Gaza War Death Count Crosses 30,000 As Famine Looms

Gaza War Death Count Crosses 30,000 As Famine Looms

Gaza War Death Count Crosses 30,000 As Famine Looms.

Gaza War Death Count Crosses 30,000 As Famine Looms

Palestinian Territories: The Hamas-run health ministry stated Thursday that more than 30,000 Palestinians have lost their lives in Gaza since the war between the militant group and Israel erupted nearly five months ago.

Despite ongoing efforts by mediators to broker a truce deal between Israel and Hamas, aid agencies have issued warnings about an impending famine in Gaza’s northern region.

According to reports, children have succumbed to “malnutrition, dehydration, and widespread famine” at Gaza City’s Al-Shifa hospital, prompting urgent appeals for intervention from international organizations.

Ashraf al-Qudra, spokesman for the health ministry, emphasized the need for immediate action to prevent further casualties.

USAID head Samantha Power underscored the urgency of the situation, urging Israel to facilitate increased access to humanitarian assistance by opening more crossings. Power described the situation as a matter of life and death in a video shared on social media platform X.

The latest death toll includes at least 79 fatalities reported overnight across the war-torn Gaza Strip. Negotiators from Egypt, Qatar, and the United States have been striving to secure a six-week pause in hostilities initiated by Hamas’s attack on Israel in October. The proposed truce is aimed at commencing by the onset of Ramadan, slated for March 10 or 11.

Proposals on the table reportedly include the release of Israeli hostages held in Gaza in exchange for the liberation of several hundred Palestinian detainees in Israeli custody. While Hamas has called for a complete Israeli withdrawal, a source from the group suggested that the agreement might entail Israeli forces vacating “cities and populated areas,” allowing for the return of some displaced Palestinians and the delivery of humanitarian aid.

U.S. President Joe Biden has been actively involved in the negotiations, with Secretary of State Antony Blinken affirming the administration’s commitment to sealing the deal. The situation remains critical in southern Gaza’s Rafah, the primary entry point for aid crossing from neighboring Egypt.

The World Food Programme issued a dire warning, asserting that without intervention, a famine is imminent in northern Gaza. Efforts to airlift supplies over southern Gaza have been coordinated by neighboring Jordan. Israeli officials have denied obstructing aid deliveries, stating that “50 trucks carrying humanitarian aid” have reached northern Gaza in recent days.

The protracted conflict, triggered by Hamas’s attack on southern Israel, has resulted in approximately 1,160 deaths, predominantly civilians, according to an AFP tally of official Israeli figures. Israel’s retaliatory campaign has displaced hundreds of thousands, with nearly 1.5 million people now crammed into Rafah. Amid mounting desperation, rare protests erupted over soaring commodity prices, underscoring the dire humanitarian crisis unfolding in the region.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has faced mounting pressure to secure the release of hostages, with Defense Minister Yoav Gallant asserting that every effort is being made by the government.

As calls for urgent action intensify, a group of 150 Israelis has embarked on a four-day march from Reim, near the Gaza border, to Jerusalem, demanding a swift resolution to the crisis and the safe return of all captives.

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