“. . . [Palestinian] landscape as a place of ‘drifting sand and exposed rock’ populated by the morally, spiritually and politically degenerate . . .” (Joanna C. Long)

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Ruins of village of Lifta, Jerusalem, with Israeli-planted trees engulfing it. (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov., 2015)

❶ . B’Tselem: ‘Dispossession of Palestinians most consistent trend in Israeli policy’
. . . ― (a) Lieberman: Postpone controversial ‘formalization’ bill until Trump takes over
❷ . Fatah’s seventh congress says people have right to resist occupation
. . . ❷ ― (a) Abbas tells Fatah the greater struggle is to come

  • Background: “Rooting Diaspora, Reviving Nation: Zionist Landscapes Of Palestine–Israel.” Transactions Of The Institute Of British Geographers

❸ . The IDF’s new ‘Visit Palestine’ campaign refuses to say Palestine
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❶ . B’TSELEM:  ‘DISPOSSESSION  OF  PALESTINIANS  MOST  CONSISTENT  TREND  IN  ISRAELI  POLICY’  
Ma’an News Agency
Dec. 5, 2016
As Israel’s Knesset considers a bill which would retroactively legalize settlement outposts in the occupied West Bank, Israeli authorities have used both official and unofficial means to expropriate Palestinian lands for decades which has “devastasted” the Palestinian territory, according to a report published on Monday by Israeli human rights group B’Tselem.
___In its latest report, entitled “Expel and Exploit: The Israeli practice of taking over rural Palestinian land,”  B’Tselem used a case study of Azmut, Deir al-Hatab, and Salem — three Palestinian villages in the northern West Bank district of Nablus — to illustrate a number of official and indirect ways used by the Israeli government over the years to slowly isolate Palestinian communities from their lands.       More . . .  
. . . ― (A) LIEBERMAN:  POSTPONE  CONTROVERSIAL  ‘FORMALIZATION’  BILL  UNTIL  TRUMP  TAKES  OVER   
Ma’an News Agency 
Dec. 3, 2016
Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman suggested on Friday that the controversial “formalization bill,” which would legalize Israeli settler outposts throughout the occupied West Bank and is set to be voted on this Monday, should be postponed until US President Barack Obama leaves office.
___According to Israeli media, the statement was made in Washington D.C. during the Saban Forum where the right-wing defense minister called for postponing the vote until Jan. 20, when President-Elect Donald Trump will be officially sworn in as the new American president.      More . . .

❷ . FATAH’S  SEVENTH  CONGRESS  SAYS  PEOPLE  HAVE  RIGHT  TO  RESIST  OCCUPATION    
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
December 5, 2016
The concluding statement of Fatah’s seventh congress said the Palestinian people have the right to popular resistance to end the Israeli occupation of their land and determine their future.
___The statement, read at the conclusion of six days of Fatah congress held at the Muqata, the presidential headquarters in Ramallah, also underscored the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, to sovereignty, and to having an independent state of their own with East Jerusalem as its capital.       More . . .  
. . . ❷ ― (a) ABBAS TELLS FATAH THE GREATER STRUGGLE IS TO COME        
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA 
Dec. 5, 2016
President Mahmoud Abbas told members of the seventh Fatah congress on Sunday night that the greater struggle is still ahead of them.
___“When you go back to your towns, villages and camps tomorrow or the day after tomorrow, remember at every moment that what you have accomplished in this conference is the lesser struggle and now we have a mission ahead of us and that is to fight the greater struggle,” Abbas told the members at the closing session of the Fatah congress.        More . . .    

  • Long, Joanna C. “Rooting Diaspora, Reviving Nation: Zionist Landscapes Of Palestine–Israel.” Transactions Of The Institute Of British Geographers 34.1 (2009): 61-77.   SOURCE.

