The problem is according to the UN agency UNRWA, the "banned" list is so arbirtrary and changes day to day.
It wasn't only macaroni that the US delegation was found to have been banned but also such food staples as lentils and tomato paste. Oxfam also report problems with bringing in pasta, as well as fruit juice.
According to leading non-government organisations, five truckloads of school notebooks were turned back at the crossing at Kerem Shalom where goods are subject to a $1,000 (£700) per truck "handling fee". Hearing aids have been banned in case the mercury in their batteries could be used to produce chemical weapons.
Since the end of the war in January, paper to print new textbooks for Palestinian schools was stopped, as were freezer appliances, generators and water pumps, cooking gas and chickpeas. The French government got quite pissed off when an entire water purification system was denied entry. Things other NGOs report as being blocked are such "luxuries" as clothing, school textbooks, agricultural products including seedlings, fertilizer and piping and essential building materials such as glass and breeze blocks to repair the damage from the recent military action.
Meanwhile the UN reports that 22% of Palestinian children under five are suffering from malnutrition (up 3-fold since 2000), the British Medical Journal likewise reports a quarter (25%) of Palestinian infants under the age of five are acutely or chronically malnourished. The response of the Israeli Government was "The idea is to put the Palestinians on a diet" (Dov Weisglass, advisor to Prime Minister Olmert).
History has shown time and again that this sort of food restriction and collective punishment will not turn people against Hamas, but rather against the people actually witholding the food - i.e. Israel. It's making any form of peace process 100 times harder. Moderate states all over the world but especially in the Middle East is being forced to condemn the Israeli actions.
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