Concerned Voices from Palestine. ‘Sounds of screaming children (in Gaza) were louder than the missiles.’

Here are responses from people in Palestine I have read in the past week on social media and in several links in an email message from a Palestinian activist and friend. At times, I have drawn two or more extracts from the same person(s).

At least 222 people were killed in the Israeli bombardment of Gaza, according to health authorities, including 63 children. Israeli bombs hit residential blocks, Ministry for Health, Gaza’s only laboratory for testing for Covid-19, international media offices, streets and cemetery. At least 12 people were killed in Hamas rocket attacks on Israel, including two children. One child was a Palestinian.

  • It had been intense. I didn’t sleep all this time. Maybe one hour here and there.
  • I am only 10. I can’t deal with this anymore. I just want to be a doctor or anything to help my people but I can’t. I’m just a kid. (Interview in English with a tearful girl in Gaza surrounded by bombed buildings. 13.8 million views worldwide on Facebook).
  • I do not consider myself an ‘Israeli Arab’. I am Palestinian.
  • The new generation (of Palestinians) who is fearless refuse to live in the master-servant style.
  • I see something that has been dormant for decades, stirring, coming alive.
  • This struggle has been characterised by long periods of quiet. Israel mistakes quiet for acquiescence.
  • Who will protect us from the settlers and the Israeli forces?
  • All of us, also for the Israelis, are trapped in this hate and revenge.
  • For the first time in my life I can see light at the end of our long tunnel.
  • Sounds of screaming children (in Gaza) were louder than the missiles.
  • Palestinian leaders are not the drivers of this movement. They are being driven by it.
  • Israel cannot prevent videos of anguished Gazan children from spreading like wildfire over social media.
  • A new generation is stepping up. They are younger than me. They take orders from no-one and they are rising.
  • I remember your story about the olive tree seed that take it 70 years to be a tree. This story became the climate of my consciousness (email from a Palestinian friend).
  • I cannot recall, for years, Palestinians of all backgrounds, factions, Muslims, Christians, atheists, being united under one goal.
  • There is no place for any kind of hate crime in the Palestinian movement.
  • Nobody comprehends that there’s no safe place in Gaza. No-one actually knows when it’s their last day.
  • Every time I hear a bomb, I feel panicked and instantly call home to check on my family,
  • It is an endless circle of fear and exhaustion.
  • I could feel the joy of resistance, the love for freedom and liberation.
  • We will not give up.
  • Gaza is all about defiance and making the impossible possible. We’ll do it.

From the New York Times. Photos of children who died during bombing of Gaza.

Photo shows two children, Zaid Talbani, 4, and sister, Miriam, 2, who died in the bombing of Gaza.
From a collection of photos in the New York Times of children of Gaza who died.

BACKGROUND. I gave numerous workshops on transforming suffering in Palestine.
The visits to Palestine including meetings with the elders in Nablus,
giving workshops on non-violence to young Palestinians and going to Palestinian villages near Jerusalem with a coachload of Israelis.
I visited Israel every year, and twice a year for about 15 years,
between 1992 and 2019 offering retreats, workshops and public meetings.
This gave the opportunity to listen to thousands of Israelis.
Sadly, very few Israelis and Palestinians have shared experiences with each other.

Time for Change.

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