Prevent Genocide of Palestinians in Gaza: UN Experts
The experts also raised the alarm about the escalation of violence against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank.
A group of UN experts said that grave violations committed by Israel against Palestinians in the aftermath of 7 October, particularly in Gaza, point to a genocide in the making.
They illustrated evidence of increasing genocidal incitement, overt intent to “destroy the Palestinian people under occupation”, loud calls for a ‘second Nakba’ in Gaza and the rest of the occupied Palestinian territory, and the use of powerful weaponry with inherently indiscriminate impacts, resulting in a colossal death toll and destruction of life-sustaining infrastructure.
“Many of us already raised the alarm about the risk of genocide in Gaza,” the experts said. “We are deeply disturbed by the failure of governments to heed our call and to achieve an immediate ceasefire.”
In their statement of November 16, the UN experts said that the bombardment and siege of Gaza have reportedly killed over 11,000 people, injured more than 27,000 and displaced 1.6 million persons since 7 October 2023, while thousands are still under the rubble.
Of those killed, about 41 percent are children and 25 percent are women. On average, one child is killed and two are injured every 10 minutes during the war, turning Gaza into a “graveyard for children,” according to the UN Secretary-General.
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Almost 200 medics, 102 UN staff, 41 journalists, frontline and human rights defenders, have also been killed, while dozens of families over five generations have been wiped out.
The experts also raised the alarm about the escalation of violence against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, by soldiers and armed settlers. Since 7 October 2023, at least 190 Palestinians have been killed, more than 2,700 injured, and over 1,100 individuals displaced in the occupied West Bank.
On 9 November, Israeli forces also bombed, for the second time, the Jenin refugee camp with heavy artillery and airstrikes, killing at least 14 Palestinians. The increasingly coercive environment has also led to forcible displacement of several communities of pastoralists and Bedouin People in the Jordan Valley and south of the Hebron Hills.
They also expressed alarm over discernibly genocidal and dehumanizing rhetoric coming from senior Israeli government officials, as well as some professional groups and public figures, calling for the “total destruction”, and “erasure” of Gaza, the need to “finish them all” and force Palestinians from the West Bank and east Jerusalem into Jordan. The experts warned that Israel has demonstrated it has the military capacity to implement such criminal intentions.
“The international community has an obligation to prevent atrocity crimes, including genocide, and should immediately consider all diplomatic, political and economic measures to that end,” the experts said. They urged immediate action by UN Member States and the UN system as a whole.
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