It has been 207 days since the beginning of the Gaza genocide. Over 34,200 civilians have been killed, including 14,500 children and 10,000 women. Over 10,000 people are still buried under the rubble. Mass graves have been uncovered at hospitals in the north and the south of Gaza. At the time of writing, hundreds of dead bodies have just been discovered in a huge mass grave at Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis. Mothers are still trying to identify the bodies of their sons and daughters. Two thousand people are still missing. 

Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor has documented 140 mass and unmarked graves so far in Gaza. The barbarity by Israel is unprecedented. Among the deceased in the mass graves at al-Shifa and Nasser hospitals, some people had been stripped of their clothes and buried with their hands tied. According to World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, a child is killed every 10 minutes in Gaza on average. Ghebreyesus paints a gloomy picture: “Nowhere and no one is safe.” 

Almost all Gazans have been displaced, waiting for the day when they will return home as a first step towards their return to the towns and villages from which they and their parents were ethnically cleansed in 1948. Now, nothing is left. The beautiful coastal strip is no longer recognizable. Two-thirds of its houses have been destroyed; roads, hospitals, schools, universities, factories, shops, cemeteries, libraries, mosques, churches, restaurants, stadiums, farms, water wells, electricity generators…all have been erased. 

Yet that does not seem to be enough for genocidal Israel, the United States of America, and the colonial West! They have decided to starve the people of Gaza by closing all the crossings and banning all kinds of food, clean water, and medicines. Even UNRWA has been defunded — despite an independent UN commission saying that Israel had failed to offer evidence for its smears against the aid agency — and for one reason only: to kill more Gazans. 

The decision taken by major colonial powers to defund UNRWA has led the Lemkin Institute for Genocide Prevention to sound the alarm and state:“[This] represents a shift by several countries from potential complicity in genocide to direct involvement in engineered famine.” 

It is then a clear intent to get rid of the indigenous population of Palestine. In 1948, heads of the Zionist gangs made the mistake of “not finishing the job,” according to Israel’s leading right-wing historian Benny Morris, who has recently written an op-ed for the New York Times calling for the slaughter (genocide) of the Palestinians of Rafah: “it’s crucial for Israel to conquer Rafah.” Just like that!

In her report for the UN Human Rights Council, UN special rapporteur on the occupied Palestinian territories Francesca Albanese wrote: 

“[There are] reasonable grounds to believe that the threshold indicating the commission of the following acts of genocide against Palestinians in Gaza has been met: killing members of the group; causing serious bodily or mental harm to groups’ members; and deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part”.

In fact, the threshold for genocide by Israel against the Palestinians was met years ago. Although the recent campaign in Gaza leaves little doubt, Zionism has always been a genocidal campaign against the Palestinian people. The Palestinian has become the “other” of the flourishing white Ashkenazi “self,” whose very existence necessitates the annihilation of the “non-existent” natives.

And why has the colonial West decided, through Israel, to carry out these horrific crimes? Perhaps a hint can be found in Edward Said’s Orientalism, where he argues that “the major component in European culture is precisely what made [Western civilization] hegemonic both in and outside Europe: the idea of European identity as a superior one in comparison with all the non-European peoples and cultures.” Compare the colonial West’s reaction to the Ukrainian crisis to what is happening in Gaza. Palestinians at the end of the day are not part of “us”, whereas Ukrainians are white Europeans. 

Apartheid Israel, then, is committing genocide because it is a settler colony. But, as argued by some critical historians (Ilan Pappe and Joseph Massad amongst them), the final years of all settler colonies are marked by more protracted savagery by the colonizers, including genocide. The realization that the loss of settler-colonial privilege is close at hand drives colonial forces to use the most savage methods to defeat the revolt of the indigenous people. It happened in Algeria, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Namibia, and other formerly colonized countries where the colonizing powers carried out massacres even as colonialism was in its death throes.

The more resistance the colonized indigenous population shows, the more brutal the colonizer becomes. Genocidal Israel’s fascist political elite cannot tolerate any form of resistance on the part of native Palestinians. So far, at least 608 Israeli soldiers have been killed by Palestinian fighters — this is unprecedented in the history of the “conflict.” And there are consequences that Palestinian civilians are being forced to pay. This was the same logic in all settler colonies on their deathbed. But the horrific question remains, how long will the genocide continue? And how many more dead bodies of innocent Palestinian children, men, and women do the international community want to see in order to act?