The United Nations Security Council passed a unanimous resolution demanding “an immediate ceasefire for the month of Ramadan respected by all parties leading to a sustainable lasting ceasefire.” The resolution, jointly drafted by the ten elected members to the council, was proposed in the council by Mozambique’s representative.

It passed with 14 votes in favor, the United States abstained. Insisting on proper implementation of the vote, China reiterated that “UN Security Council resolutions are binding” on Israel.

Israel is defiant and will not countenance the demand on it to obey the Security Council’s verdict. On this, there has been a disagreement between China and the US. The latter claims the resolution passed was “non-binding”. The fact is that the UN Charter stipulates that all Security Council resolutions are legally binding under international law.

China cited the UN Charter as the basis for due action as required by the resolution. A top Chinese diplomat told the Council “If fully and effectively implemented, (the resolution) could still bring long-awaited hope”.

China has called on the most influential states that can influence the politics of the situation in Gaza to proactively pressure Israel to fully support the implementation of the resolution in a timely manner.

China has further pledged unremitting efforts together with all parties to bring an early end to the fighting in Gaza. China has also called for alleviating the humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza.

Diplomats of countries who are urging a quick solution to the seemingly endless crisis – it is nearly seven months – argue that “for the lives that have already perished, the Council resolution today comes too late. Around 32,414 Palestinians have been killed and 74,787 wounded in Israel’s ongoing genocide in Gaza starting on October 7.

At least 7,000 people are unaccounted for, presumed dead under the rubble of their homes throughout the Strip. These numbers rise with each passing day.

Currently on trial before the International Court of Justice for genocide against Palestinians, Israel has persisted in this devastating war on Gaza since October 7.

According to Palestinian and international relief workers on-the-ground, the greater part of those killed and wounded are women and children. Forceful displacement of nearly two million people from all over the Gaza Strip, with the vast majority of the displaced forced into the densely crowded southern city of Rafah near the border with Egypt – in what has become Palestine’s largest mass exodus since the 1948 Nakba.

Francesca Albanese, UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Occupied Territories submitted a six-month report entitled “Anatomy of Genocide” avers that Israel has committed at least three acts prohibited in the Convention.

The report asserts that there are realistic grounds to establish that Israel has committed several acts of genocide in its ongoing war on Gaza. To quote from the report: “One of the key findings is that Israel’s executive and military leadership and soldiers have intentionally distorted jus in bello (justice in war) principles, subverting their protective functions, in an attempt to legitimize genocidal violence against the Palestinian people.”

Israel violates international human rights law in its genocidal battering

Israel’s heightened blockade of Gaza has caused death through the politics of starvation. At least 10 children die every day because vital supplies are obstructed from entering supply to Gaza.

Israel has time and again caused grave bodily or mental harm to its victims. Indeed, beginning October 7, Francesca Albanese reports that “Palestinians have suffered relentless physical and psychological harm. Many have endured violence and deprivation including severe hunger.”

The third alleged violation is the act of imposing circumstances to create physical destruction. Israel’s military tactical conditions of siege are accompanied by draconian evacuation orders.

These persisting shifting ‘safe zones’ create incomparable humanitarian catastrophe. At least 1.7 million Palestinians have been dislodged and forced to shift to overcrowded UNRWA shelters in southern Gaza.

As if such oppressive tactics were not adequate, the same besieged people are further assaulted by the Israeli army, and forced into crude makeshift and inhuman shelters. The UN Special Rapporteur reinforces this conclusion when she cites direct evidence of genocidal intent as distinct.

Malicious genocidal language has projected the entire Gazan people as an adversary to be purged and forcibly displaced. The Israeli President Isaac Herzog, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant endorse this policy.

This line of macro-characterization of Gaza’s civilians as human shields is beyond the pale. Israel’s top-ranking political and military leaders consistently frame civilians as Hamas operatives, ‘accomplices’, or human shields among whom Hamas is ‘embedded’.

Israeli authorities have made preposterous characterizations of churches, mosques, schools, UN facilities, universities, hospitals and ambulances, as broadly ‘complicit’ with Hamas and, therefore,‘killable’.

Independent observers avow that Hamas fighters pay due attention to the safety of their people. This is Israel’s mere pretext and a back-door ploy to kill and harm innocents, and essential infrastructure.

Member States are being asked to instantly implement an arms embargo on Israel, as it appears to have failed to comply with the binding measures ordered by the ICJ on 26 January 2024”.

This will need politically conscious masses to join protests on the streets pushing firmly for an end to military ties between Israel and other countries. Irate citizens around the world have demonstrated that they abhor the cruelty and death-dealing ways of Israel against the Gazans.

This is manifested in huge rallies and protests to condemn Israel’s genocidal actions. Some of these rallies have mobilised tens and thousands and have broken traditional stereo-types about Arabs in general and Palestinians, in particular. Justice for Palestine is now reaching levels of the anti-Vietnam war and the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa.

In equal urgency, member nations are encouraged to generously underwrite the funding of the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) to enable it to meet the increased needs of Palestinians in Gaza.

Bolivia was the first to cut diplomatic ties over Israel's treatment of Palestinians in Gaza. Honduras decided to immediately recall its Ambassador for consultations citing the serious humanitarian situation suffered by the Palestinian civilian population in the Gaza Strip.

Turkey’s foreign ministry said that its ambassador to Israel had been recalled for consultations “in view of the unfolding humanitarian tragedy in Gaza caused by the continuing attacks by Israel against civilians". In Colombia leftist President Gustavo Petro decided to recall its ambassador to Israel stating: “If Israel does not stop the massacre of the Palestinian people, we cannot be there."

