Queen Rania Calls for Urgent Aid Access

Condemning “Israeli-Made” Humanitarian Catastrophe in Gaza and “Slow Motion, Mass Murder of Children”

queen rania
(Photo: Royal Court)
AMMAN  – Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah underscored the urgent need for a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip, calling on Israel to end the war and its obstruction of critically-needed humanitarian aid. She also stressed that widespread hunger in Gaza is not a natural disaster, describing it as a “man-­­made, Israeli-made disaster.”اضافة اعلان

“This has been a slow motion, mass murder of children, five months in the making. Children who were thriving and healthy just months ago are wasting away in front of their parents,” Queen Rania said, in a remote interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Monday.

“It is absolutely shameful, outrageous, and entirely predictable what's happening in Gaza today – because it was deliberate,” she added.

Marking the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, Queen Rania explained that the people of Jordan were welcoming the holy days with heavy hearts.

 “Ramadan is typically defined with family gatherings, people coming together, sharing a meal and breaking their fast together – but what is it like for the people of Gaza today, who are now hungry and thirsty in tents or makeshift shelters…who are mourning their dead and mourning the life that they had just a few months ago?” she asked.

Her Majesty spoke to Amanpour from the King Abdullah II Airbase, where food and relief aid are prepared and dispatched directly to the people of Gaza via airdrop. Since the outbreak of Israel’s war on Gaza, the Jordanian Armed Forces - Arab Army has conducted 38 solo Jordanian airdrops, as well as 46 with partners.

Describing air drops as “resorting to desperate measures in order to address a desperate situation,” Her Majesty emphasized that air drops alone could never meet the needs of the people of Gaza, noting that His Majesty King Abdullah has explained they are “neither sufficient, nor are they a substitute for humanitarian access at scale.”

The Queen underlined that countries should not use the execution of airdrops as an excuse not to take more decisive measures, including calling for Israel to begin “implementing an immediate and sustained ceasefire; opening all access points into Gaza, particularly land routes; streamlining the inspection process; and making sure that there is safe access within Gaza so that the aid can be distributed.”

Queen Rania explained that Jordan began organizing humanitarian aid drops to Gaza because they could not “sit idle” as people went hungry.

“Children are starving as we speak, so every moment and every meal counts.” she said. Her Majesty also called on other nations to use their political leverage to push Israel to implement a ceasefire and drastically increase aid access.

Elaborating on the scale of the hunger crisis in Gaza, the Queen reported that, according to the United Nations, every single person in Gaza today is hungry. “Over a quarter of the population – that's more than 550,000 people – are one step away from famine. Experts say that they have never seen a population descend into such mass hunger so rapidly,” she said.

“In the north of Gaza, people are not on the verge of starvation, they're actually dying of starvation,” she stated. “It starts with the most vulnerable: the elderly, the wounded, babies. We're hearing of an increasing number of babies who are dying from severe malnutrition and thirst, and if things don't change, I think these cases are going to be spiraling throughout the Strip.”

Queen Rania noted that, while she was pleased to hear of plans to open new access points to Gaza, tons of food aid are currently sitting in trucks just miles away from people dying of starvation.

“Since the beginning of this war, Israel has cut off everything that is required to sustain a human life: food, fuel, shelter, medicine, water…” she commented. She explained that this has left the people of Gaza completely reliant on outside assistance, much of which Israel systematically denies and delays.

She also stated that Israel has engaged in “occasionally bombing some of the convoys that bring this assistance, and shooting at some of the people who are trying to get whatever scarce resources that they can.”

“As devastating and as traumatic as October 7 was, it doesn't give Israel license to commit atrocity after atrocity,” Her Majesty asserted. “Israel experienced one October 7. Since then, the Palestinians have experienced 156 “October 7s.” They have been going through this every day,” she said.

The Queen commended nations that have called for a ceasefire in Gaza, cooperated with Jordan on humanitarian airdrops, and exhibited solidarity with Palestinians. However, she noted that many in the Middle East who once admired Western values are now “disillusioned and disappointed,” which has hurt the credibility of Western nations and ideals.

Her Majesty also expanded on the context of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, explaining that Palestinians have endured more than 50 years “of oppression, of occupation, of having their movement restricted, having every aspect of their lives dominated, and being humiliated.”

She also stated that, even before October 7th, Israeli settlement expansion reached record highs last year, and that, despite global opposition to settlement-building, the construction of 3,500 new illegal settlements in the West Bank was recently approved by the Israeli government.

“As long as Israel is allowed to get away with breaking international law – as long as its allies don't hold it accountable – it will just increase its sense of impunity,” she said.
Queen Rania further explained that the “ubiquitous” dehumanization of Palestinians within Israeli society fosters a kill-or-be-killed mentality.

“I think it's no coincidence that we're witnessing one of the most violent episodes of this conflict under one of the most hardline, racist governments in Israel's history,” Her Majesty asserted, stressing that there is no shortcut to lasting peace without addressing the occupation, the root cause of the conflict.

“If you want to safeguard Israel's security, there is no better way to do it than through a just and comprehensive peace,” she said. “Israeli leaders must stop treating the existence of Palestinians as an inconvenient truth, as a demographic challenge, as a [lawn] that needs to be mowed every now and then. Palestinians are here to stay.”

Read more National news
Jordan News