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Gaza: Protecting Palestinians and civilian facilities from targeting, preventing forced displacement, urgently securing border crossings, and immediate arrival of humanitarian aid is a responsibility of the international community and neighboring countries

Smoke rose as a result of the Israeli air strike that targeted the Rafah land crossing for the third time in a row yesterday, Tuesday. Sinai Foundation for Human Rights 📷©️

The Israeli occupation government continues its aggression against the Gaza Strip and imposes a comprehensive siege by cutting off water and electricity and closing all border crossings, which means preventing all basic needs of life, in conjunction with the continued bombing of residential facilities, hospitals and schools without prior warning. And the use of internationally banned phosphorus and concussion bombs against the residents of Gaza, deliberately committing mass massacres and war crimes against the Palestinian people.

According to what has been documented, Israeli aircraft bombed the Rafah land border crossing 3 times yesterday and the day before yesterday, respectively, amid the presence of civilians and wounded, resulting in the injury of 3 Palestinians in addition to causing damage to the structure of the crossing. Egyptian officials also told “Mada Masr” that they rejected Egypt’s repeated requests to bring emergency aid into the Gaza Strip to alleviate the ongoing humanitarian catastrophe.

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees, UNRWA, announced in a statement the day before yesterday, Monday, October 9, that mass displacement has escalated throughout the Gaza Strip, reaching more than 187,518 people (figures from the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs), and the numbers are expected to rise, according to Statement of the United Nations.

There are about 137,500 internally displaced people residing in 83 UNRWA schools in all areas of the Gaza Strip. As intense airstrikes continue, more and more displaced people are seeking shelter in UNRWA schools.

Four displaced people were injured while taking shelter in a UNRWA school in Gaza City. In addition, an unconfirmed number of displaced people sheltering in the UNRWA Rehabilitation Center for the Visually Impaired were injured by airstrikes on nearby buildings. The occupation forces also targeted some hospitals and 4 ambulances, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health.

A representative from Shifa Hospital in Gaza City has said today that Israeli authorities have targeted first responders assisting civilians, and appealed to the global community for assistance. “We are suffering … and the world is not moving a finger. This is an SOS to the whole world… you must help us,” he told reporters after it was announced that Gaza’s sole power plant has run out of fuel.

There is no doubt that the Israeli attacks against civilians in the Gaza Strip are grave violations of international agreements and treaties, especially the Fourth Geneva Convention, and especially its articles 3 and 4. Article (5) of the First Additional Protocol attached to the Geneva Conventions of 1977, relating to the protection of victims of international armed conflicts, stipulates that these violations are considered grave violations. The Conventions and Protocol constitute war crimes, and Article 86 of the same Protocol also imposes an immediate responsibility on member states to take action to prevent all violations of the aforementioned agreement.

Refugees Platform in Egypt calls on Egypt and the international community to:

  • Immediate response to the genocide taking place in Gaza, which claimed the lives of + 1000 Palestinians, including 260 children and entire families, and destroyed 22,639+ homes, 10 medical centers, and 48 schools, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health.
  • Condemning the indiscriminate killings carried out by the Israeli army, standing by the Palestinian people and their right to implement UN resolutions to return to their occupied territories, and demanding that “Israel” adhere to the standards of international humanitarian law in its war on Gaza.
  • Condemning the expansion of the process of building Israeli colonial settlements and the systematic displacement operations against the Palestinian people.
  • Ending the humanitarian blockade imposed on the Gaza Strip by the occupation forces, and ensuring access to the basic necessities of life,  water, electricity and gas.
  • Opening the Rafah border crossing between Egypt and the Gaza Strip and securing it urgently to allow the wounded to enter, deliver basic needs of water, food, and emergency humanitarian and medical aid, and provide medical teams and equipped ambulances on the Egyptian side of the Rafah crossing.
  • Providing and sending medical teams, trained rescue crews, and equipped ambulances to assist Palestinian crews in providing care, rescue operations, and extracting stranded people.
  • Defining a safe area inside the Gaza Strip that is internationally protected from indiscriminate bombing in which civilians can resort until the end of the aggression, and ensuring the protection of UNRWA schools, which have become a refuge for displaced families, from bombing and targeting.

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