We the undersigned Civil Society Organizations and Coalitions, considering the ongoing genocide in Gaza for more than seven months, the people of Gaza are suffering from severe food shortages, a continuous decline in nutrition levels, widespread malnutrition among children, and increased mortality rates due to diseases caused by hunger and malnutrition, along with the difficulty of accessing medical and healthcare services. Additionally, the environmental pollution resulting from the destruction of sewage systems, the inability of municipalities to remove waste, the presence of thousands of bodies under the rubble, and the weak humanitarian response and provision of necessary aid to those in need.

The destruction of infrastructure and the fuel shortage have led to a significant halt in sanitation and waste disposal services, resulting in the spread of waste and sewage without proper disposal methods. With rising temperatures, the spread of diseases and epidemics has become a reality among Palestinians in the sector. Furthermore, the Civil Defense in Gaza suffers from a severe lack of resources, equipment, and personnel, preventing them from clearing rubble and retrieving bodies.

According to international humanitarian law and international human rights law, causing famine as a military tactic against civilians is prohibited. Article 54 of the First Additional Protocol to the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1977 affirms the protection of objects indispensable to the survival of the civilian population, prohibiting the attack, destruction, removal, or rendering useless of such objects, including foodstuffs, agricultural areas, crops, livestock, drinking water installations, and irrigation works if the purpose is to starve civilians or to force them to move or for any other motive.

Similarly, Article 14 of the Second Additional Protocol to the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1977 prohibits the starvation of civilians as a method of warfare and prohibits attacks on, destruction of, removal of, or rendering useless objects indispensable to the survival of the civilian population.

Article 6 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court states that any act committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial, or religious group as such, constitutes genocide. Furthermore, Article 11 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights states that everyone has the right to an adequate standard of living, including adequate food, and obliges states to take appropriate steps to ensure the realization of this right.

The act of causing famine and destroying life-sustaining resources in Gaza also violates the interim measures ordered by the International Court of Justice, thus opening the possibility for prosecuting those responsible or delaying the delivery of aid before the International Criminal Court. The actions and policies imposed by the Israeli occupation on the people of Gaza place it in a position of criminal responsibility due to its actions that have created conditions such as direct attacks on vital installations or imposing a blockade to prevent humanitarian aid from reaching the population.

The Famine Review Committee in its March 2024 report concluded that famine is likely unless there is an immediate cessation of hostilities, unrestricted access to food, water, and medicines, protection of civilians, and restoration of health services, clean water, sanitation, energy, and electricity for the population. Since March, hostilities against civilians have continued, and despite the arrival of some relief aid to northern provinces, it remains insufficient to deal with ongoing hunger.

We, the undersigned, call on the United Nations and the Palestinian Authority to immediately declare Gaza a famine-stricken area due to famine, environmental pollution, and the spread of diseases. The United Nations and the Palestinian Authority must adopt this declaration and coordinate global and local efforts in partnership with Palestinian civil society to develop an immediate plan to address these impacts, elevate emergency relief levels for citizens in the sector, and push toward accountability and prosecution of the occupation for committing war crimes and crimes against humanity.

We call on all organizations, movements, human rights defenders, and supporters to sign this petition to urge the United Nations and the Palestinian Authority to declare Gaza a famine-stricken area and take the necessary measures to protect its inhabitants.

Long live the struggles of the Palestinian people! Long live a free and proud Gaza!

Ramallah, May 23, 2024

Signatory Palestinian Organizations and Movements:

Palestinian NGO’s Network (PNGO) - Civil Action Coordination Council - Palestinian Human Rights Organizations Council - Medical Association - Jerusalem Center - Engineers Association - Jerusalem Center - Palestinian Journalists Syndicate - Veterinarians Syndicate - Agricultural Engineers Association - Palestinian Bar Association - Palestinian Education Coalition - Bisan Center for Research and Development - Palestinian Agricultural Relief Coalition (PARC) - Addameer prisoner support and human rights association - The Palestinian Initiative for the Promotion of Global Dialogue and Democracy – MIFTAH - Land Research Centre - Al-Haq  - Union of Agricultural Work Committees - The Palestinian Working Woman Society for Development - The Palestinian Center for Agricultural Development (ACAD) - Maan Development Center - Applied Research Institute – Arij - Treatment and Rehabilitation Center for Victims of torture  - The Palestinian Center for Independence of Lawyers and Jury- Musawah - Burj Laqlaq - Teacher Creativity Center Association - Defense for Children International- Palestine - Yafa Cultural Center - Economic & Social Development Center of Palestine - Palestinian Medical Relief Society - Center for Defense of Liberties & Civil Rights (Hurryyat) - Afkar for Educational and Cultural Development  - Health Work Committees - Association of Women's Committees for Social Work - Psychosocial- social Counseling Center for Women - The Women’s Centre for Legal Aid and Counselling - Women's Studies Center - Qader for Community Development - Palestinian Popular Resistance - Palestinian Center for Human Rights - The Civic Commission for Independence of Jury - The National Association for Rehabilitation - Gaza program for Psychological health - The Association of Union of Palestinian Womens Committees - Womens Affairs Center - Al-Najdah Social Association - Haider Abd Alhsafi Center for Culture and Development - Gaza Urban Agriculture Platform - Community Development and Media Center - Palestinian Counseling Center - Disabilities Representative Persons Network - Center for Womens Legal Research and Consulting  - Altaghreed Association for Culture and Development - Abd Shafi Association for Health and Society - Tadamon Charity Association  - Palestinian Hydrology Group - AlAhli Association for Development of Dates and Palm - Palestinian Center of Organic Agriculture  - Ma'an Development Center/Gaza - The Culture and Free Thought Association - Palestinian Developmental Women Studies Association  - The Palestinian Institute for Communication and Development - Al-Foukhary Association For Development and Culture - Al Sattar Garbee Association for Developing Countryside and Farmer - The Society of Women Graduates in Gaza Strip - Central Blood Bank Society - Gaza Culture & Development Group  - Palestinian Commission for Mental Health - Ertigaa Association for Community Development - Tulkarm Cooperative Society for Handicrafts - International Commission to support Palestinian People’s Rights - Palestinian Al-Nakheel Association for progress and development  - The Society for Care of the Handicapped  - Women's Action Association for the Rehabilitation of Women and Children - Hanan for Culture and Social Development Association  - Arab Agronomists Association - Al Ferdaus Association for Woman and Child Development - The Palestinian New Federation of Trade Unions  - Baitona For Community Development  - Mashareq Charity Association for Development and Improvement     - Science and Cultural Center - Agricultural Development Association - Filastiniyat  - Mothers School Association -  -

International Coalitions and Organizations:

The Peasants Movement, La Via Campesina - People’s Health Movement  - Viva Salud Organization  - Sheffield Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid  - Sheffield Palestine Solidarity Campaign - Jordanian coalition for education - The Arab Community Movement for Teaching and Learning - Sheffield Palestine Cultural Exchange - GRAIN - Naripokkho - Student Government Food Security Agency at UT Austin - Sheffield Jews Against Israeli Apartheid  - Marcha Mundial de las mujeres, Región Americas - International Solidarity for Academic Freedom in India (InSAF India)  - World March of Women - The Groundwork Movement - Tierra Nativa - Alliance pour le Déménagement Durable et pour l'Environnement (ADDE) - Stoke Palestine Solidarity Campaign - Khulumani Support Group - TU Delft 4 Palestine - Confédération paysanne - B