Israel has been accused of carrying out genocide against Palestinians during the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The genocide accusations are linked with the conceptualization of Israel as an Occupier / Settler Colonial State. Those who believe on Israeli’s genocidal actions often point out the phenomena of Islamophobia, Anti-Palestinianism and Anti-Arab racism.
In this regard, the Palestinian genocide accusations are also supported by various verifiable instances including but not limited to the Nakba, the Sabra and Shatila Massacre, the blockade of Gaza Strip, illegal settlements in West Banks, the 2014 Gaza Conflict and most recent mass killings in Gaza Strip by Israeli bombings in 2023-2024.
Before we dive into this topic, we will need to first understand what is genocide and when it was first coined.
What is Genocide?
The term Genocide was first coined by a Polish Lawyer Raphael Lemkin in 1944 in his book Axis Rule in the Occupied Europe.
Genocide means the deliberate killings of a large number of people from a particular community, ethnic group or nation with an aim of destroying that group or nation. Various similar or interchangeable terms are also used such as racial killing, massacre, mass slaughter, mass destruction or indiscriminate killing.
Later in 1946, United Nation Assembly recognized Genocide as a crime under international law (A/RES/96-I). It was codified as an independent crime in the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (the Genocide Convention).
The Genocide Convention has been ratified by 153 countries (as of April 2022) and The International Court of Justice (ICJ) has the mandate to hear the cases of Genocide.
Is Israel Committing Genocide?
The State of Israel was established on May 14, 1948 with the assistance of other colonial states. Since, the establishment of Israel in the heart of Arab States, hundreds of Palestinians had been killed and forcefully displaced from their homelands.
Here is a snapshot of how many civilians had been killed so far in some of the major Israel-Palestinian Conflicts for better understanding on the topic of “is Israel committing Genocide”.
In 1948, more than 750K Palestinians fled from their home towns or were expelled by Zionist militias. According to a report published by Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS), Israelis controlled more than 774 villages and towns during the Nakba incident.
Further, the Zionist militias destroyed 531 villages and towns. So far 70 massacres were reported in various places killing 15000 Palestinians during the Nakba Time.
The Sabra and Shatila Massacre
The Sabra & Shatila Massacre was occurred between 16 to 18 September 1982. In that incident, approximately hundreds of killings between 460 to 3500 civilians were reported. These civilians were mostly Palestinians and Lebanese Shias.
2014 Gaza Conflict
In the 2014 Gaza conflict, Israel killed more than 2251 Palestinians. According to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), among 2,251 Palestinians who were killed: 1,462 were believed to be civilians. Similarly, it includes 551 children and 299 women.
During this conflict, UNRWA reported that their 118 installations were also damaged including 83 schools and 10 health centres. Similarly, more than 12,600 houses were completely destroyed and 6,500 were partially damaged.
2023 Israel – Hamas Conflict
After a surprising and successful military operation conducted by Al Qassam brigades of Hamas on 7th October 2023, Israeli Air Force started aerial bombing indiscriminately on Gaza Strip in the guise of Hamas tunnels and infrastructure.
As of now, 23,843 civilians had been killed in Gaza Strip, according to Aljazeera. More than 60,317 people have been wounded since the start of this conflict.
Various independent journalists have reported with credible video footages that Israeli Air forces are pounding bombs on civilians’ infrastructures and completely destroying them in the guise of terror infrastructure.
So far, Israel is failed to dismantle the tunnel network of Al Qassam Brigade of Hamas and that’s why they are indiscriminately attacking and killing entire families in Gaza to cover their failures, says Amnesty International.
Ethnic Cleansing & Genocidal Statements By Israelis
Recently, South African government filed genocide case in ICJ against Israel. In their case, they’ve also mentioned various statements made by Israeli ministers and members of the parliament.
According to El Pais, Israeli ministers and members of the parliament have made multiple declarations dehumanizing or advocating for the killing of the Palestinians. All the people are also listed in the lawsuit filed with the International Court of Justice (ICJ) as depicting “Incitement to Genocide”.
Here are some prominent incitement to genocide and ethnic cleansing statements made by Israeli ministers and their supports:
Nissim Vaturi, an Israeli parliament member, said on radio interview that
“Wipe Gaza Off the Earth”… “Gaza must be burned”
Netanyahu, prime minister of Israel, said on October 13 that
“Gaza is the city of evil, we will turn all the places in which Hamas deploys and hides into ruins. I am telling the people of Gaza — get out of there now. We will act everywhere and with full power”
Isaac Herzog, president of Israel, said on October 14 that
“There are no innocent civilians in Gaza”
Yoav Gallant, defense minister, said on November 11 that
I am saying here to the citizens of Lebanon, I already see the citizens in Gaza walking with white flags along the coast… If Hezbollah makes mistakes of this kind, the ones who will pay the price are, first of all, the citizens of Lebanon. What we are doing in Gaza, we know how to do in Beirut.”
There are hundreds of dehumanizing, ethnic cleansing and incitement to genocide statements available online. A Europe based NGO compiled 500 such statements so far record purpose.
Countries Supporting South Africa’s Genocide Case
There are dozens of countries supporting South African stance “israel committing genocide”. Some prominent countries are:
- Saudi Arabia
- The Arab League
In this article, we’ve tried to cover all aspect of “is Israel committing Genocide” and shared facts and figures. Based on the aforementioned data and information, it is evident that Israel is committing genocide in Gaza and following up her Greater Israel ideology by mass killings and massacre of Palestinians.
- Countries Supporting South Africa Genocide Case in ICJ
- Israel-Palestine Crisis 2021: Explained
- List of Companies That Support Israel [BDS List Updated 2024]