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Resolved: Israel is committing genocide in Gaza


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This debate should be impossible to accept. If you wish to accept this debate please PM me directly or mention me in the comment section. Note that failure to PM/comment will result in an auto forfeit.


This debate will center on the current Israel - Gaza conflict. My opponent must show that Israel is committing genocide and I will have to show Israel is not committing genocide.


Genocide - The definition contained in Article II of the Convention describes genocide as a crime committed with the intent to destroy a national, ethnic, racial or religious group, in whole or in part. It does not include political groups or so called “cultural genocide”.

1. Opening
2. Rebuttals
3. Rebuttals
4. Summary / Close

Round 1
Thank you, Benjamin for accepting this debate. This is my first debate in a long time so I may be a bit rusty. 

1. What is genocide?

According to the United Nations Article II, genocide is a crime committed with the intent to destroy a national, ethnic, racial or religious group, in whole or in part. It does not include political groups or so called “cultural genocide”. [1] The keyword here is intent. Genocide is ultimately a crime of intent. It is incumbent on my opponent prove that Israel is intentionally attempting to destroy a national, ethnic, racial, or a religious group in Gaza. Because it is a crime of intent genocide is very difficult to prove in an international court. Leila Sadat of Washington University explains:

Genocide requires this special intent. So we actually have to show that they're [in the context of the interview Russia in their war against Ukraine]
committing all these terrible crimes in order to destroy, in part or in whole, the particular group. And so that's why genocide is more difficult, because you have to get into the mind of the perpetrator, as opposed to being a look-in at the circumstantial evidence that we can see with our own eyes and our own ears.

There is important distinction between genocide and other war crimes. As noted by Dr Paul LeBlanc [2]:

  • War crimes are breaches of the laws and customs of war.
  • Crimes against humanity are defined as widespread or systemic attacks directed at civilians.
  • Genocide is when crimes against humanity are carried out with the goal of eliminating a population.
Thus even if my opponent can show that war crimes and crimes against humanity are being committed in Gaza, it still would not necessarily be genocide unless there was an intentional intent to eliminate a population.

2. Intent

Since genocide is a crime of intent, we must ask what Israel's intent is in this war. Repeatedly, the IDF has made public comments on their social media accounts emphasizing that their war is not against the Gazan civilians but against Hamas. Their intent is clear: Bring back the hostages and eliminate the terrorist organization Hamas:

December 18, 2023 [4]:
“We abort attacks when we see an unexpected civilian presence.”We are at war with Hamas, not the civilians of Gaza.Our intent is to defeat Hamas and secure the release of the 129 Israeli hostages still held captive in Gaza.

December 4, 2023 [5]
Hamas deliberately embeds itself among civilians so that Gazans will bear the consequences of Hamas atrocities.Our war is against Hamas—not the people of Gaza. We are taking extensive measures to mitigate harm to the civilians that Hamas uses as shields.

November 29, 2023  [6]
“The IDF will rescue our hostages, dismantle Hamas, and do it while minimizing the harm to civilians.”––Lt. Col. Richard Hecht, IDF International Spokesperson

October 14, 2023 [7]
The world needs to know: we are at war with Hamas, NOT the people of Gaza.

November 14, 2023 [8 and 9]
The IDF has reopened an evacuation route for Gazan civilians to move south for their safety.The IDF has repeatedly called on the residents of Gaza City to evacuate from the area, and continues to urge them to do so. We are not at war with the people of Gaza.

Instead of treating the ill, Hamas uses hospitals for terrorism. This sick exploitation of the Gazan people must be stopped.The IDF is conducting a ground operation in Gaza to defeat Hamas and rescue our hostages. Israel is at war with Hamas, not with the civilians in Gaza.

3. Civilian deaths

All civilian deaths are tragic and great care must be taken to minimize the risk of civilian casualties. Until the war is over it is impossible to put a number on how many civilians are dead due to this conflict. However, we must note that because this is an urban warfare that civilian deaths are naturally going to be higher. In light of recent research, it is clear that civilian deaths in this war are not noticeably higher than in other similar conflicts. For example the Iraq war saw 276,363–308,212 civilian deaths. The civilian percentage casualty was   66%−67% and the Syria/ISIS conflict resulted in 179,424 civilian deaths or 28% of the total dead [10].

