Hunger in Gaza: what must be done?

As a result of Israel's war on the radical Islamic Hamas organisation in the Gaza Strip, the situation for the civilian population has deteriorated to such an extent that, according to the US, the entire population is at risk of starving to death. EU foreign affairs representative Josep Borrell has accused Israel of using hunger as a weapon of war because aid supplies have been stuck at checkpoints for far too long. Netanyahu refuted the accusation, saying that Israel has made every effort to facilitate aid deliveries.

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El País (ES) /

Up the pressure on Netanyahu

El País writes:

“The Israeli prime minister knows that maintaining hostilities is the only way for him to stay in power. ... Although he has not closed the door to negotiations, Netanyahu, who refuses to open aid corridors for the civilian population in Gaza, is sending no signals that he is willing to deviate from his course. ... The US should make its military aid to Israel conditional and the EU should review its relations with the Likud-led government. Both should consider recognising a Palestinian state. ... And above all, they should demand that the measures dictated by the International Court of Justice in The Hague more than a month ago be honoured, which demanded that war crimes be prevented at all costs. The gravity of the situation demands more effective pressure on Netanyahu.”

The Guardian (GB) /

A human-made famine

Continued support for Israel must be subject to certain conditions, The Guardian concurs:

“The question is no longer whether Palestinians will starve to death in a famine, but how many will do so. ... Families are eating animal feed and grass, and drinking dirty water. No natural disaster has occurred; this is an entirely human-made famine. ... Josep Borrell, the EU foreign affairs chief, has accused Israel of using starvation as a weapon of war. On Tuesday, the UN human rights office said that the restrictions on aid might amount to a war crime. ... The US should make it clear that while it embraces Israel's right and duty to protect its citizens, military aid is conditional on protecting civilians in Gaza.”

Corriere della Sera (IT) /

Hamas also has a hand in this

Not only Israel is to blame for the plight of the people in Gaza, Corriere della Sera argues:

“Why is it that none of the many people who express their horror at the 'genocide' allegedly being perpetrated by Israel against the Palestinians in Gaza are considering an obvious fact? ... Namely, that the Israeli government would in all probability be forced to put an end to the aforementioned 'genocide' the moment Hamas committed itself to releasing the more than one hundred hostages taken in the pogrom of 7 October in exchange for a ceasefire? And why does it not occur to any of the above that, if this does not happen, perhaps the Hamas terrorists also bear some responsibility for the deaths of the inhabitants of Gaza?”

Irish Independent (IE) /

Blame games won't put food in mouths

In addition to words of warning, action is now needed, urges the Irish Independent:

“Aid agencies accuse Israel of blockading Gaza; Tel Aviv insists it is facilitating aid and the UN and relief groups are at fault. But energy wasted on blame games will not put food in anyone's mouth in the besieged enclave. ... Without a ceasefire, hundreds of thousands, if not millions, are in dire danger of losing their lives. The world can not stand back as impassive spectators as a man-made famine is responsible for mass deaths.”

De Volkskrant (NL) /

Israel's biggest enemy perhaps its own government

De Volkskrant columnist Ibtihal Jadib calls for more realism on the part of the warring parties:

“Every new retaliation only leads to a new loss. Hamas will soon no longer have any population left to (supposedly) stand up for. The Israeli government has compromised its position on the world political stage. Both camps lack a sense of reality. ... If Netanyahu's plan involves nothing more than bombing the place to the ground, new threats will keep emerging from this lawless no-man's land. The Israeli population must be protected from many enemies, but its own government is perhaps its biggest enemy at the moment.”