Thank you very much for reaching out. The situation is horrid. Birzeit went online right away but it is limping along and the students are refusing to attend online classes. I wish they would attend online classes. It is not safe for them to travel to campus due to the safety on the roads leading to campus. We are unsure if the universities will be able to pay salaries in coming months.
My research on biodiversity is greatly restricted, yet I continue to make collections and conduct research on native plant propagation and restoration.
At this current stage my field research and collection work is too vulnerable to interference to be made public, but I do appreciate your assistance.
Perhaps we could discuss ways in providing research support to faculty at Palestinian universities who are attempting to carry out research, with small grants, research assistance, server/cloud donations, software, equipment, etc.
—O (Birzeit University)
Thank you for giving me an opportunity to say what is happening to us right now. In fact [the atrocity] started years ago when we were occupied and forcibly removed from our homes and land in Palestine. From that time till now we are suffering all horrible ethnic cleansing and mistreatment.
I don’t know if the world forgets that we are under occupation and blindly took all the Israeli media that “we are terrorists and want to kill them,” or that they know that we are so oppressed. Either way, I don’t know why they never move to help us.
We just want to live in peace and have our freedom like any other people in the world.
Here, we don’t have rights to move freely. Any moment they will stop you and tell you to “go back.” Where? I don’t know. “Just go back.” That’s all. Here, the soldiers have full rights to kill any Palestinian and at the end they will tell you that we threaten them. Settlers with the help of the army are terrorising Palestinian civilians and killed many poor civilian Palestinians. Israelis have full access to roads built in Palestine area A,B, or C. But we don’t.
We are living in concentrated camps waiting to be killed. Here you have gates at every village. They will close it whenever they want. In some villages they close the gate after 6 pm and open it for a specific period of time. Like a jail. It is a military occupation running for 75 years.
Every day when I go to work I kiss my kids because I don’t know if I would come back. Just why?
The problem is that the majority of Israeli were taught that we are animals and should be killed. They don’t want to give us our basic needs of life. They want to suffocate us and force us to leave. They do it slowly and systematically so the world can’t see. They build settlements in all hilltops and for us we are not allowed to build at all in area C. Where to go? It is my home here; I was born here; I will die here.
For doing research, we don’t have access to many chemicals and equipments. Yes, many chemicals are being refused, me personally, 2,4-D, a plant hormone is refused.
Gaza is a concentration camp, controlled by sea , land and air. There are 2.2 million peoples in 360 square km.
No clean water, no jobs , no hopes. What to do? Fight back. That’s what they did. They know that this will cost them a lot. But in any case, they are being killed solely in this open prison. What the Israelis are doing is killing children and women, terrorising Gazans so they will leave. Here, their plan is being carried out: kick them out to Sinai. This is not self defense.
No sir. They want Gaza because it has a huge gas revenue and the proposed route (alternative route) to transfer good from East to West that is to pass through Gaza. Americans know this; European know this; that’s why they are silent about the horrific killing of kids and women.
We are living under a brutal regime.
—N (Tulkarm, West Bank)
Thank you for your kind solidarity and for being fully aware about what is happening here in Palestine.
I am a professor located in Nablus, West Bank. Despite being quite away of war in Gaza, we are in direct touch an effect of this war. Currently we are facing a full closure in the West Bank which made us living in total isolated cities. Moreover we are experiencing daily military invasions from the Israeli army which made us unable to pursue the academic semester and convert to virtual teaching. In addition to these challenging circumstances we are experiencing the following issues:
1. There is a massive anger towards the Western governments as we now believe that human rights are just private tools for the benefit of white people. The students as well as professors are not being able to exercise their daily routine because of the horrifying news coming from Gaza as well as the current conflict in the West Bank. We simply believe that we are the next target. We believe that is war is not against armed resistance, but also against any civilized existence of Palestinians including hospitals, economy, universities and history.
2. We start believing that the racism in the West turns from individual behavior to a national policy, especially when we see the official promotion of the fake posts and stories about what is happening in Gaza.
3. We feel, especially in the UK, that there is a “Black masking” of racism by putting all Black officials in the front.
4. We simply believe that the West’s colonization of the East is still existing, but instead of being directed by Western governments, they outsourced to Arab governments who are doing that.
5. In simple words, all Palestinians now are supporting war-based solutions as we now believe that the Israeli and the Western governments will only appreciate peace when they only feel war.
Please stay in solidarity and let the people know that all what we need is be treated as humans.
—T (Nablus, West Bank)