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Amnesty: There Are 'Worrying Signs of Genocide' In Gaza

Israeli authorities 'continue to severely limit the availability of food, water, healthcare, electricity and communications'

Amnesty: There Are 'Worrying Signs of Genocide' In Gaza

Amnesty International is the latest in a large and growing number of bodies labeling Israel’s actions in Gaza a genocide and pressing global leaders to act to stop the massacre of tens of thousands of noncombatant Palestinians.

In a letter to the European Union, Amnesty says “there are worrying signs of genocide in the occupied Gaza Strip” citing as examples:

  • The staggering scale of death and destruction with 24,000+ Palestinians killed during the course of Israel’s relentless attacks on the occupied Gaza Strip

  • The deliberate depriving of adequate food, water, medical care and humanitarian assistance to the civilian population through an almost total siege by Israel, putting the survival of those within Gaza at risk

  • A spike in dehumanizing and racist rhetoric against Palestinians by multiple Israeli government and military officials

  • A long history of discrimination and oppression of Palestinians, including Israel’s system of apartheid against Palestinians

The organization explains that it supports the recent complaint brought to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) by South Africa alleging Israel is committing breaches of the Genocide Convention.

“We are horrified by the magnitude of the man-made human rights and humanitarian crisis in Gaza,” Amnesty wrote.

“Israeli indiscriminate bombardment has killed at least 24,448 Palestinians and wounded 61,504 others (over 3.7 percent of Gaza), around 70 percent of the fatalities are women and children,” the organization wrote. “Israeli authorities continue to subject the residents of Gaza to collective punishment imposed through the illegal blockade of Gaza.”

As cited in the letter, “1.9 million people, or nearly 85 percent of the total population of Gaza are estimated to be internally displaced. Israeli authorities' restrictions and military operation continue to severely limit the availability of food, water, healthcare, electricity and communications. Over a quarter of the population are starving, while every single person is hungry according to several UN Special Rapporteurs.”

There have been ongoing calls for a two-state solution with Israelis and Palestinians living in their own self-governed countries, including from U.S. Secretary of State who stated last week that “what we’re seeing every single day in Gaza is gut wrenching.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu thumbed his nose at the Biden administration, dispelling any possibility of the creation of a two-state solution.

“I will not compromise on full Israeli security control over the entire area west of [the river] Jordan — and this is irreconcilable with a Palestinian state,” Netanyahu said.

During a separate speech the same week, Netanyahu reiterated his view that “the state of Israel has to control the entire area from the river to the sea,” evoking a phrase that has been called genocidal when used by Palestinian supporters.

Amnesty also blasted Hamas and the “more than 130 Israelis and third country nationals” being held hostage, which the group also calls a war crime.

Officials at Amnesty say they want the EU and its member states to take a number of steps:

  • Publicly demand an immediate and sustained ceasefire by all parties in the occupied Gaza Strip and Israel. We share the view of 153 states and majority of UN bodies that a ceasefire is the only way to save lives, address the humanitarian crisis and facilitate the return of civilian hostages currently held in the Gaza Strip

  • Put public pressure on the state of Israel to immediately lift its illegal blockade of the Gaza Strip, including by ensuring that adequate food, water, fuel and medical supplies, as well as humanitarian aid, communications and electricity are available to all residents

  • Maintain calls for Hamas and other armed groups to immediately and unconditionally release all civilian hostages and ensure that they are treated humanely in line with international law

  • Call for Israel to release arbitrarily detained and enforced disappeared Palestinians

  • All those deprived of their liberty must be humanely treated at all times

  • Commit to supporting the ICJ's critical independent adjudication of South Africa's application and request for provisional measures, by refraining from any form of political statement which may delegitimize the Court in its ongoing judicial assessment and genuinely commit to respecting any order which may be made on provisional measures in the case

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