In The Shadow of the Israel-Hamas Conflict: One Palestinian Perspective
Foreign Policy Brief #97 | By: Aziza Taslaq | November 6, 2023
Photo taken from: bnn.network
The Israel-Hamas conflict, a decades-long struggle, has had a profound impact on the lives of ordinary Palestinian citizens. In this interview, we dig deeper into the experiences and perspectives of Sara, a young woman from the West Bank with roots in the city of Nablus, Palestine. One thing I should mention is that Sara does not support Hamas, but she does not condemn it either; she believes in the right to resist. Her story reflects the complex emotions and challenges many Palestinians face in the region.
daily life has been fundamentally shaped by the Israel-Hamas Sara’s conflict. She has been affected psychologically and physically. Since the conflict began, Sara has started to suffer from insomnia due to the images and videos she watches on social media platforms. She has also suffered from eye pain and hand joint stiffness because of her lack of sleep and overuse of her phone during this challenging time.
Every night, Israeli soldiers enter the city she lives in, Nablus, and she can hear gunfire. The West Bank is now riddled with checkpoints, and cities are commonly locked down. The presence of settlers adds a layer of threats, making ordinary life a constant struggle. Living in a state of insecurity is emotionally draining, taking a toll on Sara’s mental well-being.
Tragedy has struck Sara’s life as well. She recently lost a schoolmate to ongoing violence. Her friends in Gaza, too, bear the scars of the conflict. One friend was shot in the hand and had to treat his wounds independently due to limited access to medical facilities. Another friend, Anas, who now resides in Turkey, has suffered the profound loss of seven family members, including his brother, three nephews, an uncle, and two cousins.
Sara’s perspective on how the conflict should end reflects a deep longing for justice and peace. In her view, the resolution lies in Israelis leaving Palestinian territories. She makes a crucial distinction between peaceful Jews and those she holds responsible for the crimes committed. Sara does not endorse the two-state solution, asserting that the land belongs to Palestinians who were forcibly displaced. She envisions an independent Palestinian state coexisting with peaceful Jewish individuals who share the history of the land.
Sara seeks a just outcome that includes an end to the Gaza blockade. Her dream is of a Palestinian state free from Israeli presence while welcoming peaceful Jews who have been a part of historic Palestine. She advocates for the rights of Palestinians who were displaced from their homes, lands, and possessions.
Sara, like many Palestinians, believes that governance in Gaza should be transparent, accountable, and responsive to the needs of its citizens. She aspires to see democratic elections and a government that prioritizes the well-being and aspirations of the people. Despite the current control of Gaza by Hamas, she holds hope for a government that serves the interests of its people.
The Israel-Hamas conflict has cast a long shadow over the lives of ordinary Palestinian citizens, with Sara’s story offering a poignant illustration of their experiences, opinions, and dreams for a brighter future. It is still a difficult path to achieve permanent peace, which has been severely torn and complicated by the conflict. Sara, like many others, is desperate for the right solution that can bring about peace and prosperity to all those affected by the conflict.