Three Months after the ICJ Order, the International Community Still Fails to Stop Israel’s 202 Day-Long Genocide on Gaza

Date: 26 April 2024

On 26 January 2024, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) determined the plausibility that Israel is carrying out genocide against Palestinians in Gaza, and ORDERED Israel to:

  1. prevent the commission of genocidal acts
  2. prevent and punish public incitement to genocide
  3. ensure aid and services reach Palestinians

Again, on 29 March, the ICJ ISSUED modified provisional measures based on South Africa’s urgent request. The new measures ordered Israel to provide unhindered aid, medical supplies and basic needs, and to end to all violations under the Genocide Convention, noting the “exceptionally grave” developments since the January Order, in particular the spread of starvation. The Court noted “that Palestinians in Gaza are no longer facing only a risk of famine, as noted in the Order of 26 January 2024, but that famine is setting in, with at least 31 people, including 27 children, having already died of malnutrition and dehydration”. The Court also noted UN Security Resolution 2728  of 25 March 2024, which demanded an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, and remains unimplemented.

The Palestine Institute for Public Diplomacy (PIPD) and Bisan Center for Research and Development have been producing a monthly brief, highlighting Israel’s key violations of the ICJ provisional measures issued on 26 January. For last month’s brief, highlighting Israel’s violations between 26 February and 25 March, please click hereThe following brief is on Israel’s violations of the ICJ Order between 26 March and 25 April.

Summary  

In the three months since the ICJ binding ruling on 26 January, Israel has continued its genocide on Gaza with intense bombardment and attacks from air, land, and sea, resulting in the killing of 8,273 Palestinians, and the injury of 12,881 others, while also causing ongoing displacement and extensive destruction. Israeli officials have continued to show their intent to commit genocide, including with plans to conduct a ground invasion into Rafah. In recent weeks, such a threat has been even more concerning for half of Gaza’s population in Rafah. Furthermore, the delivery of aid has declined since the Court ruling in January. Concurrently, Israel has pushed the health sector out of service, turning hospitals into war zones and mass grave sites. Six months on the genocide and siege on Gaza, have left half of Gaza’s population at risk of FAMINEwhile Palestinians in the north of Gaza are already facing famine.

Ongoing Genocidal Acts – Killings 

  • Since the ICJ’s ruling three months ago, Israel has killed around 8,273 Palestinians, and wounded 12,881 others, bringing the total number of killings since 7 October 2023 to around 34,356, including at least 14,778 children, and the injuries to 77,368.

Below are some of the most horrific killing incidents from the past month:

  • In our last brief, we reported on Israel’s siege of AlShifa hospital which started on 18 March. The brutal Israeli siege and attack which lasted for 15 days until 1 April, has resulted in the killing of more than 400 Palestinians, including 21patients. After Israel’s withdrawal, shocking footage and testimonies showed hundreds of dead bodies, some of them decomposed, scattered inside the hospital and around it. Body parts were found on the ground, as well as human remains buried in the Hospital’s courtyard. The World Health Organization (WHO) reported numerous shallow graves and many partially buried dead bodies with their limbs visible in the hospital’s compound, as well as a pungent smell of decomposing bodies engulfing the hospital compound. In other instances, Israeli tanks crushed bodies to death, leaving them unidentifiable. As described by OCHA: “Shifa has literally become a graveyard.
  • The recovery of bodies in and around Al Shifa continued for weeks after Israel’s withdrawal. The process of digging up bodies by Palestinian Civil Defence revealed mass graves at both AlShifa Hospital and Nasser Hospital, containing 392 bodies, including those of women, children and the elderly. On 25 April, Palestinian Civil Defence officials said forensic examination is needed after horrifying new details about the mass graves have been found, including the possibility of bodies being buried alive.  The new revelations expose how bodies found in the graves showed signs of torture and field executions, including some found handcuffed, stripped, and subjected to mutilation.

