News Release

Israel: “War Crimes” and “Genocide”


CommonDreams reports in “‘A Massive War Crime’: Israel Announces Total Blockade of Gaza Strip” that: “Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant announced a ‘complete siege’ of the Gaza Strip on Monday, pledging to block food and fuel from entering the occupied enclave and cut off the territory’s electricity — steps that international law experts and other observers decried as a clear war crime that will devastate civilians.

“‘There will be no electricity, no food, no fuel, everything is closed,’ said Gallant.

“Using rhetoric that one commentator called ‘blatantly genocidal,’ Gallant added that ‘we are fighting human animals and we are acting accordingly.’

“Israel has been imposing a land, air, and sea blockade on the Gaza Strip for nearly two decades, impoverishing much of the crowded enclave’s population and denying millions sufficient access to clean water and other necessities. Children, who make up roughly half of Gaza’s population, have been disproportionately affected. …

“‘Starving 2 million people who cannot move and are under a land siege and naval blockade is genocide,’ Pakistani writer Fatima Bhutto wrote on social media. ‘This is a war crime.’ …

Tom Dannenbaum, a legal scholar and associate professor of international law at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, agreed with that assessment, pointing to International Criminal Court statutes. ‘Gallant is ordering a massive war crime (ICC 8(2)(b)(xxv)) and very likely a crime against humanity (ICC 7(1)(b), 7(2)(b) [extermination] / 7(1)(k) [inhumane acts]),’ Dannenbaum wrote. ‘Presence of combatants within a civilian population does not affect its civilian character (AP I 50(3)). ICC has jurisdiction.'”

The following experts on international law are available for interviews:

Boyle is professor of international law at the University of Illinois College of Law. His books include Palestine, Palestinians and International Law and World Politics, Human Rights and International Law. See past IPA news releases.

See text of his talk: “Stopping Zionist Genocide Against The Palestinians.”

Professor emeritus of international law at Ohio State University, Quigley’s books include The Statehood of Palestine: International Law in the Middle East Conflict and The International Diplomacy of Israel’s Founders: Deception at the United Nations in the Quest for Palestine (both Cambridge University Press).

See piece by Sam Husseini from 2014: “A Global Legal Intifada: If It’s a Genocide in Gaza, then Invoke the Convention to Stop it.”