This Sunday (14), the conflict in the Middle East reached its 100th day, and the Gaza health authority stated that there have been 23,968 deaths on the Palestinian side since October 7th. Philippe Lazzarini, head of the UN Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA) stated on Saturday (13) that the crisis is “aggravated by dehumanizing language and the use of water, food and fuel as instruments of war”. He also warned about the situation of Gaza’s children: “An entire generation of children is traumatized and healing will take years. Thousands have been killed, mutilated and become orphans. Hundreds of thousands are deprived of education.”
Despite international appeals, the massacre promoted by Israel seems far from over. Also on Saturday (13), Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated that “no one will stop us, not The Hague, not the axis of evil, not anyone else.” The politician’s speech made reference to the process that Israel faces at the International Court in The Hague, in the Netherlands. South Africa accuses the country of committing genocide against the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip. In the indictment, lawyer Adila Hassim highlighted the following points that, according to her, confirm the intention to provoke genocide:
– use of weapons that cause large-scale destruction,
– practice of designating a “safe zone” for Palestinians to seek refuge and then those same areas being bombed,
– practice of depriving Palestinians of basic needs: food, water, health, fuel, sanitation and communication,
– destruction of infrastructure, houses, schools, mosques, churches, hospitals,
– large numbers of children killed, injured and orphaned,
The accusation presented by South Africa is supported by the 57 countries that form the Organization for Islamic Cooperation and by nations such as Brazil. Israel refutes the accusation, claiming that it is merely exercising self-defense.
:: South Africa formally accuses Israel of genocide and calls for an end to military operations on the first day of the trial in The Hague ::
Demonstrations around the world
Saturday (13) was marked by ceasefire demonstrations around the world. In Washington, thousands of pro-Palestinian activists gathered in the second major protest since October 7. Palestinian journalist Wael al-Dahdouh, from Al Jazeera, participated via video call. He became a symbol of the violence committed by Israel after losing his wife, a daughter, two sons and a grandson in air strikes, as well as being hit by an Israeli drone himself. “People don’t have sustenance, food or water, a place to sleep, a bathroom and what is necessary for life, not a decent life, but just to stay alive,” al-Dahdouh told the crowd gathered in Washington Ilyasah Shabazz, daughter of Malcolm X, also spoke. Among the protesters were anti-Zionist Orthodox Jews.
Israel also registered protests against the coalition government led by Netanyahu. In capital. Tel-Aviv, protesters called for new elections. In Haifa, former Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon (who served in Netanyahu’s government between 2013 and 2016) spoke to protesters and accused the government of not prioritizing the release of the hostages.
Chronology of the massacre
The current conflict began on October 7 with a massive attack by Hamas on Israel. Around 1200 people were killed (the first estimate was 1400 dead, but the Israeli authorities themselves remade the calculation) and around 240 were kidnapped. The Israeli response was immediate, including bombing Gaza and cutting off supplies of food, water, fuel and electricity. After agreements, humanitarian aid trucks were able to enter the territory, but in much smaller quantities than necessary.
Between November 24 and December 1, Israel and Hamas made a temporary truce. 105 hostages taken by Hamas were released, and 240 Palestinians were released from Israeli prisons – the majority of them women and children under 18 who were detained but never charged.
Since then, there have been no further ceasefire agreements.
Editing: Raquel Setz