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Analysis | Israel’s war on Hamas brings famine to Gaza

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Analysis | Israel’s war on Hamas brings famine to Gaza


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The warnings were being sounded for weeks. The United Nations, international relief organizations and some foreign governments voiced their fears over the ongoing humanitarian calamity in the Gaza Strip, where more than 2 million Palestinians are caught in the crosshairs of Israel’s punishing campaign against militant group Hamas. Food and other critical supplies remain scarce, while aid deliveries have been stymied by Israeli authorities that encircle Gaza’s borders.

Those warnings reached a crescendo Monday with the release of new report by the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC), a global multi-stakeholder initiative working on food security and nutrition analysis. It found that 1.1 million people in Gaza — roughly half the beleaguered territory’s population — are expected to face catastrophic levels of hunger and starvation between now and July. Many of those at immediate risk live in Gaza’s devastated northern regions, which are cut off from the south by Israeli forces and receive only a paltry trickle of the already-meagre aid that’s entering Gaza.

The fact of a “famine” is tied up in a complicated set of bureaucratic criteria, as my colleague Andrew Jeong outlined. It is usually declared by governments, though some U.N. officials have done so in contexts where no prevailing governing entity was capable of formally assessing the situation. The IPC uses a five-tiered classification system where “famine” is the fifth tier and “emergency” the fourth.

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“Compared to the IPC’s previous analysis in December 2023, acute food insecurity in the Gaza Strip has deepened and widened, with nearly double the number of people projected to experience those conditions by July,” my colleagues reported. “In the IPC’s five-tier classification of food crises, Gaza now has the largest percentage of a population to receive its most severe rating since the body began reporting in 2004, Beth Bechdol, deputy director general at the Food and Agriculture Organization, told The Washington Post.”

What makes this calamity all the more stunning is that it’s entirely the product of human decisions: Gaza’s civilian population is starving because of an Israeli siege, not an earthquake, extended drought or other natural disasters that have blighted parts of the world subject to famine. That reality is agonizing for U.N. officials.

“We haven’t seen that rate of death among children in almost any other conflict in the world,” Catherine Russell, head of the U.N.’s children agency, told CBS News’ “Face the Nation” program Sunday. “I’ve been in wards of children who are suffering from severe anemia malnutrition, the whole ward is absolutely quiet. Because the children, the babies … don’t even have the energy to cry.”

“This is the highest number of people facing catastrophic hunger ever recorded by the Integrated Food Security Classification system — anywhere, anytime,” U.N. Secretary General António Guterres said in a news briefing Monday. “This is an entirely man-made disaster — and the report makes clear that it can be halted.”

Martin Griffiths, the U.N.’s top humanitarian official, said more than 1 million people are at risk because they have been cut off from aid, markets have been collapsed and fields destroyed. “The international community should hang its head in shame for failing to stop this.”

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Israeli officials, chiefly Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, appear unmoved by the state of affairs. They blame Hamas for bringing about this crisis and reject growing calls for a cease-fire, which now include prominent Democratic lawmakers in Washington. “In the international community, there are those who are trying to stop the war now, before all of its goals have been achieved,” Netanyahu said in an interview on CNN over the weekend. “If we stop the war now, before all of its goals are achieved, this means that Israel will have lost the war, and this we will not allow.”

On Monday, international humanitarian organization Oxfam released a report outlining how Israel has stymied or constrained the delivery of aid, including attacks on humanitarian convoys, “unjustifiably inefficient” processes of inspection of the relief supplies, and denial of access to humanitarian officials and aid groups.

Israel has been using “starvation as a weapon of war,” for more than five months, Sally Abi Khalil, Oxfam’s Middle East and North Africa regional director, said in a statement. She said that the humanitarian situation in Gaza has “actually worsened” since the International Court of Justice ordered Israel to enable more aid into the enclave. “Israel’s deliberate manufacturing of suffering is systemic and of such scale and intensity that it creates a real risk of a genocide in Gaza,” she said.

That’s rhetoric that mainstream politicians are also echoing. “In Gaza we are no longer on the brink of famine; we are in a state of famine, affecting thousands of people,” Josep Borrell, the European Union’s top diplomat, said Monday at the start of a conference on humanitarian aid for Gaza in Brussels. “This is unacceptable. Starvation is used as a weapon of war.”

But respite is not in sight, with Israel and Hamas still at loggerheads over the possibility of a cease-fire brokered through U.S. and Arab mediators.

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“For nearly a month, the news coverage has been about efforts being made toward a truce,” Atef Abu Saif, a Gaza-born novelist and the Palestinian Authority’s minister of culture, wrote in an op-ed for The Washington Post that detailed his mother’s death in a tent in Gaza. “Just a temporary truce! After so many weeks of such modest hopes, ‘truce’ has become everyone’s favorite word: a cherished, idealistic, holy concept. It’s such a meager thing to hope for — a few days without killing. But even this feels out of reach.”





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Charges filed against 2 suspects accused of killing Washington County teen, injuring another

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Charges filed against 2 suspects accused of killing Washington County teen, injuring another


1 woman dead after shooting in Washington County

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1 woman dead after shooting in Washington County

00:20

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SOUTH FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP, Pa. (KDKA) — Charges have been filed against two suspects who are accused of shooting and killing a teenager in Washington County earlier this month.

Washington County District Attorney Jason Walsh on Monday announced that charges have been filed against Windale Barfield Jr. and Karon Whitlock in the fatal shooting of 18-year-old Annalaya Wilkerson and the wounding of another juvenile female.