Israel has done a lot to warn civilians when strikes are coming in order to give civilian deaths a chance to seek shelter. Israel has done roof knocking, created evacuation routes, dropped leaflets, and made phone calls to civilians to warn them to take cover. No other army has done this in similar conflicts. Moreover, what makes Israel's job significantly harder is that Hamas has deliberately hidden behind human shields and have used schools, mosques, refugee camps, and hospitals for their military command centers, weapon storage facilities, and launch sites. Hamas does this to purposefully maximize the number of civilians killed in order to make Israel look bad and get global sympathies. Amnesty international noted in 2015 [11]:

As well as carrying out unlawful killings, others abducted by Hamas were subjected to torture, including severe beatings with truncheons, gun butts, hoses and wire or held in stress positions. Some were interrogated and tortured or otherwise ill-treated in a disused outpatient’s clinic within the grounds of Gaza City’s main al-Shifa hospital. At least three people arrested during the conflict accused of “collaboration” died in custody.

“Hamas forces have displayed a disregard for the most fundamental rules of international humanitarian law. Torture and cruel treatment of detainees in an armed conflict is a war crime. Extrajudicial executions are also war crimes. The de facto administration in Gaza must send a message to all law enforcement forces to treat prisoners humanely at all times. All allegations of extrajudicial execution and torture must be impartially and independently investigated and the perpetrators brought to justice in fair trials,” said Philip Luther.
In addition, Amnesty International noted that during the current conflict [12]:

The abduction of civilians is prohibited by international law and hostage taking is a war crime. All civilians held hostage must be released immediately, unconditionally, and unharmed. All those held captive must be treated humanely, in accordance with international law and granted medical treatment. 
Videos verified by Amnesty International show Hamas fighters abducting, intentionally killing civilians in and around Israeli residential communities close to the Gaza Strip on 7 October. 

In addition, UN secretary also confirmed Hamas' use of human shields [13]:

At the same time, Hamas and other militants use civilians as human shields and continue to launch rockets indiscriminately towards Israel.

Civilian deaths are always tragic. In this conflict and in past conflicts, Hamas has done everything to maximize civilian deaths while Israel has done everything to minimize civilian deaths.

Thank you! I look forward to hearing your rebuttals.

Thank you, David.

Meaning of Genocidal Intent:

Scholars have pointed out that governments do not openly admit to committing genocidal acts, they always have excuses like it was just a war or they were just trying to reestablish law and order. In response, defenders of the intentionality clause have argued that “a pattern of purposeful action” leading to the destruction of a significant part of the targeted group is enough to establish genocidal intent, irrespective of the reasons the perpetrator regime offers for its actions. [Britannica]

Affirming that Palestinians are a national group with national rights:

The Palestinian people possess the inalienable right to self-determination, sovereignty and national independence including the right to an independent State. []. The Palestinian people constitute a national group for the purpose of the genocide convention. The inhabitants of Gaza constitute a substantial proportion of the Palestinian nation [twail].

Demonstrating the historical and contemporary oppression of palestinians:

Jewish militias in 1947 attacked villages and forced thousands of Palestinians to flee. In the war of 1948 Israel forced more than half of all Palestinians to flee. This is called the Nakba. Israel never followed UNs order to let them return. Israel has continued to dispossess and displace Palestinians from their homes ever since then []. Israel is currently denying 5 million palestinian refugees their right to return to their homeland that countless UN resolutions have affirmed. [UNRWA].

Israel discriminates against Palestinians, making their material conditions worse. Their rights are being undermined [minorityrights]. Palestinians everywhere are treated as racially inferior and systematically deprived of their rights. We found that Israel’s cruel policies of segregation, dispossession and exclusion across all territories under its control clearly amount to apartheid. [amnesty]. They illegally occupy Palestine and perform structural violence daily, in addition to military onslaughts, raids on cities and towns, prison torture and settler militia violence [aljazeera]. They detain children and put them in solitary confinement. They deny their prisoners access to crucial medical treatment, causing ¼ of them to suffer from easily treatable diseases on top of illegal torture [UN]

There is no Palestinian equivalent. Israelis are not subjected to nor do they experience any sort of structural violence from the Palestinians. None. And when we compare violence committed by identifiable agents, we find that Israel unleashes much greater violence against the Palestinians”. [aljazeera].

Providing evidence that Israel has been committing some forms of genocide in Gaza for a long time: 

Genocide by attrition occurs when a group is stripped of its human rights, political, civil and economic. This leads to deprivation of conditions essential for maintaining health, thereby producing mass death [pubmed]. Examples include the Warsaw Ghetto and Gaza siege. Even before the current conflict, there were several scholars, intellectuals and media outlets refering to the situation in Gaza as genocide since Israel was intentionally creating the conditions calculated to destroy the Gazan populace [mspace].

