As part of South Africa’s legal argument accusing Israel of genocide against Gaza – which Israel has completely denied – lawyer Blinne Ni Ghralaigh, said: “It’s becoming ever clearer that huge swathes of Gaza, entire towns, villages, refugee camps, are being wiped from the map.
“As you have heard but it bears repeating, four out of five people in the world in famine, or a catastrophic type of hunger, are in Gaza right now.
“Indeed, experts warn that deaths from starvation and disease risk significantly outstripping deaths from bombings.”
This statistic comes from a December report released by the UN-backed Integrated Food Security Phase Classification, which found 577,000 people are facing famine in the Palestinian territory.
The report also found that the proportion of households in Gaza currently in a hunger crisis, or experiencing acute food insecurity, is the largest ever recorded globally.
It claimed the entire 2.3 million population are facing a growing risk of famine, and that 1.9 million people – 85% of the population – are displaced within the territory.
“There is a risk of famine and it is increasing each day that the current situation of intense hostilities and restricted humanitarian access persists or worsens,” the report said.
Trucks carrying aid have been arriving in from Egypt, but the UN says it’s offering just 10% of what the territory needs.
After the Palestinian militants Hamas killed 1,200 people on Israeli soil and took 240 others hostage (on October 7), Israel declared war, put Gaza under siege and began to bombard it.
According to the Hamas-run health ministry, more than 23,000 people have been killed in Gaza since the war began.
In its case against Israel, Pretoria claimed the country failed to provide food, water, medicine and essential assistance to Gaza.
Israel has argued that it is in a war against Palestinian militants not the civilians.
Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu also said this week: “I want to make a few points absolutely clear: Israel has no intention of permanently occupying Gaza or displacing its civilian population.”