on the Genocide and Ongoing Israeli Aggression in the Gaza Strip
For the 45th consecutive day
International Commission “Hashd”: Israeli occupation forces continue the genocide that has resulted in the killing and injury of 4% of the population, totalling 47 thousand citizens between martyrs, wounded, and missing. 70% of the victims are children and women, leading to the forced displacement of one million and seven hundred thousand residents. The aggression has also destroyed half of the citizens’ homes and civilian facilities, especially hospitals that are mostly out of service, turning the Gaza Strip into a devastated and besieged area without water, food, medicine, fuel, or communication, subjecting the citizens to a greater level of humanitarian catastrophe.
The Israeli military occupation authorities launched a devastating ground, naval, and aerial aggression on the Gaza Strip on October 7, 2023, which continues until now. According to the latest data from the Palestinian Ministry of Health, this aggression has resulted in a shocking toll. The assault has led to the killing and martyrdom of over 13,300 individuals, including 5,500 children, 3,500 women, 820 elderly individuals, 203 medical personnel and paramedics, 102 employees of the International Relief Agency, and 60 journalists. Additionally, more than 30,000 people have been injured, with 75% of them being children and women. Approximately 6,000 individuals remain missing under the rubble of the homes that were bombed, including around 4,000 children and women, with some of their bodies lying in the streets due to the Israeli invasion preventing the evacuation of their remains.
The Israeli aggression has forced nearly 1.7 million people to evacuate their homes forcibly due to indiscriminate shelling and the destruction of houses and residential areas over the heads of their inhabitants. Moreover, there has been deliberate destruction of all aspects of human life and civilian infrastructure in various areas of the Gaza Strip, especially in the northern Gaza and Gaza governorates.
Until now, the aggression has resulted in the destruction and damage of nearly half of the buildings and residences in the Gaza Strip. According to government estimates, approximately 240,000 housing units have been completely or partially destroyed, along with 95 government offices, 262 schools, 83 mosques (completely destroyed), and 166 mosques (partially damaged). Other casualties include 3 churches, 17 bakeries, 13 wells and water tanks, 25 hospitals, 52 health centers, and the destruction and damage of 55 ambulance cars. Additionally, thousands of businesses, economic structures, civil institutions, professional unions, clinics, lawyers’ offices, and journalists’ offices have been destroyed.
The most heinous crimes have taken the form of over 1,330 mass killings of families whose homes were bombed over the heads of their inhabitants without prior warning, leading to the collective extermination of entire families. Hospitals, such as Al-Ahli Hospital, Al-Quds Hospital, Rantisi Pediatric Hospital, Al-Shifa Hospital, and the Indonesian Hospital, have been targeted, resulting in the evacuation of these hospitals from service. The aggression has also targeted displaced persons in the shelters of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), causing dozens of martyrs and hundreds of injuries.
This aggression has, distinctly, resulted in acts of genocide, ethnic cleansing, forced displacement, heinous war crimes, and crimes against humanity. All of this occurs in the context of a glaring Arab and international failure, with American support and European complicity from colonialist background countries, granting the occupying state the green light to commit genocide, tighten the siege, escalate military operations, and carry out brutal bombardments in Gaza. Meanwhile, the residents of the Gaza Strip are deprived of electricity, water, food, medicine, and fuel to operate generators in hospitals and water stations. This constitutes a blatant violation of international humanitarian law and human rights standards. The suffering and humanitarian crisis have worsened catastrophically, with 2.3 million citizens living in an atmosphere of continuous terror, terror, hunger, and thirst, aiming at the collective destruction of the population as a continuation of the chapters of the genocide crime.
According to government and international estimates, the widespread aerial bombardment using warplanes, tanks, and warships has destroyed and damaged 60% of residential units. The occupation has destroyed 43,000 housing units completely, while 225,000 have been partially damaged. Approximately 14,000 houses, towers, and residential buildings have been destroyed in all areas of the Gaza Strip, especially in the northern Gaza governorate and the city of Gaza, demonstrating the blatant disregard of the Israeli forces for the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 regarding the protection of civilians during war. This convention serves as the fundamental legal framework for human rights standards and humanitarian standards in the occupied territories. It also emphasizes that “the occupying state is not at liberty to use whatever force, measures, or policies it wishes in the administration of the occupied territories. It must consider to the utmost the lives, interests, and property of civilian populations and not change the legal status of those lands.”
The Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip constitutes an illegal military action, as it explicitly and clearly violates the United Nations Charter. In addition, the Israeli forces have committed genocide, war crimes, and violations that blatantly contradict the provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention—a binding and applicable agreement that must be respected and implemented by the Israeli occupation state in the occupied Palestinian territories. This includes various international instruments regulating the provisions and rules of other international humanitarian law, such as the Hague Conventions, including the Regulations concerning the Laws and Customs of War on Land of 1907, and the First Additional Protocol to the Geneva Conventions of 1977, which relates to the protection of victims of international armed conflicts. Furthermore, international customary law and the principles of international law, as well as court judgments, support the aforementioned legal texts, including the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice in The Hague issued on July 9, 2004, regarding the wall. The court affirmed the applicability of the Fourth Geneva Convention to the occupied Palestinian territories. Additionally, the ruling of the International Criminal Court confirmed the application of the Rome Statute, the founding treaty of the court, to the occupied Palestinian territories, including Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. These territories have been under continuous Israeli military occupation since 1967.
Israel, as an occupying power, has legal and humanitarian obligations and responsibilities towards the Palestinian civilian population in the occupied Palestinian territories, including Gaza, even after the unilateral Israeli withdrawal in 2005. Israel retained broad security powers, directly affecting the lives of civilian populations, while maintaining economic and military control over the Gaza Strip’s airspace, sea, and land. Israel also exercises complete control over its border crossings, the administration of population records, family reunification procedures, the entry and exit of goods to and from Gaza, and the complete blockade imposed since 2007. Israel has launched military attacks on Gaza in 2008-2009, 2012, 2014, 2018, 2019, 2021, 2022, leading up to the current extensive aggression.
Firstly: Targeting Civilians and Protected Properties
The Israeli aggression has been accompanied by serious and unprecedented violations of the human rights of the Palestinian people, targeting civilians and protected properties under international humanitarian law. Israeli warplanes used destructive bombs to strike civilian targets and residential areas, violating various international conventions and treaties, including the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, especially Article 147. According to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, these Israeli military operations in the Gaza Strip are considered war crimes, and their elements are directly linked to serious violations of the Geneva Convention. The Israeli military operations have desecrated the blood of Palestinian civilians in homes and mosques.
Article (33) of the Fourth Geneva Convention prohibits collective punishments, and Article (50) of the Hague Regulations concerning the Laws and Customs of War on Land of October 18, 1907, states that “no general penalty, pecuniary or otherwise, shall be inflicted upon the population on account of the acts of individuals for which they cannot be regarded as collectively responsible.” Additionally, Articles (56, 25, and 27) emphasize the protection of public property, places of worship, and hospitals.
The International Commission to Support Palestinians Rights “Hashd”