Last October, Telegraph, The Guardian, and Associated Press and several others covered the news of IDF soldier Gilad Schalit’s release in a barrage of hand-wringing, as if to make up for their telling lack of interest in Palestine’s United Nations membership bid the month before. The indifference is only natural; Schalit’s release is more historical, since Obama promised to use the US’ Security Council veto on Palestine’s bid. Historical, that is, because history is written by the winners.
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In 2002, the United States Agency for International Development reported an increase in malnutrition among Palestinian children (30% chronic malnutrition, 21% acute malnutrition, for a total of 51% of Palestinian children, a significant increase from a less rigorous 2002 survey result with a total of 9.5%).3 The Israeli government then supposedly intensified its talks with Palestinian authorities, despite having simultaneously approved airstrikes on Gaza city and while withholding $600 million in Palestinian tax from the Palestinian Authority. Now that must have been quote an interesting talk.
In 2006, the Israeli government withheld yet another $55 million per month ($660 million per year) from Palestinians, along UN’s threat to cut off its aid. Dov Weisglass, Israel Prime Minister Olmert’s adviser, said that, “The idea is to put the Palestinians on a diet, but not to make them die of hunger.”4
In 2007, the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics reported that 10% of Palestinian children suffer from permanent malnutrition. It is a huge number, considering that 46% of the Palestinian population is made up of children under 15 years old. The director of the study attributes the irreversible