Ten Weeks of Genocide in Gaza: 25,000 Palestinians Killed, A Land in Ruins, And Still No Sign of a Ceasefire


Civilians rounded up in northern Gaza, stripped and carried away in vehicles to an undisclosed location, December 7, 2023.

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In my nearly 61 years on this earth, I’ve never felt as sick as I do now, watching in real time, as I have for the last ten weeks, a genocide taking place in the Gaza Strip, where 2.3 million Palestinians, trapped in an “open-air prison”, as they have been since 2007, with no means of escape, are being killed at a scale that is unprecedented in the history of warfare in my lifetime, while western leaders offer largely unconditional support — and weapons — and Israel continues to portray itself as the victim.

As of December 14, the death toll had reached 24,711, according to the Geneva-based Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor, which takes its figures from the health ministry in Gaza, and adds those missing and presumed dead under the rubble of destroyed buildings.

Of the dead — killed for the most part as a result of Israel’s relentless bombing of residential areas — 9,643 were children and babies, 5,109 were women, and 93%, according to Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor, were civilians.

The death toll is so colossal, and so relentless, that, on average, 365 people have been killed every day, including 140 children and babies; that’s six children every hour, or one every ten minutes over a period of more than two months; in other words, in response to the deadly attacks by Hamas militants on October 7, in which around 1,200 people were killed (and even disregarding the as yet unknown numbers killed by the Israelis themselves), Israel has been killing a comparative number of Palestinians twice a week for the last ten weeks.

As I noted in an article in October, over the last 15 years, in the ongoing 75-year conflict between the occupier (Israel) and the occupied (the Palestinians), the ratio of the numbers of Palestinians killed, compared to the numbers of Israelis killed, is 20:1, which is also the current ratio of Palestinian to Israeli deaths since October 7.

Crucially, however, Israel shows no sign of stopping its grotesque and relentless slaughter, even though — in another sign of quite how murderous its current intent is — almost four times as many Palestinians have been killed in the last two months as were killed by Israel forces over the nearly 15-year period between January 2008 and September this year.

The death toll has also dwarfed that of the ‘Nakba’ (‘catastrophe’) of 1948, when the State of Israel was established, and when an estimated 15,000 Palestinians were killed (in another analogy with the original ‘Nakba’, 750,000 Palestinians were exiled from their homeland, never to return, while, since October 7, over 1.8 million Palestinians have been internally displaced in Gaza, with almost 250,000 homes destroyed or partially destroyed).

As Al Jazeera demonstrated in a graph published last month, the rate at which Israel is killing children and babies in Gaza is between 45 and 225 times greater than in other major conflicts of the 21st century (Syria, Afghanistan, Yemen, Ukraine and Iraq), and, just days ago, Haaretz published research by Yagil Levy, a sociology professor at the Open University of Israel, establishing that the civilian death toll in Gaza ”is significantly higher than the average civilian [death] toll in all the conflicts around the world during the 20th century, in which civilians accounted for about half the dead”, as Levy explained.

Levy came to the conclusion that the number of civilian casualties in Gaza is 61%, although I have no idea where that figure came from, and, while his comparison with civilian casualties in all the wars of the 20th century is to be commended, that figure of 61% is very evidently inaccurate. According to Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor, 60% of those killed were women and children, which would mean that, of the 9,959 men killed, only 1% (249) were civilians, while the rest — 9,710 — would have to have been members of Hamas or other militant groups.

One way of establishing the inaccuracy of the figure is the realisation that the figure of 249 only begins to scratch the surface of the number of civilian men who have been killed — not even covering the numbers of journalists, doctors and other medical staff and UN workers murdered, mostly via targeted killing, and not even covering their extended families, who have also, in many cases, also been targeted and murdered — and that’s without even considering all the other men who made up Gazan civil society before the genocide began — academics, writers, artists, bakers, chefs, shop owners, delivery drivers, taxi drivers, builders, factory workers, farmers, the elderly and the unemployed, to name just a few examples that readily spring to mind.

To provide further context, more journalists (92 to date) have been killed in Gaza in the last ten weeks than in the whole of the Second World War or the Vietnam War, while more UN workers have also been killed in Gaza than in any previous conflict.

