Thursday, October 18, 2012

'Quantifying' starvation & humiliation!

[BBC] "... An Israeli court has forced the release of government research detailing the number of calories Palestinians in Gaza need to consume to avoid malnutrition.The study was commissioned after Israel tightened its blockade of the territory after Hamas came to power in June 2007......The Israeli human rights group Gisha, which campaigns against Israel's Gaza blockade, fought a long legal battle to get the Israeli ministry of defence to release this document.
Dated from 2008 and entitled, Food Consumption in the Gaza Strip - The Red Lines, it is a detailed study of how many calories Palestinians needed to eat to avoid malnutrition.
Before 2010, millions of dollars worth of food products were being smuggled into Gaza through tunnels every year.
Gisha says the research contradicts Israel's assertions that the blockade is needed for security reasons.
"How can Israel claim that it is not responsible for civilian life in Gaza when it controls even the type and quantity of food that Palestinian residents of Gaza are permitted to consume?" asked Sari Bashi, Gisha's executive director, in a statement.
"Israel's control over movement creates an obligation to allow free passage of civilians and civilian goods, subject only to security checks - an obligation that remains unfulfilled today."......
"The facts on the ground indicate that food imports consistently fell below the red lines. We recognise that Israel has legitimate security concerns but we have said consistently that the blockade is collective punishment of the population. It's illegal under international law and we think it's counterproductive," he added.
Israeli government officials now acknowledge the food restrictions were partly intended to put pressure on Hamas by making the lives of people in Gaza difficult .... ."

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