Geneva - Approximately 110,000 Palestinians are reported killed, missing, and injured, leaving many suffering long-term disabilities, four months into Israel’s genocide in the Gaza Strip, Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor said in a statement issued Sunday.

A total of 35,096 Palestinians in the Strip have been killed as of Friday evening, Euro-Med Monitor estimated. Of those killed in the Israeli air and artillery attacks on the Strip, 32,220 were civilians, including 12,345 children, 7,656 women, 309 health personnel, 41 civil defense personnel, and 121 journalists. Meanwhile, 67,240 individuals have been injured, hundreds of them critically. Within a week of the International Court of Justice’s ruling, the Israeli army killed over 1,048 Palestinians—most of them civilians—and injured over 1,800 others, and carried out 108 massacres.

The rights group explained that, in addition to the statistics provided by the Palestinian Health Ministry, its own figures include people who went missing after being arrested and forcibly disappeared by the Israeli army, as well as those who have been trapped beneath the debris of buildings hit by Israeli air and artillery strikes for more than 14 consecutive days now and are therefore presumed dead. Hundreds of bodies that cannot be recovered due to the ongoing Israeli violence remain on the roads, said Euro-Med Monitor, particularly in areas where Israel’s army has conducted ground incursions. The Euro-Med Monitor team further reported that about two million Palestinians, approximately 90% of the total population of the Strip, have been displaced from their homes and residential areas amid a lack of safe shelters, as 79,200 housing units have been completely destroyed and 207,000 housing units have been partially damaged.

Euro-Med Monitor warned that Israel has targeted more than 245 square kilometres, 67% of the entire Gaza Strip. This includes all of Gaza City and the Strip’s northern regions, where residents have been ordered to evacuate since late October. The majority of them have not yet been able to return; neither have residents of large areas in the central and southern sections of the Strip that Israel had designated as safe areas.

Euro-Med Monitor stated that Israel continues to escalate its military assaults against Palestinian civilians in an apparent attempt to expand its territory to include the entire Gaza Strip, uprooting the vast majority of the Strip’s population in violation of international law. This likely amounts to war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide, the rights group said.

The Geneva-based organisation emphasised that Israel is deliberately targeting civilian infrastructure in order to cause as many casualties, material losses, and as much general destruction as possible as a form of retaliation and collective punishment. This is against international humanitarian law, the 1949 Geneva Convention, and amounts to war crimes according to the Rome Statute, which governs the International Criminal Court. According to Euro-Med Monitor’s team, the facilities targeted by Israel during its ongoing attacks include 334 schools, 1,720 industrial facilities, 183 health facilities, 478 mosques, three churches, 171 press offices, and 199 archaeological sites.

Two hundred thirty-five health facilities have been targeted so far, including 26 hospitals, 63 clinics, and 146 ambulances. Thus, out of 36 hospitals in the Gaza Strip, only 13 hospitals are partially functional, while less than 17% of primary health care centres in the Strip are still partially operating.

A week after the International Court of Justice’s ruling, which required Israel to take all possible measures to prevent genocide against the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip, and to take immediate steps to ensure humanitarian aid to Palestinian civilians there, Euro-Med Monitor reported that the Israeli army was still killing civilians at the same rate as before the ruling, as well as starving them, denying aid supplies, and depriving them of their most basic human rights; destroying their property to make it impossible for them to return to their homes; forcibly arresting them; and torturing them.

The human rights group also documented that Israeli forces are still besieging and bombing Al-Amal Hospital in Khan Yunis, in the south of the Gaza Strip. During the past few days, the building of the Palestinian Red Crescent Society, which also houses the hospital, was bombed several times, killing at least seven civilians, including a hospital employee.

Euro-Med Monitor contended that Israel continues to specifically target civilians. Three civilians were slain, and four others were injured on 29 January; all were internally displaced refugees who sought safety near the Red Crescent headquarters in the west of Khan Yunis. Two were killed while attempting to remove the body of a woman who had been killed by Israeli forces a few metres away from the hospital.

In addition, the Israeli army issued fresh evacuation orders on 29 January, requiring residents and internally displaced people living in the neighbourhoods of Al-Nasr, Sheikh Radwan, Al-Shati camp, Northern Sands, Southern Sands, and Al-Sabra, Sheikh Ajlin, and Tal Al-Hawa in Gaza City to evacuate to Deir Al-Balah in the middle of the Strip.

Euro-Med Monitor confirmed that Israel continues to use starvation as a weapon of war, noting that the amount of aid supplies entering the Gaza Strip, especially the northern Gaza Valley, do not meet the population’s growing needs, while civilians gathering for the few aid trucks arriving in the area were deliberately targeted by Israeli soldiers. Of the 61 humanitarian relief operations scheduled to arrive in the northern Gaza Valley in January, only 10 were allowed entry by Israeli authorities.

Euro-Med Monitor has been closely tracking the continued inflammatory statements of Israeli officials, which express a clear premeditated intention to commit the crime of genocide. Israeli ministers continue to issue and condone statements inciting the extermination of the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, said the human rights organisation, pointing to a conference attended by 12 ministers from the Israel’s ruling Likud Party, at which settler leader Daniela Weiss called for the return of settlement construction in Gaza, saying “the Arabs will not stay in Gaza”.

As in the past, said Euro-Med Monitor, Israel is failing to hold responsible individual Israeli citizens who encourage the genocide of the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip, regardless of the individual’s degree of political power or level of celebrity or influence.

Israel has flagrantly broken the terms of international humanitarian law, Euro-Med Monitor reiterated, which forbids property damage as a “preventive means” and property destruction as a means of deterrence, even for military purposes.

Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor renewed its call for an international investigation into Israel’s widely-documented violations of international law since it began its military attacks on the Gaza Strip on 7 October 2023; for an end to the state of impunity that Israel enjoys; and for a process that will hold accountable the perpetrators of human rights violations, as well as ensure that all victims receive compensation.

Euro-Med Monitor warned of the dangerous repercussions of many donor countries’ decision to suspend their funding for UNRWA in light of the current catastrophic conditions and the impending famine, as UNRWA is the main humanitarian agency in the Gaza Strip, serving more than two million people. The suspension is a dangerous violation of their international obligations, added the rights group, especially with regard to protecting the Palestinian people from the crime of genocide. Additionally, the suspension furthers Israeli policies and projects aimed at eradicating the Palestinian cause and depriving the Palestinian people, especially the refugees, of their guaranteed rights under international law and pertinent UN resolutions.

The international community must act swiftly to impose a binding executive decision on the International Court of Justice’s ruling, establish an immediate ceasefire, guarantee the safety of civilians and their return to their homes, and step up efforts by international organisations to monitor, record, and document Israel’s breathtaking violations of the Court’s ruling. These violations must be reported and widely disseminated in order for the Republic of South Africa and other countries involved in the lawsuit to prepare and submit a comprehensive report backed by evidence regarding the grave and pervasive violations happening to Palestinian civilians.