‘THE occupation is starving us,’ a young boy said yesterday, speaking alongside several dozen other young children who are among the 60,000 Palestinians who are sheltering from the Israeli genocidal bombing at Gaza’s main hospital.
A group of children spoke to reporters outside al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, the main medical complex in the bombarded territory.
The young boys and girls called on the international community to pay attention to the child victims of Israel’s attacks of Gaza.
‘Since October 7, we’ve faced extermination, killing, bombing falling over our heads. All of this in front of the world. They lie to the world that they kill the fighters, but they kill the people of Gaza, their dreams and their future,’ the boy said in English, reading from a paper.
‘The occupation is starving us. We don’t find water, food and we drink from the unusable water. We come now to shout and invite you to protect us. We want to live, we want peace, we want to judge the killers of children. We want medicine, food and education and we want to live as the other children live.’
The UN’s special rapporteur on the right to adequate housing warned yesterday that Israel’s ‘systematic’ bombing of civilian housing and facilities is illegal under international humanitarian law.
‘Such acts amount to war crimes and when directed against a civilian population, they also amount to crimes against humanity,’ Balakrishnan Rajagopal said in a statement.
According to the UN, Israel has destroyed 45 per cent of all housing units in Gaza since October 7 and internally displaced about 1.5 million people.
The only operative mill in Gaza remains unable to grind wheat due to a lack of electricity and fuel. Eleven bakeries have been hit and destroyed since October 7.
Essential food items such as rice, pulses and vegetable oil are nearly depleted in the market. Items including wheat flour, dairy products, eggs and mineral water have disappeared from the shelves in shops across Gaza over the past two days.
The number of civilians evacuating northern Gaza is surging as Israeli ground forces move in and air and artillery strikes continue.
About 15,000 people fled on Tuesday, compared to 5,000 on Monday, and 2,000 on Sunday, said the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
Israel has arrested about 2,000 Palestinians in raids in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem since October 7. Most are being held under laws and military orders that allow detention without trial or charge.
Dr Ashraf al-Qudra, the Palestinian Health Ministry spokesman in Gaza reported yesterday that at least 10,569 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza, including 4,324 children, 2,823 women, 649 elderly with another 26,475 wounded, with 214 killed in the last 24 hours. At least 2,550 people are missing, including 1,350 children, while 193 medical staff have been killed and 45 ambulances are out of service.
Al-Qudra called for a safe humanitarian corridor for the entry of medical supplies, fuel and medical personnel, and for the exit of thousands of wounded.
He called on the UN and ICRC to be present inside hospitals to stop Israeli threats, protect the health system, and allow staff to carry out humanitarian tasks.