Study: Nearly 50% of Palestinians hungry

Close to half of the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza suffer from malnutrition, according to a UN report that’s expected to come out soon, the British newspaper The Independent reported on Thursday.

The report states that the situation is especially serious in the Gaza Strip, where four out of five families lack even the most basic food supplies and essential nutrients.

In addition, 34 percent of Palestinian nursing homes earn less than a dollar and a half a day.

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has not remained apathetic in the face of these statistics, Army Radio reported.

The prime minister has announced that Israel will continue to hold talks with Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and to work towards improving the Palestinians’ quality of living.

Still, he added, Israel will not be able to maintain contact with a government that does not accept the primary demands of the international community.

The deal between Fatah and Hamas in Mecca earlier this month was aimed at resolving these issues to create a unity government that the international community would accept, so that the US and the EU would lift the financial sanctions that have paralyzed Palestinian society.

However, the world powers have been wary of easing up on a government that includes Hamas while the group continues to deny Israel’s right to exist and refuses to renounce terrorism.

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