Adalah and PHRI: Israel Must Cease Its Plans for Mass Forcible Displacement and Ethnic Cleansing in Gaza Immediately

NGOs demand Israeli authorities to cancel the evacuation order for residents of the northern Gaza Strip; Israel’s actions are a blatant violation of international law, and display clear intention to commit war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Yesterday, 13 October 2023, Adalah - The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, together with Physicians for Human Rights Israel, sent an urgent letter to Israel's Minister of Defense, Israel’s Attorney General, and the Head of the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, to demand an immediate halt to Israel’s plan for the forcible transfer and ethnic cleansing of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.


CLICK HERE to read the letter 


The letter was sent following media reports and on-the-ground testimonies indicating that Israel has notified the United Nations that all residents in the northern Gaza Strip, comprising around 1.1 million individuals, must evacuate the area within 24 hours. A similar notification was disseminated through airborne leaflets dropped over the northern region of Gaza.


The letter, sent by Adalah’s Legal Director Dr. Suhad Bishara argued that the forced displacement and forcible transfer of a civilian population is a blatant violation of principles of international humanitarian law, and displays clear intention to commit a war crime under the Fourth Geneva Convention, as well as crimes against humanity under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.


The organizations further argued that the plan for the mass forced transfer of the civilian population in Gaza is one of numerous war crimes the Israeli military has committed since it launched its full-fledged retaliatory military offensive on 7 October. These war crimes have resulted in the destruction of homes and entire neighborhoods, as well as the mass killing of civilian populations uninvolved in the fighting.


The organizations stressed that the grave violations of international human rights law and the crimes that were committed by Palestinian militants on 7 October 2023 against the civilian population in southern Israel cannot be used to justify war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by Israel against the Palestinian population in Gaza.


CLICK HERE to read Adalah’s statement on the ongoing violence in Israel and Gaza.


Adalah’s Legal Director, Dr. Suhad Bishara, commented: 


“Israel’s brutal and indiscriminate assault on the entire Palestinian population of Gaza, along with clear  statements by  Israeli public officials accompanying it, indicate an intention on the part of the state to commit war crimes, crimes against humanity, and carry out ethnic cleansing. The plan to forcibly displace over one million Palestinians from northern Gaza represents the largest forced displacement of Palestinians by Israel since 1948. We reiterate our call to the international community to intervene immediately in order to prevent these crimes and the immense humanitarian catastrophe they create.”