Palestinian Portsmouth schoolgirl 'happy' to have opened dialogue with Israeli friends

A PALESTINIAN schoolgirl living in Portsmouth is optimistic about the future of Palestinian-Israeli relations.

Sunday, 23rd May 2021, 10:22 am

A ceasfire between Israel and Palestinians was announced on Friday after weeks of violence in Gaza and the surrounding area.

Jasmin Scaletta 12, has family in the West Bank, one of the worst-affected areas of the conflict.

But Jasmin, who lives in Portsmouth, has been opening up the dialogue between herself and Israeli families in the city – uniting them through friendship.

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Jasmine Scaletta at the Palestine protest, Guildhall Square. Picture: Habibur Rahman

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She said: ‘I have Israeli friends at school and we have been talking a lot about what has been going on.

‘The majority of people I have spoken to do support the movement to free Palestine, but they also want to know more about it and that’s the only way we can move forward as the human race.

‘Just speaking with them about it and them understanding how I feel makes me so happy.’

Gabriel Scaletta and his daughter Jasmine at the Palestine protest, Guildhall Square. Picture: Habibur Rahman

Jasmin and her father Gabriel, 31, know they cannot return to see their family in West Bank anytime soon.

But by attending events such as the protest in Guildhall Square last night, they can still make their voices heard.

Gabriel said: ‘I’m so proud of Jasmin for standing up for her heritage, but also listening to other points of view.

‘Regardless of where people stand on the conflict, the fact is that innocent people – parents and children – are the ones caught in the crossfire.

‘This isn’t the first time that there’s been a ceasefire between Israel and Palestine, but I hope this time they actually sit down and talk about it, like Jasmin has.

‘That’s the only way we can make a change.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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