Maverick Citizen


Palestinians are ‘totally alone’ – civil society groups call for aid, solidarity and better reporting on Gaza ‘genocide’

Palestinians are ‘totally alone’ – civil society groups call for aid, solidarity and better reporting on Gaza ‘genocide’
An injured Palestinian woman weeps after losing her son in Israeli air strikes on Gaza City on 23 October 2023. (Photo: EPA-EFE / Mohammed Saber)

Representatives from various Palestinian civil society organisations have criticised Western ‘double standards’ on Israeli aggression against Gaza, and highlighted the urgent need for humanitarian aid.

The international double standards, the selective outrage and political attention that we have been seeing is also an extreme indication that Palestinians are totally left alone.” 

This is according to Rulla Shadid from the Palestine Institute for Public Diplomacy, who was speaking during a webinar hosted by Palestinian civil society on the ongoing Israeli aggression against Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank, as well as inside Israel.

“They are totally left alone without any type of support, and therefore Palestinians will not agree to be in such a situation where they are marginalised and facing a total ethnic cleansing in addition to an exodus that we are seeing.” 

The webinar on Friday, 20 October also included representatives of the Al Mezan Center for Human Rights and the Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, among others. 

Shadid stressed the need for equitable distribution of aid to all the people of Gaza, not only the southern part – sending aid to only the southern part would encourage one million people in the northern part to flee. 

The entire population of Gaza has been cut off from supplies of electricity, food, fuel and water for more than a week under a “complete siege” ordered by Israel in the wake of the 7 October terror attacks by Hamas that left about 1400 Israelis dead.

At least 5,791 people have been killed in Gaza since that date, with 103 in the West Bank, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.


Israeli soldiers gathered for a scenario of ground manoeuvres at an undisclosed location near the border with Gaza on 24 October 2023. (Photo: EPA-EFE / Hannibal Hanschke)

Root causes key to understand what happened on 7 October 

An international advocacy officer at the Al Mezan Center for Human Rights, which is based in Gaza, spoke about the root causes of genocide against the Palestinian people perpetrated by Israeli authorities in the occupied Gaza Strip. 

“Palestines in Gaza have been living for 16 years under the Israel blockade, 56 years under military occupation, and for 75 years under colonialism and apartheid,” she said. 

The isolation of Gaza from other Palestinians was not sustainable, and likely to erupt as it did on 7 October when Hamas launched an unprecedented attack on Israel from the Gaza Strip. 

Read more in Daily Maverick: Middle East Crisis News Hub 

“Palestinians in Gaza have for two years engaged in peaceful demonstrations, known as the Great March of Return. People fail to understand that Palestinians in Gaza have tried literally every possible means at their disposal to try to protest against the Israeli regime,” she said. 

Aseel AlBajeh, a legal researcher and advocacy officer at ‎Al-Haq, a Palestinian human rights organisation, also stressed the importance of understanding the context of increased violations against all Palestinians. 

“The genocidal war Israel is imposing on Gaza is not against Hamas, it is against the entirety of the Palestinian people. It has always been, since the inception of the settler colonial movement and regime over a century ago,” she said. 

AlBajeh also spoke about how Israel’s occupation of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip has resulted in systematic human rights violations against Palestinians living there.


A man donates money to the Alkhidmat Foundation collecting donations for Palestinians in Peshawar, Pakistan, on 23 October 2023. (Photo: EPA-EFE / Bilawal Arbab)

Alarming increases documented

AlBajeh said ‎Al-Haq had documented increased land appropriation, settler violence, home demolitions, forced evictions and almost daily raids in Palestinian communities since 7 October. 

“In 2023, five Palestinians were killed on average each week and since the aggression we’re talking about more than 40 Palestinians killed in a week and unfortunately this is expected to increase,” she said.

There’s no treatment, no medication for seriously ill prisoners that suffer from cancer and chronic diseases. 

Since 7 October, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, 545 people have been displaced from 13 Bedouin communities in Area C of the West Bank. “This Area C has been pursued by the government and settlers for annexation for decades,” AlBajeh said. 

