Tuesday, May 07, 2024

  • Tuesday, May 07, 2024
  • Elder of Ziyon
The British Medical Journal published today an article accusing Israel of implementing an intentional policy of starving Gaza.
Israel is using starvation as a weapon of war in Gaza

In December 2023, we led Medical Aid for Palestinians’ (https://www.map.org.uk/) and the International Rescue Committee’s first emergency medical team in Gaza. On that trip, three months into Israel’s bombardment and siege, we saw the disturbing and shocking conditions that Palestinians were forced to live in.

We have seen the warning signs of the current hunger crisis for months. ..In February, the World Health Organization warned that the decline in the nutrition status of the population in Gaza was unprecedented—people were being starved at the fastest rate the world had ever seen. But still, the international community did nothing to avert this entirely foreseeable catastrophe.

Since then, the situation has become worse. In late March the International Court of Justice observed that, “Palestinians in Gaza are no longer facing a risk of famine, but that famine is setting in.” At Medical Aid for Palestinians, we have seen this happening and have repeatedly warned of the devastating harm that malnutrition and hunger has on civilians, especially among newborns and children under 5, in whom it can lead to development delays and long term adverse health outcomes.

Approximately 1.1 million people, around half the total population, are currently facing catastrophic food insecurity in Gaza.5 One in three children under 2 years of age in the north are now acutely malnourished, affecting their immune systems and making them more likely to die from infectious diseases. Parents are witnessing their children die of starvation or are forced to live off animal feed to try and survive. None of this is inevitable, mass starvation is entirely preventable. This is not happening because of a natural drought or crop failure, but the deliberate withholding of food and aid by the Israeli government
This article says that things are getting worse in Gaza, and  Israel is deliberately withholding food from the sector. 

Israel has coordinated over 20,000 trucks of food, water and medical supplies into Gaza, with hundreds more each day. That is a lot of people, a lot of effort, and a lot of coordination with international aid organizations. There is no way anyone can say that Israel is doing all of this while at the same time pursuing a policy of deliberate starvation. 

According to the Gaza health ministry, 28 people - all children - have died of starvation since the beginning of the war. If true, this is indeed a tragedy, and even one death is unacceptable. 

Now compare Gaza deaths to the United States. 

In 2022, 20,500 Americans died of malnutrition. That is a rate of 6 per 100,000 population, roughly triple the death rate in Gaza if you assume the same rate of starvation deaths throughout 12 months.

But, one might argue, the 28 deaths are only the beginning of an expected wave where the numbers will dramatically increase as food supplies dwindle and Israel keeps the supplies artificially low, as we are told by countless NGOs. The number of Gaza deaths will be expected to accelerate.

This is what the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) Famine Review Committee  said in mid-March:
The findings of the FRC review confirm that Famine is now projected and imminent in the North Gaza and Gaza Governorates and is expected to become manifest from mid-March 2024 to May 2024. The Famine threshold for acute food insecurity has already been far exceeded and the steeply increasing trend in malnutrition data indicates that it is highly likely that the Famine threshold for acute malnutrition has also been exceeded. The FRC expects the upward trend in non-trauma mortality to accelerate and for all Famine thresholds to be passed imminently.

For the combined southern and middle governates, the FRC concludes that there is a risk of Famine between mid-March and mid-July in a reasonable worst-case scenario.

It is vital to note that the projected Famine can be prevented or alleviated. All evidence points towards a major acceleration of death and malnutrition.

 If this analysis is true, then we would be seeing the number of daily and weekly malnutrition deaths in Gaza increasing over time.

Yet, according to the same Gaza health ministry, there have been zero deaths from malnutrition or dehydration in Gaza in the entire month of April and so far in May. The total was 28 in late March and it remains 28 today.

Zero deaths.

(In fact, the number of starvation deaths seem to have decreased since mid-March. UN OCHA quoted the health ministry saying that 31 had died as of March 15. Newer OCHA reports don't quote any number anymore. The May 5 MoH report says 28. So the official number of starvation deaths since March 15 is -3.)

According to the World Food Programme, about 25,000 people die of starvation every day worldwide. That means some 750,000 people have died of starvation in the month of April alone, during the time period that NGO after NGO have written paper after paper on how Gaza is starving and yet no one died.

The New York Times wrote an article this week about whether Israel could be liable for intentional starvation of Gazans. The other 750,000 who really did die of starvation? Not worth reporting on.

I'm not saying that there are no food shortages in some areas of Gaza, or that many Gazans are food insecure. But the confident predictions of deaths by starvation have not materialized, which means either the researchers or incompetent or that no one is reporting that Israel's efforts to bring food into Gaza are quite successful.

The evidence is overwhelmingly against any intentional starvation by Israel. And the evidence is equally overwhelming that NGOs and the media are intentionally lying about the topic to demonize the Jewish state. 

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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 19 years and 40,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


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