Home World “Man-made starvation”: obstacles to aid delivery to Gaza – visual guide

“Man-made starvation”: obstacles to aid delivery to Gaza – visual guide

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“Man-made starvation”: obstacles to aid delivery to Gaza – visual guide

IIsrael’s siege of Gaza has created what aid officials call a “man-made famine,” with the territory facing the threat of mass deaths from starvation in the coming weeks. Children are already dying of hunger.

As part of its devastating war strategy against Hamas, Israel has limited shipments of food and medicine to only a fraction of what Palestinian civilians need to survive.

The crisis is artificially created. Gaza, which has a population of around 2.3 million, is not geographically isolated. The small strip of land on the eastern coast of the Mediterranean served for centuries as a well-connected port, linking Asia and Europe.

“Famine is used as a weapon of war,” EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said this week. “Israel is causing famine. »

Gaza once had several land border crossings, but only two remain open: Rafah and Kerem Shalom. Israel destroyed the Gaza Strip’s only international airport 20 years ago, and years of blockade and isolation mean Gaza lacks the capacity to dock large ships.

Map of Gaza entry points

Help arriving by road

The simplest, quickest and most obvious way to deliver aid would be by road. Israel controls several land routes to Gaza that could be used to deliver sufficient food and supplies.

Israeli soldiers stand guard as trucks carrying humanitarian aid move to the Israeli side of the Kerem Shalom border crossing. Photograph: Menahem Kahana/AFP/Getty Images

Israel says it must inspect every shipment to ensure no cargo can be used to benefit its enemies Hamas. Even trucks coming from Egypt, a country that has signed a peace treaty with Israel, are inspected by Israeli forces.

Graphic on reduction in aid arriving in Gaza

Aid officials criticize the slow and often arbitrary inspection process, which effectively stalls aid, with trucks waiting weeks for approval. Israel’s onerous system means humanitarian convoys from Egypt and Jordan must take circuitous routes.

Map of aid routes to Gaza

The few who enter Gaza must use destroyed roads and avoid being diverted by criminal or militant groups operating in a near-lawless situation resulting from the war. Israeli forces also attacked humanitarian convoys and bombed warehouses inside Gaza.

Israeli authorities are refusing some aid deliveries at the border because of items they claim have dual use, meaning they can be used for civilian purposes as well as military purposes, such as to make explosives.

There is no official public list of what Israel considers dual-use items, and some items may be blocked at certain times and then permitted later, making it impossible for humanitarian organizations to plan for smooth delivery of ugly.

Doctors Without Borders said it had “systematically been refused the importation of generators, water purifiers, solar panels and other medical equipment”. And a British aid shipment containing 2,500 solar lanterns and 1,350 water filters. was rejected.

Philippe Lazzarini, of the United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees, said a humanitarian truck was turned away “because it contained scissors used in children’s medical kits”.

Aid arriving by air

On March 2, people ran toward food packages that had fallen from U.S. planes on a beach in Gaza. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

Airlifting aid to Gaza is not possible because Israel destroyed the strip’s international airport two decades ago.

Airport before and after satellite image

However, after failing to persuade Israel to allow sufficient ground aid to Gaza, the United States and other countries such as Jordan, France and Germany were granted permission to use aid drops .

This very expensive method can deliver between one and three trucks, depending on the aircraft used, with the pallets pushed backwards and landing via a parachute. Aid groups point out that once aid is on the ground, the first people to get there will often be the strongest, meaning many vulnerable people will lose out.

People are desperate and hungry – aid officials say Gaza has no functioning economy because of the war and years of blockade. Prices have skyrocketed, with reports of bags of sugar costing $20 and diapers costing more than $50.

Aid arriving by sea

Palestinians watch an Open Arms ship approach the coast off Gaza City on March 15. Photo: Ahmed Abd/UPI/Rex/Shutterstock

Israel has maintained a naval blockade for years, preventing ships from arriving. However, efforts this month to deliver aid to Gaza’s shores saw the first maritime aid shipment of the war.

A Spanish ship left Cyprus, the EU country closest to Gaza, and delivered 200 tonnes of food. More ships are expected to follow, although Gaza does not have a properly functioning port, severely limiting efforts.

US forces plan to build a temporary dock on the shore to allow the delivery of humanitarian aid on a larger scale. But it will be weeks before it is operational.

Palestinians in Gaza have never had a seaport for commercial goods, and their only access to the sea is through a small fishing port in Gaza City, located about 5 meters deep. The depth required for a standard cargo ship is approximately 12 meters. There is a proposal to build a new port in southern Gaza, complete with a jetty that can accommodate smaller ships that can dock at a depth of 8 to 10 meters.

Bathymetric map

Israel agreed to the construction of a deeper commercial port in the 1990s, but its forces destroyed the first construction works during the Palestinian uprising in the early 2000s. Years later, negotiations resumed for the construction of ‘a new seaport, but they were abandoned in 2007 when Hamas took power.

Concern over the prospect of famine in Gaza has increased in recent weeks. On Monday, the Integrated Food Security Classification, considered the international benchmark for assessing food crises, said northern Gaza was facing imminent famine and the rest of the territory was also in danger.

Graphic on the risk of famine in Gaza

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