A Palestinian father holds his son in Gaza. Liz O'Neil/CRS

A Palestinian father holds his son in Gaza. Liz O’Neil/CRS

By Claudette Habesch, Secretary General of Caritas Jerusalem

Since 1948, we Palestinians have experienced dispossession and exile. Our diaspora counts today more than 9 million people all over the world.

Since 1967, we Palestinians continue to live under occupation. Checkpoints, the separation wall, lack of access to farmlands and humiliation are part of our daily life.

For years, we plead for justice so that peace can come to the two peoples of the Holy Land. For years, we are asking for justice and an independent Palestinian state.

After decades of fruitless negotiations and faced with a shrinking homeland, we felt compelled to go to the United Nations to ask for the full recognition of the State of Palestine.

We hope the nations of the world will respond to our call for the respect and dignity of the Palestinian people at the General Assembly of the United Nations.

On this day of Solidarity, we wish no less than justice and peace.

Thanking you for your prayers, your solidarity, and your courage to stand with the rights of the Palestinian people.