UNSC holding session on Israel weaponizing starvation in Gaza

Ahram Online , Friday 5 Apr 2024

The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) is holding Friday a session on Israel’s use of starvation as a weapon of war in the Gaza Strip upon a request from the Arab group at the UN.

Security Council
File photo: People gather during the Security Council meeting at United Nations headquarters AP


The move is part of the Arab group’s efforts to spotlight the humanitarian situation in Gaza, Maged Abdel-Fattah, the Arab League’s permanent representative to the UN, stated.

This also goes in parallel with the group’s efforts to pursue a resolution for full UN membership for Palestine, Abdel-Fattah added.

The session will be held at 10 am New York time.

The UN has already said that Israel's severe restrictions on aid to war-ravaged Gaza and its ongoing hostilities could amount to using starvation as a weapon of war, which would be a war crime.

Major humanitarian groups say it is almost impossible to deliver aid in Gaza due to Israel's restrictions and nonstop bombardment, which most recently killed seven aid workers from the World Central Kitchen (WCK) in Gaza.

Israel has blocked hundreds of trucks loaded with thousands of tons of food and medicine aid to Gaza at the Rafah crossing causing near-starvation conditions in the strip.

Cairo has more than once accused Tel Aviv of deliberately impeding aid deliveries to Gaza through its extremely slow inspection measures.

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said that delivering the necessary aid to famine-threatened Gaza requires Israel to "remove the remaining obstacles and chokepoints to relief."

While all 2.3 million people in Gaza facing crisis levels of food insecurity, at least one-quarter of Gaza’s population – 576,000 people – are one step away from famine, UN humanitarian coordinator Ramesh Ramasingham told the UNSC in February.

Ramasingham said the entire population desperately needs food.

Additionally, he pointed out that one in six children under the age of two in northern Gaza are suffering from “acute malnutrition and wasting.”

Indeed, many Palestinians, including children, have reportedly succumbed to starvation due to Israel’s nonstop restriction on humanitarian aid.

On 25 March, the UNSC passed a resolution for the first time demanding an immediate ceasefire in the Gaza war, but Israel's war on Gaza continues unabated defying the ceasefire.

Israel has killed more than 33,000 people in Gaza and destroyed a majority of homes and infrastructure since the start of its genocidal war on 7 October.

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