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Israel’s attack on the last ‘safe zone’ in Gaza sparks global outcry

The IDF’s latest lethal attack on a refugee camp in Gaza has violated an order laid out by the International Court of Justice. Meanwhile, leaders in Europe are moving to recognise Palestine as a state, signalling a major turning point in the conflict.  

Days after the October 7th attack, global media outlets exploded with fake news reports claiming that Israel Defense Forces (IDF) had found 40 babies beheaded by Hamas.

While 1,163 Israeli lives were tragically lost that day, claims about the decapitated babies have never been backed up with evidence.

In fact, these accounts were later refuted by both The White House and several news outlets, but not before they had been burned into the minds of millions of people around the world.

In a sickening twist, the headlines that sparked immense global outrage seven months ago are now reappearing.

This time, they write that babies and children in Gaza are being burned and beheaded by Israeli forces – and this time, the claims are true.

 

Over the weekend, Israeli forces bombed an area near a refugee camp in Rafah, the Southernmost part of Gaza, where 1.4 million Palestinians have been trying to acquire a fragile sense of normalcy and safety amidst the chaos of war.

Shortly after, a video emerged online of a Palestinian man holding the headless body of a young child who had been caught in the explosion.

Other videos showed charred bodies laying amongst burning tents, a result of fire that spread throughout the camp and into a nearby field hospital operated by the International Committee of the Red Cross.

Gaza’s Health Ministry has stated that 46 people were killed and 110 injured in the Rafah attack, now known as The Tent Massacre. It is estimated these figures will climb as search and rescue efforts continue.

Israel’s President Benjamin Netanyahu has since branded the attack a ‘mistake’.

 

Anyone keeping up with happenings between Israel and Gaza in the last month would know this heinous attack was anything but a mistake.

Benjamin Netanyahu has been talking about his plan to invade and attack Rafah for several weeks, despite the International Court of Justice (ICJ) warning that he must not do so.

Upon hearing of the impending invasion, The United Nations Palestinian Refugee Agency (UNRWA) reported that 1 million Palestinians had attempted to flee from the area.

However, it pointed out that many people had remained in the camp due to having ‘nowhere safe to go amidst bombardments, lack of food and water, piles of waste and unsuitable living conditions.’

It added that, with each passing day, providing assistance and protection in Gaza has become ‘nearly impossible.’

 

 

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Israeli spokespersons have reiterated that the IDF is careful to ‘prevent harm to uninvolved civilians’.

But as the number of Palestinian casualties and the tally of ‘mistakes’ continue to rise, the world is refusing to turn a blind eye to what is quite a contrary picture.

The attack on the Rafah refugee camp marks yet another atrocious event since the start of Israel’s complete and utter bombardment of Gaza, which has seen more than 36,096 Palestinians killed and 81,136 severely wounded.

The fallout of these unrelenting offenses has been made worse by more than 400 attacks on Gaza’s hospitals and healthcare facilities, which have killed 723 health workers and injured 924 more, according to figures from the World Health Organization (WHO).

The UN agency has stated that not a single one of Gaza’s hospitals are operating at full capacity.

 

 

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Although Israeli leaders continue to meet any ounce of criticism of its tactics with abhorrently blasé excuses, their reputation hasn’t gone completely unscathed.

Israel has continued to face widespread legal and public accusations that it is committing genocide against the Palestinian people.

South Africa officially presented this accusation to the ICJ in January, backed by numerous other states, including members of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, which have been heavily criticised for their half-hearted solidarity with Palestinians.

While this was considered a huge moment at the time, virtually nothing has changed six months on from those hearings.

It’s unsurprising, then, that Israel’s compliance with the ICJ’s order to avoid attacking Rafah was deemed unlikely.

Unlikely, despite the fact that Rafah was declared a ‘humanitarian zone’ by Israel itself.

 

Just as they have throughout the war – many western media outlets are either refusing to cover these realities or are downplaying the seriousness of the attacks.

Those keeping a close eye on what’s happening in Gaza, however, have been gathering updates from social media accounts of Palestinians on the ground. Generally, these reports are the most accurate, as popular news outlets have taken politically biased and morally questionable stances on the war.

The New York Times has attempted to maintain balance by featuring Palestinian accounts of the war and occupation, but has continued to publish other articles which firmly deny that what is taking place in Gaza is genocide, including a piece which calls this sentiment ‘one of the greatest mass delusions of the 21st century.’

 

Israelis have also been shielded from what is going on in Gaza, thanks to their government banning several Arab news outlets.

Not only did Israel ban Al Jazeera from broadcasting within Israel, but it seized broadcasting equipment belonging to the Associated Press on the basis that it suspected it belonged to Al Jazeera. The equipment has since been returned to AP.

Media censorship is a problem these days, even without a serious war going on.

But you know things are getting bad when an Israel-coddling White House expresses concerns over media censorship, calling the ban ‘a series of chilling steps by the Israeli government to stifle the media.’

 

What no government can censor, though, are the voices of Palestinians in Gaza.

The images and videos pouring out of Gaza daily – filmed and shared online in real time – depict a horrific, cruel, and unnecessary use of force, with women, children, and uninvolved civilians bearing the vast majority of the blows.

With Palestinians not giving up on revealing the truth of their 8-month plight, the world is finally waking up to the atrocities being committed against them.

As political leaders grow more wary of Israel’s true intentions in Gaza, a growing number of nations are now moving to recognise Palestine as a state – including Spain, Ireland, Sweden, Cyprus, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, Romania, and Bulgaria.

This is a huge move, as it will enable Palestine to pursue legal rights over its territorial waters and air space as a sovereign state recognised by the UN.

Ever further, it allows the Palestinian people ‘the right to sue for sovereignty over their territory in the International Court of Justice’ which means it will be able to ‘bring “crimes against humanity” and war-crimes charges – including that of unlawfully occupying the territory of State of Palestine – against Israel in the International Criminal Court.’

With these kinds of positive developments taking place so suddenly, we can only wait and hope that a permanent ceasefire is imminent.

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