Famine Crisis in Gaza: US Warns of Looming Catastrophe

Famine Crisis in Gaza: US Warns of Looming Catastrophe

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The US State Department has issued a grave assessment, indicating that famine is likely already present in some areas of northern Gaza, with other regions at risk of falling into conditions of starvation. This alarming declaration comes in the wake of the world's top court ordering Israel to admit food aid into the territory. A state department official emphasized the significant risk of famine in the south and center, and the possibility of its presence in at least some areas in the north. The assessment underscores the urgent need for increased aid and assistance to address the dire humanitarian situation in Gaza.

The US comments align with a growing consensus that Israel's military offensive in the Palestinian coastal territory has exacerbated the famine crisis. Efforts to distribute aid in south and central Gaza have intensified, with nearly 200 trucks delivering essential supplies daily. However, the state department stressed the need for a comprehensive approach to address the full nutrition needs of Gaza's population, particularly focusing on malnutrition, infant, and young-child mortality.

In response to the escalating crisis, the US president, Joe Biden, has pledged a maritime aid corridor, including the construction of a floating port, to facilitate substantial aid delivery by sea. However, the urgency of the situation necessitates a meaningful increase in aid deliveries by road via Israeli border crossings. This comes amidst Israeli claims of allowing sufficient access for food and aid into Gaza, despite reports to the contrary from aid agencies.

The US warning follows a ruling by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague, which also highlighted the onset of famine in parts of Gaza. The ICJ's unanimous ruling ordered Israel to admit humanitarian assistance, emphasizing the severity of the situation. Additionally, a report by the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification warned of imminent famine in northern Gaza, with the potential to spread across the entire enclave.

The humanitarian crisis in Gaza has drawn international attention, with the head of Unrwa emphasizing that the catastrophic situation is man-made and worsening. The situation has prompted accusations against Israel, including the potential commission of war crimes by obstructing food aid to Gaza's population. The mounting frustration in the Biden administration with Israel, a significant recipient of US support, underscores the gravity of the situation.

As the crisis deepens, the Israeli prime minister has approved new talks on a Gaza ceasefire, while heavy fighting continues in the strip, including at several hospitals. The UN Security Council has demanded an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and ensuring humanitarian access, emphasizing the urgency of the situation.

The latest famine warnings underscore the critical need for immediate and substantial humanitarian assistance to avert a catastrophic humanitarian crisis in Gaza. The situation demands urgent international action to address the dire conditions facing the population of Gaza.

News Agencies

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