Why the Blockade of Gaza’s Food, Water, Fuel, and Medicine to Gaza Is Genocide

South Africa’s Dec. 29 filing with the UN’s International Court of Justice, charges that the present Israeli government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is violating the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, and that the UN needs to order the immediate halt to Israel’s military operations. It says that Israel’s actions “are genocidal in character because they are intended to bring about the destruction of a substantial part” of the Palestinians in Gaza. They have killed (as of Dec. 29) more than 21,110 named Palestinians with more than 7,780 missing. “Israel has also laid waste to vast areas of Gaza,” damaging over 355,000 homes. They have forced “the evacuation of 1.9 million people or 85% of the population,” herded them “into ever smaller areas, without adequate shelter,” while continuing to attack them militarily. It refers to 75 years of apartheid, 56 years of “belligerent occupation of Palestinian territory” and 16 years of blockading Gaza.

Importantly, besides the killings and serious injuries by military actions, Israel is also charged with “inflicting on [Gazans] them conditions of life calculated to bring about their physical destruction as a group.” Israel has failed “to provide or ensure essential food, water, medicine, fuel, shelter and other humanitarian assistance for the besieged and blockaded” people of Gaza.

Besides committing genocide, Israel has failed to hold senior Israeli officials accountable for their direct and public incitement to genocide.

Biden, Blinken and Austin Charged with Complicity. A suit has been filed in the United States by the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), which alleges that U.S. President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin have failed to “exercise their influence over Israel to prevent genocide,” and that such failure constitutes their “complicity in genocide.” The case was filed last Nov. 13 in California on behalf of Defense for Children International-Palestine; the human rights group Al-Haq; and Palestinians living in Gaza.

It also seeks an “emergency court order to halt U.S. military and diplomatic support for Israel’s assault.” A hearing is scheduled for Jan. 26, 2024. On Jan. 3, an amicus curiae brief was filed in the CCR case by “seventy-seven legal and grassroots non-governmental organizations based across the world—from Buffalo to Bahrain, from Ireland to Indonesia,” a CCR press release reports. In addition, four other amici briefs were filed: One by medical professionals, one by Palestinian journalists, one by four leading grassroots organizations representing Muslims and Arab Americans, and lastly by the organization, Jewish Voice for Peace.

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