gaza 2023
gaza strip 2024
Gaza’s port, October 10, 2023

The Israeli regime subsequently embarked on what is now its deadliest assault on Gaza. While the government pledged to wipe out Hamas, it has exacted a campaign of mass collective punishment and ethnic cleansing, murdering thousands of Palestinians and displacing over one million.

As much of the world struggles to make sense of this devastation, Palestinians speaking out continue to be dehumanized and silenced in an effort to quash testimonies that challenge the dominant discourse.

To counter this strategy, Al-Shabaka has compiled a collection of its past works that may serve to ground readers in the wider context of this current moment.​

Together, these publications, webinars, and podcasts speak to the many layers that form the foundation of this point of rupture. They offer possibilities for new ways both to understand the past and present, as well as to envision a radically different future.

The Roots of the Palestinian Struggle

It is impossible to discuss, let alone fully understand and analyze, the developments of October 2023 without recognizing their inextricable connection to the root causes of Palestinian struggle. To assess Hamas’s October 7th operation and the Israeli regime’s subsequent response in isolation is to ignore over 75 years of colonial violence and the horrific consequences born out of these decades of oppression and attempted erasure.

 Civil Society
On Indigenous People’s Day in 2018, several Palestinian human rights organizations released a statement that called on the international community “to center Native history as the necessary beginning of historical reconciliation and a collectively emancipatory process of decolonization.”
As Israel intensifies its settler-colonial project, apartheid has become an increasingly important framework for understanding and challenging Israeli rule in historic Palestine. Under international law, apartheid is a crime against humanity and states can be held accountable for their actions. However, international law has its limitations.
Al-Shabaka Haidar Eid
Al-Shabaka Andy Clarno
Haidar Eid,Andy Clarno· Aug 27, 2017
Much analysis of Israeli apartheid focuses on comparisons with South Africa. Al-Shabaka Policy Advisor Samer Abdelnour argues that the specific characteristics of Israel’s unique brand of apartheid need to be better understood in order to successfully dismantle it.
Al-Shabaka Samer Abdelnour
Samer Abdelnour· Apr 4, 2013
An act of survivance is more than a reactionary struggle for existence. The term survivance, coined in Native American Studies, speaks to the active presence and continued dignity of native peoples, despite the ethnocidal policies of a settler colonial state.
Al-Shabaka Irene Calis
Irene Calis· Jan 13, 2015
This is not an assessment of the impact of the Oslo Accords that began to be signed in 1993. It was never the kind of “process” that could lend itself to a balance sheet type of analysis that would show the positives and negatives of what transpired. The accords were destructive from the start. As the late Edward Said brilliantly put it, “The fashion-show vulgarities of the White House ceremony […] only temporarily obscure the truly astonishing proportions of the Palestinian capitulation. So […] let us call the agreement by its real name: an instrument of Palestinian surrender, a Palestinian Versailles.”
Al-Shabaka Khalil Nakhleh
Khalil Nakhleh· Apr 10, 2014
The dramatic events that have taken place the last few weeks in Gaza, Jerusalem, and across historic Palestine have been unfolding as Palestinians commemorate the 74th year of the Nakba on May 15.
Palestinians have perhaps never been more in need of a forward-looking vision to shape their struggle. On the Nakba’s 70th anniversary, Al-Shabaka analysts propose visions they contend would resonate with the greatest number of Palestinians – whether one-staters or two, refugees, exiles, citizens of Israel, or those under occupation – and map ways to get from here to there. 

Gaza: The World’s Largest Open-Air Prison

Much of the world’s mainstream media coverage would have audiences believe that Gaza is a state entirely independent from, and often at war with, Israel. In reality, the besieged territory–no bigger than the city of Las Vegas though roughly three times more populous–has been subject to a brutal blockade since 2007 and decades of colonial occupation before that. While Palestinians in Gaza are subject to some of the cruelest conditions enforced by the Israeli regime, it is imperative to recall that Gaza is not a disparate land but rather an integral part of greater Palestine.

