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Israel deliberately starving Gaza; UN official calls for accountability

Israel deliberately starving Gaza; UN official calls for accountability

Palestinians line up for a free meal in Rafah, Gaza / AP

London: UN official stated on Tuesday that Israel is deliberately causing starvation among Gaza's population, asserting that Israel should be held accountable for war crimes and genocide.

Michael Fakhri, the special rapporteur on the right to food, told The Guardian that “here is no reason to intentionally block the passage of humanitarian aid or intentionally obliterate small-scale fishing vessels, greenhouses and orchards in Gaza – other than to deny people access to food”.

Widespread hunger and severe malnutrition prevail in the Gaza Strip, affecting approximately 2.2 million Palestinians. This situation arises from Israel's destruction of food supplies and its severe restrictions on the flow of food, medicines, and other humanitarian aid. Additionally, aid trucks and Palestinians awaiting humanitarian assistance have been targeted by Israeli fire.

Human rights organizations have accused Israel of using starvation tactics in Gaza, which the UN Security Council recognized as a violation of international law and a war crime in 2018.

Fakhri condemned Israel's actions, stating that there is no justification for blocking humanitarian aid or destroying essential infrastructure in Gaza. HE warned that the crisis in Gaza is approaching genocide, as Israel's actions are causing widespread hunger and suffering among the civilian population.

“Israel has announced its intention to destroy the Palestinian people, in whole or in part, simply for being Palestinian”, said Fakhri.

Fakhri also criticized countries that cut funding for the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees based on unsubstantiated claims, stating that such actions contribute to the starvation of Palestinians.

“We have never seen a civilian population made to go so hungry so quickly and so completely, that is the consensus among starvation experts. Israel is not just targeting civilians, it is trying to damn the future of the Palestinian people by harming their children.”

Fakhri concluded by emphasizing that the charge of genocide holds an entire state accountable, and the path forward must prioritize peace over continued conflict.

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