Geneva – While famine spreads in the north of the Gaza Strip, the Israeli army continues to kill Palestinians who are waiting to receive aid south of Gaza City, Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor said, confirming Israel’s intention to carry out genocide against the Strip’s civilian population since 7 October 2023.

Euro-Med Monitor documented the Israeli army’s use of artillery shells against hundreds of starving civilians who gathered on Salah al-Din Road near the Kuwait roundabout, southeast of Gaza City, to wait for UN trucks carrying limited aid supplies, killing and injuring a number of them. The Israeli army used artillery shells, live ammunition, and quadcopter drones to kill hundreds of starving civilians who had gathered in the hopes of receiving the meagre aid, as reported by Euro-Med Monitor field teams.

The human rights group further pointed out that Israel has not only used starvation as a tool of war against Palestinians in the northern Gaza Valley for more than three consecutive months now, but has targeted Gazans trying to secure some of the limited aid supplies that began arriving about 10 days ago—killing and injuring many of them as part of its genocidal war against civilians in the Strip.

“My five children have been starving for more than a month, and we do not have any flour,” stated 46-year-old M.F., who requested anonymity due to safety concerns. “We eat a small amount of rice each day, so when I learned that flour aid was available, I walked for 13 kilometres before the Israeli army opened their machine gunfire. We were hit by shells fired, resulting in several casualties. I managed to survive, without receiving any flour.”

Approximately 400,000 Palestinians remain in the northern Gaza Valley, according to Euro-Med Monitor, suffering from a man-made famine as a result of Israel’s oppressive siege and refusal to allow any relief aid to enter the area since 1 December 2023. Some people have even been forced to grind animal feed and mix it with corn to knead and eat it, while others have been forced to eat tree leaves.

Euro-Med Monitor emphasised that the information gathered by its field team verifies Israel’s use of starvation as a weapon of war and form of political pressure against civilians in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. This is akin to genocide, and immediate action is needed to ensure that Palestinians can access food, water, and other necessities without hindrance, intimidation, or targeting.

The rights organisation said that it holds the United Nations and its humanitarian agencies responsible for the shortcomings and inability to deliver humanitarian aid in a decent and appropriate manner to hundreds of thousands of people who are suffering from real famine for nearly four full months in a row now. Euro-Med Monitor also expressed outrage at the UN’s silence regarding the Israeli army’s targeting of civilians while they were trying to receive aid supplies.

Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor stressed that international humanitarian law strictly prohibits the use of starvation as a weapon; as an occupying power, Israel is obligated by law to provide basic needs and protection to the Gazan people. Further, the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court provides that intentionally starving civilians by “depriving them of objects indispensable to their survival, including willfully impeding relief supplies” is a war crime, added the Geneva-based rights group.

Euro-Med Monitor stated that Israel has been committing acts of genocide against the civilian population of the Gaza Strip since 7 October 2023 according to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, and pertinent international judicial rulings. Israel’s crimes include depriving the civilian population of enough potable water, which has caused serious, intentional harm and trapped them in living conditions meant to destroy them.