“We are at war”, stated Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a recorded statement early on Saturday morning, and “we will win it”. While the unprecedented events of 7 October – constituting ‘the worst breach of Israel’s defences in 50 years’ – precipitated a declaration of war from the Israeli prime minister, it is paramount to remember the context in which this has taken place: the constant state of war, displacement and oppression that has shaped the Palestinian reality for over seven decades.
At the time of writing, over 2,800 have been killed in the recent escalation of physical violence across Palestine and Israel. This includes over 1,500 Palestinians killed in Israel’s relentless ariel bombardment of the densely populated Gaza strip – dropping 6000 bombs in just six days. “This is only the beginning” stated Benjamin Netanyahu, after 1,300 Israelis were killed by armed Palestinian factions who breached Israel’s blockade of the Gaza strip, also taking a large number of hostages. Amid a vast and enduring asymmetry of power, Jewish Voice for Peace observed: “The loss of Israeli lives is being used by our government to justify the rush to genocide, to provide moral cover for the immoral push for more weapons and more death”.