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The US is complicit in Israel's campaign of genocide against children of Gaza

Rather than demand an immediate ceasefire, the Biden administration is actively working to further provide cover for Israeli atrocities in Gaza
Palestinian children injured in an Israeli strike receive emergency medical care at the Al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City on 15 October 2023 (AFP)

A few days ago, as Israel plunged Gaza into darkness by cutting off food, water, electricity, fuel, medical supplies and more amid nonstop Israeli air strikes and shelling, my colleague Mohammad Abu Rukbeh, senior Gaza field researcher at Defense for Children International - Palestine (DCIP), wrote and shared with us an account of his day.

There was one scene that hasn’t left my mind since.

As Mohammad took his wife and four young children from place to place, seeking somewhere safe, Palestinian civil defence teams were recovering a woman’s body - in pieces - from the rubble of a building on the street they walked along.

Despite Mohammad’s attempts to shield this horrific scene from his children’s eyes, they saw, and they screamed. His 10-year-old son, Karam, was completely frozen, unable to walk.

Knowing they must continue moving in search of somewhere safe, Mohammad picked up Karam and carried him.

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That one moment could lead to years of psychological trauma for any child. But for Palestinian children in Gaza, that moment was just one of a seemingly never-ending list of traumas unleashed by Israel.

In Gaza, where Israeli forces have killed more than 1,030 Palestinian children in little more than a week, injured even more, and displaced hundreds of thousands, not a single child is safe right now. 

Unwavering US support

To say that the world has failed Palestinian children is a colossal understatement.

Most of the world’s leaders, led by the United States and the European Union, have allowed and enabled Israeli forces to kill, injure, torture, and detain Palestinian children with complete impunity for decades.

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Palestinian children in Gaza have lived 16 years under Israeli siege, where children with cancer must obtain a permit to seek medical care outside of Gaza and where Israel controls every item - and person - that enters and leaves.

This is the reality in Gaza that the West has allowed Israeli authorities to enact.

In less than a week, Israeli forces have dropped more than 6,000 bombs on the Gaza Strip, or about one every 30 seconds

And then, of course, there are the bombs. 

In less than a week, Israeli forces have dropped more than 6,000 bombs on the Gaza Strip, or about one every 30 seconds.

The Israeli air strikes, shells and white phosphorus have practically been invited by US President Joe Biden, who has repeatedly expressed the US’s “unwavering” support for the state of Israel, indicating that the Biden administration would back whatever Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his military do next. 

Rather than demand an immediate ceasefire as Israeli forces destroy Palestinian civilian life in Gaza, the Biden administration is actively working to further provide cover for Israeli forces by discouraging US diplomats from publicly saying the terms “de-escalation/ceasefire”, “end to violence/bloodshed” and “restoring calm”. 

Second Nakba

At DCIP, we are sounding the alarm for genocide: Israeli forces and authorities have made their intentions clear to carry out a second Nakba and completely eradicate the Palestinian people.

They are bombing whole city blocks, wiping entire families from the civil register, and cutting off electricity, fuel and water from hospitals providing lifesaving care.

Under international law, genocide is prohibited and constitutes the deliberate killing of a large number of people from a particular nation or ethnic group with the aim of destroying that nation or group, in whole or in part.

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Genocide can result from killing or by creating conditions of life that are so unbearable it brings about the group’s destruction. 

There are already over 1,000 Palestinian children in Gaza killed during this Israeli military offensive. In barely more than a week, Israeli forces have obliterated twice as many children as in 2014, when they killed at least 535 Palestinian children over 50 days.

Countless more are injured and missing, and surely there are even more children and their families under the rubble whose names we may never know.

The Palestinian children who have, so far, survived Israel’s latest brutal assault on Palestinians in Gaza have left their homes, searching for somewhere not in ruins to wait out the bombs.

But even their parents cannot keep them safe, try as they might to shield their children from the carnage. Instead, all they can do is pick them up - and try to stay alive.

No matter what Israeli forces do next, Palestinian children have already paid the price and the US and the international community are complicit in Israel’s campaign of genocide against the Palestinian people in Gaza. 

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Eye.

Miranda Cleland is an advocacy officer at Defense for Children International - Palestine and lives in Washington, DC, where she advocates for the human rights of Palestinian children. She holds a bachelor's with honors from American University in International Studies and Arabic language.
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