More than 700 Palestinians were killed overnight on Tuesday in Israeli air raids on Gaza. Palestinian Health Ministry spokesperson Ashraf Al-Qidra said this was the highest 24-hour death toll in Israel’s two-week-old siege.

Palestinian women react after Israeli air strikes in Gaza City on 23 October 2023. (Photo: EPA-EFE / Mohammed Saber)

Palestinians flee following an Israeli air strike in Gaza on 23 October 2023. (Photo: EPA-EFE / Mohammed Saber)

Conditions in prisons deteriorating rapidly 

A representative from a coalition for prisoner rights groups in Palestine described the conditions endured by Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails. 

Before 7 October there were roughly 5,200 Palestinians in Israeli prisons. 

The representative said prisoners have since been “totally disconnected”, with no phone calls or lawyer or family visits allowed. 

“Literally the prisoners are disconnected from the outside. They also closed all the clinics inside the prisons; there’s no treatment, no medication for seriously ill prisoners that suffer from cancer and chronic diseases.” 

Officials had also confiscated electrical appliances and cut the water and electricity supply for several hours a day. 

Before 7 October there were 1,300 administrative detainees who had not been charged, including about 20 children, a figure the representative said could increase dramatically. 

There was also concern about Palestinian labourers who were working inside Israel, and there were no exact figures yet because the Red Cross had not been able to visit the area.

Evacuation order and aid not an act of mercy

Speakers during the webinar said portraying the evacuation order that Israel gave as a “warning” or as an “act of kindness” completely failed to understand the reality on the ground. 

“The day that Israel asked more than one million Palestinians to leave their homes to head south, Palestinians were targeted on their way to southern Gaza on the Salah al-Din road, which is the exact road that Israel indicated for them to use as a safe passage,” said one speaker.

People had taken shelter in the south, and shelters were now completely overcrowded. 

Internally displaced Palestinians spend the night at a United Nations school in Khan Younis, southern Gaza, on 22 October 2023. More than 4,500 Palestinians and 1,400 Israelis have been killed, according to the Israel Defense Forces and the Palestinian health authority, since Hamas militants launched an attack against Israel from the Gaza Strip on 7 October. (Photo: EPA-EFE / Haitham Imad)

“There is no water, there is no food, there is no electricity – in some shelters they are only able to provide one litre of water per person per day for everything – drinking water, water for cooking, water to flush the toilets, and to brush teeth,” said one attendee. 

Another said that when aid is allowed into Gaza it should not be seen as entirely positive. A convoy of trucks delivered water, food and medicine to the Gaza Strip on Monday, the third since limited aid began flowing in on Saturday. However, experts say more is needed.

“We are seeing Israelis using humanitarian aid basically as a tool to further the displacement and ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from north Gaza in order to push them to south Gaza,” she said. 

Basic necessities needed

An international advocacy officer said basic necessities and aid were needed, including food, water, medicine, tampons and nappies. 

“Hospitals are running out of fuel and basic necessities including anaesthesia, or even tools to clean and disinfect before they conduct surgeries,” she said. 

Israeli army flares light up the sky over Gaza City on 22 October 2023. (Photo: EPA-EFE / Mohammed Saber)

Khan Yunis camp residents queue to fill containers from a water tanker in southern Gaza City on 22 October 2023. (Photo: EPA-EFE / Haitham Imad)

The UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees warned that hospitals in Gaza may shut down by Wednesday night if no fuel is delivered. The Palestinian Health Ministry urged the “immediate flow” of medical supplies and fuel into Gaza Strip hospitals.

One speaker also spoke about the dehumanisation of Palestinians, especially in Gaza at the hands of many high-level officials in the Israeli political and military establishment.

“Among these 4,000 Palestinians [that were killed], there are more than 1,500 children. We are speaking of Palestinian children that have never known one day of freedom in their life; they have lived their entire lives under Israeli closure, under Israeli military occupation, under Israeli apartheid – and they will never know life outside of that because they were killed by Israeli bombs.” 

