The Israeli blockade of Gaza had already made it impossible for Palestinians to live in dignity and have access to the basic essentials: food, clean water, medical supplies and electricity. This is official policy. Dov Weissglas, a top aide to Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was quoted as saying, "the Palestinians will get a lot thinner, but [they] won't die." His prediction was true. Last April, UNICEF reported that more than 50% of children under five in Gaza are anemic, and that many children are stunted due to malnutrition. Today: 1,285 people in Gaza have been killed - nearly 70% of them civilians, 4,000 homes destroyed, and 50,000 people are living in temporary shelters... the Israeli blockade has not been lifted. Yet, a cease fire is in now place. Humanitarian aid is starting to pour in, but the civilian infrastructure is crippled. The borders of Gaza remain controlled by Israel. And just as Gazans could not leave during the siege to escape the bombing and shelling, they cannot leave now to get food and fuel. Palestinians cannot even eat the fish from the nearby sea as Israeli gunboats have been enforcing the blockade to keep Gaza fishermen out of the water. Unless the blockade is lifted, some 1.5 million Gazans will still be under-nourished, without medical care, water etc.

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