Oxfam reveals Gazans share toilets as children go hungry

Palestinians displaced by the Gaza war are living in “appalling” conditions, with children sometimes going a whole day without food and thousands sharing the same toilet, Oxfam warned on Tuesday.

Deadly Israeli bombardment and fighting have raged in the Gaza Strip’s far-southern Rafah area near the Egyptian border in recent weeks, displacing over a million people who sought safety there, according to the UN Palestinian refugee agency UNRWA.

Oxfam stated that more than two-thirds of Gaza’s population is crammed into less than a fifth of the besieged territory, with most deprived of humanitarian aid despite Israeli assurances of full support for those fleeing.

A May food survey by aid agencies found that 85 percent of children did not eat for a whole day at least once in the three days before the survey.

Since Israeli troops launched their ground assault on Rafah on May 6, only eight aid trucks per day have entered Gaza on average, Oxfam said, citing UN figures, while hundreds of commercial food trucks bringing non-nutritious and expensive goods like energy drinks, chocolate, and cookies have been entering daily.

Oxfam’s Middle East and North Africa director, Sally Abi Khalil, warned that by the time a famine is declared, it will be too late, criticizing the obstruction of nutritious food.

In response, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejected allegations of starvation, claiming Gazans were consuming 3,200 calories a day.

Oxfam highlighted dire conditions in areas like Al-Mawasi, where over 500,000 people share just 121 latrines, with some forced to rely on the sea for water.

On Monday, sewage flooded a camp in Khan Yunis after a wastewater pipe burst, exacerbating the dire situation.

The conflict, triggered by Hamas’s unprecedented October 7 attack on Israel, has resulted in significant casualties on both sides, with the latest figures showing 1,194 Israeli deaths and at least 36,550 Palestinian deaths in Gaza, according to official reports.

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