Death toll in Israeli genocide against Gaza more than 4,100

A Palestinian boy walks by the buildings destroyed in the Israeli bombardment on al-Zahra, on the outskirts of Gaza City, Friday, October 20, 2023. [AP Photo/Ali Mahmoud]

Israel’s genocide of the Palestinian people, carried out with the support of the US, UK, French and German governments, continued Friday with the murder of another 352 Palestinians. Since October 7, Israel has launched a systematic campaign to ethnically cleanse northern Gaza and systematically demolish the area’s housing, hospitals and schools, while starving and dehydrating its population.

Over the past week, US President Joe Biden, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak have all visited Israel to give their unequivocal endorsement of the genocidal policies of the Netanyahu regime, which is widely despised within Israel and by Jewish people around the world.

The death toll in Gaza has reached 4,137, with 70 percent of these killed being women and children, according to figures cited by the United Nations. Another 1,000 people are missing or trapped beneath the rubble, many fighting for life amid heroic rescue efforts by volunteers and humanitarian organizations.

International humanitarian organizations fighting to save lives are themselves being targeted by the Netanyahu government. Two more United Nations personnel were murdered in airstrikes in the past 24 hours. “We are devastated to confirm that two more @UNRWA colleagues have been killed in #Gaza. The entire Agency is grieving,” wrote the UN agency for Palestine refugees on Twitter. At least 16 UN personnel have been killed in airstrikes and “the actual number is likely to be much higher,” it wrote. There have been 33 separate Israeli airstrikes against UN installations.

The UN estimated that there are 1.4 million refugees within Gaza, including half a million sheltering in UN-designated emergency shelters. Amid the relentless bombings, Israel is blocking all food, fuel and water from entering Gaza, threatening famine and mass dehydration.

“The complete siege of Gaza continues for the tenth consecutive day,” the United Nations wrote. “The Rafah, Kerem Shalom, and Erez crossings remained closed, preventing the entry of desperately needed humanitarian aid, including food, water, medicines, and fuel.”

At least 30 percent of all housing units inside the Gaza Strip have been either destroyed or damaged over the past two weeks, according to figures from the Ministry of Housing in Gaza cited by the UN. In one striking example of the systematic destruction of Gaza’s housing, 24 multi-story residential towers were destroyed on Friday, displacing up to 8,000 people.

The UN noted, “Entire neighborhoods have been largely destroyed, including Beit Hanoun, Beit Lahia, Shuja’iyeh, and Abbassan Kabeera.”

On Thursday, Israel bombed Gaza’s oldest operating Christian church, which was sheltering approximately 400 refugees. At least 18 people have been killed in the attack, with another 18 people trapped under the rubble. Former US Representative Justin Amash revealed Friday that members of his family were killed in the bombing.

Gaza’s educational infrastructure is being systematically dismantled. Nearly 200 educational institutions have been damaged, including 29 schools operated by the UN. The UN noted, “Hospitals are on the brink of collapse due to the shortage of power, medicine, equipment, and specialized personnel. Yet, the number of patients treated or awaiting treatment is at 150 percent of their capacity; many lay on the floors and corridors. To keep emergency rooms operational, vital procedures such as sterilization and dialysis may soon be halted.”

On Tuesday, Israel bombed a Christian hospital in northern Gaza where thousands of people were sheltering, killing nearly 500 people.

On Friday, Al-Quds hospital, serving 12,000 people, was ordered to evacuate by Israeli authorities, raising the prospect that it, too, will be targeted. “Evacuation is not possible,” said Nebal Farsakh of the Palestinian Red Crescent Society. “The intensive care unit is full of children, and we cannot disconnect their life support.”

World Health Organization Secretary General Tedros Adhanom wrote on Twitter of “Disturbing reports about evacuation order to Al-Quds Hospital.” He continued, “It is impossible for these overcrowded hospitals to safely evacuate patients. They must be allowed to perform their lifesaving functions. They must be protected.”

In an initial report on Israeli war crimes in Gaza over the past week, Amnesty International wrote that there is “Damning evidence of war crimes as Israeli attacks wipe out entire families in Gaza.” Amnesty International “has documented unlawful Israeli attacks, including indiscriminate attacks, which caused mass civilian casualties and must be investigated as war crimes.”

It notes, “Israeli attacks violated international humanitarian law, including by failing to take feasible precautions to spare civilians, or by carrying out indiscriminate attacks that failed to distinguish between civilians and military objectives, or by carrying out attacks that may have been directed against civilian objects.”

The report calls on the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court to “Urgently expedite its ongoing investigation in the situation of Palestine, examining alleged crimes by all parties, and including the crime against humanity of apartheid against Palestinians.”

While all of the imperialist governments are united in their support of Israel’s genocide against the Palestinians, hundreds of thousands of people have taken part in mass demonstrations against the genocide in nearly every country in the world.