“Searching for infant formula has become a futile quest. We change milk types for our children, tears in their eyes, as we cry for necessities. Infants born in tents receive water and sugar due to the unavailability of milk.

Amid this struggle for life’s details, the war has humiliated us. It has stripped away our humanity, dignity and self-esteem. We are left homeless, barefoot and exposed in streets and tents.

In the face of such adversity, we find ourselves alone, bearing witness to a battle we cannot match. Gaza lacks the resources of a superpower, unable to withstand the onslaught of massive military equipment funded by the United States.

I have seen extravagance in life, luxury and money spending, but I did not expect to see extravagance in the use of weapons that destroy stones and people.”

— Palestinian journalist Maram Humaid, Deir al Balah, Gaza, Palestine

Laila Shawa, ‘The Sponsors’

“Refaat’s uncle, Tayseer Alareer, was killed by Israeli forces while he was working on his land in 2001 to the east of Al Shujaiya [in Gaza city] and his brother Hamada was also killed by Israel in 2014.

Around the same time, Refaat’s family house was also destroyed. When Israelis destroy a home, the occupants return after a while to collect valuables like jewelry or family heirlooms and photos; Refaat dug into the heap of concrete and steel looking for writings of his students.

…Refaat didn’t die, he multiplied, as Palestinian writer Susan Abulhawa says, because Refaat is an idea and ideas don’t die.”

— Palestinian scholar Yousef Aljamal, Kuala Lumpur

At the George Washington University encampment, Washington DC

“When I was approached to write for this book, the promise was that it will effect change and that policies, especially in the United States, will be improved. But, honestly, will they? Does a single Palestinian life matter? Does it? Reader, as you peruse these chapters, what can or will you do, knowing that what you do can save lives and can change the course of history? Reader, will you make this matter? Gaza is not and should not be a priority only when Israel is shedding Palestinian blood en masse. Gaza, as the epitome of the Palestinian Nakba, is suffocating and being butchered right in front of our eyes and often live on TV or on social media. It shall pass, I keep hoping. It shall pass, I keep saying. Sometimes I mean it. Sometimes I don’t. And as Gaza keeps gasping for life, we struggle for it to pass, we have no choice but to fight back and to tell her stories. For Palestine.”

— Palestinian intellectual Refaat Alareer (1979–2023, Gaza City, Palestine

New York City


Islamic University of Gaza, Palestine

Al Azhar University, Gaza, Palestine

“Neither America nor Europe, as Aimè Cèsaire said, seem able or willing to solve their colonial addiction, their civilizational motif. Israel is a translation of that failure, a prized Western desire. But Israel has agency in mechanizing this desire.

I am terrified to think that the steady snail-pace of pro-Palestinian solidarity in the US has not recognized how largely it has leaned on the near absolute condition of Palestinian suffering. As long as Palestinians are the sole recipients of death, dying, and wretched life, solidarity with them gains in legitimacy. Any disruption in this balance—which never alters the Palestinians as the landslide majority owners of misery—must be attacked, contained, belittled with moral superiority by allies who had not said much of anything previously about Israel’s decades-long atrocities.

But I have a more daring question. The Israeli people at large, the Jewish communities outside Israel that identify strongly or faintly, defensively or hawkishly with Israel, the mainstream Western world, and all expressions of Zionism, what do they want from Palestinians?

In the best-case scenario, I do not think they really know. I am terrified to think that this relentless progression of dispossession and carnage against the Palestinians has reached irreversible, irrational levels. In my dark hours, which increase by the year, I wonder if Israel is unable to examine or defuse its impulse to test the limits of genocide against the Palestinians—because it has not been able to process the genocide that the Nazis committed against the Jewish people. A genocide that was made possible by centuries of European antisemitism, pogroms, silence, and looking away.”

— Palestinian American physician and poet Fady Joudah, Houston, Texas

“My name is Aaron Bushnell, I am an active duty member of the US Air Force, and I will no longer be complicit in genocide. I'm about to engage in an extreme act of protest, but compared to what people have been experiencing in Palestine at the hands of their colonizers, it's not extreme at all. This is what our ruling class has decided will be normal. Free Palestine!”

