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US proposal to build aid port off Gaza ‘cynical’ : UN expert

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মার্চ ৯, ২০২৪ ১:০৪ পূর্বাহ্ণ
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A US plan for a temporary port off Gaza to bring in aid is a cynical play for a US audience and will not avert mass starvation, a UN rights expert said Friday, reports AFP.
Announcing the initiative in his annual State of the Union address on Thursday, US President Joe Biden pleaded with Israel to let more aid into the blockaded territory.
He also defended Israel’s military operation against Palestinian militant group Hamas.
“A temporary pier will enable a massive increase in the amount of humanitarian assistance getting in Gaza,” Biden told Congress.
But Michael Fakhri, the United Nations special rapporteur on the right to food, dismissed the measure.
“No-one has asked for a maritime pier — not the Palestinian people, not the humanitarian aid community,” he told a briefing in Geneva.
More than five months into the war raging in Gaza, the UN has repeatedly argued that only massive and sustained aid delivery over land can help calm the ballooning humanitarian catastrophe.
Neither a pier, nor the increasing airdrops over Gaza would “prevent starvation and famine by any definition”, Fakhri said.

Such methods of aid delivery were normally only used as a last resort to get aid into enemy territory, he pointed out.
That Israel’s main ally is resorting to such a measure “is absurd in a dark, cynical way”, he said.
He suggested the move was likely “a performance to try to meet a domestic audience, with elections around the corner”.
Fakhri is an independent expert mandated by the UN Human Rights Council, but does not speak on behalf of the United Nations.
He accused Israel of mounting “a starvation campaign” in Gaza, where the UN has warned famine is “almost inevitable”.
“I think it is fair to say now that Israel has been intentionally starving the Palestinian people in Gaza,” he said.
“Every single person in Gaza is hungry right now.”
The war in Gaza began after an unprecedented October 7 attack by Hamas on southern Israel that resulted in about 1,160 deaths, most of them civilians, according to Israeli figures.
Israel has responded with a relentless offensive that the health ministry in Hamas-run Gaza said has killed at least 30,878 people, mostly women and children.