Donors have been asked to support Gift of the Givers’ efforts to provide rapid emergency relief to Gaza’s displaced people during the humanitarian crisis.

Online donations can be made here, and the banking details are here. DM


Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • Malcolm Daitz says:

    Uhm, wondering how much fuel is needed to ventilate and light over 500km of tunnels, and launch 8000 rockets, as well as “re-apportion” food and water aid for 35, 000 Hamas (by their own admission) terrorists. #asking for a friend.

    • Ben Harper says:

      Oh they conveniently forget or omit to mention the over US$ 40 BILLION in aid from mostly the US and EU given to Palestine …ooops sorry Hamas

  • Denise Smit says:

    Two articles in two day about Hamas. Now please DM give the Israeli side as well. Denise Smit

  • Denise Smit says:

    At least quote the UN SG about the slaughter of Israelis on 7 October. That seems to be your view too. Denise Smit

    • Enver Klein says:

      Do you know why Israel wants the UN SG to resign? I’ll help you: because he didn’t stick to the Zionist narrative, we are the victims.
      Netanyahu supports a strong Hamas. He wants Hamas to attack to give him a reason to kill Palestinians.
      Here’s something from the side of Israel: Why did Netanyahu celebrate the death of Yitzak Rabin? Why did appoint Ben Gvir as security minister, another who celebrated the death of Rabin.

  • Cornay Bester says:

    Why isn’t Israelis given a voice?

    • Enver Klein says:

      Why are Christian Palestinians not even considered. A church was bombed and a Christian father lost his family. Do you support the Zionists because you think all Palestinians are expendable?

      • Ben Harper says:

        Do you support the horrific terrorist actions of Hamas? Seems you do

        • Nas Hodja says:

          Does anyone support the horrific war crimes of Israel against the Palestinian people, slaughtering thousands with indiscriminate bombing, and thousands of children blown to bits, while holding them in brutal subjugation and deprivation, while camping in their ethnically cleansed stolen land, and feeding off the fat of it?

          “Take the worst thing you can say about Hamas, multiply it by 1,000 times and it still will not meet the Israeli repression and killing and dispossession of Palestinians”
          Gabor Maté – Holocaust Survivor

          I do not support war crimes by any side, but Israel’s war crimes are an order of magnitude greater than the Palestinian side. Just look at the numbers of the dead. This is a state that practices systematic terror against the captive Palestinian people.

  • Louise Louise says:

    The truth “The genocidal war Israel is imposing on Gaza is not against Hamas, it is against the entirety of the Palestinian people. It has always been, since the inception of the settler colonial movement and regime over a century ago,” she said. ”

    But where we are today shows that most people do not know the history of Palestine and do not care. They are too busy taking sides because Hamas launched a brutal attack first. I do NOT condone Hamas. I do NOT condone war.

    If we take the side of the Palestinians, what about the innocent Israelis who are killed? If someone takes the side of the Israelis then what about the innocent Palestinians who are killed?

    This situation should have been resolved many decades ago. It shows us how useless the UN is when it comes to protecting the lives of various peoples around the world.

    The systematic oppression and isolation of the people in Palestine has been committed by the Zionists. They have consistently lied to the Jews about Israel and proof of this has been the mass injection of the Jews with an experimental injection. The Israeli government couldn’t care less about their people. And now this talk of using chemical weapons against the Palestinians? I have no idea how credible this report is but if it is credible, how ironic would that be? The group which claims to have been gassed in the Second World War are now contemplating gassing the Palestinians?!

    I’m not taking sides except for humanity and the innocent lives.

