Amid the growing international consensus that the atrocities Israel has been committing in Gaza amount to genocide, a UN panel has also concluded that “genocide is already happening” in Gaza.
The UN-mandated Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People (CEIRPP) convened this panel at the UN headquarters in New York City on 12 December, ahead of the vote in the General Assembly on the resolution calling for an “immediate humanitarian ceasefire”.
As of 19 December, over 19,000 Palestinians, mostly women and children, had been killed by the Israeli occupation forces.
But the number of the killed is not the only factor determining whether the mass killing amounted to genocide, Katherine Gallagher, senior staff attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights, explained at the UN panel discussion.
It is the deliberate nature of the targeting of a group – “that intent, coupled with actions” – that determines that a mass killing amounts to genocide, Gallagher said.
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“In this case… the intent” has been made “explicit” in the statements “by the prime minister, by the president, by senior cabinet members and by military leaders. These statements clearly constitute the… mental element of the crime of genocide,” Hannah Bruinsma, a legal advisor at Law for Palestine, said at the panel discussion. “We have collected so far over 500 statements that demonstrate” the genocidal intent, “often of those who are in the chain of command,” she added. – Peoples Dispatch/Globetrotter News Service