The charity Save the Children says children make up almost half of Gaza's population. Conditions in Gaza have badly deteriorated in the 16 years since the blockade was imposed. The United Nations says more than 80% of Gazans live in poverty, with access to clean water and electricity at crisis levels even before the latest violence [npr]In the case of Gaza, genocide should be seen as a process that, so far, has caused “in part” destruction to Gazans as a social group. The perpetuation of these policies will, with no doubt, lead to a point where life becomes impossible in Gaza[mspace]. But this new conflicts speeds up the genocide.

Presenting a few of the war crimes Israel is currently committing:

Gaza’s main road artery, which Israel designated as a safe corridor, has become a corridor of horror where Palestinians have been randomly bombed, executed, forcibly disappeared, tortured and humiliated. Meanwhile, the Israeli army continued to bombard the territory south of Wadi Gaza which it had repeatedly declared a “safe area” where Palestinians from the north could seek safety. The areas where the evacuation grid system told the Palestinians to flee to were immediately targeted [aljazeera].

Since the launch of the recent military campaign on Gaza, Israeli army has widely and indiscriminately targeted civilians and civilian objects; inflicted mass destruction, with over 60 percent of homes in Gaza destroyed or damaged; hundreds of families have been entirely obliterated from the civil registry; displaced over 1.7 million Palestinians across Gaza, when the majority of them are already refugees or descendants of 1948 refugees; targeted journalists, medical personnel, ambulances, schools, places of worship, universities, shelters and hospitals as well as water, electricity, telecommunications and energy infrastructure, among others. While Israel leaves no place safe in Gaza, it subjects the protected 2.3 million population in Gaza to mass murder and mass assassination and inflicts conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction, and causing serious bodily and mental harm; amounting to acts of genocide, and an ongoing Nakba against the Palestinian People. [International Federation For Human Rights] (FIDH).

In just over two months, researchers say the offensive has wreaked more destruction than the razing of Syria’s Aleppo between  2012 and 2016 and the flattening of Ukraine’s Mariupol. It has killed more civilians than the U.S.-led coalition in its three-year campaign against the Islamic State. “Gaza is now a different color from space. It’s a different texture,” “Gaza is one of the most intense civilian punishment campaigns in history[apnews].

The risk of famine is growing, and the lack of food, water, and medicines is making the situation catastrophic, especially for the 335,000 children under 5 years of age who are especially vulnerable to severe malnutrition and disease. [unsco]. Reports claim that children as young as 12 and persons as old as 70 are among those detained. Most concerningly, there are numerous reports that many of those detained were subjected to serious ill-treatment, which in some instances may amount to torture [reliefweb].

Analysis of Israeli intent based on their words and actions:

Israeli government and military officials publicly declared that the total siege means no food, fuel, electricity or water are allowed to enter for the 2.3 million people in Gaza since October 9th, in addition to the blocking of medical supplies and equipment. Israel has deliberately denied the Palestinian population in Gaza ALL the basic necessities for human survival. [FIDH]

 Notably, Israel has long perpetrated the crime of persecution and the crime of apartheid - both crimes against humanity - against the Palestinian people as a whole. Israel’s pattern of attacks and measures against the Palestinian population in Gaza since October 7th, collective punishment, forced displacement, combined with Israel’s use of starvation as a tool of warfare, the cutting of water, electricity and fuel, coupled with the public and repeated statements of senior Israeli government and military officials, are evidence to Israel’s genocidal intent and acts in its current aggression. [FIDH]

UN experts point to evidence of 'genocidal incitement' against Palestinians. A group of United Nations experts in Geneva said on Nov 16 that there was "evidence of increasing genocidal incitement" against the Palestinian people in what it said were "grave violations" committed by Israel. [reuters].

An Israeli officer named Betzalel Taljah openly embraced war crimes and genocide on CNN: “the war is not just with Hamas, the war is with all the civilians.”. Betzalel’s father is on record saying, “I still think that apartheid is the best thing in the world.” Racism was passed from father to son leading to Betzalel viewing Palestinian civilians as being legitimate targets in the current war [CNN]. This racism is widespread. 60% of Jews in Israel were racist and favored segregation in 2021. This number would have skyrocketed after 7th October.

