Euro-Med Report: Israeli Forces Target Gaza’s Academics and Intellectuals for Deliberate Attacks

The Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor has released a damning report detailing the deliberate targeting of Gaza’s academic community by the Israeli military. According to their findings, 94 university professors, along with hundreds of teachers and thousands of students, have fallen victim to Israel’s ongoing assault on Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

In a statement issued on Saturday, the Geneva-based organization highlighted the calculated nature of these attacks, citing specific air raids on the homes of academic, scientific, and intellectual figures without any prior warning. The report revealed that among those killed were 17 individuals with professor degrees, 59 with doctoral degrees, and 18 with master’s degrees, indicating a deliberate targeting of educated individuals.

The challenges posed by movement restrictions, disrupted communications, and internet outages have made it difficult to document the full extent of the casualties. The Euro-Med Monitor estimates that there may be additional numbers of targeted academics, including those with advanced degrees, whose deaths have not yet been accounted for.

The destruction extends beyond loss of life to the systematic dismantling of educational institutions. Universities, described as the cornerstones of academic research in Gaza, have been systematically targeted and destroyed over the course of the assault. Cultural buildings, including those with significant historical value, have not been spared, indicating a comprehensive assault on every aspect of life in Gaza.

The report details the stages of destruction, from the bombing of Islamic and Al-Azhar universities to the complete annihilation of institutions like Al-Israa University, which was initially repurposed as military barracks before being obliterated. The loss of these institutions has not only resulted in the deaths of hundreds of students but also poses a significant challenge to the resumption of academic life in the region.

The deliberate targeting of civilian objects, particularly those of historical or cultural significance, constitutes a grave breach of international humanitarian law and may amount to war crimes. The Euro-Med Monitor emphasizes that such actions not only exacerbate the humanitarian crisis in Gaza but also contribute to rendering the region uninhabitable, potentially forcing its population to emigrate.

Amongst the tragic losses highlighted in the report are prominent academics like Professor Sufian Tayeh and English literature Professor Refaat Alareer. Their deaths represent not only the loss of individual talents but also the silencing of voices crucial for documenting the realities of life in Gaza.

As the death toll continues to rise, with the majority of casualties being women and children, the report serves as a stark reminder of the devastating impact of Israel’s ongoing assault on Gaza’s academic community and its broader population.

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