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Gaza in state of 'man-made famine' by Israel: EU foreign policy chief

Josep Borrell, the European Union's foreign policy chief, says Israel is creating a famine in Gaza and using starvation as a weapon of war. 'In Gaza we are no longer on the brink of famine, we are in a state of famine, affecting thousands of people,' the EU's top diplomat told a Brussels conference on humanitarian aid for Gaza.

March 18, 2024 at 1:16 pm

The EU foreign policy chief today warned that Gaza is already “in a state of famine”, saying the situation is “entirely man-made” by Israel.

“In Gaza, we are no longer on the brink of famine, we are in a state of famine affecting thousands of people,” Josep Borrell told the opening ceremony of the two-day European Humanitarian Forum 2024 in Brussels.

“This is unacceptable,” he stressed, adding: “Starvation is used as a weapon of war.”

“The territory of Gaza is very quickly becoming a territory without any kind of order, is more and more looking like Haiti, Somalia, Syria, or Mosul,” he said.

He also voiced hope that “in the intermediate future the discussion of the United Nations Security Council will allow for a ceasefire in Gaza.”

While the UN relief chief warned that the aid efforts are “facing an alarming humanitarian funding crisis.”

“We are all and our colleagues in the field in particular daily, making extremely difficult decisions, decisions about life and death, about what to fund and who to prioritise,” Martin Griffiths, the under-secretary-general for humanitarian affairs and emergency relief coordinator, lamented.

Mirjana Spoljaric, the president of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), urged all states to “do even more to uphold your collective responsibility and exert your political influence in three areas.”

Those three areas, according to Spoljaric, are respecting international humanitarian law, ensuring all people affected by war and violence, even in neglected contexts, have access to humanitarian assistance and protection, and lastly, protecting the work of neutral and independent humanitarian actors.

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