Israeli airstrikes have reduced entire neighbourhoods in Gaza to rubble while a near total siege has deprived the population of vital supplies: food, water, medicine and fuel. Yet missile defence systems and millions in US military aid allow Tel Avivians to pantomime normality. Some bars are open late and children are back at school. Old routines chafe against the collective trauma of the attack on 7 October.
Israel’s latest assault on Jenin killed twelve Palestinians, injured a hundred and temporarily displaced three thousand in just over 48 hours. Some had fled Israeli military violence once or twice before, in 1948 and 1967. Most had their homes razed in 2002 during a ten-day bombardment that left 56 Palestinians and 23 Israeli soldiers dead. The destruction was at odds with recent IDF press releases, which have claimed Israel is on the brink of revolutionising warfare. Israel’s military has cast itself as an ‘artificial intelligence superpower’, promising that automated weapons would make warfare more precise and, by implication, more humane. But AI has not revolutionised warfare for the Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank who will continue to live under its terrorising effects.