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Crime of Genocide and Violation of International Laws..”Gaza is a Model”

The phenomenon of systematic killing of individuals and groups has existed since ancient times, despite the newness of the term “genocide” in the context of international law and the fact that it represents an important step in the development of international criminal law to protect human rights and dignity. Throughout history, the world has witnessed many international crimes and violations that have claimed the lives of millions, inflicted enormous material and moral losses, and threatened international security, peace and societal coexistence. These crimes still pose a serious threat to humanity.

In this context, the Strategic Forum for Public Policy and Development Studies “Draya” issues a report that deals with a historical overview of the crimes of genocide, the most prominent of them in modern history, and examines in detail their types, the point of trial, and the applicable penalties in this regard. The report also highlights the violations of the occupying state against the defenseless Palestinian people, who are subjected to the worst forms of genocide throughout history, especially after October 7, 2023, and Egypt’s position on these illegal practices, and finally ways to strengthen efforts aimed at confronting the crimes of genocide and building societies free of genocide. These brutal crimes occur through a number of axes, including:

First: A historical overview of genocide crimes, the most prominent recent ones.

Second: The types of genocide crimes, the point of trial, and the applicable penalties.

Third: The difference between genocide and ethnic cleansing.

Fourth: Israel and genocide.

Fifth: Egypt’s position on Israel’s practices that violate international legitimacy.

Sixth: Preventing the crime of genocide is a responsibility that requires strengthening efforts.
First: A historical overview of genocide crimes, the most prominent recent ones

Genocide is considered a crime whose roots extend throughout history, but the first appearance of this term came in 1944 by Polish lawyer Rafael Lemkin to describe the crimes committed by the Nazis against the Jews during World War II. He used this term and took it from the Greek terminology Genos. It means group or sex, and Cide means killing, and he combined them in one word “Genocide” meaning “genocide” or “killing group” and he considered it a crime of crime.

Then the United Nations approved a convention prohibiting the crimes of genocide in 1948, and Article 2 of the convention defines the crime of genocide as: “Any of the following acts committed with the intent to exterminate, in whole or in part, a group on the basis of nationality, race, sex, or religion.”

The Convention affirms that genocide, whether committed in times of peace or war, is a crime under international law, and the parties undertake to “prevent and punish it” (Article 1). The primary responsibility for preventing and stopping genocide lies with the State in which it occurs. the crime.

The most prominent crimes of genocide in modern history:

-Genocide in Bosnia and Herzegovina: this crime occurred in the nineties, when Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic launched a brutal attack on Bosnia following its declaration of independence, and almost 100 thousand people, most of them Muslims, died in this war .This crime was characterized by extreme brutality and inhumanity, as these massacres witnessed mass executions of men and mass rape of women .

Genocide in the Gaza Strip: It is currently being subjected to all forms of genocide by the Israeli occupation forces since October 7, 2023 until now, where more than 33 thousand Palestinians were killed, more than 80 thousand Palestinians were injured, and nearly 2 million Palestinians (85% of the population) were displaced. Gaza Strip) were forcibly removed from their homes, and more than 11,000 Palestinians were arrested.

As a result of these heinous violations and crimes against the defenseless Palestinian owners of the land, Israel appeared in January 2024 before the International Court of Justice, accused by South Africa of committing genocide in the Gaza Strip, which we will highlight later in this report.

Second: The types of genocide crimes, the point of trial, and the applicable penalties

Types of genocide:

Genocide is characterized as crimes that develop with the development of weapons of mass destruction. They are also crimes that are constantly expanding due to the spread of civil wars in many countries. The most prominent types of genocide can be summarized as follows:

1- Physical extermination: It means killing groups with poisonous gases, execution, burying the living, bombing by planes or missiles, and other weapons of mass destruction.

2- Biological genocide: It consists of sterilizing men, aborting women by various means, and intervening in changing human creation for political and religious goals to eliminate the human element.

3- Cultural genocide: which consists of imposing non-speaking of the national language and assaulting the national culture.

Investigation and trial body:

A-the International Court of justice: it is an arm of the United Nations aimed at resolving disputes between states (the largest judicial body in the United Nations organization), based in The Hague, The Netherlands, and consists of 15 judges elected for a nine-year term by the UN General Assembly and the Security Council, the members of the court do not represent their governments but are independent judges.

B- The International Criminal Court: It is a body independent of the United Nations and headquartered in the Netherlands. It is specialized in trying individuals – not states – accused of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and assault crimes. It cannot carry out its judicial role unless the national courts express their desire or are unable to investigate or prosecute these cases. The court does not have its own police force to track down and arrest suspects, and relies on national police services to make arrests and seek their transfer to The Hague.

