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Imagine life under these conditions: Living in limbo under a foreign occupier. Having no self-determination, no right of return, and no power over your daily life. Being in constant fear, economically strangled, and collectively punished.
Having your free movement denied by enclosed population centers, closed borders, regular curfews, roadblocks, checkpoints, electric fences, and separation walls. Having your homes regularly demolished and land systematically stolen to build settlements for encroachers in violation of international law prohibiting an occupier from settling its population on conquered land.
Having your right to essential services denied – to emergency health care, education, employment, and enough food and clean water. Being forced into extreme poverty, having your crops destroyed, and being victimized by punitive taxes. Having no right for redress in the occupier’s courts under laws only protecting the occupier.
Being regularly targeted by incursions and attacks on the ground and from the air. Being willfully harassed, ethnically cleansed, arrested, incarcerated, tortured, and slaughtered on any pretext, including for your right of self-defense. Having no rights on your own land in your own country for over six decades and counting. Vilified for being Muslims and called terrorists, Jihadists, crazed Arabs, and fundamentalist extremists. Victimized by a slow-motion genocide to destroy you.
According to Israeli historian Ilan Pappe, Israel has conducted state-sponsored genocide against the Palestinians for decades and intensively in Gaza. In a September 2006 Electronic Intifada article titled “Genocide in Gaza” he wrote:
“A genocide is taking place in Gaza….An average of eight Palestinians die daily in the Israeli attacks on the Strip. Most of them are children. Hundreds are maimed, wounded and paralyzed. (It’s become) a daily business, now reported (only) in the internal pages of the local press, quite often in microscopic fonts. The chief culprits are the Israeli pilots who have a field day,” like shooting fish in a barrel. Why not, they’re only Muslims, so who’ll notice or care.
International law expert Francis Boyle does and in March 1998 proposed that “the Provisional Government of (Palestine) and its President institute legal proceedings against Israel before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in the Hague for violating the” Genocide Convention. He stated that “Israel has indeed perpetrated the international crime of genocide against the Palestinian people (and the) lawsuit would….demonstrate that undeniable fact to the entire world.”
Israel is a serial human rights international law abuser. The UN Human Rights Commission affirms that it violates nearly all 149 articles of the Fourth Geneva Convention that governs the treatment of civilians in war and under occupation and is guilty of grievous war crimes. The Commission also determined that as an occupying power Israel has committed crimes against humanity as defined under the 1945 Nuremberg Charter.
Geneva, Nuremberg and other international human rights laws guarantee what Article 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states: that everyone “has the right to life, liberty and security of person.” Article 6 (1) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights also affirms it in saying that every “human being has the inherent right to life.” Official Israeli policy is to deny it to Palestinians under occupation, especially Gazans under siege.