Statement of the press conference
The Israeli occupation’s crimes and aggression on Gaza, Jerusalem, and the rest of the Palestinian territories.
ICSPR: The international community bears the responsibility for encouraging Israeli war criminals to commit their crimes against civilians, expanding colonial settlements, Judaizing Jerusalem, abusing prisoners, imposing a siege and repeated aggression on Gaza.
Victims: 277 martyrs and 5,970 injuries, of whom, 248 martyrs and 1970 injuries were in the Gaza Strip, half of the total victims were children, women and the elderly, in addition to destroying thousands of citizens’ homes and civilian facilities.
The cessation of the Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip, which continued for eleven days and stopped at 02:00 am (Friday, May 21st) revealed horrific scenes of Israeli crimes against Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip, where the Israeli occupation forces deliberately, clearly and systematically targeted civilians and their civilian properties, especially residential homes located in densely populated neighborhoods, with the aim of killing children and women, displacing thousands of families and inflicting severe material damage to the residential environment of these facilities.
According to the latest statistics issued by the Palestinian Ministry of Health, the aggression led to the martyrdom of 248 civilians, including 66 children, 39 women and 17 elderly, in addition to injuring 1948 others, while the searching process for the missing under the rubble of the targeted houses and buildings is still continuing until this moment, which threatens to raise the human cost of the Israeli military operation.
According to preliminary information issued by official and international bodies, the 11 days Israeli military operation has resulted in:
- Forced displacement of nearly 107 thousand citizens, some of them still reside in UN schools.
- Approximately 1,400 housing units were completely destroyed, and nearly 12,886 others were damaged, in addition to the bombing of 184 residential towers and residential homes.
- Destroying 74 government headquarters and public facilities, (police headquarters, security and service facilities), causing losses amounted to $ 23 million.
- The destruction of most of the streets, main roads and infrastructure, including water and sewage networks, in Gaza Governorate, North Gaza Governorate, and other camps, with an initial loss of US $ 27 million.
- Total destruction of 03 mosques, and partial damage to 40 mosques and one churches, as well as a five-story endowment building and facilities, with an initial loss of $ 50 million.
- The occupation warplanes bombed 33 media institutions and injured 170 journalists.
- The destruction of more than 355 industrial and commercial establishments, including 55 factories and 300 commercial and tourist shops, which cost more than 30 thousand workers their work in Gaza, resulting in direct financial losses exceeding $ 300 million.
- The Israeli aggression caused great damage to the telecommunications and Internet networks, which affected 70,000 users.
- Hundreds of vehicles were fully and partially damaged, with an estimated loss of more than $ 5.5 million.
- 66 schools, educational institutions, health facilities, and primary care clinics have been severely and partially affected by the heavy bombardment in their vicinity.
The aforementioned clearly show that the Israeli bank of targets were killing Palestinian civilians and destroying their civilian and public properties.
That is confirmed by what the relevant government bodies have monitored and the declarations of the occupation army that it has launched more than 1900 airstrikes on the Gaza Strip with highly destructive missiles, in addition to the civil defense and medical authorities monitoring the use of internationally banned weapons such as bombs and smoke missiles that contain toxic gases and chemicals. Another crime was the violent and the disproportionate firing of shells from the naval warships and artillery, which indicate the state of disregard of the international principles and rules governing the state of armed conflicts, in particular the provisions of the Hague Conventions that regulate methods of warfare, which prohibit the use of internationally prohibited weapons and acts of reprisal against civilians, and the Geneva Conventions that protect civilians and civilian objects, where preliminary data and statistics indicate that the Israeli military attacks in the Gaza Strip were of a retaliatory and indiscriminate nature aimed at punishing civilians and destroying their properties, especially in light of Israeli officials statements that the military objectives were not accurate enough, which proves the deliberate killing and targeting of Palestinian civilians and their properties.
