Written by: Salma Khalil, Sara Boukalda, Safaa Filali, Taoufik Rachid, Azeddine Lalag, Driss Chekkar
Supervised by: Teacher Ezzoubeir

The ongoing Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories has been a major source of tension and violence in the region. Since 1948, Israel has committed thousands of massacres there. On October the 7th, the world witnessed an incursion of Hamas militants into the occupied lands, prompting a severe response from the Israeli army that started a new massacre against the civilians in Gaza, which has led to another series of violence, uprising and negotiations.

In this context, English learners who are concerned with what’s happening in Gaza might have issues understanding articles, shows, podcasts, or news in English when they try to learn more about the situation. They might also have difficulty writing or speaking about the subject matter in English. For this reason, the list below, Although limited, can help them improve their comprehension of the language related to the issue.

Airstrike: An attack by aircraft, dropping bombs or firing missiles.

Apartheid: A policy or system of segregation or discrimination based on race.

Blockade: Using force to prevent goods or people from entering or leaving an area.

Casualties: People killed or injured in a conflict or disaster.

Cease-fire: An agreement to stop fighting temporarily.

Civilian Shelter: A safe place for non-combatants to stay during conflicts.

Collective Punishment: Punishing a group of people for the actions of a few members of that group.

Dehumanization: The process of depriving a person or group of positive human qualities, making them seem less than human.

Displacement: The forced movement of people from their homes, typically due to conflict, persecution, or natural disasters.

Epidemic: A widespread outbreak of an infectious disease.

Ethnic Cleansing: The forced removal or killing of people from a particular ethnic group to create a region with a single ethnicity.

Evacuation/Displacement: Moving people away from danger to a safer location.

Extermination: The act of killing or destroying all or a large part of a group of people or animals.

Fascist: A person who supports an authoritarian and nationalistic right-wing system of government.

Forcible Arrest: Arresting someone with the use of force.

Full-blown Famine: A severe and widespread shortage of food causing mass starvation.

Genocide: The deliberate and systematic extermination of a particular group of people, often based on ethnicity, religion, or nationality.

Hermetic Closure: Completely sealing off an area, making it isolated from outside influences or escape.

Hostage/Captivity: Holding someone against their will, often to demand something in return.

Human Shields: Civilians used to protect combatants from attacks, making it harder for enemies to strike.

Humanitarian Access: The ability for aid organizations to reach people in need.

Impunity: Not being punished for wrongdoing.

Incursion: A sudden, brief invasion or attack into a place.

Internment: The imprisonment or confinement of people, commonly in large groups, without trial.

Land Confiscation: Taking away land from its owners, often without fair compensation.

Maim: To severely injure a person, often resulting in the loss of a body part.

Mass-Arrest Campaign: A large-scale operation where many people are arrested at once, usually for political reasons.

Massacre: A large-scale, brutal killing of people.

Militia: A military force that is raised from the civil population to supplement a regular army in an emergency.

Mourn: To feel and show deep sorrow for someone who has died.

Peace Talks: Negotiations to end a conflict and achieve peace.

Persecute: To continuously mistreat or oppress someone, especially because of their beliefs or identity.

Purposeful Destruction: Deliberately causing extensive damage.

Raid: A sudden attack or operation, often to seize something or capture people.

Refugee Camp: A place where people who have fled their homes live temporarily.

Resistance: Efforts to oppose or fight back against something.

Safe Zone: An area designated as free from military attack or conflict.

Sanitation: Measures to keep places clean and prevent disease.

Settler-Attack: Violence carried out by settlers against another group, often indigenous people.

Siege: Surrounding and isolating a place to force its surrender.

Starvation/Dehydration: Severe lack of food or water leading to extreme hunger or thirst.

Trapped Beneath the Rubble: Stuck under debris or ruins after a building collapses.

Truce: A temporary stop to fighting.

War Crime: Serious violations of the laws of war, including targeting civilians or prisoners.

Waste-Water: Used water that is no longer clean, often from homes or industries.

Zionism: A movement for the re-establishment of a Jewish homeland in Israel.

English learners might be interested to read articles on what’s going on in Gaza, however, they may not be equipped with the vocabulary to understand. For this reason, we listed and defined a number of words that used commonly/ repeatedly in news stories.The situation in Gaza is a dire humanitarian crisis, with relentless conflict causing widespread destruction, displacement, and a crippling shortage of essential supplies. War crimes committed by Israel against civilians in Gaza should be sanctioned by the global community, although this is unlikely. So we hope that the opinion of western governments will change due to the pressure of their citizens.


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