UN Experts Expose Netanyahu’s Campaign of Starvation

Michael Fakhri, UN Special Rapporteur for the Right To Food, described the horrendous situation on the ground to Anadolu Agency on March 7: “When the war broke out, we saw people go hungry in unprecedented ways. We have never seen any community made to go hungry so quickly. Now what we are seeing is famine. Children are dying from malnutrition, and dehydration.” He expects the speed of deaths to increase significantly: “I cannot imagine a more horrific situation.”

At least 20 people have died from malnutrition and dehydration at two hospitals in the north of Gaza, most of them children, reported AP, as people are forced to eat grass and animal fodder in places where Israel has completely cut off food supplies. Also in the south, 16 premature babies have died of malnutrition-related causes in the last five weeks. “The child deaths we feared are here,” according to Adele Khodr, UNICEF’s Middle East chief.

As for the recent airdrops of aid, Fakhri pointed out that they “are very expensive, and not very effective. In fact, sometimes airdrops can cause a lot of chaos and problems as the food is scattered everywhere, with no systemic way of distributing the food.” He proposed that the United States and other countries providing the airdrops should instead “focus on ensuring an immediate ceasefire by putting pressure on Israel to allow humanitarian aid to enter unfettered and to ensure a permanent ceasefire.”

Meanwhile, the one UN Agency which is capable of managing and distributing assistance on the scale required is UNRWA, whose director Philippe Lazzarini was invited to a plenary briefing of the UN general assembly on March 4. He stated bluntly that the agency is “at the breaking point” and in danger of “imminent collapse”, due to the decision by 16 developed countries to suspend all funding. That decision was made after the Israeli government charged a few staff members of the UNRWA of collaborating with Hamas terrorists – and before the slightest investigation was carried out on the accusations. For Lazzarini, Benjamin Netanyahu’s intention is to shut down the UN agency completely, in order to control all operations in Gaza.

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