Starve or surrender: Cut off all food and water to Gaza, says Israeli general

A Palestinian boy stands in his family’s damaged home as people inspect the remains of another house, destroyed by an Israeli air strike in the central Gaza Strip, 23 August. APA images Ashraf Amra

Israeli Major-General Giora Eiland has urged that all food and water be cut off to Gaza’s nearly 1.8 million Palestinian residents – a major war crime and precisely the “starve or surrender” policy which the United States has condemned when used in Syria.

Eiland, the Israeli government’s former national security advisor, argues that Gaza should be considered an enemy “state.”

“Since Gaza is in fact a state in a military confrontation with us, the proper way to put pressure on them is to bring to a full stop the supplies from Israel to Gaza, not only of electricity and fuel, but also of food and water,” he wrote in a Hebrew-language op-ed on Mako, a website affiliated with Israel’s Channel 2 television.

“A state cannot simultaneously attack and feed the enemy, while he is shooting at you, because this gives the other country a breathing space – and again I am referring to Gaza as a country, because the regime there is supported by its people,” Eiland adds.

Israel legally obliged to supply Gaza population

Eiland appears to believe that the fiction that Gaza is a sovereign “state” would somehow lessen culpability for what would amount to massive war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Under Article 55 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, “the Occupying Power has the duty of ensuring the food and medical supplies of the population; it should, in particular, bring in the necessary foodstuffs, medical stores and other articles if the resources of the occupied territory are inadequate.”

Under international law, Israel’s 2005 “disengagement” from Gaza has not ended its military occupation of the territory because Gaza remains under the “effective control” of Israel.

Yet Israel has long violated its obligation by deliberately restricting the basic needs of Gaza’s population and deliberately destroying their food sources including agricultural land, poultry and dairy farms.

While Eiland’s proposal calls to cut all food and water, strictly regulating the food intake of Palestinians in Gaza to achieve political ends has long been the Israeli occupation’s actual policy.

Israel’s deliberate attacks on Gaza’s civilian infrastructure have created a “water disaster,” already depriving every single person of access to a safe and secure supply of water.

Israel’s brutal siege is precisely what the Palestinian resistance in Gaza is currently fighting to end.

Possible genocidal intent

Eiland recently argued in Yedioth Ahronoth, Israel’s largest newspaper, that because they elected Hamas, the people of Gaza as a whole “are to blame for this situation just like Germany’s residents were to blame for electing Hitler as their leader and paid a heavy price for that, and rightfully so.”

General Eiland’s call – which may amount to incitement to genocide as well as to war crimes and crimes against humanity – is only the latest exterminationist proposal from an Israeli leader.

Moshe Feiglin, deputy speaker of the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, for instance, recently called for the population of Gaza to be moved to concentration camps and then expelled so that Gaza could be resettled with Jews.

“Starve or surrender” mirrors Syria policy

The United States government, Israel’s chief sponsor, has not expressed any criticism of Eiland’s proposals, nor done anything to end Israel’s siege. However, it views “starve or surrender” as a grave crime when used against opposition-held areas by the government in Syria.

This has been the case in several areas including Yarmouk refugee camp where, Amnesty International has said, the Syrian government is “using starvation as a weapon of war to achieve its ends.”

Last month, the UN Security Council adopted a resolution demanding that “all Syrian parties to the conflict,” including the government and the opposition, “shall enable the immediate and unhindered delivery of humanitarian assistance directly to people throughout Syria,” immediately “removing all impediments to the provision of humanitarian assistance.”

By contrast, the so-called “international community,” led by the United States, has supported and justified Israel’s siege of Gaza for almost eight years.

With thanks to Daniel Shunra for translation.




1)Dissolve the illegal state of delusion and denial called israel
2)Open up the borders for all to Return
3)One vote
4)One person
5)One nation founded in secularism-egalitarianism-Direct Democracy
6) Enjoy the peace for the first time in decades...


