Noten 14 t/m 16/Niets dan leugens!


“Natuurlijk is nu strijd nodig,” zegt ze tegen de krant. “Ik sta achter de militaire operatie die Israël aan het voeren is. Het gaat om het voortbestaan van de staat Israël dat altijd wordt bedreigd.”



11 DECEMBER 2023





8 JANUARY 2024

Everyone in Gaza is going hungry. About 2.2 million people are surviving day by day on almost nothing, routinely going without meals. The desperate search for food is relentless, and usually unsuccessful, leaving the entire population – including babies, children, pregnant or nursing women and the elderly – hungry.

“There are no greens, fruit and dairy products here like I had before. Prices are very high because of the food shortage in the markets, so instead of three meals a day, we’ve gone down to one or two. My four-year-old has osteoporosis and needs to drink milk every day, but now I can’t get it for her.” Wisal Abu ‘Odeh, 34, a pregnant mother of two from Beit Hanoun, is a displaced person currently sheltering in the Khan Yunis area 

The hunger in Gaza is not a byproduct of the war but a direct result of Israel’s declared policy, says B’Tselem in its new position paper. Residents now depend entirely on food supplies from outside Gaza, as they can no longer produce almost any food themselves. Most cultivated fields have been destroyed, and accessing open areas during the war is dangerous in any case. Bakeries, factories and food warehouses have been bombed or shut down due to lack of basic supplies, fuel and electricity. Stockpiles in private homes, stores and warehouses have long since run out, leading family and social support networks that helped residents at the start of the war to collapse, too.

Yet Israel is deliberately denying the entry of enough food into Gaza to meet the population’s needs. Only a fraction of the amount of food entering before the war is now allowed in, with limitations on the types of goods, how they are brought in and how they are distributed within Gaza.

Israel can choose to change this reality. The images of children begging for food, people waiting in long lines for paltry handouts and hungry residents charging at aid trucks are already inconceivable. The horror is growing by the minute, and the danger of famine is real. Still, Israel persists in its policy.

Changing this policy is not just a moral obligation. Allowing food into the Gaza Strip is not an act of kindness but a positive obligation under international humanitarian law: starvation as a method of warfare is prohibited, and when a civilian population lacks what it needs to survive, parties to the conflict have a positive obligation to allow rapid and unimpeded passage of humanitarian aid – including food. These two rules are considered customary law and violating them constitutes a war crime under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.


”Israel cut off all water on October 11, and most desalination also stopped that day due to the cutoff in electricity, leaving about 600,000 people without clean water, Omar Shatat, deputy director general of Gaza’s Coastal Municipalities Water Utility, told Human Rights Watch.”



Denial of Water, Fuel, Electricity Endangers Lives

18 OCTOBER 2023

Update October 19, 2023: President Joe Biden announced that the United States mediated an agreement allowing the movement of up to 20 trucks of food, medicine, and water into Gaza. The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has urged negotiators to raise their “level of ambition.” OCHA reported that, in August 2023 alone, 12,072 truckloads of “authorized goods entered Gaza through the Israeli and Egyptian-controlled crossings.” After the total siege on the civilian population on October 9, a single dispatch of 20 truckloads does not adequately address the dire humanitarian situation in Gaza, Human Rights Watch said. Israel’s international partners should press the Israeli government to restore water and electricity supplies and lift its unlawful restrictions on aid delivery and closure.

(Jerusalem) – The Israeli government should immediately end its total blockade of the Gaza Strip that is putting Palestinian children and other civilians at grave risk, Human Rights Watch said today. The collective punishment of the population is a war crime. Israeli authorities should allow desperately needed food, medical aid, fuel, electricity, and water into Gaza, and let sick and wounded civilians leave to receive medical treatment elsewhere.

Israel announced on October 18, 2023, that it would allow food, water, and medicine to reach people in southern Gaza from Egypt, but without electricity or fuel to run the local power plant or generators, or clear provision of aid to those in the north, this falls short of meeting the needs of Gaza’s population.

