Date: November 13, 2023
Time: 17:00 Local Time
Appeal and Briefing on the Collective Sanctions Perpetrated by the Israeli Occupation against Civilians During the Ongoing Aggression on the Gaza Strip
The International Commission (Hashd) extends its sincere regards and appreciates your commitment to intervening to ensure that people worldwide enjoy their rights, especially during armed conflicts, disasters, and other challenging times. The committee values any effort to halt aggression and provide protection for civilians in accordance with international humanitarian law, particularly safeguarding children, women, and civilian structures.
Today, we address you amidst the escalating genocide and continuous Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip. Israeli forces have focused their attacks on Palestinian civilians in Gaza, utilizing a lethal arsenal of warplanes, rockets, and internationally prohibited weapons since the onset of the aggression on October 7, 2023. As of the writing of this letter, the toll stands at over 11,280 casualties, including around 5,000 children and 3,700 women. Additionally, over 28,000 civilians, 70% of whom are children and women, have been injured. Approximately 3,250 individuals, more than half of them children according to health ministry reports, are still missing under the rubble of homes.
Israeli forces have retaliated by imposing collective punishments on Gaza’s civilians, including:
The Israeli military committed heinous crimes, highlighted by 1,127 massacres targeting Palestinian families, bombing their homes and residential areas without prior warning. This resulted in the death of 80% of the casualties, mostly children and women.
Secondly Forced Displacement of Civilians:
The bombardment of civilian homes led to the displacement of nearly 1.7 million citizens. War crimes committed by Israeli forces forced residents to evacuate their homes, with authorities directing people in northern Gaza to move to the south, claiming it to be safer, using aerial leaflets, phone communications, and official radio broadcasts.
Third Closure of Crossings and Obstruction of Humanitarian Aid:
Israel, from the first day of the aggression, closed all border crossings, blocking the entry of fuel, food aid, and medical supplies intentionally to starve and dehydrate Gaza’s 2.3 million inhabitants, half of whom are children. The dire humanitarian conditions persist due to continued collective sanctions, including power and water cuts, and the prevention of essential fuel for hospitals and power plants.
Fourthly Infrastructure Destruction, Water and Electricity Cuts:
Aerial bombardments destroyed over 11,000 buildings, residential towers, and civil facilities, including 124 hospitals and health centers. The destruction left 22 hospitals in northern Gaza out of service, with the most recent being the ongoing siege and attacks on Al-Shifa Hospital. Israeli forces also caused the destruction of 260 schools, 197 mosques, 3 churches, and approximately 241,000 housing units, impacting the basic elements of life, including clean drinking water, leading to the spread of diseases.
As of now, the provision of basic humanitarian needs, including water, food, medicine, shelter, electricity, and fuel, remains a challenging and arduous task. The continuous intimidation of the population, targeting of bakeries, water wells, and even solar panels used by some facilities, exacerbates the punitive and retaliatory collective sanctions, contributing to economic and social suffocation.
The situation demands urgent international intervention to stop the aggression, lift the siege, and provide necessary assistance to alleviate the suffering of the people in Gaza.
Fifth: Communication Cuts
The continuous and deliberate bombing of telecommunication companies in the Gaza Strip has resulted in severed lines and networks, causing a loss of communication among citizens and spreading fear and panic among them due to the lack of any means to connect with the outside world amid ongoing airstrikes on the region.
The residents of Gaza are living in unsafe conditions, facing the constant threat of death, peril, direct and indirect targeting. This catastrophic situation profoundly affects their daily lives and all sectors, especially health services provided to the victims of the aggression and the general population. It prevents citizens from enjoying their internationally guaranteed right to life and the highest attainable standard of health.
All the aforementioned crimes have occurred in full view and hearing of the world, which has failed to protect civilians or ensure the application of international humanitarian law and the laws of war. This has led, until now, to a situation for civilians more tragic and disastrous than ever. It requires immediate and urgent international humanitarian action to put an end to these committed crimes and serious violations perpetrated by Israeli authorities, rising to the level of war crimes and crimes against humanity. These offenses occur within the context of genocide and ethnic cleansing.
The International Commission to Support Palestinians Rights (Hashd) ,on behalf of all civilian victims in Gaza, calls upon the United Nations, high-contracting parties to the Geneva Conventions, regional organizations, the International Parliamentary Union, all human rights and civil organizations, and the free people of the world to exert more efforts and take serious measures to end the Israeli aggression, war crimes, collective punishments, and lift the blockade on Gaza. This includes pressuring Israeli authorities to fulfill their responsibilities as an occupying war force, such as opening crossings, restoring electricity and water, and supplying the Gaza Strip with all its humanitarian needs. This should be done while compelling Israel to adhere to the rules of international humanitarian law and international agreements, especially those related to the rights of children and women.
We hope for your prompt and decisive action to stop the aggression on Gaza, ensure the protection of children and women, lift collective punishments and the siege on Gaza’s inhabitants, guarantee the flow of humanitarian aid and necessary fuel for operating all service facilities, restore electricity and water, allow the evacuation of the wounded, and hold accountable the perpetrators of serious violations, genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity against children and women before the International Criminal Court, using the principle of universal jurisdiction. This also involves imposing boycotts and sanctions on the state of Israel and its partners in these international crimes to halt the killing of children and women, provide international protection for them, and break the equation of double standards, politicization, and selective enforcement of international law, in line with your legal and ethical jurisdiction.
We urge you to act swiftly; the time is of the essence.
The International Commission to Support Palestinians Rights (Hashd)