In 1943 Polish-Jewish legal scholar Raphael Lemkin defined genocide as “not necessarily signify[ing] mass killings,” but more often referring “to a coordinated plan aimed at destruction of the essential foundations of the life of national groups so that these groups wither and die like plants that have suffered a blight.
“The end may be accomplished by the forced disintegration of political and social institutions, of the culture of the people, of their language, their national feelings and their religion,” he continued. “It may be accomplished by wiping out all basis of personal security, liberty, health and dignity.”
Today the United Nations accepts genocide to mean “any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such: killing members of the group; causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.”
It is hard not to see the incessant incursions and harassment, the settlements and the enforcement of illegal blockades as anything else but an attempt at the forced disintegration of Gaza.