Geneva – Israel’s military attacks on Gaza for the third consecutive week reveal a ruthless policy based on systematic killing and horrifying destruction, Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor stated, emphasising that the casualty rate among Palestinian infants and children is unprecedented in the history of Israeli attacks on the Strip.
Due to Israel’s continuous attacks on Gaza, Euro-Med Monitor estimated that the daily death toll of children and infants will reach 200 once victims are recovered from beneath the rubble of destroyed residential buildings.
The international human rights group stressed that Israel’s focus on direct airstrikes against civilian targets in Gaza is causing calamitous destruction and rendering it an uninhabitable area. It noted that at least one-third of Gaza City—the largest city in the Strip—has been destroyed by Israeli airstrikes and artillery attacks, turning it into a region filled with devastation, ruins, and the smell of gunpowder.
Despite the enormous human, civilian, and economic losses in Gaza during two weeks of Israel’s war on the Strip, the Israeli military’s violent rampage continues into a third week of indiscriminate attacks. Euro-Med Monitor has been steadily documenting the attacks and their aftermath through survivor testimonies, information from representatives of humanitarian organisations, and satellite image analysis, surveying entire residential areas in various regions of Gaza and the northern Gaza Strip.
The Israeli attacks have turned residential areas, such as Al-Rimal, Al-Karama, Al-Zeitoun, and Al-Shejaia in Gaza City, into regions of destruction and devastation, annihilating all forms of life within them. Similarly, Israel has destroyed about 24 multi-storey residential towers in the Al-Zahra residential area, south of Gaza City, after warning residents to evacuate the buildings and then completely levelling them to the ground.
The total number of housing units in Gaza city and the northern Gaza Strip is estimated at around 260,000. Euro-Med Monitor documented that approximately 81,000 housing units have been destroyed or severely damaged due to Israeli airstrikes.
The organisation stated that, as more than one-third of the Gaza City and the northern Gaza Strip area has been damaged, 28% of homes are no longer fit for habitation. The town of Beit Hanoun, located on the northern outskirts of the Strip, is among the most heavily affected areas.
In central and southern Gaza, the total number of housing units is estimated at around 240,000, approximately 47,000 of which have been destroyed. In total, out of the half a million housing units in the Gaza Strip, 128,000 of these units have been destroyed.
Euro-Med Monitor warned that Israel is pursuing a retaliatory policy and a collective punishment approach through its extensive destruction of basic civilian infrastructure in the Gaza Strip, seemingly within the framework of an unlawful forcible transfer and displacement plan, and in violation of international humanitarian law.
The Israeli Ministerial Political-Security Cabinet approved a state of war against the Gaza Strip on 7 October, allowing the military to conduct extensive operations. This decision came in response to Hamas launching an armed attack on Israel called Al-Aqsa Flood, which resulted in the killing of approximately 1,400 Israelis and the capture of dozens more who were then brought to Gaza.
Since then, the Israeli army has carried out thousands of airstrikes and artillery attacks around the clock, targeting residential neighbourhoods and multi-storey buildings inhabited by civilians in the Gaza Strip.
Euro-Med Monitor confirmed that the Israeli army is violating the principles of international humanitarian law in its continuous attacks on the Gaza Strip, particularly the principles of necessity and proportionality, given the absence of shelters or safe areas for civilians in Gaza.
According to Euro-Med Monitor’s documentation, 86% of the victims of Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip since the beginning of this month are civilians. At least 4,653 Palestinians have been killed, including 1,877 infants and children, and 1,067 women. A total of 4,010 of those killed were civilians, and an additional 14,000 others have been wounded, more than half of them being women and children. There are also chilling estimates of over a thousand missing persons buried under the rubble of destroyed buildings.
Among the dead are 51 health workers, as seven hospitals and 25 health centres have gone out of service due to Israeli targeting and the depletion of necessary fuel for the alternative power generators.
The human rights group highlighted Israel’s continued intensification of its aerial and artillery attacks throughout the Gaza Strip. The group said the attacks have resulted in the destruction of entire residential neighbourhoods, and the targeting of 520 families, with 196 of them being exposed to horrific mass killings that caused the loss of four or more of their members.
Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor called for an immediate comprehensive arms embargo on Israel in response to its severe violations, which may escalate into explicit war crimes under international law, and an end to the shocking impunity that Israel has enjoyed for decades.
Euro-Med Monitor concluded that Israel’s continuous attacks on civilians, frequently broadcast or streamed live on numerous media platforms, are destroying human lives along with significant historical or cultural sites and places of civilian gathering, with international complicity enabling Israel’s refusal to ensure even minimal respect for international standards and agreements. The human rights group warned of the transformation of Gaza into an enormous mass grave.