In this paper I explore some possibilities of what the trees were for and why they were (and are) so important to the Jewish National Fund. My main concern is with the entanglement of cultures of landscape with a cultural politics of trees and how these have been enrolled in a project of colonisation and nationbuilding . . .  Specifically, I examine how trees have figured in various constructions of Palestine as an aesthetic and embodied landscape, and how both trees and landscapes have been mobilised in pursuit of an Israeli national space and subjectivity.
[. . . .]  In JNF discourse, however, these notions of subjects embedded in the natural environment, and of subjectivities springing from contact with the natural environment, are inseparable from both scenic renderings of the Palestinian homeland-scape as historically verdant and heroically re-forested by Zionist settlers, and pathologised imaginaries of the diasporic landscape as a place of ‘drifting sand and exposed rock’ populated by the morally, spiritually and politically degenerate . . . [the] implications of casting a landscape as political territory in this way are intimately bound up with the planting of trees, as this drew ‘unproductive’ lands under the control of the state . . . enabled the exercise of territorialised sovereignty, in accordance with long-established European traditions of articulating monarchical and colonial power.
[. . . .] There is, of course, nothing natural about the process of Zionist colonisation or the resulting forested landscape. . . these landscape imaginaries and the trees populating them have been mobilised . . . to perform important geopolitical and ideological work towards the establishment and perpetuation of Israeli nationhood. By positing Palestine as a formerly verdant landscape, currently denuded and empty but being rejuvenated and redeemed by Zionist settlers . . . [the myths] now physically exclude Palestinians from the landscape and efface the history of their presence.
[. . . .] The political geographies of Eretz Israel . . .  helped to generate ideological and financial support . . .  for the acquisition and later the seizure of lands, for the ‘development’ of those purchased and captured lands to legally secure Jewish ownership and to prevent Palestinians from returning.
[. . . .] I have deliberately focused on the planting of pines, rather than on the Israeli practice of uprooting Palestinian olive trees . . .   .   [Trees] are also the guardians to another story, this time of expulsion and dispossession, which is inextricably bound to the first.

❸ .  THE  IDF’S  NEW  ‘VISIT  PALESTINE’  CAMPAIGN  REFUSES  TO  SAY  PALESTINE
+972 Magazine
Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man
Dec. 4, 2016
The Israeli army’s new tourism campaign wants you to visit Palestine — just don’t call it that.    ___The Israeli military launched a truly bizarre rendition of a Visit Palestine tourism campaign over the weekend. Except the army couldn’t bring itself to say Palestine, the West Bank, or even mention that Palestinians live there.     ___The video was published on the Facebook page of the IDF’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), the Israeli military government that oversees the occupation of the Palestinian territories.      ___ The video mentions sites like Wadi Qelt, the Mar Saba Monastery and Nabi Musa, sites in the West Bank to which Israel makes no claims. Likewise, while the army’s new tourism initiative advertises the Church of the Nativity as a site in “Judea and Samaria,” the biblical name for the West Bank, there is no mention of Rachel’s Tomb, also in Bethlehem but which Israel claims as its own.     More . . .  

“. . . an equitable distribution of goods and resources according to pre-agreed criteria of rights. . . .” (Leila Farsakh)

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Israel Navy attacks Gaza Fishermen, Dec. 3, 2011 (Photo by @rosa_schiano)

❶ . Israeli forces open fire at Gaza fisherman, detain two, confiscate boats
❷ . . Under BDS Pressure, G4S Ends Most Illegal Business with Israel
. . . ❷― (a) Poll shows growing support among Americans for sanctions against Israel

  • Background: “Economic Prospects For A One-State Solution In Palestine-Israel.” Holy Land Studies: A Multidisciplinary Journal

❸ . Opinion/Analysis:  Economic collapse in East Jerusalem: strategies for recovery             ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ . ISRAELI  FORCES  OPEN  FIRE  AT  GAZA  FISHERMAN,  DETAIN  TWO,  CONFISCATE  BOATS  
Ma’an News Agency 
Dec. 4, 2016
Israeli forces on Sunday at dawn opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats off the coast of the Gaza Strip, according to witnesses.
___Witnesses told Ma’an that Israeli naval forces opened fire at the fishing boats while at sea in both the northern and southern Gaza Strip.
___No injuries were reported.
___Shortly after the fisherman were shot at, Israeli naval forces detained two fishermen and confiscated their boats off the coast of Beit Lahiya in the northern Gaza Strip. . .    More . . .