While Levy’s figure of 39% combatants killed is unfeasible, so is Israel’s own figure, of around 5,000, which emerged out of nowhere last week, presumably in response to — or allied to — the Haaretz report, and presumably also as a desperate attempt by the Israeli government to justify the colossal extent of the killing of civilians. Far more probable is Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor’s calculation that just 1,810 of those killed since October 7 were combatants — 7% of the total, rather than 39%, as Israel claims.

“A mass assassination factory”

One significant reason for discounting Israel’s claims can be found in “‘A mass assassination factory’: Inside Israel’s calculated bombing of Gaza”, a report published two weeks ago by +972 Magazine and Local Call, which noted how a combination of three factors were massively increasing the civilian death toll.

The first is that, since October 7, according to current and former members of Israel’s intelligence community, the Israeli military has “significantly expand[ed] its bombing of targets that are not distinctly military in nature”, to include what are known as “power targets”, and which “include private residences as well as public buildings, infrastructure, and high-rise blocks.” The purpose of the policy, the officials explained, was “to ‘create a shock’ that, among other things, will reverberate powerfully and ‘lead civilians to put pressure on Hamas.’”

The second factor is that the Israeli military “has files on the vast majority of potential targets in Gaza — including homes — which stipulate the number of civilians who are likely to be killed in an attack on a particular target.” As the article further explained, “This number is calculated and known in advance to the army’s intelligence units, who also know shortly before carrying out an attack roughly how many civilians are certain to be killed.”

In one particular case, as one of the sources explained, “the Israeli military command knowingly approved the killing of hundreds of Palestinian civilians in an attempt to assassinate a single top Hamas military commander. “The numbers increased from dozens of civilian deaths [permitted] as collateral damage as part of an attack on a senior official in previous operations, to hundreds of civilian deaths as collateral damage.”

The third factor, as I discussed in an article two weeks ago, is “the widespread use of a system called ‘Habsora’ (‘The Gospel’), which is largely built on artificial intelligence and can ‘generate’ targets almost automatically at a rate that far exceeds what was previously possible”, and was described by a former intelligence officer as facilitating a “mass assassination factory.” As the Guardian noted in a follow-up article, when AI was used in attacks on Gaza in 2021, Aviv Kochavi, then the head of the IDF, stated admiringly that, “in the past we would produce 50 targets in Gaza per year. Now, this machine produces 100 targets in a single day.”

As the +972 Magazine article proceeded to explain, the program was not only being used to identify the supposed locations of senior Hamas leaders; it was also revealing the supposed homes of those who are merely “junior Hamas operatives”, and approving them for elimination despite the associated loss of civilian lives. One official spelled out how expanding the targets to alleged “junior Hamas members” — which had not happened in previous Israeli assaults on Gaza — had caused so much death. “That is a lot of houses,” the official said, adding, “Hamas members who don’t really mean anything live in homes across Gaza. So they mark the home and bomb the house and kill everyone there.”

Even without this background information, the reality on the ground — of nearly 250,000 homes destroyed (62,990) or partially destroyed (172,055), according to Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor — makes it clear that Israel’s attacks are not judicious or proportionate in any sense. Perhaps the reckless expansion of the AI targeting is to to blame for this, but anyone paying close attention to statements made by Israel’s leaders since October 7 cannot be in any doubt that, fundamentally, any notion of targeting or proportionality is only window-dressing, perhaps most particularly designed to give cover to foreign governments blindly supporting Israel in whatever it does.

From the very beginning, Israel’s leaders have made clear their intent. Benjamin Netanyahu said, “We will turn Gaza into a deserted island”, the Israeli President Isaac Herzog said, “There are no innocent civilians in Gaza … It is an entire nation out there that is responsible”, and the Justice Minister, Ayelet Shaked, said, “Behind every terrorist stand dozens of men and women, without whom he could not engage in terrorism. They are all enemy combatants, and their blood shall be on all their heads. Now, this also includes the mothers of the martyrs, who send them to hell with flowers and kisses. They should follow their sons, nothing would be more just. They should go, as should the physical homes in which they raised the snakes. Otherwise, more little snakes will be raised there.”

I could come up with countless other examples, but these should be sufficient to establish that genocidal intent was explicitly stated, even as western leaders shamefully endorsed their unconditional support for Israel, and flew out to be photographed with Netanyahu and his ministers, rather as foreign supporters of the Nazis did before the Second World War broke out in September 1939.

