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UN Warns of Fast-Growing Child Malnutrition Crisis in Gaza

UN says acute malnutrition spreading fast among children in Gaza

Israel has announced its intention to send a delegation to Qatar for further discussions with mediators following Hamas’s presentation of a new ceasefire proposal. Meanwhile, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) has reported a troubling rise in acute malnutrition among children under two in northern Gaza, heightening concerns about an impending famine.

The UNRWA disclosed that one in three children under two in northern Gaza is now suffering from acute malnutrition, underscoring the urgency of the situation. This alarming trend places additional pressure on Israel amidst mounting concerns over the humanitarian crisis in the region.

In response to Hamas’s ceasefire proposal, Israel has agreed to participate in talks with mediators, with the delegation led by David Barnea, head of Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency. However, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office has characterized Hamas’s offer as containing “unrealistic demands,” indicating potential challenges ahead in reaching a resolution.

UN Warns of Fast-Growing Child Malnutrition Crisis in Gaza

UN Warns of Fast-Growing Child Malnutrition Crisis in Gaza (Credits: Reuters)

Efforts to secure a ceasefire prior to the start of Ramadan have been unsuccessful, with Israel expressing intentions to launch a new offensive in Rafah, southern Gaza. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has voiced apprehensions regarding a potential assault on Rafah, citing concerns about civilian casualties and urging restraint.

Netanyahu’s office has approved an attack plan on Rafah, with assurances of civilian evacuation, although no specific timeline has been provided. The prospect of intensified conflict exacerbates an already dire situation, with Gaza’s infrastructure severely damaged and its population facing a severe hunger crisis.

Western nations have called on Israel to facilitate the entry of humanitarian aid into Gaza, highlighting challenges such as crossing closures and restrictions on movement. Efforts to deliver aid, including a sea route via Cyprus and humanitarian airdrops by the United States and Jordan, aim to alleviate the suffering of Gaza’s population but face significant logistical hurdles amidst ongoing tensions in the region.

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