There Is No Such Thing As A Ceasefire For Palestinians
“If I don’t steal it, someone else is gonna steal it.”
Finally, after 11 days of constant bombings and attacks on Palestinian civilians, the call for a ceasefire has been made. The whole world took a collective sigh of relief: no more collapsing buildings or destroyed homes. But as we celebrate, we must not forget the big picture, Palestine is still an Apartheid state under the Occupation.
This is something that we have seen often happens around the world. A massive humanitarian crisis brings us all together to advocate for the victims. We rage a social media war, bringing attention to a media ignored horror. And finally, when the crisis ends, and a temporary peace is on the way, we go back to how things were. Since the immediate problem has ended, what is there left to do?
Do you remember the Gaza War of 2014? In case you forgot, here’s a refresher. The Occupation attacked the Gaza Strip for 50 days, bombing and killing innocent civilians, much like what has happened now. The social media attention was not as strong as it is now, which is how they got away with killing 2,205 Palestinian, over half of which were civilians. 50 days of attacks. 50 days of terror. 50 days of fresh nightmares for children and families decimated and killed.
I am not trying to be a pessimist. I am happy there is a ceasefire. However, I do not see this as a complete win. Innocent people have died, and many have lost their homes. But it’s also temporary. While it seems the nightmare has come to an end, Palestinians are still living in hell. Palestine is an Apartheid State. If a Palestinian wanted to go to work in the West Bank, they have to go through several checkpoints and have the necessary paperwork to be let in. They can’t drive their vehicles through, so they have to use bus services and taxis to go to where they need to be. If there is a delay at a checkpoint, they will be late for work and suffer the consequences. They also need permission slips to travel within the state. Seeking healthcare as a Palestinian is nothing short of an uphill battle to see if they can get help on time. Palestinians are being treated as something that is less than human. I’ve seen animals get treated better.
One of the many videos that have been circulating social media was that of IDF soldiers cheering as they shot a few teenagers that were trying to throw rocks at them. The worst part was they were considering using live ammunition. A different video that was also being circulated was that of IDF snipers shooting a teenager. In the video, one soldier is heard whispering, “Film it,” while another soldier responded, “What a legendary video”. Another displayed the different t-shirts made for the IDF soldiers. One had a pregnant lady in a target with the words “one-shot two kills”. Another t-shirt is of a mother crying over her dead child, a giant condom wrap is enclosing them with the words “better use Durex’’. There are many more, but to me, these highlighted the level to which these monsters viewed the Palestinians.
Another video that was also circulating the internet is that of a Zionist individual, not a soldier, a citizen, shooting a woman in the street and placing a gun next to her body. The reason for putting the gun next to the dead woman is for the citizen to claim he did it in “self-defence”. Another video showed a man taking over a Palestinian home. The woman living there tells him that he is stealing her house, to which he promptly responded with, “If I don’t steal it, someone else is gonna steal it”.
Let that sink in for a moment. These videos are just samples, a small collection from a much larger pool of crimes documented but never persecuted. Not to mention, these videos were taken in a time of “peace”.
One nightmare ended, but Palestinians are still living in hell. Just as I was writing this, news reports are coming out that the Occupation’s police are storming Al Aqsa Mosque and attacking Palestinians celebrating the ceasefire following the ceasefire.
They will never feel safe. They will never know peace. There is no guarantee that they might live to see another day. I am angered beyond words, horrified, and disgusted. Everywhere I look I see Palestinians criminalized for being alive. School children, CHILDREN, are arrested. Can you see the terror in the children's eyes? I can’t unsee it.
I know, this sounds very depressing. It almost seems like there is no light at the end of the tunnel. You might ask yourself, what more can I do? I wish I had a solid answer to this question. I wish I could snap my fingers and end this Occupation, but life doesn’t work that way. But what we can do is keep the Palestinian voices alive. Keep sharing their stories and amplifying their voices. Keep them alive in our hearts and actions. We can boycott companies that are affiliated with the Occupation. We can support those who directly help Palestine.
No action is too small or insignificant. When the Shaikh Jarrah story broke out, and as the bombs dropped on Gaza we amplified the Palestinian turmoil all over the world. In Italy, dockworkers refused to load weapons meant to go to the Occupation. Pakistan is sending out medical aid, Egypt is providing $500 million in aid, and Kuwait has announced a law that anyone who supports the Occupation will be fined KD 5000 and jailed for 10 years. We did this, and we must continue.