Starvation as a weapon of War

Senior US State Department official Stacey Gilbert has revealed that the State Department falsified a report to exonerate Israel from blocking the flow of humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip, whereby the department “contradicted the advice of its experts.” This accusation comes when many independent NGOs and UN experts have accused Israel of using starvation as a weapon of war in Gaza.

Gilbert’s statement came in an interview with the British newspaper The Guardian. The resigned official is one of the department’s experts who drafted the report stipulated under National Security Memorandum No. 20, which was published on May 10.

It is worth noting that National Security Memorandum No. 20 (“NSM-20”) stipulates that recipients of US weapons provide “credible written assurances that they will use the weapons in accordance with international humanitarian law and international law.”

In addition, the memorandum stipulates that these recipients pledge “not to impede the delivery of humanitarian aid.”

The report found that “it is reasonable to assess that Israel used US weapons in a manner inconsistent with international humanitarian law,” but it also claimed that “there is insufficient concrete evidence to link specific US-supplied weapons to violations.”

Most “controversially,” according to the Guardian, the State Department report claimed that “the Israeli government did not prohibit or restrict the transfer or delivery of US humanitarian assistance” to the Gaza Strip.

But these conclusions and allegations “contradict the overwhelming view of State Department experts consulted on the report,” the resigning US official confirmed.

Gilbert added, speaking to the newspaper, that it was clear that “Israel” “played a role in limiting the amount of food and medical supplies” crossing the border into the Gaza Strip.

Gilbert also stressed that “there is a consensus among the humanitarian community and humanitarian experts at the State Department on the Israeli role in obstructing the delivery of aid.”

She also objected to the report's contention that "Israel is not preventing humanitarian aid from reaching the Strip," stressing that this is a "clear lie," and explaining that she sent an email to her office and the team working on this matter, two hours after the report was published, announcing that she would resign.

Gilbert resigned from her position at the US State Department on Tuesday, after working in the department's Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration.

Commenting on the resignation, the Washington Post confirmed that the reason for her resignation was "unusual," because it indicates an internal disagreement regarding the report that the US administration relied on to justify the continued sending of billions of dollars worth of weapons to "Israel."

The Biden administration has consistently moved the post to shield Israel from accountability that the UN and other human rights organizations characterized as a genocide prompting a journalist, Ed O’Keefe to ask: How Many More Charred Corpses Does the President Need to See to Change Gaza War Policy?


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