‘We are dying slowly:’ Palestinians are eating grass and drinking polluted water as famine looms across Gaza

The situation in Gaza is dire, with reports of widespread hunger and health issues among the population, particularly affecting children. Displacement, destruction, and a lack of access to basic necessities like food and clean water are contributing to a humanitarian crisis.



The ongoing conflict and restrictions on aid deliveries have exacerbated the challenges, leaving many vulnerable to starvation and dehydration. International organizations, such as the United Nations, are calling for increased humanitarian assistance to address the urgent needs of the people in Gaza.


“People are forced to cut down trees to get firewood for heating and preparing food. Smoke is everywhere and flies spread widely and transmit diseases,” said Hazem Saeed Al-Naizi, the director of an orphanage in Gaza City who fled south with the 40 people under his care – most of whom are children and infants living with disabilities.


Hamouda, the displaced health worker, used to feed his children – aged six, four and two – a mixture of fruits and vegetables, biscuits, fresh juices, meat and seafood. This year, he said, the family has barely eaten one meal a day, living on dried bread and canned meat or legumes.

“Children are being violent towards each other to get food and water,” said Hamouda, who works at Abu Youssef Al-Najjar Hospital and volunteers at a nearby shelter. “I can’t stop my tears from falling when I talk about these things, because it’s very hurtful seeing your kids and other kids hungry.”

All 350,000 children under the age of five in Gaza are especially vulnerable to severe malnutrition, UNICEF reported last month.