Palestinian mothers are witnessing children’s deaths

Palestinian children are under constant attack by Israeli forces determined to kill them to establish a ‘Greater Israel’

IN THE Gaza Strip, under the shadow of a 175-day blockade and relentless hostilities, Palestinian mothers are engulfed in a state of fear and despair, witnessing their children’s health rapidly deteriorate due to acute malnutrition and a dire scarcity of medical supplies.

Kamal Adwan Hospital in Beit Lahia, northern Gaza, has become a heartrending scene where children, weakened and underweight due to the lack of essential nutrients, lie in wait for aid that cannot breach the siege.

Among them is eight-year-old Jana Ayad, whose condition is critically worsened by the nutritional deficiencies rampant in the area, a situation gravely intensified by the ongoing siege that bars the entry of humanitarian aid.

Jana’s mother, stationed by her bedside, voiced her anguish, lamenting the severe malnutrition that has stripped her daughter of her vitality. ‘Before the conflict, she was lively and engaged freely with her surroundings. Now, she’s confined to her bed, barely able to speak,’ she shared, her voice laden with sorrow.

She clings to the hope of securing medical treatment outside Gaza, a necessity made urgent as Israeli offensives have left the healthcare infrastructure in shambles, with dozens of hospitals and health centres hit, limiting access to vital medical care and supplies.

Similarly, the mother of 11-year-old Noor Al-Huda Mohammed harbours deep fears for her daughter’s life.

Noor suffers from an undiagnosed lung condition and malnutrition, exacerbating her already fragile health. ‘Each day brings her condition to a new low, hindered further by the severe shortages of food and medicine here,’ she said, expressing a desperate yearning for the opportunity to seek treatment beyond Gaza’s confines.

The ongoing conflict has exacted a harrowing toll, with over 13,000 children lost among the tens of thousands of civilian casualties, a grim tally that includes the impact of famine.

Recent assaults have seen a surge in fatalities, with medical sources reporting the deaths of at least 71 Palestinians and injuries to 112 others in family-targeted massacres over a single day.

The death toll since the onset of hostilities on October 7 has escalated to 32,623, with 75,092 injured, predominantly women and children.

Efforts by ambulance and rescue teams to reach those trapped under debris or scattered along roads are thwarted by the ongoing military actions that severely restrict the mobility of medical and civil defence teams across the besieged territory.
• See editorial