The International Criminal Court defines genocide according to several criteria. Genocide can be committed by killing, causing serious bodily or mental harm, deliberately inflicting conditions of life calculated to bring about physical destruction, imposing measures intended to prevent births, or by forcibly transferring children. In each case, there must be an intention to destroy, in whole or in part, a particular national, ethnic, racial or religious group.
On November 2, seven UN Special Rapporteurs said they “remain convinced that the Palestinian people are at grave risk of genocide”. This followed the resignation of Craig Mokhiber, the Director of the UN’s office in New York, who characterised the horrors in Gaza as a “textbook case of genocide” aimed toward “the expedited destruction of the last remnants of indigenous life in Palestine”.
… Genocide is a term that should be used carefully. There are many horrors in history that are hideous enough on their own terms without warranting that label. The term has a legal definition, a legal basis and legal implications. That is why, when international experts in this field warn us about genocide, we should sit up and listen. And that is why we need an immediate ceasefire, followed by an urgent investigation by the International Criminal Court.