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War on Gaza: Mother fears 'imminent' loss of last child to starvation

Fadi al-Zant needs urgent food and medicines not available in Gaza due to the Israeli war and siege
Palestinian child Fadi al-Zant appears in a video with his mother on 11 March 2024 (X/Emad Ghaboun)
Palestinian child Fadi al-Zant appears in a video with his mother on 11 March 2024 (X/Emad Ghaboun)

For the past two months, Fadi al-Zant, a six-year-old Palestinian boy, has rapidly lost weight due to a severe shortage of medicine and food in Israeli-besieged northern Gaza.

Zant has been at the Kamal Adwan hospital in the town of Beit Lahia, where he is being treated for malnutrition. His condition is complicated because he cannot receive essential treatment for cystic fibrosis, a genetic disease he has had since birth.

This disease requires a specific diet, including vegetables, fruits, eggs, nuts, and other mashed foods beneficial for his body, his mother, Shaimaa, told Anadolu news agency. 

Doctors are also unable to provide him with medicines because of the ongoing blockade of imports into the besieged territory.

Zant has been living in the hospital for two months on a ventilator that helps open his airways, receiving necessary intravenous solution, his mother said.

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The ongoing Israeli assault and siege on Gaza has killed more than 31,000 people, including at least 25 from starvation, most of them children, according to the Palestinian health ministry.

The UN and other aid agencies have repeatedly warned that Gaza is on the brink of famine, due to Israel's prevention of the entry of life-saving aid from the enclave's land crossings. 

Most of the Palestinian death toll is made up of children and women.

“I am afraid of losing Fadi,” Shaimaa said in a video interview, explaining that she has lost her two other children to the same disease in recent years. 

“Currently, he relies on the intravenous solution and the ventilator, which requires a constant electrical supply, something also lacking in the besieged Gaza Strip."

Shaimaa said she hopes her child will be able to receive the food and treatment that he needs, and that she wishes he could travel for treatment abroad.

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