Geneva – In a new statement issued Friday, Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor warned of the risks of prolonging Israel’s use of starvation as warfare against Gaza Strip civilians in an effort to intensify the genocide it has been committing since 7 October.

Euro-Med Monitor received reports that children suffering from malnutrition complications have starved to death in schools run by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) in the southern Gaza Strip. Among these children are Jana Deeb Qudeih, a girl with cerebral palsy who died who was proclaimed dead today at the Taiba School in the Strip’s southern town of Abasan Al Kabira, east of Khan Yunis, from malnourishment and a shortage of oxygen, which was required for her condition.

With the sharp decline in humanitarian aid entering the Gaza Strip in recent days, Euro-Med Monitor emphasised that UN agencies should not be complicit in the ongoing starvation war.

The Rafah crossing between Egypt and the Gaza Strip has seen the entry of 60 to 70 trucks carrying humanitarian supplies over the past three days; this is a significant decrease from the daily average of 170 trucks that entered Gaza during the humanitarian truce from 24 to 30 November. These figures are not comparable to the 500 trucks on average that were loaded and driven into the Gaza Strip to supply humanitarian aid prior to 7 October, said the rights group.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs declared that the lack of trucks, the communications failures, and the growing number of staff members who have been unable to reach the Rafah crossing has “affected” the UN’s capacity to accept substantial quantities of aid.

In addition, the UN office acknowledged that because of fighting in the Khan Yunis Governorate and the Israeli army’s isolation of Gaza City and its northern areas, the meagre aid that has been making its way into the Gaza Strip has been limited to the Rafah Governorate for the past few days.

Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor stressed that using security pretexts to leave civilians in the Gaza Strip on their own and starving to death is unacceptable. The World Food Program, UNRWA, and the International Committee of the Red Cross must take direct responsibility for the escalation of the starvation war occurring in the Gaza Strip, the Geneva-based organisation said.

Euro-Med Monitor also called on the three international organisations to work together and to exert real pressure to allow the entry of more supplies of both quality and quantity in order to provide humanitarian supplies to civilians in the Gaza Strip, wherever they may be located.