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The Genocidal Massacre in Nuseirat Refugee Camp

Israeli Forces Kill 274 Palestinians and Injure 698 in Attack Lasting 75 Minutes

9 June 2024

Date: 10 June 2024

On Saturday, 8 June 2024, the Israeli occupying forces (IOF) perpetrated yet another genocidal massacre against the Palestinian people in Gaza. During a military attack in Nuseirat Refugee Camp and across other areas of central Gaza, the IOF killed at least 274 Palestinians and injured around 698 others, including 161 women and 153 children, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health. Among the number of casualties were amputees and serious injuries. The military attack, which lasted around 75 minutes, featured the use of deadly force and heavy firing in a densely populated area, primarily inhabited by internally displaced persons (IDPs), proving once again no regard for Palestinian life. 

According to our preliminary documentation, at 11:00 am on Saturday, 8 June 2024, an Israeli Special Unit camouflaging in civilian vehicles—including a Volkswagen Caddy, and a transporting van— which may amount to the war crime of perfidy, entered the Nuseirat Refugee Camp in central Gaza. The Special Unit raided two homes in Block 5 of the Camp. Shortly after, the IOF launched a ground attack with a large number of tanks on the Camp and besieged three areas: Abu Assi Petrol Station to the southeast, the Wadi Gaza area to the northeast, and Al-Maghazi and the New Camp area to the north of the Camp. This coincided with Israeli warplanes directly striking five homes in the Camp while their residents were still inside and intensively conducting airstrikes and fire belts in Block 5, Al-Hasayna area and the New Camp. The ground attack, combined with the Special Unit’s infiltration and relentless bombardment, took place when the Nusairat Camp’s market was overcrowded with thousands of shoppers. It is important to note that Nusairat shelters tens of thousands of forcibly displaced Palestinians from the eastern Middle Area and Rafah. In parallel, while the attack in Nusairat was unfolding, Israeli warplanes conducted several airstrikes, targeting multiple houses in Deir al-Balah, in Gaza’s Middle Area.

Later, the IOF announced that the military attack led to the release of four Israeli captives. The attack resulted in the killing of  274 Palestinians, including 64 children, 57 women, and 37 elderly, and the wounding of 698 others, including 153 children, 161 women, and 54 elderly. Ambulance and rescue teams struggled to evacuate killed and injured Palestinians, many of whom had been shredded to pieces or decapitated by the bombing. This attack further proves Israel’s dehumanisation of Palestinians and blatant disregard for Palestinian life. The sheer scale of Palestinians killed and injured underscores a deliberate and callous indifference to Palestinian suffering, further emphasising a systemic policy that views Palestinian lives as expendable.

Our teams continue to diligently document IOF’s international crimes committed during this attack, including the circumstances of the killings and the deliberate targeting of homes with residents inside. According to initial information, the overwhelming majority of those killed were targeted while at home or on the streets, with some being killed as they were trying to flee the IOF attacks from the camouflaged civilian vehicles. Our teams are further carrying out preliminary investigations into alleged United States involvement in the attack, including the utilisation of the pier in the military attack, which was supposedly constructed for humanitarian purposes. We further warn of the grave dangers this poses to the lives of humanitarian workers in Gaza, who are providing life-saving assistance amid starvation and the collapse of the health sector. 

As of time of writing, the Israeli military continues with its aerial, artillery and naval bombardment across the Gaza Strip, inflicting further killings, injuries, and destruction to buildings and infrastructure. Over two million Palestinians continue to suffer amidst lack of life essentials, ban of humanitarian aid entry and the collapse of Gaza’s healthcare system.

We urge the international community, especially the members of the United Nations (UN) Security Council, the Secretary-General of the UN, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, to take immediate and concrete measures to put an end to the ongoing genocide in the Gaza Strip and enforce an immediate and unconditional ceasefire. We call on the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court to urgently investigate and prosecute genocidal acts orchestrated by Israeli policy makers and the Israeli military in Gaza. Furthermore, we reiterate our call on Third States to abide by their obligations under the Genocide Convention, including by taking all feasible measures to end the ongoing genocide and prevent the commission of further genocidal acts. This includes imposing economic and diplomatic sanctions and a two-way arms embargo on Israel. We call on Third States to hold Israel accountable, including by joining the pending case at the International Court of Justice regarding the Application of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide in the Gaza Strip (South Africa v. Israel). 

Our organisations warn the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany and other States arming and financing Israel’s genocidal acts that they may be complicit in the commission of international crimes, including genocide. The international community of States has a responsibility to cooperate and intervene to bring the internationally wrongful acts of these States and Israel, which are in breach of peremptory norms of international law, to an end.  


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