Ongoing Genocidal Acts – Causing Serious Bodily or Mental Harm

  • On 15 April, AlMezan Center for Human Rights published its investigation of the aggressive detention campaign of around 3,000 Palestinians in Gaza, of whom 1,650 are held under the Unlawful Combatants Law without charge or any legal representation. The investigation details testemonies from detainess to AlMezan’s lawyer, who have faced torture, inhuman and degrading treatment. Such practices against detainees include, brutal beating, prolonged periods of being handcuffed and bound in stress positions, stripping, blindfolding, wrist tying, sleep deprivation, and deliberate starvation. In March, Haaretz reported the death of 27 Gaza detainees in Israeli prisons since the genocide in October 2023.
  • On 8 April, Médecins Sans Frontières reported that many life-saving amputations might have been avoided if the health system in Gaza were still functional.

Ongoing Genocidal Acts – Forcible Transfer and Inflicting Conditions of Life to Bring about Physical Destruction:

  • Over the past month, Israel has intensified its attacks on the health sector in Gaza, including hospitals and medical teams. Between 7 October and 2 April, there WERE 435 attacks on health care across Gaza, resulting in the killing of 722 Palestinians and the injury of 902 others, detention and arrest of 118 health workers, while affecting 100 health facilities and 104 ambulances. As of 2 April, there are no fully functional hospitals in Gaza, with 10 of the 36 hospitals only partially functional. Hospitals that remain partially functional are operating at 359%of their capacity, suffering from severe shortages of fuel, medical equipment, medications, food and water, and health personnel.
  • Since the beginning of the genocide in October, besieging and targeting hospitals has been a systemic Israeli practice, endangering the lives of patients, medical staff, and internally displaced persons sheltering at besieged hospitals. The two-week brutal siege on AlShifa Hospital has not only turned it into a graveyard but left it in ruins.  On 2 April, WHO described the destruction of Al Shifa as “ripping the heart out of the health system in Gaza,” On 6 April, WHO reported on the findings of a UN mission to the hospital, stating that “the scale of devastation has left what was once the largest and most important referral hospital in Gaza completely non-functional”. WHO continued: “Most hospital buildings, including the emergency department, the surgical and maternity ward buildings, and the neonatal intensive care department were extensively damaged or burnt, along with most of the equipment, beds, incubators, the oxygen plant, and other assets”. This has left northern Gaza without medical equipment and facilities “which will increase avoidable deaths.” Moreover, Israel’s intensive military attack has left about 1,050 houses in the vicinity of the hospital burnt or damaged.
  • On 7 April, Israeli forces withdrew from Khan Younis after months of military attacks, leaving behind profound destruction to homes, schools, hospitals, roads and other infrastructure. Displaced Palestinians who returned to the area found their homes reduced to rubble, bodies under rubble, and a heavy smell of death looming over the area. Palestinians in Khan Younis are now facing dire shortages of food and water, collapsed services, destroyed homes, and severe safety risks due to the presence of unexploded ordnance.
  • Al Nuseirat Refugee Camp in Deir al Balah was subjected to intense Israeli bombardment and ground invasion in April, killing dozens of Palestinian. This, coupled with calls from the Israeli military asking for the evacuation of the Camp’s residents, has forced many to flee. Following Israel’s withdrawal from the Camp on 18 April, widespread destruction has been left, further displacing Palestinias and leaving them with no safe place.
  • Since the ICJ ruling in January, Israeli officials have been preparing for a ground invasion into Rafah. Half of Gaza’s population are now in Rafah, most of whom have been internally displaced since 7 October. Trapped in an overcrowded space, displaced Palestinians in Rafah are facing ongoing bombings, starvation and disease, and a lack of basic human needs. Such a threat has been even more concerning for Palestinians in Rafah in recent weeks, especially in light of accelerated Israeli airstrikes, Israeli military plans to invade the area, as well as media reports that Israel is purchasing thousands of tents to accommodate displaced Palestinains from Rafah.
  • The entire Gaza population faces high levels of acute food insecurity, with half of the population at risk of FAMINE. For North Gaza and Gaza Governorates, famine is a reality.
  • Children are disproportionately impacted by food insecurity. The situation is particularly severe in northern Gaza, where above 50,000 children under the age of five are acutely malnourished. On 2 April, WHO, reported that Kamal Adwan Hospital in northern Gaza has been receiving at least 15 malnourished children every day. On 3 April, Oxfam estimated that Palestinians in northern Gaza have been forced to survive on an average of 245 calories a day since January. Between 27 February and 1 April, dehydration and malnutrition has caused the death of 32 Palestinians, including 28 children in Northern Gaza.
  • Outbreaks of Hepatitis A and other illnesses continue to spread. As of 2 April, WHO REPORTED 345,768 cases of diarrhea, 47,949 cases of skin rashes, 643,254 cases of acute respiratory infections, and 83,450 cases of scabies and lice.
  • On 13 April, the Municipality of Gaza reported that some 270,000 tons of solid waste have accumulated across the Gaza Strip, creating an environmental and public health catastrophe. This is mainly due to restricted access to fuel, Israel’s destruction of solid waste collection vehicles and waste management facilities, as well as denial of access to landfills.

