Geneva - The Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor has stated that Israel's relentless aerial and artillery attacks on the Gaza Strip have turned it into a hellhole where death and destruction prevail in extremely complex humanitarian conditions, without any basic life services.
The Euro-Med Monitor has documented the killing of at least 14 Palestinians every hour on the eighth day of Israel's military operation "Operation Iron Swords" in the Gaza Strip. So far, this operation has included the dropping of more than 6,000 bombs on the densely populated area with over two million residents.
Civilian residents in Gaza find themselves with no shelter, fleeing from one form of death to another in an inhumane reality. Basic services such as electricity, water, communications, and the internet are in short supply, posing unprecedented and serious threats to food security.
The Israeli Mini Security Cabinet approved a state of war on the Gaza Strip on Saturday evening, allowing the army to conduct extensive military operations in response to Hamas launching an armed attack on Israel called "The Al-Aqsa Flood." This attack resulted in the killing of approximately 1,300 Israelis and the capture of dozens.
Since that time, the Israeli army has executed thousands of airstrikes and artillery strikes around the clock, targeting residential neighbourhoods and multi-story buildings housing the population in the Gaza Strip.
According to Euro-Med Monitor documentation, at least 2,370 Palestinians have been killed, including 721 children and 390 women. The number of civilian casualties is approximately 1,730, and 9,250 others have been injured to varying degrees, with more than half of them being children and women.
The Euro-Med Monitor emphasized that Israel continues to intensify its airstrikes and artillery attacks all over the Gaza Strip, including the complete destruction of residential neighborhoods, resulting in the annihilation of at least 82 families in horrific collective killings.
The international human rights monitor documented that Israel's attacks have destroyed 2,650 residential buildings and severely damaged approximately 70,000 residential units. In addition, 65 government buildings were destroyed.
Israel's attacks also caused destruction to at least 71 schools, the destruction of 145 industrial facilities, 61 media headquarters, the demolition of 18 mosques, and the damage to dozens of ancient churches and mosques.
The Gaza Strip was already experiencing a wide-scale displacement as a result of Israel's attacks. Euro-Med Monitor documented the displacement of over 820,000 individuals to UN-affiliated schools, governmental schools, and the homes of relatives and neighbors. More than 450,000 people were displaced after their homes were destroyed or damaged in Israeli air raids.
In the absence of a safe haven, tens of thousands of civilians sought refuge in hospitals to protect themselves from Israel's attacks, with over 35,000 people taking shelter in the Shifa Medical Complex alone.
In addition to this, the Israeli army has been intimidating the residents of the Gaza and northern regions by warning them of collective evacuations from their residential areas and to head to the central and southern regions of the Gaza Strip.
Euro-Med Monitor highlighted that the evacuation warnings for civilians in Gaza were made without any announcement of halting air raids and aerial attacks and without any safety or return guarantees, amounting to a war crime in the form of forced transfer.
In a literal translation of the events, Euro-Med Monitor stated that 73 Palestinians were killed, and more than 130 others were injured on Friday afternoon due to Israeli targeting of trucks and cars carrying evacuees on Salah al-Din and Rashid streets, as they attempted to reach the area south of Wadi Gaza upon the Israeli army's request.
Euro-Med Monitor expressed strong condemnation of the deliberate targeting of civilians who had been forcibly displaced from their homes after being intimidated and warned by the Israeli army. This constitutes an open practice of forced transfer (transference) outside international law.
It emphasized that such an action constitutes a blatant violation of Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which prohibits the occupying power from directly transferring residents or deporting individuals protected under international law in the occupied territory.
The Israeli army even warned four hospitals, including Kamal Adwan Hospital, Al-Awda Hospital, Al-Quds Hospital, and the Jordanian Field Hospital, to evacuate them from the Gaza and northern regions, a measure that prevents essential and emergency health services for hundreds of thousands of residents.
Euro-Med Monitor called for immediate international action to ensure the supply of electricity, water, and basic necessities in Gaza, and to lift the illegal Israeli blockade imposed on the territory since 2006, which is a major cause of the ongoing conflict.
It stressed that the ongoing collective punishment of civilian populations in Gaza amounts to a war crime, while Israel, as the occupying power, is legally obligated to meet the basic needs of civilian populations under international law.
In light of all that is happening, Euro-Med Monitor questioned the position of the International Criminal Court, which initiated an investigation into the situation in the Palestinian territories two years ago, including crimes under international law taking place in Gaza.