HomeWorld'Gazans are eating grass, drinking polluted water' - Times of India

‘Gazans are eating grass, drinking polluted water’ – Times of India

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The conflict in Gaza continues to escalate, with intense fighting and bombardment leading to a significant increase in casualties.
The health ministry in the Hamas-run Palestinian territory on Tuesday reported that 128 more people were killed overnight due to heavy Israeli strikes and urban combat across the besieged Gaza Strip. Khan Yunis, a southern city, has become the epicenter of the conflict, with vast areas transformed into a desolate landscape of destruction.
The ongoing war has left Gaza in a state of devastation, with widespread displacement, neighborhoods reduced to rubble, and a surge in deadly diseases. The medical system has been severely impacted by the bombardment, and the population now faces the imminent threats of starvation and dehydration. The situation has deteriorated to such an extent that Martin Griffiths, the UN’s emergency relief chief, said that the “great majority” of 400,000 Gazans at risk of starvation “are actually in famine.”
In Gaza, a dire humanitarian crisis unfolds as the region teeters on the brink of famine, exacerbated by the ongoing conflict. Hanadi Gamal Saed El Jamara, a mother of seven from Rafah, paints a harrowing picture of her family’s struggle for survival. “They are weak now, they always have diarrhea, their faces are yellow,” she told CNN, describing the toll that hunger has taken on her children and her ailing husband.
The situation in Gaza is dire, with civilians and health workers forgoing meals to feed their children the scant food available. Clean water is a rarity, and when aid does arrive, desperate scrambles ensue. The streets witness children, displaced by Israel’s bombardment, fighting over stale bread, while others wander for hours in search of sustenance, risking exposure to further strikes.
Even before the conflict escalated, the majority of Gaza’s population relied on food support due to a partial blockade imposed by Israel and Egypt for 17 years. The recent bombardment and siege have severely depleted essential supplies, leaving the entire population of approximately 2.2 million facing acute food insecurity or worse. Martin Griffiths, the UN’s emergency relief chief, said, “the ‘great majority’ of 400,000 Gazans characterized by UN agencies as at risk of starving ‘are actually in famine.'” UN human rights experts have accused Israel of using food as a weapon against the Palestinian people by destroying Gaza’s food system.
As per the CNN report, starvation and dehydration now pose significant threats to survival. El Jamara, reflecting on the dire situation, remarked, “We are dying slowly. I think it’s even better to die from the bombs, at least we will be martyrs. But now we are dying out of hunger and thirst.”
Mohammed Hamouda, a displaced physical therapist, recounted the tragic death of his colleague, Odeh Al-Haw, while trying to secure water for his family, highlighting the extreme conditions faced by Gaza residents. “They eat grass and drink polluted water,” Hamouda told CNN.
Israel unleashed its assault on Gaza in response to the Hamas attack in which 1,200 Israelis were killed and 253 taken hostage. More than 100 hostages remain captive in Gaza.
The health ministry in Gaza reports that the Israeli military campaign has led to the death of over 26,000 Palestinians and left 65,000 injured. According to the latest figures, 114 Palestinians lost their lives and 249 were wounded in the last 24 hours alone.
Israel maintains that its military operations in Gaza have neutralized approximately 9,000 Palestinian fighters.
(With inputs from agencies)





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