Bella Hadid has issued a heartbreaking statement online amid the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict, saying that Palestine "cannot afford our silence".
The 27-year-old model asked her 60.5 million followers to "forgive" her for her silence, after receiving "hundreds of death threats daily" when her phone number was leaked, leaving her family feeling in danger.
"I can not be silenced any longer," she wrote. "Fear is not an option. The people and children of Palestine, especially in Gaza, cannot afford our silence. We are not brave - they are."
Speaking about the aftermath of the airstrikes in Gaza, Hadid said her "heart is bleeding with pain from the trauma I am seeing unfold, as well as the generational trauma of my Palestinian blood."
The model, of Dutch and Palestinian descent, continued: "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 went on to highlight her own family's history, with her father and grandparents being "expelled" from their homes in Palestine just nine days after his birth. This happened the same year as the Nakba in 1948, which saw over 700,000 Palestinian Arabs flee and be expelled from their homes. Before the Nakba, the UN noted that Palestine was a multi-ethnic and multi-cultural society.
The result of the war forced more than half of the Palestinian population to be displaced. The UN General Assembly called for refugee "return, property restitution and compensation," however 75 years later, despite countless UN resolutions, "the rights of the Palestinians continue to be denied."
In the Instagram post, Hadid candidly shared: "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. The practice of settlements on Palestinian land still continues to this day. The pain of that is unimaginable."
Ultimately, Hadid called for "humanity and compassion" and for people to "keep pressure on our leaders, wherever we are."
"I stand with humanity, knowing that peace and safety belong to us all," she concluded.
Thousands flocked to the post to praise the model for using her platform to raise awareness, with her mother Yolanda Hadid writing: "Brave, honest and from the heart, I love you."
Another wrote: "I love you. You said it so perfectly. Free our people."
A third added: "One of the first major celebs to speak out against Genocide. You will be remembered in history, thank you."