    • Denise Smit says:

      The mass injection of the Jews with an experimental injection? Where do you get this information. The chemical weapons recipe was found on a Hamas terrorist. Dont twist the truth for your anti Jews propaganda. It is to obvious for everybody to see. Pretty Louise Louise .Denise Smit

      • Louise Louise says:

        Oh dear, your response seems to be very typical that a comment that appears to go against Israel is “anti-Jew propaganda”. Nothing could be further from the truth. I do not support violence, whether it comes from Hamas or Israel. There is a lot of propaganda out there, which is why I question the report of chemical weapons. Remember Iraq? The WMD? Nothing to be found.

        The mass injection of an experimental injection was not limited to the inhabitants of Israel, but to the world. My point is that governments/leaders do not care for their citizens/inhabitants and proceeded to push for the injection despite the FACT that it was not proven safe. I think you know which one I am referring to?

    • Bob Kuhn says:

      Don’t forget that the land of Israel belonged to the Jews in established history dating back thousands of years and it was the muslin invasions that are illegal.

      • Louise Louise says:

        Whether what you say is the truth or not, in 1948 Palestine was inhabited by Muslims, Christians and a community of Jews when the Zionists started arriving and taking over the land by force. If someone feels this is justified, then they support violence and killing. Perhaps if we look at another country today, for example Malaysia. Let’s say that several thousands years ago Malaysia was inhabited by another group, let’s use the Celts. Would the Celts be justified in invading Malaysia, bombing their through the country, killing all the inhabitants or causing them to flee and become refugees, stating that “this was our country 5,000 years ago and we are staking our claim here”?

        • Bob Kuhn says:

          …best you review your understanding and the facts of history!

        • Malcolm Daitz says:

          Uhm, I don’t understand your logic Louise. The Jewish people have always been native to Israel, and have been living there in varying numbers for the last 3500 years. The numbers vary because of the pogroms committed against them, dare I say until this very day. There is more than ample archaeological evidence of this – literally from coins, through to monarchies. In fact, there are very few places on earth that can factually testify to its original inhabitants as Israel (Or Judah), which it is still called today. By your logic, you would like to simply cancel the Jewish people’s right to their ancestral land? Which would imply, that native South Africans, should have their right to live in South Africa canceled, or by extension, Aboriginal people have their right to Australia canceled, because other people resided there more recently? Because in truth, that is what colonization is, isn’t it? The Jewish people are the native people of the land of Israel. The colonizers have come after them. In truth, they are the original decolonizers shaken off the oppression of the Babylonians, Romans, Greeks etc. In fact, the Al-Aqsa mosque is built on top of Solomon’s temple. These are indisputable facts. Now, if you really are “not taking sides” as you claim, I suggest you go do some real research and then have your opinion. Otherwise you join the ranks of all the other useful idiots driving a harmful narrative that is both sparse in fact, and naked in truth.

          • Enver Klein says:

            And please expand why they “were deserted” and either murdered or taken into slavery by other empires? And why they wanted Jesus “taken care of”. And who returned them to the land and how the Muslims treated them when the Muslims conquered the land. Was the resistance in South Africa necessary for the end of Apartheid?

  • Dietmar Horn says:

    Why does DM limit itself to constantly repeating the propaganda material of one side and the other and thus inciting emotional excitement and partisanship among the readership? I expect more scientifically proven historical background information and well-founded analyzes from serious journalism!

  • Allan Wolman Wolman says:

    The cutting of water, power and fuel, announced almost 3 weeks ago, when the Hamas health authority advised that they had 3 days fuel supply for their hospitals. This raises the question of the continued rocket attacks we experience as I write, (from Tel Aviv). My ‘alert app’ advises that there have been well over a hundred rocket attacks in various parts of the country almost daily since that awful October 7th.
    These missiles require both fuel (petrol) and water in order to activate the propellant as well as fuel and chemicals (which can be used for medical purposes) for the explosive charge in head in the rocket.
    It seems that there is sufficient fuel and water denied to the civilian living there

  • Msimelelo Tywakadi says:

    Thank you for this article and the others that you have brought. Please bring more, as you know, what is happening in the Middle East is deeply concerning and deserves all our thoughts and prayers as human beings

  • Rethabile Lebakeng says:

    Thank goodness DM is maintaining independence in the face of all this pressure

  • Michele Rivarola says:

    If you want revenge you must first dig two graves one for your enemy and one for yourself. For every child killed there are parents, brothers and sisters, for every parent killed there are children. The circle of violence will never stop until someone does.

