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Israel using hunger as weapon of war, EU’s Borrell tells UN

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Israel was using starvation to wage war in Gaza, with the lack of aid being a “manmade” disaster, the EU’s chief diplomat Josep Borrell told the UN Security Council on Wednesday (13 March), in one of his strongest remarks since 7 October.

“This humanitarian crisis (…) is not a natural disaster, is not a flood, is not an earthquake, it is manmade,” Borrell said, speaking at UN headquarters in New York.

The EU official has repeatedly criticized Israel over its conduct during the war in Gaza, which has killed more than 31,000 Palestinians, mostly women and children, according to the Hamas-run territory’s health ministry.

The war started with the October 7 Hamas attack that resulted in about 1,160 deaths in Israel, mostly civilians, according to an AFP count based on Israeli official figures.

With aid entering Gaza by land far below pre-war levels and relief agencies warning of famine, foreign governments have turned to airdrops and are also trying to set up a maritime aid corridor.

“When we look for alternative ways of providing support, by sea or by air, we have to remind that we have to do it because the natural way of providing support through roads is being closed, artificially closed,” Borrell said.

“Starvation is being used as a war arm,” he said, adding that “when we condemn this happening in Ukraine, we have to use the same words of what’s happening in Gaza,” he added.

[Edited by Alexandra Brzozowski]

Read more with Euractiv

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