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AIJAC letter in response to Marc Purcell’s piece in the Age and Sydney Morning Herald (April 18)

Apr 22, 2024 | Jamie Hyams

The content of 700 aid trucks waiting to be picked up by aid agencies in Gaza (image: X/COGAT)
The content of 700 aid trucks waiting to be picked up by aid agencies in Gaza (image: X/COGAT)

AIJAC’s Jamie Hyams submitted an official AIJAC Letter to the Editor to both the Age and Sydney Morning Herald in response to an article both papers published by Marc Purcell claiming that “ The evidence that the Israeli government is deliberately starving civilians in Gaza is unequivocal,” among other nonfactual claims. Both papers declined to publish AIJAC’s letter, reproduced below:

Marc Purcell’s piece claiming Israel is deliberately starving Gaza (Opinion, April 18) contains numerous highly contestable allegations.

While Israeli leaders did threaten a total siege in the emotional immediate aftermath of the worst slaughter of Jews since the Holocaust, Israel has allowed all available aid into Gaza, from the early days of its campaign, and since the start of March, more food trucks have been entering daily than before the war. The major problem is that Hamas consistently steals more than half the aid, while inefficient distribution often sees hundreds of truckloads of aid sitting waiting inside Gaza.

On April 10, Israeli Defence Minister Gallant announced plans to “flood” Gaza with more than 500 trucks per day including by helping the US build a dock in Gaza, while Israel opened a new northern border on April 12. Contrary to Purcell’s claims, these initiatives are permanent.

Those tragically killed waiting for aid in the shocking incident Purcell mentions were crushed in a stampede or run over by the trucks trying to escape the mob. Israeli troops only later fired on a separate group that advanced on them. Of the aid workers killed in Gaza, we don’t know how many were killed by Hamas or, indeed, how many were actually combatants.

 

Jamie Hyams

Senior Policy Analyst

Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council.

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