News from Palestine: The Messenger Refuses to Be Killed


David Adams | Transition to a Culture of Peace – TRANSCEND Media Service

15 May 2021 – The Israeli government has bombed the headquarters of Associated Press and Al Jazeera in Gaza, trying to limit messages from the Palestinian people to describe their suffering.

But the messenger refuses to be killed.  Here are some of the messages I have received from people in Palestine.

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It’s been two weeks since we have all been witness to what is happening in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in East Jerusalem. News agencies have been covering the news and the violence of the Israeli settlers and army there. Tens of Palestinian activists were arrested, rubber bullets and tear gas was harshly used. Why all this? Because Palestinians are demonstrating in response to the eviction (ethnic cleansing) of 28 families from their homes in order to establish a new illegal settlement. The Nakbah, (the catastrophe that started in 1948) continues until this day.

This violence has not stopped since then and has intensified since the Israeli military occupation of East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza in 1967. Palestinians have been severely oppressed by the direct Israeli military occupation, home demolition policy, land confiscation, administrative detention, restrictions of movement, abuse of natural resources and denial of freedom to worshiping for Palestinian Christians and Muslims in Jerusalem. Those acts have only been condemned by the International community which have never taken any steps to put Israel accountable for the oppression.

We at Holy Land Trust believe that as Palestinians we have to shape a future vision to see lasting and just peace in the Holy Land grounded by honoring the dignity and rights of all peoples through nonviolence, to resist the Israeli oppression and occupation in East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza.

We truly believe that violence only brings violence and hatred, and we cannot stop the circle of violence without healing our inherited traumas and fears, as well as raising awareness within the Israeli community about the daily acts of the Israeli settlers and army in the occupied territories, and create advocacy and solidarity to push Israel to end its bitter occupation of people and lands.

Jerusalem is a sacred city to all the monotheistic religions that can symbolize peace, harmony, acceptance of the other, and a space where everyone must enjoy freedom to worship.

We at Holy Land Trust highly condemn all acts of violence towards Palestinian Christian and Muslim worshippers in Jerusalem, and all kinds of violence implemented by the settlers against the innocent people of Sheikh Jarrah.

We kindly ask all of our friends around the globe to put pressure on their governments to stop Israel and its Apartheid system in Palestine, and to work together towards building a safe future to the coming generations in this land that we all call HOLY!

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The last barbaric act of Israel is killing an entire family is Shati’ Refugee camp, one of the most overcrowded in Gaza and a home for 103,000 people living in an area 0.7 square kilometres. Children and  women killed as they’re sleeping. Paramedic told Al-Jazeera they are trying to save as many parts as possible from these bodies so they can be buried. In this picture, only a two-month baby Omar survived. This is a massacre of defenceless population. Please act, protest, share the message, write to your local elected parliamentarian demand to stop this unprecedented aggression on young community of refugee children and women in Gaza. #GazaUnderAttack

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In Gaza, it is challenging for parents to provide security and safety for their young children, because they themselves are feeling unsafe, unsecured and in a state of trauma. My sister, Alaa, a mother and caregiver for two little children said “As bombs continue to fall, my little one who is barely speaking cannot stop saying: Mama khaf Mama khaf (Mum I’m frightened, Mum I am frightened)

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Today I spoke with my family in Gaza. All of them are ready to be the target of death. They said to me that last night was a terrifying and horrible experience for them, unimaginable. My sisters said it was like the sky rained with showers of bombs. Tonight, my sisters and mom are wearing several layers of clothing so they are completely covered. They are holding their small hand bags. They told me, if we die we need to die with our bodies covered.

My heart beats fast. In that moment I was silent. I don’t know what to say to them. I hear their tone of voice is the true horror of what they feel. Now the bombing is being repeated in northern Gaza where my family and friends live. Pray for them


Dr. David Adams is a member of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace Development Environment and coordinator of the Culture of Peace News Network. He retired in 2001 from UNESCO where he was the Director of the Unit for the UN International Year for the Culture of Peace.  Previously, at Yale and Wesleyan Universities, he was a specialist on the brain mechanisms of aggressive behavior, the history of the culture of war, and the psychology of peace activists, and he helped to develop and publicize the Seville Statement on Violence. Send him an email.

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