Saturday, November 15, 2008

Chronic malnutrition in Gaza blamed on Israel.

A leaked Red Cross report into the deteriorating situation in Gaza has said that the Israeli blockade there has led to a steady rise in chronic malnutrition among the 1.5 million people living in the strip.

It chronicles the "devastating" effect of the siege that Israel imposed after Hamas seized control in June 2007 and notes that the dramatic fall in living standards has triggered a shift in diet that will damage the long-term health of those living in Gaza and has led to alarming deficiencies in iron, vitamin A and vitamin D.

The 46-page report from the International Committee of the Red Cross – seen by The Independent – is the most authoritative yet on the impact that Israel's closure of crossings to commercial goods has had on Gazan families and their diets.

The report says the heavy restrictions on all major sectors of Gaza's economy, compounded by a cost of living increase of at least 40 per cent, is causing "progressive deterioration in food security for up to 70 per cent of Gaza's population". That in turn is forcing people to cut household expenditures down to "survival levels".

"Chronic malnutrition is on a steadily rising trend and micronutrient deficiencies are of great concern," it said.

The silence of the international community regarding Israel's treatment of the Palestinians simply appalls me. These people have committed no crime and yet they are being collectively punished simply because they are Palestinians.
Mark Regev, the spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, said that, contrary to hopes when Israel pulled out of Gaza, the Gazan people were being "held hostage" to Hamas's "extremist and nihilist" ideology which was causing undoubted suffering. If Hamas focused resources on the "diet of the people" instead of on "Qassam rockets and violent jihadism" then "this sort of problem would not exist", he said.
Regev's statement is almost willfully dishonest and, once again, seeks to put the blame for the siege on to the shoulders of Hamas rather than on to the people who are carrying out the siege; the Israeli government.

Nor is what is happening in Gaza unexpected, indeed, well over a year ago Patrick Cockburn was warning us of exactly what was going to take place there.

Gaza is dying. The Israeli siege of the Palestinian enclave is so tight that its people are on the edge of starvation. Here on the shores of the Mediterranean a great tragedy is taking place that is being ignored because the world's attention has been diverted by wars in Lebanon and Iraq.

A whole society is being destroyed.
And here we are, a year later, with Gaza being devastated and the world silently standing by. It's enough to make you weep. Where is the outrage? I can think of no other people who could be treated in this way without the world reacting with horror.

Click title for full article.


Ingrid said...

you know, I know this lady who's Jewish and she's a very honest, fair minded person. She herself has told me that when it comes to politics and Israel in particular, she cannot say what she really believes as the American jewry cannot endure ANY criticism towards Israel and it will get you painted as an anti-semite in no least here in the's ludicrous but that's what it is..
can you spell 'Norman Finklestein' (whom I've met) and Noam Chomsky??
self hating jews you know..ehem..(read, sarcasm..)


Kel said...

Oh, I know Ingrid. There is far more criticism of Israel in Israel itself than is ever allowed in the US.

And Finkelstein has been hounded by that lunatic Dershowitz for daring to question the pro-Israeli line.

And we are asked to turn a blind eye as Israel imposes barbarous sanctions on a people whose only crime was to vote in a way which displeased Israel.

Silence equals consent under law and all of our governments are equally guilty of allowing the Israelis to do what they are doing to a civilian population who have committed no crime.