A global rights group, Human Rights Watch (HRW), has accused Israel of committing a war crime by starving people in the Gaza Strip, who continue to face relentless attacks in the war with Hamas militants.
Despite rising global pressure to protect civilians, who have nowhere to go, Israel is bent on eliminating the Hamas group behind an Oct. 7 rampage that killed 1,200 people and took 240 hostages, according to Israeli authorities.
HRW said Israeli forces were deliberately blocking delivery of water, food, and fuel, razing agricultural areas, and depriving Gaza’s 2.3 million people of objects indispensable for their survival.
“The Israeli government is using starvation of civilians as a method of warfare in the occupied Gaza Strip,” it said in a report.
“World leaders should be speaking out against this abhorrent war crime.”
Israel has denied targeting civilians and says it is trying to facilitate aid to innocents while choking off supplies to thousands of Hamas fighters operating from tunnels. There was no immediate response to the HRW report from Israel
In the latest bombardments, 90 Palestinians died in the Jabalia refugee camp in northern Gaza on Sunday, according to the Hamas-run territory.
Pope Francis accused Israel of “terrorism,” deploring the reported killing by the Israeli military of two Christian women in a church complex.
Israel has not responded to his comments.