‘This is the second Nakba. The time to act is now’

Sending a message from inside Gaza, Palestinian journalist and activist Ahmed Abu Artema calls for global protests to prevent a repeat of history.

I’m recording this message from Gaza.

I don’t have the words to describe the dire situation here right now. There is no food, there is no water, there are no supplies. Outside the few shops that remain open, long lines of people wait for scarce loaves of bread. No cars drive in the streets; people are too scared of being targeted by the Israeli war planes flying above us. The hospitals cannot receive more patients. Relentless bombing has razed entire neighbourhoods to the ground. You would no longer recognize them. The situation in Gaza is lacking all conditions of life.

Where I am in the south of the strip, the bombing is not as intense at this moment. Israel’s strategy is to bombard the north to forcibly transfer Palestinians to the southern region. But although it claims this area is safe, a hospital has been hit and many homes too. We do not know where the next one will strike. Everyone is scared that they will be the next victim.

This is not an Israeli occupation. It is genocide.

About 3,000 citizens have been massacred in just 10 days. This number is likely to have increased by the time you read this. Every 15 minutes a child is killed by the Israeli attack. Families have been bombed in their homes as they slept inside.

The enemies of Israel are not Hamas, but the Palestinian people themselves. This has happened with the complete backing of the United States administration and many other Western governments. They are supporting the Gaza genocide.

Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians have been forcibly displaced from their homes, after Israel ordered 1.1 million people to ‘evacuate’ from the north of Gaza City. Yet there are no signs that Israel is finished with its collective punishment of the people of Gaza. Netanyahu is still refusing to allow humanitarian aid to enter. Many of the Israeli officials say that the Palestinian people have to abandon their homes and move to Egypt. This is a clear attempt to ethnically cleanse the Gaza strip. Israel is punishing the people because they refuse to leave and be made refugees once again.

We are seeing history repeat itself. Israel itself was established on the rubble of Palestinian villages and cities. It displaced our grandparents, including my own grandfather, from our towns and cities under the pressure of massacres carried out by Jewish militias 75 years ago. After erasing these Palestinian villages and cities, it created the state of Israel.

What we are seeing now is a continuation of the Nakba in 2023, but there is one difference. The Nakba today is being recorded by video and by voice, all the world is watching.

How can we stop this massacre? It’s up to all of us, and all of you to take to the streets, to organize huge demonstrations and say we believe in freedom and dignity for everyone. This is a historic time to show your strong support, not only to the Palestinian people but to all people around the world. If we allow this injustice to be committed here, rest assured it will happen elsewhere. This is the time. This is the moment. Every single day we let them silence our anger, more families will be wiped out. This is not just our battle; this is your battle. This is our common struggle. This is the struggle of all the free people against the colonial powers. Please stand with us. Stand on the right side of history.

This piece was adapted from a voice recording sent by Ahmed Abu Artema to New Internationalist. Israel cut off electricity to Gaza on 12 October after declaring a ‘complete siege’ of the strip. Since then, internet connection has been intermittent making it difficult for Palestinian journalists to write.