Keep your army / We have our name / Keep your flag / We have fruits and in / All the right colours.’
Kehlani collaborated with Palestinian designer Simsim and the Nol Collective on merchandise related to the song.
‘100% of the proceeds are going to be distributed amongst Palestinian, Congolese and Sudanese families through @operationolivebranch (sic),’ she wrote on Instagram.
The T-shirts are screen-printed in Ramallah and cut and sewn in Bethlehem, according to the Nol Collective.
Kehlani was one of the first and main international celebrities who took to her Instagram page to show full support and solidarity with Palestine amidst the ongoing Israeli aggression, posted several stories on Instagram, slammed Israel’s killing of Palestinian children in Gaza and expressed solidarity with Palestinians.
She also posted a video in which she called out other celebrities for remaining silent on what’s going in Gaza.
‘To my peers and people that are in the spaces I’m in, what is wrong with y’all?,’ she said.
‘You’re being silent for the sake of money and business like that amounts to what is going on. It is disgusting.’