The unfolding genocide against the Palestinians must stop immediately

Belal Khaled / ANADOLU / Anadolu via AFP

The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) recognises that Israel’s actions against the Palestinian people constitute an unfolding genocide. States and individuals who provide assistance to Israel are hereby rendering themselves complicit. An immediate ceasefire is imperative to save civilian lives and bring ongoing crimes to an end. The International Criminal Court is called to immediately issue arrest warrants for Israeli officials who are responsible for international crimes against Palestinians.

Paris, 12 December 2023. Palestinians are being killed every day, every hour, and their living conditions are unrelentingly becoming those of planned elimination. Last week in Paris, after a long and thorough examination, the FIDH International Board – the elected body of legal experts and human rights defenders from all over the world – adopted a resolution recognising Israel’s actions against the Palestinian people as an unfolding genocide.

"Palestinians have to endure thousands upon thousands of unimaginable tragedies, all intentional. This level of orchestrated violence by an occupying force is genocide", declares Alice Mogwe, FIDH President. "To say it is unfolding is also to say that it can, and indeed must be stopped. To political leaders and high officials, we must stress that support and assistance to Israel is complicity in this unfolding genocide. You have been warned."

Since the attacks and hostage-taking of 7 October 2023 by Hamas and other armed groups, which FIDH denounced as war crimes, the Israeli retaliation campaign has breached international law by killing over 16,000 civilians in Gaza, of which 70% are women or children, and displacing the vast majority of its 2.3 million inhabitants.

The genocide convention of 1948, defines genocide as "acts committed with the intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group", in particular by "killing members of the group", and "deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part". For the crime to be qualified as such, it must meet two constitutive conditions: an action characterizing the crime and the intention to carry such crime.

The Israeli military targeted journalists, medical personnel, ambulances, schools, places of worship, universities, shelters and hospitals. Over 60% of homes in Gaza have been destroyed, as well as water, electricity, telecommunications, and energy infrastructure severely damaged, rendering conditions of life near impossible for Palestinians. In addition, the blockade of Gaza, planned famine, repeated mass forced displacement, killing and maiming of tens of thousands of civilians are the reality of Palestinians in a desperate struggle for mere survival.

Israel’s President, ministers, military generals, and spokespersons have abundantly and publicly spoken about their intentions in Gaza. They spoke of turning "Gaza into a desert island", of "fighting human animals", and of the emphasis being "on damage not on accuracy". Thus, the Israeli army not only committed the actions, but Israeli leaders expressly and publicly mentioned they had the specific intent of destroying the group.

On 13 October, FIDH raised the alarm against Israeli crimes stating that they may reflect genocidal intent against Palestinians. On 19 October and 2 November, experts from the United Nations (UN) also warned of the risk of genocide. In mid-November, FIDH member organisations such as Al-Haq, based in the West Bank, and the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) in the United States filed a lawsuit against the President of the United States and other senior U.S. officials for their failure to prevent genocide and their complicity in it.

"This unfolding genocide threatens the entirety of the Palestinian people. Now, Gaza is in focus. But in the West Bank, dozens of communities have been forcibly displaced and others are threatened with the same fate. In the West Bank, Palestinians are killed almost on a daily basis. They are being silenced and arrested on both sides of the Green Line. Israel’s system of colonial apartheid means there is no future for the Palestinian people anywhere on their land", says Diana Alzeer, FIDH Vice-President and representative of Al-Haq.

Find the full resolution here or read it below :

Read more