Tributes pour in for Gaza baby killed by malnutrition amid Israeli onslaught

Tributes pour in for Gaza baby killed by malnutrition amid Israeli onslaught
Palestinians are mourning Faiz Abu Ataya, a baby born during the war on Gaza, who died due to malnutrition and a lack of medical care.
3 min read
30 May, 2024
A Palestinian died as a result of malnutrition in Gaza's Deir Al-Balah [Getty]

Palestinians and activists are mourning a seven-month-old baby in Gaza who died due to malnutrition and a lack of medical care.

Ahmed Alnaouq, the Euro-Med Monitor's advocacy officer, announced the news on Thursday, adding that the infant had died in Deir Al-Balah at the Al-Aqsa Martyr's Hospital.

Photos of Ataya shared online showed bones protruding from his body.

Local Palestinian media reported his father described him as a "rose" as he hugged him for the last time before burying him.

The number of people who have died in Gaza as a result of malnutrition and dehydration since 7 October has now reached 35, with 30 of them being children.

"Israel is deliberately creating a famine. The new Labour MP for north Durham supports this, and so by extension, so does Kier Starmer. I'm so sorry Faiz Abu Ataya, you were failed by humanity," one social media user wrote on X, referring to Luke Akehurst, a pro-Israel lobbyist appointed by labour as candidate for the Durham seat.

"For all you pushing the UNRWA propaganda or supporting blocking of aid or denying there is famine, Faiz Abu Ataya is blood on your hands. You are disgusting excuses of human beings," another wrote.

According to Human Rights Watch (HRW), the Israeli government is using starvation as a weapon of war.

"Doctors and families in Gaza described children, as well as pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers, suffering from severe malnutrition and dehydration and hospitals ill-equipped to treat them".

HRW called on governments to impose targeted sanctions and suspend arms transfers to press the Israeli government and ensure access to humanitarian aid.

This week, over 50 international rights groups called for an official declaration of famine in Gaza, blaming Israel's blocking of aid and starvation of civilians, which contravenes international law.

The statement was published on the Euro-Med Monitor website, and said that food levels have significantly declined as a result of Israel's ground operation in Rafah.  

Last month, Oxfam reported that almost all the population of Gaza is experiencing extreme hunger, with people in northern Gaza forced to survive on just 245 calories a day, amounting to less than a can of beans.

Israel's war on Gaza has killed at least 36,000 Palestinians and wounded at least 81,000 others. Around 80 percent of Gaza's 2.3 million people have been forced to flee their homes, while entire neighbourhoods have been levelled by bombing.

Reports state that Israeli security forces have also been tipping off Israeli far-right activists regarding the locations of humanitarian aid convoys, enabling them to attack trucks headed to Gaza.

For months, Israeli far-right groups, notably Tzav 9, have been attacking aid convoys delivering aid to Palestinians in Gaza.