The “pause” for the release of hostages

When I last wrote about Israel’s genocidal war on Gaza, two weeks ago, seven weeks of relentless bombing had been followed by a week of relative calm, in which, finally, some of the 250 hostages seized by Hamas on October 7 were released, in exchange for some of the many thousands of Palestinian prisoners — including numerous children — held by Israel in military custody, either in “administrative detention”, without charge or trial, or convicted via military courts, often for the flimsiest of reasons.

Although the release of Palestinian prisoners for Israeli hostages (and foreign nationals also seized) had been one of Hamas’s main aims on October 7, it took unprecedented criticism by the Israeli hostages’ families — including widespread protests against Netanyahu and his ministers — for the release of hostages to be negotiated by Israeli intelligence and Hamas in a deal brokered by Qatar, even though the release of the hostages had, from the beginning, been one of the Israeli government’s two stated aims, along with the “destruction” of Hamas.

After a week, however, when 105 hostages had been released (81 Israelis, plus 23 Thais and one Filipino), in exchange for 240 Palestinians (many of whom were children, and all of whom corroborated long-standing reports about brutal conditions in Palestinian custody), negotiations stalled over the release of the remaining 136 hostages (119 men and 17 women and children, according to the Israeli military).

Both sides blamed each other for the breakdown in negotiations, but given Israel’s openly declared genocidal intent, it appeared, as Israeli bombs immediately began raining down on southern Gaza — where the Israeli military had told those in the north to move to for their safety — that the negotiations had failed because of the apparently insatiable bloodlust of Netanyahu and his ministers.

The unending horrors of the last two weeks

Since the bombs began raining down again, around 5,000 Palestinians have been killed, including nearly 1,500 children and 1,000 women, and the humanitarian crisis, already dire, has worsened significantly. Although limited deliveries of humanitarian aid were allowed in during the “pause”, the “complete siege” announced by defense minister Yoav Gallant on October 8, when he promised that there would be “no electricity, no food, no fuel” — and no water or medical supplies — has resumed, and starvation stalks the Gaza Strip, along with communicable diseases, of which diarrhoea (nearly 100,000 cases), which can be fatal for children, and upper respiratory infections (over 130,000 cases) are the most prominent.

In addition, Israel’s profoundly grotesque and illegal war on Gaza’s hospitals, which I documented in detail in my reports here, here and here, has continued. On December 13, Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP) reported that one of the surviving, but barely functioning hospitals in northern Gaza, Kamal Adwan Hospital, already besieged by Israeli ground troops, had been invaded, with 70 medical staff “interrogated and humiliated by soldiers”, before being taken to an undisclosed location — part of a familiar pattern of arresting and “disappearing” doctors and medical staff, which has been happening for weeks. As a Change.org petition notes,  “Since November 18th, 116 Palestinian healthcare workers [not including the 70 from Kamal Adwan] have been abducted and illegally detained by Israeli forces. Only six have since been released.”

They include the director of Al Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, Dr. Muhammad Abu Salmiya, seized, with many others, as he travelled south along a designated “safe route”, and held, no doubt, to try and force a confession out of him about Hamas using the hospital as a command centre. Despite invading the hospital, Israel was unable to establish the truth of its claims, and resorted to risible propaganda, involving the “planting” of supposed evidence, which was widely ridiculed, although its use of disturbingly transparent propaganda is a persistent feature of its operations since October 7.

As MAP also reported, with reference to Kamal Adwan Hospital, “65 patients – including 12 children in intensive care and six babies in incubators – reportedly remain[ed] inside the hospital, as well as 45 medical staff”, although all were “trapped … without electricity, water or food.” In addition, 3,000 displaced people were also sheltering in the hospital’s grounds, and as the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights reported yesterday, as well as interrogating and abducting doctors and other medical staff, Israel forces “reportedly detained 1,000-1,200 Palestinians” in total, “mostly men and boys aged between 16 and 65 years old”, transferring them all to an unknown destination.

