Israel faces accusations of deliberate starvation in Gaza Conflict

Israel has continued its intense bombing campaign with allegations from Human Rights Watch (HRW) claiming deliberate starvation tactics against Palestinians in the fight against Hamas.

The Hamas-run health ministry reported a tragic toll of 110 lives lost in strikes on Jabalia, outside Gaza City, just within the last 24 hours, marking the third month of relentless warfare.

The UN Security Council, meeting in New York, was poised for a crucial vote on yet another call for a ceasefire, after previous attempts were thwarted by Israel’s key ally, the United States.

Pentagon chief Lloyd Austin returned to Israel as part of a Middle East tour aimed at preventing the conflict from spreading further.

The war erupted when Hamas launched an unprecedented attack on October 7, resulting in around 1,140 casualties in Israel, predominantly civilians, and the abduction of 250 individuals.

Gaza’s health ministry reported a staggering toll of over 19,400 lives lost, primarily women and children, with vast areas reduced to rubble.

The international community has expressed increasing concern over the dire situation facing 2.4 million Gazans enduring bombardment, food and water shortages, mass displacement, and plummeting winter temperatures.

Human Rights Watch accused Israel of committing war crimes, stating that Israeli forces deliberately block the delivery of essential supplies, including water, food, and fuel, while hindering humanitarian assistance.

In response, the Israeli government labeled HRW as an “anti-Semitic and anti-Israeli organization.”

The head of the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, Philippe Lazzarini, warned of potential deaths from hunger, disease, and weak immunity.

Israel claims to approve aid deliveries via its Kerem Shalom crossing, yet families at the Rafah crossing express desperation and plead for safety.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reiterated Israel’s commitment to destroying Hamas, freeing hostages, and preventing Gaza from becoming a terrorism center.

The conflict escalated with ground operations, resulting in 127 deaths in Gaza.

Global pressure on Israel intensified, with EU top diplomat Josep Borrell criticizing Israel’s lack of distinction in its campaign.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa described the situation as a “genocidal onslaught,” calling for a complete ceasefire.

Misguided Israeli forces mistakenly shot three hostages who had escaped, raising tensions.

The UN Security Council prepared to vote on a resolution calling for an urgent and sustainable cessation of hostilities. Diplomatic efforts for a truce continue, with Qatar mediating.

Amid concerns for hospitals and reports of their destruction, major firms, including BP, redirected vessels to avoid maritime conflict zones, leading to longer and costlier routes around Africa.

Fears persist that the conflict could escalate, involving Iran-backed forces in Lebanon, Iraq, Syria, and Yemen, with Yemen’s Huthi rebels expressing solidarity with Hamas through missile attacks on Israel and the Red Sea.

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