Yazan Al-Kafarneh, a 10-year-old Gazan child with cerebral palsy, has died from lack of food and medicine

Yazan Al-Kafarneh, a 10-year-old Gazan child with cerebral palsy, has died from lack of food and medicine

(Photo by Mohammed Talatene/Picture Alliance via Getty Images)

Look At Yazan: For God's Sake, This Has To Stop

In ghastly images and videos, the world just watched a ten-year-old Palestinian boy starve to death as a result of Israel's crippling blockade of Gaza, and America's complicity in that atrocity. For days, his helpless parents saw Yazan al-Kafarneh, who had cerebral palsy, waste away into a literal skeleton from lack of food and medical care, the latest in what aid workers warn is a looming "explosion" in child deaths. Yazan weighed 11 pounds when he died. Warning: Very disturbing.

With an implacable Israel continuing to use starvation of civilians as a weapon of war, aid workers say Gazans "are looking down into the abyss." Added to at least 30,534 Palestinians dead and nearly 72,000 wounded amidst the enclave's massive devastation, UN and WHO teams see "an accelerating starvation crisis," especially in the north, where roughly 75% of children are suffering from malnutrition and severe dehydration. To date, at least 20 Palestinian children and infants have died; officials say children in Gaza "are being starved at the fastest rate the world has ever seen," and warn, “The Gaza Strip is poised to witness an explosion in preventable child deaths." Still, Israel is blocking most aid trying to get in. Last week, soldiers massacred over 100 Palestinians scrambling to take flour off aid trucks on al-Rasheed Street in Gaza City, and troops just opened fire on another hungry crowd.

Saturday, the US in conjunction with the Jordanian Air Force made its first humanitarian airdrop into the Strip, dropping 66 bundles, or barely two trucks' worth, of food but no water or medical supplies. Aid groups criticized the move as "political theatrics," "humanitarian aid theater," and a deeply degrading "Band-Aid measure" serving mostly to "relieve the guilty consciences of senior US officials whose policies are contributing to the ongoing atrocities," and who've declined to demand a ceasefire. Evidently coordinating with Israel, Jordan even released a hokey, flashy video of King Abdullah ostentatiously taking part in one drop, with soaring music and quick cuts worthy of a Jason Bourne trailer. Aid officials agree the airdrops are "not an effective way to alleviate the starvation of 2.3 million people," nor the "anguished cries of those babies slowly perishing under the world’s gaze."

Warning:Video very disturbing.

Emaciated child dies from lack of food and medicine in Gazawww.aljazeera.com

Experts say the grisly reality of that humanitarian catastrophe "makes a brutal mockery" of such aid attempts. With at least 576,000 people "one step away from famine," the hungry range from the elderly - like Abdul Rahman al-Dahdouh, who died horribly of malnutrition and severe dehydration - to Mahmoud Fattouh, a two-month-old who starved to death after going days without milk, gasping for breath. For powerless parents, the anguish of watching their children suffer is exacerbated by their knowledge that aid is nearby, yet impossible to reach: Videos show many hundreds of trucks waiting to cross into Gaza amidst a broken system "Israel could fix (for) the sake of the innocent." One mother described seeing her daughter's weight wither from 27 kilos to six: "God protect us from what is coming." One frantic father wailed for bread for his son: "We're coming here to die."

For 10 days, emaciated ten-year-old Yazan al-Kafarneh lay still and dying under blankets on a bed at Rafah's Abu Yusuf al-Najjar Hospital, his body skeletal, cheeks sunk, eyes hollowed - in an intolerable irony, Auschwitz-like. For months, his family had moved south from Beit Hanoun, trying to find food, water and the care he needed for his cerebral palsy. At the hospital, he received fluids intravenously, but "hunger ravaged his body." "We found nothing, so he was met with a slow and painful death," said one relative. "This child had turned into a skeleton in this war." His grieving parents sat agonizingly by his bed, seeing him fade away. Yazan's father shared a photo of him, taken a week before the Israeli offensive began; it showed Yazan, full-faced, smiling. On Monday, as relatives and health workers prepared Yanzan's body for burial, his grieving father told reporters, "Today, I lost my son due to lack of food.”

"I lost my child today," said Yanzan's weeping mother, who held him, an 11-pound wisp, in her arms as he died. "My son is now in heaven, but I never imagined that we would reach this stage. My message to the world is to look at Gaza’s children, and see how their lives have changed." "What are you waiting for?" Yazan's relative asked of an un-listening world. "You claim to be just and righteous. What are you waiting for? We have reached famine." The starvation of Gaza, with its children dying "in darkness and destitution," is a crime against humanity, charged a distraught Riyad Mansour, Palestinian Ambassador to the U.N. "Look at our children. Look at Yazan. Look at what agony they are enduring," he cried. "This has to stop. For God’s sake, this has to stop."

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