Netanyahu as Lord of the Flies: He has wounded, sickened or starved all 600K Palestinian Children in Rafah

May 8, 2024

Catherine Russell, the head of UNICEF, said this week that of the 600,000 children in Rafah, southern Gaza, all of them are either injured, or sick, or malnourished. Much of the Gaza population has been forced south to Rafah by the Israeli military, which had promised them it was a safe zone. She added, “Over 200 days of war have already killed and maimed tens of thousands of children in Gaza.”

600,000 is only a little less than the population of Boston within city limits. Imagine Boston as populated only by children. Then imagine them all, every one, as injured by shrapnel, or suffering gastrointestinal and liver diseases, or as wasting away with hunger from lack of food. And imagine the monster that puts this many children in this box deliberately.

Israeli airstrikes on Rafah have continued daily, often killing or wounding children. Since Israel has destroyed the hospital system, children have to have operations or limbs amputated without anesthesia or antibiotics.

It should be underlined that these injuries, maladies and food deficits have been imposed on these children by Israeli military policy, which displays a reckless disregard for civilian welfare. Israeli rules of engagement, the most inhumane in the world, permit 15 to 20 civilian deaths per militant killed. Typically in warfare 3 persons are wounded for every one killed, so this ROE likely must be interpreted as allowing the wounding of 45 to 60 civilians in each strike on a member of the Hamas paramilitary.

The UN reports from the Gaza Ministry of Health that since October 7, “34,622 Palestinians were killed in Gaza and 77,867 Palestinians were injured.” Some 70% of the killed have been women and children.

The UN adds, “Between the afternoons of 1 and 3 May, according to the Ministry of Health (MoH) in Gaza, 54 Palestinians were killed and 102 injured, including 26 killed and 51 injured in the last 24 hours.”

In addition, according to the UN, Palestinian civil defense estimates that a further 10,000 bodies lie under the rubble of the apartment buildings that Israeli airstrikes destroyed, knowing that families were inside them. The Israelis have destroyed all the equipment that could be used to retrieve the bodies, which are decomposing in the heat. Decomposing corpses leaking into ground water pose a dire threat of disease outbreaks.

CBC’s Matt Galloway interviewed Nyka Alexander, a communications officer with the UN’s World Health Organization. Alexander explained what it meant for over a million people to be forced suddenly down to Rafah (which had a population of about 300,000 before the Israeli assault). He described people sleeping rough or in makeshift tents amidst mountains of garbage and open air toilets. Jaundice, an inflammation of the liver is spreading in the population, including among children. Flies land on feces and then on food, which can’t be washed except in dirty water.

Alexander said, “Imagine all the sidewalks covered in tents and in these makeshift shelters. Imagine the streets flowing with greeny, bluey, black water that is feces mixed with garbage. Imagine there’s no garbage cans, there’s no garbage collection. There’s just piles of garbage . . . The flies are everywhere as well, and they’re very aggressive. They want to go in your eyes, they want to go in your mouth. From a public health point of view, it’s a really disastrous situation.”

As for starvation and sickness, the UN says that between 27 April and 2 May the Israeli military impeded or denied 60% of attempted aid deliveries in the north of Gaza. In southern Gaza, of aid and food deliveries requiring coordination, a third were impeded or denied by the Israeli authorities. All this interference in deliveries of food and medicine by Israel comes at a time when US AID says that famine is already inevitable.

This week Doctors without Borders underlined the ways in which the Israeli military has cruelly denied key medical equipment to the children and women they have wounded with their bombs:

    • “Delivering lifesaving supplies into Gaza is nearly impossible amidst Israeli authorities’ blockades, delays, and restrictions on humanitarian aid and essential medical supplies, explains Mari Carmen Viñoles, head of emergency programmes at Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF).

An oxygen concentrator is a medical device that filters out the nitrogen in air, delivering purified oxygen to patients. For malnourished children with severe anaemia, injured people with severe blood loss and newborns with breathing difficulties, this device can be the difference between life and death.

But despite being essential to our patients’ survival, we have no idea if or when an oxygen concentrator will reach a hospital in Gaza, Palestine.

As Israeli authorities maintain full control over the entry and exit points into Gaza, they have repeatedly refused our requests to bring in biomedical equipment such as oxygen concentrators.

Without this simple device, our medical teams in Gaza are forced to witness their patients die from entirely preventable causes.”

The petty and cruel denial of medical equipment to the civilian Gaza population has been a mark of the current extremist Israeli government. The Israelis have also just ignored requests to bring in solar-powered medical equipment. It can’t be shipped without approval and lots of procedures can’t be done without it. The Israeli authorities have told bald-faced lies about there being no limit to the entry of humanitarian goods into the Strip, a claim that Doctors without Borders called “absurd.”


Republished from, 4 May 2024.

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