On October 7, 2023, a day that will forever be etched in the annals of history, the world witnessed an act of unprecedented brutality. Heavily armed fighters from Hamas breached the fences separating Israel and Gaza, entering southern Israel. The ensuing rampage resulted in the death of at least 1,400 people, many of them innocent civilians, including children.
Human Rights Watch has verified videos from the attacks, showing three incidents of deliberate killings. The horrifying footage captured by security cameras, mobile phones, and Hamas fighters’ body cameras left viewers around the world in shock. The material included the killing of children and mutilation of victims.
In one incident, a father and his two young sons were seen running to what appeared to be a bomb shelter. A Hamas militant threw a grenade, killing the man. The boys emerged bloodied and ran. “Dad’s dead, it wasn’t a prank,” one shouted. “I know, I saw it,” replied his brother.
The International Criminal Court (ICC) has been urged to investigate these attacks as war crimes. Under international humanitarian law, targeting civilians is strictly prohibited, and intentionally targeting and killing civilians are war crimes.
In response to these atrocities and the thousands of rockets fired into civilian areas of Israel, Israel launched thousands of airstrikes on Gaza. Armed groups in Gaza retaliated by firing. This cycle of violence has resulted in further deaths and casualties on both sides.
The world needs to stand up and condemn these acts of brutality. It is time for the international community to come together and demand accountability for these heinous acts.
The world must not turn a blind eye to these atrocities. It is our collective responsibility to ensure that justice is served and that such acts of violence are not repeated. We must stand up against brutality, no matter where it occurs or who perpetrates it.