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Subvertising campaign at King’s Cross, London (Photo: Global Exchange, international human rights organization)

❷ . UNDER  BDS  PRESSURE,  G4S  ENDS  MOST  ILLEGAL  BUSINESS  WITH  ISRAEL       International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC   
Dec. 3, 2016
The world’s largest security company,  G4S,  announced today that it is selling most of its Israeli business after an effective campaign against the company, waged by the Palestinian-led, global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement for Palestinian rights, caused it “reputational damage.”
___. . .  Rafeef Ziadah, speaking for the Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC), said:   “We have succeeded to push one of the world’s largest corporations into selling its key business in Israel. Our globally coordinated campaign has had a real impact. We will continue campaigning until G4S ends all involvement in violations of Palestinian human rights.”     More . . .  
. . . ❷― (A) POLL  SHOWS  GROWING  SUPPORT  AMONG  AMERICANS  FOR  SANCTIONS  AGAINST  ISRAEL   
Times of Israel
Dec. 2, 2016
The number of Americans supporting sanctions against Israel over its settlement policy grew by 9 percent over the past year and now stands at 46%, according to a new poll released by the Brookings Institution on Friday.
___According to twin surveys conducted by the think tank’s Shibley Telhami before and after the November 8 presidential elections, support for punitive measures against Israel has increased among members of both major parties: 60% of Democrats and 31% of Republicans back economic sanctions and more serious action, compared to 49% and 26% in November 2015.   More . . .

  • Farsakh, Leila. “Economic Prospects For A One-State Solution In Palestine-Israel.” Holy Land Studies: A Multidisciplinary Journal (Edinburgh University Press) 12.2 (2013): 119-140.    SOURCE.

[. . . .]  Although the concept of economic justice can be nebulous, it is generally understood to mean an equitable distribution of goods and resources according to pre-agreed criteria of rights. However, to talk about the notion of economic justice in the Israeli-Palestinian context is particularly difficult, given that we do not have clear criteria on which to base our discussion of economic rights for two peoples fighting over the same piece of land: are we talking about nations or about citizens, about resources confiscated or owned, about consumer or producers, workers or owners? It is all the more challenging given the difficulty of defining the boundaries and content of each of the Palestinian and Israeli economies. The two-state solution . . . is problematic as it violates national boundaries and obfuscates how facts on the ground have eroded [Palestinian] economic and political validity.
[. . . .] The question of economic separation or integration is . . .  intrinsically tied to the nature of the political, sic territorial, solution proposed to the conflict.
[. . . .] Shimon Perez argued that the Oslo peace process ushered a ‘New Middle East’ that would allow the free flow of capital and labour and thereby cause standards of living to rise and violence to fall. However 20 years of the peace process did not bring economic viability or justice to both parties. It rather enabled Israel to grow economically more prosperous and independent of the Palestinians while rendering the latter poorer and aid dependent.
___The contrast between Israeli and Palestinian economic performance under the Oslo peace process could not be more revealing.

❸ .  Opinion/Analysis:  ECONOMIC  COLLAPSE  IN  EAST  JERUSALEM:  STRATEGIES  FOR  RECOVERY 
Al-Shabaka: The Palestinian Policy Network
by Nur Arafeh
Nov. 30, 2016
Overview     In an unusual move, and after years of neglect, American and European delegations and development agencies have recently been visiting East Jerusalem and showing an increased interest in “doing something” about its deteriorating socioeconomic conditions. Moreover, the Palestinian Authority (PA) is, after a prolonged silence, working on updating the Strategic Multi-Sector Development Plan for East Jerusalem 2011-2013.     ___There are fears that the election of Donald Trump might put a damper on these welcome and long overdue initiatives. It is also problematic that these delegations focus on economic development when the reality is that real economic development is not possible without progress on the political front to free the Occupied Palestinian Territory and fulfill Palestinian rights in the context of a just and comprehensive peace.     ___This brief by Al-Shabaka Policy Fellow Nur Arafeh focuses on Israel’s deliberately engineered economic collapse of East Jerusalem, which renders the city essentially unlivable for Palestinians so as to ensure Jewish control over it.      More . . .  

