Corporate media is still presenting Israel starving Gaza as some sort of freak accident

Israel’s role is nowhere to be seen

James Wright by James Wright

 26 June 2024 –

Corporate media is still covering for Israel deliberately starving Palestinian people in Gaza. Rather than using the active voice, headlines from media outlets present Palestinians as simply dying of a natural disaster.

Take the BBC, which runs the headline “‘High risk’ of famine in Gaza persists, new UN-backed report says”. The BBC then admits in the piece that “humanitarian access is restricted”, but still does not name Israel.

Or there’s Reuters that goes with “Gaza faces the threat of famine. How children starve”. Another example is the Washington Post, which straight up takes Israel’s line on the matter: “Israel blames U.N. for Gaza aid crisis amid fresh reports of starvation”.

Israeli officials initially admitted that it’s policy. On 7 October, Israeli defence minister Yoav Gallant announced an intensification of Israel’s occupation of Gaza:

We are putting a complete siege on Gaza … No electricity, no food, no water, no gas – it’s all closed

Later in October, national security minister Itamar Ben-Gvir said:

As long as Hamas does not release the hostages in its hands – the only thing that needs to enter Gaza are hundreds of tons of explosives from the Air Force, not an ounce of humanitarian aid.

The policy has continued. In December, Human Rights Watch reported that Israel is using starvation as a “weapon of war”:

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.

Then, in March, it blocked the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA) from delivering food aid to North Gaza, which remains highest at risk of Israel’s famine. This ban on aid has continued. Oxfam has reported that people in North Gaza are surviving on an average of 245 calories per day – less than a can of beans.

The Palestinian Red Crescent Society has long been active across Gaza. They say Israel let more than 200 aid trucks per day into Gaza in May. But that’s still less than half of the more than 500 necessary, leading to the risk of famine now.

The United Nations reports:

About 96 percent of the population in the Gaza Strip (2.15M people) face high levels of acute food insecurity through September 2024.

While the whole territory is classified in Emergency (IPC Phase 4), over 495,000 people (22 percent of the population) are still facing catastrophic levels of acute food insecurity (IPC Phase 5).

Israel has also assassinated food aid workers trying to help, terrorising people who try to stop the starvation. World Central Kitchen aid workers are among the many organisations Israel has targeted.

Like other aid organisations, the workers shared their location with Israel for safety, only for the state to then use that information to kill them.

Israel’s starvation of Palestinian people in Gaza is one part of the ongoing genocide and ethnic cleansing. Oppressed people facing colonial expansion deserve our solidarity.