Fri 17-May-2024

HRW: Israel uses starvation as a weapon of war in Gaza

Monday 18-December-2023


Human Rights Watch (HRW) has accused the Israeli occupation government of using starvation as a weapon of war in the Gaza Strip.

In a press release on Monday, HRW said that “Israeli forces are deliberately blocking the delivery of water, food, and fuel, while willfully impeding humanitarian assistance, apparently razing agricultural areas, and depriving the civilian population of objects indispensable to their survival.”

The use of hunger against the civilian population is a war crime, HRW stated, calling for world leaders to act.

The press release cites statements from Israeli officials, interviews with survivors, reports from aid organizations, and evidence from satellite imagery to establish that Israel is engaged in the deliberate use of policies to deprive Palestinians of the resources necessary for daily existence.

“For over two months, Israel has been depriving Gaza’s population of food and water, a policy spurred on or endorsed by high-ranking Israeli officials and reflecting an intent to starve civilians as a method of warfare,” Omar Shakir, HRW director in the occupied Palestinian territories, said.

“World leaders should be speaking out against this abhorrent war crime, which has devastating effects on Gaza’s population,” he added.

Speeches and statements from Israeli officials promoting a campaign to deliberately block access to necessary resources for the Gaza population as a strategy reflect that Israel has not made such intents secret, HRW said.

Even from the beginning of the Israeli aggression, Israeli war minister Yoav Gallant stated that Israel was “putting a complete siege on Gaza. … No electricity, no food, no water, no gas – it’s all closed,” justifying the move by describing Palestinians as “beastly people.”

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