A Million Palestinians Face Death by Starvation After Eight Months of Israel’s Genocide in Gaza

Palestinians seeking food in Deir el-Balah in the Gaza Strip in December 2023. Israel’s “complete siege” on Gaza has meant widespread shortages of food throughout the last eight months, but repeated blocking of humanitarian aid deliveries by Israel has meant that it is now estimated that a million Palestinians face death by starvation by mid-July. (Photo: Majdi Fathi).

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Eight months of unmitigated horror in Gaza demonstrates the absolute moral degradation of Israel, and the unparalleled moral failure of the west.

It’s eight months since Hamas and other militants broke out of the “open-air prison” of the Gaza Strip, where they, and the entire Palestinian population of 2.3 million people, had been subjected to a land, sea and air blockade for 16 years, and embarked on a brief but deadly killing spree in southern Israel, killing 1,068 Israelis (695 civilians and 373 members of the military and the police), as well as 71 foreign nationals, and kidnapping around 235 others, around half of whom were Israeli.

In response, as happened on numerous previous occasions when Israel was attacked by Palestinian military forces resisting the occupation of their land, Israel began carpet bombing the Gaza Strip, destroying key infrastructure, levelling apartment blocks with disproportionately heavy-duty bombs provided mainly by the US and Germany, and killing vast numbers of civilians.

In 2014, when Israel undertook the most savage of its many previous attacks on the Gaza Strip, a seven-week campaign killed over 2,300 Palestinians, wounded nearly 11,000 (including 3,374 children, of whom over 1,000 were permanently disabled), and led to the destruction of 7,000 homes, with an additional 89,000 damaged, before a ceasefire was finally reached.

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Ending Israel’s Impunity for Genocide in Gaza, and the Threat to Those, Like Joe Biden, Who Are Most Complicit

Karim Khan, the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), flanked by Benjamin Netanyahu and Yoav Gallant, behind bars. Image via the Islam Channel, produced after Khan announced his intention to seek arrests for both men for war crimes and crimes against humanity in the Gaza Strip.

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I just want the bombing to stop. Billions of us around the world just want to the bombing to stop. But last night, in Rafah, Israel dropped countless US-supplied 2,000-pound bombs — hideously powerful weapons designed to pierce otherwise impenetrable military targets — on a displaced Palestinian civilian population, living in flimsy makeshift tents in what they were told was a “safe zone,” burning dozens of them alive, including children who were decapitated as their bodies burned.

For seven and a half months, a moral sickness has engulfed the State of Israel, also infecting parliaments and the mainstream media throughout most of the western world, as shrill, bullying and sometime gleeful proponents of genocide have sought to compel us, sometimes through violence, and often through intimidation, not only to turn a blind eye to the murder of 40,000 civilians in the Gaza Strip — killed with bombs of such intensity that they shouldn’t even exist, let alone be dropped onto packed civilian neighbourhoods day after day after day — but to endorse it, to support it as enthusiastically as they do.

For seven and a half months, those of us living in the majority of the countries of the west (or the Global North), have been ordered to believe that, despite the openly genocidal comments that have been regularly and insistently made by Israel’s leaders since the deadly attacks on southern Israel by Hamas and other militants on October 7 last year, (in which 1,139 people were killed), Israel’s response, in which most of the Gaza Strip has been destroyed, and 10,000 decomposing corpses are buried under the rubble, is not a genocide, but simply Israel exercising its “right to defend itself”, to “eliminate Hamas”, and to free the hostages seized by Hamas and other militants on October 7.

For seven and half months, we have been told that “this began on October 7”, in a blatant and frankly sickening effort to erase 76 years of oppression of the Palestinian people by the State of Israel, oppression which began in earnest with the blood-soaked establishment of the State of Israel, in 1948, when 15,000 Palestinians were murdered and 750,000 permanently exiled from their homes, but which actually began decades before, via the Balfour Declaration of 1917, in which the British government, then ruling Palestine as a Mandate after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, announced its support for the establishment of a “national home for the Jewish people” in Palestine, and encouraged the migration of hundreds of thousands of European Jews.

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As Israel Shuns a Ceasefire and Continues Its “Forever Genocide” in Rafah and Across Gaza, An End Must Be in Sight

Protestors in Nablus, in the occupied West Bank, on October 26, 2023 (Photo: Zain Jaafar/AFP).

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For over seven months, the Israeli military, largely using weapons provided by the United States and Germany, has been bombing the Gaza Strip with an intensity unmatched in modern history. In March, the NGO Humanity & Inclusion assessed that, on average, 500 bombs a day had been dropped on Gaza, meaning that, as of today, the total number of bombs dropped exceeds 100,000.

