Maat Calls on the International Community to Guarantee Protection for Civilians and Urges the Human Rights Council to Hold a Special Session to Stop the Genocide of the Palestinian People
Maat for Peace, Development, and Human Rights vehemently condemns the war crimes and crimes against humanity perpetrated by the Israeli occupation forces since October 7th, 2023 against the civilian population in the Gaza Strip. These atrocities include but are not limited to indiscriminate bombing of entire neighborhoods, which has led to a severe risk of famine and mass casualties among civilians due to shortages of food, fuel, and medicine resulting from the ongoing siege imposed by Israel on the residents of the Gaza Strip.
For the eighth consecutive day, the Israeli occupation forces have continued their relentless and indiscriminate military attacks on the Gaza Strip, inflicting massive and devastating firepower. They have been demolishing residential homes with their occupants still inside, causing the deaths of entire families and the destruction of critical infrastructure. Moreover, they are actively seeking to displace hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from their homes, particularly in the eastern regions of the Gaza Strip. These actions pose a grave danger and could rise to crimes of deportation and forced transfer of the Palestinian population. The Israeli forces have also targeted mosques and medical personnel, leading to the killing of 2,215 innocent civilians and the injury of 8,714 others, as reported by the Palestinian Ministry of Health.
Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has openly called for Palestinians to leave Gaza, threatening to decimate the Hamas movement and reduce Gaza to ruins. Additionally, Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant has ordered a complete siege on the Gaza Strip, declaring, "There will be no electricity or food." These actions flagrantly violate all international norms and conventions.
There is compelling evidence indicating that the Israeli occupation army has employed white phosphorus, an extremely incendiary weapon, in densely populated areas, exacerbating the risks faced by civilians. As a result, over 340,000 people have been displaced within Gaza, with approximately 218,600 seeking refuge in 92 UNRWA schools scattered throughout the region, according to United Nations estimates.
Maat emphasizes that these Israeli actions, which amount to collective punishment against Palestinians and have long been part of the Israeli doctrine, are aimed at depriving the people in the Gaza Strip of their basic means of survival, such as food, water, and electricity. The intense and indiscriminate bombing of residential areas also serves the purpose of forcibly displacing more than half of the population of the Gaza Strip. All of these actions constitute war crimes and genocide against Palestinians, endangering the lives of 2.2 million Palestinians under international law.
Maat urgently calls upon the international community to intervene immediately and safeguard civilians, prevent further violations, and address the root causes of these recurrent episodes of vicious violence. It is imperative to adhere to international law and put an end to the illegal Israeli siege on the Gaza Strip, which has persisted for 16 years.
Furthermore, Maat appeals to the Human Rights Council to convene a special session to address the grave violations committed against the Palestinians and take immediate action to stop the attacks and protect civilians. This falls within the Council's legal duty, and it must exert pressure on the occupying forces to respect the principles of international law and refrain from targeting civilians under any circumstances, including the cessation of harm to livelihood sources and the obstruction of humanitarian supplies.
Finally, Maat affirms that as long as Israel remains immune from accountability and punishment, these escalating crimes and unspeakable violations will persist, resulting in further repression and loss of innocent lives.