Palestinian Territory - The consequences of the 200-day Israeli military attack on the Gaza Strip are horrifying, both in their scope and their deliberate targeting of Palestinian civilians. This is particularly alarming given the shameful lack of global pressure on Israel to adhere to international law and the rulings of the International Court of Justice and to halt the ongoing crime of genocide against the Palestinian people.

Euro-Med Monitor outlined in numbers the catastrophic results of the genocide being carried out by Israel with the aim of destroying Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. This genocide continues unabated, with Israel persisting in its attacks at the same intensity and committing horrendous crimes, ignoring escalating calls for a ceasefire. Israel is fortified by protection of the U.S. and European and international stances that, at best, only amount to condemnation statements.

Palestinian civilians have been the primary and real target of Israel's crimes in the Gaza Strip from the first day of the assault. They have paid a heavy and unprecedented price as Israeli forces systematically and extensively targeted them as part of a comprehensive revenge operation aimed at dehumanizing them, and ending their existence through killing and displacement.

The Israeli army commits various crimes of destruction and actual obliteration against Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip. These include mass killings with heavy and indiscriminate weapons, ammunition, rockets, and bombs, including U.S.-made munitions that have been gradually supplied to Israeli military warehouses.

The crimes of the Israeli army have also caused severe physical and mental harm by deliberately inflicting serious injuries and depriving the Palestinian civilians of medical care, arbitrarily arresting and torturing them, intentionally subjecting them to catastrophic living conditions by besieging them and cutting off their access to water, electricity, and fuel, forcibly displacing them, starving them, and destroying all means of life and livelihood.

Additionally, Israel has also imposed measures aimed at preventing reproduction by dispersing families, killing thousands of men and women in their reproductive years, and thousands of children and newborns. The latest of these atrocities includes the killing of thousands of frozen embryos through direct targeting of fertilisation centers, depriving hundreds of Palestinian couples of their last chance to conceive.

The Israeli army has killed 42,510 Palestinians over the course of its 200-day attack, 38,621 of whom were civilians, including 10,091 women and 15,780 children. The bodies of several thousand are still stuck under the rubble, while thousands remain missing and are presumed dead. These statistics include the killing of 137 journalists, 356 medical personnel, and 42 civil defense personnel.

Based on these data, the daily death toll for Palestinians has reached 212, including 50 women and 79 children. These are horrifying statistics and unprecedented in the context of contemporary warfare.

Euro-Med Monitor teams have documented thousands of crimes in which the Israeli army targeted Palestinian civilians as such, devoid of any involvement in military operations, lacking military justification, and disregarding the principles of proportionality and essential precautions.

These civilians were direct targets, including those killed in systematic bombings of homes and shelters without prior warning, resulting in their destruction with occupants inside. Also targeted were civilians involved in organizing and awaiting humanitarian aid, along with arbitrary and extrajudicial executions. Additionally, indiscriminate shelling with heavy and unguided weapons in densely populated areas has been documented.

At least 408 internally displaced persons have been killed, and another 1,406 injured, in 349 incidents. These incidents, most of which involved munitions, affected UNRWA premises in the Strip between 7 October 2023 and 15 March 2024, according to a 16 April UNRWA report. Over 85 per cent of the incidents involved munitions, with at least 160 instances of direct hits. Moreover, 178 UNRWA staff have been killed in the Gaza Strip.

The Israeli military attack resulted in the injury of 79,240 Palestinians, the vast majority of whom were civilians, with 70% being children and women. Most of them were unable to access the necessary medical treatment and care due to Israel's destruction of the healthcare system in the Gaza Strip. Among them, at least 11,000 cases were deemed critical, requiring travel for life-saving treatment. Additionally, thousands suffered amputations and permanent disabilities, including more than 1,200 children.

The phenomenon of mass graves has also emerged for the first time in the history of the conflict, with the discovery of over 140 mass, random, or temporary graves in various parts of the Gaza Strip. Many of these individuals were buried on the spot after being executed by Israeli forces. Mass graves found in hospital courtyards, particularly at the Nasser Medical Complex in Khan Yunis and Gaza City’s Al-Shifa Medical Complex, suggest that members of the Israeli army extrajudicially executed people it arrested and detained, and then personally buried them.

