By Olayiwola Kerimat Omobolanle

Gaza Strip: A series of Israeli airstrikes in the occupied Gaza Strip has resulted in the deaths of 44 Palestinian civilians, including 32 children, sparking urgent calls for investigation into potential war crimes. The attacks have left the international community reeling, with human rights organizations and world leaders condemning the violence.

On April 16, an Israeli airstrike struck the Al-Maghazi refugee camp, killing 10 children and five civilian men. Witnesses reported that the munition landed in a market street where children were playing, with one victim, 11-year-old Shahid, dying while holding a cookie. Mohamad Jaber Issa, a 35-year-old science teacher, described the scene as “horrific” and described how the children were “playing and laughing” moments before the strike.

Two subsequent airstrikes on April 19 and 20 targeted residential areas in the Tal Al-Sultan neighbourhood and al-Jneinah neighbourhood, killing a total of 22 children and six women. Hussein Abdelal, who lost his family in the attack, described the horrific scene, saying, “I found body parts of my children… Their bodies were torn to shreds.” Abdelal’s home was destroyed in the strike, leaving him searching for remains of his loved ones in the rubble.

Amnesty International has condemned the attacks, stating that no evidence of military targets in the areas was found, suggesting direct attacks on civilians. The organization is urging the International Criminal Court to investigate the incidents as war crimes. “These deadly strikes highlight the urgent need to implement the UN Security Council resolution demanding an immediate ceasefire,” said Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Director, Philip Luther. “The Israeli military’s actions have caused unimaginable suffering for Palestinian civilians, and accountability is long overdue.”

The UN Security Council adopted a resolution on June 10 demanding an immediate ceasefire to end the conflict. The airstrikes highlight the urgent need for implementation to halt the devastating impact on civilians. UN Secretary-General António Guterres expressed his “deep concern” over the situation, calling for “immediate action to protect civilians.”

The Israeli military has not commented on the specific incidents but has maintained that their actions in Gaza are aimed at targeting Hamas military infrastructure and personnel. However, the high civilian casualty rate has raised serious concerns about potential war crimes and the need for accountability. Human rights organizations have long criticized Israel’s military tactics in Gaza, accusing them of disproportionate force and disregard for civilian life.

The Gaza Strip has been under Israeli occupation since 1967, with Palestinians facing severe restrictions on movement, access to healthcare, and economic opportunities. The ongoing conflict has resulted in widespread poverty, unemployment, and humanitarian crises. The recent airstrikes have only exacerbated the situation, leaving thousands of Palestinians without homes or access to basic necessities.

As the international community calls for accountability, the people of Gaza are left to pick up the pieces and mourn the loss of their loved ones. The attacks have sparked widespread outrage and protests, with demonstrators demanding an end to the occupation and justice for the victims.

In the face of unimaginable tragedy, the people of Gaza remain resilient, their calls for justice and peace echoing across the globe. As the world watches, action must be taken to hold those responsible accountable and to ensure that such atrocities never happen again. The lives of 44 Palestinian civilians, including 32 children, demand nothing less.

Kerimat Omobolanle is a Journalist and works as a reporter with Confidence News Ng