Israel Calculated Calories Before Blockading Gaza
Court forces release of grim study
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 17, 2012 2:43 PM CDT
A Palestinian boy sits behind bags of flour donated by various aid agencies as part of their food assistance programs, in the Shati refugee camp, Gaza City, Oct. 6, 2012.   (AP Photo/ Hatem Moussa)

(Newser) – Before implementing its controversial blockade of the Gaza strip, Israel did a grim calculation: It commissioned a study detailing the minimum amount of food Gaza's population needed to avoid starving. That 2008 study, titled "Food Consumption in the Gaza Strip—the Red Lines," has just been released thanks to a court order, the BBC reports. It breaks down various food categories, and ultimately concludes that Gaza needs about 106 truckloads of goods per day to survive.

But the Israeli human rights group Gisha, which fought for the release of the document, says Israel actually allowed in an average of only 67 truckloads a day. Israeli officials says the study was only a draft, not an official policy, and was intended to prevent a health crisis. The UN's director of relief operations in Gaza says that if the report did reflect a policy intended to cap food imports, then it ran "contrary to humanitarian principles."