Ongoing Genocidal Acts – Imposing measures intended to prevent births

  • UN Women in its gender analysis on Gaza in April, REPORTED that women and girls are facing starvation, heightened risk of exposure to infectious diseases, as well as the critical risk of developing reproductive and urinary tract infections. In April, the International Rescue Committee reported that around 180 women are giving birth every day in Gaza, while only three of the 11 hospitals that are still partially functioning across Gaza provide maternal care. Many pregnant women have had to give birth without any medical aid, and some were forced to undergo C-sections without anesthesia. Furthermore, due to the collapse of the health system, the ongoing displacement, the undignified living conditions in overcrowded shelters, malnutrition and dehydration, and shock, pregnant women are experiencing premature labor and miscarriage, with a threefold increase in miscarriage rates since October.

Disrupting Humanitarian Aid 

  • Less aid has gone daily into Gaza as compared to the average daily trucks entering Gaza before the ICJ Order on 26 JanuaryBefore 7 October, the average number of trucks that entered Gaza each day was around 500. For the weeks between 5-25 January, 152 trucks entered daily on average. Between 26 January and 18 April, 141 trucks entered daily on average.
  • The denial of aid delivery to northern Gaza is particularly alarming. Between 1 and 24 April, around 57% of humanitarian aid missions to northern Gaza were facilitated by the Israeli authorities.
  • Israeli forces have not only prevented aid from entering Gaza, attacked aid warehouses and convoys, and those securing and delivering aid, but have also targeted international humanitarian missions and killed aid workers. On 1 April, several Israeli strikes killed seven World Central Kitchen aid workers, while traveling in a coordinated convoy in Deir al Balah. On 10 April, Israeli forces shot at a UNICEF humanitarian convoy while en route to northern Gaza to deliver life-saving aid.
  • Israeli forces have been systematically and deliberately targeting members of the Palestinian police and civil bodies as well as members of emergency aid committees. Such members and bodies play important roles in managing, organizing and distributing aid and relief to Palestinians, as well as achieving integrity, justice and efficiency in managing those areas. With this policy, Israel seeks to create a chaotic social reality that serves in accomplishing its political plans. As reported by a field coordinator for the passage of aid trucks, even facilitated convoys have been getting attacked by the Israeli authorities.

No Prevention of Public Incitement to Genocide

  • No charges were pressed against any public official for public incitement to genocide.

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This brief has been prepared by the Palestine Institute for Public Diplomacy (PIPD) and Bisan Center for Research and Development.

For related inquiries, please reach out to us at: info@thepipd.com; media@bisan.org.