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How to think through allegations of genocide in Gaza

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By illuminem briefings

· 2 min read

illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece on Vox or enjoy below:

🗞️ Driving the news: The United Nations experts and various voices have raised concerns about the potential of genocide in Gaza amidst the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas
• A joint statement from UN experts highlighted the grave risk, with the director of the New York office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights resigning in protest

🔭 The context: Genocide, as defined by the 1948 Genocide Convention, involves acts committed with the intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial, or religious group
• The current debate centers on whether Israel's actions in Gaza meet this legal threshold with some arguing that the actions could be genocidal, but proving intent is a significant legal challenge
• Only three genocides in history have been officially recognized under the definition of the term in the 1948 Genocide Convention and led to trials in international criminal tribunals

🌍 Why it matters for the planet: The humanitarian crisis, with thousands of Palestinian casualties, and millions displaced and left homeless highlights the global responsibility to protect civilians and prevent atrocities
• This situation also serves as a stark reminder of the consequences of international conflicts on civilian populations and the necessity of upholding and enforcing international legal standards to prevent such crises

⏭️ What's next: The international community continues to scrutinize Israel’s mass killing and injuring of Palestinians in Gaza, mostly women and minors  
• Independent investigations and evaluations by scholars and legal experts are crucial in determining the nature of the conflict and potential accountability

💬 One quote: “Debates about whether Israel’s actions constitute genocide or ethnic cleansing are an unhelpful distraction from the fact that we are witnessing a situation of mass atrocity involving what appear to be egregious violations of international law” (Michael Becker, professor at Trinity College, Dublin)

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