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UN Experts call for the prevention of Genocide in Gaza as hospitals and schools are bombed

A panel of UN experts have called the bombings of schools and hospitals in Gaza as crimes against humanity and highlighted the "risk of genocide against the Palestinian people".

The experts raised serious humanitarian and legal concerns over Israel tightening its 16-year siege of the enclave and its population and long-standing occupation, depriving 2.2 million people of essential food, fuel, water, electricity and medicine. An estimated 50,000 pregnant women in Gaza, are in desperate need of prenatal and postnatal care. The number of internally displaced people across the Gaza Strip is estimated at around one million.

The UN experts called for the protection of all humanitarian workers, after the World Health Organization (WHO) documented more than 136 attacks on health care services in the occupied Palestinian territory, including 59 attacks on the Gaza Strip, which resulted in the death of at least 16 health workers since the beginning of hostilities on 7 October. Israeli bombardment on Gaza has also killed 15 staff of the United Nations Refugee Works Agency (UNRWA) and four Palestine Red Crescent paramedics in an ambulance. An ambulance driver of Magen David Adom in Israel lost his life while driving to treat injured people.

“We are sounding the alarm: There is an ongoing campaign by Israel resulting in crimes against humanity in Gaza. Considering statements made by Israeli political leaders and their allies, accompanied by military action in Gaza and escalation of arrests and killing in the West Bank, there is also a risk of genocide against the Palestinian People,” the experts said.

“There are no justifications or exceptions for such crimes. We are appalled by the inaction of the international community in the face of belligerent war-mongering,” the experts said.

The tragedy at al-Ahli Arab hospital in the north of the Gaza Strip provoked Worldwide condemnation. 

Palestinian officials blamed an Israeli airstrike for the explosion that Gaza’s health ministry said on Wednesday had killed 471 Palestinians and wounded 314 others.

Israel has said the blast was caused by a failed rocket launch by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad militant group, which has denied blame.

The blast occurred on Tuesday and Gaza officials have said at least 471 people were killed in the explosion, with more than 300 wounded.

Channel 4 News have reported on new findings disclosed by several human rights organisations which they say cast doubt on some aspects of Israel's account of the Gaza hospital explosion.

Forensic Architecture, Earshot and the Ramallah based NGO Al Haq have shared new information with Channel 4 News.

Earshot investigators have analysed two aspects of the blast. The first was Doppler effect sound analysis of the missile tracking to the hospital that night. 

The analysis produced mapping concludes the missile came from a variety of new firing points east of the hospital not West as the IDF had claimed. 

The second aspect examines is the tape released by the IDF of allegedly two Hamas operatives discussing the explosion. The Forensic sound analysis states that "This recording is made up of two separate channels and demonstrates that these two voices have been recorded independently and these two independent recordings have then edited together in a digital audio workstation such as ProTools or logic and have added effects such as pan control and then recomposed".

They conclude, that

"The audio analysis cannot categorically state that the audible dialogue is fake, we can say that the level of manipulation required to edit these two voices together disqualifies it as a source of credible evidence. Earshot's opinion is that this recording does not meet the standard required for evidence and should not be used by the media without the clear caveat that it has been digitally manipulated"

Forensic Architecture, a research group based at the University of London, analysed photos of the impact crater at the scene, saying that “patterns of radial fragmentation on the southwest side of the impact crater, as well as a shallow channel leading into the crater from the northeast” indicate the projectile likely came from the northeast – “the direction of the Israeli-controlled side of the Gaza perimeter”.

Chris Cobb-Smith, an investigator and explosives expert, also agreed the evidence indicated the projectile may have come from the opposite direction claimed by the Israeli military, according Forensic Architecture.

This lined up with the conclusions of a so-called “Doppler Effect analysis” by the Earshot audio investigation group, which looked at sound waves related to distance, and found that the missile likely approached from the northeast, east, or southeast, but not from the west as Israel’s military has claimed.



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