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The war on Gaza's children Israel's sanctions are leaving a generation of Palestinian children poorly educated and hungry. By Saree Makdisi September 22, order biaxin online 2007 An entire generation of Palestinians in Gaza is growing up stunted: physically and nutritionally stunted because they are not getting enough to eat; emotionally stunted because of the pressures of living in a virtual prison and facing the constant threat of destruction and displacement; intellectually and academically stunted because they cannot concentrate -- or, order biaxin online even if they can, order biaxin online because they are trying to study and learn in circumstances that no child should have to endure. Even before Israel this week declared Gaza "hostile territory" -- apparently in preparation for cutting off the last remaining supplies of fuel and electricity to 1.5 million men, order biaxin online women and children -- the situation was dire. As a result of Israel's blockade on most imports and exports and other policies designed to punish the populace, order biaxin online about 70% of Gaza's workforce is now unemployed or without pay, order biaxin online according to the United Nations, order biaxin online and about 80% of its residents live in grinding poverty. Order biaxin online About 1.2 million of them are now dependent for their day-to-day survival on food handouts from U.N. Order biaxin online or international agencies, order biaxin online without which, order biaxin online as the World Food Program's Kirstie Campbell put it, order biaxin online "they are liable to starve." An increasing number of Palestinian families in Gaza are unable to offer their children more than one meager meal a day, order biaxin online often little more than rice and boiled lentils. Order biaxin online Fresh fruit and vegetables are beyond the reach of many families. Order biaxin online Meat and chicken are impossibly expensive. Order biaxin online Gaza faces the rich waters of the Mediterranean, order biaxin online but fish is unavailable in its markets because the Israeli navy has curtailed the movements of Gaza's fishermen. Los Angeles parents who have spent the last few weeks running from one back-to-school sale to another could do worse than to spare a few minutes to think about their counterparts in the Gaza Strip. Order biaxin online As a result of the siege, order biaxin online Gaza is not only short of raw textiles and other key goods but also paper, order biaxin online ink and vital school supplies. Order biaxin online One-third of Gaza's children started the school year missing necessary textbooks. Order biaxin online John Ging, order biaxin online the Gaza director of the U.N. Order biaxin online Relief and Works Agency, order biaxin online whose schools take care of 200, order biaxin online000 children in Gaza, order biaxin online has warned that children come to school "hungry and unable to concentrate." Israel says that its policies in Gaza are designed to put pressure on the Palestinian population to in turn put pressure on those who fire crude home-made rockets from Gaza into the Israeli town of Sderot. Order biaxin online Those rocket attacks are wrong. Order biaxin online But it is also wrong to punish an entire population for the actions of a few -- actions that the schoolchildren of Gaza and their beleagueredparents are in any case powerless to stop. It is a violation of international law to collectively punish more than a million people for something they did not do. Order biaxin online According to the Geneva Convention, order biaxin online to which it is a signatory, order biaxin online Israel actually has the obligation to ensure the well-being of the people on whom it has chosen to impose a military occupation for more than four decades. Instead, order biaxin online it has shrugged off the law. Order biaxin online It has ignored the repeated demands of the U.N. Order biaxin online Security Council. Order biaxin online It has dismissed the International Court of Justice in the Hague. Order biaxin online What John Dugard, order biaxin online the U.N.'s special rapporteur on human rights in the occupied territories, order biaxin online refers to as the "carefully managed" strangulation of Gaza -- in full view of an uncaring world -- is explicitly part of its strategy. Order biaxin online "The idea, order biaxin online" said Dov Weisglass, order biaxin online an Israeli government advisor, order biaxin online "is to put the Palestinians on a diet, order biaxin online but not make them die of hunger." Saree Makdisi is a professor of English literature at UCLA and the author of "Palestine Inside Out: An Everyday Occupation, order biaxin online" forthcoming from Norton. http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-makdisi22sep22, order biaxin online0, order biaxin online1839917.story?coll=la-news-comment-opinions