Every Gazan is Hungry, as Israel Weaponizes Food – UN Experts

Palestinians prepare food for the displaced families in southern Gaza. (Photo: via Eye on Palestine)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

Malnutrition in children means “a whole generation is now in danger of suffering from stunting,” the statement said.

Gazans now make up 80 percent of all people facing famine or catastrophic hunger worldwide, marking an unparalleled humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip amid Israel’s continued bombardment and siege, according to UN human rights experts.

“Currently every single person in Gaza is hungry, a quarter of the population are starving and struggling to find food and drinkable water, and famine is imminent,” the experts said in a statement. 

In addition all children under five – 335,000 – are at high risk of severe malnutrition, the statement said. 

“It’s unprecedented to make an entire civilian population go hungry this completely & quickly,” the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, Michael Fakhri, said on Monday on X. 

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“Israel is destroying Gaza’s food system. Israel is intentionally imposing a high rate of disease, prolonged malnutrition, dehydration + starvation by destroying civilian infrastructure,” Fakhri stressed. 

Malnutrition in children means “a whole generation is now in danger of suffering from stunting,” the statement said.

Stunting occurs when young children’s growth is hampered due to lack of adequate nourishment and causes irreparable physical and cognitive impairments, the experts explained. This will undermine the learning capacity of an entire generation.

Pregnant women are also not receiving adequate nutrition and healthcare, putting their lives at risk. 

‘Israel is Destroying Food System’

The experts warned that “nowhere is safe in Gaza” as Israel declared and imposed a “total siege” on the enclave, depriving 2.3 million Palestinians of water, food, fuel, medicine, and medical supplies.

This, against the backdrop of a 17-year Israeli blockade, which before this war made approximately half of the people in Gaza food insecure and more than 80 percent reliant on humanitarian aid, it said. 

“Israel is destroying Gaza’s food system and using food as a weapon against the Palestinian people,” the experts said. 

While the majority of aid distribution is concentrated in the south, since January 1, only 21 percent (5 out of 24) of planned deliveries of aid containing food and other lifesaving supplies reached their destination north of Wadi Gaza.

The experts “are particularly alarmed” about conditions in northern Gaza, where “the population faces prolonged food shortages and extremely restricted access to essential resources.”

“We have raised the alarm of the risk of genocide several times reminding all governments they have a duty to prevent genocide,” the experts said.

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“Not only is Israel killing and causing irreparable harm against Palestinian civilians with its indiscriminate bombardments, it is also knowingly and intentionally imposing a high rate of disease, prolonged malnutrition, dehydration, and starvation by destroying civilian infrastructure,” they added.

“Aid needs to be delivered to Gazans immediately and without any hindrance to prevent starvation.”

According to Gaza’s Ministry of Health, 25,700 Palestinians have been killed, and 63,730 wounded in Israel’s ongoing genocide in Gaza starting on October 7.

Palestinian and international estimates say that the majority of those killed and wounded are women and children.

(The Palestine Chronicle)

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