Spread the love

Majority of Gaza's 2.4 million residents at risk of starvation

Photo: Agence France-Presse Palestinian children walk among debris in the Maghazi camp in the central Gaza Strip.

Adel Zaanoun – Agence France-Presse and Benoît Finck – Agence France-Presse respectively in the Gaza Strip and Jerusalem

March 29, 2024

  • Middle East

Israeli bombings again hit the Gaza Strip on Friday, a besieged Palestinian territory whose population faces “imminent famine” according to the World Food Program (WFP), almost six months after the start of the war with Hamas.

The Hamas Ministry of Health reported in the morning “dozens of deaths” during fighting and air raids, particularly in Rafah, a city considered by Israel to be the last major Hamas stronghold and where 1.5 million Palestinians, the vast majority displaced by hostilities.

In addition to the human toll and destruction, the war has caused a humanitarian catastrophe in the besieged Palestinian territory, where the majority of the 2.4 million inhabitants are now threatened with famine according to the UN, which deplores aid that is largely insufficient to meet the needs of the population.

“There is no other place in the world where such a large number of people face imminent famine,” Matthew Hollingworth, in charge of the Palestinian territories at the WFP, lamented Thursday on X.

“Without delay”

Israel must “promptly ensure” the “unrestricted and large-scale provision by all interested parties of urgently required basic services and humanitarian assistance,” The Hague-based International Court of Justice (ICJ) said on Thursday.

Seized by South Africa, the court ordered Israel in January to do everything possible to prevent a “genocide” in the Palestinian territory, Israel deeming such accusations “scandalous”.

In the night, Hamas welcomed the ICJ's decision and called for its “immediate implementation”.

Faced with the humanitarian emergency, several countries are organizing airdrops and aid expeditions by sea, but all emphasize that these supply routes cannot replace land routes.

The war was sparked by an unprecedented attack carried out from the Gaza Strip by Hamas on October 7 in Israel that resulted in the deaths of at least 1,160 people, mostly civilians, according to a count from AFP established from official Israeli data.

According to Israel, around 250 people were also kidnapped and 130 of them are still hostages in Gaza, of whom 34 are dead.

In retaliation, Israel vowed to annihilate Hamas — which it considers a terrorist organization along with the United States and the European Union — and launched an offensive that left 32,623 people dead, mostly women and men. children, according to a latest report Friday from the Hamas Ministry of Health.

Also read

  • At least 36 Syrian soldiers killed in Israeli strike near Aleppo
  • Conscription of ultra-Orthodox shakes Netanyahu government
  • ICJ orders Israel to provide humanitarian aid 'urgently' to Gaza

“Entering Rafah”

The Israeli army, which accuses Hamas fighters of hiding in hospitals, said Friday it was continuing its operations in the al-Chifa hospital complex in Gaza City, saying it had “eliminated around 200 terrorists” in the area since on March 18.

She emphasized ensuring “preventing any harm to civilians, patients, medical teams and equipment.”

In the central Gaza Strip, the army said it had “destroyed numerous rockets intended to be fired towards Israel”, and eliminated “terrorists”.

Operations also continue in Khan Younes, in the south of the Gaza Strip, in the areas of Al-Amal and Al Qarara, where Palestinian fighters were also killed, according to her.

In Khan Younès, several injured people were transported by ambulance to the European hospital during the night, according to AFP images. Some victims, including children, were treated on the ground.

“Nothing has changed”

In Rafah, further south, dozens of men worked to clear the rubble of a bombed building of wounded and bodies, from which a young boy was extracted.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday reaffirmed his determination to launch a ground offensive in Rafah despite international pressure, including from the United States.

“We hold the northern Gaza Strip as well as Khan Yunis. We have cut the Gaza Strip in two and are preparing to enter Rafah,” he said.

The United States, Israel's main ally which fears the human toll of such an operation, recently requested the sending of an Israeli delegation to Washington to discuss this project.< /p>

At the same time, Qatar — a mediator with Egypt and the United States — hosted this week indirect negotiations between Israel and Hamas on a proposed truce lasting several weeks coupled with an exchange of Israeli hostages and Palestinian prisoners.

A UN resolution calling for an “immediate ceasefire” was adopted Monday after the United States abstained, but “nothing has changed” on the ground since then, a lamented the international president of Médecins sans frontières Christos Christou.

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116