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Countdown to genocide: the year before October 7


Over 12,000 Palestinians have been killed in the Israeli military’s genocidal war on Gaza. We don’t know exactly how many have died: With the collapse of Gaza’s healthcare system, it’s now impossible to count the dead.

This is devastation on an unimaginable scale. How did we end up here? 

It depends on when you start the clock. Gaza was created by Israel in 1948, as a refugee camp to contain Palestinians displaced in the Nakba. Since 2007, Israel has kept Gaza under an illegal military siege, counting calories allowed in and permitting the water in Gaza to become undrinkable, creating a humanitarian crises widely condemned by the international community. 

In November 2022, the most right-wing government in Israeli history came to power, led by Benjamin Netanyahu and including far-right extremist politicians in its coalition. 

Ethnic cleansing of Palestinians has always been Israeli policy. Over the past year, under the leadership of the most right-wing government in Israeli history, the Israeli military and settlers have led an escalated campaign of displacement, dispossession, and violent repression against Palestinians across Israel and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.

Here, we present a brief history of the past year.

November 2, 2022

Netanyahu returns to power

A Jewish nationalist coalition led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud and Itamar Ben-Gvir’s Religious Zionism Parties becomes the most far-right government in Israeli history.

March 1, 2023

The Huwara pogram

Hundreds of Palestinians in the occupied West Bank are injured by mobs of armed Israeli settlers, who burn Palestinian homes to the ground and light vehicles on fire.

March 8, 2023

The quiet (racist) part out loud

A top official in the Israeli government, Bezalel Smotrich, calls for the destruction of the Palestinian village of Huwara. But Smotrich is simply saying out loud longstanding de-facto Israeli government policy: try to wipe Palestinians off of the map.

June 21, 2023

Israel’s “settlement expansion”

The Israeli Cabinet gives Bezalel Smotrich sole power to construct 4,500 new illegal settlements on Palestinian land. The next day, the Israeli military murders six Palestinians. The timing is no coincidence.

June 28, 2023

Five days of pogroms

Gangs of armed settlers, encouraged by officials like Smotrich and shielded by the Israeli military, carry out five days of pogrom attacks on over a dozen Palestinian villages.

July 7, 2023

The largest raid in the West Bank in 20 years

The Israeli military launches the largest raid in a West Bank city in over 20 years. It raided Jenin hospital, bombed Jenin refugee camp, and shot at journalists — all war crimes.

August 23, 2023

Collective punishment is a crime against humanity

Following shootings in Huwara and Hebron that left three Israelis dead, Israeli forces conduct a campaign of collective punishment of Palestinians. The military launched raids on a number of Palestinian villages, injuring 112 Palestinians. Israeli settlers carried out a wave of revenge attacks.

September 13, 2023

Netanyahu visits the U.S.

Netanyahu’s visit to the U.S. makes it clear that Israel’s extremist government is becoming increasingly isolated internationally — and that the longstanding alliance between the right wing in the U.S. and Israel is only getting stronger.

October 7, 2023

Bloodshed begins again

Following 16 years of Israeli military blockade, Hamas fighters launched an unprecedented assault, in which hundreds of Israelis were killed and wounded, and civilians kidnapped. The Israeli government declared war, launching airstrikes, killing hundreds of Palestinians and wounding thousands, bombing residential buildings and threatening to commit war crimes against besieged Palestinians in Gaza.

October 11, 2023

Genocide is imminent

Jewish Voice for Peace mourns deeply for the over 1,200 Israelis killed, the families destroyed, including many of our own, and fears for the lives of Israelis taken hostage. Horrifyingly, the Israeli and American governments are weaponizing these deaths to fuel a genocidal war against Palestinians in Gaza, pledging to “open the gates of hell.”

October 24, 2023

All of Palestine is under attack

Even before October 7, this year was already the deadliest on record for Palestinians in the occupied West Bank. But in the last six weeks, over 200 people in the West Bank have been killed by the Israeli military and Jewish settlers — on top of the thousands of Palestinians killed in Gaza by Israel’s indiscriminate bombing.


the Wire

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