The Israeli military attacks were accompanied by a growing suspicions that the occupation forces use bombs and missiles that spread chemical gases upon explosion, where residents of the targeted areas smell gases that cause suffocation and irritation in the eyes.
Just before the cessation, the military occupation forces have intensified their targeting of the main roads and streets in all governorates of the Gaza Strip, causing severe damage to the infrastructure, homes and properties of Palestinian civilians, which confirmed that the Israeli retaliatory and indiscriminate attacks aimed to impose collective punishment in which voiceless concussion weapons are used, causing widespread destruction in the targeted areas, very similar to an earthquake, which may indicate the deliberate use of weapons and technologies to cause changes in the elements of the environment.
In addition to the Israeli crimes committed against civilians and their properties in the Gaza Strip, the killing and oppression machine ” Israeli ” has been violently facing civilians and peaceful demonstrators in Jerusalem, cities and villages of the West Bank, and 48 areas, with a clear and planned escalation of field killings that indicate a terrifying situation of violating the right to life. ICSPR monitored the operations of racial discrimination and attacks against Palestinians in 48 areas by extremists under the protection of the Israeli police, causing the martyrdom of 3 civilians and hundreds of injuries, in addition to the continuing attacks of settlers against the citizens of Jerusalem, especially the residents of the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, and the expansion of the arbitrary detention campaigns in Jerusalem and the West Bank, which reached more than 1,400 detainees.
The grave violations that we referred to previously show that the Israeli occupation forces have committed war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity, which reflects the disdain for the lives of Palestinian citizens by the state of organized terror.
On the other hand, these acts are considered acts of reprisal and collective punishment of Palestinian citizens, in violation of Article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 regarding the protection of civilian persons in time of war, as it appears that the Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip aimed to break the Palestinian people’s will to achieve their national rights, independence and the right to self-determination.
There is also no legal basis for the Israeli occupation authorities to suffocate more than two million Palestinians in the Gaza Strip inside a large prison, stop and destroy infrastructure, cut electricity lines, destroy water wells, and prevent medical, food and humanitarian supplies as a collective punishment, which constitute a humanitarian crime that violates all international human rights conventions, agreements and norms. Therefore, ICSPR affirms that what the Israeli occupation is doing, is a flagrant violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention, the Hague Conventions and the Rome Statute establishing the International Criminal Court, and is considered war crimes and genocide.
The International Commission to Support Palestinians’ Rights “ICSPR” expresses its solidarity to the families of the victims, salutes the Palestinian people for the epic of resilience and challenge, and expresses its appreciation to all workers in the health sector, municipalities, ambulance, emergency and civil defense for their tremendous efforts, which had a great impact on reducing the suffering of the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip despite the limited resources available. ICSPR also stresses the need to expedite the provision of relief and assistance to the residents of the Gaza Strip, especially those who lost their homes and places of livelihood as a result of the Israeli aggression.
ICSPR reaffirms the right of the Palestinian people to resist the occupier by all available means, as a right recognized in international law, and it holds the occupation forces and the government of the United States of America accountable for the lives of the Palestinians in the occupied Palestinian territory, and warns of worsening the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip in light of the continued Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip. It also affirms that the Israeli disdain for the system of law, justice and international action encourages it to continue committing war crimes and genocide, including the use of artillery shells and aerial missiles containing chemicals that are prohibited under the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), and the use of modern weapons and technologies aimed at harming the elements of the environment, and it stresses that scorched-earth doctrine is a well-entrenched doctrine in the Israeli occupation.
