Israel’s genocide and occupation threaten Palestinian self-determination irreversibly

Press release
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The past six months mark the most devastating and violent period experienced by the Palestinian people since the Nakba of 1948. On both sides of the Green Line, Israel persists in violating the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, committing grave international crimes and human rights abuses, including but not limited to the crimes against humanity of apartheid, persecution, and genocide.

8 April 2024. Since the Israeli’s announcement on 9 October 2023 of a "complete siege on Gaza", the situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) has never been so dire. In Gaza, Israeli occupation forces are subjecting Palestinians to massive bombardments, mass displacement, strict restrictions on access to humanitarian aid, famine, torture, and killing. In the West Bank and East Jerusalem, Israel is establishing new illegal settlements that result in more displacement and control of lands. Settler violence continues unabated, and Israeli Occupying Forces continue to exercise lethal force and kill Palestinians with impunity.

"Israel’s continued policy of territorial expansion rests on settler colonialism and apartheid. The consequence of the current acceleration of this policy is human rights violations of a severity and a scale almost never witnessed in Palestine as a whole." declared Diana Alzeer, FIDH Vice-President and Al-Haq representative, before adding “Israeli land grabbing, annexation, and exploitation of natural resources is antithetical to the Palestinians’ rights to development and sustainability, and any Palestinian aspirations to live free, in justice and dignity, and practise their right to self-determination and return of Palestinian refugees."

"The ongoing military invasion of the Gaza Strip has brought about a renewed Israeli presence within the territory, materialising the genocidal objectives announced in October to render Gaza uninhabitable for Palestinians." declared Yosra Frawes, Head of Middle East and North Africa desk at FIDH. "Israel clearly plans to keep a harsh grip over Gaza, and even if it allows the population back in the northern part of the Strip, it will most likely be under permanent occupation by settlers and the Israeli military."

While food shortages in Gaza are leading to an increase in malnutrition and severe hunger among the population, exposing millions in Gaza to imminent risk of famine, more than 32,000 Palestinians have been killed, with thousands still missing since October 2023. Over 70% of housing and structures in the Gaza Strip have been destroyed. In early April 2024, Israel continued to block truce talks led by Qatar, the United States and Egypt, Ignoring the United Nations Security Council’s legally-binding resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire. The Israeli government started to expand its military operations in Rafah, where more than half of Gaza’s population has been displaced, with air raids that killed at least 31 people, including 14 children, in Rafah on March 26 and 27.

Israeli occupation is the worst it has ever been for Palestinians

Since October 2023 Israel has deployed an open lethal-fire policy in the West Bank. Up until 27 March 446 Palestinians were killed in the West Bank and Jerusalem, including 113 children, and 4 inside the Green line. Since October 2023 Israel has arrested over 5,500 Palestinians. This increase in State violence is also mirrored by an increase in settler violence and a drastic acceleration of settlement construction. In just under six months, twenty-two Palestinian communities in the West Bank have been forcibly displaced, while another 40 are under various forms of attack. Recently Israel announced its plans to build an additional 3,476 housing units for settlers in Maale Adoumim, Efrat, and Kedar.

The guiding principles of the current Israeli government, formed in December 2022, explicitly declare that "the Jewish people have an exclusive and unquestionable right to all areas of the Land of Israel" and pledge to "promote and develop settlements in all parts of the Land of Israel – in the Galilee, the Negev, the Golan [unlawfully annexed], Judea and Samaria [occupied West Bank]"; and the transfer of the administrative powers of the occupation to the Israeli government and the extension of direct civil legal authority over the settlements, which amounts to de jure annexation. By doing so, Israel institutes its annexation of the OPT. In recent months, Israeli officials and settler movements have been calling for resettling in northern Gaza and places that the Israeli army destroyed during its ongoing genocide in the Gaza Strip

The international community is urged to heed the urgent plea and take concrete action to end the grave international crimes and human rights abuses in Gaza. This includes the following.
 To take urgent action to ensure an immediate implementation of a permanent ceasefire to end human suffering, enable the return of civilian hostages, and provide the necessary and sufficient humanitarian aid
 To take restrictive and effective sanctions against the authorities responsible for the serious crimes in Gaza, in particular, to halt arms transfers to Israel, including export licenses and military aid.
 To continue to work for the unimpeded delivery of humanitarian aid to civilians in Gaza, and in this respect to continue to support the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA).
 To continue condemnation of all violations of international law by all parties involved in the genocide in Gaza is called for.
 To support efforts to investigate, prosecute, and punish those responsible for atrocities committed in Gaza.
 Third State to consider imposing political sanctions and use all means of pressure to ensure Israel and other states respect their obligations, especially in preventing the commission of further crimes and crimes against humanity against the Palestinian people.

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