 

“. . . in the icy morning, the schoolboy’s fingers are frozen . . .” (Mourid Barghouti)

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Family photo of Tamir Rice, fall of 2014; killed Nov. 22, 2014 (Published: New York Times) Photos of Memorial to Abdullan and Tamir at http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=774241

❶ . ‘Young lives taken too soon’: activists dedicate memorial to Tamir Rice in Aida Refugee Camp

  • Background: “Stuck In Circulation: Children, ‘Waithood’ And The Conflict Narratives Of Israelis And Palestinians.” Children’s Geographies

❷ . 2016 Christmas Message: Holiday message from PMNH-BU
❸ .  Jerusalem resident forced to demolish own home
❹ .  POETRY by Mourid Barghouti
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Abd al-Rahman Ubeidallah, 13 (Pictured: left), Killed October 5, 2015, in East Jerusalem (Photo: The Institute for Middle East Understanding)

❶ . ‘YOUNG  LIVES  TAKEN  TOO  SOON’:  ACTIVISTS  DEDICATE  MEMORIAL  TO  TAMIR  RICE  IN  AIDA  REFUGEE  CAMP    
Ma’an News Agency     
Dec. 3, 2016
In the span of one year, a 12- and a 13-year-old boy were shot and killed by armed authorities — one in the occupied West Bank, and one in the city of Cleveland, Ohio, in the United States.
___Their names were Abd al-Rahman Ubeidallah, 13, and Tamir Rice, 12, and on Friday, a memorial was unveiled in their honor in the Aida refugee camp — where Ubeidallah was born, raised, and killed — near the southern occupied West bank city of Bethlehem. __Tamir, an African-American child, was shot by local Ohio police on Nov. 22, 2014 while playing alone with his toy gun in a park in Cleveland.
[. . . .] ___Almost one year later, on Oct. 5, 2015, Abd al-Rahman was shot in the chest by Israeli forces as he walked home from school during clashes in the Aida refugee camp.     ___Neither the American police officers nor the Israeli soldiers who killed Rice and Ubeidallah were indicted for killing the boys.
[. . . .]  “We are dedicating this memorial in honor of two young lives which have been snuffed out unjustly,” said Reverend Graylan Hagler, who came with members of his congregation from Washington D.C. to dedicate the memorial inside the Aida playground, built by the NGO Playgrounds for Palestine.         More . . .

  • McEvoy-Levy, Siobhan. “Stuck In Circulation: Children, ‘Waithood’ And The Conflict Narratives Of Israelis And Palestinians.” Children’s Geographies 12.3 (2014): 312-326.    SOURCE.  

(Siobhan McEvoy-Levy is Assoc. Prof, and Department Chair, Department of Political Science, Butler University, Indianapolis, IN)

