All Human Beings: Israel Counts Calories for Gazans

Abby Zimet

Under court order, Israel has released a report showing the military set nutritional "red lines" to decide how much food to allow into the Gaza Strip between 2007 and 2010 under the blockade so that Palestinians would survive but not starve. The document, released after a long legal battle by the advocacy group Gisha, shows that food imports to Gaza were cut by nearly 75 percent, from 400 trucks a day to often less than 100 under the blockade. Britain's National Health Service estimates the average man needs 2,500 calories to maintain his weight and a woman requires 2,000; Israel dictated 2,279 calories per person would be the needed intake to avoid malnutrition. Israel says the report was never used to restrict the flow of food; critics say that if this isn't collective punishment against Gaza's population of over 1.5 million - illegal under international law - what is? Add this to the daily indignities and deprivations Palestinians face: See last week's blocking of the so-called Apartheid Road 443, a West Bank road only Israelis can use, to protest increasing settler attacks against Palestinians during the current olive harvest season.


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