Supermodel Bella Hadid has addressed the conflict in the Middle East, condemning the Hamas attack on Israel and outlining the plight and suffering of innocent Palestinians.
“Forgive me for my silence,” Hadid wrote on Instagram Thursday. “I have yet to find the ideal words for this deeply intricate and horrific past 2 weeks, weeks that have turned the world’s attention back towards a situation that has been taking innocent lives and affecting families for decades.”
Hadid’s father, Mohamed Hadid, fled the region with his family as a baby during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. Bella Hadid and her sister, model Gigi Hadid, have embraced their heritage and advocated for the Palestinian cause.
Gigi Hadid issued a statement earlier this month condemning the violence and shared a post in support of Palestinians, prompting retaliation from the state of Israel’s Instagram account. Afterward, the entire Hadid family faced a slew of violent threats, TMZ previously reported.
In her post, Bella Hadid said her phone number was leaked and she had received hundreds of death threats every day. “My family has felt to be in danger,” she wrote. “But I can not be silenced any longer.”
“My heart is bleeding with pain from the trauma I am seeing unfold, as well as the generational trauma of my Palestinian blood,” Hadid wrote. “Seeing the aftermath from the airstrikes in Gaza, I mourn with all the mothers who have lost children and the children who cry alone, all the lost fathers, brothers, sisters, uncles, aunties, friends that will never again walk this earth.”
She said she mourned, too, for the Israeli families suffering in the wake of the Oct. 7 attacks by Hamas militants, who killed more than 1,400 people in Israel and took more than 200 hostages, according to the government.
“Regardless of the history of the land, I condemn the terrorist attacks on any civilians, anywhere,” Hadid wrote. “Harming women and children and inflicting terror does not and should not do any good for the Free Palestine movement.”
Hadid also shared background about her father’s departure from Nazareth during the Nakba, an Arabic word meaning “catastrophe” that refers to the mass displacement of Palestinians from the region during the 1948 war.
Mohamed Hadid and his family were “expelled from Palestine, becoming refugees, away from a place they once called home,” she said.
She also spoke of the “unimaginable pain” stemming from Israeli settlements in occupied Palestinian territories in the intervening decades.
Israel has built scores of settlements since it occupied the West Bank, which was reserved under a United Nations plan for a future Palestinian state, in the 1967 war.
The settlements are widely viewed as illegal under international law.
“My family witnessed 75 years of violence against Palestinian people,” Bella Hadid wrote. “Most notably, brutal settler invasions which led to the destruction of entire communities, murder in cold blood and the forcible removal of families from their homes.”
“The practice of settlements on Palestinian land still continues to this day,” she added.
She drew attention to the urgent humanitarian crisis in Gaza, which has been under siege by Israel following the Oct. 7 attack. The Hamas militant group controls the Palestinian enclave, which is inhabited by more than 2 million people.
Israel has shut off the supply of water, food and fuel to the area, where thousands are dead and injured ― many of them children ― following weeks of airstrikes.
“Wars have laws – and they must be upheld, no matter what,” Hadid wrote.
“We need to keep pressure on our leaders, wherever we are, not to forget the urgent needs of the people of Gaza, and to ensure that innocent Palestinian civilians are not the forgotten casualties of this war.”