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supplies-to-gaza-from-israelYesterday [May 21, 2024] we reported on one of the many problems with International Criminal Court prosecutor Karim Khan’s request for arrest warrants for Israel’s prime minister and defense minister. Namely, the fact that there is scant evidence of the “deliberate starvation” that forms the heart of the ICC’s case, and that Khan ignores abundant evidence that Hamas is hoarding food and medical supplies.

Now, a new study published by the Hebrew University’s Institute of Biochemistry, Food Science, and Nutrition brings clarity to the contested question of food security in the Gaza strip.

The working paper analyzed the adequacy of the food supply Israel has facilitated into Gaza since January. And the results are devastating to Khan’s case.

The study, which has not yet been peer-reviewed, was conducted in conjunction with four other Israeli universities and the country’s ministry of health and found that “the quantity and quality of food delivered to Gaza have steadily improved and diversified since January 2024” and that “the food supply contains sufficient energy and protein for the population’s needs.”


Specifically, the Israeli researchers found that on average, between January and April, 124 trucks carrying food and humanitarian aid entered Gaza per day. That adds up to 3,211 calories worth of nutrition per Gazan, per day.

The World Health Organization standard for calorie consumption is 2,900 per day for average-sized men and 2,200 per day for average-sized women.

“Contrary to claims that Israel has deliberately starved Gaza, Israel has gone to considerable lengths to facilitate food aid delivered to Gaza,” the authors write.

One of those authors, Aron Troen, a professor of nutrition science and public health at Hebrew University, told The Free Press, “We wanted to understand what the reality was. To do so we obtained the registry of each and every truck that has entered Gaza through the two southern land routes from January to April.”

Troen said that there were serious problems with a previous UN study on food security in Gaza, published in March, that claimed a famine was “imminent” in the northern part of the territory. For example, it did not examine the steps that Israel had taken to open humanitarian corridors and land routes into the territory.


This raises an important question for Khan and the International Criminal Court. If it’s true, as World Food Program director Cindy McCain recently said, that there is a famine in northern Gaza, who is to blame?

Israel has been allowing food to enter Gaza, but as I reported Tuesday, the Israelis have documented how that food is commandeered by Hamas and hoarded for its families.

Troen said the group’s findings “raise significant questions about the failure of the international aid agencies to deliver the food and hold Hamas accountable for their disruption to distribution.”

Perhaps Khan would have benefited from the insights in the new working paper. One Israeli defense official told The Free Press that his government is prepared to share the paper with the court’s investigators.


Eli Lake is a columnist from The Free Press.