We are imposing a complete siege of Gaza. There will be no electricity, no food, no water, no fuel, everything will be closed. We are fighting against human animals, and we are acting accordingly" – Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant. [Al Jazeera]

Netanyahu is on record comparing Gaza to Amalek. In the Old Testament, after this people group attacked Israel, God commanded the Israelites to completely annihilate the Amalekites, to kill even their women and infants. So Netanyahu is comparing Palestinians to a people that God himself told Israel to genocide. [juancole].

We’re hitting our enemies with unprecedented force,” he says, but “I stress: It’s only the beginning.”“Our enemies have only just begun to pay the price. I won’t detail what will come next. But I’m telling you, it’s only the beginning.” --- Netanyahu's more recent and far more concerning comments regarding the war. [timesofisrael].

On 12 October 2023, Mr Isaac Herzog, President of Israel, stated, referring to Gaza: “It is an entire nation out there that is responsible”, not just Hamas. [icj].

It’s not only Israel’s leaders who are using such language. An interviewee on the pro-Netanyahu Channel 14 called for Israel to “turn Gaza to Dresden”. Channel 12, Israel’s most-watched news station, published a report about left-leaning Israelis calling to “dance on what used to be Gaza.” Meanwhile, genocidal verbs—calls to “erase” and “flatten” Gaza—have become omnipresent on Israeli social media. In Tel Aviv, a banner reading “Zero Gazans'' was seen hanging from a bridge. [jewishcurrents].

Listing some agencies that judge Israel to be guilty of genocide:
  • The International Court of Justice just ruled against Israel and determined that South Africa successfully argued that Israel’s conduct plausibly could constitute genocide. [responsiblestatecraft]
  • A federal judge found that Israel is plausibly engaging in genocide of the Palestinian people in Gaza, and charged the Biden Administration with failing to prevent genocide. [ccrjustice].
  • The International Federation for Human rights conclude that Israel is unfolding the crime of genocide in Gaza, based on the evidence I cited them for earlier. [FIDH]
  • Many Israeli youths don’t want to serve in army and help commit genocide [youtube].

I have provided a lot of data that support the PRO positions. There can be  ZERO DOUBT that Israel is committing unimaginable war crimes. So this debate will mostly revolve around the intention clause. I submit that Israel's horrible track record historically speaking, combined with the inferences we can make based on their current actions and the inexcusable rhetoric coming from top officials as well as the average soldier and citizen, that this all comes together to form a very strong case that Israel is not lacking in intentionality. When every significant human rights organization tells Israel to ceasefire if they don't want to be guily of genocide, Israel responds by ramping up the violence and saying that "this is just the beginning". So yeah, Israel is destroying the palestinian people very intentionally, affirming the resolution.

Next round I will rebutt he defenses CON made in R1, and maybe elaborate more on the points I made.

Round 2
I will take this opportunity to refute every point PRO raises in R1. 

1. What is genocide?

Israel genocidal intent
Genocide is a crime of intent, I agree. I refer to my R1 demonstrating Israels genocidal intent.

The ethnic cleansing route:
In R1 CON references an interview by the expert Leila Sadat to say that genocide is difficult to prove. But in that exact interview she confirmed that ethnic cleansing often constitutes genocide and has been judged as such in the past [2]. The Euro-Med monitor finds that the evidence overwhelmingly points towards Israel's clear intentions to make Gaza completely uninhabitable for its 2.3 million inhabitants [reliefweb]. The paper Times of Israel reports that “The “voluntary” resettlement of Palestinians from Gaza is slowly becoming a key official policy of the government”. The Israeli finance minister said on the army radio that “Removing about 90 percent of Gaza’s population from the enclave would help security in the region post-war[haaretz]. This confirms what many UN experts warned already in December, that the evidence clearly demonstrates that the IDF is in the process of ethnically cleansing Gaza [ohchr]. The IDF is currently bombing and planning to enter the last “safe zone” Rafah and violently displace 1.4 million Gazans to Egypt via Sinai or to other nations via sea [reliefweb].

But maybe not?
The Gazan population was barely scraping by prior to the war with 600 trucks of supplies every day, but during this campaign Israel is not even allowing ⅙ of that [aa]. Currently in the strip, 400 000 people are actually in famine, while the rest are in grave risk of famine [cnn]. Disease is spreading rapidly and the hospitals still standing are at 300% capacity with no electricity or medical supplies. But we must remember that “this is just the beginning”, so a hundred thousand will die from starvation, dehydration and lack of medicine. ”Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part” which this blockade clearly does, is listed in the convention as one of the actions which constitutes genocide [1]. 

2. Intent.

We cannot trust the IDF
Half of CON’s R1 sources are tweets written by the propaganda branch of the IDF, who are professional liars.

