Gazans are paying the price

Gazans are paying the price

On Monday, the European Union’s foreign policy chief accused Israel of using starvation as a weapon of war and provoking famine in Gaza.

Israel denies the allegations, which are some of the strongest words we have heard from a western power about the situation in Gaza since October. The EU statement comes on the heels of a UN-backed report that warns that more than one million people — half of Gaza’s population — face catastrophic starvation conditions.

The report compiled through a partnership of more than 19 international agencies, including the United Nations and the Canadian International Development Agency, goes on to say that without an immediate ceasefire and a major influx of food and to areas cut off by fighting, famine and mass death in Gaza are imminent.

In response to Monday’s report, the United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres said Palestinians in Gaza are “enduring horrifying levels of hunger and suffering” and called the findings an “appalling indictment of conditions on the ground for civilians.”

“We must act now to prevent the unthinkable, the unacceptable and the unjustifiable,” he said.

Palestinians buy food at a local market next to a destroyed residential building by the Israeli airstrikes, during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, in Rafah, Gaza Strip, March 14, 2024.
(AP Photo/Fatima Shbair)

Scholars of famine say this is the worst food deprivation they have observed in war time since the Second World War. And according to international law, intentional starvation of a population is a war crime.

A new report from the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) finds that 1.1 million people, half of Gaza, experience catastrophic food insecurity. This chart from the March 18, 2024 IPC report details the current and projected categorization of Gazans within its 5-point food insecurity classification scale, which include: (1) Minimal/None, (2) Stressed, (3) Crisis, (4) Emergency, and (5) Catastrophe/Famine.
(Integrated Food Security Phase Classification)

Hilal Elver joined us to share her extensive expertise on the issue. Prof. Elver is the former United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, a position she held for six years, from 2014 to 2020. She is also a research professor of Global Studies at the University of California Santa Barbara and a Global Distinguished Fellow at the Resnick Center for Food Law and Policy at UCLA School of Law. Elver currently serves on the committee of experts at the Committee on World Food Security.

With almost 50 per cent of Gaza’s population under 18, Elver says children are forced to grow up quickly in Gaza. She worries for their future. She says even if we stop the war right now, “we’re going to lose this generation.”

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Famine Review Committee Report: Gaza Strip Acute Food Insecurity March 2024 — Integrated Food Security Phase Classification

Mass Starvation: The History and Future of Famine by Alex de Waal

U.N. chief pleads for Gaza lifeline at Egypt border crossing

From the archives – in The Conversation

Read more:
Western moral credibility is dying along with thousands of Gaza citizens

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Ramadan will be difficult for those in Gaza or other war zones – what does fasting mean for those who might be already starving?

Read more:
Israeli siege has placed Gazans at risk of starvation − prewar policies made them vulnerable in the first place

The post “Gazans are paying the price” by Vinita Srivastava, Host + Producer, Don’t Call Me Resilient was published on 03/21/2024 by