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Israeli rights group says regime committing war crimes in Gaza

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Palestinians inspect their house after it was destroyed by an Israeli airstrike, in the city of Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip on May 16, 2021. (Photo by AFP)

The Israeli human rights group B’Tselem says Israel is committing war crimes in the Gaza Strip, as the Tel Aviv regime presses ahead with its deadly bombardment of the besieged enclave for the seventh consecutive day.  

B’Tselem said in a report on Saturday that Israel has caused severe damage to the infrastructure in Gaza, stressing that the blockaded enclave has not witnessed such amount of destruction and killing since 2014, the Palestinian Information Center reported.

The rights group went on to say that power and water supplies, commercial shops, agricultural lands as well as three hospitals have been destroyed, as Israel continues to pound Gaza with repeated airstrikes.

B’Tselem further said Israeli forces killed at least ten Palestinians and wounded 251 others in the West Bank on Friday, of whom 26 are in critical condition, adding that the occupied territory has not witnessed such a high rate of killings since 2002.  

“The Israeli regime practices systematic violence against the Palestinians everywhere in the occupied territories”, it said.

"In Gaza, ever since Operation Guardian of the Walls began, Israel has bombed and shelled civilian population centers and residential buildings, including high-rises housing dozens of families. The UN estimates that more than 10,000 Palestinians have left their homes and sought shelter in 29 UNRWA schools. Israel has reportedly caused massive damage to businesses, electricity and water infrastructure, roads and farmland. Three hospitals have reportedly been damaged: the hospital in Beit Hanoun, the Indonesian Hospital and the Hala a-Shawa Medical Center (currently not operating)," the rights group said.

It added, "Gaza’s besieged civilians have nowhere to run to hide from the strikes. Tens of thousands of families cannot protect themselves. Israel repeatedly boasts that it takes care to safeguard civilians’ lives and claims all its actions are lawful. For instance, regarding the bombing of residential high-rises, Israel has claimed they were empty as it had warned the occupants prior to the strike. This claim ignores the fact that the buildings in question cannot be considered legitimate military targets, both because they are inhabited by civilians and because their destruction provides Israel with no military advantage. Targeting civilian objects is prohibited and constitutes a war crime."

Media reports say Israeli warplanes have conducted 150 raids on Gaza since the early hours of Sunday. That’s the most intensive airstrike launched on the enclave over the past seven days.

Palestinians inspect their house after it was destroyed by an Israeli airstrike, in the city of Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip on May 16, 2021. (Photo by AFP)

The Palestinian Ministry of Health said Sunday’s strikes have taken the death toll in Gaza to 188, including 55 children and 33 women, with 1,230 people injured.  

Since Monday, the Israeli military has taken the coastal enclave under unremitting and indiscriminate aerial assaults.

The Gaza-based resistance front has retaliated by launching hundreds of rockets into the occupied territories.

Palestine FM calls for forming international front against Israeli crimes

Meanwhile, Palestinian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates Riyad al-Maliki called on the member states of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to form an international front to confront the ongoing Israeli crimes against Palestinians.

Maliki made the remarks at an emergency meeting of OIC executive committee at the level of foreign ministers on Sunday, saying this front should seek action against Israeli war crimes in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), the United Nations General Assembly, the Human Rights Council, and international courts, Palestine’s official Wafa news agency reported.

US lawmakers sound alarm over Israel's aggression

A number of US lawmakers have tweeted against Israel's ongoing aggression on Gaza after the Tel Aviv regime leveled to the ground a 12-story building that housed international media offices.

US Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib said in a post on her Twitter account on Saturday that "Israel targeting media sources is so the world can't see Israel's war crimes led by the apartheid-in-chief Netanyahu."

"It's so the world can't see the killing of babies, children, and their parents. It's so the world can't see Palestinians being massacred."

Muslim US Congresswoman Ilhan Omar also said in a tweet that it was "disgusting and immoral for the US to endorse this violent bloodshed."

"I don’t know any other time when the US has actively blocked a ceasefire and allowed for civilians to get slaughtered," she said.

Progressive Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez also tweeted that "this is happening with the support of the United States. I don’t care how any spokesperson tries to spin this. The US vetoed the UN call for ceasefire."

US Senator Bernie Sanders also tweeted, "If the United States is going to be a credible voice on human rights on the global stage, we must uphold international standards of human rights consistently. We must recognize that Palestinian rights matter. Palestinian lives matter."

This came after Israel’s bombing of a high-rise building in Gaza City on Saturday, which housed several international media organizations, including The Associated Press and Al Jazeera.

US President Joe Biden spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu after the outrageous attack and "raised concerns" about the safety of journalists in the region but failed to condemn the Israeli regime over its atrocity.

Israel strikes kill 42 in Gaza as UN Security Council set to meet

At least 42 Palestinians were killed in fresh Israeli airstrikes on the Gaza Strip, marking the worst daily death toll since the Israeli regime intensified its assault on the coastal silver a week ago.

The raids come as the United Nations Security Council is due to meet later in the day to discuss the situation after the US blocked an earlier session proposed by Russia and other countries on Friday.

According to the Gaza Health Ministry, 42 people, including 16 women and 10 children, have lost their lives in the latest Israeli airstrikes on Gaza.

This is while Israel has announced it will continue its wave of strikes across the Gaza Strip. 

Emergency teams in Gaza are working to pull out bodies from vast piles of smoking rubbles and toppled buildings. 

Emergency teams are working to pull out bodies from vast piles of smoking rubble and toppled buildings in Gaza Strip. (Photo by Palestinian Information Center)

Israel started the escalation against the coastal sliver after Gazans rose up in protest against its serious violations in the nearby Israeli-occupied territory of the West Bank, especially the holy city of al-Quds.

The Israeli military has been launching large-scale airstrikes across Gaza, razing homes and civilian infrastructure to the ground. The regime’s artillery and tanks have also been targeting the blockaded coastal enclave.

Despite international calls for an immediate halt of all hostilities, including from United Nations Chief Antonio Guterres, Netanyahu has pledged that the onslaught against the Gaza Strip will continue.

Israel has waged three wholesale wars against the territory so far, killing thousands of Palestinians in each. The latest escalation has raised fears of another full-blown war. 

Gaza-based resistance movements have fired hundreds of rockets towards the occupied territories in retaliation for both the violations targeting al-Quds and the bloodletting that has hit Gaza.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has condemned the ongoing raids, saying, "The intensity of the conflict is something we have not seen before, with non-stop airstrikes in densely populated Gaza and rockets reaching big cities in Israel."


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