Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) spoke out Thursday against Israel’s plans to block electricity, water and fuel from Gaza, calling it a “collective punishment and a violation of international law.”
Israeli Energy Minister Israel Katz this week vowed to cut off energy supplies to the isolated Palestinian territory until Hamas militants from the region free Israeli hostages they’ve taken amid one of the group’s most brutal attacks on the Jewish country in decades.
“We cannot starve nearly a million children to death over the horrific actions of Hamas, whose disregard for Israeli, Palestinian, and human life overall could not be more clear,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter.
Because of Israel’s land, air and sea blockade of the Gaza Strip, one of the most densely populated places in the world, its residents rely entirely on fuel that must pass through Israel to reach them. The same goes for food, clean water, medical supplies and other essentials.
As of Wednesday, Gaza is without power after its sole power station ran out of fuel, the head of the territory’s power authority told CNN.
The International Committee of the Red Cross warned that Israel’s blockade will have devastating consequences for Palestinians.
“As Gaza loses power, hospitals lose power, putting newborns in incubators and elderly patients on oxygen at risk. Kidney dialysis stops, and X-rays can’t be taken. Without electricity, hospitals risk turning into morgues,” ICRC regional director Fabrizio Carboni said Thursday. “Families in Gaza are already having trouble accessing clean water. No parent wants to be forced to give a thirsty child dirty water.”
Carboni added that the ICRC is in touch with both Hamas and Israeli officials to facilitate a solution.
“The human misery caused by this escalation is abhorrent, and I implore the sides to reduce the suffering of civilians,” he said.