Since victims in chains and others who appeared to be patients receiving treatment were found, an international investigation into these crimes is required. These cases are unlike the ones at the Indonesian Hospital, Kamal Adwan Hospital in northern Gaza, and Al-Amal Hospital in Khan Yunis, where families and medical teams erected makeshift graves to bury victims killed during the siege of these hospitals.

In the case of both Nasser Medical Complex and Al-Shifa Medical Complex, Israeli forces dug up dozens of graves, stole hundreds of corpses, tested their DNA, and eventually returned some of the kidnapped bodies without disclosing any information about others, leading victims’ loved ones to fear that their dead bodies were mutilated.

The Gaza Strip is now practically uninhabitable, as the Israeli army has destroyed over 60% of the buildings there, destroying most of the Strip’s residential squares and homes almost completely in the process. The destruction was primarily caused by aerial bombardment.

It is estimated that Israel has dropped more than 70,000 tons of explosives on the Gaza Strip in addition to its bulldozing operations, resulting in the destruction of all buildings at a distance of up to one kilometre in the east and north of the Strip in order to create a so-called “buffer zone”. The extensive destruction also includes the Israeli army’s newly-constructed road, south of Gaza City, connecting the east and west of the Gaza Strip—part of Israel’s plan to divide Gaza City and the Strip’s northern areas from its central and southern sections.

According to the preliminary, non-final toll, at least 131,200 housing units in the Gaza Strip have been completely destroyed, and another 281,000 units have been partially destroyed. In addition, thousands of kilometres of streets in the Strip have been demolished and turned into dirt roads full of rubble by Israeli forces, all without any military necessity, but rather to devastate the lives of Palestinians there and disrupt their geographical and social ties.

The Israeli army also continues to erase Palestinian identity from the Gaza Strip and sever the historical ties between the land and its people. It has destroyed the educational, historical, cultural, and religious assets of Palestinians in the Strip, including the majority of public buildings, hundreds of cultural landmarks, service facilities, and water wells. Moreover, it demolished 80% of schools in the Strip, both partially and completely, nearly all universities in the Gaza Strip, 13 public libraries, 241 mosques entirely, 318 mosques partially, and three churches.

Simultaneously, Israel has forced two million Palestinians to evacuate their homes to shelters and tents amid non-stop bombing and killing. More than half of these people are now concentrated in the border city of Rafah, which has recently been the target of intense bombing operations and Israeli threats of invasion in order to “finish” the military attack there, similar to what happened in the rest of the Gaza Strip.

Since the first day of the attack, Israel has resorted to using starvation as a weapon in its brutal war, blocking aid entry, closing crossings, and limiting the kinds of aid that are permitted. Many starving people have even been killed while waiting for aid convoys. This policy has been specifically directed at the people living in the Gaza Governorate and the Strip’s northern regions, where 300,000 Palestinians continue to suffer from a true famine that has resulted in the death of 30 individuals, mostly children, and thousands of pounds of weight loss among the populace due to a lack of food, which has had a serious negative impact on their general health.

The latest statistics highlight a serious outbreak of diseases caused by mass displacement in restricted geographical areas and lack of access to healthcare. The Ministry of Health has reported 1,090,000 cases of infectious disease infections as a result of displacement; 8,000 cases of viral hepatitis infection; 350,000 people with chronic disease who are currently at risk, due to a lack of medication allowed into the enclave; and approximately 60,000 pregnant women who are at risk due to a lack of access to health care.

Israel has worked systematically to destroy the Gaza Strip’s health system, putting 32 out of 36 hospitals out of service, including the two largest hospitals (Gaza City’s Al-Shifa Medical Complex and Nasser Medical Complex in Khan Yunis), as well as 53 health centres. As a result, a total of 159 health institutions have been targeted.

Meanwhile, Israeli forces have arrested more than 5,000 Palestinians, including hundreds of women, from homes and shelter centres and during the process of their forced evacuations. These detainees continue to be forcibly disappeared or subjected to harsh forms of torture that sometimes result in death.

