Leaked documents reveal Joe Biden’s officials view him as complicit in Gaza’s devastating famine beyond just arming Israel

President Joe Biden and his administration have faced accusations of complicity in the Gaza famine for not taking adequate action despite repeated warnings from their own experts and aid agencies.

According to interviews conducted with current and former officials from the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and the State Department, as well as aid agencies operating in Gaza, and internal USAID documents, it has been revealed that the administration chose to disregard or reject requests to utilize its influence in order to persuade Israel, an ally receiving substantial military support from the US, to permit adequate humanitarian aid into Gaza in order to prevent the worsening famine.

According to former officials, the United States not only supported Israel’s actions but also provided diplomatic support to create circumstances that would lead to famine. This was achieved by obstructing international efforts to establish a ceasefire or address the crisis, effectively making it nearly impossible to deliver much-needed aid.

“This goes beyond simply ignoring the deliberate starvation of an entire population; it is a direct endorsement,” expressed Josh Paul, a former State Department official who resigned in protest against the US backing of the war, in an interview with The Independent.

Israel strongly denies the existence of a hunger crisis in Gaza and refutes any claims of restricting aid. According to Israel, the ongoing conflict with Hamas, the militant group responsible for initiating the current war by killing 1,200 individuals and taking 250 hostages in Israel on October 7th, has hindered aid operations.

According to Human Rights Watch, a heart-wrenching tragedy has unfolded in Gaza. At least 32 individuals, including 28 children, have lost their lives due to malnutrition and dehydration. The devastating loss of these innocent lives could have been averted if President Biden had responded with greater urgency to the concerns raised both publicly and privately.

Intensive pressure from the US could have prevented the crisis from worsening if they had urged Israel to open more land crossings and provide aid to Gaza, according to officials. However, Mr. Biden chose not to make US military aid to Israel contingent on these measures.

The Biden administration took a different approach by implementing unconventional and unsuccessful methods of providing aid, such as airdrops and a floating pier. As a result, around 300,000 individuals in the northern region of Gaza are currently facing a severe famine, as stated by the World Food Program. Moreover, the entire population of 2.3 million people in Gaza is enduring the devastating consequences of extreme hunger.

The US government agency responsible for administering civilian foreign aid and combating global hunger has experienced an unprecedented level of dissent.

Staff at USAID have sent at least 19 internal dissent memos since the start of the war, expressing their criticism of US support for the war in Gaza.

A group of employees at USAID recently drafted an internal memo expressing their dissatisfaction with the agency and the Biden administration. In the memo, they criticize the failure to uphold international humanitarian principles and fulfill the agency’s mandate to save lives.

The leaked draft memo, which was obtained by The Independent, urges the administration to exert pressure in order to put an end to the Israeli siege that is leading to a severe famine.

Ignoring these repeated warnings was a conscious political decision.

“The US played a crucial role in facilitating the emergence of famine in Gaza through both military and diplomatic support,” explained Jeremy Konyndyk, a former senior USAID official who worked on famine prevention in Yemen and South Sudan during the administrations of Barack Obama and Joe Biden, in an interview with The Independent.

The Biden administration’s repeated failures to take decisive action in response to numerous warnings about an impending famine are highlighted in this investigation by The Independent. These failures persist even now.

Children are the most at risk

Famine claims the lives of the most vulnerable, particularly the youngest. In the besieged region of Gaza, countless mothers are unable to provide sufficient breast milk for their infants due to their own malnutrition. The dire circumstances have driven people to the extreme measure of consuming animal feed and boiling grass in their search for sustenance. Desperate families are now surviving on just one meal per day.

Arvind Das, a team leader for the Gaza crisis at the International Rescue Committee, has spent several months in Gaza and has observed a distressing trend: an increase in the number of severely malnourished children over time.

He mentioned that it has become common to witness individuals, particularly children and women, who are extremely thin and lack any significant body mass.

“I have witnessed children sitting in the corridors, with infants and babies who have no access to food or clean drinking water. It’s heartbreaking to see such severe malnourishment,” expressed Mr. Das, an experienced humanitarian who has dedicated his efforts in Syria, Sudan, and South Sudan.

A doctor from the UK, who is working as an emergency physician in a Gaza hospital near Khan Younis, conveyed to The Independent over the phone that the children are experiencing immense suffering.

According to the doctor, the children here, ranging from 10 to 12 years old, are burdened with the physical weight and health challenges typically experienced by children as young as four or five years old. The extent of chronic malnourishment and malnutrition is pervasive among these children, if not all of them. Witnessing these circumstances firsthand is truly heart-wrenching.

