2023 in a blink: What was the impact of Israel-Hamas war

Down To Earth recaps the primary environment, health and developmental news from 2023  

By DTE Staff
Published: Tuesday 26 December 2023
Photo: @unrwa / X (formerly Twiter)

The Israel-Hamas war in Gaza was one of the biggest conflicts globally in 2023. The region is experiencing “catastrophic levels of food insecurity,” as the healthcare system is completely eroding simultaneously.

As Israel stopped the entry of food, water, fuel and medicine into Gaza from every direction shortly after the Hamas attack on October 7, 2023, the role of an Israeli drug company, Teva Pharmaceuticals, in the opiod crisis in the US also came to the fore. 

Here is some of the Down To Earth (DTE) coverage on the issues:

The Gaza Strip is experiencing “catastrophic levels of food insecurity,” with the risk of famine “increasing each day,” the World Health Organization (WHO) has warned. An unprecedented 93 per cent of Gaza’s population is suffering from hunger, with insufficient food and high levels of malnutrition.

Read more: Unprecedented 93% of population in Gaza facing crisis levels of hunger, warns WHO

The WHO also raised alarm over the mounting pressure on the healthcare system in Gaza Strip. Time is running out to avert a humanitarian disaster if fuel and life-saving health and humanitarian supplies are not urgently delivered to the region despite the total blockade, it said on October 12, 2023. 

Read more: Time running out, healthcare in Gaza at breaking point: WHO

Teva Pharmaceuticals USA is the American subsidiary of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries of Tel Aviv, the iconic Israeli company that is the world’s top generics manufacturer. Teva was in the limelight because it had falsely claimed its parent company in Israel had no role in the manufacture and sale of opioids in the US.

Read more: Devastating societies through war and drugs

On October 9, 2023, Israel announced a total siege on Gaza. The state blocked the entry of food, fuel and water into the coastal territory as a response to Hamas’ attack on Israel on October 7. As a result, people from one of the most densely populated regions in the world were left struggling for food and water.

Read more: The World Food Programme warns Gaza is running out of food and water

The Israel-Hamas war in Gaza also led to a destabilisation in oil production and affected world oil prices. This includes India, that imports 85 per cent of its oil supply, and is the world’s third-largest oil consumer.

Read more: What Israel-Hamas war means for India’s oil market

The war has highlighted how intractable some disputes in the world’s gallery of unsolved problems are and how international law is toothless as far as some conflicts are concerned.

Read more: Is it time to rethink the definition & concept of ‘genocide’?

While the human casualties of the war have been highlighted, what about the iconic wildlife of the region, including the world’s smallest wolf and leopard?

Read more: ‘Dhib’ & ‘Nimr’: Can Israel-Palestine’s Negev, Judaean deserts ever revive populations of world’s smallest wolf, leopard?

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