Top NewsHalf a million starving in Gaza, report says: Israel-Hamas...

Half a million starving in Gaza, report says: Israel-Hamas war live updates


Gaza is at risk of famine and nearly half a million people face starvation due to food shortages, a global panel of experts said on Tuesday. Experts stopped short of saying that famine had started in the enclave as a result of Israel’s war against Hamas, and noted that the amount of food reaching northern Gaza had increased.

Panel analysis, is called Integrated Food Safety Phase Classification, or IPC, carries considerable weight. The group is a partnership of UN bodies and major relief agencies, and global leaders look to it to gauge the severity of hunger crises and allocate humanitarian aid.

After Hamas launched a deadly attack on Israel on October 7, Israeli authorities declared a blockade of Gaza and severely restricted the entry of humanitarian aid, saying they did not want to help Hamas. Between October and early May, the number of daily aid trucks passing through two major crossings in southern Gaza dropped by about 75 percent, according to UN data, and reports of hunger and malnutrition are widespread.

A malnourished Palestinian girl at the International Medical Corps field hospital in Deir al-Balah, southern Gaza, on Saturday.debt…Mohammed Salem/Reuters

Israeli officials have said for months that there is no limit to the amount of food and other aid that can enter Gaza. In recent weeks, Israel has opened aid crossings in northern Gaza and increased the number of commercial vehicles carrying food and other supplies across the border.

The report said Gaza’s population of nearly 2.2 million faced severe food insecurity, and placed Gaza at phase 4 of “emergency” on its five-level classification scale. But it also said 495,000 people faced “catastrophic levels of severe food insecurity”, a level 5 on the scale.

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“At this stage, families experience food insecurity, hunger and exhaustion of coping skills,” the report said.

In March, the IPC predicted famine in northern Gaza by the end of May. But on Tuesday, it said the amount of food and other nutrients served there increased in March and April.

Those increases “appear to have temporarily mitigated conditions” in the north, the report added, adding that “in this context, available evidence does not indicate a current famine.”

In early May, Israel’s military sent ground troops into the southern Gazan city of Rafah, and more than a million people, many of whom had previously been displaced from their homes, fled to the coastal area, which lacks basic infrastructure, leaving them extremely vulnerable.

The military operation closed the Rafah border crossing from Egypt and disrupted aid deliveries at the Kerem Shalom crossing with Israel. Since then, the situation in the south has worsened, the report said.

In order to buy food, more than half of households in Gaza “had to barter their clothes for money, and a third resorted to selling rubbish,” the IPC said. It said more than half of households often had no food to eat, and more than 20 percent went days or nights without food.

The IPC identifies famine when at least 20 percent of households in an area face food shortages, at least 30 percent of children suffer from severe malnutrition, and at least two adults or four children per 10,000 people die of hunger or starvation every day. Malnutrition related disease.

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Since the IPC was established in 2004, its approach has been used to identify only two famines: in Somalia in 2011, and in South Sudan in 2017. In Somalia, more than 100,000 people died before the famine was officially declared.

Israeli officials acknowledge hunger in Gaza, but accuse Hamas of stealing or diverting aid. But Ismail Tawabte, deputy head of the Hamas government media office in Gaza, said last month that the allegations were “totally false and false.” He added that while some of the relief goods were looted, it was done by a small number of people driven to desperation by Israel.

Some Gazans have also accused Hamas of benefiting from looted aid.

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