The “War in Israel and Gaza” tops Google’s most searched news-related stories in 2023 worldwide, surpassing searches for ‘Titanic Submarine’ and ‘Turkey Earthquake’, according to the search engine’s Year in Search.
Google annually releases its top search data for the year for several categories, including news, sports teams, people, and recipes, as well as several other categories.
A graph on Google Trends shows a clear spike for the war-related search term in the week of October 7, when the latest conflict broke out.
On October 7, Hamas militants staged an incursion into the southern Israeli border, in which officials say 1,200 Israelis were killed and about 240 were taken hostage. Israel has retaliated by relentlessly bombing the enclave and launching a ground invasion.
More than 17,500 Palestinians have been killed by Israel since the first week of October, according to the Palestinian health ministry.
Israel’s war on the besieged territory has drawn international outrage, with hundreds of thousands of people from around the world taking part in weekly protests in several cities – including London, Paris, Barcelona, Amman, Beirut – to call for a ceasefire and the entry of aid into the territory.
Minute-by-minute updates on the situation in Gaza have been shared online by Palestinian civilians and journalists on the ground, such as Motaz Azaiza, Plestia Alaqad, and Saleh al-Jaafrawi.
UN agencies have warned that Palestinians in Gaza are out of places to hide from Israel’s bombardment and supplies of food, water, and other basic needs are quickly running out.
Google search data shows a drop in search volume for the topic over time, starting about three weeks after the onset.
Google has also released top search data “of all time” across various specific categories since the data first became available in 2004, including the most-Googled Grammy winner of all time, the highest-searched athlete, and the most-searched movie or TV cast.
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