Every single child in Gaza is facing death – either by Israeli bombardments, starvation or disease.

More than one million children are living a catastrophic health emergency directly caused by Israel’s ongoing blockade of humanitarian aid, according to a new report by Save the Children.

In northern Gaza, which has effectively been cut off from aid deliveries by the Israeli military, one in six toddlers is acutely malnourished, says UNICEF, the United Nations’ children’s fund.

“The Gaza Strip is poised to witness an explosion in preventable child deaths which would compound the already unbearable level of child deaths in Gaza,” warned Ted Chaiban of UNICEF last week.

“If the conflict doesn’t end now, children’s nutrition will continue to plummet, leading to preventable deaths or health issues which will affect the children of Gaza for the rest of their lives and have potential intergenerational consequences,” Chaiban added.

“The Israeli occupation is placing the residents of the Gaza Strip in a triangle of targeting, famine and epidemics,” the Palestinian health ministry stated over the weekend.

Palestinian rights groups say that Israel has brazenly ignored the International Court of Justice’s orders on 26 January to prevent genocidal acts, stop incitement to genocide and “enable the provision of urgently needed basic services and humanitarian assistance” to Palestinians in Gaza.

“Israel continues to deliberately attack hospitals, pushing the health sector out of service, while using starvation as a weapon of war,” a coalition of Palestinian human rights organizations stated on Monday.

Humanitarian aid delivery has declined since the ICJ ruling “as Israel escalated its delegitimization campaign” against the UN agency for Palestine refugees (UNRWA), the groups added.

“The denial of aid delivery to northern Gaza is particularly alarming,” they say.

According to the United Nations, fewer than 20 percent of humanitarian aid missions during the first six weeks of the year for areas in northern Gaza were facilitated, while more than 50 percent were denied.

Phillippe Lazzarini, the head of UNRWA, said that the agency has not been able to complete a food aid delivery to northern Gaza for more than a month.

Amnesty International released a similar statement on Monday, admonishing Israel’s failure to comply with the World Court’s orders.

Heba Morayef, Amnesty International’s regional director, warned the US, UK, Germany and other Western countries “with influence over the Israeli government” that they “must not stand by and watch as Palestinian civilians die preventable deaths due to bombardment, lack of food and water, the spread of diseases and lack of healthcare.”

Morayef said that “in light of the humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza, these states’ support for Israel’s actions, including its flouting of the ICJ’s ruling, is indefensible and could violate their obligation to prevent genocide.”

The World Food Programme announced last week that it was pausing aid deliveries to the northern areas “until conditions are in place that allow for safe distributions.”

The agency said that they were making this decision after crowds of hungry people “looted” or climbed aboard their trucks amidst “the collapse of civil order.”

“A large-scale expansion of the flow of assistance to northern Gaza is urgently needed to avoid disaster,” the World Food Programme said, adding that access points to the north of Gaza must open and that “significantly higher volumes of food coming into the Gaza strip from multiple routes” are needed for the agency to function.

Israeli forces reportedly opened fire into crowds of people in Gaza City on Monday while they attempted to retrieve humanitarian aid.

Earlier in the day, Jordanian and French aircraft dropped parcels of food along the southern coast, with most of the supplies landing in the sea.

Al-Mayadeen reported that Palestinians swam into the sea to retrieve the parcels.

At least one man was killed and many others were wounded in northern Gaza after Israeli forces opened fire on desperate crowds waiting for food aid, Al Jazeera reported on 20 February.

The charity Save the Children stated this week that “the risk of famine is projected to increase as long as the government of Israel continues to impede the entry of aid into Gaza and access to adequate food, water, sanitation, hygiene and comprehensive health and nutrition services for children and families in urgent need.”

Starvation “as a method of warfare,” Save the Children added, “is strictly prohibited under international law and will have deadly consequences for children.”

Meanwhile, Israeli forces continue to allow – and encourage – Israelis to block and disrupt humanitarian aid convoys at the Kerem Shalom crossing.

With a bouncy house, popcorn and cotton candy, Israeli settlers and their families recently celebrated their role in helping Gaza starve.

The Associated Press published a video of Israeli settlers – some of them with American accents – boasting of their blockade of food trucks at Kerem Shalom.

Amnesty International warned Israel that these disruptions by Israeli civilians “do not relieve Israeli authorities of their obligation to take necessary measures to maintain unhindered flow of aid.”

A video shared by the Quds news agency – reportedly taken by an Israeli soldier in Gaza – showed an Israeli tank driving over food.

According to a new poll conducted in Israel, nearly 70 percent of Israeli Jews are in favor of blocking humanitarian aid coordinated by international agencies to Gaza.

A new report from researchers in the US and UK affiliated with major medical and humanitarian institutions projects that if the genocidal attacks and siege continue, more than 58,000 Palestinians could die over the next six months.

These deaths will be due to traumatic injuries sustained by Israeli attacks, infectious diseases, non-communicable diseases and poor maternal and neonatal health.

Adding the risk of epidemics, the report says that the number could rise to nearly 67,000.

An escalation in Israel’s attacks, the researchers warn, could result in more than 85,000 excess deaths by August.

But even if Israel stops bombing immediately, thousands of Palestinians in Gaza will continue to die because of the collapse of the health care system, lack of medicine and malnutrition – especially in young children.

“The ongoing war in Gaza has precipitated a nutritional emergency for children,” the researchers state.

Child malnutrition has increased “to alarming rates in the status quo and escalation scenarios, although with wide uncertainty levels,” they say.

The Electronic Intifada

Israel’s attacks on Gaza “has precipitated a nutritional emergency for children,” medical researchers say. Majdi FathiZUMAPRESS