State Dept Says Parts of Gaza Likely Experiencing Famine

by | Mar 29, 2024

State Dept Says Parts of Gaza Likely Experiencing Famine

by | Mar 29, 2024

Gaza ruins buildings rubble

FILE PHOTO: The ruins of buildings destroyed by Israeli airstrikes in the Jabalia refugee camp in Gaza City, October 11, 2023. (Credit: AFP)

A State Department official said that there is a “significant risk” of mass starvation throughout Gaza, and some regions of the Strip are “quite possibly” already in a state of famine. Millions of Palestinians are on the brink of starvation as a result of Israel’s brutal six-month military assault and a blockade on aid entering the Strip.

Speaking with Reuters, an unnamed State Department official said, “While we can say with confidence that famine is a significant risk in the south and center but not present, in the north, it is both a risk and quite possibly is present in at least some areas.”

The official’s assessment matches a warning put out by the international watchdog on starvation. The Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) released a new report last week predicting famine in Gaza will begin within the next two months. For a famine to be declared, at least two per 10,000 people must be dying of deprivation each day.

“The latest evidence confirms that famine is imminent in the northern governorates of the Gaza Strip and projected to occur anytime between mid-March and May 2024,” the IPC report found. “The entire population in the Gaza Strip (2.23 million) is facing high levels of acute food insecurity. This includes half of the population in IPC Phase 5 (Catastrophe), an increase of 530,000 people (92 percent) from the previous analysis.”

The starvation is worse in northern Gaza, where hundreds of thousands are struggling to survive. On Sunday, the UN aid agency for Palestinians, UNRWA, announced that Tel Aviv would not allow shipments of food or other assistance into the area.

Human rights groups have labeled the famine in Gaza a manufactured crisis caused by the Israeli war and tight restrictions on aid. In a report earlier this month, Oxfam blasted Tel Aviv for obstructing aid deliveries, including medical supplies. The report says, “Israel’s policies and practices continue to systematically and deliberately block and undermine any meaningful international humanitarian response.” The report added that “Israel’s control of Gaza continues to be characterized by deliberate restrictive actions that have led to a severe and systemic dysfunctionality in the delivery of aid.”

Israel has taken several steps to prevent aid from entering Gaza, including an onerous inspection regime that creates massive delays. Additionally, Israeli forces have attacked aid shipments and the police officers escorting supplies throughout Gaza.

On Thursday, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) stated that “the spread of famine and starvation” in the Gaza Strip, was the result of Israel’s “extensive restrictions on the entry and distribution of humanitarian aid and commercial goods.” The court ordered Tel Aviv to allow supplies into the territory “unhindered” and “in full cooperation with the United Nations,” prohibiting “any action” that would obstruct aid deliveries.

The ICJ notes that a March 15 report from UNICEF found 31% of children under the age of two in northern Gaza suffered from acute malnutrition, “a staggering escalation from 15.6% in January.” The UNICEF report also warned that “malnutrition among children is spreading fast and reaching devastating and unprecedented levels in the Gaza Strip due to the wide-reaching impacts of the war and ongoing restrictions on aid delivery.”

Aid groups have explained that without an end to relentless daily bombing, they will be unable to prevent the famine from getting worse. At least 15 people starved to death in the first week of March.

In a desperate attempt to reduce the suffering of Palestinians without altering its unfettered support for Israel, the US has attempted to air-drop aid into Gaza. However, several of the drops have been botched, resulting in at least 17 Palestinian deaths, including 12 who drowned while attempting to retrieve aid dropped into the sea.

This article was originally featured at and is republished with permission.

About Kyle Anzalone

Kyle Anzalone is news editor of the Libertarian Institute, opinion editor of and co-host of Conflicts of Interest with Will Porter and Connor Freeman.

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