Hadas Ziv
June 24, 2009 - 12:00am

The blockade imposed on the Gaza Strip has been in place for two years, and who can even remember its aims by now? How did Palestinian civilians become the target of Israel's defense establishment?

One of the greatest absurdities is the Israeli policy that it forces a dietary regime on 1.8 million Palestinians in Gaza. This policy does not stem from "health reasons" and borders on starving the population. The Israel leadership's statements whereby the blockade entirely stems from security reasons were exposed as false through the policy of starvation that can have no connection to Israeli security. Its only aim is to exert pressure on the population.

The arbitrary control exercised by Israeli institutions over the Palestinian diet in Gaza does not stem, of course, from sudden concern for balanced Palestinian nutrition, but rather, is a result of an obsessive need to control and humiliate the Palestinians.

Israel's dietary policy, which determines which foods can enter Gaza and which types cannot, undermines the ridiculous claim that Israel has disengaged from Gaza and no longer controls it. Israel's responsibility for the crossings, its exclusive control of what comes in and out, and the collective punishment it resorts to do not mark the end of the occupation, but rather, merely make it more sophisticated.

Medical ethics violated

The contribution made by medical personnel in making decisions in respect to the Palestinian diet in Gaza is grave and violates medical ethics. It is reminiscent of a situation whereby doctors monitor torture, believing that examining the tortured individual before and during the interrogation protects him from irreversible damages. The principles of medical ethics require medical teams to act on behalf of patients, as Gaza had not been struck by drought. Malnutrition there had not been forced by nature. We are dealing with a case of deliberate starvation (or "minimal diet") that can be stopped at any given moment.

Word games making pretense of not crossing red lines are invalid in a reality whereby pregnant women, babies, and children suffer from anemia, whose damage to their development is known. And did anyone look into the development of a child who grows up within this food pyramid? Will these security experts be kind enough to reveal to us the intimate connection between Israel's security and an anemic Palestinian child?


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