A letter from Palestine

In a letter by Abdelfattah Abusrour of the Alrowwad Centre for Arts and Culture in Palestine, he provides a firsthand account of the bombardment and suffering in Gaza while calling for international solidarity to end the oppression and violence.


Gaza continues to endure unceasing bombardment.

Friends in Gaza are exhausted with no sleep possible through the continuous thunderous noise of bombardment everywhere on the strip. They are scared – their children terrified. There is no electricity and supermarket shelves are empty. One big supermarket has shut down. Households are running low on their food supplies.

UNRWA is working hard to try and provide shelter for those who are fleeing their homes on the borders, for those who are scared and for those whose homes have been destroyed by bombs. People are doing what they can to also help those left homeless. As this is being written thousands are being sheltered in UNRWA schools with that number continuously rising with each bomb.

Nowhere is safe.

Abdelfattah Abusrour writes:

War has been declared.

For the first time in 75 years and for the first time in the 30 years since its isolation and segregation from the West Bank, Gaza has broken free. After 16 years of complete lockdown living in the world’s largest open air prison, resistance has taken its destiny in its own hands and shown the world that patience has its limits and oppression cannot dominate. No people should be occupied indefinitely. It must end. No amount of money in the world can ever buy peace.

The 7th October 2023 marked a new page in the history of Palestinian resistance. Despite knowing that a huge price will be paid, Palestine stopped waiting for the world to act. For decades the occupation and its crimes have gone unchecked. War declared and the destruction of Gaza has continued year on year. No accountability for bombardments, destruction and devastation. Innocent people pay the highest price as their lives are torn apart. Lives, properties and hope destroyed. And the world has watched silently…

Collective punishment has continued with predictable regularity. 

The West Bank and Eastern part of Jerusalem, and other regions are all rising up to show that Gaza is not alone. The shout of the oppressed is heard and supported. The human tragedy will not be ignored. All of Palestine stands together to demonstrate that Gaza is supported politically and economically as well as with our thoughts and prayers.

We deplore the death of all these innocent lives.

Alrowwad acted immediately after the lockdown of Bethlehem-Jerusalem checkpoints, to offer accommodation for those who cannot return to their homes because of the closures. We are on standby to receive anyone who needs a place to stay in Alrowwad guest house. It is the least we can do in such tragic times until the situation calms down which clearly might take more than a few days. 

Many countries have aligned themselves with the occupation’s right to defend itself. Where were they over the past 75 years as land has been taken and any attempts to defend against land theft quashed? Attempts to defend and prevent violence and land grabs are met with accusations of terrorism. Everybody should have the right to defend themselves, not just a selected few. And the world has watched silently..

Your solidarity is important to stop this oppression and injustice. Everybody has the right to defend oneself. It is not just the oppressor at the expense of the oppressed.

Your support is needed however possible. We will continue to work to support those who are in need; defend what is just and what is right regardless of the international political hypocrisy. We are proud of all those who join us in raising their voices for justice and support of the Palestinian (and all oppressed people) right to defend themselves, We are proud of those who show that justice is based on equality and not compromises and hypocrisy. We are proud of those who demonstrate to make their governments hear their shouts, and of those who find different ways to support our work and actions to serve our people with respect and dignity.

The killing of innocent human beings must stop, justice should prevail and oppressors should be accountable for their crimes whoever they are.    

Abdelfattah Abusrour, Alrowwad Centre for Arts and Culture

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