The genocide in Gaza – a grave crime against humanity!

Devastation, famine and death stalk Gaza as Israel, backed by US imperialism and its allies, criminally continues its relentless onslaught.

Displaced_Palestinians_in_RafahWith Israel’s genocidal war on Gaza nearly entering its sixth month, the besieged Palestinian enclave is threatening to become the world’s “largest open-air graveyard”, according to the United Nations (UN). The UN has warned of “imminent famine” facing the 2.3 million people blockaded in Gaza. Repeated attempts by numerous member countries of the UN to bring about a cease-fire have failed, as Israel, with the full backing of US and its European allies, continues its genocidal war, in utter contempt of world opinion.

A humanitarian crisis

At least 32,226 Palestinians, a large majority of whom were women and children, are reported to have been killed and 74,518 wounded in Israeli attacks on Gaza since October 7. The death toll includes more than 13,000 children.

The relentless war being waged by Israel has already devastated most of Gaza and driven most of the enclave’s population to the southern town of Rafah, on the Egyptian border.

More than 100 UN workers have lost their lives while working in Gaza in the past 6 months. The UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), which runs schools, hospitals and other services in Gaza, has been targeted and deprived of its source of funds.

Hospitals deliberately targeted, raided and bombed

Israel continues to systematically target hospitals in its war on Gaza.

Israeli forces have surrounded al-Amal and Nasser hospitals in southern Gaza, while in the north, Israel is continuing its almost daily bombardment and armed raids on al-Shifa Medical Complex. Patients in the hospitals are being dragged out of their beds and tortured.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) engaged in summary mass executions of civilians during a week-long raid on Al-Shifa Hospital in northern Gaza from March 18, the Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor reported. The raid has killed at least 100 people, many of whom were executed after their arrest. Dozens more were detained, beaten and tortured.

Eyewitness accounts reveal unspeakable atrocities being committed on doctors, nurses, hospital staff as well as the thousands of displaced people who have taken refuge in the hospital. Women inmates have been subjected to rape, starvation, torture, and then executed.

Acute health and medical crisis

Health authorities have reported that Gaza does not have enough functioning hospitals, doctors and medical personnel, medicines, clean water and even the most basic healthcare facilities needed to treat the injured. The blockade has prevented medical supplies from reaching Gaza and rendered any kind of evacuation for medical emergencies impossible.

A panel of doctors spoke out at the UN on March 20, about the horrors and suffering of Palestinians in Gaza, the like of which they had never witnessed anywhere before. They related the most gruesome incidents of young children who have lost their entire family to Israeli bombing, who are suffering from severe burns and injuries, many of whom are dying due to lack of medical care. They described children dying in agony because of lack of morphine and painkiller medicines, while performing surgeries or re-setting fractured bones, people left to die on the floor for lack of beds in the hospitals, a chronic shortage of vital medicines, doctors having to intubate and amputate children and adults without anesthetics, and so on. Most of the people could have been saved if basic medical aid and medicines were available, they said. They asserted that what is going on in Gaza fulfils “every single definition of genocide”!

About two million people are forced to live in make-shift refugee camps housed in the UN-administered schools in the southern part of Gaza. Hundreds of people have to share a single toilet and bath. In these terribly poor conditions of sanitation and hygiene, diseases such as Hepatitis A, diarrhoea, and other infectious diseases are rapidly spreading.

Deliberate starving of people to death — a weapon of genocide

In late February, the deputy executive director of the World Food Programme (WFP) told the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) that more than 5,00,000, or one in four people in Gaza, are at the risk of famine. One in every six children below the age of two is acutely malnourished.

Gaza has always been dependent on food supplies from outside. After October 7, 2023, Israel stopped the entry of all food trucks to Gaza. Even after international demands that food aid be allowed into Gaza, Israel is allowing only a trickle of food trucks to enter, which is totally insufficient to meet the needs of the people.

Gaza’s meagre economy has been systematically destroyed since the present Israeli genocidal war began on October 7, 2023. According to the UN’s Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO), agricultural croplands in Northern Gaza have been destroyed in the war. Gaza city’s seaport has been badly damaged by incessant Israeli bombing, as a result of which fishing, which used to be a major source of food and income for the people, has come to a halt.

Attempts by some countries to air-drop food packets in recent days, because the land routes and entry sea port are blocked, led to serious accidents, killing at least 5 people. Following this, air dropping of food packets had to be stopped. Scores of food aid workers in Gaza have been killed in Israeli air attacks, in the past week alone.

