As the Israeli aggression on Gaza continues for the 27th consecutive day, it coincides with the 106th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, which denied the Palestinian people their right to self-determination. This declaration led to the establishment of the Israeli occupation state and the forced displacement of Palestinian refugees from their homes due to repeated Israeli massacres. This historical injustice persists to this day, as Israeli aggression on Gaza continues, resulting in war crimes, acts of genocide, and crimes against humanity, in addition to collective punishments and violations of the political, civil, economic, social, and cultural rights of Palestinians in all occupied Palestinian territories.
The Israeli occupation’s crimes include apartheid policies, siege, aggression on Gaza, expansion of colonial settlements, land confiscation, Jerusalem’s Judaization, desecration of holy sites, and attacks on churches and Al-Aqsa Mosque. Moreover, settler violence, raids, arbitrary arrests, and the mistreatment of prisoners in Israeli jails persist, as well as incursions into Palestinian cities and refugee camps and extrajudicial executions, which have claimed the lives of 340 martyrs in the West Bank since the beginning of this year, including 132 since October 7, 2023.
The commemoration of the Balfour Declaration reminds Palestinians and the world of the historical alignment of the United States, the United Kingdom, and some European countries with the Israeli occupation state, which constitutes a blatant violation of international humanitarian law, international law standards, and relevant United Nations resolutions on the Palestinian issue. This support grants Israel, its extremist government, and its military a green light to continue the unprecedented genocide war on Gaza. This war has led to the martyrdom of 9,061 people, including 3,760 children and 2,326 women, with more than 2,000 missing, including 1,150 wounded. Over 75% of Gaza’s population, around 1.7 million people, have been forcibly displaced.
The Israeli military attacks, including airstrikes from land, sea, and air, have dropped over 25,000 tons of explosives, equivalent to 70 tons per square kilometre in Gaza’s 360-square-kilometer area. This has resulted in the destruction and damage of nearly 270,000 residential units, thousands of buildings, government facilities, schools, mosques, churches, universities, public and private institutions, bakeries, hospitals, shops, economic and commercial establishments, communication stations, agricultural lands, civil structures, and infrastructure. Approximately 50% of Gaza’s buildings and structures have been destroyed.
Moreover, there is evidence and indications of the use of internationally banned and highly destructive weapons such as white phosphorus and rockets that emit toxic chemical gases, causing severe burns to the bodies of the injured and martyrs. The ongoing aggression and the beginning of ground incursions have seen an unprecedented intensity of fires that have swept through entire areas and neighborhoods, clearing the way for Israeli tanks to enter the Gaza Strip without regard for civilians and civilian structures.
For 27 days, Israel has imposed collective sanctions, cutting off electricity, water, closing crossings, severing communications and the internet to large parts of Gaza. It has also prevented and hindered the entry of humanitarian aid and medical supplies. Approximately 256 trucks entered Gaza, providing only a minimum of humanitarian necessities. These aid trucks, subject to Israeli inspection, included food, medicines, water, and burial shrouds. Yesterday and today, 150 injured individuals and hundreds of foreign passport holders were allowed to be evacuated.
The expansion and continuation of the aggression have intensified the suffering of civilians and displaced people to the extent that Gaza’s residents are unable to secure drinking water or food. There is overcrowding at bakeries and water stations to obtain a single loaf of bread and less than a litter of non-potable water. Infectious diseases and epidemics are beginning to emerge among the displaced population, especially in crowded shelters, raising concerns about a health and environmental disaster while thousands of bodies remain under the rubble.
The Israeli occupation forces have intentionally prevented the entry of the necessary fuel for the electricity station, leading to water scarcity, halting the operation of hospital generators, ambulance and rescue vehicles, and cooking gas. This is a clear act of revenge against civilians.
Furthermore, the Israeli occupation forces have continued to target the homes of families without prior warning, resulting in 965 massacres and the complete obliteration of entire families. Dozens of other families have lost many of their members. Additionally, the Israeli occupation forces have committed mass atrocities by bombing residential areas, especially what happened in Jabalia Camp yesterday. Israeli aircraft targeted residential neighborhoods in the Fallujah and Huwara areas, causing the death and injury of nearly 1,000 citizens in a single day, most of them children and women, reminiscent of the Ma’manallah Hospital massacre, which led to the martyrdom of 472 citizens and the injury of hundreds of displaced and sick individuals.
Yesterday, the Israeli occupation forces deliberately targeted the Turkish hospital for cancer diseases during a ground maneuver, causing it to cease operations and bringing the number of hospitals out of service to 14, in addition to 32 health centres. Meanwhile, the Israeli occupation forces continued to threaten other hospitals with evacuation and shelled their surroundings, especially the hospitals of Al-Quds and Al-Shifa in Gaza City and Al-Indonesi in northern Gaza. This has caused significant damage to these hospitals. The shortage of fuel has resulted in most hospital generators not functioning. They are at risk of complete shutdown if fuel is not supplied. During this time, 150 medical personnel, paramedics, and civil defense personnel have been martyred, along with 35 journalists according to the Journalists Syndicate. Additionally, 70 employees of UNRWA have been martyred.
The International Commission to Support Palestinians Rights (Hashd)reminds the international community of the historical injustice and ongoing suffering of the Palestinian people due to the continuing Israeli occupation and its crimes in Palestine. It condemns the international community’s failure to halt Israeli crimes and continuous aggression against Gaza, as well as its disregard for international humanitarian law and United Nations resolutions concerning the Palestinian issue, which has allowed the Israeli occupation to persist and escalate its crimes. Hashd condemns strongly the selectivity and double standards in international standards and the politicization of international law. It records and calls for:
Hashd Calls upon the international community and the United Nations to fulfil their legal and moral duties to put an end to the war crimes, genocide, and collective punishments committed by the Israeli occupation forces in Gaza and other occupied Palestinian territories. This should ensure the respect and application of the principles of international humanitarian law, human rights standards, and the international protection of civilians. It also calls for the implementation of international legitimacy resolutions related to the Palestinian issue and ending the long-standing suffering of the Palestinian people for over a century.
Hashd Urges the high contracting parties to the Geneva Conventions to press Israel to assume its responsibilities, respect the rules of international humanitarian law and the laws of war, open humanitarian corridors, restore the flow of electricity and water, allow for the evacuation of the wounded, facilitate the delivery of humanitarian aid, medical supplies, relief, and the necessary fuel for operating the power station to ensure access to drinking water and the functioning of hospital generators, ambulances, and rescue vehicles.
Hashd Calls upon the United Kingdom to assume its legal, moral, and humanitarian responsibilities and to apologize to the Palestinian people for all the pain and tragedies resulting from the Balfour Declaration. The UK should cease its military, political, and economic support to the Israeli occupation, as any British support for the occupation constitutes an ongoing international crime that does not fall under the statute of limitations.
Hashd Calls on the world’s nations and international and regional organizations to take concrete actions to provide humanitarian assistance and ensure international protection for children, women, journalists, medical personnel, and hospitals. This is to halt the killing of children and women, where one is killed every five minutes during the aggression.
Hashd Urges the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court to expedite the investigation of war crimes, genocide, and collective punishments, putting an end to the procrastination and evasion of accountability for the grave violations. This should be done through the use of international judicial authority, in front of the International Court of Justice and the International Criminal Court. This includes the accountability of all partners in the occupation for its international crimes committed against the Palestinian people, to ensure justice, impartiality, and the protection of international law and humanity.