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Israel committing genocide in Gaza, new study concludes

May 16, 2024 at 1:52 pm

Students at George Washington University gather to protest against the attacks in Gaza and show support for Palestinians by chanting slogans in Washington, D.C., United States on April 26, 2024 [Celal Güneş/Anadolu Agency]

A ground-breaking study by a coalition of prestigious academic institutions has concluded that Israel’s actions in Gaza since 7 October, 2023, constitute genocide against the Palestinian people. The study, conducted by the University Network for Human Rights, the International Human Rights Clinic at Boston University School of Law, the International Human Rights Clinic at Cornell Law School, the Centre for Human Rights at the University of Pretoria, and the Lowenstein Human Rights Project at Yale Law School, presents a thorough legal analysis of Israel’s conduct in the context of the Genocide Convention of 1948.

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The study found that Israel has committed genocidal acts of killing, causing serious harm to, and inflicting conditions of life calculated to bring about the physical destruction of Palestinians in Gaza, a protected group that forms a substantial part of the Palestinian people. Between 7 October last year and 1 May, 2024, Israel has killed at least 34,568 Palestinians and wounded 77,765 others in Gaza, comprising more than five per cent of Gaza’s population. Shockingly, over two per cent of Gaza’s children have been killed or injured, with approximately 14,500 Palestinian children killed in total.

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The coalition’s report of the study also highlights the destruction of civilian infrastructure, including homes, hospitals, schools, UN facilities and cultural and religious heritage sites. As a result of Israel’s military offensive, 1.7 million civilians — over 75 per cent of Gaza’s population — have been forcibly displaced, and civilians face catastrophic levels of hunger and deprivation due to Israel’s restriction on access to basic essentials.

The report concludes that Israel’s genocidal acts in Gaza have been motivated by the requisite genocidal intent, as evidenced by statements from Israeli leaders expressing dehumanisation and cruelty towards Palestinians, as well as intentions to destroy and exterminate them. The patterns of conduct by Israeli military forces in Gaza further reinforce the finding of Israel’s genocidal intent, the report said.

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The academic institutions call for an immediate cessation of Israel’s violations of the international legal prohibition of genocide and emphasise the obligations of all other states to refrain from recognising Israel’s breaches as legal, avoid complicity, and take positive steps to suppress, prevent, and punish further genocidal acts against the Palestinian people in Gaza.