Gaza Hospitals Brim With Starving Kids As Israeli PM Netanyahu Pushes On With Military Offensive

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reiterated his stance to proceed with a ground invasion of Rafah in Gaza, despite reservations voiced by US President Joe Biden, The Guardian reported on Wednesday morning. Netanyahu told lawmakers on Tuesday that the elimination of battalions in Rafah necessitates a ground operation.

“We have a debate with the Americans over the need to enter Rafah, not over the need to eliminate Hamas,” Netanyahu said, according to The Guardian. 

Following discussions between the two leaders on Monday, White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan conveyed the US position that entering Rafah would be unwise, saying that “Israel could achieve its objectives through alternative means”, according to The Guardian.

It is to be noted that the development comes amid the tensions that famine has caused since the inception of the war. The region faces acute shortages of food, medicine, and clean water, exacerbated by Israel’s ongoing military campaign, Reuters reported, citing local doctors and aid organizations

The report further mentioned a distressing scene at Kamal Adwan Hospital in northern Gaza, where six-year-old Fadi al-Zant lies in a state of severe malnutrition, his frail body struggling to move. The report further states, that Fadi is not the only child who has been forced to live in famine, there are several children in a similar condition. 

Citing reports from Gaza’s health ministry, Reuters stated further casualties in hospitals across the region, with a significant number of displaced Palestinians seeking refuge in Rafah. Reuters, however, was unable to verify these figures independently.

‘Entirely Man-Made’: UN Reacts To War Famine In Gaza

The Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) warned of an impending famine in northern Gaza, where approximately 300,000 civilians are trapped by conflict. According to Reuters, the IPC, comprising UN agencies and global aid groups, highlighted the urgent need for intervention to prevent widespread hunger and mortality.

The UN has condemned Israel’s restrictions on humanitarian aid to Gaza, suggesting they may constitute a deliberate tactic of starvation, The Guardian reported.

The remarks come after the UN Secretary-General described food shortages as “entirely man-made” on Monday, and the IPC report warned of impending famine in the territory’s north, the report said. 

According to reports, amid mounting concerns over hunger levels and potential famine, the Biden administration expressed deep apprehension and called for unrestricted access to aid in Gaza.

Israeli Authorities Defend Aid Policies: 

Israeli authorities defended their aid policies, stating that there were no limits on the amount of aid entering Gaza. Responding to the IPC’s findings, Israeli government spokesperson Eylon Levy dismissed the assessment as outdated and asserted ongoing efforts to enhance aid delivery to the region.

USAID Administrator Samantha Power called the IPC’s assessment a “horrific milestone” and urged Israel to facilitate more extensive aid access, according to Reuters. 

Meanwhile, senior Hamas official Sami Abu Zuhri accused Netanyahu of exacerbating the humanitarian crisis in Gaza through military action, the report added. 

UN agencies have highlighted the necessity of a ceasefire and reopening border crossings to alleviate the severe impediments to aid distribution in northern Gaza. However, US authorities did not immediately respond to inquiries regarding the situation.

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