On Friday, Israel finally agreed to a ceasefire at Gaza after weeks of intense aerial bombing on mostly civilian targets that resulted in the death of 232 Palestinians and 12 Israelis.
The decision came after Washington, Israel’s main backer took a firm tone with its long-time ally and warned that it could resist international pressure for only so long.
Earlier, Hamas had already predicted a truce by Friday, as Egypt and Jordan played their part in reducing tensions.
Israel criticized for violating human rights
Human rights organizations around the world have highlighted Israel’s atrocities against Palestinians and accused the Israeli government of violating human rights law and international humanitarian law.
In a recent report, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said that the Israeli authorities are committing crimes against humanity, and crimes of apartheid and persecution against Palestinians.
“The finding is based on an overarching Israeli government policy to maintain the domination by Jewish Israelis over Palestinians and grave abuses committed against Palestinians living in the occupied territory, including East Jerusalem,” the HRW said in its 213-page report, released last month.
While Amnesty International, an International NGO focused on human rights, has highlighted the “shocking disregard” Israeli forces display for Palestinian lives and has equated that to “war crimes or crimes against humanity”.
The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), in the aftermath of the air assault on the 12-story Jalaa Tower in Gaza housing media houses, has demanded from the Israeli government a “detailed and documented justification for this military attack”.
“This latest attack on a building long known by Israel to house international media raises the spectre that the Israel Defence Forces is deliberately targeting media facilities in order to disrupt coverage of the human suffering in Gaza,” said CPJ executive director Joel Simon.
United Nations Human Rights Commissioner, Michelle Bachelet, has also expressed his deep concern for the situation unfolding in occupied Palestinian territories, east Jerusalem and Israel.
“We are deeply concerned at the escalation of violence in the occupied Palestinian territory, including east Jerusalem, and Israel in the past days,” Rupert Colville, spokesman for UN rights chief Michelle Bachelet’s office, told reporters in Geneva. “We condemn all violence and all incitement to violence and ethnic division and provocations,” he added.
Worldwide pro-Palestinian Protests
Citizens around the world took to streets to protest Israeli atrocities against Palestinians as the fresh wave of violence resulted in the deaths of over 200 Palestinians, many civilians, including children and women, and 7 Israelis.
International capitals around the world were thronged by protesters chanting slogans of “Free Palestine” and “End Israeli occupation” on Saturday. The day coincided with Nakba Day, the day on which Palestinians around the world commemorate the displacement of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians amid Israel’s establishment in 1948.
Massive worldwide demonstrations expressing solidarity with the Palestinians, important international bodies calling for a ceasefire and an end to the brutal Israeli air assault on Palestinians, international human rights organizations and freedom of press bodies calling Israel out for its violations of international laws, and domestic calls from congress members as well as common American citizens for holding Israel accountable for its crimes against humanity – all had landed U.S President Joe Biden in an extremely difficult situation and have played a massive role in today’s ceasefire decision.