We the residents of Dheisheh would like to tell you a little about our lives under this cruel Israeli occupation.
We have lived since the moment of our birth, the life of disposition, the life of a refugee on his own land. Since our childhood - but nothing that resembles childhood- we realized the ugly meaning of occupation, the meaning of being a refugee, the meaning of dispossession and loss.
We understood the meaning of slavery, and we are willing to die to get it back our freedom. We understood the meaning of having and lost, and we now think of nothing else but how to return what is rightfully ours. We only talk about how we can live like other people, in freedom and dignity.
And this is not impossible.
We hear of something called animal rights… when I see a dog being walked by his owner, I wish I was that dog, because this dog’s life is better than what I have to live through.
We grew up in a refugee camp, under occupation, me and there rest of my generation were born before the first intifada of ’87, in that time – even though we were children- we understood what it meant to participate in the intifada, with everything we could we participated, but there was nothing but stones… And we used them…
We continued our resistance with stones for seven years, and when the so-called ‘peace’ was announced, we thought maybe we would see a glimpse of that peace. But with every passing day, we realize that this so called peace is just another form of occupation, occupation through negotiations. Everyone can see the undeniable evidence of this cruel peace; the fact that more Jews have come to Palestine, and the increase in settlements since the Oslo agreements. This lie that was perpetuated resulted in the peoples disillusionment, resulted in increasing the pressure on the people, rejecting the idea of ‘peace’, until the moment Sharon walked into Al Aqsa, it was the spark that forced the people to announce their anger. And the people became convinced that freedom will never come without resistance, this was the birth of the new intifada.
This new intifada saw more than just stones, now we owned light weapons, but even these weapons are nothing compared to the Israeli arsenal. But we have something stronger than all their weapons; we have the will to fight for our freedom. Despite all the martyrs, the injured, deported, and imprisoned, we are still willing to fight, because we are fighting for our freedom. If freedom is not ours it will be for our children, or our grandchildren. As we always say, a child’s smile is stronger than an Israeli warplane.
This is our message:
To all who claim they are human beings
To all people
Regardless of their color, religion, or race
which knows of animals rights, But knows nothing of other nations dignity independance
To the west, east, north, and the south
To all who lead a nation or people
To everyone who has a conscience you must wake up !
There are a people called Palestinians
There is a land occupied and raped
This is Palestine
Innocent of all other names
A people surrounded by all means of oppression
There are children that die everyday of hunger
There are refugee camps
With residents holding UNRWA cards
There are American/Israeli warplanes
Assassinating the old and murdering the young
There are Israeli soldiers
All this in the face of a defenseless people
But who wants life, will live despite them
We will not kneel, and will not surrender
Who wants freedom will die for it
From the refugee camps of Palestine to the world, despite of the distance, despite of the curfew, despite the days we lived in tents, I send you this message: I am a refugee, and I will not offer an olive branch, because I know that in Oslo we were not even mentioned.
From the children of Palestine, from the children of the birthplace of Christ, from the children of Dhiesheh refugee camp, these are our words despite all the weapons, and the barbed wire, despite the fact that we do not even own our own livelihood; because of the rape of Jerusalem we must fight, and we must win. Good must win over evil. We must taste the freedom we have been deprived of all our lives. We must tier up one day those UNRWA cards, and we must return to our original towns and villages. One day we must see a flag with the bright Palestinian colors fly high above the mosques and churches of this holy land, in spite of America and Israel, and in spite of those who dare to call us terrorists.
We are peace loving, and we are dieing for it. We are the ones who created it, and they are the ones that kill who dreams or thinks of it. They are the ones who killed Rabin, and want to kill Arafat. They are the ones who killed Mohammed al Durra, Eman Hijo, and Faris Oda. You must understand, when these children were killed, they killed with them any prospect of peace.
To Arial Sharon who disillusions the Israeli people with his grand plans, your defence shield was destroyed by our stone throwing children, and the Palestinian resisters. To you who claim you are a man of peace, to you from the children of Palestine, we say: give us our land and freedom, and we will give you your security.
This is the only solution for my people and your ilk.