Numerous testimonies from freed detainees have been provided to Euro-Med Monitor regarding the extraordinary abuses and beatings that these individuals—including women and children—were subjected to. The abuses have included physical nudity, harassment, sexual violence, and denial of medical treatment.

Following 200 days of genocide, the Israeli army is preparing to launch yet another massive attack in the Gaza Strip’s southern city of Rafah, ignoring the 1.2 million residents and displaced people who have sought safety there since the Israeli army designated the area as a “safe zone”. The storming of the city raises serious concerns about the possibility of forced displacement outside the Strip, leaving its residents to face an unknown destiny, and also poses the threat of a major massacre.

As Israel persists in its genocide against all Palestinian citizens of the Gaza Strip for 200 days without any deterrents, the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor renews its calls and demands:

  1. Urging the international community to fulfill its legal obligations to halt Israel's genocide against the Gaza Strip's population since last October 7th. This includes activating genuine pressure mechanisms to compel Israel to immediately cease its genocidal acts and all its crimes and to adhere to the rules of international law and the International Court of Justice rulings to protect Palestinian civilians from the genocide in the Gaza Strip.
  2. Calling on all states to fulfill their international obligations and cease all forms of political, financial, and military assistance to Israel during its military assault on the Gaza Strip. This particularly includes an immediate halt to arms transfers to Israel, including export licenses and military aid. Otherwise, these states would be complicit in the crimes committed in the Gaza Strip, including the genocide.
  3. Calling for immediate international pressure on Israel to fully lift the blockade on the Gaza Strip and establish effective mechanisms to ensure the safe, efficient, and prompt delivery of essential humanitarian aid. Urgent action is needed to address the worsening famine, health, and environmental crises.
  4. Demanding the high contracting parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 adhere to their duties outlined in Articles 146, 147, and 148 of the Convention to halt the severe violations perpetrated by Israel against Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip. Urging them to put pressure on Israel to ensure compliance with its legal obligations as the occupying power, including the provision of food, medical supplies, and essential items to the civilians in the Gaza Strip, as stipulated in Articles 55 and 56 of the Convention.
  5. Calling for international investigations into all crimes and violations committed since Israel began its military attacks on the Gaza Strip, preserving evidence, and expediting the procedures of the International Criminal Court, prioritizing the ongoing events in the Strip. Efforts should be directed towards ending the immunity and impunity enjoyed by Israel, including holding accountable those responsible for committing crimes. All individuals giving and executing orders must be brought to justice and held accountable.
  6. Calling for exerting pressure to facilitate the access of international and UN investigative committees into the Gaza Strip, aiming to prevent the destruction of evidence linked to the crimes perpetrated by Israel. This encompasses the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and Israel.
  7. Urging for an open invitation to special procedures of the UN Human Rights Council, including the Special Rapporteur on the occupied Palestinian Territories, the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary, or arbitrary executions, the Special Rapporteur on torture, the Special Rapporteur on adequate housing, the Special Rapporteur on the right to food, the Special Rapporteur on violence against women and girls, the Working Group on arbitrary detention, and the Working Group on enforced or involuntary disappearances. They should conduct immediate and comprehensive investigations into all crimes committed by the Israeli army against Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, each in their mandate, and submit reports to all relevant entities, paving the way for international investigative committees and trials concerning Israeli crimes.
  8. Encouraging greater efforts from national, international, and UN organizations to monitor, document, and report on Israel's actions, thereby strengthening the ability to hold Israel accountable for its violations, including those against the International Court of Justice rulings.
  9. Compensating Palestinian victims and ensuring justice, redressing the damage caused by the serious crimes and grave violations committed by Israel in the Gaza Strip, in accordance with the rules of international law.
  10. Ending the root causes of Palestinian suffering and persecution spanning 76 years, promptly working to terminate the Israeli occupation and settler colonialism and dismantling the apartheid system imposed on all Palestinians, lifting the unlawful blockade imposed on the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip for 17 years, and taking decisive action to support the Palestinian people's liberation and the exercise of their right to self-determination.