The Palestinian Center for Human Rights, Al Mezan, and Al-Haq strongly condemn the resumption of the massive Israeli military attack on the Gaza Strip on December 1st, 2023, through the launching of dozens of attacks. This included the bombing of homes with residents still inside and dropping more leaflets demanding the forced displacement of people in Gaza, in continued dedication to the plan from the first day of the Israeli aggression - to cause a second Nakba for the Palestinian people. We stress that the renewal of these attacks reflects the absence of international will and continued American cover for the crime of genocide against the Palestinian People.
The renewed attacks come after seven days of humanitarian pause, during which attacks stopped, although violations continued to take place including gunfire from the Israeli occupying forces that killed at least ten Palestinian civilians and injured others.
Since 7:00 a.m., on the first of December, Israeli warplanes have launched dozens of attacks on various parts of the Gaza Strip, including bombing homes in Rafah, Khan Younis, Al-Maghazi Refugee Camp, and Al-Sheikh Radwan neighborhood in Gaza. These attacks killed 32 Palestinians and injured dozens in the first three hours after the resumption of the attacks by air, land and sea.
Israeli warplanes also dropped leaflets calling on residents of the towns of Khuza’a, Abasan, Bani Suhaila, and Al-Qarara, east of Khan Younis, to evacuate and go to “shelters in Rafah”, and declared Khan Younis a military operation zone. They also dropped leaflets calling on residents of many neighborhoods in Gaza City to evacuate and head to the southern areas of the Gaza Strip.
Our organizations stress that although Israel, the occupying power, ordered the residents east of Khan Younis to evacuate to Rafah, Israeli warplanes continued to attack several areas in Rafah, along with the artillery shelling in the eastern areas of Rafah and the Gaza Strip, that resulted in many causalities and injuries.
This evacuation order is similar to the orders issued by the Israeli occupying forces on October 13, to evacuate areas in northern Gaza and move to Rafah, Khan Younis, and Deir al-Balah that they claimed to be safe zones. However, they continued to bomb these cities, including shelters and homes where displaced people had taken refuge.
Our organizations warn that this serious development indicates that Israel is moving forward with its plan to displace the population of the Gaza as declared by its Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, on the first day of the aggression.
The Israeli occupying forces initially requested that Palestinian civilians move to southern Gaza, claiming that military operations would be taking place in the north and that the south would be a safe place for them to go. After around 1 million Palestinians moved from the north to the south, Israeli forces began asking residents of Khan Younis to go to Rafah, which has been under intense bombardment since the announcement of the resumption of attacks today. Three homes were bombed in Rafah this morning, leading to the killing of 11 Palestinians, including five children.
Palestinian human rights organizations reaffirm that there is no safe place in Gaza and that the Israeli “evacuation orders” calling for the forced displacement of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians to Rafah and relocating them to places close to the border with Egypt, raises serious concerns of a new Nakba for the Palestinians, that began to emerge with the displacement of %80 of the population (1.8 million out of 2.3 million people) from their homes. This marks the largest mass forced displacement of Palestinians in such a short period of time since the 1948 Nabka.
These forced displacement orders take place while Israel continues to deprive people in Gaza of their basic necessities of food, water, electricity, fuel, and medicine. Furthermore, the limited aid that was allowed into Gaza in the past days is insufficient and the distribution mechanism is ineffective, failing to meet the needs of the large number of displaced people in shelters and does not reach people displaced at family homes and other places after 56 days of war and stifling siege.
It is shameful that the resumption of the military attack and targeting of civilians comes two days after the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. This reflects the absence of international will to pressure Israel to stop its aggression and genocide.
It’s worth noting that the Israeli attacks on Gaza before the humanitarian pause which started on November 24, 2023, killed more than 15,000 Palestinians and injured more than 36,000 others. More than 70% of the killed and injured were children and women.
We call on the international community to take serious and immediate action to stop the Israeli military aggression on Gaza, prevent Israeli plans to implement a second Nakba, and take effective measures to ensure accountability for the war crimes and genocide committed by the Israeli occupying forces in the occupied Palestinian territory.
We reiterate our call on the international community to ensure an end to the occupation, the dismantling of Israel’s settler colonial apartheid regime, the abolition of all discriminatory and inhumane laws, policies and practices against the entire Palestinian People, and to enable the Palestinian People to exercise their right to self-determination unconditionally.