John Paul II Foundation / Magazine / Conversations / A Palestinian girl's point of view

A Palestinian girl's point of view

My name is Christine, I am Palestinian, born and raised in Bethlehem. A few years ago I came to Italy to continue my studies and participate in a project related to conflict management and peace building. I participated in this project because I believed and still believe that peace can be built in Palestine, but to make peace first justice must be done.

I have experienced wars since I was a child, I have seen the suffering, sadness, anger, resistance and strength of my people. I vividly remember the second intifada and the beginning of the construction of the apartheid wall. I experienced the Israeli occupation and the absence of freedom it caused. In Palestine to say there is no freedom is not rhetoric, it is reality. We cannot move independently from one city to another without Israel's permission. We cannot travel all roads because some are reserved for Israelis, and if, even by accident, a Palestinian travels an Israeli road or approaches a settlement, he risks serious consequences.

In both Gaza and the West Bank, the Israeli government controls water and electricity, and even before the current war it could happen that supplies were cut off. Those who have been to Palestine will have noticed so many cisterns on the roofs of houses: that's it, they are for when Israel takes our water away. To go to Jerusalem we Palestinians have to have a permit from Israel. To get a plane we have to go to Jordan facing a journey that can take up to a day, because we no longer have our airport that was in Gaza.

Israel for decades has been carrying out colonization, which is nothing more than the pulverization of Palestinian territories through occupation with new settlements that are considered illegitimate even by the international community. Moving even a few kilometers can be really complicated. In Gaza, the humanitarian situation and the restriction of personal freedoms is even more severe, since it has been under siege for more than 15 years. For those who have not been to Palestine, it is hard to understand.

And here we are facing another war, with a violence not seen in centuries. This time I am not inside my city that is surrounded by the wall. I don't feel in physical danger but I am devastated by the news coming in. I am also worried about my family.

The images and videos we see are cruel. So many are about children. Do you know what it means to bomb schools, mosques, churches, hospitals? It means not considering human rights and international law at all. Violence should always be condemned. What is happening is not right or humane; there are so many victims. However, it should not be assumed that people are prepared for unlimited forbearance. For more than 75 years the Palestinians have been suffering without anyone doing anything concrete to make Israel comply with the resolutions of the international community. This has generated in the Israelis a sense of impunity that has never made them back down. Now everyone condemns Hamas for attacking Israel but without considering all that the Palestinian people have suffered and are suffering. I think it should be made clear that being Palestinian does not mean being with Hamas. Being Palestinian does not mean being anti-Semitic, it means being against the Zionist state and occupation. To be Palestinian means to fight for freedom.

Living in Italy I see the news that is spread in the West and seeing how the narrative of the story is blatantly in favor of Israel fills my heart with anger. Anger because much of journalism is subservient to politics that uses it to condition public opinion. Unfortunately, so many people stop at what the mainstream media tells them; I urge everyone to check the news that is circulating even if it would not be the job of us citizens. The shadowban phenomenon of blacking out profiles, posts and stories that tell what is happening in Palestine, particularly in Gaza, is happening. People are being arrested in the West Bank because they post content on their social media that shows the reality of these days in Palestine. There is a clear desire to hide the facts.

A full two weeks after the beginning of the bombardment of Gaza, Israel has allowed the entry of twenty trucks of humanitarian aid. Unfortunately, this aid was not enough to cover the needs of even a fraction of the population. Much of it was food, medicine and white sheets for the dead bodies.

With pleasure I see that there are demonstrations all over the world to demand justice and the liberation of Palestine, including by Jews and Israelis who do not agree with the actions of the Israeli government. The voice of the Palestinian people is strong and has reached beyond the wall but by itself it is not enough. I want to believe that sooner or later there will be peace in Palestine but I do not accept that it will come through the systematic and gradual elimination of my people from the face of the Earth.

I hope the violence will end soon and nothing bad will happen to my family. I already know that it will take a long time to recover because the situation of so many families, both health-wise and economically, is getting worse by the day. I hope that at least all this will lead to the achievement of basic rights for Palestinians. I make no secret that in writing these lines I also fear for possible repercussions from Israel when I return to Palestine but I believe it is my duty, as far as possible, to give my point of view. With these words I do not want to arouse sympathy but to stimulate one to explore these issues further.

There will be no peace without the liberation of the Palestinian people.

"Conversations" is the magazine column of the John Paul II Foundation that brings together viewpoints on current issues, society, economics and culture. The goal is to offer a space for dialogue open to all where everyone is free to express their ideas. If you would like to contribute to the debate send us your article to the email

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