In the early days of the war, there were already indications of the devastating famine that would follow. Defence Minister Yoav Gallant initiated a severe blockade in response to the merciless Hamas attack on October 7th.

“We have implemented a comprehensive siege, depriving them of electricity, food, water, and fuel. We are facing a formidable enemy, and it is imperative that we respond accordingly,” he declared on October 9th.

Action would promptly follow those words.

Israel has retaliated against Hamas’s bloody attack by launching its most intense bombardment and imposing a devastating siege on Gaza. According to Palestinian officials, this offensive by Israel has resulted in the deaths of over 35,000 people, predominantly women and children.

Israel has imposed strict restrictions on the delivery of aid to the Gaza Strip since the beginning of the conflict. According to UN officials and aid agencies, there have been thorough inspections of trucks, systematic limitations on deliveries, and arbitrary refusal of entry for items deemed “dual-use” by Israel, which has further worsened the hunger crisis in Gaza.

I believe the US to be complicit in creating the conditions for famine. Not only has our response been woefully inadequate, but we’re actively responsible in large part for it

An employee of USAID

Interviews with more than a dozen UN officials, aid workers, and diplomats who are coordinating aid have also uncovered restrictions on the delivery of aid within Gaza, which is adding to the pressure on the northern part of the besieged strip. The ongoing fierce fighting and general insecurity throughout the strip are further hindering the timely delivery of aid. In several instances, people in desperate need of food have swarmed aid trucks as soon as they reached the affected areas.

Before the war, around two-thirds of Gaza’s population relied on food aid. Each day, more than 500 trucks, including fuel, entered the territory to provide assistance. However, during the conflict, the number of trucks entering Gaza dropped significantly. Between 7 October and the end of February, the average number of trucks entering the region decreased to only 90 per day, marking an 82% decline. This reduction in aid came at a time when the demand for assistance was even higher due to the ongoing war.

Israel denies the presence of a hunger crisis in Gaza and rejects the notion that it has limited aid. The Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), a defence ministry unit responsible for coordinating with the Palestinians, has consistently emphasized that there are no restrictions on the amount of aid provided to Gaza, which they actively facilitate. The Independent contacted COGAT for a response to these claims but has not received a reply yet.

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On November 15th, the bombing of Gaza resulted in the destruction of vital infrastructure crucial for food production. The sole remaining wheat mill in the area was targeted and left inoperable. As a consequence, the local community faced a severe shortage of flour, leading to a scarcity of bread. The only available option was to rely on external organizations for the provision of these essential food items.

Israel’s relentless bombing campaign in Gaza has not only caused immense destruction and loss of life but has also severely hindered the delivery of much-needed aid. The dangerous situation created by the airstrikes has made it incredibly challenging to provide assistance to those in need. Tragically, the conflict has claimed the lives of at least 254 aid workers, with a staggering 188 of them being UN staff. This devastating toll marks the highest number of UN personnel ever killed in a conflict. Shockingly, even with the necessary precautions taken, aid convoys have repeatedly come under Israeli fire. UNRWA, the UN’s agency for Palestinian refugees, has revealed that despite sharing GPS coordinates, providing details about the number of trucks, and maintaining constant communication with the military, three of their aid convoys have been targeted and struck by Israeli naval artillery and gunfire.

The warnings begin

The number of casualties resulting from Israel’s relentless bombardment of Gaza escalated rapidly, reaching into the thousands. However, this devastating assault was not the only threat that the people of Gaza faced. The looming danger of starvation was also a pressing concern.

By December, the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification and the Famine Early Warning Systems Network, which are widely relied upon by governments worldwide to assess famine situations, both reached a unanimous verdict: famine was on the horizon, posing a grave threat to over one million individuals.

According to Mr. Konyndyk, the former head of USAID’s Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance, the White House should have taken immediate action in response to the warnings. He believes that if similar conditions were occurring in other countries, the US would have acted promptly. However, due to its commitment to supporting Israel’s war effort, the US chose not to take any measures that could hinder it.

According to a statement made to The Independent, there should be a strong and immediate response from both the relief aid and diplomatic fronts when the warnings of risk start to emerge. The speaker emphasized that the Biden administration’s response to the December famine forecast did not demonstrate the necessary action towards famine prevention.