  • This is inhumane and my heart breaks for the people of prayer is that God ends this suffering.

  • Pathetic shamed of DM and considering kicking down support.

  • Mordechai Yitzchak says:

    A quick lesson on “critical thinking” to be lifted from this article. Notice this:
    “The entire population of Gaza has been cut off from supplies of electricity, food, fuel and water for more than a week under a “complete siege” ordered by Israel in the wake of the 7 October terror attacks by Hamas that left about 1400 Israelis dead.
    At least 5,791 people have been killed in Gaza since that date, with 103 in the West Bank, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.”
    Subtle, you’re not meant to notice that word “about” before the 1400 Israeli deaths, but the numbers on the Palestinian side are “at least” and exact (5,791).
    Then the usual appropriated buzzwords that are being used over and over again, in almost every news article, so often that you are being conditioned to associate with the Palestinian cause (e.g. “genocide”, “military occupation”, “colonialism”, “apartheid”, etc.).
    Criticise me all you like, I’ve nailed my colours to the mast on this, but read these many, many articles that DM and others are publishing and at least begin noticing these. Think critically.
    And need I remind everybody, that “history” actually started before 1948?

  • Fatimah B says:

    Very, very sad 🙁 what do you expect though? If you stand against Israeli brutality, you’re called anti-Semitic (even though many of us against such brutality are Semites…). Hamas is a group, not the entirety of the Palestinian population – continually bombing them for NO REASON now just shows that they’re bullies supported by a bigger bully (world police aka the superpower known as the USA) and they want to illegally seize the rest of Palestine. That’s the plan – Bomb them out and steal the rest 😒

    • Malcolm Daitz says:

      1. Gaza is controlled by Hamas=ISIS.
      2. Hamas=ISIS took power in Gaza after winning the elections. The people of Gaza choose Hamas=ISIS.
      3. Hamas=ISIS has full responsibility over the people of Gaza. It must provide them with food, water, electricity etc.
      4. Hamas=ISIS uses water pipes (dug out) and construction materials from foreign aid meant for the people of Gaza, to build rockets and tunnels to kill Jews/Israelis
      5. Hamas=ISIS fully controls all international aid entering Gaza. Only what is not needed by terrorists reaches the common people.
      6. Hamas=ISIS raped/burn alive/beheaded/killed babies/kids/women (more than 1400!) just 2 weeks ago. Kidnapped more than 200!. And this is what was their intention initially. (And that is the intention that remains!)
      7. More than 600 Hamas=ISIS rockets fell on the heads of the people of Gaza the past 2 weeks alone. Thousands of rockets were fired at Israeli cities with the intention to kill civilians.
      8. The People of Gaza celebrate the murder of Jews/Israelis/Americans each time rockets are fired, or there is an Jewish or foreign death.
      9. If Hamas=ISIS will disarm (fully) and surrender and return all hostages, Gaza can be rebuilt into a place where people can live happily and peacefully. The question is, do the people REALLY want that? Hamas don’t, and Israel cannot live side by side with Hamas.

      • Enver Klein says:

        Firstly, Hamas is part of the Muslim Brotherhood not ISIS, very interested to know where you source all your facts from. Anthony Blinken is the only one who “has seen” the evidence of the 40 babies. More than 20 journalists have deliberately been killed in Palestine by the IDF. It has been proven that Shireen Abu Akleh, a Palestinian American journalist, was deliberately targeted by the IDF.
        Why kill journalists? These journalists do not work for the news agencies who want to control the Zionist narrative and therefore the truth must be suppressed.

      • Enver Klein says:

        Netanyahu, will ensure that all the hostages are “killed” via the bombings and blame Hamas, saying we found the hostages deceased, and you will believe it because you trust the Zionist narrative.

