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Haiya of Qalandia Refugee Camp

24 September 2011 | International Solidarity Movement, West Bank

Haiya and her family are originally from a village called Ber Maael know called Mudaeen near what is now Tel Aviv.

Haiya’s brother was a close friend of Ali Khaleefa, one of the young men who was killed when the Israeli army raided the Qalandia Refugee camp on the second of August. He told us he was with Ali just hours before the soldiers raided the camp and killed him.

Haiya speaks.

We were at the funeral and people were so shocked and angry, the army came in the middle of the night right at the start of Ramadan to arrest two boys about 13 years old. And they killed 2 people even though no one there had any weapons apart from the soldiers. The Palestinians from Qalandia cannot forget something like this.

The Israelis are afraid of the Palestinian people, they are afraid because they know that this land does not belong to them, and they are afraid they will lose it. So they shoot at us to make us scared, but it doesn’t work.

Palestine doesn’t have anyone to fight for her, just the people who live in Palestine. We believe that we need a country, but before, the people here did not have any hopes for a state. Every time we are promised our own country, nothing happens. So now the people are trying to do something for themselves.

Obama said in his speech we wants safety for the Israelis first, second, third and last. He says this as though Israel is the victim! But it is Israel who is slowly killing all our people and taking our land.

I think many of the people of Israel want peace, but the leaders certainly do not.

If the UN does not give us a state then, we must fight with the protests and the stones. I think what is happening now could lead to a third Intifada and Israel thinks this too and they are very scared.

I think the settlers are the worst people in the world, they burn our mosques and they burn our olive trees. You know the soldiers they have orders to shoot bullets and drop bombs. But the mustawtaneen [settlers] do what they do because they hate us. Just today in Hebron they killed a child with a car.

The army will never stop the settlers, they say ‘go home’ but it does nothing because they know that the army will not hurt them.

Of course we would love to go back to our land; we hope to go back. Our grandfather is 83 years old, whenever we pass near the place our home used to be, he cries.