Palle Veje Rasmussen
Danish philosopher and high-school-teacher

Famine in northern Gaza is coming!

Humanitarian organizations claim that the criteria set by the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) may soon be met to officially declare famine in northern Gaza. These criteria are based on objective and scientific standards. They imply that at least 20 percent of the population experiences an extreme lack of food and that around a third of the children suffer from acute malnutrition. Furthermore, the criteria indicate that the death rate exceeds two persons per 10,000 per day as a result of starvation or a combination of malnutrition and disease.

The UN has not yet recognized that these criteria have been met in Gaza. Nevertheless, many recognize that the situation in the area is serious. For example, the US UN representative has described the conditions in Gaza as “horrendous” and has expressed that Gaza is facing famine. In response, the US military is in the process of building a port in Gaza, which is expected to be completed during May. This will enable the delivery of food and other emergency aid to the area.

According to international conventions on famine, an official declaration of famine can force Israel to end its siege of Gaza. It is important to distinguish between political and humanitarian issues; although Hamas has committed shameful acts that have drawn international condemnation, such as hostage-taking, Israel’s obligations as an occupying power should be assessed separately. The incipient famine in Gaza is Israel’s responsibility and closely linked to the fact that several million Palestinians are internally displaced due to Israel’s deadly bombs. If the Israeli military enters Rafah, one can hardly imagine anything other than that it will result in further displacement and tragic loss of human life.

About the Author
I’m a Danish philosopher, have been written a book about formation in the high school-education system.