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Israel slams Gaza ‘starvation’ report

Human rights experts have alleged a “targeted campaign” of starving the Palestinians

Israel has rejected the allegations by a group of independent UN human rights experts that it has targeted the Palestinians in Gaza for starvation.

According to the expert group, 34 Palestinians in Gaza have died of malnutrition since October 7, most of them children. They accused Israel of carrying out a “targeted starvation campaign” against the enclave.

The Israeli mission to the UN in Geneva denounced the report on Tuesday, saying that its authors “are as much accustomed to spreading misinformation as they are to supporting Hamas propaganda and shielding the terrorist organization from scrutiny.”

West Jerusalem’s representatives pointed to last week’s report by the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification, which said that the famine predicted in March had not materialized. The mission claimed that Israel has helped deliver humanitarian aid to the enclave, while members of Hamas “intentionally steal and hide aid from civilians.”

The expert group, led by special rapporteur on the right to food Michael Fakhri, has argued that the situation in Gaza de facto amounts to a famine, even though the UN has not formally classified it as such.

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“Israel’s intentional and targeted starvation campaign against the Palestinian people is a form of genocidal violence and has resulted in famine across all of Gaza,” the experts said in a statement. They called on the UN to prioritize the delivery of humanitarian aid “by any means necessary,” as well as “end Israel’s siege, and establish a ceasefire.” 

“Inaction is complicity,” the group said.

Israel set up a blockade of Gaza nine months ago, following the deadly October 7 raid by Hamas that resulted in the deaths of some 1,200 people, while 250 or so were taken captive. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to fight until Hamas is “completely eradicated,” rejecting any possibility of peace with the Palestinian militants.

A weeklong truce in November resulted in the freeing of 105 hostages from Gaza and 240 Palestinian prisoners. Talks mediated by Qatar, Egypt, and the US have failed to secure a new ceasefire. 

As of Tuesday, at least 38,243 Palestinans have been killed and 88,033 wounded in the course of the conflict, according to the Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry. A recently published study in the medical journal Lancet has suggested the death toll could be as high as 186,000 after factoring in “indirect deaths” from hunger, thirst, disease, and exposure.

July 09, 2024 at 11:55PM

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