I would like to share with you my story during the latest round of violence.
I have lived my whole life in Gaza, and throughout my life I have witnessed attacks and destruction of people’s homes, people being killed and violations of human rights.
The recent Israeli military offensive on the Gaza Strip in November 2012, code-named operation Pillar of Cloud or Pillar of Defense by Israeli officials, was very close to my house. The operation claimed the lives of over 170 Palestinians in 8 days, most of them are civilians, including over 40 children.
The Israeli attacks on Gaza were escalating. The Israeli military navy was shelling from the sea, the F-16 warplanes, Apache helicopters and drones from the sky, and the tanks from the ground ... where to hide?!
Since the start of the latest Israeli offensive on Gaza, Israeli warplanes have been bombing and shelling several locations in the area near our house, very near our house. With each bombardment, we felt our house shake like an earthquake and windows break and shatter everywhere, not to mention our utter fear and horror. I had a small injury in the back of my head when one of our windows broke. It’s nothing compared with what other civilians experienced in Gaza.
Nowhere was safe in Gaza, and there was nowhere to hide from the bombings because the Israeli warplanes were indiscriminately targeting all areas. Every day in Gaza was more painful and heartbreaking than the past. Everyone here was terrorized and traumatized from the never-ending bombardments. What was happening in Gaza was catastrophic beyond words and it was very hard to make sense of the current situation or make future predictions.
What I witnessed and experienced during the latest military assault on Gaza is indescribable!”
What happened in Gaza in a densely populated urban area was a “planned humanitarian disaster”, and a real crime against humanity. Despite this extremely difficult situation, we are still holding on, waiting for the siege on Gaza to end and hoping with it the 46 years of occupation will also leave our lives once and for all.
What ended the latest round of violence was a truce mediated by Egypt, and signed by Israel and military factions in Gaza.
Israel threatened to resume attacks on Gaza if truce fails. And since the ceasefire was effectual on November 21st, 2012, Israel has violated Palestinian airspace and waters, harassed, arrested, shot and killed Gazans.
The Al-Quds Brigades, the military wing of the Islamic Jihad in Gaza said they will not accept more violations of the truce. They warned in a statement that Israeli ongoing and flagrant violations of the truce will undermine the deal and force factions to respond in a suitable manner.
This madness of both sides has to stop. Actually we, as a community, fear the period between Christmas and New Years because Israel has started to use this period to instigate more violence, as the rest of the world is celebrating their holiday season.
I am a professional translator and peace activist and I have many friends across the border. Some of them are peace activists who want peace and justice for the Palestinian people, and others are just ordinary people who wish to live in peace with the Palestinian people based on equal human rights. They are great and amazing in every way.
These friends help me to remain human and keep myself sane and strong. They are the light for me, and I am a better person because of them. And for that, for them, I am so grateful.
Why I want peace:
I want peace because, in my opinion, there is no military solution for the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, not on the Palestinian side, not on the Israeli side. It’s not about who can win militarily. I refuse to commit another generation of Palestinians and Israelis to thinking either side can win by the use of force. Israel has proved it can't win, and Palestinians have proved we can't lose, so where do we go from here? From killing 1400 Gazans in 2008 to over 170 in 2012, to how many next year or the year after ... where will it stop? This is insane.
We must consciously choose a point of reference. For me, it is international law. I can't accept the law of the jungle because that's never ending, and in such a game, there are no roles.
Palestinians and Israelis must all speak out for the madness to stop, the IDF ongoing attacks and the Palestinian missiles.
We are not Palestinians or Israelis today, we are human beings and we must act as such and demand the coming rounds of violence to stop.
Palestinian residents in Gaza desire to exercise their right to enjoy a normal life like the rest of humanity, and I am sure the same applies for Israeli residents on the other side of the border.
My message is clear. Palestinian and Israeli leaders must return to the negotiating table and come to some agreement about how to settle their differences and work things out. I believe it is important for the two parties to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict to reopen their dialogue without delay. The Israelis and Palestinians deserve a chance to live in peace. The leaders of both sides must start talking again. I stress that a lasting peace had to be found through dialogue, on the basis of the two-state principle.
Palestinian, Israeli children and residents on both sides of the border deserve peace and normal lives.
We call on the Israeli and Palestinian leadership to show courage and determination to seek an agreement for a two-state solution that can open up a brighter future for Palestinian and Israeli children.
We, Palestinian and Israeli civilians on both sides of the border are the victims. We deserve the right to live normal lives. We must speak out and call upon our leaders to end the violence once and for all, find the ways to sit down and talk, end the attacks and the siege on Gaza, and stop playing with our lives.
Let us hope that our leaders would listen to our call … and let us pray that sanity, peace and justice prevail in Israel-Hamas relations and that children of both sides are not traumatized any longer.
Violence won’t stop until we talk!
Interests and activities:
- Participating in peace and humanitarian, activities, events, courses, seminars and conferences
- Social communication with people
- Listening to music
Something you didn't know about me:
I am a professional translator (Arabic/English - English/Arabic)
How is everything with you, I picked interest on you after going through your short profile and deemed it necessary to write you immediately. I have something very vital to disclose to you, but I found it difficult to express myself here, since it's a public site.Could you please get back to me on:( firstname.lastname@example.org) for the full details.
I am the founder and the organizer of : Iartexpo art as a bridge for peace, International art expo and exhibit, a non profit organization, to help Israelis and Palestinians artists, to exhibit together to dialogue together.. Here in Israel. and (hope) in Ramallah