In starving Gaza, newborn babes suck on dates to survive

In starving Gaza, newborn babes suck on dates to survive
A screenshot of a video showing a newborn baby in Gaza sucks on dates

Mothers in the besieged Gaza Strip are resorting to dates to alleviate their newborn infants’ hunger, as there is a lack of baby formula amid Israel’s non-stop war against the Palestinians in the tiny enclave.


A video went viral on social media showing a newborn infant sucking on a date to satisfy his hunger. “I have no money to buy him milk,” the baby’s mother said in the video, adding that her breast milk has become watery and does not satisfy her child.



عندما تشاهد جرائم الاحتلال بحق إخوتنا بغزة 
من قتل وابادات جماعيه ومنع لدواء وتجويع 
حتى وصلت جرائم التجويع بغزة أن تضع الأمهات حبات تمر في فم الطفل من شده الجوع 
لكون الاشياء الاساسيه معدومه!!!
لكن بالنسبه لنا كشعب يمني نقول نحمدالله اننا في موقف الوقوف مع اهالي غزة نحن وبقيه…

— مراد أبو حسين (@moradadbhosun) February 10, 2024



Under the hashtag #GazaStarving, Palestinians on social media platforms said that “some mothers in Gaza put a few dates inside a piece of cloth for their infants to suck on due to the lack of milk available to them in besieged Gaza.”


Since October 7, 2023, “about 20,000 babies have been born into war,” said UNICEF Communication Specialist Tess Ingram during a press briefing on January 19, adding, “That’s a baby born into this horrendous war every 10 minutes.”


This comes as the situation in Gaza deteriorates more and more every day for all people, especially children, women, and the elderly, as Israel continues to impose a complete blockade with limited access to humanitarian aid through the Rafah border crossing with Egypt. In addition, Israel has carried out ground offensives in the northern and central parts of the strip, with a plan to invade the southern part, where 1.5 million internally displaced Palestinians are living. Furthermore, artillery shelling has not stopped on the southern part of the enclave, especially the city of Rafah, along the border with Egypt’s Sinai.


As of February 9, Israel has killed about 27,950 Palestinians (7,700 women and 12,200 children) since the war began on October 7, 2023, said the Palestinian Ministry of Health. Meanwhile, the number of injured Palestinians rose to 67,500 people, the majority of whom are children.


The ministry added that Gaza has a shortage of vaccines, which could lead to 360,000 cases of infectious diseases. 


“No child should grow up in fear, pain and hunger. Yet, today, no child in Gaza is free from fear, pain and hunger. In fact, they will be considered lucky if they can even survive this war and have the chance to grow up,” said Ann Skelton, head of the UN Child Rights Committee, on February 8.