The Tragedy of Gaza & International Mechanisms

The Israeli regime has a dark record of disregarding accepted international principles and rules.

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People search among the rubble of a destroyed building after an Israeli airstrike in Maghazi refugee camp, central Gaza Strip, on April 4, 2024. (Xinhua)

For over six months, the innocent people of Gaza have been enduring the savage attacks of Israel. During this period, due to the ruthless and aggressive attacks by this regime, over 32,000 innocent and oppressed people of Gaza, of whom more than seventy percent are women and children, have been martyred, with an additional 18,000 missing. Many infrastructures in Gaza have been destroyed, and the people of Gaza have been forced to move from the northern to the southern areas of Gaza to avoid the attacks of the Israeli regime’s army. With a large number of war-displaced people relocated to southern Gaza, the health situation in this region has become severely critical, and the people are struggling to survive as they are living in the harshest conditions without even the most basic necessities of life, such as food, water, and shelter. The lack of access to water and food has led the people in this area to live in the harshest conditions, while Netanyahu continues to insist on launching a ground invasion into southern Gaza and subjecting the people who have fled from the attacks of the Israeli forces from northern Gaza to the Rafah area, to these attacks. Based on this, on February 23, 2024, Netanyahu presented a plan for the post-war period in Gaza to the Israel’s cabinet, proposing to continue the war in Gaza. All of these actions by this regime occur in utter and flagrant disregard for international and global regulations.

The Israeli regime has a dark record of disregarding accepted international principles and rules. This regime has so far violated 28 Security Council resolutions on the issue of Palestine. In 2022 alone, international organizations have adopted 15 resolutions condemning this regime for gross violations of human rights principles, and from 2006 to 2022, 99 resolutions of the United Nations Human Rights Council have condemned this regime.

The principle of prohibition of resorting to force as a tool for achieving political goals is one of the established imperative international rules that no international actor can disregard with any excuse. This prohibition becomes even more pronounced when the purpose of resorting to force is ethnic cleansing.

Since October 2023, the Israeli regime has imposed no restrictions on its army in attacking hospitals, schools, mosques, and churches, and as Ms. Mary Lawlor, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, announced on February 19, 2024, the Zionist regime has targeted not only the people of Gaza but also human rights defenders in Gaza and even residents of the occupied territories who oppose the crimes of this regime in Gaza. Ms. Francesca Albanese, the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories, has also referred to the occupation of Palestinian lands by this regime as apartheid and acknowledged the occurrence of genocide in Gaza by the Zionist regime.

The Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor has published shocking reports of war crimes committed by the Zionist army in Gaza, including the mass execution of Palestinians. The center has emphasized that Israeli forces have set fire to many homes in Gaza while the residents were inside, and prevented people from approaching to evacuate the residents of these homes or extinguish the fires.

Al Jazeera network has also exposed the horrific crimes of the occupiers at the Al-Shifa Hospital and reported that Zionist soldiers run over wounded patients with tanks.

These actions are only parts of the crimes of Israel in Gaza, and many crimes in this enclave have not been reported due to the lack of access to electricity and internet facilities.

In this regard, the duty of international bodies such as the UN Security Council, the UN Human Rights Council, the International Court of Justice, and the International Criminal Court is to prosecute the government and officials of the Zionist regime and punish the Israeli government and individuals involved in these crimes based on the principle of “individual criminal responsibility for international crimes.”

In line with this, the timely and commendable legal action by South Africa in bringing the case of application of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide in the Gaza Strip before the International Court of Justice on 29 December 2023 is a stern test for international bodies to determine the mechanism for punishing and holding this government accountable if it continues State-defiance and disobedience of the ruling of the International Court of Justice.

At the end, it is essential to mention that:

  • The actions of Israel in dividing the northern Gaza Strip from the south, enforcing starvation to coerce the forced displacement of residents from the north of Gaza, orchestrating attacks on Rafah, hindering the return of people to their homes in Gaza, and obstructing the access of UN relief agencies to all residents of this area are inhuman and condemned.
  • It is necessary to take effective measures to deter the occupying regime of Israel from any further aggressive actions against the defenseless Palestinian people during the holy month of Ramadan.
  • The most effective solution to this conflict is the return of Palestinian refugees to their original and ancestral land, along with the holding of a referendum among the indigenous inhabitants of this land to determine their own destiny as well as desired political system. That is a democratic and fair plan that Iran has presented with a title of “National Referendum in Palestine”, which has also been registered at the United Nations Secretariat in 2019.
  •  This initiative would empower Muslims, Jews, and Christian Palestinians alike to determine the type of governing system and benefit from its rights freely and equally.

Alireza Delkhosh

Dr. Alireza Delkhosh, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Islamic Republic of Iran to Sri Lanka.

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