      • Enver Klein says:

        Malcolm, Netanyahu will never rest until all Palestinians are removed from land. It’s Netanyahu that doesn’t want peace with Palestinians, Hamas attacked out of desperation. Why will Israel not allow the establishment of the 2-state solution? Hamas does not “control” the West Bank, yet while the world focusses on Gaza, the IDF has killed more than 100 Palestinians and arrested many in the West Bank. Why???

      • Nas Hodja says:

        It is Israel’s embargo on Gaza that limits and controls food/water/medicines into Gaza.

        Everything that Hamas did that October 7 has been done on a much wider scale by the IDF and the crazy settlers to the Palestinian people. Everything. That is not to condone the things they did.

        Babies were being killed, buried in rubble almost every week before Oct 7. As we see with the bombing now, some of their bodies burnt by an ensuing fire, some decapitated by falling rubble. So how many times must the Palestinians pick up the broken mutilated bodies of their children from the rubble, before something breaks in them, and then they also do not care about killing Israeli children? Still does not make it right, but we must see the context.

        The IDF has shot dead Palestinian children in cold blood – there are still some videos of that on the internet if you really want to see them.

        As has already been stated, there was no beheading of children. Only President Biden saw that. There was also no systematic policy of rape – there may have been some isolated incidents. Palestinian women raped by Israelis? Check.

        DM does not allow links, but search for and read up about the Al-Dawayima massacre. What the IDF did to Palestinian children is too horrific to mention here.

        • Mordechai Yitzchak says:

          Thankfully the IDF is in the control of sound hearts, heads and hands. Thankfully the USA has a Democrat (left of centre) President in power at the moment. Thankfully Netanyahu doesn’t have the credibility and support he once had. All of these things are what you, and yours, should be thanking whoever you thank 5 times a day.

    • Ben Harper says:

      You’re joking right?

  • Ben Harper says:

    Aw diddums

    • Enver Klein says:

      Tired of laughing?

      • Malcolm Daitz says:

        Enver Klein Said:
        27 October 2023 at 06:00 And please expand why they “were deserted” and either murdered or taken into slavery by other empires?

        Malcolm answers: Its called Jew hatred. The exact same malaise that you seem to have caught 3000 years later. Why? For being Jews. Well, you know also, that that long list of empires who sought to destroy us, are merely notes in history books. We are still here. We don’t do being exterminated very well. We will remain here, we are not going anywhere. Perhaps you should choose the side of hoistory you would like to be on, or join the others – Babylonians, Romans, Greeks, Spanish Inquisitors, Crusaders, Czars, Nazi’s … Hamas in the trashcan of history. Am Yisrael Chai!! I guess this comment will also get moderated out because it doesn’t suit the DM narrative…

        • Mordechai Yitzchak says:

          Malcolm don’t waste your breathe explaining yourself to this bloke. He is a well-known troll that comes onto all of these comments sections looking to bait. We have reported him (and others) and are keeping a record of online antisemitism.

          • Enver Klein says:

            Call me whatever you want, troll, g & t drinker, etc. I’ll state it again I am not anti-semitic, I am anti-zionism, there’s a big difference according to some Rabbis. I had grandfather who was a German Jew, interested to know how I can be anti-semitic with that lineage.

        • Enver Klein says:

          “Nice” explanation, Malcolm, please also explain why Jesus had to be “gotten rid of”.

  • Nas Hodja says:

    I commend DM on its balanced reporting of this issue.

    I am shocked by the hypocrisy of the Western Powers in calling out only the war crimes of Hamas, and ignoring and green lighting the war crimes of Israel against the Palestinian people, which are an order of magnitude larger in scale. More than 3500 Palestinian children dead now, their broken mutilated bodies having to be picked up from the rubble, if not blown to bits.

    They were doing this regularly even before the current trouble, but it never seemed to be a problem for the powers that be.

    We just have to look at the numbers of the dead to see who is killing whom.

    And they want to only call a ‘pause’ to the killing.

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