It’s not just bullets and bombs. I have never seen health organisations as worried as they are about disease in Gaza

Ultimately, unless something changes, the world faces the prospect of almost a quarter of Gaza’s 2 million population - close to half- a million human beings - dying within a year. These would be largely deaths from preventable health causes and the collapse of the medical system. It’s a crude estimate, but one that is data-driven, using the terrifyingly real numbers of deaths in previous and comparable conflicts.

Read more on The Guardian

Palestine New Year: The Roots of the Problem 

The situation in Palestine is often falsely described as “ancient, complex, and insoluble.” In fact, the modern problem began with the growth of political Zionism in 1895. In The Jewish State, which he published that year, Theodore Herzl announced his plan quite clearly: Palestinians were to be removed to make room for Zionist settlers. That was, and remains, the Israeli plan today. Palestinians are often criticized for resorting to violence as they resist removal. Since 1895, Palestinians have largely tried to get justice through non-violent means. Even today, most resistance is still non-violent- it just doesn’t get the attention that violent outbursts do. When things settle down, the world simply ignores the problem. Another reason the problem shouldn’t be considered ancient is that like systemic racism in the US, it continues unabated to this day. It has nothing to do with ancient Jebusites, Hittites, etc.

The situation is not complex either. It is simply the story of Zionist settlers taking land from the native Palestinians, and resistance from their victims. In my long study of the subject, I am not aware of Palestinians ever getting any of their land back. It has been a one-way street. As a result, five generations of Palestinians have lived in exile. The current war in Gaza hasn’t interrupted Zionist settlement and violence in the West Bank (which is not run by Hamas and hasn’t fired rockets).

Along the way, violence by Zionists has been aimed at taking the land: violence by Palestinians has been in defense of their land. When this situation is discussed, there is often talk of “being balanced.” There really is no way to correct this basic imbalance. If there is truth on one side and a lie on the other, splitting the difference does not get you to the truth- it just gets you to a milder lie. The Palestinians have always been greatly overmatched. There has never really been any “balance” in this struggle.

The notion that the problem is insoluble is simply nonsense. Israel could solve the problem on any given day by simply honoring their previous and long-standing commitment to treaties and UN resolutions (194, 242, 338, etc.). It is only their intransigence that stands in the way. Serious US pressure is probably the only solution.

All the other problems (skyjacking and rockets, Hezbollah, Hamas, Houthis, and Iran) that have come up along the way make the situation seem more complicated than it is. They all developed over time as the basic problem was left unresolved. Overall, things have always gotten worse- not better. This latest outburst of violence demonstrates this. The fatal mistake most people make is accepting the idea that Netanyahu’s goal is “to eliminate Hamas.” Actually, his goal is to eliminate ANY and ALL Palestinian resistance. It just won’t happen.

Since I first called for a ceasefire on November 3, another 15,000 Palestinians have been killed. They are largely women and children. Of some 40 hospitals in Gaza, almost none are functional. They have become morgues and hospices. Can anyone truly believe that Israel is “not targeting” hospitals? With disease and starvation, the death toll is set to soar. So far, Netanyahu’s strategy of force has freed only one hostage. About a hundred were released during the brief ceasefire. Yet he persists in this savagery and will continue as long as the US stands by him. Since any just, lasting peace will have to begin with a ceasefire, why not start now?

Finally, a few simple observations on antisemitism. Antisemitism is an ugly, dangerous ideology. Like any ideology that promotes the idea of racial or ethnic supremacy by any group, it should be rejected. That said, it is simply untrue to assert that the current state of Israel speaks for all Jewish people or that political Zionism truly represents the Jewish religious tradition. Many passionate advocates of Palestinian rights are Jewish. Fair criticism of Israel is not antisemitic and to claim that it is actually confuses the issue of combating the spread of real antisemitism. In that regard, Israel’s current reprehensible conduct is extremely counterproductive. It is also a disaster for the standing of the US in the world.

Gaza’s health crisis ‘catastrophic,’ say Palestinian experts

Untreated sewage and overcrowding are leading to the rapid spread of disease, while three-quarters of the Strip’s hospitals have stopped functioning.

In late November, Margaret Harris, a spokesperson for the World Health Organization, warned that without urgent action to repair the Gaza Strip’s rapidly collapsing health system, more people would soon die from disease than from Israel’s bombings. “[There are] no medicines, no vaccination activities, no access to safe water and hygiene and no food,” she said, summarizing the dire humanitarian conditions amid Israel’s ongoing bombardment and intensified siege.

