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8 months of death and destruction in Gaza

June 7, 2024 at 6:56 pm

A view of houses and streets destroyed in the attacks on the Jabalia Refugee Camp, where people try to continue their lives under difficult conditions among the rubbles as the Israeli attacks continue on Jabalia, Gaza on June 7, 2024 [Dawoud Abo Alkas/Anadolu Agency]

As eight months have passed since Israel launched attacks on the Gaza Strip, the Tel Aviv administration continues to force Palestinians to starve, deliberately targeting civilian settlements and killing tens of thousands of Palestinians, including children and women.

Since 7 October, Israel’s bombing of Gaza has killed 36,654 Palestinians, including 15,328 children and 10,171 women, and injured 83,309 others.

Israel has deliberately targeted and destroyed civilian structures, including UN buildings, schools, hospitals, mosques and churches, where civilians seek refuge.

By blocking humanitarian aid to 2.3 million Palestinians, Israel is also causing widespread famine.

Israel’s relentless attacks have rendered Gaza unsafe, with its ground assault on Rafah further diminishing safety for the 1.5 million Palestinians seeking refugee.

READ: Israel steps up bombing of Rafah as tanks push west

Thousands of tons of bombs decimate homes, schools, mosques and hospitals

According to Gaza’s government media office statement on 24 May, the Israeli military has launched attacks on Gaza with 77,000 tons of explosives since 7 October, resulting in the complete destruction of 87,000 homes and rendering a total of 297,000 homes uninhabitable.

Israel’s attacks have destroyed 189 public buildings, 108 schools, and universities completely, with 313 others partially damaged. Additionally, 604 mosques were destroyed, 200 partially, and 3 churches were targeted for demolition.

Israel targeted 160 healthcare facilities in Gaza, disabling 55 health centres, 33 hospitals and 130 ambulances.

It is also reported that 520 Palestinian bodies were retrieved from 7 mass graves in hospitals raided by Israeli soldiers.

Israel destroyed 206 historical and cultural sites in Gaza, resulting in a direct loss of $33 billion.

According to the World Health Organisation’s office in Occupied Palestinian Territories, 464 attacks on healthcare services have been documented in Gaza since 7 October.

Israeli blockade of Gaza and famine

For 8 months, 2.3 million Palestinians in Gaza have been struggling to survive amid strikes from air, land and sea, while also grappling with hunger, thirst and outbreaks of disease.

According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and the World Food Program (WFP), it is estimated that over 1 million people, half of Gaza’s population, will face famine and death by mid-July.

In Gaza, 100 per cent of the population is classified at the crisis level, with 1.1 million people at the famine level and 900,000 at the emergency level.

According to a statement from the UN Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) on Thursday, cholera could further exacerbate “inhumane” living conditions in Gaza under Israeli attacks.

It warned of the risk of disease outbreaks and dehydration in Gaza due to limited access to clean water and summer heat.

READ: Norway: NGO says Israel’s ‘indiscriminate’ attacks against children, women are ‘war crimes’

According to Gaza’s media office, out of the 2.3 million population, 2 million people in Gaza have been displaced, resulting in over 1.095 million cases of infectious diseases and 20,000+ cases of Hepatitis A.

Israeli army’s ground assault on Rafah

Israeli army warned of further evacuation of some neighbourhoods in eastern Rafah, where 1.5 million displaced Palestinians are sheltering in makeshift tents.

On 7 May, the Israeli army began a ground assault on Rafah in Gaza, occupying the Gaza side of the border with Egypt – Gaza’s only gateway to the outside world.

Israel also blocks sick and wounded individuals from leaving through the Rafah border for medical treatment.

The Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza stated that 25,000 injured and sick individuals require treatment outside the Gaza Strip.

Following Israel’s ground assault on Rafah and its seizure of the Rafah Crossing, no patients or wounded individuals have been able to leave Gaza.

Israel expands Rafah attacks despite ICJ’s decision

The International Court of Justice (ICJ), the judicial arm of the UN, issued interim measures on 24 May, ordering Israel to immediately cease its attacks on Rafah, allow humanitarian aid and permit entry of UN officials to investigate their crimes in Gaza.

Israel’s military continues to expand ground attacks on the city of Rafah and in the central and southern regions despite the ICJ’s order to cease attacks.

UNRWA announced, on 28 May that in the past three weeks, one million Palestinians have been displaced in Rafah.

UNRWA Commissioner-General, Philippe Lazzarini, also stated on 1 June that all 36 shelters in Rafah have been evacuated, and they were forced to halt health and other critical services in Rafah.

Arrest warrant against Netanyahu

On 20 May, International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor, Karim Khan, reported that he had filed an “arrest warrant” application against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defence Minister, Yoav Gallant.

Khan stated that there are reasonable grounds to believe Netanyahu and Gallant bear criminal responsibility for war crimes and crimes against humanity in Gaza since 8 October.

Netanyahu claimed that Khan’s request for his arrest warrant was “insanity” and allegedly that the Court’s reasons for such a decision were “fabricated”.

Following the arrest warrant application, the US House of Representatives passed a bill imposing sanctions on the ICC, while UN spokesperson, Stephane Dujarric, in a statement, opposed threats and harassment against all international officials, including ICC personnel.

READ: FAO: 1m in Gaza will face death, starvation by July

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