According to a report by Human Rights Watch this Monday, Israel is committing war crime by deliberately starving Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.
In a shocking report released this Monday, Human Rights Watch said that the Israeli forces deliberately keep food and water out of the reach of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip to let them starve, a move that the international body described as “war crime.”
“Israeli forces are deliberately blocking the delivery of water, food, and fuel, while willfully impeding humanitarian assistance, apparently razing agricultural areas, and depriving the civilian population of objects indispensable to their survival. Israel is therefore committing a war crime by starving people in the Gaza Strip who continue to face its relentless bombing campaign,” the report said. There was no immediate response to the HRW report from Israel.
Despite the international pressure against Israel to end its air and ground invasion of Gaza, Israeli leaders have said they will not stop bombing the besieged enclave where it has already killed more than 20,000 Palestinians, including thousands of innocent women and children. “World leaders should be speaking out against this abhorrent war crime, which has devastating effects on Gaza’s population,” the report also noted.
The report also claimed that Israel has been hindering the entry of relief supplies from international bodies and other countries even during the 7-day ceasefire last month.
“This contributed to a catastrophic humanitarian situation of far-reaching consequences with over 80 per cent of the population internally displaced, many of whom have been sheltering in overcrowded, unhealthy and unsanitary conditions at UN shelters in the south,” the report explained.
Famine crisis in Gaza is real
Concerns over the famine crisis in Gaza are growing day by day, especially dur to Israel’s continuing blockade of Gaza, as well as its more than 16-year closure of the Strip. Even setting up ceasefire agreements is not a guarantee that food and water can better enter Gaza. This is true especially considering the fact that during the 7-day ceasefire on November, access to international aid was not so much different for Gazans than in time of war.
“The aid that entered during the ceasefire barely registers against the huge needs of 1.7 million displaced people,” UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said this Monday. The UN official also said that 1.9 million people, over 85 per cent of Gaza’s population of 2.3 million, are internally displaced, adding that the conditions in an ever-shrinking southern area of the Gaza strip could become “even more hellish.”
The UN’s Word Food Program also confirmed the gravity of the situation in Gaza this Monday and said in a statement the same day that “there is a serious risk of starvation and famine in Gaza.”
“Supplies of food and water are practically non-existent in Gaza and only a fraction of what is needed is arriving through the borders. With winter fast approaching, unsafe and overcrowded shelters, and the lack of clean water, civilians are facing the immediate possibility of starvation,” said WFP Executive Director Cindy McCain.
McCain also accused Israel of committing war crime in Gaza and said that what Israel has done against Palestinians “amounts to collective punishment of the civilian population, which is a war crime.”