Statement and Urgent Appeal ,the International Commission “Hashd” condemns the ongoing Israeli occupation’s acts of genocide, forced displacement, and collective punishments against civilians in Gaza

Statement and Urgent Appeal ,the International Commission “Hashd” condemns the ongoing Israeli occupation’s acts of genocide, forced displacement, and collective punishments against civilians in Gaza

A humanitarian appealImportantMainPress newsPress Release

Date: October 18, 2023

Time: 1:00 PM Local Time

Original Language: Arabic

Statement and Urgent Appeal to Halt the Aggression on Gaza Strip

the International Commission “Hashd” condemns the ongoing Israeli occupation’s acts of genocide, forced displacement, and collective punishments against civilians in Gaza in light of a glaring Arab and international failure to stop these atrocities.

The Israeli military forces have continued their heinous aggression on the Gaza Strip since October 7, 2023, for the thirteenth consecutive day, carrying out a campaign of genocide against civilians. This aggression has resulted in a shocking toll: the Ministry of Health reports 3,785 martyrs and more than 13,000 wounded, with 65% of them being children and women. It is worth noting that these numbers only account for those who reached hospitals. Hundreds of victims remain buried under the rubble, and the count of reported martyrs and missing individuals is still increasing, reaching nearly 1,300 citizens, including 700 children who are still trapped under the collapsed houses. This has raised the number of massacres against families to nearly 500, with some families entirely erased from the civil registry, while the rest of the families have lost 3-5 of their members.

The aggression has forcibly displaced one million Palestinians, with half of them sheltered in UNRWA schools, while the rest are hosted by relatives, friends, and neighbors, enduring dire humanitarian conditions amid the overcrowding of displaced persons and a shortage of water and food.

During the thirteenth day, the Israeli occupation forces continued their widespread aerial bombardment, using warplanes to destroy civilian homes and multi-story buildings and residential neighborhoods. The unprecedented destruction has impacted over 50,000 residential buildings, comprising around 14,000 housing units, according to initial estimates by the relevant government authorities. Urban areas populated by civilians were also targeted, altering the demographic landmarks of Gaza City and its northern areas, as well as residential neighborhoods in other governorates. The aggression also targeted places of worship, schools, bakeries, hospitals, universities, governmental and private offices, media offices, lawyers’ offices, doctors’ clinics, water wells, trade shops, economic facilities, infrastructure, and streets. UNRWA schools have suffered direct shelling in Gaza, resulting in 6 martyrs and 57 wounded, bringing the total number of UNRWA-affiliated facilities affected by shelling to 32 schools and relief warehouses.

The Israeli closure of all crossings and the cutoff of water and electricity supplies have persisted alongside the Israeli aggression. On the fourth day of the aggression, the power station ceased operating due to fuel depletion, exacerbating the humanitarian crisis and depriving citizens of essential electricity-related services, especially their access to potable water. This has affected vital sectors, including sanitation and hospitals, which are on the verge of collapse due to the fuel shortage necessary to run their power generators. Most medical supplies have been depleted, and the medical staff is overworked and fatigued, operating under the constant threat of hospitals being evacuated, though it remains impossible due to the lack of alternatives. Additionally, 25 hospitals suffered partial or significant damage due to the shelling, causing three hospitals to be taken out of service. The latest of these was the Al-Ahli Baptist Hospital, which belongs to the Evangelical Christian community, and it was subjected to an aerial bombardment that led to the martyrdom of 471 civilians and the injury of hundreds, including wounded and patients. Despite the Israeli occupation acknowledging the crime, it attempted to evade responsibility, as usual, by spreading false narratives in an attempt to blame the resistance factions. However, all evidence and proofs confirm the occupation’s responsibility for this heinous crime and other crimes committed in Gaza. Health authorities have warned of the imminent cessation of hospital operations due to fuel depletion, which would turn them into morgues and mass graves for the wounded.

Official bodies have started to bury hundreds of unidentified martyrs in mass graves due to deformations and dismemberment caused by the excessive use of heavy warheads, weighing from one to two tons, internationally prohibited chemical weapons leading to the spread of toxic gases, as well as vacuum and fragmentation bombs and white phosphorus, which was heavily used during this aggression. Military experts estimate that the quantity and quality of explosives and weapons used by the Israeli army in Gaza are comparable to the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, considering the small size of Gaza (360 square kilometers) and its population of 2.3 million people.

Israeli officials’ racist statements continue, attempting to equate legitimate national struggle with terrorism, with the aim of diverting attention, demonizing civilians, and exempting their military forces from accountability. This is reflected in their complete disregard for and blatant violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, which safeguards the rights of civilians during times of war. This convention serves as the fundamental legal framework for human rights standards in the occupied territories, emphasizing that “the Occupying Power is not at liberty to do as it pleases with the territory or take any action it wishes,” and it must protect the lives and property of civilians and refrain from altering the legal status of those territories.