Chile, which has the largest Palestinian population outside the Arab world, recalled its ambassador to protest Israel's “unacceptable violations of international humanitarian law". Bahrain’s lower house of parliament announced the halting of economic ties with Israel and the return of ambassadors on both sides.

Jordan’s Foreign Minister stated that the Jordanian ambassador would only return to Tel Aviv if Israel halted its war on the enclave and ended "the humanitarian crisis it has caused". In the United Kingdom, 130 parliamentarians signed a letter urging the British government to ban arms sales to Israel.

The move reportedly came “amid signs that Israel intends to ignore the UN Security Council resolution passed this week calling on all sides to commit to a ceasefire.” The parliamentarians wrote in the letter that “business as usual” for arms exports to Israel is “totally unacceptable” amid the ongoing war on Gaza.

Economists and political scientists, and historians, view Israel’s war in Gaza and obliterating the Palestinian population as having veiled economic dimensions.

Reports of several hundred of Jewish families who once resided in Gaza’s settlements are readying to move back to Gaza to retake land and settlements. Most Jewish takers eye a space on the stunning beach front.

They had lived in illegal settlements until Ariel Sharon decided to unilaterally and abruptly shut down 21 settlements in Gaza in 2005. They are convinced that a peaceful Gaza is possible only when the entire Palestinian population is evicted.

Neither has Israel given up on its immoral designs of stealing Palestinian land, especially well-known heritage sites which are lucrative in the tourism sector. Nabil Shah who has written extensively on Palestinian history and heritage describes how since 1948, successive Israeli governments have given meticulous attention to the antiquities that have a distinct Arab and Palestinian identity.

Israeli archaeologists research every part of Palestine with the single purpose of generating a fake historical narrative by Judaising Palestinian antiquities. Historical monuments in major Palestinian cities, such as Acre, Jaffa, Jerusalem and Tiberias were included in this process.

Israel has sought to Judaise Palestinian through systematic cultural pilfering and forgery. Even local food recipes are not spared. Israel has participated in international exhibitions to display Palestinian fashion and cuisine labeled as “Israeli”!

Palestine’s heritage and history dating back thousands of years are being stolen by the Israeli “mafias” who trade them as invaluable antiquities. For Israel, these relics not only add value to Israel’s tourism industry, but rake in massive profits for the millions of tourists who visit ‘The Holy Land’.

Israel is also eyeing reserves of natural gas offshore of the Gaza Strip. Since the blockade of Gaza in 2007, the Israeli government has established de facto control over Gaza’s offshore natural gas reserves.

The contractor, British Gas, has since been dealing with the Israeli government, effectively bypassing the Palestinian government regarding exploration and development rights.

In addition to the offshore resources discovered off the Gaza coast, it is estimated that more than 1.5 billion barrels of oil lie beneath the occupied West Bank. In a 2019 report, UNCTAD pointed out the inequity being imposed on Palestine when it exposed the fact that Israel’s exploitation of Palestinian natural resources, including oil and gas, imposes enormous costs that escalate as the occupation remains in effect.

Sheer justice demands these revenues be allocated to Palestine as its fair share of benefits of oil and natural gas reserves in the occupied territories and the Eastern Mediterranean. These are currently being exploited exclusively by Israel.

Loss of land, water and other natural resources; a fragmented domestic market and separation from neighboring and international markets; and the expansion of Israeli settlements that are illegal under international law further exacerbate the Palestinian economy.

Rigid limitations on the movement of people and goods add to the deduction of the Palestinian economy. According to reliable estimates the prolonged closure and recurrent military operations in Gaza have left more than half the territory’s population living below the poverty line and cost $16.7bn in lost GDP annually.

The Israeli military occupation of Palestinian territories since 1967 and the blockade of the Gaza Strip since 2007 have prevented the Palestinian people from exercising any control over their own fossil fuel resources, denying them much-needed fiscal and export revenues and leaving the Palestinian economy on the verge of collapse.

A lasting end to conflict between Israel and Palestine will not be possible without long-term investment in Palestine’s economic and human development, running into billions of dollars per year.

These facts expose why Israel is sticking to its plans to reject a cease fire, ethnically cleanse Gaza, and destroy the territory. Their war is a tool of Israel’s self-economic advancement at the cost of the Gazans whose assets are being plundered.

It is plain to see from these facts that Israel’s eye on Palestinian territories, and its gradual occupation of land that historically belongs to Palestinians is about an occupation that will end in dispossession based on colonialism, apartheid and racism. Israel is truly not done with its ‘Nakba’.

But the Palestinians, known, as they are, for their resilience will not surrender. Nor will they gift Israel what it fraudulently wishes. The integrity of a just global order will be tested by the outcome of this war and a just intervention by the global community. International Law and the aspirations for a just global society must prevent impulsive Israel’s concealed and repulsive designs.

Ranjan Solomon is a long-time activist for Palestinian justice, beginning with the First Intifada. He has visited the region year after year since 1987 to build global solidarity, first with the World YMCA and later with the World Council of Churches. He now edits ‘Palestine Updates a weekly global Newsletter, convenes the Indo-Palestine Solidarity Network (IPSN), and the Global Kairos for Asia Pacific Palestine Solidarity (GKAPPS), and is a Founder Member of the Movement for Liberation from Nakba – a predominantly Global South group that addresses questions about the liberation of Palestine. Views expressed are the writer’s own.