ICSPR confirms the falsity of the justifications of the occupation leaders, which come in the context of justifying the law of the jungle and its war behavior towards civilians and their properties, as it sometimes accuses the Palestinian resistance of using densely populated areas in its military operations, which inconsistent with reality and is itself a clear violation of an international legal rule -if you are in doubt then refrain- that governs the rules of armed engagement; other times it says that it has killed 120 Palestinian fighters, and this is refuted and denied by the field facts, as approximately 51% of the victims of the Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip are children, women, and the elderly, 50% of the injured are also children and women, most of them fell into massacres that exterminated 19 families by killing their all members by bombing their homes without warning, and even the fighters, who are no more than 10% of the martyrs, most of them were targeted in their homes with their families while they are not in the battlefields, who in this case, enjoy the civilian status protected under international law. Also the claim that hundreds of kilometers of tunnels for the resistance have been destroyed is denied by the facts that there have been no collapses in the targeted areas.
ICSPR salutes all those stand in solidarity with the Palestinian rights, and appreciates all positions against Israeli war crimes and terrorism. ICSPR affirms the right of the Palestinian people to resist the occupier by all available means, as a recognized right in international law and condemns the inability of the international community to stop the aggression on the Gaza Strip and the crimes and physical violations of the Israeli occupation in the Palestinian territories, ICSPR also warns of worsening the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip in light of the continued closure of the crossings and the imposition of a suffocating siege that afflicts all aspects of citizens’ lives and their overall human rights, in addition to preventing the entry of medical and relief aid and equipment necessary for the health sector and civil defense, preventing the evacuation of the sick and wounded to West Bank hospitals, as well as preventing the entry of foreign journalists and workers in international humanitarian organizations into the Gaza Strip, and the entry of the necessary fuel for the power plant before it completely stops, which will negatively affect the overall health and humanitarian services for the residents of the Strip. Therefore:
- ICSPR affirms that the Israeli occupation forces deliberately killing civilians constitutes a war crime in accordance with the provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention and the Rome Statute that established the permanent International Criminal Court, and it deplores the international and regional inability to stop the aggression against civilians and the heinous crimes committed in the Gaza Strip and in the rest of the occupied Palestinian territories, whether it is against the peaceful demonstrators in the cities and villages of the West Bank, or civilians living in Jerusalem and its neighborhoods, and the crimes of ethnic cleansing and racial discrimination against the Palestinians in the 48 areas, and considers this silence as a green light for the occupation forces to continue shedding the blood of civilians.
- ICSPR calls on the state parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention to declare a clear and explicit position on Israel’s refusal to abide by and implement the agreement in the Palestinian territories, in addition to taking serious action to protect civilians in the Palestinian territories and to ensure respect for the rules of international humanitarian law.
- ICSPR calls on the International Human Rights Council to approve the formation of an international fact-finding committee on its next session on Thursday, to investigate Israeli crimes and the occupation’s intention to target civilians, especially women, children, journalists, and medical personnel, in addition to the destruction of civilian facilities, crimes of racial discrimination and ethnic cleansing in the Palestinian territories.
- ICSPR calls on the international community and the United Nations General Assembly, which will meet tomorrow, to take the powers of the Security Council after its failure to stop the aggression and implement United Nations resolutions related to the Palestinian cause (in the form of United for Peace) and work to stop war crimes, ethnic cleansing, settlement, and siege in the Palestinian territories. And stop targeting civilians, especially women, children, journalists, and medical personnel, or targeting civilian facilities, and make decisions that support the provision of protection for civilians, boycotting the occupation state and imposing sanctions on it, setting up a program to end the occupation as the most heinous form of aggression, and enabling the Palestinian people of their right to self-determination .
