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Israel “planned to starve” the people of Gaza

An Israeli court has heard that the government of Ehud Olmert drafted a plan to starve Palestinians in Gaza. The details were revealed after a human rights group obtained the documents through a freedom of information act request. Gisha said that the document gives information about how the plan was implemented, despite government denials.

The Palestinians were to be allowed the bare minimum of food to prevent malnutrition, it is claimed. The programme was endorsed by the Deputy Defence Minister in 2007, Matan Vilnai, following the decision by the government to impose even tighter restrictions on the people of Gaza. The Israeli authorities frequently blocked the entry of even the minimum number of truckloads of foodstuffs into Gaza necessary to prevent malnutrition.


The Office of the Coordinator of the Israeli government in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, headed by Major General Amos Gilad at the time, translated the policy of traffic restriction to two lists: a long list of prohibited products such as construction materials, needles, fabrics and other raw materials, as well as cleaning and washing materials, books, musical instruments or processed chickpeas. A short list included the products that were to be allowed into the besieged territory.

The policy implemented for allowing materials into the Gaza Strip was not based on demand for the product, but the goods and quantities as decided by the coordination office.

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