The Israeli bombardment and total blockade have exacerbated the longstanding humanitarian crisis resulting from Israel’s unlawful 16-year closure of Gaza, where more than 80 percent of the population relies on humanitarian aid. Doctors in Gaza report being unable to care for children and other patients because the hospitals are overwhelmed by victims of Israeli airstrikes. On October 17, a munition struck al-Ahli Hospital in Gaza City, causing mass casualties; Hamas blamed Israel for the strike, while Israel said it was a rocket misfire by Palestinian militants. Human Rights Watch is looking into the strike.

Public health officials said the lack of water, contamination of areas by sewage, and many bodies that cannot be safely stored in morgues could trigger an infectious disease outbreak.

“Israel’s bombardment and unlawful total blockade of Gaza mean that countless wounded and sick children, among many other civilians, will die for want of medical care,” said Bill Van Esveld, associate children’s rights director at Human Rights Watch. “US President Joe Biden, who is in Israel today, should press Israeli officials to completely lift the unlawful blockade and ensure the entire civilian population has prompt access to water, food, fuel, and electricity.”

Senior Israeli officials have said the total blockade of the Gaza Strip, where children comprise nearly half of the population of 2.2 million, is part of efforts to defeat Hamas, following its October 7 attack on Israel. Hamas-led Palestinian fighters killed more than 1,300 people, according to Israeli authorities, and took scores of civilians, including women and children, as hostages. On October 9, Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant announced “a complete siege … no electricity, no water, no food, no fuel. We are fighting human animals, and we act accordingly.” The Palestinian Health Ministry has reported, as of October 18, that 3,478 Palestinians have been killed. The Palestinian rights group Defense for Children International – Palestine reported that more than 1,000 children are among those killed.

The laws of war do not prohibit sieges or blockades of enemy forces, but they may not include tactics that prevent civilians’ access to items essential for their survival, such as water, food, and medicine. Parties to the conflict must allow and facilitate the rapid passage of impartial humanitarian aid for all civilians in need. Aid may be inspected but not arbitrarily delayed.

In addition, during military occupations, such as in Gaza, the occupying power has a duty under the Fourth Geneva Convention, to the fullest extent of the means available to it, “of ensuring the food and medical supplies of the population.” Starvation as a method of warfare is prohibited and is a war crime.

Under international human rights law, states must respect the right to water, which includes refraining from limiting access to, or destroying, water services and infrastructure as a punitive measure during armed conflicts as well as respecting the obligations to protect objects indispensable for survival of the civilian population.

Israel’s total blockade against the population in Gaza forms part of the crimes against humanity of apartheid and persecution that Israeli authorities are committing against Palestinians.

News media reported on October 17 that Israel had refused to allow humanitarian aid into Gaza, while Egypt was refusing to allow Palestinians to cross into the Sinai. Egypt and Israel should permit civilians to pass through their respective crossings to seek at least temporary protection or life-saving medical care, while also ensuring that anyone who flees is entitled to voluntary return in safety and dignity.

Lack of Medical Care

Shortages of medical equipment, supplies, and medication in the face of overwhelming casualties are causing avoidable deaths in hospitals in the Gaza Strip. More than 60 percent of patients are children, Dr. Midhat Abbas, director general of health in Gaza, told Human Rights Watch. An intern emergency room doctor at Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital wept while speaking to Human Rights Watch by phone on October 15:

Yesterday, in the intensive care unit, it was full, and all ventilators were in use. A child came in with head trauma who needed a ventilator. They had to choose between two children, who would die. He [the doctor] made a decision that one child was more promising to treat, so we were forced to switch the ventilator, and the other child died.

A doctor at the Northern Medical Complex said that on the night of October 14, intensive-care unit medics had to disconnect an adult patient from a ventilator to use it for a 10-year-old. He said a lack of medical supplies had obliged him to stitch a woman’s head wound without gloves or sterile equipment.

In a voice message on October 14, a doctor at al-Shifa hospital described a group of patients with “back wounds, including compound fractures, that can be really painful.” He said that the hospital had run out of painkillers to administer to them.

Ghassan Abu Sitta, a British surgeon volunteering at al-Shifa hospital, posted on social media on October 10, that “the hospitals, because of the siege, are so short of supplies that we had to clean a teenage girl with 70 percent body surface burns with regular soap because the hospital is out of chlorhexidine (antiseptic).” On October 14, he said in a voice note shared with Human Rights Watch: “We are no longer able to do anything but the most life-saving surgeries” because medical supplies were exhausted, and deaths and injuries had caused staff shortages.

