Palestine: In Glory and Pain

A diary of destruction from the river to the sea

Dust settles as Yasser al-Kasba, aged 17, is laid to rest. Yasser was shot through the chest by an Israeli sniper on 8 October, while his back was turned.
Photographs and Text by Maen Hammad
31 December, 2023

A foreign filmmaker asked the usual delusional question: “What is the solution—it is so complicated, yeah?” He was trying to pick my brain, while we looked out at the besieged Jenin refugee camp from the city’s Cinema hotel. The hotel was teeming with journalists trying to capture a nameless, bleeding Palestinian; a person commodified in their portfolios. My instinct was, always is, to scream “Ikhras”—“shut up” in Arabic. Instead, I counted to three and responded, “It is not complicated, it is entrenched. Decolonisation is the answer.”

My perfect US-Midwest accent confuses the foreign press. Perhaps my pronunciation humanises me, as if I am, like them, documenting death for press awards. They fill scrolls of blame within my body. I am not sure how many more stories must be exported to illustrate 75 years’ worth of erasure. Hundreds of chapters of history books are memorised—memorialised, even—about genocides on European soil. But, nearly one hundred years of proof of Zionist atrocities, archival proof and Western complicity is not yet enough.

Rotting fruit in Jenin, which has been under continuous raids for months, well before 7 October. On 12 December, the Israeli regime put the Jenin refugee camp under siege, closing all entrances and exits to the camp. The camp faced heavy Israeli assault, including airstrikes. At least twenty one Palestinians have been killed since.