The following is a translation of portions of an article penned by Palestinian human rights activist Bassem Eid and published by Israel’s leading daily newspaper, Yediot Ahronot.
“For over 26 years, I have dedicated my life to the defense of human rights. I’ve seen it all, war and terrorism. But the last month has been particularly hard for me. Death and the rubble of Gaza are like a tsunami. Both peoples are in pain, but both sides deny the pain of others. But as a Palestinian, I must admit: I am responsible for what happened. We can not deny our responsibility for our own dead.”
“Most Palestinians are against missile attacks on Israel. We elected Hamas with the knowledge that doing so would bring about the death of our own people. We knew Hamas was digging tunnels, which eventually lead to our own destruction. …Hamas also knew that an attack on Israel would result in a high death toll. But the Hamas leadership is only interested in their own victory, not about the people.”
“Hamas requires death. Death brings her power and money for more weapons. Hamas was never interested in liberating the Palestinian people from occupation. And Israel will not be able to destroy the infrastructure of Hamas in the Gaza Strip. Only we, the Palestinian people, can do that. The Palestinians in Gaza have to rebel against the Hamas regime.”
“Will we learn from this latest tragedy? I think so. We must first get rid of Hamas and demilitarize the Gaza Strip. Then the border crossings can be opened. And I say this as a loyal Palestinian. I say this because I care about the future of my people. ”