In popular descriptions among Palestinians and other Arabs, Israel's military assaults have often been compared to the Mongol wars, or the Tatars, where all destruction is permissible, and nothing is sacred. In Israel’s assault on Gaza during July-August 2014, those comparisons returned with a vengeance: Nothing remained untouched by Israel's 21st century weapons, including historical sites, such as mosques and Gaza's harbor.
الشبكة رندة فرح
Randa Farah· Sep 23, 2014
Much attention has been paid to Israel’s “easing” of its siege of Gaza in early July 2010. Palestinians in Gaza now have access to previously banned items like pasta and chocolate. However, there is no freedom of movement for people and goods. In other words, Gaza remains under siege as it has since 2006, almost completely isolated from the rest of the world.
Al-Shabaka Haidar Eid
Haidar Eid· Jul 27, 2010
For years, Palestinians have decried the devastating conditions in Gaza, only to see those conditions continue to worsen. What's prevented real change from happening on the ground, and what ramifications has this had on Palestinians in Gaza and the broader struggle for Palestinian liberation?
 Civil Society
Gaza has always been unique among the different parts of Palestine. Its current particularity stems from being caught between three major variables exacerbating its collapse: the Israeli occupation, division in Palestinian leadership, and the COVID-19 pandemic. This reality raises socio-political questions about the role of these factors in advancing social collapse in Gaza, and about changes in the values of resilience and steadfastness among Palestinians in Gaza.
The Great March of Return – which began on March 30 and has not yet ended – has shuffled the cards and brought crucial questions to the fore regarding the essence of the Palestinian cause as well as the status of the Gaza Strip. Despite the bleak reality of life in Gaza, which Israel’s siege will, with international and local collusion, soon render uninhabitable, a new awareness is emerging.
Al-Shabaka Haidar Eid
Haidar Eid· Jul 24, 2018

Understanding Hamas

Hamas, a movement with both political and military wings, was founded in 1987 amid the First Intifada. The party won the 2006 Palestinian legislative elections, leading to a violent confrontation with Fatah. Since 2007, governance of the West Bank and Gaza has been divided between Fatah and Hamas, respectively. While Hamas’s guerilla operation on October 7th, 2023, drew widespread attention and outcry, the movement’s history and core objectives continue to be obscured.

With the end of the Second Palestinian Intifada, the Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, expressed its willingness to participate in the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) municipal and legislative elections, ultimately winning many electoral contests. Hamas viewed its participation in official electoral politics as a way of strengthening the Palestinian resistance movement, as well as a means of bolstering the Palestinian Authority (PA) in the face of rising external pressures.
Al-Shabaka Belal Shobaki
Belal Shobaki· Sep 30, 2021
When Ahmad Al-Shuqairi founded the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in 1964, he envisioned an entity that represented all Palestinians. However, he could not realize this vision because Fatah expressed its lack of confidence in him and his PLO policy in a statement to the December 9, 1967, meeting of Arab foreign ministers in Cairo.
Al-Shabaka Belal Shobaki
Belal Shobaki· Sep 14, 2022
Conflating Hamas with Daesh promotes the interests of Israel and certain Arab governments while ignoring the very real political and theological differences between the two groups, Belal Shobaki explains.
Al-Shabaka Belal Shobaki
Belal Shobaki· Feb 22, 2016
Trump’s administration and Israel are pressuring Palestinians to accept a disastrous deal in part to cement closer relations with Gulf states against Iran. Al-Shabaka’s Diana Buttu, Osamah Khalil, and Mouin Rabbani examine how US actions work to the detriment of Palestinians, the repercussions of these developments on Hamas-Iran relations, and what Palestinians can do in response.
On October 7th, 2023, Hamas’s armed wing led the Al-Aqsa Flood, a guerilla operation where fighters broke through the Gaza barrier, seized Israeli settlements, killed an estimated 1,300 Israelis, and took an additional 200 hostage. The Israeli regime subsequently embarked on what is now its deadliest assault on Gaza. While the government pledged to wipe out Hamas, it has exacted a campaign of mass collective punishment and ethnic cleansing, murdering thousands of Palestinians and displacing over one million. 

Listen to the Podcast

Layla Kattermann (European Legal Support Center) and Diala Shamas (Center for Constitutional Rights) join host Yara Hawari to discuss the crackdown on pro-Palestine solidarity across the US and Europe and ways their organizations are working to resist state repression against activists.

“This is the first time in history that any Palestinian group has claimed land taken from them in 1948. So even if it is for a short amount of time, it is quite significant…This was not an unprovoked attack. There is nothing unprovoked in a situation when you have people living under colonial occupation for decades and in Gaza under siege.”

Yara Hawari, Novara Media

“Lawmakers on the left and on the right, from Lindsey Graham to Ritchie Torres, are using this opportunity to viciously demonise Palestinians in order to drum up anti-Palestinian hatred that will give Israel cover to commit unspeakable crimes right in front of our eyes.”

Tariq Kenney-Shawa, Middle East Eye

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