Wilkerson and the juvenile were found shot on the side of Jolly School Road in South Franklin Township on April 13.

Both men have been charged with criminal homicide, conspiracy, attempted homicide and aggravated assault, according to a press release from the district attorney.

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Identifying the Top 4 NFL Draft Needs for the Washington Commanders

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Identifying the Top 4 NFL Draft Needs for the Washington Commanders


The Washington Commanders have one major need on their roster entering NFL Draft week, and that of course is at the quarterback position.

So while we sit down to identify the four biggest needs for the Commanders to address this weekend, we’re going to skip over that one to get four groups that are not talked about nearly as much these days.

And we’re starting with the biggest need for new head coach Dan Quinn and his Washington squad, an offensive tackle.

NEED NO. 1 – OFFENSIVE TACKLE

They’re not the sexiest picks ever but if you get them right your quarterback will look the part plenty for both of them.

Tackles and quarterbacks are connected directly because if one doesn’t do his job efficiently on a given snap the results could be disastrous.

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For the Commanders this means looking at the duo of left tackle Cornelius Lucas and right tackle Andrew Wylie and realizing there’s at worst a need to find a longterm option at each position.

The bigger need here appears to be at left tackle and even if Lucas is starting next season it needs to be because he beat out a relatively high draft pick to do it.

NEED NO. 2 – GUARD

So we’re not traveling very far for this one, and even though Washington did some solid work bringing in Nick Allegretti from the champion Kansas City Chiefs, he said himself he came here for an opportunity to win a starting job.

You can’t win something that isn’t fought over and while Chris Paul might provide Allegretti a solid fight by himself this new Commanders leadership group would be wise to look out for another potential combatant to add to the mix on Day 2 or 3.

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NEED NO. 3 – CORNERBACK

Benjamin St-Juste appeared to take a step backwards last year, either due to injury or drop in coaching ability around him, and rookie Emmanuel Forbes looked lost for much of his rookie season.

Again, the same ailments that impacted St-Juste may have very well impacted Forbes, but the bottom line is neither looked the part of reliable shutdown corner in 2023 and that fact leaves the door open for a new addition to the room, possibly coming in the top 100 picks.

NEED NO. 4 – PASS RUSHER

Something tells us the term edge will apply to both defensive ends and outside linebacker types this year in Washington.

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Certainly the same player might be doing a little of both, but there’s a real possibility this team employs each type of player for the job of rushing opposing quarterbacks off the edge this season.

Honestly, the Commanders are in a position where any group they don’t address with a draft pick will be pointed at as a potential flaw, but it’s unlikely every group gets added to via draft pick.

And just because a need exists, if the right talent isn’t there to match it, there may not be a selection made.

Washington has done a good job of giving itself the chance to be as flexible as possible in this year’s NFL Draft, but some things remain in need of addressing, and these four group should be at the top of the list if the right player presents himself at the right selection.



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Advice | Carolyn Hax: How to revive a friendship killed by a hostile text?

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Advice | Carolyn Hax: How to revive a friendship killed by a hostile text?


Adapted from an online discussion.

Dear Carolyn: Can you suggest a way to try to save a friendship that I care about, even though my friend basically dumped me via text message? I hate text for communication about feelings and relationships. She even knew that. Just call me!

In her out-of-the-blue and, as it turns out, final text message to me, she basically pooped on my lap and ran away. I tried calling her immediately to clarify, but she did not pick up.

I miss her, and I have no idea why she did that. It’s a really hurtful way to end a friendship, where I don’t even get to talk and find out what’s really going on. Would you try another way?

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Ghosted: No, I wouldn’t. Her message is clear, and it consists both of the message itself and of its delivery method. By your description, she seems to have chosen deliberately to drop it and hide where you can’t reach her to respond.

It’s a rotten thing to do to a friend. It’s not okay.

But it is also, again, clear. So, your continuing to try to give your side of the story or extract hers would cross a boundary. Accept the verdict, crappy as it is, and understand the friend and friendship weren’t as healthy as you thought.

Re: Ghosted: Why is a healthy withdrawal after consistent boundary violations considered “ghosting” or “canceling”? If you think about whether the person whose attention you feel entitled to has any interest at all in interacting with you, then you may be able to solve your mystery.

Anonymous: I will be happy never to see “cancel”-anything again, plus true “ghosting” would have been silence without even the text.

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And, as I said, further pursuit of this friend would be to violate the friend’s clear boundary.

But: There’s nothing in the letter that says Ghosted made “consistent boundary violations.”

When there is an established friendship, and there isn’t abuse, I think it’s still lousy to say something bad about someone and not allow them any rebuttal.

Other readers’ thoughts:

· I also had someone do this. Not only would I not advise reaching out further, but I think you also have to question the idea that a conversation would have gone any better. Someone who would do this is not someone with whom you’re going to have a satisfying conversation or reach a satisfying resolution. She may even have done you a favor with the text ghosting.

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· I ended a long friendship by “ghosting” the other party after realizing the extent of their emotional manipulation of me. It was the only way I could do it without them trying to manipulate me again.

I think about how much better off I am with that person no longer in my life. It might sound harsh, but I did it for me, and I’m proud of doing what’s best for me, even if some people think I owed it to them to tell them why I stopped talking to them.

· The text wasn’t your first clue. Trust me: The signals were there before. You just didn’t see them. Accept the text as the only way to get through to you.

· I agree, the text breakup probably didn’t come out of nowhere — but I disagree that it means Ghosted was somehow at fault and that this was the “only way” to get through. I don’t think we know enough to make that judgment.



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