As the Israeli occupation forces persist in their assaults on Palestinians in the West Bank and Jerusalem who protest against the aggression on Gaza, this has resulted in 69 martyrs and over 1,500 injuries. Additionally, arbitrary arrest campaigns have continued, targeting hundreds of citizens.

The International Commission “Hashd” reaffirms That the Israeli aggression on Gaza is an unlawful and aggressive military action. It holds the Israeli occupation authorities, the United States, and Western nations that support the occupation militarily, politically, and economically responsible for the consequences of their ongoing aggression and genocidal war against Palestinian civilians in Gaza.

It warns against the plans and policies of forced displacement of the population in Gaza and highlights the dire humanitarian situation faced by the displaced people and the rest of the Gaza population. This situation is exacerbated by the shortage of water, the scarcity of relief and food supplies, and the deliberate targeting of five bakeries and the destruction of water stations and vehicles by the Israeli forces.

It stresses that the collective sanctions and the Israeli blockade, along with the prevention of humanitarian aid, medical supplies, and fuel for electricity generation and hospital generators, constitute a clear violation of the rules of international humanitarian law, which prohibits the occupation state from punishing civilians.

It emphasizes that the Israeli occupation state has violated and continues to violate numerous international conventions and agreements regulating the provisions and rules of international humanitarian law, including the Geneva Conventions and the Hague Regulations, including those related to the laws and customs of land warfare of 1907, the First Additional Protocol to the Geneva Conventions of 1977 concerning the protection of victims of international armed conflicts, the Rome Statute that established the International Criminal Court, international customary law, and court judgments, such as the Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice on the wall on July 9, 2004. These legal frameworks confirm the applicability of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, the International Criminal Court’s jurisdiction over the occupied Palestinian territories in 2020, and the applicability of the Rome Statute and other conventions of international humanitarian law in the occupied Palestinian territories.

It reiterates the right of the Palestinian people to resist the occupation by all available means, as recognized in international law.

It asserts that the Israeli state has committed crimes of genocide, heinous war crimes, and crimes against humanity, benefiting from a blatant Arab and international failure that gives the Israeli state the green light to tighten the blockade, impose collective sanctions, escalate military operations, and carry out brutal attacks on Gaza, while denying the people of Gaza the exercise of their human rights, thus exacerbating their suffering and the catastrophic humanitarian crisis they endure in an atmosphere of continuous terror.

The International Commission to Support Palestinians Rights (Hashd) further calls for:

  1. Immediate international pressure on Israel to halt its ongoing aggression, lift the siege on Gaza, allow continuous flow of humanitarian and medical aid, fuel for hospital generators, and ambulance and rescue vehicles, and ensure the restoration of electricity generation at a time when Gazans face water scarcity and the evacuation of the wounded to external hospitals. The population of Gaza should not be held hostage to the aggression of the Israeli occupation.
  2. High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention to fulfill their moral and legal duties by taking urgent action to provide international protection to Palestinian civilians and ensure compliance with the rules of international humanitarian law. Perpetrators of war crimes must be held accountable.
  3. The Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court to include the crimes committed in Gaza in its investigations into Israeli crimes, expedite the commencement of preliminary investigations, and put an end to the procrastination and double standards.
  4. The United Nations General Assembly to convene under the formula “United for Peace” to provide international protection for Palestinian civilians in Gaza, take the necessary measures to stop war crimes and retaliatory acts of genocide in Gaza, ensure international protection for civilians, respect the rules of international humanitarian law, and declare a program to end the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories and the apartheid system, enabling the Palestinian people to exercise their legitimate rights as recognized by the United Nations.
  5. The Human Rights Council to convene swiftly and calls upon all specialized United Nations agencies and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) and the International Committee of the Red Cross to condemn the crimes of genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity against civilians and civilian facilities in Gaza, and to activate their efforts to protect children, women, journalists, medical staff, and provide necessary relief to the displaced.
  6. The Palestinian Authority and leadership to declare Gaza a disaster area, ensuring the provision of all humanitarian aid and necessary equipment for civil defense to rescue the martyrs from under the rubble.
  7. The Palestinian Authority and leadership to elevate their positions and roles, declare the severance of relations with the Israeli occupation state, and effectively implement the decisions of national consensus, while intensifying diplomatic efforts to create a barrier against the plans of genocide and forced displacement, ensuring the cessation of Israeli aggression on Gaza.
  8. The Palestinian people, Arab and international solidarity movements, as well as all Arab, regional, and international organizations and the free people of the world who have expressed their rejection of the aggression and genocide, to intensify their efforts on all legal, political, diplomatic, human rights, and popular fronts to protect Palestinian civilians in Gaza and halt Israeli aggression.

The International Commission to Support Palestinians Rights (Hashd)

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