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Nobody has ever held Israel accountable for its repeated violations of international, humanitarian laws’

October 19, 2023 at 8:19 pm

People gather for the Edmonton Emergency Protest and Sit-In for Gaza outside the Alberta Legislature, on October 18, 2023, in Edmonton, Canada. [Stringer – Anadolu Agency]

Italian writer and journalist, Romana Rubeo, said Israel’s attacks on civilian settlements, hospitals and schools in the Gaza Strip constitute a war crime, accusing international organisations and the media of protecting Israel, Anadolu Agency reports.

In an interview with Anadolu, Rubeo, Managing Editor of the “Palestine Chronicle”, said Israel has been shielded and protected by the international community and nobody has ever held it accountable for its repeated violations of international and humanitarian laws.

Recalling that the UN issued a humanitarian crisis warning following Israel’s ongoing attacks on Gaza, Rubeo said: “The situation in Gaza is dramatic, and the United Nations has repeatedly warned of a humanitarian catastrophe.”

Touching on the number of those killed and injured because of Israeli airstrikes in Gaza, Rubeo said:

The majority of these casualties are women and children. As we speak, Israeli bombs continue to be thrown on Gaza, and children, Palestinian children continue to die

READ: Bombing Gaza Hospital – or international credibility?

Gaza has been under “hermetic Israeli siege” for 16 years, she said. “The Israeli government decided to put Gaza under what I call a medieval form of siege, meaning that no fuel, no electricity, no food, no water can access the Strip.”

Pointing out Israel used white phosphorus bombs in Gaza which international law does not allow, Rubeo urged the world to stop this.

The international community has to put pressure on Israel to respect the civilian population in Gaza and allow a temporary cease-fire to guarantee that the humanitarian aid reaches the Gaza Strip

Israeli officials demanded the evacuation of hospitals where people affected by Israel’s phosphorus bombs are being treated, she said.

“The Israeli authorities have issued several evacuation orders for hospitals. Of course, the management of the hospitals have rejected these calls, because evacuating hospitals now would mean a death sentence for the patients.”

‘They want to crush civilian population in Gaza’

Recalling that Israel committed many crimes against Palestinians in the past, Rubeo said: “Israel has never been held accountable, despite the fact that it has repeatedly violated hundreds of UN resolutions.”

“So far, Israel has been shielded and protected by the international community, and I refer specifically to Western countries. Nobody has ever held Israel accountable for its repeated violations of international and humanitarian law.”

“Israel has also been shielded from a media point of view. So the image of Israel has been protected, and this is happening right now. But we have to say loud and clear that Israel cannot be considered above international and humanitarian laws.”

The media coverage has been particularly shamefully biased towards Israel, she added. “Everybody who is not speaking the truth and not speaking about what many analysts have described as genocide, and everybody who is not respecting the professional rules holds a responsibility.”

The Israeli government now does not want to appear as the losing side, she noted. “They want to score a political point. And, in order to do so, they want to crush the civilian population in Gaza.”

READ: Palestinian doctors call for immediate action to end Israel violence

‘Mass displacement’

“They also have a plan of mass displacement of Palestinians. All of this is not done in the dark. Israeli officials have openly called for the genocide of the civilian population. Israeli military officials have said that they make no distinction between Hamas and the civilian population. We need to stop this,” she said.

“The Palestinian people have proved, once and for all, that they are not going to allow anybody to draw a new map of the Middle East without consulting them, without keeping Palestine at the centre of the discussion.”

The conflict in Gaza, under Israeli bombardment and blockade since 7 October, began when Hamas initiated Operation Al-Aqsa Flood, a multi-pronged surprise attack that included a barrage of rocket launches and infiltrations into Israel by land, sea, and air. It said the incursion was in retaliation for the storming of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and growing violence by Israeli settlers.

The Israeli military then launched Operation Swords of Iron against Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip.

Gaza is experiencing a dire humanitarian crisis, with no electricity, while water, food, fuel, and medical supplies are running out.

UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, has called for an “immediate humanitarian cease-fire” to ease the “epic human suffering.”

At least 3,785 Palestinians have been killed in Israeli attacks on Gaza, while the figure stands at more than 1,400 people in Israel.