There are many twists in the fate of Palestinians, particularly in the Gaza Strip, but in Palestine as a whole. They are all significant steps in the one million mile journey of my people. Gaza, not more than 360 square kilometres, may be a tiny spot of land on the map, but for many around the world it has become legendary, the embodiment of steadfastness and perseverance for an epoch. Currently bled dry by the Siege imposed for three years now, it still prides itself on teaching the rest of the world what dignity and honour mean. Impoverished families whose houses were demolished in front of their eyes remain unbowed, not willing to give up. Families who lost loved ones in their battle for freedom are determined more than ever. Their plights and misfortunes have only made them stronger, more adamant in their pursuit of liberty. This is the image with which we welcome a visitor to Gaza.
Four years ago, it was an everyday occurrence to hear clashes of gunfire in the streets of Gaza, Palestinian on Palestinian gunfire or Israeli incursions. Above our heads and whenever they wished to, the Israeli Occupation Air Forces could strike a car, a house or a person without prior warning. My home used to be a peaceful area, but I remember four years ago hearing an exchange of heavy gunfire so close that I decided to call the police emergency number: it felt as if the bullets were about to come through my windows. I was worried about my newborn babies. The best answer I could muster from the emergency service was:” What can I do sister, it’s a chaotic country we live in”.
As you walk along the streets and alleys, today, you will see ordinary people, children playing in the streets and alleys, men and women rushing back from their jobs, and order and security back in the streets from which they have long been absent. How, you might ask, can the people of Gaza go about their ordinary lives after such a horrific war? Are they pretending that nothing has happened or is it something else? Yes: it is something else. On this holy land, there is no place for cowardice or retreat. One has only one recourse which is to heal the wounds, wipe the tears and move on. It is one of those situations which echoes: To be or not to be. The people of Gaza have chosen to be. [continued…]
British lawmakers have released a report urging the government to talk with moderates in the Palestinian militant group Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip.
The British Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee said the current policy of not talking to Hamas is achieving little.
The report published Sunday reinforces a recommendation the committee made two years ago. [continued…]