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Gaza is now a ‘famine-stricken zone’: Palestinian NGOs

A delegation of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) inspects a makeshift displacement camp in Rafah on May 29, 2024. (AFP)

Palestinian NGOs and professional unions have declared that the Gaza Strip is now a "famine-stricken zone."

“What is required now is to declare Gaza Strip as a famine-stricken zone”, said Amjad Shawa, director of the Palestinian NGOs Network (PNGO) in Deir el-Balah, during a press conference in Ramallah on Wednesday.

He said sewage water has overflowed between tents, leaving displaced people without any water supply. The situation is getting worse by the “ruthless, merciless bombardment by the Israeli warplanes.”

Muhammad Eida, a Palestinian NGO director, said Gaza is now a "famine-stricken zone as the Israeli genocidal war enters the eighth month.”

“Many dead bodies are still trapped underneath the ruins,” he said, adding that others are “still strewn on the roads.”

“It is Israel’s goal to starve the population to force them out of Gaza Strip.”

According to Article 14 of the second additional protocol of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1977, it is illegal to starve a civil population as an act of aggression, he said.

Seventy organizations in a joint statement recently called on relevant authorities and global institutions to formally recognize a famine in the besieged Gaza Strip.

Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor was among the rights bodies, which made the call amid alarming reports of widespread famine in the territory.

The monitor contends that food insecurity is escalating within the besieged Palestinian territory, attributing it to Israel’s use of starvation tactics as a “weapon of war” against the Palestinian people.

They called on Israel to act immediately to implement the precautionary measures announced by the International Court of Justice regarding the opening of the Rafah crossing to provide basic services and much-needed humanitarian aid for the people of Gaza.

Separately on Wednesday, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) said in an X post that more families are fleeing Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip after the intensification of Israeli military operations in the city.

“It’s been repeatedly proven that no matter where families shelter, they are not safe”, UNRWA said.

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