London-based war journalist Yara Eid details how the conflict between Israel and Hamas has personally affected her.
Sky News: Now, it has been two weeks since Hamas first launched its attack on Israel. It saw 1400 people killed since then. Palestinian officials say that more than 4,000 people have died in Gaza. Reporting on the war has been personal for Palestinian journalist and human rights advocate Yara Eid, who joins me now.
Yara, thank you for joining us here on Sky News. I understand that recent events have caused you personally a great deal of grief and pain.
Yara Eid: Well, I lost more than 30 members of my immediate family and they were civilians. They were not part of any militant group. Most of them were children. 17 of them are children. Not only that, but my best friend is a journalist, was a journalist and Israel killed him in cold blood on the 7th of October while he was covering the Erez border.
And he was wearing a press vest. He was wearing his helmet. And I just want to say before I continue talking about what’s happening when you first introduced what’s happening, you said more than 1400 people have been killed in Israel and more than 4,000 in Palestine have died. I think language is really important to use because language as a journalist, you have the moral responsibility to report on what’s happening.
Palestinians don’t just die, they get killed. They are actually being subjected to ethnic cleansing, and genocide for the last 75 years. And you also mentioned that this is a Hamas-Israel war. This is not it. And framing it as such is very misleading because it poses a thing that Israel is an equal power, but it’s an occupying power and it actually has the responsibility of protecting all civilian lives and children in Gaza.
But what we’ve been seeing is more than 1700 of those who are killed are children. So this is not really a war against Hamas. This is clearly so many Israeli spokespersons went on TV and said this is a war against Palestinian civilians in Gaza. And even if we imagine a world without Hamas, if we think about the West Bank, Palestinians have been being killed and there has been land theft, there has been athletic cleansing, there has been imprisonment.
More than 5,200 Palestinians are in Israeli prisons right now, and 170 of them are children. Children. So this is not just to water down what’s happening to the 7 October. This is a 75-year-old occupation, ethnic cleansing and genocide of Palestinians. And you need as a journalist to report on what’s happening and say it as it is.
Sky News: When Hamas launched the attack on Israel, as a Palestinian, what did you expect would happen next?
Yara Eid: Well, I think again, I’m sorry, but I think this is misleading because you can’t water down what’s been happening about the attack on the 7 October. Let’s talk about 2014, let’s talk about 2021. Let’s talk about all the aggressions. You know, Palestinians in Gaza, me personally, let’s not talk about Palestinians in Gaza.
I’ve lived through four horrible aggressions. I’ve lived that’s actually why I left Gaza in the first place. I saw people getting cut into pieces in front of my eyes when I was 14 years old. I spent the last seven years trying to get therapy to get over my PTSD, and my traumatic experience of just living there.
So, again, you’re misleading by saying it’s a Hamas attack. You need to say what’s been happening. We can’t look at it just by looking at what happened on the 7 October. Why are you not talking about all of the other attacks on worshippers in Alaqsa Mosque, on kidnapping women and raping them in Israeli jails?
All these Palestinians who are being killed in the West Bank, why are you not asking me about them? Hamas does not operate there.