Doomsday Clock stays 90 seconds to midnight over Gaza fears

Doomsday Clock stays 90 seconds to midnight over Gaza fears
The Doomsday Clock stays at the closest point to midnight since it was first launched, at just 90 seconds to midnight.
2 min read
23 January, 2024
The Doomsday Clock reflects the realities of war, disease and technology [Getty]

The Gaza war was a key factor in keeping the Doomsday Clock at 90 seconds to midnight - the most dangerous point ever for humankind.

The design, managed by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists since 1945, is intended to warn the public about the dangers of a catastrophe happening.

Israel's assault on Gaza has been a key concern, with the utter devastation of the besieged territory speaking fears of a regional conflict.

Israeli ministers have even threatened to nuke Gaza and forcibly expel the population.

"The war in Gaza between Israel and Hamas has the potential to escalate into a wider Middle Eastern conflict that could pose unpredictable threats, regionally and globally," the scientists said in a statement.

Israel's war on Gaza has killed at least 25,000 people, the vast majority women and children, completely obliterated the coastal enclave.

It has also put the 2.3 million population of the verge of a major catastrophe with disease and famine.

It has also threatened to draw regional powers into conflict with nuclear-armed Israel, particularly Iran and its proxies, 

The scientists also warned of an "unprecedented risk" of war, AI, and climate change.

Russia's war on Ukraine remains a danger to global stability and a key factor in moving the clock to the 90 seconds point in 2023.

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists was founded in 1945 by scientists including Albert Einstein and J. Robert Oppenheimer.

It annually sets the clock, relying on a board of experts on nuclear technology and climate science. The clock was first unveiled during the Cold War tensions that followed World War Two.

Reuters contributed to this story.