Biden struggles to shake off “Dictator, Genocide Joe” epithet


Death toll from Israeli strikes, starvation in Gaza tops 31,000

TEHRAN- As Israel presses ahead with its brutal onslaught on the Gaza Strip more Palestinians are losing their lives not only in the regime’s strikes but also due to hunger.

According to the Health Ministry in Gaza, the death toll from Israel’s assault on Gaza, which began on October 7, has surpassed 31,000.

The ministry says over 70% of the victims are women and children.

Apart from deadly strikes, more people in Gaza are starving to death amid warnings over a looming famine in the territory.

Ramesh Rajasingham, the director of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, warned late last month that more than 576,000 people in Gaza, which is about one-quarter of the territory’s 2.3 million population, are “one step away from famine” and face a “grave situation”.

Israel largely shut off entry of food, water, medicine and other supplies after launching a war on Gaza.  It has allowed only a trickle of aid trucks through two crossings in the south. Nonetheless, Israeli forces have opened fire and killed hungry Palestinians who have waited for deliveries of food from these trucks.

It was on February 29, that Israeli soldiers massacred more than 100 Palestinians in a Gaza City neighborhood who were waiting for humanitarian aid, including flour. Since then, the tragic event, which drew strong global condemnation, has been referred to as the “flour massacre”.

Two weeks ago, the UN special rapporteur on the right to food accused Israel of deliberately starving Palestinians.

“Intentionally depriving people of food is clearly a war crime. Israel has announced its intention to destroy the Palestinian people, in whole or in part, simply for being Palestinian.

In my view as a UN human rights expert, this is now a situation of genocide. This means the state of Israel in its entirety is culpable and should be held accountable – not just individuals or this government or that person,” Michael Fakhri told the Guardian.

Hunger is most acute in northern Gaza.

Palestinian health officials say famine in northern Gaza has reached dangerous levels where over two dozen people have died from malnutrition, hunger and dehydration.

Under domestic and international pressure, the U.S., Britain, France and Germany, which are Israel’s main Western allies, have intensified criticism of Israel for continuing its brutal war on Gaza. However, they have taken no action to force the regime to stop its war or allow humanitarian assistance into the besieged Palestinian territory.

Biden under fire 

Domestic backlash to Washington’s support for Israel came to light in the southern state of Georgia at the weekend.

A pro-Palestine activist interrupted President Joe Biden’s campaign speech in Atlanta.

“You’re a dictator, Genocide Joe….Tens of thousands of Palestinians are dead. Children are dying,” the activist shouted.

The term Genocide Joe is a reference to the Biden administration’s complicity in Israel’s crimes in Gaza.

UK demo

Anger over the UK’s backing for the Israeli regime was also in the spotlight in London on Saturday.

Hundreds of thousands of people attended their 10th national march for Palestine in central London.

The demonstrators denounced Britain’s support for Israel. They also condemned Israeli massacres in Gaza and called for an immediate ceasefire

Tel Aviv clashes

The Israeli capital was the scene of clashes between police and protesters on Saturday calling for an end to the war on Gaza.

Police used water cannons to disperse the demonstrators who also demanded immediate elections and the release of captives in Gaza.

“The only victory is to stop the war, to save the lives of 20 or 30,000 more innocent Gazans and more than 100 hostages,” one of the demonstrators told Al Jazeera.

Another protester said: “I think that our government has… to announce a one-sided ceasefire now and stop the war, because I think it is most important that the hostages would be released.”

However, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has turned a blind eye to calls to stop the Gaza war and allow humanitarian aid into the territory.

Netanyahu seeks to prolong the war to evade responsibility and accountability for his regime’s failure to prevent a military operation that was carried out by Hamas in southern Israel on October 7. More than 1,100 people were killed in Operation Al-Aqsa Flood and roughly 250 were taken captive. The resistance movement released over 100 of them in a prisoner swap deal with Israel in November. Currently, 130 captives remain in Gaza, including around 30 who are presumed dead. Some of the captives have been killed in Israeli attacks against the Gaza Strip.

The Hamas operation dealt a crushing blow to the image of Israel’s intelligence invincibility.

As Israel continues its genocidal war and prevents aid deliveries through land corridors, the Biden administration has drawn up schemes to distract global attention from the regime’s crimes.

The U.S. has airdropped food into Gaza and recently announced a plan to build a port in Gaza to deliver aid by sea to the territory.

Through such diplomatic maneuvers, the U.S. seeks to appease growing domestic opposition to its backing for Israel’s war on Gaza and cover up its complicity in the regime’s atrocities

Aid groups have rejected such U.S. plans as absurd, inefficient and hypocritical. They say transporting humanitarian assistance by sea and airdrops is a poor substitute for deliveries by land as Washington remains unwilling to exert pressure on Israel to allow aid trucks to enter Gaza via border crossings.


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