Hundreds of these bombs have been US-supplied 2,000lb bombs, which, last week, Frank Gardner, the BBC’s Security Correspondent, citing the UN, described as having “a lethal fragmentation radius of 350 metres”, which “can penetrate concrete more than three metres thick”, and which “leave a crater over 15 metres wide, making it completely unsuitable for use in a place heavily populated by civilians.” As Gardner added, “Even for those people several streets away, the effects can be horrific”, with the UN stating that “the pressure from the explosion can rupture lungs, burst sinus cavities and tear off lies hundreds of metres from the blast site.”

The Gaza Strip, which is home to 2.3 million people — largely the descendants of refugees from the brutal and bloody ethnic cleansing that accompanied the creation of the State of Israel in 1948 — covers just 140 square miles (or 365 square kilometres) of land along the eastern edge of the Mediterranean Sea — roughly half the size of New York City, and a quarter of the size of London.

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End Times for Humanity, With the West Fully Committed to Israel’s Genocide of the Palestinians and to Complete Climate Collapse

A poignant message on the massive March for Palestine in London on November 11, 2023 (Photo: Andy Worthington).

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Over the last few weeks, I’ve been suffering from a state of exhaustion that made me wonder if I had some undiagnosed terminal illness. I’ve been unable to concentrate, and, as soon as I woke up, I was wondering when I could go back to bed again.

Yesterday, the fog finally lifted, and I realized that my exhaustion was almost certainly a result of the dire state of the world right now — primarily related to Israel’s ongoing genocide in Gaza (still, after the murder of over 37,000 civilians, largely supported by western politicians and the mainstream media), but also to the cascading climate collapse that these same politicians and media outlets don’t want to talk about.

On Gaza, I suspect that my exhaustion was primarily related to an overwhelming sense of futility and powerlessness regarding any hope that the relentless genocide might be stopped. For those, like myself, who have been watching this grotesque live-streamed genocide unfold for over six months — ever since Hamas militants and other Gaza-based militants broke out of the “open-air prison” of the Gaza Strip on October 7 and killed 695 Israeli civilians, 373 members of the military and the police, and 71 foreign nationals — there have only been a few moments when hope appeared to be in the ascendant, and on each occasion the aftermath, when that hope was crushed, has been difficult to negotiate.

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Yes, AI Is a Component of Israel’s Genocide in Gaza, But It’s Not the Whole Story

Palestinians pass a building destroyed by an Israeli airstrike in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, on March 18, 2024 (Photo: Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90).

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On Wednesday (April 3) the NGO Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor published its latest infographic showing how many Palestinians have been killed in the Gaza Strip by Israeli since October 7 — 41,496 Palestinians in 180 days. That’s 230 a day, or nearly ten people killed every single hour for the last six months.

This is a devastating indictment of Israel’s actions, and is also damning with regard to all the western nations, led by the US, who have been supporting this unprecedented frenzy of civilian slaughter.

According to Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor, who, notably, include the nearly 10,000 people buried under the rubble of countless bombing attacks, the total death toll includes 15,370 children and 9,671 women, with 90% of the dead identified as civilians.

Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor’s latest infographic about the death toll in the Gaza Strip since October 7, 2023.

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The Best of Humanity Weeps for Gaza, While the Worst Cheers On Genocide, Malevolent and Psychopathic: Whose Side Are You On?

Palestinian flags on the most recent March for Palestine in central London on March 9, 2024 (Photo: Andy Worthington).

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Last week, Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor, the Geneva-based NGO, published its latest assessment of the death toll in Gaza, after 160 days of Israel’s relentless genocidal assault on the largely civilian population of the Gaza Strip, refugees from the ethnic cleansing that accompanied the blood-soaked establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, who, for the last 17 years, have been trapped in what Human Rights Watch described in 2022 as an “open-air prison”, because of Israel’s total blockade of all routes in and out, but which it would now be more accurate to describe as the world’s largest open-air graveyard, or the world’s largest concentration camp.

Shamefully, no mainstream media outlet took an interest in Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor’s assessment, even though it reported, credibly, that the death toll from Israel’s ongoing genocide in Gaza has now surpassed 40,000 (40,042, according to the report), with 14,861 of those killed being children, and 9,273 being women, and with 36,330 of those killed (90%) assessed as having been civilians.

Over 160 days, this means that, on average, 250 Palestinians have been killed every day — or ten every hour — with nearly a hundred of those killed every day being children.

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Andy Worthington

Investigative journalist, author, campaigner, commentator and public speaker. Recognized as an authority on Guantánamo and the “war on terror.” Co-founder, Close Guantánamo and We Stand With Shaker. Also, photo-journalist (The State of London), and singer and songwriter (The Four Fathers).
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