As if this wasn’t bad enough, even more horrific news emerged yesterday of Israeli bulldozers razing the ground outside the hospital, crushing other displaced people to death in their tents. As the journalist Anas Al-Sharif, whose father was recently targeted and killed by the Israelis, reported, “Dozens of displaced and wounded people were buried alive. The occupation’s bulldozers trampled the tents of the displaced people in the hospital yard and brutally crushed them. I saw cats eating the bodies of martyrs. The scenes from inside the hospital are terrifying and indescribable.”

In addition, Israel’s war on journalists — another monstrous crime — has continued relentlessly, with at least 90 journalists now killed — many, if not most, in targeted attacks, and, in some cases, with their families targeted as well. Israel has also continued to target not only those individuals chronicling its crimes through news reporting, but also those who have confronted the violence of the occupation through writing and through academia, the most prominent example being Refaat Alareer, a prominent writer, poet, professor and activist, who was targeted and killed on December 7. He was sheltering in a school at the time, but was contacted by Israeli intelligence, who said that they knew where he was, and informed him him that they were going to kill him. Leaving the school, he made his way to his sister’s apartment, but Israel’s murderers tracked him, and killed him in an airstrike that also killed his sister and her four children.

Despite his death, Refaat lives on via the many, many people who loved and admired him, and it has been heartwarming to see people around the world reading out his last poem, “If I Must Die” (posted below), and translating it into numerous languages worldwide.

“If I Must Die” by Refaat Alareer.

Israel’s murderous ground troops

Perhaps the most disturbing innovation of the last two weeks, however, has been the behaviour of the Israeli ground troops operating mainly in northern and central Gaza, largely without any kind of scrutiny. The chilling reports from Kamal Adwan Hospital are part of a pattern of abusive treatment, disappearances and, most disturbingly, summary executions that show complete contempt for international humanitarian law.

The OHCHR report cited above, issued just yesterday, noted “numerous disturbing reports from the north of Gaza of mass detentions, ill-treatment and enforced disappearance of possibly thousands of Palestinian men and boys, and a number of women and girls, at the hands of Israeli Defence Forces (IDF)”, adding that “[m]ost were rounded up as they were attempting to move south or were taken during operations conducted on their homes, hospitals, schools and other places of refuge.”

The OHCHR report noted claims that “children as young as 12 and persons as old as 70 are among those detained”, adding that “[c]redible information has also been received that approximately 140 women and girls have been arbitrarily detained and are currently being detained in undisclosed locations”, and proceeded to describe  the “serious ill-treatment” of some of those who were seized, who were “forced to strip down to their underwear, were blindfolded and tightly handcuffed, and were filmed and photographed in deliberately humiliating positions prior to being transported, without their clothing and with little food or water, to unknown places of detention.”

These incidents were, inexplicably, referred to by the OHCHR as “allegations”, because photographic evidence exists, provided by the Israelis themselves. On December 7, photos were published of men and boys stripped to their underwear in Beit Lahia, who were then driven away in trucks, and were later shown huddled together in what looked like an imminent mass grave — most alarmingly in a post by the Deputy Mayor of Jerusalem, Arieh King, who called for them to be buried alive using D-9 military bulldozers, and referred to Palestinians as “Nazis”, “sub-human” and “ants.” As he described it, “They are not human beings and not human animals, they are sub-human and that is how they should be treated.”

Although Israel’s propagandists evidently sought to portray everyone seized as being members of Hamas, they later conceded that the goal of the operation was merely to check if some of them were Hamas members. Al Jazeera later interviewed some of those seized, who provided devastating testimony about their treatment, although it hasn’t prevented further abusive mass detentions from taking place.

Other disturbing photos have since been made available by the Israeli authorities, including evidently staged examples of men made to carry guns, to make them look like captured Hamas militants when, in fact, they were also identified as civilians. Other, more horrible photos have been made available via Israeli Telegram channels, including the grotesque example here, which was posted on X by an Israeli supporter who describes himself as a “Jewish Zionist, lover of my people, and our land”, and it has recently become clear that there are numerous Israeli Telegram channels, including one run by the IDF, which have hundreds of thousands of followers, where the vilest images are being shared, along with with repulsive racist and genocidal comments.