During interviews with The Independent, representatives from the Biden administration consistently emphasize President Biden’s consistent appeals to the Israeli government to expand access to aid. They also cite the temporary surge in aid trucks entering Gaza as evidence of his perceived effectiveness.

The Biden aides didn’t mention the crucial point that the sporadic aid efforts were insufficient to address the magnitude of the crisis. Hunger continued to escalate, yet the White House refrained from leveraging military aid as a bargaining tool.

“Nothing about the Biden administration’s response to the first famine report demonstrated that kind of hard pivot toward famine prevention.”

According to Mr. Konyndyk, it seems that the Biden administration was urging Israel to reopen crossings for aid. However, there was a noticeable inclination to defer to Israel’s approach in conducting the conflict, coupled with the ongoing supply of arms without imposing any substantial conditions.

According to a spokesperson from the White House National Security Council, President Biden has been taking the lead in providing humanitarian aid to Gaza to alleviate the suffering of innocent Palestinians who are not involved with Hamas.

Career civil servants within USAID were appalled by the lack of urgency displayed by their politically appointed leaders, given their extensive experience.

According to internal documents obtained by The Independent, USAID staff raised their concerns about the lack of action by submitting letters and internal dissent memos to higher-ups, including USAID administrator Samantha Power and other senior leaders. However, their efforts often went unnoticed or were disregarded.

“It was incredibly surprising and extremely disheartening to witness the complete absence of any mention regarding the impending famine in Gaza,” expressed a USAID employee, who wished to remain anonymous due to their current employment with the agency.

Dissent memos, which serve as a formal means of expressing internal opposition and providing constructive criticism of policies, are not as common within USAID as they are in the State Department. Nevertheless, according to a USAID staff member, there have been a notable number of 19 memoranda sent to address the agency’s inaction, as well as the government’s, towards the imminent famine.

According to Mr. Konyndyk, the number of dissent memos at USAID is significant. He mentioned that in his over five years of experience at USAID during the Obama and Biden administration, he never came across a single dissent memo.

In mid-January, aid agencies in Gaza urgently appealed for a humanitarian ceasefire to ensure the delivery of food supplies. According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), a staggering 378,000 individuals in Gaza were confronted with catastrophic levels of hunger, while the entire population of 2.2 million people faced acute food insecurity.

During a press conference on 31 January, Michael Ryan, the emergencies director of the World Health Organization, expressed concern about the dire situation faced by a population on the brink of starvation. He emphasized the urgency of the matter, stating, “This is a population that is starving to death, this is a population that is being pushed to the brink.”

On the same day, Mr. Ryan expressed concerns about the bleak future of Gaza. However, White House National Security Communications Adviser John Kirby defended the Biden administration’s choice to halt aid to UNRWA. Mr. Kirby dismissed the notion that withdrawing support from the largest presence in Gaza would negatively impact the humanitarian conditions. Instead, he asserted that the US was diligently striving to provide more humanitarian assistance to the people of Gaza.

The White House remained steadfast in its commitment to supporting Israel in its conflict against Hamas, ensuring that all necessary resources were provided to ensure victory.

UNRWA loses ability to function

Hunger rapidly spread throughout the next month as the war continued to rage. On February 27th, three senior United Nations officials informed the Security Council that a staggering 576,000 individuals were now on the brink of famine.

Ramesh Rajasingham, Director of UN’s OCHA, expressed his concern about the current situation, stating that it is unfortunate and grim. He further added that there is a high possibility for the situation to worsen in the future.

In a tragic incident during the conflict, numerous Palestinians lost their lives as they were attempting to gather supplies. On 29 February near Gaza City, a crowd was fired upon by Israeli troops while they were collecting flour from aid trucks. Initially, the Israeli army attributed the chaos to a stampede. However, in a subsequent review, they stated that their forces did not target the humanitarian convoy but instead fired at individuals who approached the nearby forces and posed a threat to their safety.

According to a review conducted by the Israeli army, the looting resulted in incidents where civilians suffered significant harm, including being trampled and run over by trucks. Tragically, over 100 Palestinians lost their lives while attempting to access aid on that fateful day.

Before the war, UNRWA was responsible for providing and distributing essential provisions for the people in Gaza, including food, medicine, and fuel. The US played a significant role as the largest donor to UNRWA, contributing almost half of the agency’s annual operating budget.

The US halted its funding after Israel accused 12 UNRWA employees of being involved in the attack on October 7th and claimed that 10% of its staff had connections to militants. However, an independent review led by former French foreign minister Catherine Colonna concluded that Israel has not presented any evidence to support these allegations.

