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World media continues to ignore abundant evidence refuting Gaza ‘starvation’ narrative

Latest IPC report concludes famine was not ‘plausible’ with no ‘supporting evidence’

Palestinians recive a hot meal prepared by volunteers, in Deir al-Balah in the central Gaza Strip, June 13, 2024. (Photo: Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90)

For months, Israel has stressed that claims of “starvation” in Gaza are a myth or a hoax. Nevertheless, media outlets, international organizations and courts continued to spread the narrative that Israel was allegedly preventing food from the population in Gaza.

They largely based their accusations upon a report issued by a UN-affiliated body called the IPC (Integrated Food Security Phase Classification) in March. Now that the same group published a new report concluding that famine was not plausible – it is being widely overlooked.

What is the IPC saying?

The IPC is a partnership of NGOs and UN bodies that assess global food security and it was the main source behind the Gaza famine claim. The group’s report from March 18 warned that hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were experiencing famine and that many more faced imminent risk, according to their projection for the next months.

That report was discredited in an Israeli Health Ministry review which raised “serious concerns that the IPC's own guidelines and principles were not adhered to, including the commitment to transparency of the process, methodology and sources of information.”

Despite being globally cited, Israel slammed the report's reliance on small sample sizes, undisclosed data sources, a lack of transparency, and a lack of references to publicly available sources. Therefore, the report's conclusions and projections were deemed unreliable and made a recommendation for the next IPC issue.

“The next IPC report on Gaza, which is expected to be published in early-mid June, should avoid repeating these failures and include an acknowledgment and a correction of mistakes made in the previous report,” Israel’s Health ministry stated.

The group’s report from June 4 appears to have somewhat implemented the advice.

It further noted that the new analysis by the Famine Review Committee (FRC) concluded that “famine” was not "plausible" with no "supporting evidence." Moreover, it admitted the evidence presented in the previous report was not consistent with the "famine" classification.

“The FRC does not find the FEWS NET analysis plausible given the uncertainty and lack of convergence of the supporting evidence employed in the analysis. Therefore, the FRC is unable to make a determination as to whether or not famine thresholds have been passed during April,” read the latest IPC analysis. “Indeed, in the current circumstances, given the increase in food supply, a reduction in acute malnutrition might also be considered possible.”

Israel: There is no ‘famine’ in Gaza

Israeli officials repeatedly said that there is no policy to prevent food from the population in Gaza. On the contrary, they claim that authorities have gone above and beyond to facilitate the entry of nearly 700,000 tons of food and humanitarian aid into the Palestinian enclave.

More food has been entering Gaza daily since Oct. 7 than before the war began, they insisted. More than 3,000 calories per capita per day, according to COGAT, the Israeli body responsible for the Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories.

Nevertheless, international media outlets and organizations continue to push the “starvation” narrative.  

Cindy McCain, the executive director of the World Food Programme, said last month she believes there is a "full-blown famine" in northern Gaza. The accusations of Israel by the widow of late Senator John McCain were echoed by many worldwide.

Israel’s Strategic Affairs Minister Ron Dermer blasted these charges in TV interviews he did in late May.

“There has never been famine in Gaza. That is a false story,” Dermer said in a heated discussion on Sky News.

While speaking to the BBC, he added: “The claim of full-blown famine in northern Gaza is full blown nonsense. It is just factually wrong. Prices of basic food items in the northern part of Gaza are down around 90%. This is simply a libel against Israel. The idea that there is food in the southern part of Gaza and famine in the north, and people won’t walk a few kilometers to get food is absurd.”

Perhaps the most incriminating evidence against McCain’s accusations was an exchange that her own organization’s representatives allegedly held with Israeli authorities in early May.

On May 5, COGAT posted on 𝕏: “In talks between Israeli and UN representatives, including @WFP, none of the entities indicated a risk of famine in northern Gaza. They noted that the humanitarian situation is improving and that there is a variety of goods in both warehouses and markets in the north. Noting the improved situation, int'l orgs stated last week that the volume of goods transported to northern Gaza must be reduced since the quantities are too high in relation to the population.”

The “improved situation” was also highlighted by the United Nations.

“Since the FRC review conducted in March 2024, there seems to have been a significant increase in the number of food trucks entering northern Gaza,” read the latest IPC report.

It also supported a claim often leveled by Israel’s COGAT against the UN, adding, “The FRC notes that the overall number of trucks entering the Gaza Strip and available food that FEWS NET used for its analysis is significantly less than reported by other sources.”

Throughout the war, Israel insisted that there were significant gaps in the amount of aid trucks counted and presented by the UN. It blamed the UN for the backlog in aid distribution in Gaza.

“The content of 1,000 aid trucks is still waiting to be collected from the Gazan side of Kerem Shalom,” COGAT tweeted in recent days, urging the UN to do a better job.  

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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