Genocide is an internationally recognized crime where acts are committed with the intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial, or religious group. Ethnic cleansing is the purposeful policy designed by one ethnic or religious group to remove by violent and terror-inspiring means the civilian population of another ethnic or religious group from certain geographic areas.
Israel’s wars have been of self-defense, in accordance with international law. Furthermore, during wars or other military operations, Israel does not target civilians and targets military assets (armed combatants, rocket launchers, terrorist headquarters, and other such infrastructure). That any Palestinian civilians are killed during these operations is a tragedy, but, as the intent is not to kill civilians but to target terrorism, it by no measure constitutes genocide or ethnic cleansing.
Genocide and ethnic cleansing result in significant decline of the population in the given geographic area. However, the Palestinian population in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza has grown. According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, in 1948, the Palestinian population in today’s Israel, West Bank, and Gaza was 1.4 million. Today, that total is 5.5 million (approximately 2 million Arab citizens of Israel, 2.7 million Palestinians in the West Bank, and 778,000 Palestinians in Gaza), a statistic that belies any claims of genocide or ethnic cleansing against Palestinians.