Geneva - The Israeli army has killed 2,124 Palestinians and injured 3,463 others since South Africa filed a lawsuit in the International Court for Justice (ICJ) on 29 December 2023, Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor said on Tuesday. The lawsuit accuses Israel of committing genocide against Palestinians in Gaza, in violation of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.

Since the suit’s filing, the Israeli army has carried out almost 16 massacres per day during its military attacks against inhabited homes, the majority of which have included displaced people. Each attack has destroyed homes above the heads of the residents inside, killing and wounding dozens of civilians.

Euro-Med Monitor pointed out that the killings, executions, and sniping operations carried out by the Israeli army in shelters, hospitals, and streets have mainly targeted civilians, stressing that 70% of the victims have been women and children. The rights group further stated that the majority of these killings aim to eradicate Gaza’s population, the vast majority of which is ethnically Palestinian.

Eight Palestinian journalists have been killed by the Israeli army in the last nine days alone, according to Euro-Med Monitor. At least three of them were targeted while conducting field coverage, even though they were wearing press jackets. The rest were killed in their family homes by bombings, a policy that Israel has used multiple times against journalists since 7 October. This brings the total number of journalists killed by Israeli attacks since that date to 112, a death toll that is thought to be the highest in the history of modern wars.

Euro-Med Monitor underscored that the Israeli army has ignored the lawsuit filed by South Africa and continued committing genocide in the Gaza Strip. This can be observed by a number of indicators, as outlined below.

The first indicator is the aforementioned mass killings, brought on by intentional, indiscriminate bombing that violates the norms and regulations of international law.

The second indicator is the deliberate infliction of severe physical or spiritual harm on group members; Israel accomplishes this harm by firing projectiles with intensely hazardous side effects, resulting in thousands of cases of amputations and deep burns that dissolve skin and even reach and penetrate people’s bones.

The third indicator is Israel’s use of starvation as a weapon of war, partially destroying Gaza’s population and threatening to destroy the whole of it. Over the past two months, Israel has tightly restricted the entry of humanitarian aid into the southern Gaza Strip, plus prevented aid from reaching the northern Gaza Valley for weeks. Euro-Med Monitor has documented shocking testimonies of residents being forced to eat tree leaves and expired food. A large number of children have begun suffering from dehydration, the human rights organisation confirmed.

The fourth indicator is the denial of Palestinians' access to health care. Seven new hospitals have gone out of service, bringing the total number of hospitals that are currently out of service in the Gaza Strip to 30 out of 36. This number indicates that the Israeli army is deliberately working to deny Palestinians access to health care by directly targeting and destroying hospitals, which either results in the death of medical staff or in their forced evacuation amid total restrictions on medical supplies.

Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians, particularly those suffering from chronic illnesses, are at real risk of death as a result of this disastrous situation, warned Euro-Med Monitor. Tens of thousands of wounded people, including 6,000 individuals in critical condition, are also at risk of death, due to overcrowding in the hospitals that are still open despite the challenging circumstances in the central and southern sections of the Strip.

Nine thousand housing units in the Gaza Strip have been either completely or partially destroyed by the Israeli army in the past few days, added Euro-Med Monitor, since South Africa’s lawsuit was filed. In multiple instances, such as in the town of Khuza’a—east of Khan Yunis, which is in the south of the Gaza Strip—Israeli soldiers have filmed and published videos of themselves having fun and celebrating the destruction of Palestinian civilian homes.

Additionally, 24 schools in the Gaza Strip have been completely or partially destroyed by the Israeli attacks, as well as 10s of kilometres of main and secondary streets.

Over the past few days, the Israeli army has issued more orders for the mass eviction of hundreds of thousands of people from the central Gaza Strip and from multiple neighbourhoods in Khan Yunis. This has resulted in nearly two million people being forcibly displaced, the majority of whom have endured appalling living conditions and repeated forced displacement without being able to find a safe haven anywhere in the Strip.

The Geneva-based organisation noted that the existence of forced displacement, family division, and deprivation of a normal birthing environment for pregnant mothers can all be interpreted as Israeli actions aimed at preventing successful childbirth in the Gaza Strip, and is another telltale sign of Israeli genocide against Palestinians there.

Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor emphasised that the international community must move quickly to put an end to Israel’s genocide against the people of the Gaza Strip and to safeguard them from further grave and irreversible harm.

Euro-Med Monitor renewed its call on the special rapporteurs at the United Nations and the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court to investigate the Israeli crimes being committed against Gaza Strip civilians since the start of its ongoing genocidal war, to hold those responsible for issuing and carrying out the orders accountable, and to ensure justice and compensation for all survivors and for victims’ families.