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Israel is Guilty of War Crimes Against the Oppressed

Dr Imtiaz Sooliman is a medical doctor and founder of the Gift of the Givers



After my recent publication in the independent media highlighting the political situation in

Israel, my Head of Department received an anonymous letter. The person claimed that my

views are “not only extremely disrespectful, but very polarizing and not conducive to good

workplace interactions”. My boss was implored to “address this appropriately”. Bar the fact

that anonymous complaints are cowardly, I had only shared the truth and facts. This

inspired us to focus on the history, context, and human rights aspects of the current conflict,

because once educated, it’s difficult to justify support for anybody other than the



Zionism, the current racist political ideology which governs Israel, lays its claim to the land of

Palestine on the basis of ancient biblical history. Theodore Herzl, often regarded as the

father of Zionism, was not a religious person and began his movement with a nationalist

doctrine. For Israel to exist, Palestinians originally had 54% of their land seized and given to

Jewish Zionists who made up less than 7% of the then population- an absurd occupation of

land by any standards. Confirming this, the United Nations General Assembly adopted

Resolution 3379 in 1975, which "determine[d] that Zionism is a form of racism".


Over the years, Zionist Israel has broken more than 80 UN resolutions- more than any other

country in UN history. They have also been found guilty of “crimes against humanity”

perpetrated against the Palestinian People, according to the United Nations Charter. The

concept of a crime against humanity goes back to the Nuremberg Charter of 1945 for the

trial of the major Nazi war criminals. It will always be ironic that a nation who has suffered

so much themselves is able to forget so easily, and perpetuate similar crimes and atrocities

against others- those who do not learn from history are undoubtedly destined to be

doomed by it.


A particular incident this week aroused a very uncomfortable feeling of déjà vu of one of these

war crimes. In the Dahmash Mosque on 11 July 1948, Palestinian civilians were told by Israeli

soldiers that they should proceed to the mosque, as they would be safe there. Instead, 80-100

Palestinians were murdered whilst inside, where their bodies lay decomposing for 10 days in the

mid-summer heat. This week too, we have received video evidence and eyewitness reports that

Palestinians were advised by Israel to move southerly in Gaza, being promised that it would be

safer. On the very same day of the instruction, a convoy of civilians following this command was

targeted and 70 people, mostly women and children, were instantly murdered.


The Gaza strip is a piece of land 41 km long and 6-12 km wide. It has a population of 2,3

million people, making it one of the most densely populated areas in the world. This piece of

land is also the world’s largest open-air prison, being under complete siege by land, air and

sea since 2007. This was when Hamas were democratically elected into power, displeasing

Israeli authorities. Gift of the Givers, as part of its humanitarian goals and efforts, has a team

on the ground and has actively supported Gaza since 2009. The Israelis have systematically

and directly targeted hospitals, schools, civilian apartments, water plants, ambulances and

aid convoys, even using white phosphorous earlier this week and in the previous 2014 war,

banned under international law.


They have cut off water, electricity, internet, food, fuel and

medical supplies to the civilian population- all confirmed by team members of the Gift of the

Givers. The team members are describing the situation on the ground as a massacre, and it

has been confirmed that no less than 10 hospitals have been targeted, with 4 left

inoperable. The displacement of hundreds of thousands has reached unprecedented levels,

and funding has been actively raised to provide warm meals, offer temporary

accommodation, buy consumables, fund fuel for ambulances and provide general

humanitarian needs to the civilian population.


Israel has routinely carried out full scale bombings of the Gaza strip, most notably in 2008/9

and 2014, where the world watched silently in horror as Israel broke every ceasefire, and

used the full force of their military on an imprisoned, largel civilian population. Whilst the

current numbers of murdered in Gaza have reached 2215 people, majority of whom are

women and children, the most alarming aspect is how common family massacres have

become, and it is not unheard of for entire family names to have been annihilated in single



Such a blatant display of collective punishment is in direct contravention of Article 33 of the

Fourth Geneva Convention. Whilst these human rights contraventions have always been

verified by independent news sources and human rights groups, the same cannot be said

about Israeli propaganda lies. The most recent heinous claim that Hamas is guilty of

beheading 40 Israeli babies has been unsubstantiated with any evidence, yet it remains the

most flagrantly flaunted headline in mainstream media for the past week.


Over the past 7 decades, Palestinians have continuously tried to deploy nonviolent forms of

opposition. This has only been met with violent crackdowns by Israel, and harsher

restrictions on their everyday lives. Hamas, under international rule, has the right to armed

resistance as an occupied people, and yet they have been vilified in the mainstream media

by the Israeli propaganda machine and Zionist lobby for doing so. The Al-Qassam brigades

have released a multitude of videos illustrating their restraint in dealing with Israeli civilians,

yet misleading stories continue to occupy most of the media space.


The situation in the Middle East has always been an emotive one, with strong views held on

both extremes of the spectrum. However, the truth of the large scale humanitarian

catastrophe that has been meted out against the Palestinian population in all areas of life

can no longer be ignored. People will not accept being grossly violated every day, without

there being a reaction of self-determination in response- that is what Hamas is leading

today. With the same cowardice that the person who wrote an anonymous letter to my

boss used as an attempt at silencing an opinion, we witness the same degree of cowardice

employed by the Israeli Defence Force, its allies and Zionist settlers in trying to squash the

legitimate Palestinian resistance of 75 years.

Dr Aayesha Soni is a specialist neurologist in the public healthcare sector and a

member of the Media Review Network.