Israeli minister says there is no famine in Gaza and 'never has been'

A member of Israel's war cabinet has told Sky News there is no famine in Gaza and there "never has been".

israeli minister says there is no famine in gaza and 'never has been'

Children line up to receive food at Jabaliya refugee camp in northern Gaza in March. File pic: AP

Ron Dermer, the country's minister of strategic affairs, described the claim as "nonsense" and said there were "bustling markets" selling fruits and vegetables in the besieged territory.

It comes after the World Food Programme warned there was a "full-blown famine" in parts of Gaza due to a lack of food after eight months of war.

Cindy McCain, executive director of the UN agency, told Sky News last week that both children and adults were dying after being reduced to the "size of a skeleton" and that there were serious problems getting aid trucks into the region.

Mr Dermer said the comments were "just all false" - and also hit out at the International Criminal Court (ICC) after its prosecutor applied for an arrest warrant for Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar over alleged war crimes.

Mr Dermer told Sky News' The World With Yalda Hakim: "There is no famine in Gaza. There has never been a famine in Gaza. That is a false story.

"It is a libel, just like we are now in the international court of justice being accused of genocide. There is no genocide going on..."

He added: "The problem in Gaza is not the trucks getting into Gaza. It's food getting distributed within Gaza because Hamas, a terror organisation, is stealing it.

"Right now we are flooding Gaza with humanitarian assistance, and the markets have shown that prices have dropped about 90% on basic food items in Gaza...

"After this interview, I will ask my staff to send you pictures in the last 48 hours of markets, bustling markets, fruits and vegetables in Gaza."

Eyewitness: Israeli protesters block aid going into Gaza

South Africa says war at 'horrific stage' as it appeals to court

Long lines for watery soup amid fears of mass starvation

Mr Dermer said there were two pictures circulating of "children apparently starving in Gaza", but said they had "pre-existing genetic conditions that were responsible and had nothing to do with famine".

He added: "This is an outrageous attack on Israel. It is a libellous attack against Israel. We are fighting a terror organisation that is genocidal, that murdered 1,200 Israelis, took 250 hostage."

Since 7 October, more than 35,000 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza, according to the Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry, which does not distinguish between non-combatants and fighters in its count.

The minister said there would be a "strong response" to the court's actions, and also praised US President Joe Biden for describing the war crimes charges as "outrageous".

He said: "There hasn't been a policy of trying to starve the population of Gaza or to target civilians in Gaza. I'm a member of the war cabinet. We've never had such a policy."

In the warrant application, ICC Prosecutor Karim Khan KC pointed to comments by members of the Israeli government suggesting food be denied to civilians.

The application quoted defence minister Yoav Gallant, who said shortly after the Hamas attacks on 7 October that he had ordered a "complete siege" of Gaza City and that there would be "no electricity, no food, no fuel".

Several days later, Mr Netanyahu also said Israel would not allow humanitarian assistance "in the form of food and medicines" into Gaza through its crossings "as long as our hostages are not returned".

Sky News' US correspondent Mark Stone said that while there were food markets in southern Gaza, it was too dangerous for people in the north of the territory to travel dozens of miles through a war zone to access them.

It comes after UN secretary general António Guterres warned back in March that 1.1 million people in Gaza were "facing catastrophic hunger - the highest number of people ever recorded - anywhere, anytime".

OTHER NEWS

23 minutes ago

Celine Dion breaks down as she reveals her special connection to John Farnham amid his cancer battle - and reveals how he helped her career

23 minutes ago

Video: Pride of the Lions: England stars beam as they are reunited with WAGs and families after the girls led fans cheering their fellas to a 1-0 victory in nervy opener against Serbia

23 minutes ago

How Aussies are saving HUNDREDS on their groceries at this little-known shop where popular items sell for as little as $1: 'Our little secret'

23 minutes ago

ABC host narrowly escapes death after common act at a beach - as she comes under fire over a very simple suggestion

24 minutes ago

An emotional win for theaters, Hollywood: `Inside Out...

