U.S. Defense Secretary Warns Of Gaza Famine’s Impact

During a Senate hearing, U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin addressed the dire situation in Gaza, highlighting the potential repercussions of a mass famine.

He expressed concern that such a humanitarian crisis could exacerbate violence and prolong the conflict in the region. Despite accusations against Israel regarding the unfolding crisis, Austin stopped short of labeling the situation as genocide.

Israel faces criticism over Gaza aid access (Credits: Reuters)

The ongoing conflict in Gaza, triggered by Hamas’ attack on southern Israel, has left the enclave devastated. With nearly all inhabitants now homeless, there is a looming risk of widespread famine and disease.

Aid agencies have criticized Israel for allegedly obstructing access to essential supplies, including food and medicine while accusing it of employing starvation as a tool of warfare. However, Israel maintains that aid is being delivered to Gaza, albeit with disputed amounts.

Austin emphasized the importance of providing humanitarian assistance to Gaza to alleviate the suffering of its people. He urged Israel to increase efforts in this regard to prevent further escalation of violence and instability.

President Biden signals policy shift regarding Israel's offensive in Gaza (Credits: Bloomberg)
President Biden signals policy shift regarding Israel’s offensive in Gaza (Credits: Bloomberg)

Austin stressed the necessity of distinguishing between the Palestinian population and Hamas, warning that failure to do so could fuel terrorism.

President Joe Biden has signaled a shift in U.S. policy toward Israel, threatening to condition support for its offensive in Gaza on measures to safeguard civilians and aid workers.

This marks a departure from previous administrations’ approaches and underscores growing pressure to address the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.