A Process of Elimination

A crucial part of the Israeli state project is about leaving Palestinians with no physical place to call home.

As of mid-November, the death toll in Palestine has risen to more than 11,000. Over 4,500 of the dead are children. Another 3,250 people remain missing, likely buried under the rubble. Ten thousand buildings have been destroyed; 222,000 housing units have been damaged, and 41,000 have been totally destroyed. Over half of Gaza’s education facilities have been hit, leaving 100 percent of its student population with no access to education. One hundred thirty-five health facilities have been attacked, and over half of Gaza’s hospitals and two-thirds of its primary care facilities are shut down. This new wave of violence—an escalation that followed Hamas’s October 7 attack, which took an estimated 1,200 lives—has received much media attention. But the history of Israeli violence in Palestine goes back almost a century. As conditions in Palestine worsen, writer Sumaya Awad and architectural historian and urbanist Mahdi Sabbagh provide some historical context and discuss how the built environment fits into the Israeli settler colonial project.


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