24 minutes ago

House of the Dragon's second season debuts to great fanfare ... Game of Thrones' prequel's sophomore slate includes eight episodes

24 minutes ago

REBECCA ENGLISH: The real reason why Kate was determined to join her 'kiddies' and 'Grandpa Wales' on the balcony... plus what a Palace source did when I asked if the King would see Harry and his other grandchildren this summer

24 minutes ago

Bryson DeChambeau wins thrilling US Open battle as Rory McIlroy falls short

24 minutes ago

Ferrari wins 24 Hours of Le Mans

24 minutes ago

Tony Awards 2024: The complete list of winners (so far)

24 minutes ago

Angelina Jolie & Vivienne Jolie-Pitt arrive at the Tony Awards

24 minutes ago

Waterman replaces injured Hoilett on Canada’s Copa America roster

24 minutes ago

George Clooney among A-listers helping Joe Biden gala raise record $28m

26 minutes ago

Tom Brady makes FOX broadcasting debut during UFL championship game

28 minutes ago

Julie Theobald dies suddenly from common illness - leaving behind 13 children

28 minutes ago

Video: Shocking new video shows one of the FIVE times a terrified calf was brutally mown down by police before it was left wounded in a park for 'two hours' amid claims cops were 'radioing for armed response to shoot it' - with one officer suspended amid b

28 minutes ago

Video: Couple finds abandoned newborn with her umbilical chord attached after noticing a blanket with two little feet moving

28 minutes ago

Video: China's second-most powerful leader to be welcomed at Canberra

28 minutes ago

Video: Stanford University graduation chaos as HUNDREDS of students waving Palestinian flags and keffiyehs walk out during President Richard Saller's speech

28 minutes ago

Tom Brady makes his first Fox Sports appearance at UFL Championship after signing 10-year, $375million deal as lead NFL analyst

30 minutes ago

Nissan GT-R dies another death as electric switch looms

30 minutes ago

Riley Rees-Turner is a former footy player turned rower who's now got his heart set on the Olympics

30 minutes ago

Bellingham delivers as England win tense Euros clash

30 minutes ago

Boks wrap up first training camp ahead of blockbuster season

30 minutes ago

Gary Lineker offers Harry Kane explanation after England captain struggles in Serbia win

30 minutes ago

Senators expected to trade winger prospect this summer

30 minutes ago

Celtic could land Hatate alternative in swoop for "tenacious" SPFL star

32 minutes ago

Monday declared an Air Pollution Action Day in Illinois. Here's what that means

35 minutes ago

'Nude artist' Dina Broadhurst suffers a nip slip as she poses topless during a tropical getaway

35 minutes ago

Video: Perrie Edwards puts on a leggy display in gold minidress with a daring thigh-high slit as she takes to the stage for solo debut at Capital Summertime Ball

35 minutes ago

Video: Jerry Seinfeld blasts anti-Israel heckler during Sydney standup gig: 'We have a genius, ladies and gentlemen'

35 minutes ago

Couple finds abandoned newborn with her umbilical chord attached after noticing a blanket with two little feet moving

35 minutes ago

Julie Theobald dies suddenly from common illness - leaving behind 13 children

35 minutes ago

The world's best footballer with France on his shoulders, his mother on his back and a string of supermodels on his arm: Now Kylian Mbappe wants to follow in Cristiano Ronaldo's path in the Euros and at Real Madrid

35 minutes ago

Shocking new video shows one of the FIVE times a terrified calf was brutally mown down by police before it was left wounded in a park for 'two hours' amid claims cops were 'radioing for armed response to shoot it' - with one officer suspended amid backlash

35 minutes ago

Fans left heartbroken for Rory McIlroy after 'biggest choke in history of golf' in final US Open round: 'I don't know how he can recover from this'

35 minutes ago

Gogglebox star shares baby joy as they welcome a new addition to the family in sweet snaps

35 minutes ago

Dani Dyer embraces boyfriend Jarrod Bowen as she supports the England star at their Euros opening match against Serbia

35 minutes ago

Kym Marsh reveals the poignant meaning behind the item she placed inside her late father David's coffin after his death from prostate cancer

37 minutes ago

Former infielder, coach Mike Brumley killed in crash at 61