Aid ship carrying nearly 200 tonnes of food finally sets sail for Gaza

Dominic Waghorn

International affairs editor

There is a desperate need for more aid in Gaza, whatever the claims being made by Israel that more than enough is getting in.
UNICEF says children have started dying of starvation in Gaza. It is always the very young and old who die first in the kind of famines that British foreign secretary David Cameron has warned Gaza is tipping into.
According to the World Health Organisation, 93% of Gazans are facing crisis levels of hunger.
There is a simple way of stopping that happening and avoiding more needless deaths of civilians through starvation. It does not involve boats or aid drops or piers being sent from across the ocean.
Those efforts are inadequate and token and will take too long to save lives.
Chef Jose Andres whose charity is behind the aid shipment being sent on board the Open Arms vessel sailing to Gaza put it well: ‘Let’s open more places around Palestine that can access with trucks’.
There are two ports just north of Gaza, Ashdod and Ashkelon. They could be used to funnel aid into northern Gaza where food is most needed. And there is a crossing through which it could be sent.
The Erez crossing was damaged by Hamas but the Israeli agency responsible for crossings told Sky News it could be opened for aid, if the order was given by the Israeli government.
It has not done so.
Under international law occupiers must guarantee the humanitarian needs of the people whose land they are occupying. Israel has yet to live up to those obligations.
Allies have said a lot about Israel needing to do so, but so far have not applied the necessary diplomatic pressure to force it to do so. As things stand that joint failure is likely to lead directly to many more innocents starving to death in Gaza.

Source : Sky News