‘War in Israel and Gaza’ tops 2023 lists of Google searches

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The ongoing conflict in Gaza between Israel and Palestinian militant group Hamas topped Google’s 2023 search list, according to the tech giant.

The top search globally in the “News” category was: “War in Israel and Gaza.” Other categories on the annual record include “People,” “Passings” and “Actors.”

The war in the Gaza Strip — which began Oct. 7 after Hamas launched a surprise attack on Israel, killing 1,200 Israelis and taking over 200 people captive — has recently surpassed the two-month mark, following a short-term pause in fighting.

Over 17,000 people have been killed in the region as a result of Israel’s retaliatory operations, according to the Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry.

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres decried the situation in Gaza as a “spiraling humanitarian nightmare” Friday. 

“The people of Gaza are being told to move like human pinballs – ricocheting between ever-smaller slivers of the south, without any of the basics for survival,” Guterres said Friday. “But nowhere in Gaza is safe.”

Guterres invoked Article 99 of the U.N. Charter last week for the first time, citing the ongoing humanitarian crisis. The move allowed him to bring the attention of the security council to “any matter which in his opinion may threaten the maintenance of international peace and security,” per the organization.

On Friday, the U.S. vetoed a draft U.N. resolution calling for an immediate humanitarian cease-fire.

The second most popular search on Google’s 2023 list was “Titanic submarine” — likely connected to the OceanGate submersible catastrophe earlier this year. The implosion of the submersible, which was on its way to see the wreckage of the infamous Titanic ship, is believed to have killed all five of the passengers, including the company’s CEO and pilot.

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