Gaza child malnutrition death toll rises to 31

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A child died of malnutrition in northern Gaza on Wednesday, taking the Palestinian child malnutrition toll to 31, while six people were killed and several wounded in renewed Israeli bombing of residential areas of Gaza City.

The death of another girl in Kamal Adwan Hospital late on Wednesday raised the number of children who have died of malnutrition and dehydration to at least 31, a health official said, adding that the war made recording such cases difficult.

Israel denies accusations it has created the famine conditions, blaming aid agencies for distribution problems and accusing Hamas of diverting aid, allegations the militants deny.

In the southern city of Rafah, a one-time place of refuge where Israel says it is close to completing an almost month-long operation against Hamas fighters, residents said the military had flattened several districts over the past few days.

More than eight months into Israel's war on Gaza triggered by the Hamas-led cross border attack on October 7, aid officials say the enclave remains at high risk of famine, with almost half a million people facing "catastrophic" food insecurity.

"We are being starved in Gaza City, and are being hunted by tanks and planes with no hope that this war is ever ending," Mohammad Jamal, 25, a resident of Gaza City, told Reuters via a chat app.

Palestinian health officials said three people had been killed when Israeli planes bombed five residential buildings in the Sabra neighbourhood in Gaza City. Rescue teams are searching for others trapped under the rubble, while three other people were killed in the nearby Shejaia neighbourhood.

"It sounded as if the war is restarting, a series of bombings that destroyed several houses in our area and shook the buildings," resident Jamal said.

Drone footage on social media, which Reuters could not immediately authenticate, showed dozens of houses destroyed in parts of Rafah, which borders Egypt, with the Swedeya village on the western side of the city completely wiped out.

There was no immediate Israeli military comment on the overnight military action.


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