Conflict in Palestine: The Last 15 Years

Hello, all. As it says elsewhere on my author site, I consider myself Palestinian-American. I’d like to think I’m a human being first and foremost (alas, being seen that way by others requires the consent of the beholder), but if pressed to identify with a particular cultural background, I acknowledge my Palestinian heritage not just openly, but proudly. They’re an amazing people. 

Me, I’m as American as apple pie, football, and random fireworks, but I can rub my belly and pat my head at the same time, and well, being Palestinian-American feels a bit like that most days.

With the recent events unfolding there, I’ve been seeing an explosion of not just ignorance, but actual and willful disinformation online about the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. Fundamentally, it’s not that complicated of a conflict, though some would have you believe it is, but since it’s into its eighth decade, now, it would be fair to say that it is an involved conflict.

To cut through some of the fog created by both mountains of data and the disinformative misuse thereof, I’ve decided to dedicate this blog post to dropping the most basic information about the conflict in Israel and Palestine, just looking at the last 15 years. Mostly, this is to help clear discussion spaces of smoke, but it’s also to host a permanent, linkable record of the basic facts.

The conflict has been going on since 1947, when mostly white European Zionists arrived by the boatload and ran over a million Arabs who were living there (the Palestinians) out of their homes and off their lands at gunpoint, killing many thousands of innocent civilians in the process. This is known as the Nakba (“Catastrophe”). It is the singular origin of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

After 76 years, there is a lot to know, but just looking at the last 15 years’ worth of brass tax:

Since 2008, Palestinians in Palestine and Israel have suffered at least 6,180 recorded fatalities caused by either Israeli soldiers or citizen settlers.

Since 2008, Israelis in Israel and Palestine have suffered 279 fatalities caused by Palestinians. 

The fact that there are two sides to the conflict and story does not mean the two sides are equal. Trying to equalize the two sides in this particular conflict is arguing on behalf of Israel.

All fatalities, across the spectrum of conflict, are tragic, painful, and fundamentally unnecessary.

Since 2008, Palestinians in Palestine and Israel have suffered at least 152,560 recorded injuries inflicted by either Israeli soldiers or citizen settlers. (Numbers reported by the UN and by various NGO/humanitarian groups are understood to be on the low side, though not by a high percent.)

As you see on the chart, injuries to Palestinians in Palestine and Israel skyrocketed in 2018. This was due to an Israeli policy to deliberately shoot-to-injure Palestinians who were gathering to protest every week at the same place and time. Soldiers illegally fired live ammunition through fences, at folks protesting unarmed on their own land, rendering thousands of civilians crippled.

After international outcry, Israel dialed back the regularly scheduled shooting of unarmed protesters, but as you see, Palestinian injury numbers flew up again starting in 2021, just ahead of the most important election in years in Israel, the result of which was the re-re-election of corrupt and indicted Likud warhawk Benjamin Netanyahu to serve as Prime Minister. Again. 

Sadly, these numbers do not reflect the current and ongoing escalation and bloodshed there. Zionists had already put violent and early end to tens of thousands of Palestinian lives, and injured many hundreds of thousands more, prior to their latest war in Gaza.

Hopefully, this will prove to be the last.

Because it seems to me the late great William Tecumseh Sherman had it right: War is hell.