Fergal Keane: Gaza’s fear of famine is evident in the aid convoy catastrophe

The world community is under pressure to address the escalating hunger problem in the region following the events at al-Rashid Street in Gaza, where over 100 people are reportedly dead following a rush on an aid convoy. Fergal Keane reports from Jerusalem. People pass away in a variety of settings and methods. Beneath the debris of their dwellings, struck by explosives, pierced by fast-moving projectiles, and sliced open by flying metal fragments. And now, as the conflict moves into its fifth month, starvation deaths are beginning to plague Gaza. Understanding the what, when, and how of the catastrophe at al-Rashid Street is crucial.


To find out why people risked their lives to congregate in the pre-dawn darkness in the center of a war zone, one must conduct an impartial investigation of a kind that is unlikely to occur in Gaza at this time. The refugees were forced to flee their home countries in order to provide for their families. We do not yet know the exact ratio of the gunfire and trampling that claimed their lives since they only wished to survive. That irony is awful. Currently, 85% of Gaza’s population is internally displaced. All regular commercial activities and food supply have been destroyed by the war. The supply of electricity and water has been interrupted. Hospitals suffer when they lack sufficient power or medication.


From the beginning, the international community has considered Israel to be primarily responsible for guaranteeing the secure delivery of aid, as stated in public declarations. What eyewitness reports and videos reveal about Gazans slain during aid drops
However, there is little indication of what the UN refers to as “an enabling environment” during months of conflict, which would allow for the widespread distribution of aid to those in need. It’s not as though there hasn’t been any indication of a growing humanitarian emergency. Take a look at the remarks the UN has made over the past few months. The UN Human Rights office stated on November 15 that “we are already seeing a cascading collapse in water, sewage, and sanitation services, telecoms, food shortages, and healthcare.”


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