Step into Hasan Hasuna's grocery shop in Gaza City, the territory's main city, and you could be forgiven for thinking that Israel has a point.
Mr Hasuna's shelves boast a surprising variety of goods, many of them banned from entering Gaza by Israel, from pasta to chocolate. There was even a box of Cadbury Creme Eggs, hard to come by in the Middle East, placed strategically at the check-out counter.
Slightly dishevelled from their journey through the smugglers' tunnels that pass under Gaza's southern border with Egypt, they nevertheless tasted like the real thing.
It all goes to show, argues Gerald Steinberg, an Israeli commentator, that the perception of Gaza as a disaster zone on a par with parts of Africa is deeply misleading and one that has been deliberately fostered by "pro-Palestinian" employees of the UN.
"These UN reports are simply political propaganda," said Mr Steinberg, whose NGO Monitor seeks to redress what it claims is anti-Israel bias by some western aid agencies. "The entire humanitarian crisis claim, everything that comes out on the situation in Gaza is manipulated as political warfare against Israel."
Yet restaurants like Roots, an anomaly in Gaza, exist even in Africa's most benighted spots. The Shamo Hotel in Mogadishu served up lobster on its rooftop restaurant even when thousands were dying of famine in Somalia, while you could wash down a Carbonade Flamande with a decent Burgundy at The Orchid in Bukavu when eastern Congo was suffering the world's worst humanitarian crisis since 1945.
Gaza is not eastern Congo, nor is its suffering comparable. Yet by the standards of the Middle East, the poverty is palpable. In a territory the size of the Isle of Wight, 1.5 million people -- 1.1 million of them refugees from previous conflicts with Israel -- often live in conditions close to squalor.