In the context of what is currently unfolding in Gaza, the statements of Israeli officials and the actions of Israeli forces have prompted fears of an impending genocide. Palestinian human rights organisations have described as “genocidal language” this statement by the Israeli Defence Minister: “We are imposing a complete siege on [Gaza]. No electricity, no food, no water, no fuel – everything is closed. We are fighting human animals, and we act accordingly”. The aim of Israel’s actions, according to Defence for Children International – Palestine, “is to destroy Palestinian life in Gaza”. Academic experts have raised their concerns in recent months of the risks of genocide, and even more so in recent days, with one describing Israel’s actions in Gaza as “a textbook case of genocide”. The campaign group Jewish Voice for Peace called for “all people of conscience to stop the imminent genocide of Palestinians”.
States have also been using the language of genocide. The Palestinian envoy to the United Nations, Riyadh Mansour, described Israel’s actions towards Gaza as “nothing less than genocidal”. President Maduro of Venezuela referred to “the genocide that has begun against the Palestinian people in Gaza” and the Colombian president Gustavo Petro has threatened to suspend foreign relations with Israel as it “does not support genocides”. Government ministers in Pakistan and Spain have also used the term.