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In February, UNRWA reported that Israel had effectively prohibited its entry into the northern region of Gaza.

According to the organization, over 188 of its staff members have lost their lives since the start of the war. In addition, more than 150 of its facilities, including numerous schools, have been targeted and damaged. Shockingly, over 400 individuals seeking refuge under the UN flag have tragically lost their lives.

The killings had a significant impact on the ability of aid groups to deliver much-needed supplies. Moreover, security conditions for aid workers only worsened. In response to an attack on a food distribution center in Rafah in March, Philippe Lazzarini, the head of UNRWA, strongly condemned Israel for its blatant disregard for international humanitarian law.

According to the spokesperson, the recent assault on a UNRWA distribution center in the Gaza Strip is particularly distressing due to the scarcity of food supplies and the prevalence of hunger, which is escalating into famine in certain regions. The spokesperson emphasized that the coordinates for the facility were shared with the Israeli army.

Mr. Lazzarini was known for his outspokenness on the issue of Israel’s blockade of humanitarian aid convoys.

In March, he emphasized the urgency of the situation by stating, “I’ve reiterated this point numerous times: we can still prevent this hunger and impending famine, as it is a result of human actions.”

The Independent contacted Israel’s COGAT to address these claims, but they have not yet responded. COGAT has previously strongly condemned what it refers to as “false accusations” about Israel’s alleged restrictions on aid in Gaza, emphasizing that such claims are being irresponsibly spread. COGAT also accuses Hamas of obstructing and pilfering aid. Additionally, COGAT denies allegations that the number of aid trucks entering the enclave has decreased.

Israel is actively involved in providing assistance, encouragement, and facilitation for the entry of humanitarian aid to the residents of the Gaza Strip. Additionally, they extend support for medical and other critical infrastructures within the Strip. It is important to note that Israel’s conflict is with Hamas and not with the residents of the Gaza Strip.

A simple solution

To those working on the ground to help, the solution seemed straightforward: a ceasefire was necessary to increase the amount of aid required to prevent a famine. If that wasn’t possible, Israel would need to open additional land crossings in Gaza and allow more aid trucks to enter.

However, the United States, acting on behalf of its ally Israel, repeatedly blocked efforts to negotiate a ceasefire at the United Nations Security Council.

In justifying her decision to exercise a third veto on 20 February, US Ambassador to the UN, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, stated that an immediate ceasefire would potentially undermine ongoing multilateral discussions aimed at brokering a temporary halt to the conflict and securing the release of hostages held by Hamas.

Humanitarian groups are urging the Biden administration to use its influence to pressure Israel into swiftly permitting the entry of crucial aid into Gaza, in order to prevent a severe famine. They emphasize that without a comprehensive ceasefire in place, it is imperative to take immediate action and address the urgent humanitarian needs in Gaza.

The United States, being the main supporter of Israel’s war efforts and providing a substantial $4 billion in annual defense aid, held the necessary influence to convince Israel to change its course. However, Mr. Biden had steadfastly rejected the idea of conditioning aid, reflecting his unwavering belief in the significance of supporting the world’s sole Jewish state.

Jan Egeland, the secretary-general of the Norwegian Refugee Council, a humanitarian organization with numerous aid workers operating in Gaza, reached out to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in October. He urged Blinken to establish an international monitoring mission at Gaza’s borders to facilitate the delivery of aid. Egeland emphasized the importance of shifting the responsibility from Israel to an impartial organization during times of conflict. Unfortunately, his pleas went unanswered.

In a conversation with The Independent, he expressed his astonishment at the diplomatic ineffectiveness surrounding the situation. He highlighted the efforts made by presidents and prime ministers who went to Israel, pleading and appealing for a change, only to be met with a resounding “no.” Despite this rejection, these world leaders continue to provide arms and support to Israel. This raises the question of who holds the real power in this situation – the supposed great powers or the Israeli government.

According to Mr. Egeland, the US should have been aware of the consequences that would unfold in Gaza, considering the Israeli leaders’ explicit threats of widespread destruction following the Hamas attack.

“They were aware of it, yet they failed to make their support contingent upon it. This was a significant and regrettable error. And, as expected, it has now come back to haunt them,” he remarked.

According to Josh Paul, a former State Department employee who left his position in October to protest against US support for the war, there exists a noticeable double standard when it comes to Israel within the Biden administration. Paul expressed his concerns to The Independent, highlighting disparities in areas such as weapon support and the adherence to international humanitarian law.

