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UNICEF says Gaza’s starving children dream of a slice of cucumber

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Gaza’s children and young people are becoming increasingly desperate about food supplies, according to the UN’s children’s relief organization UNICEF.

Children are dreaming of a slice of cucumber or begging for a tomato, James Elder, UNICEF’s spokesman said in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday.

Young people who spoke to the organization said they hoped to die in the next attack so that the nightmare of their lives would end, he said. The hospitals were full of completely emaciated children and the few functioning incubators were full of premature babies whose lives were hanging by a thread.

The hunger crisis in the Gaza Strip is “man-made,” Elder said. Hundreds of lorries with food are waiting at the borders, but are not allowed to enter. “Life saving aid is being obstructed, dignity is being denied,” he said.

Elder appealed to the Israeli authorities to open border crossings in the north. This could end the hunger crisis within a few days.

The UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestinians (UNRWA), says Israel is currently refusing entry authorization to all its convoys.

A representative of the Israeli military authority, which is coordinating the emergency aid, said last week in Geneva that there was no restriction on aid convoys. The problem is rather in the Gaza Strip, because the actors there are apparently not in a position to bring material to the people.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said on Tuesday in Geneva that it was Israel’s duty as a party to the conflict to ensure that food for the civilian population could be distributed without restriction.

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