THOUSAND OSI Translation. Region: Spanish/Latin America/UN –
Source: United Nations – in Spanish 4
Headline: Israel-Palestine: Israel turns food into a weapon against Gaza, continuing a genocide that began years ago, experts denounce
Gaza is experiencing an unprecedented humanitarian crisis with an imminent famine that is a continuation of a long-standing process of genocide, warned this Tuesday a group of eight UN human rights experts*, who referred to the events in the Strip as a an atrocity that has been going on for a long time with the Israeli occupation and blockade, and which is now accelerating with the current war as part of a continuous process.
The special rapporteurs specified that the inhabitants of Gaza represent 80% of the population facing famine or catastrophic hunger in the world, amid the incessant bombings and siege by Israel, which has devastated that Palestinian territory.
After pointing out that currently all people are hungry and desperately searching for food and drinking water, the experts detailed that the lives of pregnant women are at risk since they do not receive the care or nutrition they need, while all children under five years are at risk of severe malnutrition and wasting, which will undermine the learning capacity of an entire generation.
17 years of blockade generate food insecurity
“Nowhere is safe in Gaza. Since October 9, Israel declared and imposed a total siege on the Strip, depriving 2.3 million Palestinians of water, food, fuel, medicine and medical supplies, in the context of a 17-year Israeli blockade, which has already Before this war, it had placed half of the Gazan population in a situation of food insecurity and had made more than 80% dependent on humanitarian aid,” the rapporteurs noted in a joint statement.
They detailed that since January 1, only five of 24 aid deliveries that included food and other vital supplies were able to reach northern Wadi Gaza, where people face prolonged food shortages and extremely restricted access to essential resources, while in In the south of the territory there is a large concentration of people living in inadequate shelters or in areas lacking basic services.
© UNICEF/Abed Zagout
The UN says Gaza faces a food crisis.
Destruction of the food system
Experts insisted that subjecting an entire civilian population to starvation so quickly is unprecedented. “Israel is destroying Gaza’s food system and using food as a weapon against the Palestinian people,” they asserted.
They reported that Israel destroys and blocks access to farmland and the sea, already destroying 22% of agricultural land, including orchards, greenhouses and farmland in northern Gaza since the ground offensive began on the 27th. October.
Furthermore, Israel has destroyed almost 70% of the Gazan fishing fleet and is not allowing the entry of enough food and fuel for the population to feed themselves.
Livestock are also starving and drinking water is dwindling as the health system collapses, increasing the spread of disease.
Likewise, Israel has destroyed more than 60% of the homes and displaced 85% of the population, or 1.9 million people, who are now homeless.
Continuing process of genocide
“We have raised the alarm about the risk of genocide several times, reminding all governments that they have a duty to prevent it. “Israel is not only killing and causing irreparable harm to Palestinian civilians with its indiscriminate bombing, but is also consciously and intentionally imposing a high rate of disease, prolonged malnutrition, dehydration and starvation by destroying civilian infrastructure,” the experts emphasized.
They stressed that to avoid famine, aid must be allowed to arrive immediately and without any obstacles.
“Our alarm at the genocide that is occurring refers not only to the current bombing of Gaza but also to the slow suffering and death caused by Israel’s long-standing occupation, blockade and ongoing destruction of civilian property, as the genocide advances. through a continuous process and is not a singular event,” they argued.
The special rapporteurs concluded by stating that the only clear path to achieving peace, security and stability for Israelis and Palestinians is to allow Palestinian self-determination. “And this can only be achieved through an immediate ceasefire and the end of the Israeli occupation,” they stressed.
© UNICEF/Abed Zaqout
An injured child receives treatment at the Nasser hospital in Khan Younis.
Israel continues to prevent entry to 75% of aid missions
On the other hand, UN humanitarian agencies reported that Israeli authorities continue to prevent vital aid from reaching northern Gaza 102 days into the war following Hamas attacks on southern Israel on October 7.
The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) indicated that in the first two weeks of January, only 24% – seven out of 29 – of missions planned to deliver food, medicine, water and other vital supplies reached their destinations in the north. of Wadi Gaza.
Olga Cherevko, an OCHA humanitarian worker, noted the terrible situation throughout Gaza and highlighted the terrible conditions of displaced people in the south of the Strip.
“Some people haven’t eaten in days,” he said Tuesday in a video posted on X. “The kids don’t have winter clothes. There is no medical care. […] The scope of the needs is enormous.”
In its most recent update on the situation in Gaza, OCHA explained that most of the shipments rejected by Israel included fuel and medicines allocated for warehouses, water wells and health facilities north of Wadi Gaza.
“The lack of fuel for the water purification plant, sanitation and hygiene increases the risks of health and environmental hazards. The lack of medicines weakens the operation of the six partially functioning hospitals,” OCHA noted, while highlighting that “intense Israeli bombing by air, land and sea, ground operations and fighting with Palestinian armed groups largely continued. part of the Gaza Strip, along with rocket fire launched by Palestinian armed groups towards Israel.”
Meanwhile, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported that the Nasser Medical Complex in the southern city of Khan Younis “continues to receive a high volume of trauma and burn cases.”
The hospital has 700 patients, double its normal capacity, while intensive care and burn units are understaffed, delaying life-saving treatments.
*The special rapporteurs and Working Groups are part of what is known as the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN human rights system, is the general name for the Council’s independent investigative and oversight mechanisms. Special Procedures mandate holders are independent human rights experts appointed by the Human Rights Council to address specific country situations or thematic issues around the world. They are not part of the UN staff and are independent of any government or organization. They provide their services on an individual basis and do not receive a salary for their work.
The rapporteurs who signed the statement are: Michael Fakhri, Special Rapporteur on the right to food; Farida Shaheed, Special Rapporteur on the right to education; Tlaleng Mofokeng, Special Rapporteur on the right to health; Balakrishnan Rajagopal, Special Rapporteur on the right to housing, Paula Gaviria Betancur, Special Rapporteur on the rights of displaced persons; Francesca Albanese, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the occupied Palestinian territories; Reem Alsalem, Special Rapporteur on violence against women and girls; Pedro Arrojo Agudo, Special Rapporteur on the right to drinking water and sanitation.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and/or sentence structure not be perfect.