Personally, however, I found the photo below, also featured on an Israeli Telegram channel, to be the most enduring image of the last two weeks, because of its composition — with the spot-lit men in the foreground — and its chilling sense of menace, again summoning up images of mass graves. On X, Mustafa Adwan, a doctor, pointed out that the individual in the green blanket in the foreground was “[m]y dear friend, colleague and surgery mentor Dr. Khalid Hamoda”, a “peaceful talented and dedicated surgeon”, who “trained me on several surgical skills”, and who “recently lost almost all of his family including his wife [and] daughter.”

The disturbing photo of Palestinian prisoners in northern Gaza.

Even more disturbing than these episodes, however, was the report this week of summary executions in Shadia Abu Ghazala School in northern Gaza, run by UNRWA (the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East), which was providing shelter to displaced civilians, and where witnesses reported that “a number of people, including women, children and babies, were killed execution-style by Israeli forces while they were sheltering inside [the] school.”

As the OHCHR also noted in its report, this unprovoked execution of civilians may not be an isolated example, as the organisation also made reference to “an increasing number of reports that civilians have been killed, including in apparent extrajudicial executions, in places of refuge, particularly schools.”

Along with terrorising and murdering civilians, the Israeli air force and its ground forces have also continued to destroy the institutions necessary to support civil society should the genocide ever come to an end. On December 8, the Grand Omari Mosque, Gaza’s largest and oldest mosque, was bombed, adding to a catalogue of destruction from the first seven weeks of bombing, in which, as Muhammed Shehada of Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor explained, Israel “destroyed universities, hospitals, churches, schools, mosques, national archives, the entire judicial infrastructure, factories, businesses, hotels, parks, the parliament [and] police stations”, none of which could realistically be considered to be military targets.

In the last two weeks, to cite just two further examples, IDF soldiers invaded Gaza’s Palace of Justice, its highest court, built by Qatar in 2018, posing like fascist conquerors before blowing it up, and also filmed themselves laughing and cheering as they blew up a school in Beit Hanoun. Israel soldiers have also filmed themselves laughing while ransacking a toy shop, riding on looted bicycles, cooking food in stolen houses, and setting fire to humanitarian aid supplies.

Where does all the genocidal rage of the Zionists and their supporters come from?

Despite all of the above, however, one of the most shocking aspects of Israel’s genocide has been the way in which western countries have, from the beginning, offered unconditional support for Israel, forgetting, in a moment, that before October 7 they had, quite rightly, expressed grave concerns about the coalition government formed by Benjamin Netanyahu just ten months before — the most right-wing in Israeli history, including two far-right settlers, Itamar Ben-Gvir and Bezalel Smotrich, compared to members of the Ku Klux Klan by the Israeli pressure group UnXeptable: Saving the Israeli Democracy.

Western leaders also instantaneously forgot the concerns they had expressed when Netanyahu attempted to quash the independence of the judiciary earlier this year, leading to massive protests within Israel, where his government is astonishingly unpopular, and presided over an increase in violence and the creation of new settlements in the West Bank.

In the immediate aftermath of the October 7 attacks by Hamas, Israeli propaganda was, of course, in overdrive, and a number of pernicious lies took root, apparently unshakeably, in those inclined to regard Hamas’s militants as the most evil people who have ever existed on the face of the earth. The most damaging was a claim that Hamas had beheaded 40 babies, which was completely untrue, although other lies also spread uncontrollably — false stories about mass rape, about a baby burned in an oven, a pregnant woman’s stomach cut open and her foetus removed, and about children bound together and burned, which were finally debunked by Haaretz on December 3, but not until the damage had been done, most noticeably though Joe Biden repeating the story in a press conference that was reported around the world, even when he had been advised that it had not been verified.

Primarily, though, what the west’s support demonstrated, beyond a realisation that they had all been co-opted by the Israeli lobby — which ensures that no major party leader in the west is allowed to be anything other than a staunch supporter of Zionism, as was established when false claims of anti-semitism were used against Jeremy Corbyn — was how intelligent politicians, capable of adopting any kind of nuanced position regarding the long and fraught history of Israel and Palestine, have entirely disappeared from any kind of leadership position.

