April, 2024

Starvation Used as Weapon of War in Gaza: Human Rights Watch

Photo Credit: HRW

In a recent report by Human Rights Watch (HRW), allegations have surfaced concerning Israel’s use of starvation as a tactic of war in Gaza. The report, released on December 18, 2023, highlights the dire humanitarian situation in Gaza and raises serious concerns about violations of international humanitarian law.

According to the report, Israeli authorities have imposed severe restrictions on the movement of goods and people in and out of Gaza, effectively exacerbating the already dire humanitarian crisis in the region. These restrictions, including the blockade imposed since 2007, severely limit the availability of essential goods such as food, medicine, and fuel, leading to widespread deprivation among Gaza’s population.

HRW’s investigation reveals that Israeli authorities have deliberately restricted access to food and other essential items, contributing to a situation where nearly half of Gaza’s population is deemed food insecure. The report accuses Israel of employing a policy of collective punishment against Palestinians in Gaza, which is prohibited under international law.

Furthermore, the report documents cases where Israeli authorities have targeted agricultural infrastructure and fishing boats, further undermining Gaza’s ability to sustain its population. Such actions not only violate the rights of Palestinians but also hinder their ability to access livelihood opportunities and maintain food security.

The report also sheds light on the impact of Israel’s military operations on Gaza’s economy, which has been decimated by years of conflict and blockade. The destruction of infrastructure, including water and sanitation facilities, exacerbates the already precarious living conditions for Gaza’s residents, leaving them vulnerable to food insecurity and disease.

In response to the report, HRW has called on the international community to hold Israel accountable for its alleged violations of international humanitarian law. The organization urges the United Nations Security Council to take action to address the humanitarian crisis in Gaza and ensure that Israel complies with its obligations under international law.

Israel has denied the allegations made in the HRW report, stating that it is committed to upholding international law and protecting the rights of civilians in Gaza. Israeli officials argue that the blockade of Gaza is necessary for security reasons, citing threats posed by militant groups operating in the region.

The HRW report comes amid ongoing efforts to revive peace talks between Israel and Palestine, which have been stalled for years. The deteriorating humanitarian situation in Gaza adds urgency to these efforts, underscoring the need for a comprehensive and sustainable solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The HRW report alleging Israel’s use of starvation as a weapon of war in Gaza has sparked international concern and condemnation. As the humanitarian crisis in Gaza deepens, calls for accountability and justice grow louder. It is imperative for the international community to take decisive action to address the root causes of the crisis and work towards a just and lasting peace in the region.

(With Inputs from Human Rights Watch Report, Writes Naseel Voici)

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