Israel’s Massacre in Nuseirat Underlines the Need for an Immediate Ceasefire

In Arab Countries, International Advocacy Program by CIHRS

Israel’s latest massacre of Palestinians, in the Nuseirat camp for internally displaced persons in the central Gaza Strip, underlines the urgent need for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza.

On 8 June, over 274 Palestinians were killed and 698 wounded, many of them women and children, in an Israeli military operation to release hostages being held in the camp. The population of the camp had swelled from tens of thousands of Palestinians seeking refuge from conflict in Rafah in the south. After months of systematic attack against the civilian population in Gaza, nearby hospitals have no capacity to adequately treat the high number of casualties.

The Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies condemns the Israeli government’s systematic and reckless disregard for human life in carrying out this operation in an area densely crowded with civilians in order to release four civilian hostages.

It is worth noting that during the temporary ceasefire between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip from 24 November 2023 to 30 November 2023, negotiations resulted in the release of scores of civilian hostages in exchange for the release of Palestinian detainees and prisoners. This was done with no civilian casualties. In contrast, the continuous Israeli military operations have resulted in the release of seven hostages at the price of the lives of tens of thousands of Palestinian civilians, mostly women and children. The prolongation of Israel’s military operation in Gaza, now about to enter its ninth month, only extends the genocidal campaign of Israel and has been demonstrated to be counterproductive to the endeavors to find a solution for the civilian hostages and Palestinian prisoners and detainees.

The Nuseirat operation was the deadliest day in the conflict for six months. The mass killing of Palestinians will never form the basis of any peace and security for Israelis and Palestinians. As the International Court of Justice has repeatedly explained in its successive provisional orders, there must be an immediate and permanent ceasefire that will bring an end to these atrocities; permit the access of desperately needed humanitarian assistance, food and water to a civilian population under starvation throughout the Gaza Strip; and lead to the release of the remaining Israeli hostages and tens of thousands of Palestinian prisoners and detainees, many held in harsh conditions without charge or trial, or after unfair proceedings before military courts.

A ceasefire would also enable international investigatory bodies, like the UN Commission of Inquiry and the Prosecutor’s Office of the International Criminal Court, to carry out investigations into grave violations of international law by all parties on and after 7 October so that those responsible can be held accountable.

The international community, especially Israel’s closest allies the United States and Germany, have an obligation to not be complicit in Israel’s atrocities, plausibly amounting to genocide. They must immediately and unconditionally stop sending financial and arms support that enables Israel’s relentless military assault in Gaza at an intolerable cost to Palestinian lives and to the rules based international order.

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