For over ten days, the Israeli occupation still pounding heavily the Gaza Strip, since Hamas, and Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the resistant militant Palestinian Islamist movements led in early 7th of October an unprecedented armed attack with more than 5,000 rockets and 2,500 Palestinian militants, towards 22 locations outside the Gaza Strip, including Israeli military bases, and the border of illegal Israeli settlements including, Ashkelon, Zikim, Sderot, kfar Aza, Nahal Oz, Kerem Shalom, Ofakim. They killed over 1,300 people, more than were 3,000 wounded, the majority of whom were civilians, and around 250 persons have been taken as hostages in Gaza by Hamas.
In direct retaliation, the indiscriminate Israeli bombardment of Gaza, has led to so far to about 3,785 Palestinians deaths, including 1,524 children and injured over 12,493 people, with hundreds still missing and trapped under the rubble. Additionally, over one million people – almost half the total population of Gaza – have been displaced and it is estimated that about 600,000 Palestinians had been internally displaced due to the hostilities. The widespread and systematic targeting of civilian structures and properties has left 8,840 housing units destroyed and 5,434 housing units severely damaged and rendered uninhabitable. Water and sanitation facilities and other civilian infrastructure have also been severely damaged, including 24 hospitals and other healthcare facilities.
Habitat International Coalition (HIC) condemns the Israeli’s Authorities violence against the Palestinian people, which, if unstopped, could potentially amount to the ethnic cleansing of 1.1 million Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, forcing them to leave their homes, while targeting them with prohibited weapons at the international, ethical, and humanitarian levels.
HIC and its Housing and Land Rights Network (HLRN) warned repeatedly the long unbroken chain of Israel’s atrocities against the Palestinian people, including the collective punishment they have been forced to endured the over 16-year-long complete blockade of the Gaza strip, and the humanitarian crisis that has been severe in the past, and is currently critical Over the years, we have repeatedly drawn attention on the serious crimes committed by the Israeli occupation “as military doctrine”, and its continuous denial and destruction of Palestinians’ habitat: land, housing and means of subsistence, as well as the failure of most States in the WEST and the international community to take effective measures toward remedy and reparation.
We have also repeatedly reported and warned about the institutionalized material discrimination, population transfer, dispossession and persecution of the Palestinian people through measures that amount to the crime of apartheid. The enduring objective of Zionist colonization has been the removal of the Palestinian indigenous people and grabbing of their land. As always, the dispossession of the land spells the denial of its inalienable right to self-determination. We continue to remind all States of their duty to fulfil Palestinians’ right to self-determination, while they bear corresponding individual, collective, domestic and extraterritorial obligations to bring an end to this protracted illegal situation.
The current wave of Israeli deadly campaign comes one year after the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Adequate Housing released his call in October 2022 to urge the states to recognize “Domicide” as an international crime, calling the United Nations General Assembly to treat “the massive, arbitrary destruction of civilian housing in violent conflict should be recognized as a crime under international law”.
HIC and HIC-HLRN repeat again their call, urging all States – including the endless support by US and its biased response – to end and refrain from transferring weapons to the Israeli Authorities that are used in the commission or facilitation of serious violations or abuses of international human rights law or serious violations of international humanitarian law that constitute war crimes.
We call for ending the current state of affairs that holds the Palestinian people in the largest open-air prison in the world through mechanisms such as illegal settlement expansion and the collective punishment of the residents of the Gaza Strip through destruction of homes and civilian infrastructure, systematic and institutionalized targeting and forced evictions, and the confiscation of their property, all exerted without differentiation between civilians and militant groups. HIC and HIC-HLRN call the United Nations and the International Community to urgently uphold their responsibilities to address the root causes of the conflict and to stop the ongoing military action brutally undertaken by the Israeli Authorities against Palestinian women, men and children.