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Friday, May 24, 2024

UN Condemns Israel’s “Use of Hunger as Weapons” in Gaza

UN Special Rapporteur condemns Israel's use of disproportionate force and hunger as a weapon in Gaza, highlighting the obstruction of humanitarian aid and resulting famine, terming it a war crime.

Israel has been using disproportionate force against civilians and using hunger as a “weapon” in its attacks on Gaza since last October, said a UN special rapporteur on the right to food.

“Israel is clearly and systematically obstructing access to food for all civilians in Gaza,” Michael Fakhri told Anadolu on Tuesday.

“UN humanitarian teams reported that reaching everyone in need of food and water in Gaza is almost impossible due to Israel’s obstruction of humanitarian aid,” he added.

He highlighted that the blockade of food and water entering Gaza by Israel has led to famine in the region.

The latest UN data shows that about a quarter of Gaza’s population is suffering from hunger, while the rest are undernourished, Fakhri noted.

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Fakhri said there is no other conflict zone where access to clean water and food is so difficult.

Israel is destroying Gaza’s food system and using food as a weapon against the Palestinian people,” he said.

“We know that 2.2 million people in Gaza are hungry. We have never seen so many people completely deprived of food before,” Fakhri warned.

Fakhri said Israel’s four months of attacks have deliberately targeted civilian infrastructure, hospitals, and bakeries.

Fakhri underscored that Israel’s obstruction of Gazans’ access to food is a “war crime.”

“Israel has made Gaza uninhabitable. This is clearly a war crime because indiscriminate and disproportionate attacks on civilian targets are taking place,” he said.

Israel launched a deadly offensive on the Gaza Strip following an Oct. 7 attack by Hamas in which Tel Aviv says nearly 1,200 Israelis were killed.

At least 27,585 Palestinians have been killed and 66,978 others injured in Israeli attacks in the Gaza Strip since Oct. 7, the Health Ministry in the enclave said on Monday.

The Israeli offensive has left 85% of Gaza’s population internally displaced amid acute shortages of food, clean water and medicine, while 60% of the enclave’s infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed, according to the UN.