According to him, the administration had various means at its disposal to exert pressure on Israel in order to stop its aid restrictions.

“The Administration had the option to utilize Section 620I of the Foreign Assistance Act to restrict assistance to countries that impede U.S.-funded humanitarian aid. They could have also chosen to withhold arms shipments or provide support for UN resolutions urging Israel to cease its limitations on humanitarian assistance,” he stated.

In a compelling opinion piece published in February in Foreign Affairs, Mr. Konyndyk, the current president of Refugees International, urged Mr. Biden to take immediate action and prioritize famine prevention. He emphasized the need for the U.S. to wield its influence effectively, even suggesting the possibility of suspending arms sales if the Israeli government fails to comply.

Staff within USAID were also frustrated with the Biden administration’s constant claims of doing everything possible to pressure Israel into increasing aid. In fact, the amount of aid reaching Gazans decreased by 50% in February compared to the previous month.

On 3 March, Vice President Kamala Harris made a resolute statement about the significance of providing humanitarian aid to Gaza. During her address commemorating the anniversary of civil rights protests in Selma, Alabama, Ms. Harris emphasized the need for Israel’s government to take further action in substantially increasing the flow of aid. She firmly stated that there should be no excuses for not fulfilling this responsibility.

According to the individuals, the President of the United States, who is considered Israel’s most crucial ally and supporter, should possess enough influence to compel them to take substantial actions in order to truly facilitate the necessary amount of aid to save lives.

“They added that it seems like there wasn’t any genuine attempt to compel Israel to provide more access to humanitarian assistance.”

The US resorted to unconventional measures by initiating aid airdrops into Gaza after failing to convince its ally to permit additional aid through land crossings.

Describing the plan as a “major policy failure” on the part of the Biden administration, Mr. Konyndyk, who previously oversaw humanitarian air drops to Nepal, the Philippines, and Iraq, expressed his discontent.

According to the expert, airdrops are not the most efficient method of delivering aid to a population. In fact, they are considered to be costly and ineffective. He mentioned that airdrops are only used as a last resort when there are no other options available.

“When the US government finds itself resorting to tactics it previously utilized to outmaneuver the Soviets in Berlin and combat ISIS in Syria and Iraq, it becomes imperative to question the current state of US policy,” he emphasized in an interview with The Independent.

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Biden finally takes action

On April 2nd, the peril faced by individuals attempting to provide food to the desperate population of Gaza was once again vividly illustrated. Tragically, a team of international aid workers from the World Central Kitchen fell victim to three consecutive drone strikes carried out by the Israeli military.

Members of the non-profit humanitarian aid organization, founded by celebrity chef José Andrés, were struck by vehicles bearing the charity’s logo. Despite coordinating their movements with the Israeli military, this unfortunate incident occurred.

In a thought-provoking article titled “Let People Eat” featured in the New York Times following the tragic incident, Mr. Andrés asserts that the strike occurred due to a policy that severely limited humanitarian aid, accusing Israel of obstructing the delivery of essential food and medicine to innocent civilians.

The White House responded in a unique manner this time around. Mr. Andrés, who is both a friend of Mr. Biden and a well-liked individual in Washington DC, elicited a different reaction. For the first time during the conflict, the president hinted at the possibility that the US could withhold its support unless Israel promptly undertook specific measures.

During a conversation with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, two days after the WCK killings, Mr. Biden emphasized the importance of Israel taking decisive actions to address civilian harm, humanitarian suffering, and the safety of aid workers. The White House readout of the call stated that these steps should be specific, concrete, and measurable.

The Israeli government wasted no time in taking action, swiftly approving the opening of three humanitarian aid corridors into Gaza. Among these was the Erez Crossing in northern Gaza, which had remained closed since the conflict began.

A report published on 9 April by Human Rights Watch has made alarming claims against Israel, accusing them of committing war crimes such as collective punishment, deliberately obstructing humanitarian aid, and using starvation as a weapon of war. The report highlights the serious concerns raised by aid organizations regarding Israel’s actions.

USAID officials were growing increasingly assertive in raising concerns internally.

In early April, a leaked cable from officials at the agency expressed that the threshold to confirm a Famine determination in Gaza has likely already been crossed. According to the cable, the level of hunger and malnutrition in Gaza is unprecedented in modern history. This revelation sheds light on the dire situation faced by the people in Gaza.

