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'How can we remain silent,' UN rapporteur says on famine in Gaza

2 children latest victims of Israel's starvation campaign in blockaded enclave, posts Francesca Albanese

Merve Berker  | 05.07.2024 - Update : 06.07.2024
'How can we remain silent,' UN rapporteur says on famine in Gaza


The UN’s special rapporteur on Palestine on Friday questioned how the world could remain “silent" or "indifferent" on the situation in Gaza, where Israeli attacks since Oct. 7, 2023 has killed more than 38,000 Palestinians, and rendered most of the population homeless and hungry.

In a post on X, Francesca Albanese said: “6-months old Fayez Ataya & 13yo Abdulqader Al-Serhi are two of the latest victims of the FAMINE that Israel's STARVATION campaign has caused in Gaza."

“How can we remain silent, indifferent, or inactive in the face of this abominable injustice, and not feel hypocritical when commemorating the victims of any other genocide?” she questioned.

According to the latest UN-partnered IPC report on hunger levels, 96% of the population – some 2.15 million people – face acute food insecurity at “crisis” level or higher.

Albanese's remarks were in response to post by Michael Fakhri, the UN special rapporteur on the right to food, who said "Famine in Gaza has spread from the north to the entire strip."

“Every Palestinian in Gaza is now facing famine because of Israel’s intentional and targeted starvation campaign,” he said.

“How do I know this? The recent deaths of more Palestinian children tells us everything. Fayez Ataya (barely 6-months old) died on 30 May. Abdulqader Al-Serhi (13-years-old) died on 1 June. Both children died from starvation. There is therefore no doubt that famine has spread across all of Gaza,” he said.

“How can a child's death mean there's famine?” Fakhri asked, and answered: “The death of a child from malnutrition/dehydration indicates that health and social structures have been attacked, critically weakened.”

“When the first child dies from malnutrition and dehydration, it's irrefutable that famine has taken hold,” he said.

He said the first reports of starvation death came from northern Gaza. “Mahmoud Fattouh (1-mos. old) died on 24 February. Yazan Al Kafarneh (10-yrs. old) died 4 March. Both starved by Israel,” he noted.

“The whole world should've stopped Israel's genocidal starvation campaign to prevent these deaths,” Fakhri said.

Aid agencies say Israeli authorities frequently prevent them from delivering aid to Gaza, worsening situation in the already blockaded enclave.​​​

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