News   /   Palestine

European Commission chief: Gaza facing famine, ceasefire agreement must be reached rapidly

Palestinians inspect the site of an Israeli strike on a house, amid the regime’s genocidal war on Gaza, in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, on March 8, 2024. (via Reuters)

The president of the European Commission has warned about imminent famine in the besieged Gaza Strip, stressing that an agreement for the establishment of ceasefire across the territory must be reached as soon as possible.

"Gaza is facing famine and we cannot accept this," Ursula von der Leyen told reporters in Cairo on Sunday after signing a strategic partnership agreement with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

"It is critical to achieve an agreement on a ceasefire rapidly now that … allows more humanitarian aid to reach Gaza," she said.

Her remarks came after the United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA, warned that one-third of children under two years old in northern Gaza are acutely malnourished as famine looms amid Israel’s complete blockade of the coastal territory.

Adding that “children’s malnutrition is spreading fast and reaching unprecedented levels in Gaza," the agency cautioned, “Famine is looming. There is no time to waste.”

On Wednesday, European Union’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell voiced deep concern over the humanitarian situation in Gaza, saying the Israeli regime is using starvation as a weapon of war in the besieged territory.

“This humanitarian crisis (is) not a natural disaster, is not a flood, is not an earthquake, it is man-made,” he said, adding that aid deliveries via road are “being artificially closed, and starvation is being used as a war weapon.”

Elsewhere in her Sunday remarks, Von der Leyen said, "We are all extremely concerned about the war in Gaza and the unfolding catastrophic humanitarian situation …. and we’re also very concerned about the risks (that) a full-scale offensive in Rafah would have for the vulnerable civilian population. This needs to be avoided at all costs."

Despite increasing international calls to halt its military aggression, Israel has approved plans to assault the city of Rafah in Gaza’s south, where about 1.4 million Palestinian citizens have taken refuge after the regime forced them from their homes in other parts of the territory.

Earlier on Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reiterated that the regime would push on with its planned ground offensive, vowing to send ground forces into Rafah.

Israel’s allies and critics have warned Netanyahu against the invasion of Rafah, fearing mass civilian casualties.

Israel launched its the war of genocide on Gaza on October 7, 2023 after the territory's resistance movements waged Operation al-Aqsa Storm against the occupying entity in response to the regime's decades-long campaign of bloodletting and devastation against Palestinians.

Since the start of its aggression, the Tel Aviv regime has killed at least 31,645 Palestinians and injured 73,676 others.

The regime has also imposed a complete siege on the territory, cutting off fuel, electricity, food, medicine and water to more than two million Palestinians living there.

Press TV’s website can also be accessed at the following alternate addresses:

Press TV News Roku