The most recent report of the International Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) states that Gaza is now experiencing the most severe hunger crisis anywhere in the world. In northern Gaza alone, at least 27 people, mostly children, have died from the combined effects of malnutrition, dehydration and disease in recent weeks, according to the authorities. The number of child deaths is constantly on the rise. 60,000 pregnant women face malnutrition in Gaza. By mid-March 2024, at least 50% of Gaza’s population is experiencing famine. Northern Gaza, where around 3,00,000 people are still living, is cut off from food, medicines and other aid supplies, as Israel has sealed off the northern border except one checkpoint. Most of the aid that enters Gaza, has to pass through two checkpoints in the south.

Deliberate silencing of voices exposing the genocide

With the ongoing genocide in Gaza, there has been a sustained effort by US imperialism and its allies, to silence those who are trying to expose the truth to the world’s people.

Israel has refused to allow foreign journalists to enter Gaza to cover the genocide. Israeli forces have launched targeted attacks on Palestinian journalists there, who risk life and limb to show the world the reality of what is being done to their people. According to the recent reports of the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), 95 journalists and media workers in Gaza, covering the genocide, were confirmed dead; 16 journalists were reported injured; 4 journalists were reported missing; 25 journalists were reported arrested. There have been multiple assaults, threats, cyberattacks, censorship, and killings of family members of journalists covering the war in Gaza. These journalists face extremely high risks including devastating Israeli airstrikes, disrupted communications, supply shortages, and extensive power outages.

Journalists working in many media houses around the world have been penalised for daring to talk about the genocide. Throughout this genocide, teachers and university professors across the world who have stood in solidarity with the Palestinians have also been silenced. In Israel, teachers have been sacked, arrested and tortured for exposing the atrocities by the Israeli armed forces. In several universities and schools in the US, teachers have lost their jobs and have been persecuted for organising discussions with their students on Israel’s genocide of the Palestinian people. In India, protests of workers, women and youth, against Israel’s genocidal war have been viciously attacked.

In the US and Israel, politicians and government officials opposing Israel’s war on Gaza are facing persecution.

US imperialism and its allies stand exposed before the world’s people

Israel’s ongoing genocidal war in Gaza is one of the gravest crimes against humanity being committed at the present time. This genocide would not be possible without the continuous economic, military and political backing provided to Israel by US imperialism and its allies.

The US is the biggest funder of the Israeli armed forces, providing $ 3 billion in aid annually. The US is reportedly planning an additional $ 14 billion aid to support Israel’s onslaught on Gaza. Nearly 68% of Israel’s weapons imports over 2013-2022 came from the US. The United Kingdom, Canada, France and Australia are some of the other major imperialist powers which provide military support to Israel.

US imperialism, at the head of various other imperialist powers which are backing Israel, bears full responsibility for this crime against humanity.

As countries around the world have brought forth resolution after resolution at the UN General Assembly, for a ceasefire and end to Israel’s war on Gaza, Israel and the US and its allies have cynically opposed and rejected every one of them.

In this situation, the US President’s call for a “ceasefire”, while continuing to fund and arm the Israeli government in massacring over a hundred Palestinians every day and starving the entire Gazan population, is the height of cynicism and hypocrisy. There is enough evidence to show that every major action taken by the Netanyahu government, from the ethnic cleansing of northern Gaza in October last year, to the assault on al-Shifa Hospital over the past weekend, including plans for Israel’s threatened impending assault on Rafah, has been coordinated with the US. Former US President Donald Trump’s son-in-law, and his former ambassador to Israel have publicly spoken of their plans for the expulsion of Palestinians from Gaza and the annexation of the West Bank by Israel.

The US administration is trying, through this hypocritical call for a “ceasefire”, to present itself as a “defender of human rights” and a “rules-based order”, at a time when it stands completely exposed in the eyes of the American and the world’s people, as the biggest enemy of the rights of nations and peoples and the gravest threat to peace.

For an immediate and unconditional ceasefire and an end to the genocidal war

People around the world are unitedly calling for a ceasefire, an immediate end to the genocidal war against the Palestinian people. The majority of member states of the United Nations, the Non Aligned Movement, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation and the Arab League, among others, have unanimously called for a ceasefire. Across the US and in nearly every country of Europe, Asia and Latin America, people are coming on to the streets in tens of thousands, demanding an end to the genocide.

The Indian people stand with the indomitable Palestinian people in these grave moments. The genocidal war unleashed by Israel against the Palestinian people with the full backing of the US must immediately stop.

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