Creating new perspectives since 2009

Accused of starving Gazans, Israel approves opening new crossing

December 12, 2023 at 5:17 pm

Palestinians queue for food as Palestinian volunteers prepare meals for families in Rafah, Gaza on November 29, 2023 [Abed Rahim Khatib/Anadolu Agency]

The Palestinian foreign minister today accused Israel of using starvation as a weapon of war against Gaza’s 2.3 million population, a charge an Israeli official rejected as “obscene”, Reuters reports.

The UN World Food Programme says half of Gaza’s population of 2.3 million is starving as the expansion of Israel’s military assault into the southern part of the Gaza Strip, and its complete siege of the Strip since 9 October.

Israel has said it allows aid into Gaza via the Rafah crossing and said the Kerem Shalom crossing was reopened for the first time today with some aid entering this morning, a government official told Reuters.

“As we speak, at least 1 million Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, half of them children, are starving, not because of a natural disaster or because of lack of generous assistance waiting at the border,” Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad Al-Maliki told a UN event to mark the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

“No, they are starving because of Israel’s deliberate use of starvation as a weapon of war against the people it occupied.”

In Geneva, Al-Maliki said: “We are living through this dystopian reality that excludes Palestinians from the basic, most basic rights afforded to all human beings”.

In response, an Israeli official told Reuters in Jerusalem: “This is, of course, obscene … (a) blood-libellous, delusional level of allegations.”

No aid is allowed to enter Gaza without first being checked and approved by Israel, which has threatened to bomb trucks entering the Strip without approval. It has also limited and mostly banned the entry of much needed fuel needed to allow medical services to continue to operate.

Half of the population are starving, nine out of 10 are not eating every day

READ: UK MP criticises government for inaction during a UN resolution for ceasefire in Gaza