Third: The difference between genocide and ethnic cleansing.

Ethnic cleansing is often confused with genocide, but there is a difference that is clear as follows:

The term “ethnic cleansing” refers to any attempt to create ethnically homogeneous geographic areas through the deportation or forced displacement of people belonging to certain ethnic groups, and often the removal of all physical traces of the targeted groups through the destruction of monuments, cemeteries, and places of worship, as defined by the United Nations.

As we mentioned previously, the crime of genocide is defined as: “Any of the following acts committed with the intent to exterminate, in whole or in part, a group on the basis of nationality, race, sex, or religion:

The difference between the two crimes lies in the intent of the perpetrator, as the main goal of genocide is to attempt to eliminate a specific group based on nationality, race, ethnicity, or religion, while the main goal of ethnic cleansing is to create a pure ethnic society.

Fourth: Israel and genocide

The ongoing Israeli aggression against Palestine is an ideal example of systematic genocidal crimes extending across decades of history in the face of unprecedented global silence. The Israeli occupation authorities committed hundreds of massacres that led to the killing of more than 132,000 Palestinian martyrs from the Nakba of 1948 until 2024.

For example, the massacre of the “town of Sheikh” in December 1947, in which more than 600 people were killed, including women and children, and their bodies were mutilated, as well as the massacre of the “village of Sasa’ in the Galilee, which took place in February 1948, where 20 houses were blown up, attacking its Palestinian residents sheltering inside, and a massacre “Deir Yassin” in April 1948, in which approximately 360 martyrs fell.

From October 7, 2023 until April 1, 2024, the occupation continues its brutal aggression against the Gaza Strip and commits crimes of genocide against the Palestinians, causing “massive destruction and an unprecedented humanitarian catastrophe” by launching violent artillery shelling in several areas of the Strip, as well as Carrying out horrific crimes against civilians, amid a catastrophic humanitarian situation as a result of the siege and the displacement of more than 90% of the population.

According to data from the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, approximately 33,237 Palestinians were martyred in the Gaza Strip, including more than 14,000 children, 9,220 women, and 1,049 elderly people.

The Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor indicated the consensus of international legal scholars and United Nations experts that what is happening in the Gaza Strip constitutes the crime of “genocide” and should be a turning point in order to hold Israel accountable. Euro-Med highlighted the legal opinion issued by 880 international law professors around the world, in which they warned against Israel committing a “crime of genocide” in the Gaza Strip, noting that this opinion was issued on October 15, 2023, that is, a week after the start of the war, when the death toll and the extent of destruction were Much less than the current tally.

The legal opinion confirmed the overwhelming evidence that Israel committed genocide against civilians in the Gaza Strip, including indiscriminate bombing and disproportionate attacks by destroying residential neighborhoods, imposing starvation and starvation, and completely cutting off humanitarian supplies to the civilian population.

The Observatory pointed out the statements of Israeli officials since the beginning of the war on Gaza, such as describing the civilian population as “human animals” and that Gaza “will not return to what it was before,” noting that they reflect the premeditated intentions of the Zionist entity to commit genocide crimes through deliberate killing and restricting conditions. basic of life.

Fifth: Egypt’s position on Israel’s practices contrary to international legitimacy

Egypt participated in its plea in the public hearings before the International Court of Justice, which is considering the request of the United Nations General Assembly to submit an advisory opinion on the illegality of the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967. Egypt submitted a memorandum to the court, and also presented an oral argument before the court on February 21, 2024.

The Egyptian memorandum and pleading called on the court to affirm Israel’s responsibility for all those internationally unlawful acts, to withdraw immediately from the occupied Palestinian territories, including the city of Jerusalem, and to compensate the Palestinian people for the damages they suffered as a result of those internationally unlawful policies and practices, in addition to demanding All countries of the world and the international community not to recognize any legal effect of the Israeli measures and to stop providing support to Israel, and for international organizations and the United Nations to assume their responsibilities in this regard.

Sixth: preventing the crime of genocide is a responsibility that requires strengthening efforts

The countries of the world should make more efforts to build societies capable of resisting genocide and free from these brutal crimes through the following:

1-assessing the effectiveness of current international laws in preventing genocide crimes, and identifying gaps and contradictions in international legislation.

2-propose amendments to ensure the strict application of laws and enhance their ability to deter crimes.

3-strengthening international cooperation and information exchange between states to ensure early detection of signs of genocide.

4. encourage states to enact national laws criminalizing genocide and ensuring the prosecution of perpetrators.

5. develop effective mechanisms to ensure the protection of civilians from the risks of genocide.

6-activating the role of international peacekeeping forces in intervening to prevent the occurrence of genocide crimes, and enhancing international cooperation in the field of extradition of criminals.

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