Geneva– In a strong condemnation of Israel’s ongoing escalation of airstrikes on the Gaza Strip and bombardment of civilian targets, Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor said that the Israeli military’s apparent aim is to maximize the destruction of vital infrastructure and residential areas with near full disregard for civilians, leading to unprecedented numbers of civilian casualties.

The deliberate targeting of civilian infrastructure and residential buildings, and the failure to take any precautions to prevent the killing of civilians both constitute grave violations of human rights as well as war crimes under international humanitarian law.
 
Following Hamas' attack on Israel, and the start of the unprecedented Israeli military attack on Gaza on 7 October, Israeli warplanes have dropped an average of 22 destructive missiles per square kilometer on the Gaza Strip, an area that does not exceed 365 sq. km and is crowded with over 2.3 million people, Euro-Med Monitor underscored.

The Geneva-based organisation added that Israeli warplanes are continuously bombing crowded residential areas in Gaza, including civilian gatherings, with previously unheard-of levels of firepower, which causes the greatest number of casualties possible.
 
Hundreds of casualties were reported in the latest horrifying attacks, which targeted civilian targets such as the Abu Dalal Shopping Centre; the popular market in the northern Gaza town of Jabalia; the Nuseirat refugee camp’s central market; and a café in Khan Yunis, in the southern Gaza Strip.
 
At least seven bakeries were bombed while civilians were there getting bread; along with dozens of places of worship; schools housing displaced people trying to find safe havens from the Israeli attacks; and even the vicinity of hospitals and health centres.
 
The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) declared that at least 42 of its buildings had been attacked and damaged, despite administrators flying the UN flag, which is supposed to protect such facilities from attacks.
 
Over the past 48 hours, Euro-Med Monitor has observed an Israeli escalation of heavy air and ground bombardments throughout the Gaza Strip occurring at night. The Israeli army declared that it had attacked 320 targets on Monday and 400 targets on Tuesday, more than tripling the number of targets it had attacked on the previous two days.
 
The last 24 hours have also seen a number of violent attacks that have been well-documented by Euro-Med Monitor. The attacks have mainly targeted residential buildings in the Jabalia refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip (63 people killed), and in the cities of Rafah (43 killed), Deir al-Balah (14 killed), and Khan Yunis (11 killed).
 
A further 1,500 people, at least 800 of whom were children, were listed as missing, presumed killed, or trapped under the rubble and awaiting rescue or recovery.
 
Rescue teams—the majority of whom are from the Palestinian Civil Defense—are finding it difficult to complete their mission due to ongoing airstrikes, a severe fuel shortage that makes it difficult for rescue teams to operate vehicles and equipment, and limited or nonexistent mobile network connectivity.
 
An Israeli airstrike hit a Civil Defense rescue team on 21 October while the team was performing a rescue operation east of Rafah, killing one member and wounding four others, bringing the death toll among Civil Defense personnel to 34.
 
The number of Palestinians killed since the start of the Israeli attack on Gaza was 5,926 at the time of this publication, including 2,420 children and infants, 1,323 women, and 5,270 civilians in total. Approximately 16,124 more people have been injured.
 
The heavy bombing has destroyed lives as well as entire residential blocks and neighborhoods. “Gaza will eventually become a tent city,” IDF spokesman Daniel Hagari has said in recent public statements, adding that “buildings will not exist” and that “damage, not accuracy” is the Israeli military’s “focus”.
 
Based on Euro-Med Monitor’s data, 39,240 housing units in Gaza have been completely destroyed; 122,300 housing units have been partially damaged; and 103 health facilities, 324 industrial facilities, 89 schools, 81 press offices, 34 mosques, and three churches have been targeted.

Euro-Med Monitor warned that Israel is escalating its retaliatory policies and its genocidal approach through the widespread destruction of the basic infrastructure in the Gaza Strip, which appears to be part of its forced displacement plan.

The human rights organisation attested that the Israeli army’s ongoing assaults on the Strip violate international humanitarian law, particularly the requirements of necessity and proportionality, given that Gaza lacks safe havens or shelters for civilians.
 
According to Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor, the Israeli war on the Gaza Strip has intensified following Western leaders’ “solidarity” visits to Israel, which have given the country a green light for further horrific crimes against Palestinian civilians.