HomeCommentaryIsrael criticized for dehumanizing language and potential war crimes

Israel criticized for dehumanizing language and potential war crimes

Millions of good, peace-loving people around the world, including Israelis, are working to secure a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war in the Gaza Strip.

However, they have been unsuccessful in persuading either Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu or the leaders of Hamas to agree to a permanent ceasefire.

Israel aims to destroy Hamas, but every casualty only drives more to join their ranks. Netanyahu, facing legal issues from corruption allegations, may be prolonging the war to avoid conviction.

The International Court of Justice has warned of potential genocide charges against Israel due to the mass killings of civilians, exacerbated by a war of starvation and extensive bombing. The International Criminal Court is poised to issue arrest warrants for Netanyahu, his defense minister, and three Hamas leaders.

Television broadcasts are inundated with horrific images of dead and wounded civilians, women, and children, victims of bombings and shootings.

These images depict human atrocities, a frenzy of killing and bombing by Israel in retaliation for Hamas’s atrocity on 7 October 2023, which resulted in 1,200 Israeli and foreign deaths. Hamas took these individuals into Gaza’s tunnel complex.

Despite its powerful US-supplied military, Israel has failed to rescue all hostages or defeat Hamas. The ongoing battle may cause further hostage casualties from Israeli gunfire or bombs.

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The root cause of this hostility and war is the 48-year occupation since Israeli forces expelled Palestinians from their homes and lands. This occupation has led to systematic human rights violations against Palestinians, as described by Amnesty International.

The organization notes that Israel’s policies since June 1967, including land confiscation and illegal settlement, have inflicted immense suffering on Palestinians, stripping them of basic rights.

This prolonged occupation and the resultant Palestinian suffering do not justify Hamas’s violent killing of 1,200 Israelis and foreigners. Criticism of Israel’s military actions is not antisemitic; it is a call for accountability reminiscent of the challenges Jesus of Nazareth posed to authorities oppressing the poor.

With extremists on both sides resisting ceasefire, Netanyahu vows to destroy Hamas. A BBC Panorama report suggests that by allowing funds to flow to Hamas to control them, he inadvertently armed them. Now, with radical supporters in his cabinet, Netanyahu is tarnishing Israel’s reputation and dignity.

Israel’s international reputation suffers as it faces widespread criticism. To many, it seems Palestinian lives are devalued, evident from the 37,000 Palestinians killed, mostly women and children, and another 85,523 injured. Israel must confront this harsh truth and its repercussions for these crimes against humanity, as noted in the latest UN report.

A UN investigation of just six out of thousands of bombing strikes strongly indicates that Israel committed crimes against humanity and war crimes through indiscriminate killing using massive bombs, likely supplied by the United States.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights published an assessment of six emblematic IDF attacks in Gaza that resulted in high civilian fatalities and extensive destruction, raising serious concerns under the laws of war regarding distinction, proportionality, and precautions in attack.

The report details attacks involving GBU-31, GBU-32, and GBU-39 bombs from 9 October to 2 December 2023 on residential buildings, a school, refugee camps, and a market. The UN verified 218 deaths from these attacks, with indications that the actual number could be much higher.

One IDF official was quoted in the report as referring to “Hamas and the residents of Gaza” as “human beasts” and stated that “they are dealt with accordingly.” This dehumanizing perspective supports the claim of a total blockade imposed by Israel on Gaza—no electricity, no water, just destruction.

The series of Israeli strikes, exemplified by these six incidents, suggests repeated violations of fundamental war principles by the IDF. Unlawful targeting, when part of a widespread or systematic attack against civilians, may also constitute crimes against humanity.

Irish Father Shay Cullen, SSC, established the Preda Foundation in Olongapo City in 1974 to promote human rights and the rights of children, especially victims of sex abuse. The views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial stance of LiCAS.news.

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