Instead, the west’s response to Hamas’s attacks followed the same primitive Manichean worldview that was evident via the complete suppression of nuanced voices when it came to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2021, when Putin became the embodiment of pure, unadulterated evil, Zelenskyy became a pure, shining hero, and the many experts in the region’s history were ruthlessly silenced, to prevent them discussing how Putin had invaded because, over the previous three decades, NATO and the west had repeatedly crossed red lines regarding Ukraine and the expansion of NATO that Putin could not have laid down more clearly.

With Gaza, this same primitive Manichean worldview has seen Hamas condemned as the embodiment of pure, unadulterated evil, while the State of Israel has become the pure, shining hero — an implausible scenario for anyone even vaguely familiar with the State of Israel’s violent suppression of the Palestinian people since its blood-soaked founding in 1948.

Within Israel itself, a combination of genocidal intent and an unsurpassed sense of itself as a victim has uncomfortably co-existed throughout its history, a violent colonial settler state, deranged by its own Holocaust, dedicated to inflicting another Holocaust on those whose land must be stolen to fulfil their malignant national dream. That said, however, the intensity of genocidal fervour is either something horribly new, or something horribly new that has been steadily building over the last few decades.

I suspect it’s the latter, and I think it’s related to an increasing derangement in the west, in which the 9/11 attacks feature prominently, and which, as I see it, involves an increasingly hysterical response by those who are fundamentally comfortable and living in bubbles of entitlement to anything that they perceive to be a threat, with no attempt made to ascertain how proportional that fear is.

Certainly, in the US, politicians and the media have preyed on Americans’ insecurities since 9/11 to keep them in a perpetual state of fear, which seems to echo Israel’s existential fears, and which probably explains why both countries have been home to the largest number of permanently agitated enthusiasts for genocide since October 7.

It also seems to me, however, that, even since Israel’s last major assault on Gaza, in 2014, the sense of entitlement, the fear of the “other”, largely via massive anti-immigrant sentiment, the derangements that led to Brexit in the UK and the rise of Donald Trump in the US, the endless violence of western entertainment culture, and the broken state of the mainstream media and social media, which both thrive on outrage and anger, and try to keep people in a permanent bubble of rage, have all driven us to this desperate place in which, although a genocide is genuinely taking place in the Gaza Strip, an alarming number of people are cheering it on, apparently with every fibre of their being.

Added to this, of course, is the continued pandering to Israel of western politicians and media, persistently giving too little (if any) coverage to Palestinians themselves and giving far too much coverage to Israel ministers and spokespeople, as though World War II was underway, and the Allied media was relentlessly promoting the Nazis’ views.

Although numerous western leaders are demonstrably culpable in facilitating a genocide, none can compare with Joe Biden, whose advanced mental collapse has been thoroughly exposed over the last ten weeks. Fixated on providing unconditional support to his long-standing “friend” Bibi (Netanyahu), Biden clearly lacks the nimbleness of mind to recognise that, despite this alleged long-term friendship, Netanyahu has definitively crossed over to the “dark side”, turning generations of oppression into a genocide whose savagery and intensity exceeds even that of the original ‘Nakba’ of 1948, and he is also so slow-witted that he fails to recognise that support for the Palestinians, and opposition to Israel’s butchery is so widespread that he is handing victory in next year’s Presidential Election to Donald Trump.

Despite the unprecedented outpouring of support for the Palestinians around the world, which has been genuinely inspiring, like a candle of justice and solidarity held aloft by billions of people, a ceasefire is still what is urgently required, and although last week the US, alone, vetoed a global call for a ceasefire in the UN General Assembly, it may be that, as was the case three weeks ago, the surviving Israeli hostages’ families will be the ones to turn the tide, especially after yesterday’s PR disaster for Israel, when IDF soldiers shot dead three Israeli hostages who had escaped their captors, leaving the families wondering to what extent their own government actually cares about the hostages’ lives, or whether, instead, they are so consumed by bloodlust that all they see and all they desire is for the corpses of Palestinian babies and children to grow ever higher, a Dachau, Buchenwald or Auschwitz of their own making.

* * * * *

Andy Worthington is a freelance investigative journalist, activist, author, photographer (of an ongoing photo-journalism project, ‘The State of London’), film-maker and singer-songwriter (the lead singer and main songwriter for the London-based band The Four Fathers, whose music is available via Bandcamp). He is the co-founder of the Close Guantánamo campaign (see the ongoing photo campaign here) and the successful We Stand With Shaker campaign of 2014-15, and the author of The Guantánamo Files: The Stories of the 774 Detainees in America’s Illegal Prison and of two other books: Stonehenge: Celebration and Subversion and The Battle of the Beanfield. He is also the co-director (with Polly Nash) of the documentary film, “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo” (available on DVD here, or you can watch it online here, via the production company Spectacle, for £2.50).

