The Gaza Genocide as committed by Israel
Reuters, certainly not a mouthpiece for Israel, published a condensed summary of Gaza Strip history. Let me just condense that a bit more for your reading ease.
For some, the word, genocide, has been associated with Israel for years. Let us look at the Reuters‘ summary of Gazan history and see if there is evidence of a Gaza genocide. Population figures are in bold, and I will add supplemental details in red type and editorial comments in square brackets:
- 1917 – the Ottoman Empire fell and it no longer controlled the region. In its stead, the British and French shared mandates over the Levantine
- 1948 – the British Mandate ended, and “tens of thousands of Palestinians [they did not call themselves Palestinians until much later — at that time, the Jews were commonly referred to as the Palestinians.] took refuge in the coastal region south of Ashkelon after fleeing or being driven from their homes.” Egypt had control of what came to be known as the Gaza Strip and the population, which numbered 60-80K before ’48 grew to about 200K after the influx of refugees.
- 1967 – after the 6-Day War, Israel took control of Gaza and by then, its population was about 394K, about 60% of whom were refugees from ’48. There had been one university that was established in 1955 and then another six or so universities were established after 1978.
- 1987 – first Intifada and the birth of Hamas, an offshoot of Egypt’s Moslem Brotherhood, then 1993, the Oslo Accords that created the Palestinian Authority [a semi-autonomous political entity that had never existed before in any form]
- 1998 – Gaza International Airport was built. According to Financial Times, the population by then was about 1 million.
- 2000 – second intifada erupted, and the airport was rendered inoperable after 9/11 for security reasons, fishing zone reduced to prevent weapons smuggling
- 2005 – Israel withdrew and Gazans tore down agricultural infrustructure left by Jews and built tunnel infrastructure instead
- 2006 – Hamas took control of Gaza and Israel no longer let Gazans in to work [for a while and then started up again] and Israel conducted air strikes against Gaza [periodically, in response to missile launchings] and Israel and Egypt both applied greater restrictions for crossing the border for security concerns of both countries
- 2014 – Egypt closed the border with Gaza and blew up tunnels leading to Egypt
- Oct 7th – progrom committed by Hamas and their supporters, followed by a ground and air war against Hamas — it is still ongoing.
The Gaza Strip is home today to about 2 million Arabs. AP reports so far over 20K fatalities and 50K injured. The numbers of casualties are rising as the war continues. Without separating terrorists and civilians as yet, will THIS constitute a Gaza genocide by the end of the war? Surely if Israel wanted to, it could decimate the Gazan population in a moment.
The UN is clear on what they consider a genocide. According to the Genocide Convention, it is:
… a crime that can take place both in time of war as well as in time of peace. [It is defined as] … a crime committed with the intent to destroy a national, ethnic, racial or religious group, in whole or in part.
So now the question, perhaps, is less of numbers and more of intent: Does Israel seek to destroy the Gazan civilian population as anti-Israeli demonstrators around the world claim? Or does Israel seek to destroy Hamas and affiliated terrorist gangs in Gaza, as the government claims? Perhaps equally important — how much overlap is there between the two?
Feature Image Credit: IDF Spokesperson’s Unit