Members of the US Jewish community protest against the Israeli military operation in Gaza ousside the Cannon Senate office building on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC on October 18, 2023. Israel would let aid enter Gaza via Egypt, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office announced October 18, 2023, saying only "food, water and medicine" would be allowed into the blockaded Palestinian enclave. The Israeli announcement came as Biden ended a high-stakes visit, where he offered Israeli leaders continued US support and backed his ally's [unverified] stance that Palestinian militants were behind a deadly rocket strike on a Gaza hospital.(Photo by ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP via Getty Images)

We at Prism have been horrified to witness the escalation of violence in Palestine. On Oct. 9, Israeli officials declared war on Hamas (the Islamic Resistance Movement) after fighters launched rockets at Israeli cities and broke through the concrete barrier wall imposed by Israel in a coordinated attack on Oct. 7, tragically killing some 1,400 people and taking hundreds more as hostages, according to Israeli officials. Israel placed Gaza, which has already been blockaded for 16 years, under “complete siege,” cutting off access to electricity, food, and water and initially blocking international aid

Hundreds of thousands in Gaza have attempted to evacuate, but Israel has bombed the evacuation route in the southern city of Rafah as part of its relentless attacks on Gaza, which have included bombing a UN school and Gazan medical workers and facilities. According to the Palestinian Health Ministry, as of Oct. 17, the state of Israel’s military has killed at least 3,000 Palestinians and injured at least 12,000 people, including 1,000 children. At least 11 Palestinian journalists have been killed

Four days ago, Palestine Speaks issued a call for a Global General Strike on Friday, Oct. 20, in solidarity with the Palestinian people’s struggle against displacement, apartheid, and genocide. 

While in the coming weeks Prism will continue to report on the ongoing organizing in the U.S. calling for a ceasefire and Palestinian liberation, Prism will be closing early Thursday, Oct. 19 to create space as staff navigate both collective grief and the urgency of speaking out. Prism is already closed on Fridays due to our four-day workweek. 

In the meantime, you can read our coverage of protests around the U.S. led by Jewish activists, Palestinians, and allies. Prism has also compiled a list of resources shared by global organizers, including reading lists, action items, and financial relief funds.