All of Palestine is under attack.

For many of us, it’s impossible to imagine the scale of death and destruction in Gaza. 

In just two weeks, the Israeli military has killed over 5,000 Palestinians in Gaza. Israeli warplanes have flattened entire neighborhoods. Shell-shocked children are left to search for their parents under the rubble. Millions of Palestinians have once again been made refugees, bombed as they tried to flee. Surgeons are operating by the light of their cellphones, increasingly without anesthesia. 

Let us be clear: This is genocide.

This isn’t a war on Hamas. It’s a war on the Palestinian people. 

As Aseel Al Bajeh writes, “All of Palestine is under attack.”

While international attention is focused on Gaza, the Israeli government and extremist settler groups are taking the opportunity to accelerate the ongoing ethnic cleansing of Palestinians in the West Bank. 

Israeli settlers are being armed by the Israeli state, and have become indistinguishable from Israeli soldiers. Both abuse Palestinians with impunity.

On October 12, as the last villagers of Wadi al-Seeq left their homes, driven out by ongoing settler terror, a group of Israeli “soldiers-settlers” — some dressed in military uniform and some in civilian clothing — took three Palestinian men captive. 

For hours, the men were tortured: They beat them, forced them to strip down to their underwear, handcuffed and blindfolded them, urinated on them, extinguished cigarettes on their bodies, and attempted to sexually assault one of them. 

Settlers have carried out dozens of attacks, setting Palestinian homes on fire, destroying their property, and shooting at them with live ammunition.

Over 90 Palestinians in the West Bank, including 26 children, have been murdered by the Israeli military and settlers since October 7. 

They include 16-year-old Mohammad Rafat Mohammad Edwan, who was throwing stones at Israeli soldiers when he was shot with live ammunition. The bullet lodged itself in his lung, and four days later, on October 14, he was dead.

On October 12, 62-year-old Ibrahim Wadi and his son, 24-year-old Ahmad Wadi, were killed when Israeli settlers opened fire on the funeral procession of four Palestinians who had been murdered the previous day — three by Israeli settlers and one by an Israeli soldier. 

And on October 19, 11-year-old Yousef Mohammad Omar Zaghdad was killed when the Israeli military fired a missile at a group of civilians inside Noor Shams refugee camp. Three other children were killed in the attack. 

Enabled by the Israeli military and empowered by a climate of impunity and lawlessness, Israeli settlers are taking advantage of Israel’s genocidal war on Gaza to steal more Palestinian land, thereby expanding Israeli control of the West Bank. Hundreds of Palestinians from over a dozen different communities in the West Bank have been displaced as a result. 

“They came into the village and destroyed houses and sheep pens, beat an 85-year-old man, scared our children. Slowly our lives became unlivable,” Sliman al-Zawahri, a resident of the now-depopulated village of Ein Rashash, told the Guardian

Israel’s war on Gaza has also heightened the discrimination faced by Palestinian citizens of Israel and those with Jerusalem IDs, who are increasingly being arrested, harassed, doxxed, suspended from school, and fired from their jobs for expressing solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza.

The expansion of Israel’s regime of Jewish supremacy relies on the destruction of all Palestinian life. For Palestinians, there is no right way to protest their subjugation, and nowhere safe from Israeli violence.

Power Half-Hours for Palestine

It’s of the utmost importance that we keep up the fight, not only for an immediate ceasefire In Gaza — but for an end to all Israeli oppression of Palestinians.

Tomorrow (Wednesday, October 25), we’ll be joining our partner organizations Rising Majority, Movement for Black Lives, Dream Defenders, and artist Kehlani for a joint movement Palestine Power Hour.

By JVP - Jewish Voice for Peace