Most Arab nations are like a deflating balloon. They flap all around and make lots of noise but in the end, they just lay on the ground—empty. Such is the case with the UN report that came out yesterday. The study says that almost half of the homes in the West Bank and Gaza are “food insecure” (a politically correct way of saying they don’t have enough food to eat).
The Independent in Great Britain of course says it is because of the economic boycott of those territories:

The report is the latest of a series detailing deepening Palestinian poverty as a result of both closures blocking exports from Gaza and the international and Israeli boycott of the PA.

I feel horrible about the lack of food, especially when you consider that lots of the people suffering have nothing to do with the violence perpetuated on Israel by their terrorist government, but there are a few things that I don’t understand. For example, the last time I looked you could get into Gaza from Egypt. When was the last time you saw Hosni Mubarak announce that he feels bad about the lack of vittles in Gaza so he is going to send over a couple of truckloads of steak and some twinkies? Or the Saudi King with the funny beard, he’s got all of this 3+ dollars gallon oil money, ever see him set up a soup kitchen.

The West Bank has two sides also. What about the short in stature, small in mind King of Jordan. When was the last time that little creep sent over some “Fettuccini Abdullah”to the west bank? Oh wait, he has said that he wants nothing to do with the Palestinians.

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Jordan will not accept an unjust settlement of the issue, nor will Jordan accept any settlement that comes at its expense,” Abdullah told lawmakers, who applauded loudly. The king did not elaborate, but he was referring to Jordanian fears of a settlement that would cause thousands of Palestinians to settle in the kingdom, upsetting the country’s delicate demographic balance. (Ynet)

The only reason there is a “Palestinian Problem” is that Abdullah, his father and the other Arab nations refused to take in the Palestinian “Refugees”. They kept them in “camps” on the border so they could not integrate into society and so they could use the refugee children as a fighting force against Israel. During the same period a slightly higher number of Jews left the Arab countries, they aren’t refugees 60 years later because Israel absorbed them. Hey Abdullah, your dad helped to create this problem…. YOU HELP FIX IT!

Half of Palestinians in West Bank and Gaza malnourished
By Donald Macintyre in Jerusalem
Published: 22 February 2007

Around 46 per cent of Gaza and West Bank households are “food insecure” or in danger of becoming so, according to a UN report on the impact of conflict and the global boycott of the Hamas-led Palestinian Authority.

The unpublished draft report, the first of its kind since the boycott was imposed when the Hamas government took office last March, says bluntly that the problem “is primarily a function of restricted economic access to food resulting from ongoing political conditions”.

The report, jointly produced by the UN’s World Food Programme and the Food and Agriculture Organisation, paints a bleak picture of the impact on food consumption and expenditure throughout the occupied Palestinian territories. It says that the situation is “more grim” in Gaza where four out of five families have reduced their spending – including on food – in the first quarter of last year alone.

The report acknowledges that “traditionally strong ties” among Palestinian families tend to reduce the possibility of “acute household hunger”. But it warns that against a background of decreasing food security since the beginning of the Intifada since 2000 and the loss of PA salaries because of the boycott there are now “growing concerns about the sustainability of Palestinians’ resilience”.

The report is the latest of a series detailing deepening Palestinian poverty as a result of both closures blocking exports from Gaza and the international and Israeli boycott of the PA. Its timing is especially sensitive, coming to light after both Israel and the US indicated that they will maintain the boycott after the planned Fatah Hamas coalition cabinet takes office unless it clearly commits itself to recognition of Israel, renunciation of violence and adherence to previous agreements with Israel.

The UN report says 34 per cent of households – with income below $1.68 per day and/or showing decreasing food expenditures – are “food insecure” . The WFP officially defines “food security” as “the ability of a household to produce and/or access at all times the minimum food needed for a healthy and active life”. It goes on to say that 12 per cent of households are “vulnerable” to food insecurity.

The report acknowledges that the findings are broadly similar to those – albeit estimated on a different basis – at the peak of the Israeli Palestinian conflict in 2003 but points out that the number of Palestinians suffering, including children, are much higher because of rapid population growth

While recognizing that “significant per capita humanitarian aid” is helping to contain the problem, the report points out that some action taken by families to continue to feed themselves – including the sale of land, jewellery and other assets” – will have an “irreversible impact on livelihoods”. It also points out that limitations to PA budget support, the private sector and job programmes because of the boycott are likely to exacerbate Palestinians’ dependency on humanitarian assistance and postpone sustainable improvement.”

Pointing out that Palestinian families have been caught between rises in food prices – partly because of interrupted supplies through closures – and rapidly falling incomes, it details changes to diet by many to ensure enough to eat. These include reductions in consumption of fruits, sweets, olive oil, and – normally a staple in Gaza – fish.

The report also indicates that for other families – including “new poor” suffering from loss of PA incomes – there has been a “decrease in the quality of and/or quantity of food consumed.”

The UN report comes against a background in which a 2004 survey of Palestinian households showed a “slow but steady” growth in actual malnutrition – as measured by reduced growth, vitamin deficiencies, anemia and other indicators – among a minority of the population. The 2004 survey found “stunting” rates of abnormal height-to-body ratio at just under 10 per cent.