“Over many centuries, Palestine had been the object of wars and conquerors who came and went, but not before mixing with the local inhabitants and leaving their mark in the genetic, cultural and even linguistic makeup of the Palestinian people.

The only way an exclusive and exclusionist Jewish state could be created was by the forced physical removal of this society, which began in earnest in 1947 by highly trained and well-funded armed groups of European Jews.

When fledgling Arab nations intervened on behalf of their Palestinian brethren, their disorganised, smaller and weaker forces with their outdated weaponry were no match for the nascent Jewish state.

In the axiom that history is written by the victors, this moment became known as Israel’s war of ‘independence’. It is perhaps the only time in history when a group of foreigners have invaded and conquered a land, taken its cities and gardens, then claimed “independence” from the native population of that land.

Thus began the perversion of language that continues to subsidise and propagate power.”

— Palestinian writer Susan Abulhawa, Yardley, Pennsylvania

Palestinian artist Laila Shawa was born in Gaza city in 1940 and studied art in Cairo and Rome. She taught art at UNRWA schools for Palestinian children expelled to Beirut and returned to Gaza at the outbreak of war in the 70s.

“I come from a long line of strong women. My grandmothers were very powerful; my mother was a follower of Simone de Beauvoir. I grew up as an equal and always believed in the power (and to some extent the supremacy) of women. Watching women subdued—but above all, seeing women accept it—is something I could not accept.”

Shawa wanted the younger generation to “read history from the correct point of view. The problem with the Palestinian issue is that it is discussed from the middle of the story while ignoring totally the origins of the conflict. Most people don’t know the real history of what happened in Palestine. History is written by the victors and the truth is distorted. The information is there for those who care to find it.”

Shawa died in London in October 2022.

“They will have killed ten, twenty, thirty thousand people and made life itself a living hell for those left behind, and accomplished nothing more than a venting of their vengeful bloodlust. But they will have nourished and watered the growing sense around the world—not in the Western corridors of power, but in the streets hosting demonstrators in their hundreds of thousands—that the real problem with which the world must contend is not the symptom, but the cause: not the result of six decades of occupation and apartheid, including Hamas, but the condition of occupation and apartheid itself.

“The bitter irony is that Gaza itself holds the keys to this realization. It is the living outcome of Israel’s dispossession of the Palestinians going back to 1948. The transitory nature of life there—huge urban neighborhoods misleadingly called ‘camps’—has for all these years been a constant reminder that the overwhelming majority of the people in Gaza are not from Gaza. They are from Isdood, Simsim, Najd, and other communities within an hour’s walk of the fences and walls that seal them off from their own land. They or their parents were driven into Gaza during the creation of a state whose foundation required their expulsion; they have been corralled there ever since because their freedom is irreconcilable with a state project premised on ethnic cleansing and genocidal violence. That state project is the prime mover of this conflict. It has been since 1948, and it will be until this racially exclusive enterprise involving apartheid, occupation, and death is brought to an end and a new state is formed in its place, constituted on the basis of inclusion, democracy, and equality for all. That is the only way out, and its sheer straightforwardness is made clear by Gaza itself: if only those fences and walls were dismantled and the majority of Gazans were allowed to walk home, this entire nightmare would be brought to an end.”

— Palestinian Lebanese American critic Saree Makdisi, Los Angeles, California

George Washington University, April 25

NABLUS – Colonial Israeli settlers uprooted dozens of olive trees today in the village of Qusra, located south of Nablus in the occupied West Bank, according to local sources. Fuad Hassan, a local activist, reported to WAFA that the settlers plowed more than 30 dunums [7 acres] of land in the Al-Furn area north of the village and uprooted dozens of decades-old olive trees. Hassan explained that the settlers seized the uprooted trees, noting that the local Palestinian citizens were unable to access the area due to the Israeli army providing protection for the settlers in their rampage. The incident adds to the ongoing challenges faced by Palestinian farmers in the region, as settler attacks on agricultural lands continue to escalate, exacerbating tensions in the area.

‘Trapped II’