  • Lying about illegal use of white phosphorus - October 2023
  • Lying about deadly airstrike on civilian convoy - October 2023
  • Lying about the murder of Palestinian-American journalist - May 2022
  • Lying about bombing of media offices in Gaza - May 2021
  • Doctoring video to falsely claim medic murdered by Israeli sniper was human shield - June 2018

The IDF are borderline terrorists themselves:
Between 2000 and 2004, Israeli soldiers shot and killed 1600 civilians and 500 children who were not part of any hostilities [hrw]. Autopsies on these children consistently found wounds in the heads and upper torso that are only explained as sniper shots or close range rifle rounds hitting their intended targets. Dozens of former soldiers have testified to committing these crimes intentionally [theguardian]. “They were ordered in briefings to shoot to kill unarmed civilians, including children, even when there was no threat and in periods of calm.[ncbi]. Soldiers who served in Gaza in 2008 report the same: “a culture of impunity, with troops allowed, even encouraged, by their commanders to fire at “anything that moved[amnesty]. Recently, Israel reports that their soldiers shot 3 hostages who emerged shirtless from a ruin while holding up a white flag [wsj]. So the IDF is still like this.

What about the hostages?
The government is under fire for not caring about the victims of October 7th. It took Netanyahu more than a week to even talk with one of the families of the victims. “Any support that the refugees are getting right now is completely grassroots. Absolutely nothing by the state[pbs]. The government and the IDF take advantage of their suffering as a justification for genocide, but they don’t seem that interested in helping or caring for them. 

Eliminating Hamas
This is a terrible and unrealistic objective in the long run. It is not even clear if Israel can destroy Hamas. Israel knows that if they don’t deport them all, they will have created a million traumatized children who are going to grow up to hate Israel for killing their friends and family, and then it is only a matter of time before Hamas or a similar group emerges again. Israel has no plan for Gaza after the war that is both realistic and non-genocidal.

Contradiction between the two objectives
There are now less than 100 hostages still alive, and the number is rapidly declining. Freed hostage Adine Moshe said this: “I fear that if you continue with the attempt to 'dismantle Hamas,' there won't be any hostages left to save." [haaretz]. Rescuing all the hostages before they are killed by Hamas, insufficient medical care or Israeli bombs will be almost impossible [apnews]. A ceasefire and prison swap with Hamas has historic precedence, it would ensure the safe retrieval of all Israeli hostages, and the idea has broad support in the populace [npr]. Not only that, but as stated before almost every major human rights organization urges Israel to ceasefire immediately to avoid committing a genocide [amnesty].

3. Civilian deaths.

Can we trust the numbers of civilians killed?
The BBC conducted an investigation into how the dead are counted in Gaza. They found that hospitals verify the bodies are indeed corpses, then confirm their identities with relatives and only report the number of named victims. “The BBC also spoke to the UN and Human Rights Watch - both of which said they had no reason to disbelieve the figures released by the health ministry in Gaza[bbc]. This method is reliable and the Gazan health ministry has a track record of honesty in previous conflicts. But many victims of bombs leave no corpses, and still others are buried under rubble, so their numbers are a very conservative estimate.

Normal rates of civilian casualties?
Israel claims a 2:1 ratio of civilians to military casualties, so 66% civilians killed is the bare minimum. Israel severely over-estimates their success by assuming all men between 18-59 are combatants and reports extremely inflated numbers of “militants” killed or detained. The Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor concluded that the rate of civilian deaths in Israel’s war of extermination raging in the Gaza Strip is the highest in conflict areas worldwide in the 21st century. “According to statistics based on field documentation, at least nine out of 10 Palestinian deaths resulting from Israeli attacks are in fact civilian deaths. 70% are women and children, while the majority of the men (65%) were civilians and elderly' [euromed]. Israel killed more civilians in Gaza the first month than Russia did in Ukraine over a period 20 times longer, and in just three weeks the IDF killed more children than every other conflict the previous three years combined [aa].

So the rates of civillians casualties Israel is inflicting is actually extrordinary.

Hamas does not maximize civilian casualties;
Hamas using human shields is a myth perpetuated to absolve Israel of their crimes [dp]. Amnesty and Human rights watch found no evidence of human shielding in 2009. Reporter Jeremy Bowen was in Gaza during the 2014 conflict and found no evidence of Hamas using human shields [newstatesman]. Human rights groups also found no evidence. 

