Zionist attempts at rationalising Israel’s violence are devoid of any logic. As Palestinians face mass starvation in Gaza, Israeli settlers have taken it upon themselves to block humanitarian aid from entering the enclave, describing their actions as a protest until the hostages held by Hamas are released.
State and settlers are collaborating in the Palestinian people’s extermination
Their reasoning is abominable. Take, for instance, this justification: “We’re losing soldiers, hostages are perishing, and the Gazans are getting food and fuel and everything’s going on as usual.” Mass starvation is not usual, and nether is Israel’s depraved efforts to “put the Palestinians on a diet but not to make them die of hunger.” Now, state and settlers are collaborating in the Palestinian people’s extermination. “I am a mother. I feel very sorry for every kid that lives like this in Gaza. But it’s not my fault,” said another settler participating in the starvation of Palestinians.
This is in addition to the collective attack on UNRWA by Israel and its allies, which stopped funding the agency due to allegations that twelve members of its staff are involved with Hamas. Of course, this is a very clear diplomatic and political tactic to starve Palestinians to death indirectly, albeit that the consequences are so blatant that it is as direct as the bombs still being dropped on Gaza.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) and the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) have corroborated the ramifications of Israel’s genocidal actions. “This is a population that is starving to death, this a population that is being pushed to the brink,” said WHO’s emergency director Michael Ryan. “Populations are not supposed to survive indefinitely on food aid,” he added. “It’s supposed to be emergency food aid to tide people over.”
What is explicit is in this case is that Gaza has long passed the emergency stage. Israel has created a major catastrophe which even the humanitarian paradigm that the UN intentionally put together for Palestinians will not cater for, given the stronger allegiances to Israel among donor countries.
UNCTAD offered a bleak assessment of Gaza’s hypothetical future. A preliminary assessment on the economic impact of Israel’s destruction of Gaza revealed that it would take until 2092 for the enclave to reach the GDP levels of 2022, which were already dire. UNCTAD also warned that “a new phase of economic rehabilitation cannot simply take as its goal a return to the October 2023 status quo.”
Some statistics offered by UNCTAD reveal that unemployment in Gaza reached 45.1 per cent by the end of the third quarter of 2023, and by the end of December, 79.3 per cent of Gaza’s population was unemployed. Between 2007 and 2023, Gaza’s GDP per capita fell by 54 per cent.
The humanitarian paradigm was unsustainable from the beginning and Israel has ensured its futility by pushing the normalised and dehumanising limits to the extreme. Palestinians are concerned with their own survival in an enclave which has been destroyed beyond recognition by Israel, and which depends upon donor aid from Israel’s allies for reconstruction. The context of this has yet another evil aspect, because the same possible donors are currently busy helping Israel to starve Palestinians to death.
The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.