Euro-Med Monitor reports that Israeli forces have targeted and executed elderly men and women in Gaza, in violation of international law and human dignity.
Israeli forces have killed 1,049 elderly men and women in the Gaza Strip since the start of their war on October 7, according to a report released by the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor (Euro-Med Monitor) on Tuesday.
The Geneva-based rights group said that it documented numerous cases of Israeli soldiers raiding Palestinian homes and executing elderly civilians without any justification or resistance. The group also said that many elderly Palestinians died as a result of the Israeli bombardment and shelling of residential areas, hospitals, and shelters, or due to the lack of medical care and supplies caused by the Israeli siege and blockade of Gaza.
The report, titled “The Forgotten Victims: Israel’s War on the Elderly in Gaza“, said that the Israeli forces deliberately targeted and killed elderly Palestinians, who constitute about 5% of the total population of Gaza, in violation of international humanitarian law and human dignity.
The report said that the Israeli forces showed no respect or mercy for the elderly, who are among the most vulnerable and defenseless groups in society, and who have already suffered from decades of occupation, oppression, and deprivation. The report also said that the Israeli forces violated the Fourth Geneva Convention, which prohibits the killing, torture, or ill-treatment of protected persons, such as civilians, prisoners, and the wounded, and which requires the occupying power to ensure the welfare and safety of the occupied population.
The War Against the Elderly
The report cited several examples of the Israeli atrocities against the elderly in Gaza, such as the case of 85-year-old Fatima Al-Najjar, who was shot and killed by Israeli soldiers who stormed her house in Khan Younis on November 15. The report also mentioned the case of 75-year-old Mohammad Abu Khater, who was killed by an Israeli missile that hit his house in Beit Hanoun on November 18. The report also referred to the case of 80-year-old Khadija Abu Al-Khair, who died of a heart attack after Israeli soldiers raided her house in Deir Al-Balah and detained her son on December 5.
The report also highlighted the plight of the elderly Palestinians who survived the Israeli attacks, but who are now facing severe physical and psychological trauma, as well as a humanitarian crisis. The report said that many elderly Palestinians are suffering from chronic diseases, such as diabetes, hypertension, and cancer, but they cannot access adequate health care or medication due to the Israeli destruction of health facilities and the restriction of movement and goods. The report also said that many elderly Palestinians are living in fear, anxiety, and depression, as they have lost their loved ones, their homes, and their dignity.
The report called on the international community, especially the United Nations, to take urgent and effective measures to stop the Israeli aggression and genocide in Gaza, and to hold the Israeli perpetrators accountable for their crimes. The report also urged the international community to provide humanitarian and medical assistance to the Palestinian people in Gaza, especially the elderly, and to support their right to self-determination and statehood.
The report also appealed to the Palestinian factions, especially Hamas and the Palestinian Authority, to end their division and rivalry, and to unite their efforts and resources to protect and serve the Palestinian people in Gaza, especially the elderly, and to achieve their national and legitimate aspirations.