Bird-feed loaf and a date: What children eat in Gaza

STORY: Warda Mattar wraps a date in gauze and gives it to her two-month-old son to suck on, for lack of any milk.

They're displaced and sheltering in a school in Al-Nuseirat refugee camp, in central Gaza.

Hunger stalks the Gaza strip and almost one in 10 children under five are now acutely malnourished, according to initial U.N. data.

The doctor said the baby was weak. He wouldn't stop crying.

"I resorted to dates to keep my son quiet, he used to keep crying. I had to give him a date because I can't provide milk for him because there is no food, there is no fruits. As a mother who just gave birth, there is no fruits or vegetables, there is nothing in Gaza, the situation is really difficult."

Food shortages have been a problem across the Palestinian enclave since war broke out between Israel and Hamas on October 7.

The hunger children face is even worse in northern Gaza.

These three brothers ran away from home in Gaza City because there was nothing to eat.

They say they came to find their aunt in Deir al-Balah without telling their father.

Their mother had been killed and they only ate every other day, often loaves made from ground-down animal or bird food.

Saad Shehada is 11 years old:

"We used to eat bird food - it was bitter, we did not want to eat it, we used to do so forcibly. We used to have a small loaf every two days. We did not like it, as it was bitter."

Aid agencies have accused Israel of hampering aid deliveries into Gaza and say the military has prevented distribution outside southern areas around Rafah.

Some of the few aid trucks to reach the north have been mobbed by desperate, hungry crowds.

Aid workers report seeing people thin and visibly starving with sunken eyes.

Israel has denied there are any limitations on humanitarian aid entering Gaza and has put problems down to U.N. distribution capacity.

The boys' aunt, Eman Shehada, is heavily pregnant.

She says she lost her husband in the war and was left alone with her daughter. She cares for the boys as best she can.

"They told me about their miserable situation, which also exists here - we don't have money to buy a kilo of tomatoes. I am also pregnant, I am not getting the nutrition needed, so I feel tired and dizzy. I had to stop breastfeeding this child because I am pregnant."

Israel launched a war on Gaza after Hamas militants attacked southern Israel on October 7, killing 1,200 people and taking about 250 hostages, according to Israel.

Israel's air and ground assault has killed nearly 30,000 people, according to Gaza's health ministry, and made most people homeless.