Report. Few humanitarian trucks are able to cross the invisible line across central Gaza, a de facto border marked by the bullets fired by Israeli snipers at the people coming close to the trucks.

Gazan children are eating weeds and chicken feed, UN warns of ‘desperate behavior’

“What would I like? A shawarma. And a kebab.” Ali, 10 years old, smiled as he showed the Al Quds News cameraman in northern Gaza what he was holding in his hand: chicken feed. Next to him, a man was heating the feed over a fire until it became an orange patty.

Ali said he’d had enough of eating chicken feed. It hurt his stomach and made his throat burn. Aid agencies have been reporting for weeks that in northern Gaza, hunger is now a constant reality. To quell it just for a few hours, people eat leaves, weeds, animal feed.

Few humanitarian trucks are able to cross the invisible line across central Gaza, a de facto border marked by the bullets fired by Israeli snipers at the people coming close to the trucks. If it’s not the snipers, it’s the shells fired from warships at the trucks, blowing up tons of flour. Children rush in anyway, stuffing handfuls of dirty flour into their pockets.

And it’s only going to get worse. On Sunday, UNRWA, the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, paused deliveries to the north of the Strip because Israel won’t grant transit permits and because “the desperate behavior of hungry and exhausted people is preventing the safe and regular passage of our trucks,” said official Tamara Alrifai. In other words, desperate people are attacking them.

Axios reports that the United States is very irritated with Tel Aviv, and that it has asked Israel to stop targeting humanitarian aid convoys – especially just hours before the 30-day deadline the International Court of Justice gave Tel Aviv to comply with the interim measures it ordered on January 26 to prevent genocidal acts.

According to Israel’s Ynet News, Tel Aviv was expected to send a formal notification to The Hague on Monday detailing the ways in which it would comply with the demands of the highest court at the global level. In effect, it has complied with none of them. Every day brings new crimes, with vanishing aid, incitement to genocide and massacres (at least 29,600 killed since October 7, including 5,000 in the last 30 days).

The ground operation on Rafah has not yet started, but the bombing operation from the air is enough on its own. On Sunday, bombs rained down for a full half hour on the southern refugee-city. Half an hour is an almost endless time when death is raining down from the sky. And it came inexorably to those on the ground: dozens were killed, with videos showing rescue workers and civilians trying to remove rubble with their bare hands – a futile effort.

A market and two residential buildings housing evacuees were hit. “The area shook as if an earthquake hit it; there was complete destruction and fire everywhere,” reported al Jazeera correspondent Hani Mahmoud. “Cars were incinerated and people on the sidewalks were critically injured. Victims were also pulled from under the building’s rubble … Two of them could not be identified as they were incinerated beyond recognition.”

Some hours earlier, on Saturday night, it had been the turn of the central town of Deir al-Balah to be beset by bombs. The Israeli air force hit a number of homes, including that of the family of Gazawi comedian Mahmoud Abu Zaeiter. More than 20 were killed, including 14 children. One was four months old – as old as the war. His name was Yasser al-Dalu. “I struggled so much to be able to have him,” his mother Noor told Reuters in tears. His parents had been trying to conceive for eight years.

And then there were the dead and injured from the other buildings. 150 people lived in the houses that were hit. “We are not equipped to receive such a large number of victims,” stressed Dr. Khalil al-Degran of Al-Aqsa Hospital, surrounded by live bodies and dead bodies lying on the floors. One rescuer said: “We collected body parts of women and children. I swear to God they were all women and children between seven, eight and 12 years old. What have they done to deserve to die like this? What did this young girl do to Israel to be dismembered like this?”

Echoes of collective frustration are being heard inside the offices of the United Nations, which in the past two days has come to the point of raising its voice more than ever before. The U.N. Human Rights Council, with High Commissioner Türk, has called for an audit of the human rights situation in the Occupied Territories: “The entrenched impunity reported by our Office for decades cannot be permitted to continue. There must be accountability on all sides for violations seen over 56 years of occupation and the 16 years of blockade of Gaza, and up to today.”

The statement came just hours after a press release signed by UN experts and special rapporteurs called on the international community to impose a military embargo on Israel and no longer sell it any arms.

Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz responded on X by posting a poor-quality Photoshop of UN Secretary Guterres between Iran’s Raisi and Syria’s Assad, under the caption “Human Rights Council.”

There is a sliver of hope coming from Paris. On Sunday, the Israeli press spoke of “significant progress” in the negotiations between Israel and Hamas. Everyone is there in the French capital: the U.S., Qatar, Egyptian and Israeli delegations, the latter led by Mossad chief David Barnena, who was supposed to deliver the draft agreement to Prime Minister Netanyahu’s desk on Sunday evening. People were also waiting for Hamas’s reaction to the draft, which has reportedly dropped some of its demands.

Diplomatic sources told Haaretz that all sides were showing flexibility and that “a deal can be reached before Ramadan,” i.e. by March 10. It would involve a six-week truce, with 40 Israeli hostages to be released along with hundreds of Palestinian prisoners. The details are not fully clear, but the optimism is real. We’ll see whether that will be enough.

On Sunday, in Tel Aviv, Caesarea and Haifa, thousands marched to demand Netanyahu’s resignation. In Tel Aviv, the protest – illegal according to the police – was dispersed with water cannons.

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