- ICSPR calls on the Palestinian leadership to carry out its legal, moral and national duties, by breaking its silence, line up with its people, come to the Gaza Strip and Jerusalem, stop security coordination and withdraw recognition of the occupation state, internationalize the conflict, activate Palestinian diplomacy, and activate the paths of boycott and accountability through the International Criminal Court and the principle of international jurisdiction, including activating the role of the Palestinian judiciary to ensure that Israeli criminals do not escape punishment, and work with the European Union, China, Russia, and Arab and Islamic countries to stop the occupation crimes in Gaza, the West Bank and Jerusalem, and provide all the necessary health, humanitarian and relief needs for Gaza and victims of the occupation crimes, end the collective penalties, stop the policy of discrimination against the Gaza Strip, and call for a meeting of secretaries-general to form a collective national leadership until the re-arrangement, activation and unification of all institutions of the political system on the basis of a national program
- ICSPR calls on the international community and its various organizations and the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention to fulfill their obligations contained in Article 1 of the Convention, according to which they undertake to respect the Convention and ensure its respect in all cases, as well as their obligations contained in Article 146 on prosecuting those accused of committing grave breaches of the convention, and to work to isolate and boycott the occupation and prosecute the perpetrators of these crimes by activating international accountability tools for everyone who ordered or carried out war crimes and crimes against humanity, as this constitutes the most effective means to reduce the commission of other crimes in the future, and to ensure the right of victims to obtain International legal and judicial redress
- ICSPR calls on the European Union to suspend the Association Agreement with the Israeli occupation for violating the second clause of it, which stipulates that human rights must be respected, and to stop all forms of cooperation with it as a rogue entity that sponsors terrorism.
- ICSPR urges the Office of the Prosecutor at the International Criminal Court to include the crimes committed in the Gaza Strip in the file of the Israeli crimes that are being investigated, especially in light of the growing suspicions about the use of chemical and toxic weapons, and modern weapons and technologies that depend on making a change in the basic elements of the environment, with the intention of exterminating the Palestinian people
- ICSPR calls on the International Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons to contribute and intervene by opening an independent investigation into the growing suspicions regarding the military occupation forces’ use of chemical and toxic weapons.
- ICSPR calls on the international community to work seriously in order to open a humanitarian corridor to support the health sector, facilitate relief and reconstruction work, and pressure the occupation state to stop all its criminal acts and adhere to the principles and rules established in both the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 and the First Additional Protocol of 1977, and lift the siege the Gaza Strip.
- ICSPR calls on states and international and humanitarian organizations to work hard to support the civil defense and the health sector in Gaza, especially in light of their weak capabilities due to the Israeli siege.
- ICSPR calls on the United Nations and the countries of the world to provide adequate financial support to ensure that the United Nations and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) provide the necessary services to the displaced and all those affected. And to intervene immediately to stop the unprecedented deterioration in the human rights situation in the Gaza Strip and to put pressure on Israel to its siege and open all crossings immediately.
- ICSPR calls for the need to adopt a reconstruction mechanism that takes into account the need to overcome the negatives of previous mechanisms.
- ICSPR calls on the specialized agencies of the United Nations and international humanitarian organizations to work in partnership with government agencies, civil society and the private sector to ensure the promotion of the rights of women, persons with disabilities, children, workers and all civilians affected by the aggression and to provide all financial and psychological support and enhance their access to services and address the effects of the aggression.
- ICSPR warns of the consequences of the continued silence and the inability of the international community to stop Israeli crimes against civilians and their civilian properties everywhere in Palestinian territories, and it confirms that the inability to hold the occupation leaders accountable for these crimes is considered a green light for the occupation forces to continue their crimes and may renew the confrontation and escalation in all the Palestinian territories.
ICSPR affirms and stresses that the international community is required more than ever to assume its legal and moral responsibilities individually and collectively, and to take practical measures that lead to ensure respect for the principles and provisions of law, the judiciary, and international custom and action to end the occupation, and to fulfill the legitimate and inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, including adopting a binding international decision that ends the occupation and provides international protection for the Palestinian people. ICSPR also calls on the international community to work hard to end the long-term Israeli military occupation of all Palestinian territories occupied in 1967, as it constitutes a major cause of war crimes and systematic collective punishment in the Gaza Strip and the rest of the occupied Palestinian territories, and constitutes an obstacle to the right of the Palestinian people to establish their state and self-determination, which is guaranteed by all international human rights covenants and United Nations resolutions related to the Palestinian cause.