Nearly a month later, the full extent of the crisis is still not being fully comprehended outside of the Strip, according to Palestinian health care professionals in Gaza. “The information, statistics, and news circulating worldwide only scratches the surface of the actual reality,” Dr. Adnan al-Wahidi, a child health expert from Gaza City, told +972. “It captures just a small fraction of the alarming health situation in the Gaza Strip.”

Read more on +972 Magazine

Human Rights Watch: Israel: Starvation Used as Weapon of War in Gaza

Evidence Indicates Civilians Deliberately Denied Access to Food, Water

  • The Israeli government is using starvation of civilians as a method of warfare in the Gaza Strip, which is a war crime.
  • Israeli officials have made public statements expressing their aim to deprive civilians in Gaza of food, water, and fuel – statements reflected in Israeli forces’ military operations.
  • The Israeli government should not attack objects necessary for the survival of the civilian population, lift its blockade of the Gaza Strip, and restore electricity and water. 

(Jerusalem) – The Israeli government is using starvation of civilians as a method of warfare in the occupied Gaza Strip, which is a war crime, Human Rights Watch said today. Israeli forces are deliberately blocking the delivery of water, food, and fuel, while willfully impeding humanitarian assistance, apparently razing agricultural areas, and depriving the civilian population of objects indispensable to their survival.

Since Hamas-led fighters attacked Israel on October 7, 2023, high-ranking Israeli officials, including Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir, and Energy Minister Israel Katz have made public statements expressing their aim to deprive civilians in Gaza of food, water and fuel – statements reflecting a policy being carried out by Israeli forces. Other Israeli officials have publicly stated that humanitarian aid to Gaza would be conditioned either on the release of hostages unlawfully held by Hamas or Hamas’ destruction.

“For over two months, Israel has been depriving Gaza's population of food and water, a policy spurred on or endorsed by high-ranking Israeli officials and reflecting an intent to starve civilians as a method of warfare,” said Omar Shakir, Israel and Palestine director at Human Rights Watch. “World leaders should be speaking out against this abhorrent war crime, which has devastating effects on Gaza’s population.”

Human Rights Watch interviewed 11 displaced Palestinians in Gaza between November 24 and December 4. They described their profound hardships in securing basic necessities. “We had no food, no electricity, no internet, nothing at all,” said one man who had left northern Gaza. “We don’t know how we survived.”

Read more at Human Rights Watch

The U.S. Must Change Course on Gaza Today 

Michelle Nunn, Tjada D’Oyen McKenna, Jan Egeland, Abby Maxman, Jeremy Konyndyk and

Ms. Nunn is president and C.E.O. of CARE USA. Ms. McKenna is C.E.O. of Mercy Corps. Mr. Egeland is secretary general of the Norwegian Refugee Council. Ms. Maxman is president and C.E.O. of Oxfam America. Mr. Konyndyk is president of Refugees International. Ms. Soeripto is president and C.E.O. of Save the Children U.S.

We are no strangers to human suffering — to conflict, to natural disasters, to some of the world’s largest and gravest catastrophes. We were there when fighting erupted in Khartoum, Sudan. As bombs rained down on Ukraine. When earthquakes leveled southern Turkey and northern Syria. As the Horn of Africa faced its worst drought in years. The list goes on.

But as the leaders of some of the world’s largest global humanitarian organizations, we have seen nothing like the siege of Gaza. In the more than two months since the horrifying attack on Israel that killed more than 1,200 people and resulted in some 240 abductions, about 18,000 Gazans — including more than 7,500 children — have been killed, according to the Gazan health ministry. More children have been reported killed in this conflict than in all major global conflicts combined last year.

The atrocities committed by Hamas on Oct. 7 were unconscionable and depraved, and the taking and holding of hostages is abhorrent. The calls for their release are urgent and justified. But the right to self-defense does not and cannot require unleashing this humanitarian nightmare on millions of civilians. It is not a path to accountability, healing or peace. In no other war we can think of in this century have civilians been so trapped, without any avenue or option to escape to save themselves and their children.

Most of our organizations have been operating in Gaza for decades. But we can do nothing remotely adequate to address the level of suffering there without an immediate and complete cease-fire and an end to the siege. The aerial bombardments have rendered our jobs impossible. The withholding of water, fuel, food and other basic goods has created an enormous scale of need that aid alone cannot offset.

(see the full opinion piece on the NY Times).





The latest news from the Joomla! Team
Fair Use Notice
This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: . If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.