In 2017, Andy became very involved in housing issues. He is the narrator of the documentary film, ‘Concrete Soldiers UK’, about the destruction of council estates, and the inspiring resistance of residents, he wrote a song ‘Grenfell’, in the aftermath of the entirely preventable fire in June 2017 that killed over 70 people, and, in 2018, he was part of the occupation of the Old Tidemill Wildlife Garden in Deptford, to try to prevent its destruction — and that of 16 structurally sound council flats next door — by Lewisham Council and Peabody.

Since 2019, Andy has become increasingly involved in environmental activism, recognizing that climate change poses an unprecedented threat to life on earth, and that the window for change — requiring a severe reduction in the emission of all greenhouse gases, and the dismantling of our suicidal global capitalist system — is rapidly shrinking, as tipping points are reached that are occurring much quicker than even pessimistic climate scientists expected. You can read his articles about the climate crisis here.

To receive new articles in your inbox, please subscribe to Andy’s RSS feed — and he can also be found on Facebook (and here), Twitter, Flickr and YouTube. Also see the six-part definitive Guantánamo prisoner list, The Complete Guantánamo Files, the definitive Guantánamo habeas list, the full military commissions list, and the chronological list of all Andy’s articles.

Please also consider joining the Close Guantánamo campaign, and, if you appreciate Andy’s work, feel free to make a donation.

22 Responses

  1. Andy Worthington says...

    When I posted this on Facebook, I wrote:

    Here’s my latest article, marking ten weeks of Israel’s relentless genocidal assault on Gaza, in which nearly 25,000 Palestinians — mostly civilians — have now been killed, including nearly 10,000 children and babies, and over 5,000 women.

    As Israel’s bombing raids continue, and the humanitarian crisis escalates, I also examine the behaviour of Israeli ground troops, particularly in northern Gaza, where, amongst countless crimes, including the stripping and dehumanisation of captured civilian men and boys, they are also alleged to have bulldozered to death internally displaced civilians outside a hospital, and are also alleged to have shot civilians, including babies and children, in cold blood and at close range, in a school where they were seeking shelter.

    As the horrors get worse, it can only be hoped that yesterday’s killing, by IDF soldiers, of three Israeli hostages who had managed to escape their captors, will finally provoke a return to the negotiating table, to bring about a ceasefire and the further exchange of hostages for Palestinian prisoners held in Israel’s brutal military prisons.

  2. Andy Worthington says...

    No sooner had I posted this than the Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor updated its death toll – 25,612 deaths, including 10,091 children and 5,390 women, and 52,031 injured, many gravely so. 23,900 of the dead are assessed to have been civilians. https://twitter.com/EuroMedHR/status/1736503060795433376

  3. Andy Worthington says...

    Please also feel free to listen to my song ‘O Palestine’, with a video of photos from the Marches for Palestine in London, recorded with Richard Clare of The Four Fathers and beatboxer The Wiz-RD: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S7ZC0Fle7tY

  4. Andy Worthington says...

    Natalia Rivera Scott wrote:


  5. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks, Natalia. This has taken me days to write. I hope it’s been worth it.

  6. Andy Worthington says...

    Natalia Rivera Scott wrote:

    Andy, thank you for keeping writing about the genocide in Gaza. Still so much silence … complicit silence and horrible justifications …

  7. Andy Worthington says...

    I know, Natalia. I feel like I’m in a bubble, relentlessly following reports on X, and sometimes watching Al Jazeera, but aware that western media coverage is dwindling. I really can’t turn away, though? How can anyone who still has a heart?

  8. Andy Worthington says...

    Natalia Rivera Scott wrote:

    Same here, Andy. I try to see and read as much information as I can, hurts a lot, but as you say, how can anyone with a heart turn away?

