The War on Civilians

It has been one month since Hamas launched its vicious attack on Israel, killing many and taking many more hostage on October 7. There were many reports of killings, rape, potential beheadings, and more. The attacks were horrific, and the world quickly condemned the actions.

Israel responded by declaring war with Hamas and launching a brutal war. While all wars are brutal, this one in particular has been unnecessarily brutal against a group of people: civilians

In the first 31 days of war, Gaza’s Health Ministry claimed that 10,000 Palestinians living in Gaza have been killed as a result of the war. Even more tragic is that over 4,000 of them were children.

In response, the United States has casted doubts on the number. However, the United Nations countered this by saying the number is potentally much higher because the ministry did not include those trapped under rubble. “Some U.N. officials, however, say the real number of casualties is likely significantly higher because the health ministry’s tally doesn’t include people still under the rubble.”

Others have put the number of civilians deaths at a staggering 20,000 people since the war began. However, there is doubt that the number is this high due to the lack of sources for the claim, as David DeCamp points out.

The number of civilians killed by Israel is horrifying. But Israel’s war against Hamas gets even worse when you realize what they are doing is criminal.

In an attack on November 4, Israeli airstrikes hit a public water tank that supplied water for several neighborhoods in the area. According to Al Jazeera correspondents, Israeli airstrikes also hit solar panels, which serve as the sole source of electricity for the Gazans.

That same day, it was reported that an Israeli airstrike hit the generator to the Al-Wafaa Hospital in Gaza. The excessive damage caused by the airstrike led to a power outage in the facility. The fire started by the airstrike was thankfully able to be controlled by civil defense teams.

Thanks to Israel cutting off electricity, water, and fuel to Gaza, many of the wounded civilians in desperate need of treatment are struggling to get the care. However, hospitals in Gaza are still trying to treat the wounds of their patients. Their reward? Bombs.

12 of the 35 hospitals are now out of service thanks to Israel’s bombing, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). They added that 46 of the 72 healthcare clinics have shut down, making the crisis that much worse.

Africanews reported that an Israeli airstrike in late October hit a populated refugee camp in the southern city of Khan Younis. They killed scores of men, women, children, elderly, and disabled people. The same day, The Electric Intifada reported that an Israeli airstrike killed three children in the refugee camp in Jenin while injuring 23 more. All the while, Israeli forced refused to allow ambulances to enter for twenty minutes.

It should come to no surprise that many experts and organizations are claiming that Israel is committing war crimes against Gaza.

The United Nations claimed that Israel may be committing war crimes in the form of collective punishment through its siege of Gaza. The International Committee of Red Cross also claimed the same thing, according to The Guardian.

Amnesty International claimed they have evidence of Israeli war crimes, including “indiscriminate attacks,” which have caused mass civilian death. Human Rights Watch claimed that multiple war crimes have been committed in Israel and in Palestine.

For this reason, calls for ceasefires have only increased. The unlawful attacks, the rising death toll, and the blocking of aid needs to end immediately. We need a humanitarian ceasefire to allow those who need to be treated to get the treatment they need and deserve.

A ceasefire would allow for negotiations to release the hostages detained in Gaza and for international investigations to take place into the war crimes committed by all parties to end the impunity.

Trenton Hale is a young libertarian researcher and author. He regularly posts on his Instagram account, @casual_libertarian, and writes articles on his Substack page. He is the author of two books, The Failed Idea: Why Socialism Fails in Theory and Practice, and Freedom for All: How a Libertarian Society Would Function.