The Princess of Nazareth has spoken. In the early hours of Friday, Bella Hadid posted a heartfelt plea for the people of Gaza to her 60.5 million Instagram followers, revealing that she “cannot be silenced any longer.” The 27-year-old megamodel, who is part Palestinian from her paternal side, has been a staunch advocate for the Palestinian cause and has continuously used her platform to shed light on their plight, however, last night’s statement was her first time speaking out since Israel’s deadly onslaught on Gaza began on Oct. 7.
“Forgive me for my silence,” began the lengthy letter, which was posted alongside a video of Palestinian-Canadian singer Nemah Hasan (@nemahsis on Instagram) singing Lorde’s Team, while before and after clips of Palestine displayed on the screen, and who was recently dropped from her record label for her stance on the war.
“I have yet to find the ideal words for this deeply intricate and horrific past two weeks, weeks that have turned the world’s attention back towards a situation that has been taking innocent lives and affecting families for decades. I have much to say, but for today, I will keep it short,” she wrote, before going on to address the death threats that she and her family— including her siblings Gigi and Anwar, as well as her parents Mohamed and Yolanda Hadid— have been receiving for weeks. A couple of weeks ago, TMZ reported that the entire Hadid family had been the victims of death threats after their personal phone numbers were leaked, which Bella further confirmed in her statement. Despite this, the model remains resolute in her stance.
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“I’ve been sent hundreds of death threats daily, my phone number has been leaked, and my family has felt to be in danger. But I can not be silenced any longer. Fear is not an option. The people and children of Palestine, especially in Gaza, cannot afford our silence. We are not brave— they are.”
The catwalk star went on to reveal that she mourns for all of the lives lost, on both sides, condemning “the terrorist attacks on any civilians, anywhere.”
Her message continued: “It’s important to understand the hardship of what it is to be Palestinian, in a world that sees us as nothing more than terrorists resisting peace. It is harmful, it is shameful, and it’s categorically untrue,” she wrote, before sharing her personal story, saying her father and his family were made refugees during the first Nakba in 1948.
“Nine days after he was born, he, in his mothers arms, along with his family were expelled from their home of Palestine, becoming refugees, away from a place they once called home,” she said.
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“My grandparents, never being allowed to return. My family witnessed 75 years of violence against Palestinian people — 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,” she explained.
“The practice of settlements on Palestinian land still continues to this day. The pain of that is unimaginable.”
In her final remarks, Hadid called for immediate action to address the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, where millions of people are without access to electricity, water, fuel, and adequate health care. “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. I stand with humanity, knowing that peace and safety belong to us all.”
The model’s statement comes after 704 people, including 305 children, were killed in Israel’s relentless airstrikes on the Gaza Strip on Tuesday, a toll the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said was the highest reported in a single day since the war began nearly three-weeks-ago.
The deadly seige has so far claimed the lives of over 7,000 people, with half of them being children, and has left nearly 20,000 civilians injured.
Meanwhile, Hadid isn’t the only celebrity showing solidarity with Palestinians in a major way. Other stars who have taken to their platforms to advocate for the cause include Kehlani, Lauren Jauregui, Indya Moore, and more.