The flour massacre

Editorial Board
Saturday, Mar 02, 2024

Imagine being killed for a bag of flour. Now imagine that the bag of flour was possibly your only hope of providing food for yourself and your starving family. This is the reality of the people of Gaza. Starvation is part of the genocide being unleashed by Israel on the people of Gaza. And when aid does arrive – rarely – Israel sees it fit to rather massacre people than allow them a bag of flour. On Thursday, at least 112 Palestinians were killed and more than 750 wounded after Israeli troops opened fire on hundreds of people waiting for food aid in Gaza. Israeli soldiers and tanks fired on a huge crowd that was waiting for much-needed food assistance in Gaza, where children and adults are dying due to starvation. Israel has lied once again by saying that aid trucks were stormed and thus its forces fired at the crowd but humanitarian groups say that Israel has deliberately put restrictions on food assistance to Gaza, which has created a situation that set the stage for such an incident.

The UN Security Council has already been told by the World Food Programme (WFP) that more than 500,000, or one in four people, are at risk of famine in Gaza, with one in every six children below the age of two considered acutely malnourished. According to reports, the first food deliveries in this part of Gaza arrived after a month this week. The death toll in Gaza is now over 30,000. And all this is going on while the world watches silently and the Western world powers are complicit in a genocide that is being live telecast for the world to see. The way the US has behaved is criminal, to say the least. According to a new Reuters/Ipsos poll, a majority of Democrats prefer a presidential candidate who does not back US military aid for Israel. However, US President Joe Biden has been the most vocal in his support for Israel and has turned a complete blind eye to the Palestinian genocide. When else have we seen an ice-cream-eating American president talk almost joyously about whether or not there will be a ceasefire in a land that has seen its children massacred?

What is happening to innocent Palestinians is not just unwarranted but unimaginable. From children to women to men of all ages, we have witnessed something unheard of in recent history. The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) documented 99 journalists and media workers killed worldwide in 2023, more than three-quarters of whom died in the Israel-Gaza war. This 2023 global total is the highest since 2015 and an almost 44 per cent increase from 2022. According to CPJ, 94 journalists and media workers were confirmed dead in the Gaza war out of which 89 were Palestinian, two Israeli, and three Lebanese. CPJ says 16 journalists were reported injured and four journalists were reported missing. All calls for a ceasefire have fallen on deaf ears. If the US tells Israel to agree to a ceasefire, there is no way it would say no. But the world and especially the US are complicit in the war crimes being committed by Israel against the Palestinians who are dying via bombs, bullets, and starvation.