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Countries arming Israel complicit in Gaza genocide, starvation: UN rapporteur

By Syed Zafar Mehdi

Israel is intentionally starving people in the Gaza Strip, which has resulted in full-scale famine in the besieged territory, says the UN special rapporteur on the right to food, adding that countries supplying weapons to Israel are complicit in genocide and starvation.

In an interview with the Press TV website on Tuesday, Professor Michael Fakhri said not only did the Israeli regime “announce a siege in the early days of the war, they are denying and restricting humanitarian relief.”

Fakhri, a Lebanese-Canadian law professor at the University of Oregon’s School of Law who has been mandated by the UN Human Rights Council to document and advise on global food security, expressed grave concern over the rapidly worsening humanitarian situation in the coastal Palestinian territory.

Nearly 31,200 Palestinians have been killed and over 72,000 others have been injured in the Israeli genocidal attacks on Gaza since October 7. The majority of the victims are children and women.

The crippling siege imposed by the Israeli regime has spawned the worst humanitarian crisis in the territory, claiming the lives of many civilians, including children.

According to reports by UN agencies and human rights bodies, the entire 2.3 million population of Gaza is grappling with extreme levels of hunger and the risk of full-scale famine also looms.

Last week, a team of UN experts, including Fakhri, announced in a report that Israel has been “intentionally starving” Gaza and that “widespread famine” in the territory was “imminent.”

“Israel must end its campaign of starvation and targeting of civilians,” the report stated, referring to various instances when starving Palestinians were targeted by the regime forces.

Citing the attack on a gathering of aid seekers in the southwest of Gaza City on February 29, which killed at least 112 Palestinians, the UN experts said the attack “came after Israel has denied humanitarian aid into Gaza City and northern Gaza for more than a month.”

On Tuesday, in a statement, the Gaza media office said at least 400 Palestinian aid-seekers have been killed since that incident, which came to be known as the “flour massacre.”

Speaking to the Press TV website, Fakhri said Israel is “shooting civilians trying to obtain aid and bombarding humanitarian convoys” in the blockaded Palestinian territory.

“Israel is also destroying the food system in Gaza, destroying agricultural land and fishing vessels, making it impossible for people to feed themselves today and very difficult to feed themselves in the future,” he asserted.

The UN special rapporteur on the right to food said “the only way” to prevent full-scale famine in Gaza “is to ensure humanitarian aid to enter without any restriction and for a permanent ceasefire.”

“Countries should impose a weapon embargo and economic sanctions against Israel. Countries currently supplying weapons to Israel are complicit in genocide and starvation,” he hastened to add.

Last month, UN experts also said that any transfer of weapons or ammunition to Israel that would be used in the Gaza Strip would “violate international humanitarian law.”

Before that, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague ordered the Israeli regime to halt its genocide in Gaza, which prompted many countries to halt their arms exports to the regime.

Many countries, however, continue their arms shipments to Israel, most notably the US and the UK, who have been slammed by rights activists of aiding and abetting the genocide in Gaza.

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