The Israeli Occupation’s Use of Starvation as a Weapon of Genocide 

Categories News, Uncategorized

The Israeli Occupation’s Use of Starvation as a Weapon of Genocide


Using starvation as a weapon of genocide, the Israeli occupation has forced the 2.3 million Palestinians in the Gaza Strip into an unprecedented descent into hunger, starvation, and famine. Its deliberate destruction of Palestine’s food systems, water supplies, and core infrastructure – combined with its blockades of humanitarian aid – are calculated attempts to intentionally starve the population. There must be an immediate permanent ceasefire and unconditional humanitarian aid.


Starvation as a tool of genocide

No one in Gaza has access to sufficient food and water. Some, including young children, have already starved to death, agricultural systems have almost collapsed, and famine is imminent.


“Israel’s intentional destruction of food systems, blockades on humanitarian aid and the deliberate starvation of a population are not only violations of the right to food,” says FIAN International Secretary General Sofia Monsalve. “They also constitute a war crime, as starvation is implemented as a tool of genocide.”

The Israeli genocidal war has decimated Gaza’s agricultural infrastructure and crops. The severe fuel restrictions have crippled water infrastructure and electricity supply, leaving only limited power from solar panels and generators. Food stocks are almost nonexistent. Livestock farmers are facing substantial losses, with high mortality rates among animals due to bombings and lack of fodder. The occupation forces have destroyed most of Gaza’s fishing fleet and imposed a complete blockade on the sea, firing on boats and even individual fisher people.


The right to food and international law

It is impossible to realize human rights and exercise food sovereignty in a context of settler colonialism and occupation.

These violations against Palestinian food sovereignty exist within the broader framework of Israeli settler colonialism – Gaza has been under Israeli genocide since October 2023, under Israeli siege since 2007, and all of historic Palestine has been under occupation since 1948.

In addition to the ongoing genocidal war on Gaza, Israeli settler colonial expansion in the West Bank of Palestine further targets and severely disrupts Palestinian livelihoods, with Israeli occupation forces frequently targeting agricultural lands and infrastructure. Under Israeli occupation, Palestinian peasants and small-scale farmers face land theft, water scarcity, restrictions on market access, and more, all of which hinder food production and exacerbate food insecurity.

“Our struggle for food sovereignty is interconnected with the struggle for our national sovereignty and self-determination,” says Yasmeen El-Hasan, UAWC International Advocacy Coordinator. “If we had control over our land and natural resources, Palestine wouldn’t be facing issues of food insecurity and starvation.”

Israeli attacks have destroyed infrastructure, leading to famine-like conditions and a public health catastrophe. The recent massacres of people queuing for aid in the Gaza Strip are stark examples of the pattern of lethal attacks on Palestinian livelihood. Palestinian children in Gaza face malnutrition and lack of access to healthcare, with long-term consequences for their physical and mental health. Children have already died of starvation. The destruction of the environment and natural resources – including through the use of white phosphorus bombs – will have lasting effects on future generations, perpetuating intergenerational poverty. These actions, including the deliberate starving of a population, violate international human rights law and criminal law, and can constitute a genocidal act under international law.


Permanent ceasefire

There must be an immediate and permanent ceasefire to end the Israeli genocide of Gaza and guaranteeing of unconditional access to adequate humanitarian aid. It is critical that all states and international institutions undertake any and all action possible, including sanctions and arms embargos, to bring an immediate end to the genocide and the obstruction of humanitarian, life sustaining, and life-saving supplies to Palestinians in Gaza.

Justice requires a dismantling of systems of oppression: an end to the siege on Gaza and an end to the Israeli settler colonial occupation of Palestine. Affirming food sovereignty as a guiding framework, for ensuring the realization of the human rights of current and future generations, this briefing asserts that Palestinians must have sovereignty over their land and Palestine must be free from occupation in order for justice to prevail. It is incumbent upon the international community to support this process of Palestinian liberation.


Download here: Israeli occupation is using starvation as a weapon of genocide against Palestinians  


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these <abbr title="HyperText Markup Language">HTML</abbr> tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>