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UN agency says over half a million Palestinians face ‘catastrophic hunger’ in Gaza

Palestinians line up for a free meal in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, which is experiencing a food crisis (Photo by AP)

The UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees says more than half a million people in the Gaza Strip are facing catastrophic hunger as Israel presses ahead with its genocidal campaign in the besieged Palestinian territory.  

The United Nations Relief Works and Agency (UNRWA) in a social media post on Tuesday pointed out that intense fighting, communications blackouts and access restrictions had hindered the organization’s ability to “safely and effectively deliver aid”.

In the northern part of Gaza, very little aid has reached residents and displaced families there, who have begun to grind animal feed into flour, UNRWA said.

UNRWA says telecommunications and internet services in Gaza have been down for the past seven days, the longest since October 7. It added that the blackout prevents people from accessing life-saving information, and impedes humanitarian response.


Risk of having pockets of famine in Gaza remains: WFP

Meanwhile, the UN’s food agency on Tuesday warned that “very little” food assistance has made it beyond the southern part of the bombarded and besieged territory since the start of the war.

“It’s difficult to get into the places where we need to get to in Gaza, especially in northern Gaza,” said Abeer Etefa, the World Food Programme’s spokesperson for the Middle East.

“The risk of having pockets of famine in Gaza is very much still there,” she added.

Etefa noted that there was a “systematic limitation on getting into the north of Gaza, not just for the WFP”.

“This is why we’re seeing people becoming more desperate and being impatient to wait for food distributions because it’s very sporadic,” she said. “They don’t get it frequently, and they have no trust or confidence that these convoys will come again."

A UN expert also on Monday warned that Israel was “intentionally” starving Gazans and “destroying” its food system as the genocidal war continues incessantly for more than 100 days now.

Michael Fakhri, UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food said that starving an entire population, what Israel is doing in Gaza amid the onslaught, is “unprecedented.”

A group of United Nations human rights experts last week warned that "every single person" in the war-torn Gaza Strip is facing hunger amid Israel’s war and blockade against the besieged strip. 

The experts say that Israel is destroying Gaza’s food system and using food as a weapon against Palestinians, noting that “It is unprecedented to make an entire civilian population go hungry this completely and quickly.”

Gazans now make up 80 percent of all people facing famine or catastrophic hunger worldwide, marking an unprecedented humanitarian crisis in the blockaded territory.

On the 109th day of the US-Israeli genocide in Gaza, the death toll has risen to more than 25,500, predominantly comprising women and children.

Khan Younis, the largest city in the south of the Strip, has been the focus of the regime’s latest strikes.

Some 190 people have been killed over the past 24 hours, almost a third of them in Khan Yunis.  Israeli forces have encircled the city and launched an airstrike on areas around Nasser Hospital.

The Israeli army confirms the loss of 24 more troopers during intense clashes with Palestinian Resistance fighters in the past 24 hours in Gaza.

Israel’s aggression has also displaced hundreds of thousands of Palestinians in Gaza, which has been under near-total blockade since the beginning of the onslaught.

 An Israeli military spokesman of the regime says two dozen soldiers were killed during an intense fighting in Gaza on Monday.

He said, 21 of them died after a rocket-propelled grenade hit a building they were in. Three others were killed in a separate Palestinian operation that targeted an Israeli tank with a mortar shell. More than a dozen troops were also injured on the same day.

Despite its deadly and destructive campaign in Gaza, Israel has so far failed to achieve its main goals in the onslaught, namely destroying Hamas and securing the release of its captives through military means.

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