Palestine Independent Commission for Human Rights (ICHR) warns of the imminent humanitarian catastrophe looming over the Gaza Strip
ICHR strongly condemns the grave violations of human rights perpetrated by the Israeli occupation against Palestinian civilians in Gaza. These violations encompass acts of killing, bombing, destruction of homes and residential structures, targeting civil institutions, obstructing the entry of essential supplies, and cutting off electricity to Gaza. These actions persist amidst the enduring presence of a blockade imposed on the Strip for more than 17 years.
ICHR sounds the alarm about the possibility of the Israeli government exploiting certain international endorsements to commit further massacres against Gaza's civilian population and implement widespread displacement operations.
With the commencement of Israeli aggression targeting residential towers and civilian infrastructure, resulting in the tragic loss of life, injuries, and the displacement of hundreds of families as of the drafting of this statement (Sunday morning, October 8th), ICHR warns of an imminent humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza. This concern is exacerbated by the severe strain on the healthcare system and the limited capabilities of civil defense, which are expected to worsen following the Israeli authorities' decision to sever electricity supply and seal border crossings. Furthermore, with the escalation of internal displacement in Gaza, where tens of thousands of citizens have been forced to abandon their homes due to Israeli airstrikes, the situation has reached a critical juncture.
ICHR also raises a red flag regarding the possible exploitation of recent events by settlers in the West Bank to commit acts of terrorism and assaults against Palestinians. This is especially concerning in light of the dissemination of incitement messages and calls for vengeance.
While holding the occupying state fully accountable for the lives and security of Palestinians in all occupied Palestinian territories, ICHR urgently calls upon the international community and United Nations entities to take immediate and effective action. They must exert substantial pressure on the occupying state to cease its aggression in Gaza, halt campaigns of suppression and forced displacement in the occupied West Bank, protect civilian lives, prevent further loss of life, deliver urgent humanitarian assistance to mitigate the consequences of the ongoing aggression, and prevent the worsening of the dire humanitarian situation in Gaza.
ICHR firmly believes that the international community's failure to address the fundamental root cause of this crisis, namely the denial of Palestinians' rights as recognized by international Law, its continuous cover for the occupying state, and its silence regarding its violations and crimes against Palestinians, coupled with the absence of new political alternatives based on international law and justice, will perpetuate the volatile situation and lead to periodic eruptions. Military solutions will only deepen the crisis, escalate violence, and destabilize the region.
Henceforth, ICHR calls upon the international community, especially the parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention and the United Nations, to ensure the protection of Palestinian civilians in accordance with the principles of international humanitarian law. This protection includes exerting pressure on the occupying state to uphold the provisions of the Geneva Conventions, particularly the Fourth Geneva Convention, which addresses safeguarding civilians during armed conflicts and under occupation.