More than 5,500 pregnant women in the Gaza Strip are expected to deliver within the next month, but face “compromised functionality of health facilities” and lack of “lifesaving supplies,” the United Nations Population Fund said on October 13.

“We need insulin [for diabetics],” said the head of a UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) shelter on October 15. “People are dying.” The shelter was overwhelmed with 15,000 internally displaced people.

The UN World Health Organization stated on October 14 that it had flown medical and basic health supplies for 300,000 patients to Egypt, near the Gaza Strip’s southern border, and more than 1,000 tons of other humanitarian aid had been shipped to the area. As of October 17, though, humanitarian workers and aid remain blocked via the Rafah border crossing. Israeli attacks have reportedly hit the crossing repeatedly, rendering it unsafe. Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said four Egyptian aid workers were injured in the Israeli strikes and that “there is not yet any sort of authorization for a safe passage from the other side of the crossing.”

Israel’s order on October 13 to all civilians located in the north of the Gaza Strip to evacuate to the south exacerbated the medical crisis: 21 hospitals currently holding more than 2,000 patients are located in this region. The World Health Organization said the evacuations “could be tantamount to a death sentence” for the sick and injured and said hospitals were already beyond capacity in the southern Gaza Strip. A pediatric doctor at Kamal Adwan Hospital said evacuating would likely cause the deaths of seven newborns in the ICU who were connected to ventilators.

Dr. Abu Sitta said that Israel’s evacuation order forced the Mohammed al-Durra Pediatric Hospital east of Gaza City to close, including a neonatal intensive care unit supported by the charity he volunteers with, Medical Aid for Palestinians.

The sick and wounded, including children and pregnant women, have not been allowed to cross Rafah into Egypt or the Erez crossing into Israel to receive treatment. Dr. Abbas, the director general of health, said, “We are in desperate need of a safe humanitarian passage for patients immediately, [and] we need field hospitals immediately.”


On October 7, Israeli authorities cut the electricity it delivers to Gaza, the main source of electricity there. Israeli authorities also cut fuel necessary to run Gaza’s only power plant. The power plant has since run out of fuel and shut down. On October 17, Dr. Abbas told Human Rights Watch by phone that hospitals’ emergency generators will run out of fuel “within hours.”

The International Committee of the Red Cross regional director warned on October 11 that the power cuts are “putting newborns in incubators and elderly patients on oxygen at risk. Kidney dialysis stops, and X-rays can’t be taken. Without electricity, hospitals risk turning into morgues.”

Water and Sewage

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported that 97 percent of the groundwater in Gaza is “unfit for human consumption,” leaving people dependent on the supply of water from Israel and on the territory’s desalination plants. Israel cut off all water on October 11, and most desalination also stopped that day due to the cutoff in electricity, leaving about 600,000 people without clean water, Omar Shatat, deputy director general of Gaza’s Coastal Municipalities Water Utility, told Human Rights Watch.

The last functioning desalination plant stopped operating on October 15. Israel partially resumed water delivery that day, but only to the eastern Khan Younis area, and it amounted to less than 4 percent of the water consumed in Gaza prior to October 7, according to OCHA.

UNRWA warned that “people will start dying of severe dehydration” unless access to water is resumed. The Associated Press reported on October 15 that a doctor had treated 15 cases of children with bacterial dysentery due to lack of clean water, which can also cause diseases like cholera, particularly in children under 5.

“Israel has cut off the most basic goods necessary for survival in Gaza, where there are more than a million children at risk,” Van Esveld said. “Every hour that this blockade continues costs lives.”





17 JUNE 2010

Israel agreed Thursday to ease its three-year-old land blockade of the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, hoping to quell international outrage over its deadly raid on a flotilla bound for the Palestinian territory.

In one of the major changes, Israel will allow in more desperately needed construction materials for civilian projects, provided those projects are carried out under international supervision, government and military officials said. Israel has barely allowed in goods such as cement and steel, fearing Hamas militants could use them to build weapons and fortifications. The policy has prevented rebuilding thousands of homes and other buildings damaged in Israel’s war with Hamas last year.

