Palestinian Territory - The massacre carried out by the Israeli army today, Saturday, in the Nuseirat refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip is strongly condemned by Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor. Grave concern is also expressed over reports that Israel may have usedfor military purposes the US pier intended for transporting humanitarian supplies to Gaza.

Over two hundred Palestinians were killed today and hundreds more injured, most of them women and children. This is a preliminary figure that could rise as recovery efforts proceed. The attacks occurred inintense, two-hour-long Israeli army air, land, and sea raids on the Central Market area, where thousands of people from the Nuseirat camp and its environscongregate daily. Most of the central Gaza Strip was also subject to the attacks.

After the widespread assault, the Israeli army declared that four Israeli detainees had been freed in an operation conducted by special forces in the Nuseirat camp, working in tandem with the Israeli Police (Al-Yamam) and the General Security Service (Shin Bet).

Massive, indiscriminate air and artillery attacks were launched by the Israeli army during the operation in order to conceal the withdrawal of Israeli forces. This caused an excessive number of civilian casualties and extensive damage to civilian property, and also violated numerous principles of international humanitarian law, such as those pertaining to humanity, distinction, military necessity, proportionality, and due diligence.

Nasser Ghaben, a 45-year-old Gaza City refugee who moved to the Nuseirat camp, reported to the Euro-Med Monitor team that gunfire during the camp attack was extraordinarily heavy and random. He observed that the attack included air and artillery targeting of numerous residential buildings and apartments.

Miraculously, he survived the intense Israeli bombingwhile in the Nuseirat market area buying food for his family. Leaving the area, he saw scores of bodies lying in the road, some in dismembered pieces, some of which were children.

Another young man, identifying himself only as "Faisal" for security reasons, informed the Euro-Med Monitor team that Israeli drones and warplanes had begun with heavy attacks over the Nuseirat camp's northwest area. These attacks later spread to other parts of the camp, including the camp's northeastern Al-Awda Street area and the entrance to Al-Bureij camp.

Thousands of civilians attempted to escape the Nuseirat camp due to the severe and widespread indiscriminate and intense Israeli bombing, he continued. However, many were hit by artillery shells and gunfire from quadcopter drones, which resulted in many dead and injured people scattered all over the streets, particularly in the Jules Street area at the center of the camp.

According to a US official cited by the US website Axios, a US "hostage cell" backed the Israeli attempts to free the four prisoners who were being held in the Gaza Strip. Israeli media reported that an Israeli truckcarrying Israeli special forces conducting the operation to retrieve the four detainees departed from the vicinity of the US pier off the coast of the Gaza Strip, under the pretense of carrying humanitarian supplies.

Other sources indicated that the vehicle transporting Israeli forces was a civilian truck disguised to look like it was meant for transporting humanitarian aid, while others indicated that the truck appeared to be carrying civilian displaced persons and their belongings to the area.

According to Israeli Army Radio, "the US hostage cell played a decisive role in freeing the hostages”, with“high-precision American technology that had not been used before in the process of freeing the hostages." Prior to the incident, video footage of the truck and a Caddy vehicle were released at the time of the breach. 

The rules of international humanitarian law state that it is illegal to gain the trust of an adversary through actions that lead them to believe they are entitled to protection or must provide it, with the intent to betray that confidence, resulting in their death or injury.

This includes simulation of civilian status, using civilian transportation or vehicles designated for humanitarian aid, or wearing civilian attire or attire of humanitarian relief workers as cover. The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court classifies treacherously killing or wounding as a war crime.

Washington announced it was ready to bring humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip on 17 May by means of its pier, before subsequently announcing the pier to be inoperable a few days later. An investigation should immediately be opened into whether the US pier was used for military purposes and contributed to the killing of Palestinian civilians.

Euro-Med Monitor also rejects the Israeli army's continued use of a variety of weapons and ammunition, as well as its indiscriminate use of destructive force,against Palestinian civilians and their property. Since the Israeli army began its military assaults on the Gaza Strip last October, massacres have been carried out on a daily basis without cause or explanation.

The devastating effects of the Israeli military's attacks on the Gaza Strip, coupled with the alarming numbers of casualties and extent of destruction, confirm that Israel has committed and will continue to commit war crimes and crimes against humanity that are all part ofthe genocide it has been committing against the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip for nine months. All available international, legal, and judicial mechanisms must diligently be brought to bear to hold Israeli leaders and soldiers accountable, ensure that they face consequences, and provide compensation to the victims and their families in compliance with international law.

For its military, logistical, operational, and financial support of Israel during its attack on the Gaza Strip, the US must be held accountable as a major collaborator in committing crimes against the Palestinian people in the Strip, including the crime of genocide. This includes holding accountable all US officials who took part in making decisions that could have criminal consequences.

As part of their international obligations, all countries should put Israel under strong sanctions, halt all financial, political, and military assistance, and immediately halt all arms transfers to Israel—including export permits and military support.