GAZA – Um Mohammed and her husband struggle daily to provide food, water and milk to their infant child, which she delivered by caesarean section at Al-Awda Hospital in Jabalia refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip.

On the impact of great risks as a result of the violent raids, displaced um Mohammed and her family of 5 members, from one area to another, where her mother's home in the same camp, and used in her speech to Al Jazeera Net the word "tragic" repeatedly, to describe the reality of living collapsed in the areas of the northern Strip.

The 39-year-old Um Mohammed's due date had not yet come, when she felt the pain of labor, and traveled a few hundred meters on foot, transcending her pain and the dangers of moving at night, to reach the hospital, where she gave birth - for the first time - by caesarean section, which she believes is caused by extreme fear.

Jabalya, the most densely populated of the enclave's eight refugee camps, witnessed the most horrific massacres during the escalating Israeli war for the fifth week in a row.

These massacres committed by the occupation against civilians inside their residential homes made um Muhammad keep her family name secret, fearing and keenness, and said: "They want to exterminate us by killing and starving, they drop rockets on us without warning and exterminate entire families."

Starvation War

Um Mohammed does not have the proper nutrition to enable her to breastfeed her baby, as shops are empty of goods and foodstuffs, while markets are empty of vegetables, because farmers cannot reach their lands and farms adjacent to the Israeli security fence.

Israel isolates Gaza City and its north from the cities in the southern Gaza Strip, which are considered the "food basket", and prevents the flow of goods and crops from the south to the north, while at the same time continuing to prevent the supply of food commodities and all humanitarian supplies, including fuel, through the only commercial Kerem Shalom crossing, which has been closed since the outbreak of war on the seventh of last month.

Um Mohammed lives in a house overcrowded with six families of 6 people, who live all day on one simple meal, and little potable water, so that in many days they had to drink salty and untreated water.

The suffering of these families translates into the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor's view that in recent hours Israel has sharply escalated its "war of starvation" against civilians in the Gaza Strip, exacerbating the living situation, which has reached catastrophic levels, as a tool of subjugation.

The director of the Observatory, Dr. Rami Abdo for Al Jazeera Net, "Israel provides evidence after evidence of its pursuit of the war of starvation, through direct targeting of bakeries, factories, shops, markets, stations, wells and water tanks, in addition to the bombing of generators and solar energy units, which depend on vital facilities of commercial facilities, restaurants and civil institutions, to maintain the minimum of their work, in light of a complete power outage, and running out of fuel."

The power outage crisis disrupted food supplies by affecting cooling and irrigating crops, at a time when more than 15,10 farmers lost their crops, about <>,<> livestock and poultry breeders were unable to obtain adequate fodder for them, and many of them lost their animals, birds, and even their lives themselves, by Israeli targeting while trying to reach their farms.

According to Abdo, the effects of the war of starvation are evident in Gaza City and cities and towns in the northern Gaza Strip, and the Observatory is currently working to document cases of children who doctors believe died of drought caused by severe hunger. "The people of Gaza and its north spend their day looking for food and water," he says.

Displaced Palestinians gather to fill water in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip (Reuters)

Bread dipped in blood

International humanitarian law strictly prohibits the use of starvation as a method of warfare. As the occupying power in Gaza, Israel is obligated to provide for and protect the needs of the people of Gaza.

According to the director of Euro-Med Human Rights, instead Israel has not only imposed the imposed blockade and targeted what remains of life in Gaza, but has also targeted civilians during the "arduous journey" by searching for food and water, and bombed them in the "queues" of bakeries and markets.

Among the many cases documented by Euro-Med Monitor, Abdo referred to the cases of Yahya Kahil, his three sons and his daughter, all of whom were killed in an Israeli airstrike targeting them upon their return to fetch some food from their home from which they were displaced in Gaza City, and Sami Ashour and his son Abdullah were martyred in an Israeli targeting while searching for food.

This targeting, coinciding with Israeli attacks on the destruction of the agricultural area adjacent to the Israeli security fence in eastern Gaza, flour warehouses and fishermen's boats, as well as supply centers for relief organizations, especially the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), the largest source of humanitarian aid in the Strip, indicates according to Abdo "an imminent explosion and famine in the Gaza Strip."


And used the head of the "Government Media Office" safety known, the same term agreed with Abdo that the occupation pursues a "policy of war of starvation" along with the tools of bombing and siege, and told Al Jazeera Net that Israel "destroys all ways and necessities of life, especially in Gaza City and its north."

Israel – according to a well-known description – is waging a "genocidal war", and in conjunction with intensive air raids, preventing the delivery of food and fuel to Gaza City and the north, and destroying most of the wells and water tanks in the towns of Beit Lahia and Beit Hanoun, and Jabalya camp, and municipal teams are unable to reach them and restore water supplies to the population.

At the same time, only 2% of the humanitarian aid entered the Gaza Strip through the Rafah land crossing with Egypt, from which food is distributed, and it is very limited to the displaced in the south, while the occupation prevents it from reaching the northern areas of the Gaza Strip, according to Maarouf.

The World Food Programme estimates that the current stock of basic food commodities will last for a maximum of 4 days before running out permanently, at a time when trade has been paralyzed by widespread destruction, insecurity and fuel shortages.

Asked about the options available to confront the war of starvation, Maarouf said, "The question should be directed to the international community, which recognizes the humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza and does not lift a finger to help the afflicted, but we have nothing but patience and steadfastness until the last breath."