Palestinians crowd together as they wait for food distribution in Rafah, southern Gaza Strip, Image Credit: AP

The US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken has been making his rounds of the Middle East to pacify the growing concerns around the world to the extent of Israeli onslaught in Gaza.

This is his eighth or ninth visit since the attacks in Gaza began more than five months ago and despite all the air miles he has accrued, there has been no incremental path to peace. The reasons are simple.

The current government in Israel has demonstrated their intent is to go all out, and assisted by thousands of US-provided guided munition, they have been successful in destroying most of Gaza’s infrastructure leading to huge casualties and displacement of people who keep fleeing from one end to the other only to be met with more bombs and destruction.

The painful truth is that civilians have been selectively targeted as reported by many of those following the events and posting them on social media. Hospitals, schools, and medical infirmaries were primary targets as was the population of women and children.

Read more by Tariq A. Al Maeena

A full-blown famine

Recent casualty figures of civilian Palestinians have risen past the 35,000 mark with more than 15,000 of them being children and another 8,000 women who met their maker following the attacks which has given rise to the term ‘genocide’.

Millions more today face famine and malnutrition as the Israelis have effectively cut off all sources of humanitarian aid from getting through.

In Gaza’s north, a full-blown famine is imminent. According to a UN-backed report, famine will hit Gaza’s northern governorates between now and May.

Today, one-third of children under the age of two in Gaza’s north are suffering from acute malnutrition, more than double the number from a month ago.

The death toll of children dying daily of starvation and dehydration has risen to double figures while Democrats and Republicans alike want to continue banning US funding for UNRWA, the UN agency that serves Palestinian refugees.

Hani Sabra, a New York-based political analyst with more than 15 years of experience focused on the Middle East states that “From Joe Biden on down, liberals denounce anti-Muslim bias to avoid mentioning the scourge of hate against Palestinians.

It is exactly the pressures brought to bear by these pro-Israel forces that would shunt the mere words ‘Palestine’ and ‘Palestinian’ to oblivion — let alone the notion of Palestinian people. A well-meaning liberal can attract controversy by, say, just mentioning “Gaza” or “the occupation” in an Oscar speech without so much as uttering the word “Palestine.”

Avoiding international criticism

Effective manipulation by Western media has disguised the true reality on the ground, as the Israeli onslaught targeted civilian areas freely with little condemnation by the West over the rising toll of civilian casualties, particularly women and children.

Months down the road, when the truth began to emerge politicians began an about-face on humanitarian assistance while sealing down the work of the UN organisation that had been providing relief to the hapless Palestinians caught in this death spiral.

Even as the humanitarian concerns mounted, Blinken made clear that the United States would stand with Israel, even as others criticised its occupation and subjugation of Palestinians. “You may be strong enough on your own to defend yourself. But as long as America exists, you will never ever have to,” Blinken said. “We will always be there by your side.”

What is the purpose of this trip by Blinken, one might ask? Meanwhile, reports are suggesting that Israel is launching the Rafah invasion quietly to avoid international criticism.

Talk, talk, and more talk while young and innocent lives are deliberately denied the sustenance to live another day.

Tariq A. Al Maeena is a Saudi sociopolitical commentator