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Euro-Med: Gaza death toll nears that of Srebrenica genocide

October 26, 2023 at 8:47 am

Injured Palestinian people are taken to the Al Aqsa Martyrs Hospital after Israeli attacks with warplanes and artillery fire as Israeli attacks continue on the 20th day in Deir Al-Balah, Gaza on October 26, 2023 [Ashraf Amra/Anadolu Agency]

The estimated number of Palestinians have been killed or are missing under the rubble as a result of the unprecedented Israeli military attack on the Gaza Strip now exceeds the number of people killed in the Srebrenica massacre, Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor said yesterday.

Some 6,734 Palestinians—including 2,812 children—have been killed since 7 October and about 1,755 more are missing beneath the rubble of their homes, the rights group said.

Euro-Med Monitor warned that what is happening in Gaza now serves as a reminder of the Srebrenica genocide that took place from 11-22 July 1995, during the Bosnia and Herzegovina war, which is considered one of the worst massacres that Europe has seen since World War II. The massacre took place in Srebrenica City, where 8,372 Bosniak Muslims lost their lives, most of whom were males aged between 12 and 77 years.

Israel’s actions, the rights group said, point towards an annihilation campaign as a form of retaliation against the entire population, employing heavy artillery bombings of densely populated residential areas, inhabited houses, and civilian gatherings causing the greatest number of casualties among civilians compared to any previous war on Gaza.

The Israeli attacks are being accompanied by the comprehensive closure of the Gaza Strip and a total blackout of fuel, electricity, water and humanitarian aid, which threatens a complete catastrophe, Euro-Med Monitor said.

Power outages and fuel shortages mean health facilities are close to collapse, it explained, adding UNRWA warned that it will have to cease operations as of today unless fuel is permitted into Gaza.

Additionally, serious concerns have been raised about the possibility of a major epidemic spreading throughout the areas as thousands are forced to drink contaminated water, and washing facilities are limited.

Primary care centres are also reporting dozens of cases of chicken pox because of the overcrowding in shelter centres, the lack of drinking water, and poor personal hygiene. Food insecurity puts women and children—especially pregnant and breastfeeding mothers—at risk for undernutrition and malnutrition, which can compromise their immune systems and make them more susceptible to diseases related to anaemia, and preeclampsia, Euro-Med Monitor warned.

It called on the international community to take effective action to halt what has effectively become a genocidal and starvation campaign in the Gaza Strip, which will lead to an unprecedented catastrophe.

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