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There’s Only 1 to 3 Days’ Worth of Food Left in Gaza, World Food Programme Warns

Israel’s aid blockade is threatening to dramatically accelerate the spread of famine across the region.

Children line up to receive a bowl of food for their families from charity organizations, in Rafah, Gaza, on May 3, 2024.

There are only a few days’ left of food in Gaza, aid groups are warning, with Israel’s total aid blockade at Gaza’s southern border over the past days threatening to dramatically accelerate the forced famine and starvation crisis in the region that has already taken countless Palestinian lives.

On Thursday, World Food Programme (WFP) Palestine Director Matthew Hollingworth warned that humanitarian groups currently only have enough food and fuel — which is necessary for aid distribution and other basic operations — to last 1 to 3 days.

“Our main warehouse is now inaccessible. No aid has entered from southern crossings in two days. Thousands of people are on the move. Only 1 bakery is still working,” Hollingworth said. Some families are being displaced for the ninth time by Israel’s forced evacuation of Rafah, a video accompanying Hollingworth’s post said.

“Supplies of food & fuel in Gaza will only last 1-3 days. Without them, our operations will go into standstill,” he warned.

Other humanitarian groups have similarly raised alarm that their operations are “bound to collapse” if Israel continues its siege of Rafah and maintains its blockade on all aid entering Gaza. Palestinians will soon lose access to clean water due to a lack of power to desalination plants.

Those seeking emergency medical care will have nowhere to go, with hospitals only having one or two days left of fuel, aid workers have said. The Gaza Health Ministry has said that people are now dying consistently due to the lack of medical care, likely including people who were being treated in Gaza’s only dialysis center — which Israeli forces have now forced to close through their ethnic cleansing and bombardment of Rafah.

The World Health Organization (WHO) in Palestine has said that the starvation crisis in Gaza is already “catastrophic.”

“After more than 200 days of conflict, 1.1 million people are experiencing catastrophic food insecurity. The lack of food and safe drinking water has increased the spread of diseases,” the group wrote in a post on social media. “People in Gaza are exhausted. They need food. They need medical supplies. They need a #CeasefireNow.”

In the months leading up to Israel’s siege of Rafah, Palestinians in northern Gaza only had access to an average of 245 calories a day, according to Oxfam. Last week, the WFP executive director warned that northern Gaza is in a “full-blown famine” — a famine that is “moving its way south.” Israel’s starvation campaign has already killed dozens of Palestinians, including children.

As Israel has been blocking the entry of aid, Israeli forces have also seemingly been targeting humanitarian convoys and arresting UN employees trying to deliver life-saving supplies. UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini said that, in two weeks, the agency had recorded 10 incidents of convoys being shot at or stopped, with tactics including “bullying, stripping [aid workers] naked, threats with arms and long delays at checkpoints forcing convoys to move during the dark or abort.”

Israel’s aid blockade and starvation campaign are in direct violation of the International Court of Justice’s orders for Israel to increase aid into the region and prevent the spread of famine, some aid groups have said.

“Despite children dying from starvation and famine in Gaza, the Israeli authorities are still blocking aid critical for the survival of Gaza’s population in defiance of the World Court,” said Omar Shakir, Human Rights Watch’s Israel and Palestine director, on Tuesday, as Israel was closing the southern border crossings that have been vital entry points for humanitarian aid. “With each day that Israeli authorities block lifesaving aid, more Palestinians are at risk of dying.”