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‘Gaza is facing famine and we cannot accept this’: EU Commission head

Anadolu Agency MIDDLE EAST
Published March 17,2024

The European Commission chief on Sunday warned that Gaza is facing famine and called for a "rapid" cease-fire in the besieged Palestinian enclave.

"Gaza is facing famine and we cannot accept this," Ursula von der Leyen said at a joint news conference with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in Cairo.

"It is critical to achieve an agreement on a cease-fire rapidly now that frees the hostages and allows more humanitarian aid to reach Gaza," she added.

Israel has waged a deadly military offensive on Gaza since a Hamas attack on Oct. 7, 2023, which killed nearly 1,200 people.

More than 31,600 Palestinians, mostly women and children, have since been killed in the enclave, and nearly 73,700 others injured amid mass destruction and shortages of necessities.

The Israeli war has pushed 85% of Gaza's population into internal displacement amid a crippling blockade of most food, clean water, and medicine, while 60% of the enclave's infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed, according to the UN.

Israel stands accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice. An interim ruling in January ordered Tel Aviv to stop genocidal acts and take measures to guarantee that humanitarian assistance is provided to civilians in Gaza.