موجز: الاحتلال يحاول كسر روح غزة
التاريخ: 
21/12/2023
المؤلف: 

Israel has killed and displaced more Palestinians in Gaza than during the 1948 Nakba. This must be contextualized. We are watching the largest-scale genocide against the Palestinian people in history, where Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) are also deliberately targeting journalists, doctors, and intellectuals in an attempt to eradicate those who care and speak for the Palestinian community. 

On Dec. 6, Israel murdered Dr. Refaat Alareer, a beloved writer and educator at the Islamic University of Gaza. Refaat, who was displaced and living under siege and Israeli bombardment, was specifically targeted due to his outspoken stance on Israel’s genocide in Gaza. Electronic Intifada reports, “He received an anonymous phone call from someone who identified himself as an Israeli officer and threatened Refaat that they knew precisely the school where he was located.” Refaat left the school he sought refuge in and sheltered at his sister Asmaa’s apartment in Gaza City. Refaat was targeted and murdered by the IOF alongside his brother, sister, and four of his nephews. 

Since Oct. 7, Israel killed 97 Palestinian journalists. On Dec. 15, the IOF killed Al Jazeera journalist Samer Abu Daqqa and injured the channel’s Gaza bureau chief Wael Dahdouh as they were reporting at a school in Khan Younis. After striking their location, Occupation forces continued firing in the area. The Israeli attack also killed three civil defense rescue workers. The dangerous conditions made it impossible for ambulances to reach Abu Daqqa — he bled out for over five hours before he died from his injuries. Dahdouh was able to escape, putting pressure on his woulds as he walked toward an ambulance. Less than two months after Dahdouh’s family was targeted and murdered in an Israeli airstrike, he lost his colleague of many years. Yet, he has continues to return to the field after every loss, even speaking to Al Jazeera live from Abu Daqqa’s funeral.

The dire situation in Gaza has reached a new level as starvation has run rampant among the local Palestinian population. Palestinian journalist Bisan Owda reported via her Instagram account that people across the besieged Gaza Strip have no access to food. She shared the story of a child who was sheltering at a school in the South who died of hunger. The World Food Programme said that  9 out of 10 people in Gaza are not eating every day. 

The founder of the Palestinian Children’s Relief Fund (PCRF), Steve Sosebee, shared a message on his social media platforms about how starvation contributed to the death of Khalil, a child suffering from cerebral palsy whom the PCRF had previously helped. Sosebee acknowledged that the deaths due to starvation will not be officially counted in the death toll of those murdered by Israel. He wrote via his Instagram account, “He’s [Khalil] not one of the 10,000 killed by American bombs in Gaza, but he’s just as dead as a result of this terrible genocide.” 

To enact unending horror on the Palestinian people, the IOF kidnapped at least 100 Palestinian men in Northern Gaza in early December, forcing them to strip down to their underwear and blindfolding them. The men were paraded around in a demoralizing and and humiliating way. Some of the Palestinian men and boys who were kidnapped and tortured by Israel recalled that they were violently detained, starved, and beaten. They were rounded up in trucks and had numbers written on their arms by the IOF. Nader Zindah, one of the men who was tortured by Israeli soldiers, said, “They have this unbelievable racism. They really hate us. This isn’t about Hamas. This is about wiping us all out. This is about a genocide, signed off by [U.S. President] Biden.” 

Although this group was released, they carry the scars of a cruel and unjust force. To be rounded up and taken to a random location, handcuffed, starved, and beaten, and to have their names and identities stolen and replaced with numbers are acts of physical and psychological warfare. These depraved actions are meant to break the spirit of the Palestinian people.

On Dec. 13, Al Jazeera reported about an execution-style massacre that took place at a school in Northern Gaza. Families entered a school to look for their loved ones only to find scores of dead bodies of women, children, and newborn babies. On Dec. 17, the Gaza health ministry reported that Palestinians were buried alive at Kamal Adwan Hospital. Al Jazeera Arabic tweeted that the IOF used bulldozers to plow through helpless Palestinians at the hospital, injuring and killing many. An eyewitness account stated that the Occupation forces also unleashed attack dogs on the wounded; in one incident, a dog attacked an injured 75-year-old who died the next day. 

As we mark the 76th day of Israel’s genocide against the Palestinians in Gaza, we continue to bear witness to the war crimes and injustices the Israeli Occupation perpetuates, and we continue to document.