According to a leaked memo obtained by Devex, officials from USAID have raised concerns that Israel may be in violation of a White House directive. This directive mandates that countries receiving US military assistance must allow the uninterrupted delivery of US-funded humanitarian aid.

A leaked memo from food security experts, obtained by Devex, highlights the bleak reality of an impending famine. Titled “Famine Inevitable, Changes Could Reduce but Not Stop Widespread Civilian Deaths,” the memo points out that the delivery of crucial humanitarian aid is hindered by administrative obstacles imposed by Israel.

Following President Biden’s pressure on Netanyahu, there was a noticeable and immediate impact. In late April, an increased number of trucks carrying food and supplies successfully entered Gaza. Moreover, on 1 May, Israel finally opened the Erez crossing, resulting in the entry of over 200 trucks per day for a prolonged period.

Some saw it as a sign of progress, while others perceived it as proof of Mr. Biden’s ability to directly influence Israel’s actions when he decides to exert his leverage.

However, just like previous instances during the conflict, the pressure and progress were temporary.

A famine wasn’t inevitable

The UN has consistently emphasized that once an official declaration of famine is announced, it will already be too late to avert the tragic loss of thousands of lives. Obtaining the necessary data for this declaration is an extremely challenging task, particularly in the northern part of Gaza, where access is hindered due to ongoing conflict.

Cindy McCain, the US director of the UN World Food Program, made a significant announcement last weekend by declaring a famine in northern Gaza.

“It’s horrifying,” exclaimed Cindy McCain, the widow of former Senator John McCain and a close friend of Biden. In an interview with NBC’s “Meet the Press” on 5 May, she expressed her deep concern about the situation. “There is a full-blown famine in the north, and it’s gradually spreading southward,” she revealed.

According to the humanitarian groups operating on the ground, this outcome was not something that was bound to happen.

“This famine is completely avoidable and is a result of the lack of humanitarian aid and restrictions on humanitarian access for over seven months,” stated Louise Wateridge, a communications officer with UNRWA, during a phone interview from Gaza last week.

According to the United Nations, over 1.1 million people in Gaza, which is more than half of its population, are currently facing a severe food insecurity crisis. Shockingly, this represents the highest percentage of a population experiencing such dire conditions worldwide. Additionally, distressingly, one out of every three children under the age of two in Gaza is suffering from acute malnutrition.

The situation is about to deteriorate.

Israel has made its intention to invade the southern city of Rafah public for several months now. Rafah is the last refuge in Gaza, providing shelter to over one million displaced people from across the destroyed territory. This includes approximately 600,000 children, who are living in overcrowded tents, buildings, and hospital courtyards with only tarpaulin for protection. Not only is Rafah a vital hub for aid agencies operating in Gaza, but it is also considered by Israel as the last stronghold of Hamas. The White House has previously expressed its opposition to a full-scale operation in Rafah due to the inevitable humanitarian disaster it would cause.

Just a few days after Ms. McCain’s interview, an evacuation order was issued by Israel for 100,000 individuals in the city. On Wednesday, the Israeli forces managed to capture the Rafah border crossing, effectively stopping the flow of aid through this crucial channel. Moreover, this crossing is the sole route available for wounded or sick Palestinians to be evacuated.

On May 5th, another important crossing, Kerem Shalom, was closed following an attack that resulted in the death of four soldiers in the area. Although Israel claims that Kerem Shalom has reopened, UN officials have expressed concerns about the safety of humanitarian workers accessing the area. Jens Laerke, spokesperson for the United Nations humanitarian office OCHA, stated to The Independent that both Rafah and Kerem Shalom are vital routes for humanitarian operations in the entire strip, and their closure has had a catastrophic impact.

In response to the move, Mr. Biden issued a strong statement. He warned that he might temporarily halt the shipment of certain offensive weapons to Israel if its defense forces entered the city. However, instead of scaling down their offensive actions, Israel expanded the evacuation orders, affecting approximately 300,000 individuals in the southern and northern parts of Gaza. Furthermore, Israel launched an assault on Rafah.

Meanwhile, the delivery of much-needed aid has not been subject to the same conditions imposed by the president.

The discrepancy between the two situations has caused a great deal of concern within the US government, particularly among those responsible for preventing hunger-related deaths.

According to an anonymous USAID employee interviewed by The Independent, the United States is believed to have played a role in the creation of the conditions for famine. The employee stated, “I believe the US to be complicit in creating the conditions for famine. Not only has our response been woefully inadequate, but we’re actively responsible in large part for it.”

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