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Famine and starvation threaten the people of Gaza. Credit: UNRWA Facebook page

March 19, 2024 (EIRNS)—Famine and starvation are on the march in Gaza. Yesterday’s new report from the UN team monitoring the situation found that the 300,000 or so people in North Gaza are existing in famine conditions. Further over 70% of the 2.3 million Palestinians in Gaza face “catastrophic hunger.” They report that only an immediate ceasefire, enabling massive deliveries of food aid, stands in the way of imminent death. They estimate that 450 people per day may die, not from bullets, but from starvation, malnutrition and disease.

The estimation is based upon the Integrated Food-Security Phase Classification (IPC), developed by the Food Security Analysis Unit of the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) 20 years ago, in dealing with famine in Somalia. The report is clear: “The actions needed to prevent famine require an immediate political decision for a ceasefire together with a significant and immediate increase in humanitarian and commercial access to the entire population of Gaza.”

Volker Türk, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, stated March 18: “The extent of Israel’s continued restrictions on entry of aid into Gaza, together with the manner in which it continues to conduct hostilities, may amount to the use of starvation as a method of war, which is a war crime.” Even the EU’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, at yesterday’s opening in Brussels of a conference on humanitarian aid for Gaza, could see the elephant in the room: “In Gaza we are no longer on the brink of famine. We are in a state of famine.”

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