Outrage over EU chief’s accusation that Israel is ‘provoking famine’ in Gaza

Israeli government spokesperson Eylon Levy tweeted, ‘8 million lbs. of food entered Gaza by land. That’s ~4LBS. OF FOOD PER CAPITA.’

By Ben Cohen, The Algemeiner

Israeli officials reacted with outrage on Monday in the face of a claim by the EU’s foreign policy chief that Jerusalem is imposing a famine on Palestinian civilians in Gaza as the war in the beleaguered territory continues to rage.

“In Gaza we are no longer on the brink of famine; we are in a state of famine, affecting thousands of people,” Josep Borrell — a Spanish official who serves as the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy — said at the opening of a conference in Brussels on humanitarian aid for Gaza.

“This is unacceptable. Starvation is used as a weapon of war. Israel is provoking famine,” Borrell continued.

Among those who responded to Borrell was Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz, who highlighted the seizure of aid convoys by Hamas terrorists with the apparent acquiescence of UNRWA, the UN agency solely dedicated to Palestinian refugees and their descendants, several of whose employees participated in the Oct. 7 Hamas pogrom in southern Israel.

Confronted with this evidence, more than a dozen countries — among them EU members Germany and France — paused funding to the agency in January.

“Israel allows extensive humanitarian aid into Gaza by land, air, and sea for anyone willing to help,” Katz declared in a post on X/Twitter. “Despite Hamas violently disrupting aid convoys and UNRWA’s collaboration with them, we persist.”

Katz then told Borrell to “stop attacking Israel and recognize our right to self-defense against Hamas’s crimes.”

In a blunt posting on the same platform, Israeli government spokesperson Eylon Levy noted that on Sunday, “8 million lbs. of food entered Gaza by land. That’s ~4LBS. OF FOOD PER CAPITA. That’s not famine, starvation, or catastrophic food insecurity.”

Levy added tartly: “I’m sorry if the facts are awkward for your efforts to help Hamas rapists survive 10/7 and live to fight another day.”

Separately, in a statement on Friday, COGAT — the Israeli agency that assists with humanitarian aid to Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza — noted that since the beginning of March, “an average of 126 food trucks entered Gaza daily. This is 80 percent more food trucks entering compared to before Oct. 7. 500 trucks entered Gaza daily before Oct. 7, carrying building, agriculture, and industrial supplies; only an average of 70 carried food.”

Read  IDF takes Rafah crossing, Egypt blocks fleeing Gazans