The voice of a Palestinian activist
My name is Issa Soof, I was born in the occupation and my eyes were open to the settlers entering our space little by little. We thought they were tourists at first, but when they started to seize the land by force and build settlements, we realized that the matter is completely different!!! The first intifada began when I was 14-15 years old, I participated in its activities and was arrested more than once for short periods. The Oslo agreement came and we hoped that the beginning of the end of the occupation was at hand, and we can start building the institutions of our new state. Little by little things began to be revealed to us that the matter is not as we think, since Israel still controls all the elements of our daily lives!! ! The temporary period of five years has ended and we were waiting for the declaration of independence according to the interim agreement. Israel refused ,and the world was unable to convince it . Yasser Arafat turned the tables after he discovered the trick . The second intifada began with the aim of showing the crimes that Israel commits against the Palestinians to the World. We were partially successful, many foreign and Israeli solidarity activists began to come to stand with us and share with us our struggle against the occupation.
In 2001, I was near my house in an attempt to warn the children about the tear gas that the soldiers shoot every day. Israeli soldiers shot me at close range . The bullet was of the Hollow tip type and it exploded in my spine . It cut my spinal cord ,causing complete paralysis in my lower limbs. I became permanently paralyzed in a wheelchair.
After I finished the long treatment and rehabilitation phase, I returned home and started a new life continuing the same way I started. I managed to build relationships with many Israeli and international activists who believe in human rights, reject and oppose the occupation. These relationships continues until now and we are determined to continue our struggle against the occupation until it ends. I did not do only it because I am Palestinian, but because I believe in freedom and human rights and that no one has the right to control the fate of others and shape their lives by force of arms.
Today I am working on building the "Garden of Hope" International. A center that will unite all my activities: connect Palestinian, Israeli and international activists, joint meditation, preservation of human rights and non-violent resistance. We are looking for the roots of pain in order to treat it, not to embellish it. This also includes the occupation. Do not sweep it, as this is the difference between those who seek calm and those who seek peace, and for those who live between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, there is no peace with occupation.