An Israeli military official told The Associated Press all foods would be allowed in to the impoverished territory, effective immediately. Authorities had previously allowed a short and constantly changing list of foods in, but the list has been growing incrementally in recent months.

Israel is maintaining its naval blockade intended to keep weapons shipments out of the hands of Hamas.

“This is a step in the right direction,” said Cristina Galach, spokeswoman for the European Union presidency.

However, Hamas was not satisfied.

“We want a real lifting of the siege, not window-dressing,” said Hamas lawmaker Salah Bardawil.

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The easing is evidence of the intense pressure Israeli leaders felt after an international outcry over the raid on a blockade-busting flotilla on May 31. Israeli commandos killed nine pro-Palestinian activists and both sides claimed they acted in self-defense.

Israel imposed the blockade in 2007 after Hamas, which calls for Israel’s destruction, violently seized control of Gaza. For the most part, only basic humanitarian goods have been allowed in for a population of 1.5 million. Egypt has cooperated by blockading its land border with Gaza, but it opened it days after the flotilla raid to allow thousands of Palestinians to leave.

Israel’s shift came just one week after President Barack Obama, the country’s most important ally, said the blockade was unsustainable and called for scaling it back dramatically. Israel made the decision after extensive consultations with European and American officials.

“This morning, the government of Israel took decisions to liberalize the system under which civilian goods may enter the Gaza Strip, to expand materials for projects inside Gaza which are under international supervision,” government spokesman Mark Regev said.

“But of course we must remain with the security procedures that prevent the import into Gaza of weapons and war materials that strengthen the Hamas military machine,” he said, indicating the naval blockade would remain in force.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has repeatedly warned that if the naval closure is lifted, Iranian-backed Hamas would turn Gaza into an “Iranian port.”

There was no mention of lifting or easing bans on exports from Gaza or imports of raw materials that would be crucial to galvanizing the territory’s battered economy.

The EU’s foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, said officials wanted to see how the Israeli decision is carried out.’

“The detail is what matters,” she said. Israel must “make sure that many, many more goods can get in to Gaza to enable people to reconstruct their homes, to build schools, to place infrastructure, and also enable people to get on with ordinary lives.”

She said EU officials will discuss the possibility of helping reopen Gaza’s border crossings. The EU helped monitor Gaza’s southern border with Egypt until Hamas took power in 2007.

U.N. spokesman Chris Gunness said the blockade has prevented the United Nations from bringing in construction materials needed to carry out an internationally approved plan to rebuild thousands of homes and other buildings Israel damaged or destroyed in last year’s war in Gaza.

The closure has also shuttered hundreds of factories, put tens of thousands of people out of work and brought the territory’s fragile economy to a standstill, mainly hurting ordinary Gazans.

The blockade failed to achieve its aims of stanching the flow of weapons to Gaza, weakening Hamas or winning the release of an Israeli soldier held in captivity in Gaza for years. A network of smuggling tunnels under the Egypt-Gaza border became a conduit for both weapons and commercial goods sold at black market prices. Gazans sank deeper into poverty, turning their anger against Israel and not their Hamas rulers.

In the West Bank, the pro-Western Palestinian government of President Mahmoud Abbas which rivals Hamas also criticized the Israeli decision. Negotiator Saeb Erekat said the closure should be ended altogether.

“The siege is collective punishment and it must be lifted.”

Privately, however, Abbas’ aides have expressed concern that an opening of Gaza’s borders would strengthen Hamas at his expense.

Most Gazans remained confined to the territory. Egypt is only letting in people with special travel permits, such as students and Gazans with foreign passports. In the past two weeks, only 10,000 Gazans have crossed into Egypt.

Turkey on Thursday threatened not to send its ambassador back to Israel unless it receives an apology for the flotilla raid. Ankara, which withdrew its ambassador immediately after the raid, also wants Israel to agree to an international investigation into the raid and compensate victims, a government official said.

Israel opposes an international investigation, and has appointed its own panel of legal experts. That commission met for the first time on Wednesday.

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