By David Gershon and Rula Neumann The article It was a Sunday in July 2007, and my family and I were in our home in the northern Gaza Strip, relaxing on our couch.
We were waiting for our daughter to be taken to school, and as we turned the lights on, the children’s eyes lit up with a smile.
I had been born in Israel, and I had dreamed of my life there.
The children were also waiting.
They were in awe.
It was an amazing moment, and yet, as my father put it, the moment had been nothing but a dream.
For years, the dream had been my main motivation to move to Israel.
It had given me hope.
But then, the summer of 2012, the Gaza war hit, and the dream that I had built for myself became a reality.
I was 19 years old, and just months into the first year of my graduate degree, I had the opportunity to return to the Gaza Strip and work with an Israeli NGO.
That was a dream that had been in my head for a long time.
But for a while, I was too focused on school to realize that it was a different kind of dream.
As part of my research project, I would spend weeks in the Gaza strip in my hotel room, visiting the homes of Palestinians, who were being targeted for their political beliefs.
But I soon realized that the experience was not just about me, but about Palestinians as a whole.
As I would learn, Palestinian society was often in shock when a loved one was killed, and this caused immense stress for Palestinians, whose lives were often destroyed by Israeli bombs.
In the months following the Gaza conflict, I realized that I needed to take a more positive approach to my job, as I would become more involved in helping Palestinian communities in the occupied West Bank and Gaza.
That changed everything.
I began to see my dream as a cause, not just a means to an end.
The Gaza conflict changed my perspective, and in many ways, that changed my view of Israel.
I started to see the West Bank as the future of Palestine, and for the first time in my life, I saw myself as an Israeli.
The first time I visited Gaza, I went to a refugee camp and stayed for three months.
I met a Palestinian man who had been arrested and detained for a year for trying to return home.
The camp was in a densely populated area of the West Banks, and it was here that I met my husband, who was serving a three-year sentence in a Jewish jail.
We had just moved to the Westbank from the Israeli city of Beersheba, and we were living in a new apartment in Gaza City.
I could see that the camp was like a big tent city, and that my dreams for a better life were not going to be fulfilled.
I returned to Gaza and began my work with the NGO.
I realized how little the Israeli public understood about the conflict, and how the war had changed my own life and that of many Palestinians.
The more I began to hear about the lives of Palestinians who had lost loved ones in the war, the more I became convinced that the conflict had nothing to do with Israel.
Instead, it was the destruction of Gaza that had made me change my perspective.
I began noticing how much the Gaza government was trying to protect its citizens, and, more importantly, how much its citizens were being persecuted by Israel for exercising their right to freedom of expression.
In my work in the West Wall, I started taking pictures of people as they were being killed, shot at, or stabbed, and while I was taking pictures, I began realizing that I could be part of a movement to make a difference.
I also began to notice the role that Palestinian leadership had played in preventing a Palestinian suicide bombing, and even helping prevent a suicide bomber from detonating a bomb in the Israeli capital, Tel Aviv.
In addition, the Palestinian Authority, which had been a major supporter of Hamas in the last years of the war and which had continued to provide aid to the militants even after the IDF had withdrawn, was now giving aid to civilians in Gaza.
The impact of my work was immediate, and so I moved to Ramallah, the West bank city I had come to know so well.
I found a Palestinian woman who had recently moved to Jerusalem and who had come with her young children, and they had a great time together.
The Palestinian woman and her children, who are all now adults, began to realize how much I had accomplished by helping Palestinians in the refugee camps in Gaza, and by working in Ramallah with Palestinian students.
The work I was doing was inspiring.
After spending a year in Ramalla, I decided to come back to Israel and study law.
For a few months, I worked as a lawyer in Tel Aviv, and one day, I met an Israeli student who was studying law.
She was studying English, and she told me