By Sophie Squire
Downloading PDF. Please wait... Issue 2901

Aid agencies call out Israel’s lies over starvation in Gaza

The Unrwa agency said that only “181 aid trucks per day” had crossed into Gaza in April
Issue 2901
An Unrwa facility in Gaza illustrating a story about starvation in Gaza

Palestinians are starving amid ruins in Gaza (Picture: Unrwa/Twitter)

The Unrwa refugee agency has denounced Israel’s regime of starvation in Gaza. “Across the border, food & clean water wait—but Unrwa is denied permission to deliver this aid and save lives,” said Unrwa chief Philippe Lazzarini on Wednesday evening.

He added that this happens while Israel’s relentless bombing and “merciless siege have transformed Gaza beyond recognition”.  Young children are dying of malnutrition and dehydration as “a man-made famine” is tightening its grip across the Strip.

The United Nations says the Israel state is still causing “the highest levels of catastrophic hunger in the world” among Palestinians in Gaza.

US national security spokesman John Kirby said that aid into Gaza had “increased and quite dramatically in just the last few days” on Monday. 

The Israeli state said that 468 aid trucks crossed into Gaza on Tuesday of last week, stating that this was the highest number since 7 October. 

But Unrwa said that only “181 aid trucks per day” had crossed into Gaza from Israel and Egypt in April. It added that this remains “well below the operational capacity of both border crossings and the target of 500 trucks per day.”

The head of the UN humanitarian office in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, Andrea De Domenico, said he couldn’t stress enough “the importance that a truck is not a measurement that should be used.” He explained that, because of the security checks and vetting that the state of Israel does, many of the lorries aren’t as fully loaded as they could be. 

Israel continued to double down on Wednesday, claiming that trucks of aid were waiting to be distributed by UN agencies. 

COGAT, the Israeli agency that supposedly handles aid in the Occupied Territories, posted a picture of lines of lorries on Twitter/X. It said, “All the UN did was make up excuses. Aid needs to be collected and delivered. The UN needs to do its job.

Domenico hit back at this. He said, “We’re dealing with this dance where we do one step forward, two steps backward, or two steps forward, one step backward, which leaves us basically always at the same point. 

“For every new opportunity that we’ve been given, we will find yet another challenge to deal with. So it’s really, really difficult for us to scale up to where we would like to be.”

Israel’s blockade is hitting the most vulnerable, including new mothers, babies and the elderly hardest. 

Palestinian mother Nuzha Awad gave birth to triplets only two months before 7 October. “At this age a child should weigh eight kilos,” she said. “They weigh two kilos. They don’t have thighs yet. At this stage, they are supposed to crawl and prepare to walk. And now you can see the state they’re in. “Are these the arms of an eight-month-old child? … It’s death there, death, death. Death in the literal meaning of the word.”

The Israeli state is using cruel new techniques to torture and lure Palestinians out into the open so they can murder them more easily. 

Palestinians said they heard the sound of women and children crying in the night last weekend, as well as the sound of gunfire and explosions. After going out to investigate the sounds, they were shot at by a drone. The sounds came from an Israeli drone flying overhead. 

A Palestinian witness told the Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor, “We were sitting at night when we heard voices of girls and women screaming —‘Come, help me, I am injured!’ 

“We went out to find out what was happening. No women were found, but we were directly targeted by a quadcopter drone.

“I fled inside, and two people right in front of me were seriously injured. Because of the ongoing gunfire, we were unable to treat them, so we called an ambulance, and they arrived to transport them. Many residents heard these sounds and responded to provide help.”

Maha Hussaini, the strategy director for Euro-Med in Gaza, explained that these sounds were played when the streets were empty. 

“This technique and noise are primarily used to bring people out to target them because at night no one is out, especially following the random attacks and bombings on the Nuseirat refugee Camp,” she said. 

“The Israeli forces find no one to target, so have resorted to this trick to deceive people. 

“In the past few days, a number of people have been wounded because of this technique, around seven people, some of them were targeted in the head as they went to see where the sound was coming from.”

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