UNICEF: “Children dying of infections”; Israel claims to be opening bakeries, allowing more aid in – Day 185

UNICEF: “Children dying of infections”; Israel claims to be opening bakeries, allowing more aid in – Day 185

UNICEF: “Children dying of infections”; Israel is making big promises to the people of Gaza; State of Palestine UN application; “it will happen,” Netanyahu says of Rafah invasion; 400 bodies recovered so far around Al Shifa Hospital; 84 so far in Khan Younis; raid on mourning tent of Walid Daqqa; Germany denies aiding Gaza genocide at ICJ; academics accuse Israel of “scholasticide”…

By IAK staff, from reports

“Children dying of infections” at overwhelmed hospitals: UNICEF

Tess Duncan, a UNICEF spokesperson, says Gaza’s health facilities remain severely underequipped as they struggle to treat children who are sick, injured and malnourished.

“I visited four hospitals in the last five days, and I can tell you that every medical director has told me about the impact of the lack of resources and the lack of staff,” Duncan told Al Jazeera from outside the Kuwaiti Hospital in Gaza’s Rafah district.

“They’re running at four times capacity. Children are dying due to infections. Children are dying from malnutrition. There’s just not enough staff and resources to go around. … That’s why we have to rush this aid in, and that’s why we need a ceasefire,” she said.

After the Israeli attack on the World Central Kitchen aid convoy on April 1, UNICEF and other UN agencies suspended their operations in Gaza for 48 hours, but it is now back to “full operations”, Duncan tells Al Jazeera.

“We’ve been here in Gaza for decades, and we’re not going anywhere,” she said from Rafah. “We’re going to stay here during the fighting, stay here as the guns fall silent and then help the children of Gaza to rebuild once there finally is peace.”

Andalou Agency reports: Gaza’s government media office has reported more than one million cases of infectious diseases due to mass displacement in the besieged Gaza Strip.

“Some 1,089,000 cases of infectious diseases and 8,000 cases of hepatitis C were recorded in Gaza,” the office said in a statement on Monday.

UN says Israel approved reopening of 20 bakeries, water pipeline in northern Gaza

Deleted: Times of Israel reports: The United Nations on Saturday said Israel had authorized the opening of 20 bakeries in the northern Gaza Strip and and a waterline to supply the area, as part of a list of the country’s “commitments” to improve the humanitarian situation in Gaza.

A statement from the UN’s humanitarian coordinator for Gaza and the West Bank, Jamie McGoldrick listed other measures announced earlier this week, including the opening of the Erez Crossing to the northern Strip for the first time since October 7 and increasing the number of trucks entering via Jordan from the Allenby Bridge crossing.

In addition to expanding border crossing operating hours and capacity, the UN official said Israel has approved the activation of 20 bakeries and the reopening of the Nahal Oz waterline in northern Gaza, which was shut off on October 9, with the outbreak of war.

Two other pipelines were reopened in October.

The statement said the number of trucks allowed to pass through from Jordan will be increased from 25 to at least 50 per day, while an additional 100 trucks per day will be scanned via the Kerem Shalom and Nitzana crossings in the south of the Strip.

He noted an additional scanner would be installed at Kerem Shalom “to accelerate the transfer of aid into Gaza.”

Update on aid entry to Gaza

Israel’s Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) office says that 419 aid trucks entered the Gaza Strip on Monday, saying it is “the highest number of aid trucks” that entered Gaza since the start of its assault on the enclave.

It also said 29 food trucks were “coordinated to northern Gaza”, where famine is looming.

Al Jazeera’s Hani Mahmoud adds from Rafah: The fact that the Israeli military is allowing this to happen for the first time in six months is proof that food has been used as a weapon. In fact, it’s a weaponization of food and food supplies and aid to collectively punish an entire population.

The decision to reopen 20 bakeries and water pipelines in the northern part and Gaza City is yet more proof that Israel used these essential basic needs to collectively punish the people of Gaza.

The New Arab adds: Israel is blocking far more convoys carrying food aid within Gaza, where famine is looming, than convoys carrying other kinds of aid, the UN said Tuesday.

A spokesman for the United Nations’ humanitarian agency pointed to statistics from March showing that it was much more difficult to get clearance for delivering food than other aid in the war-ravaged Palestinian territory.

“Food convoys that should be going particularly to the north, where 70 percent of people face famine conditions, are … three times more likely to be denied than any other humanitarian convoys with other kinds of material,” Jens Laerke told reporters in Geneva.

Palestinians at the site of a building destroyed by an Israeli airstrike in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, March 18, 2024.
Palestinians at the site of a building destroyed by an Israeli airstrike in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, March 18, 2024. (photo)

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