Deadly chaos at Gaza aid convoy is a symbol of the desperation enveloping the territory

Deadly chaos at Gaza aid convoy is a symbol of the desperation enveloping the territory

Politico reports:

The chaos punctuated by heavy Israeli fire that killed 115 Palestinians trying to get bags of flour from an aid convoy highlights the desperation of the hundreds of thousands struggling to survive amid the devastation of northern Gaza after nearly five months of fighting between Israel and Hamas.

Residents say they have taken to searching piles of rubble and garbage for anything to feed their children, who barely eat one meal a day. Many families have begun mixing animal and bird food with grain to bake bread. International aid officials say they have encountered catastrophic hunger.

“We’re dying from starvation,” Soad Abu Hussein, a widow and mother of five children who has taken shelter in a school in the Jabaliya refugee camp, said Saturday.

Northern Gaza has borne the brunt of the conflict that began when Hamas launched an attack into southern Israel on Oct. 7, killing 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and seizing around 250 hostages.

Israel’s air, sea and ground offensive, reduced much of the densely populated area to rubble. The military told Palestinians to move south, but as many as 300,000 people are believed to have remained.

Roughly one child in six children under the age of 2 in the north suffers from acute malnutrition and wasting, “the worst level of child malnutrition anywhere in the world,” Carl Skau, deputy executive director of the World Food Program, said this week. “If nothing changes, a famine is imminent in northern Gaza.”

That has caused such desperation among the people living there that they have overwhelmed trucks delivering food aid to the region and grabbed what they can, Skau said, forcing the World Food Program to suspend aid deliveries to the north.

“The breakdown in civil order, driven by sheer desperation, is preventing the safe distribution of aid — and we have a duty to protect our staff,” he said. [Continue reading…]

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