  • Israel often accused Hamas of using human shields
    • But human shielding has a specific definition: forcibly bringing or keeping civilians in an area to prevent enemies from conducting military operations there.
    • The investigation found NO EVIDENCE that Hamas used this tactic
  • Israel often claimed that Hamas fired rockets close to civilian buildings:
    • Many of these cases were disproven by satellite images and field reports
    • Many others could not be verified 
    • A few cases were verified:
      • But even among these launches many had sufficient distance from civilian buildings, or the buildings were already evacuated
      • Here is one of the few examples were Israel was right:
        • A rocket was moved to the parking lot next to the al-Shifa hospital and launched
        • But never was a rocket launched from the same spot again
        • Nor did any of the nearby civilian buildings store any rockets or house militants
        • So Israel striking the hospital full of civilians had no valid military purpose
          • This is true for most of Israel's attacks
    • Israel often bombed civilian homes and public buildings they knew had no military targets
      • Sometimes a rocket would be launched from the ruins days later, and Israel would then lie about the chronology
      • Other times the IDF would straight up fabricate evidence of military presence
  • There are no bomb shelters or protective facilities for the 2.3 million Gazans, and no place in the Strip was truly safe during the hostilities
    • Civilians who listened to Israel and evacuated were also targeted by the bombing.
      • Therefore Hamas told people to stay in their homes in order to prevent panic and chaos which would have made the situation in Gaza even worse.
        • Not because they wanted more Palestinians to die.
So the investigation by Amnesty concluded that Israel is directly responsible for like 99% of civillians killed in Gaza during their conflicts with Hamas, they have no excuses. 

Israel does not minimize civilian casualties:
As stated before, Israeli soldiers are no better than Hamas in most cases. The IDF is also indiscriminately bombing:

The IDF pretends that their unlawful general evacuation orders are followed, but that has no foothold in reality. Thousands never get informed, lack the ability to evacuate or choose not to. Israel is aware of all this. According to a systematic investigation of field evidence and interviews with 7 members of the intelligence bureau, the IDF in most cases has accurate estimates of the civilian casualties their attacks will cause, and they intentionally elect to attack “power targets” – buildings and areas with high concentrations of civilians. These bombings are “mainly intended to harm Palestinian civil society. We are not Hamas. These are not random rockets. Everything is intentional”. They intentionally bomb homes they know house no Hamas operatives, specifically when people are asleep, killing entire families at once, only because they are Gazan. This has been done hundreds of times already.

Israel is not fighting against Hamas but against civilians, implementing a criminal policy of bombings. [reliefweb] 

I have refuted every single point PRO raised in R1. The evidence clearly demonstrates that Israel is committing and planning various genocidal acts with well-documented intentionality. If Israel did not intend to commit genocide they would not have categorically rejected the option of ceasefire and prison swap which is better for both sides. Israel will ethnically cleanse Gaza or simply continue indiscriminate bombing and extending the blockade, destroying the people directly while manufacturing the short and long-term conditions calculated to destroy the people and nation. Both of these options constitute genocide.

Israel is commiting genocide. The resolution holds.

Round 3
Does Israel have a right to self defense?

Israel accepts that it is occupying Palestinian land and denies the legitimacy of Palestinian statehood, therefore Gaza and the West Bank are not a “foreign state” for the purposes of Article 51. Israel is actually bound by the occupation law in its dealing with Palestinians and any palestinian groups. Occupation law prevents an occupying state, in this case Israel, from using resistance to occupation as a justification for attacking the occupied people in a collective way. The destruction of entire neighborhoods, the killing of thousands of civilians, and the cutting off of all basic supplies do not conform to international law. On the contrary, occupation law imposes an obligation on the occupying state to provide public order through policing, safety, food and medical care.” [middleeastmonitor]

Conversely, Palestinians have the legal right to resist occupation in pursuit of their struggle for self-determination. This right is enshrined in Article 1 of the UN Charter. The Palestinian people’s struggle for self-determination has been overwhelmingly non-violent. The peaceful protests in Gaza of the Great Return March and in the West Bank were met with deadly force from Israel, killing hundreds and injuring thousands. Israel has breached its obligations under occupation law countless times while portraying itself as the victim. In reality, international law clearly locates Israel as the aggressor. [middleeastmonitor] The "right to self-defence" does not apply to Israel in its war on Gaza, legal experts have said, rejecting the US and EU's support for this narrative and describing Israeli military actions in Gaza as "war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide." [trtworld].

So while Israel has the right to defend their people, attacking Gaza does not fall in under the category of legal self defense.

Round 4
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