An injured elderly Palestinian man is helped after an Israeli airstrike

An injured elderly man receives help after Israeli airstrikes hit Ridwan neighborhood of Gaza City, Gaza on October 23, 2023.

(Photo: Ali Jadallah/Anadolu via Getty Images)

Dozens of Elderly Gazans 'Executed' by Israeli Troops: Monitor

Euro-Med Monitor said 1,049 elderly men and women have been killed by Israeli forces in Gaza since October 7.

More than 1,000 Palestinian elders have been killed by Israeli bombs and bullets during the 10-week Gaza onslaught, with dozens of men and women over age 60 "executed" by Israel Defense Forces troops, a prominent human rights group said Friday.

"Israel has turned all people in the [Gaza] Strip into targets since the October 7 start of its ongoing genocide against Palestinians there," Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor, a Geneva-based nonprofit, asserted in a statement.

Euro-Med Monitor said that 1,049 elderly men and women have been killed by Israeli forces since they began bombing the densely populated enclave in retaliation for the October 7 Hamas attacks on Israel that left more than 1,100 people dead.

The group said the majority of elderly Gazan victims were crushed to death under the debris of their homes or the shelter where they sought safety amid Israel's near-relentless bombardment. Others were killed while venturing out in search of basic necessities.

"Alarmingly, however, dozens were targeted in killings and field executions," the NGO alleged. "These incidents included soldiers shooting elderly people immediately after ordering them to evacuate their homes, and in some cases, executing them just moments after their release from hours or days of arbitrary detention."

Euro-Med Monitor noted:

The elderly Dr. Akram Abu Hasira and his wife were shot and left to bleed to death by Israeli forces on... December 21, after being forcibly evacuated from their home on Yarmouk Street in Gaza City. The soldiers then set fire to their home. Their son, Dr. Mahmoud Abu Hasira, reported that after the Israeli forces withdrew from the area, their family managed to bury the couple's bodies....

[Euro-Med Monitor] also highlighted the execution of Dr. Muhammad Eid Shabir, 77, former president of the Islamic University in Gaza, along with his wife, Rihab Muhammad Shabir, 74, on November 11... His daughter confirmed to Euro-Med Monitor that Israeli planes bombed her aunt's house on Abu Hasira Street in Gaza, killing five civilians, while 15 people survived the attack. The majority of victims were women and children...

"They came out alive, fleeing into the street, where my mother sent a distress message, and I heard my father's voice calling for one of his grandchildren," the daughter told Euro-Med Monitor... "After the start of the truce on November 25, my parents were found dead in the street on the opposite road to Shifa after they had been shot by an army sniper."

Other Gaza elders reportedly killed by Israeli forces but not highlighted in Euro-Med Monitor's statement include Nahida Khalil Anton, a 70-year-old Palestinian Christian woman who, along with her 50-year-old daughter Samar Kamal Anton, left the sanctuary of the Holy Family Parish in Gaza City to use a bathroom in another building. Both women were shot by an Israeli sniper or snipers; one while trying to carry the other to safety.

Israel denies killing the women. Pope Francis reacted angrily to the killings, accusing Israel of "terrorism."

Elderly Gazans also face a higher risk of starvation and disease, as Israel has cut off the flow of food, medicine, and hygiene staples.

"Tens of thousands of elderly people are at serious risk of death," warned Euro-Med Monitor, given that nearly 70% of them "suffer from chronic diseases, and the majority of them have not received any medical care, as most of the hospitals are out of service."

The group also noted that "distinct suffering experienced by elderly people residing in displacement camps, where there are no services or care options available to them that are appropriate for their age, health issues, inability to withstand cold weather, or frequent need to use the restroom. Notably, 700–1,000 people must use a single bathroom in these camps."

"Israel is waging a campaign of widespread punishment and killing, and oppressing Palestinian society's most vulnerable groups in a way that is seldom seen in the modern history of wars or armed conflicts," the statement concludes. "Israel's genocide of Palestinians in Gaza fully unveils its blatant disregard for international humanitarian law and is a serious transgression of the principles of war."

Euro-Med Monitor's analysis came as the Palestinian death toll from 78 days of near-relentless Israeli attacks topped 20,000, with around 70% of those killed women and children. More than 50,000 others have been injured. Around 1.9 million of Gaza's 2.3 million people have also been forcibly displaced; most of the strip's homes have been damaged or destroyed.

"The need for a permanent cease-fire has become urgent, and... in order to stop the ongoing genocide war, an immediate international investigation must be launched into Israel's horrific crimes," the group said. "Any countries that remain silent are actively encouraging Israeli genocide."

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