Middle East

Palestinian mother pleads for “God’s mercy” after 7-year-old daughter dies of starvation in Gaza

From CNN's AbdulQader Sabbah, Abeer Salman and Sana Noor Haq

Anwar Abdul Nabi sits on the edge of a bed at the Kamal Adwan Hospital in northern Gaza. The young mother tenderly holds the fingers of her daughter, Mila. Just a minutes ago, she died of starvation.

“My daughter moved to God’s mercy, because of the lack of calcium, potassium and oxygen,” she told CNN on Monday, crying into the arms of an elderly relative. “Suddenly, everything dropped, because she was not eating anything with iron, or eggs.”

She added: “She used to eat eggs every day before the war. Now nothing. She passed away.”

Israel’s severe restrictions on aid entering the enclave have exposed the population of more than 2.2 million people to malnutrition, dehydration and deadly disease. At least 15 children in northern Gaza have died from dehydration and malnutrition, a Palestinian Ministry of Health spokesperson said Sunday.

Parents in Gaza previously told CNN the stress of being unable to protect their children from bombardment is compounded by their inability to provide their families with food.

Nearby, Ahmad Salem, a doctor in Kamal Adwan hospital, nursed a small baby sleeping with an oxygen mask. The medical worker told CNN that patients in the intensive care and neonatal units were dying from malnutrition and a lack of oxygen, which are difficult to administer amid fuel shortages.

Mother’s who are unable to access enough food are also struggling to breastfeed, Salem said.

“We suffer from starvation of mothers,” he said. “We cannot find an alternative to mother’s milk, which leads to the death of those children.”

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