Gaza Diary: As Palestinians Celebrate the UN Vote, I'm Disappointed

Gaza journalist describes the atmosphere in the coastal enclave when the UN voted on upgraded status for Palestine, and expresses regret at Fatah supporters who are 'celebrating the loss of their rights.'

I saw them holding Palestine flags, screaming "free Palestine" and playing patriotic songs all over the streets of downtown Gaza. Fatah flags were also there! It’s the same scene I always imagined when I used to dream about Palestine being liberated, or at least, the division ending. But the surprise was that it was neither this nor that: it was Palestinians celebrating the loss of their rights.

In such a day where celebrations could be seen in the skies all over Palestine, I couldn't see anything but the darkness falling over my land. I was disappointed that when Hamas and Fatah finally decided to be one, their hand damaged the houses of more than five million Palestinians who were forced out of their houses 64 years ago.

It's no surprise that most of the people who are going with the step are pro-Fatah; it seems that most of them agree with anything Abu Mazen says by default. I always wonder how a Palestinian can be a refugee and adopt the 1967 borders state at the same time. How can you admit that you don’t have the right to live in your own home?

I was talking to my classmate on Skype when he told me that he’s praying that all the countries will vote against the bid; I was surprised it wasn’t just me who was praying. Abu Ramzi told me that he can’t think of Palestine as anything but the territory from the sea to the river and that having 22% of historical Palestine doesn’t mean anything but a loss to him.

On the other hand, another friend of mine was overwhelmingly excited for the step. He couldn’t stop counting the seconds ahead of the UN General Assembly meeting and the start of Abu Mazen's speech. “It’s just the first step for the best to come,” he explained. Essam thinks that the step will complete the “great victory” that was achieved recently by Palestinians in Gaza in the “Pillar of Defense” operation. “We will finally be able to appeal to the war crimes court, we will always have the right to use the Geneva agreement, can you imagine how great is that?” he exclaimed! His words didn’t move me much, since the pains of the refugees were affecting me more.

Unfortunately, my and Abu Ramzi's prayers didn’t work out, and the Palestinians got their non-member status at the UN by securing the votes of the majority. Let Palestinians who want to enjoy the 22% of their lands enjoy it. No matter what, I’ll always have the 100% inside; where Christians, Jews and Muslims will co-exist in peace, like they always did. I’ll celebrate with the five million refugees when they go back to their homes one day.