Practice Relating to Rule 53. Starvation as a Method of Warfare
In 2012, in a statement before the Fourth Committee of the UN General Assembly on Agenda Item 52: United Nations Relief and Works Agency for the Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), the deputy permanent representative of Viet Nam stated:
My delegation remains gravely concerned about the lack of progress in the Middle East peace process, the volatile situation in the Gaza Strip and the issue of Palestine refugees. It is heartfelt to know from the Report [of the Commissioner-General of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, 1 January–31 December 2011] that in the Gaza Strip, poverty remained high, with 54 per cent of the population food insecure and over 75 per cent, or 1 million Gazans, dependent on international aid. The blockade of the Gaza Strip, eased but not lifted since June 2010, the conduction of hundreds of military operations against the Gaza Strip, the land confiscations, construction and expansion of settlements, the demolitions and destruction of homes and economic assets by the Israeli authorities as the Occupying Power [are] still affecting the life of the entire Palestinian civilian population, impeding the socioeconomic and humanitarian conditions of the refugee community and on the work of UNRWA.
In this connection, we call upon Israel to cease all military and the settlement activities in [the] Palestinian Territory, and end its blockade to provide immediate protection for the Palestinian population in Gaza in accordance with international humanitarian laws. We again appeal [to] all parties concerned to abide by international humanitarian and human rights laws and extend the necessary cooperation to humanitarian relief operations with a view to mitigating [the] pains and hardships of [the] Palestinian people. We emphasize the need to give staff members of UNRWA convenient and safe conditions to carry out their difficult work, so that the agency could meet better the needs of the Palestine refugees.