To this oversimplified list I would add 7) demilitarize Israel (for Palestinian

And 8) If there must be an "Israeli state" which only came into being by economic
threat by the US , then limit it to a very small portion. The rest of the land and its government belong to Palestine.

[The Atlee government was informed that "...the President (Harry Truman) that if we (the UK) could (approve the Balfour declaration and 10O,000 Jews into Palestine immediately) it would help our friends in Washington to get...Marshall Aid appropriations through Congress..." A persuasive argument indeed!}

In our era, the taking of the "land of milk and honey" by the total obliteration
of all other groups residing there can never be tolerable.

----Peter Loeb, Boston, MA, USA


I'm growing tired of this injustice. I'm growing tired of the double standards. I'm growing tired of the hypocrisy, the deceit, the cunning word-play, the "blame the victim" and "It's their fault" cards, the Occupiers calling the Occupied terrorists.

My heart aches, my eyes weep, and my trust in humanity is fading.

The only thing that's helping me keep my sanity in this insane world is my belief of a Just God where justice will be restored in an afterlife.


I understand how hard the situation is for you Fares and am deeply saddened and enraged by the ongoing genocide of the Palestinian people by the evil state of Israel where the devil is truly at work. How such people can consider themselves a part of the human race is beyond my comprehension.
Take courage from all those of us in Europe, who are active in the BDS movement informing as many as we can about the situation, using petitions and protests etc.,who hang our heads in shame at the inaction of our governments in the face of such an abomination


I hear you. I've had to stand back from all the destruction and evil taking place. My heart breaks for the innocent Palestinian people, especially the kids. I wish Hamas and the Zionists would find an island somewhere and duke it out. Leave the people alone. Most of them just want to live a peaceful life. All the crap that is going on now will fester another one or two generations of hate between Palestinians and Israel. So very sad.


I am a bit tired of references by those of us who have (more or less) about
"innocent children". Of course, in a larger sense children are almost always
assumed to be "innocent". Some are. But hardly all. I can think of many examples
which don't fit here.

I hope that children in Gaza are not quite so "innocent" that they do not despise
Israelis who have bombed their houses, schools, murdered their families. I presume
that Israelis and their US supporters hardly expect angelic forgiving as an
automatic response to Israeli oppression and extermination policies.

----Peter Loeb, Boston, MA, USA


Back in 1948, the Soviet Union blockaded the highway that connected West Berlin with West Germany. Their goal was to starve the West Berliners into abandoning their own government and accepting Soviet rule through the proxy of East Germany. Then too, the strategy was :surrender or die." The world responded to this crime by mounting the Berlin Airlift, which for over a year flew in food, medicine, and other needed supplies to keep West Berlin alive until the Soviet Union relented and allowed the highway to reopen.

Why are we not seeing the same response when Israel does the same thing to Gaza?


That is a war crime. That is a war crime. That is a war crime. Is anyone paying attention to war crimes committed by Israel?


This is disgusting...Israel is calling the victims(Gaza) the terrorists and the opressors (themselves) the opressed.


Here's a quote from Benzion Netanyahu, prominent Zionist leader and father of the current Israeli prime minister:

"The Jews and the Arabs are like two goats facing each other on a narrow bridge... The strong goat will make the weaker one jump... [This] will include withholding food from Arab cities, preventing education, terminating electrical power and more. They won't be able to exist, and they will run away from here."



What's truly astonishing to me is that he has the nerve to compare the oppressive Nazi regime, with its advanced weaponry and all, with the besieged underarmed Palestinians who are under constant attack from the maniac regime of Israel which possesses and uses the most deadliest weapons imaginable. I'm not one to always compare everything to WWII, but since the general insists, it would be more accurate to compares al-Qassam brigade fighters to the leaders of the Warsaw ghetto uprisings than to Nazis. Hamas is, after all, resisting a seige meant to cut off life from the outside and suffocate them from within.