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An Israeli Shot Me. An Israeli Healed Me.



Photo of Israeli soldiers taking cover
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An Israeli Shot Me. An Israeli Healed Me.

I was born and raised in the Gaza Strip. For years, my “neighbors” were Israeli soldiers based in the Kfar Darom settlement across the road from my house. Although the settlement was illegally established, my father taught me never to feel hostility toward the soldiers. They were the children of Abraham, as were we Palestinians.
But in September 2000, when I was 11 years old, all that changed. One night after dinner, the soldiers started shooting at our kitchen windows. As we crawled to the center of the house, I could see the bullets ricocheting around me.
Soon after, the soldiers told my father that it was time for him to leave. They wanted to use our house as a command center. My father politely but firmly refused: “I am a peaceful man. I am not your enemy. There is no need for me to leave. If it is not safe for us in our own home, then it will not be safe for us anywhere.”

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