  9. Andy Worthington says...

    I can understand people who find it overwhelming, Natalia, but, as with all our work, the indifference remains inexplicable, and what’s particularly alarming about the extraordinary destruction of Gaza is the number of people cheering it on. These are our fellow humans. How are we supposed to trust them when, as is inevitable because of climate collapse, our own countries start experiencing more challenging conditions?

    I hope you found the section at the end of the article interesting, in which I tried to address what has led to this violent derangement – particularly in Israel in the US, of course, but which also violently animates those demonising immigrants and the “other” in countries around the world. We’re only ever a few steps away from fascism, I fear, and that’s not something I would have said when I was younger.

  10. Andy Worthington says...

    Judith Lienhard wrote:


  11. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks, Judith. Good to hear from you. 💔🇵🇸

  12. Andy Worthington says...

    When Nadrat Siddique shared this on Facebook, she wrote:

    What is going on in Gaza, Palestine, makes the maxim “Never again!” completely hollow. Please read this critical article by my colleague Andy Worthington and share with others. We in the U.S. must, at some point, wake up to what our tax dollars are funding every day.

  13. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks so much for reading and sharing and for your supportive words, Nadrat. It is so crucial that US voices in particular continue to exert pressure on President Biden to bring these horrors to an end.

    Ending the supply of arms ought to be just the beginning, it seems to me, as the Netanyahu government is so genocidal that it also needs to be properly ostracised as a pariah state.

  14. Andy Worthington says...

    Karina Friedemann wrote:

    thank you

  15. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks for appreciating my efforts, Karina. Good to hear from you.

  16. Andy Worthington says...

    Tamzin Jans wrote:

    It is very heartbreaking and to hear how the IDF also killed three hostages, unarmed, waving a white flag shows the utter depravation of the Israeli army! They were no threat to the IDF. They needed help. This is the exact example of how a genocidal army works. They care naught for who they kill; it can be an Israeli, it can be a Palestinian, it can be a baby, it can be a woman, it can be a pregnant woman, it can be a journalist, it can be a peacekeeping force and it may even be one Hamas leader!

    It truly makes me upset that Biden and the UK/NATO/EU gang doesn’t have a soul or a heart in stopping this.

    I don’t even want to mention the pollution that this war causes! I thought we just had the COP28 where there were discussions to stop pollution!

  17. Andy Worthington says...

    Good to hear from you, Tamzin, and thanks for your appraisal of the ongoing horrors in Gaza.

    As for Biden, he’s in serious trouble. In polling published today, 72% of young people disapprove of his handling of the conflict, 67% want Israel to stop the war on Gaza, and 55% oppose giving Israel more military aid.

    As I wrote on X, “Young people are the future. They can see that Zionist Israel is evil. Joe Biden, meanwhile, an ailing, slow-witted old man, is the very opposite. He can’t even tell the difference between Israel ‘defending itself’ and committing genocide.” https://twitter.com/GuantanamoAndy/status/1737167839604130260

  18. Andy Worthington says...

    Abdellatif Nasser wrote:

    Thank you for sharing this 🙏

  19. Andy Worthington says...

    You’re most welcome, Abdellatif. I’m so glad to hear that you appreciate my efforts.

  20. Andy Worthington says...

    Revised death toll posted by the Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor – now 26,612 deaths, including 10,305 children and 5,475 women, and 52,390 injured, many gravely so. 24,320 of the dead are assessed to have been civilians. https://twitter.com/EuroMedHR/status/1737172106809331857

  21. Andy Worthington says...

    Another revised death toll posted by the Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor – now 27,137 deaths, including 10,517 children and 5,533 women, and 53,116 injured, many gravely so. 24,817 of the dead are assessed to have been civilians. https://twitter.com/EuroMedHR/status/1737857748279374277

  22. Andy Worthington says...

    Yet another revised death toll posted by the Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor – now 28,091 deaths, including 11,023 children and 5,683 women, and 54,311 injured, many gravely so. 25,741 of the dead are assessed to have been civilians. https://twitter.com/EuroMedHR/status/1738558892643123665

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Andy Worthington

Investigative journalist, author, campaigner, commentator and public speaker. Recognized as an authority on Guantánamo and the “war on terror.” Co-founder, Close Guantánamo and We Stand With Shaker. Also, photo-journalist (The State of London), and singer and songwriter (The Four Fathers).
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