Human Rights Watch accuses Israel of intentionally starving civilians in Gaza

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The group Human Rights Watch on Monday accused the Israeli government of intentionally starving civilians in Gaza as part of its offensive in the besieged Palestinian territory.

“The Israeli government is using starvation of civilians as a method of warfare in the occupied Gaza Strip, which is a war crime,” the New York-based group charged in a report.

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“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,” it added.

The Israeli government hit back at HRW, accusing it of being an “anti-Semitic and anti-Israeli organization.”

“Human Rights Watch ... did not condemn the attack on Israeli citizens and the massacre of October 7 and has no moral basis to talk about what’s going on in Gaza if they turn a blind eye to the suffering and the human rights of Israelis,” foreign ministry spokesman Lior Haiat told AFP.

The deadliest ever Gaza war began with the unprecedented attack by Hamas on October 7, when the group killed 1,139 people, mostly civilians, and abducted around 250, according to updated Israeli figures.

The health ministry in the Hamas-run territory says more than 18,800 people, mostly women and children, have died in Israel’s campaign in Gaza.

Following months of fierce bombardment and fighting, most of Gaza’s population has been displaced and people are grappling with shortages of food, water, fuel and medicine.

Israel on Friday approved the “temporary” delivery of much-needed aid to Gaza via its Kerem Shalom crossing.

A humanitarian aid convoy entered Gaza through the crossing on Sunday, the first since Israel approved the move, an Egyptian Red Crescent official said.

A total of “79 trucks began entering today,” the official, who is not authorized to speak to the media, said on condition of anonymity.

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