Photo: Israeli troops take position near the Israeli-Gaza border on 9 October 2023. Source: Press TV. - Photo: 2024

Gaza’s War and US Arms Call for Investigation of Complicity in Genocide

By P I Gomes

The writer is former Ambassador of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana to the European Union and ACP Group of States, Brussels.

PORT OF SPAIN | 10 July 2024 (IDN) —The relentless bombardment of Gaza, the slaughter of Palestinian civilians, mainly women and children, in Rafah continued at an intensified level by Israel’s US-provided weaponry. From air, sea and land, by missiles and bombs, heavy artillery, tanks and armoured bulldozers, the US-trained and equipped Israel Defence Forces (IDF) continue to destroy buildings, homes, schools and places of worship.

In prosecuting the genocidal war in Gaza, Israel’s intention is to make the Gaza Strip uninhabitable. From most recent reports of the World Health Organization (WHO), the loss of some 38,000 lives and 70,000 injuries is accompanied by the weaponization of food, bombardment of hospitals and restrictions of medical supplies to the Gaza strip.

In conjunction with this level and scope of destruction, Israel’s Minister of Finance recently openly spoke of annexation of the Occupied West bank and an expansion of Jewish settler communities. According to Minister Bezalel Smotrich, “for every country that unilaterally recognizes a Palestinian state, we will establish a settlement” as quoted by al Jazeera on 28 June 2024.

While extensive discussion and condemnation of the genocidal tragedy that entails loss of lives, injuries and the unaccountable, thousands under rubble, the scale and sources of Israel’s war machinery are yet to be adequately addressed.

US $billions of weaponry supply Israel’s war in Gaza

Reliable estimates have indicated that the advanced weaponry of military equipment, missiles, bombs, tanks, heavy arms, and ammunition that the Biden US administration has sent to Israel since October 7,2024 is valued at “more than $6.5 billion” (htpps://

In the Exclusive Reuters report of June 29, 2024, the large number of munitions supplied by the US government to Israel included “more than 10,000 highly destructive 2,000-pound bombs and thousands of hellfire missiles”. In further specific details, as reported by Humeyra Pamuk and Mike Stone, “Between the war’s start last October and recent days, the United States has transferred at least 14,000 of the MK-84 2,000-pound bombs, 6,5000 500-pound bombs, 3,000 Hellfire precision-guided air-to-ground missiles, 1,000 bunker-buster bombs, 2,600 air-dropped small-diameter bombs, and other munitions…” Washington, June 28 (Reuters).

The unleashing of this genocidal war machinery was concentrated for several weeks on Palestinians in the densely populated Rafah in defiance of pleas by Israel’s allies and UN Secretary-General António Guterres. According to the Secretary General, a military operation on the crammed, civilian population of Rafah would amount to “a horrific catastrophe”. But to Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, the planned, targeted military operation was to be executed, irrespective of any opposing views. For Netanyahu to accomplish a critical objective of the war, the destruction of “Hamas’s final stronghold in Rafah” was unnegotiable.

Additionally, Netanyahu also contemptuously disregarded Biden’s “threat” (or lukewarm warning) on May 8 to withhold offensive weapons shipments to Israel if the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) undertook attacks in Rafah’s densely populated neighbourhoods. According to the US Defence Secretary, it was only a “pause” in the supply of weaponry for Israel’s right to defend itself.

Despite the plea and “threat” of UN Secretary-General and President Biden respectively, the following weeks have resulted in bombardments by air and elaborate ground assaults across Rafah by indiscriminate attacks of heavily armed IDF soldiers. Such devastation has taken place with the use of armaments, including USA-supplied M60 “Patton” battle tanks, as well as bulldozers demolishing Palestinian homes and buildings. As the ongoing onslaught has continued, thousands are killed and unknown numbers buried in rubble.

Just days ago, an Israeli airstrike killed 12 Palestinians, including nine members of a family in a designated “safe zone” after they followed Israel’s evacuation orders to leave eastern Khan Younis (Al Jazeera, 3 July 2024). By no means an isolated event, the pattern of displacement and massacre of civilians, mainly women and children, across Gaza has become almost uninhabitable.

Harsh condemnation of the genocidal tragedy

In this calamitous condition, harsh condemnation of the genocidal tragedy has been extensively pronounced worldwide. However, regrettably, the scale and sources of Israel’s war machinery are yet to be identified and adequately punished. This claim follows legal and moral principles that underlie the complicit factors and accomplices of war crimes and crimes against humanity that are contained in the provisions and obligations of Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, known as the Geneva Convention (UN GA resolution 260 A (III) of 9 December 1948 Entry into force: 12 January 1951. This Convention has formed the basis of South Africa’s genocide case against Israel before the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

The Court in its ruling on 24 May 2024, by 13 votes to two, described the actions of the Israeli Defence Forces as constituting the “risk of irreparable harm to the Palestinians’ right to be protected from genocide” (emphasis added). Far from being protected from genocide, the Court ordered an immediate halt to Israel’s offensive in Rafah, according to former President of the ICJ, Justice Joan Donoghue. (NYT, May 24, 2024).

Israel’s heavily equipped military apparatus has continued to disregard the orders of the ICJ in contravention of the Geneva Convention and does so with the indispensable means of weapons provided by the USA.

In this regard, the pertinent provision of the Agreement deserves serious attention. As is stated by Article III:

“The following acts shall be punishable: (a) Genocide; (b) Conspiracy to commit genocide; (c) Direct and public incitement to commit genocide; (d) Attempt to commit genocide; (e) Complicity in genocide.” (emphasis mine).

Moreover, in the following Article IV, the Convention states: Persons committing genocide or any of the other acts enumerated in article III shall be punished, whether they are constitutionally responsible rulers, public officials or private individuals.

The scale of death (38,000 persons of which 10,000 women and 15,000 children), destruction and displacement of Palestinians have continued for nine months. The weapons of this “highly plausible risk of genocide” (ICJ, May 24, 2024) have been supplied, mainly by the USA, “by far the biggest supplier of arms to Israel” (SIPRI, report for 2013-2023).

In these circumstances, it seems justified to query – is the USA in “complicity in genocide” by violation of the Geneva Convention Art.  III (e). [IDN-InDepthNews]

Photo: Israeli troops take position near the Israeli-Gaza border on 9 October 2023. Source: Press TV.

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