The use of the term ‘waithood’ to describe a distinct experience of young people who are stuck in their transitions to adulthood has emerged quite recently in the international development literature. Researchers with a focus on the Middle East and Africa have noted that both the structural violence of economic exclusion and the direct violence of war make it very difficult for young people to become adults in traditional terms and they may become trapped in a prolonged or even permanent state of social, cultural and economic limbo. The terms ‘a generation in waiting’, ‘involuntary waithood’ and ‘wait adulthood’ have been coined to explain such thwarted youth transitions.
[. . . .]   Alongside the focus on waithood, scholars of international relations, peace and development have also recognized children (though not youth) as a vulnerable moving (and movable) mass. Rather than being trapped in a state of youth-hood, children in conflict zones are forced to grow up too soon while circulating within and across state borders.
[. . . .]    Every young Palestinian interviewed in the West Bank described their main challenge as simply ‘the Occupation’. Supporting a ‘waithood’ thesis, university students were concerned about how the political situation would affect their employment, future relationships and family. For example, a female student states that her main worry was for her transition to adulthood: Huma (aged 23): “I fear can’t have a job, can’t make my life. Everybody wants to have stability, make a family and go to their work. So if I don’t do these things I will become hopeless.” Several young people identified their own lack of mobility, on the one hand, and a loss of friends and family to emigration, on the other, as key challenges.
[. . . .]  Hamdi, who is male, uses an image of ‘the Palestinian child’ to make a quite complex political point. Male children are propelled into taking a stand, taking on older youth and adult roles, by occupying space, literally, in front of a tank, to reverse the stuckness imposed by the occupation. That role in itself is a reversal of normal childhood development and another way of being stuck. While the image is one of movement through uprising, arguably Hamdi himself remains ideologically stuck in a first Intifada narrative. He admitted feelings of guilt about not doing more himself to resist the occupation, and like many of the participants believed there would be a third Intifada. Much like Alena, Hamdi is partially performing a role in reproducing the Palestinian master narrative, a pattern repeated among the Israeli interviewees where the reality of stuckness is also betrayed by the rhetoric of mobilization. [. . . .]

❷ . 2016  CHRISTMAS  MESSAGE:  HOLIDAY  MESSAGE  FROM  PMNH-BU    
Palestine Museum of Natural History (PMNH)
Dec. 2, 2016
The Palestine Museum of Natural History (PMNH) and Palestine Institute of Biodiversity and Sustainability at Bethlehem University wish you a great holiday season and wishing you and yours a wonderful new year. May 2017 be a year of progress towards peace and sustainability for our planet.       More . . .  

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Volunteer of Palestine Museum of Natural History (PMNH) teaching children (Photo: PMNH website, Dec. 2, 2016)

❸ . JERUSALEM  RESIDENT  FORCED  TO  DEMOLISH  OWN  HOME
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Dec. 3, 2016
A Palestinian resident of the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan was forced Saturday to demolish his own home after the Israeli municipality of West Jerusalem warned him that unless he does it himself, it will demolish it and force him to pay exorbitant amount of money in costs.
___Said Abbasi, the home owner, told WAFA that he was forced to demolish the building that houses his and his brother’s homes under the pretext it was built without a license.     ___He said a total of 12 members of the Abbasi family, mostly children, were displaced as a result of the demolition of the two 300-square-meter homes.     More . . .

“HOW ARE YOU?” BY MOURID BARGHOUTI
Waiting for the school bus,
watching his breath turn into mist near his nose
in the icy morning,
the schoolboy’s fingers are frozen,
too stiff to make a fist.

On the pillow of regret,
the defeated soldier
lazily tries to get up,
raising his broken toothbrush
to his teeth.

Early or late,
The stranger awakens in his exile, his homeland.
Their clothes, their car number pates, their trees,
their quarrels, their love, their land, their sea
belong to them.
His memories are like rats gathering on his doormat,
new and warm
in front of his closed door.

On a lonely pillow,
the mother throws a quick glance
at the bed of her elder son,
made for the final time
and empty, forever.

A voice from the neighbouring window is heard:
“Hello, good morning, how are you?”
“Hello, good morning, we’re fine,
we’re fine!”

From: Barghouti, Mourid. Midnight and other Poems. Trans. By Radwa Ashour. Todmorden, Lancashire, UK: Arc Books, 2008. Available from B&N.
About Mourid Barghouti

“. . . Access is a fundamental element of the right to health . . .” (Dr. Gerald Rockenschaub)

makassedmaternityinvasion
Oct. 28, 2015. Israeli soldiers Invade Maternity Ward of al-Makassed Hospital (Photo: Silwanic)

❶ . World Health Organization: Substantial Israeli restrictions on access to health

  • Background: “Attitudes Of Palestinian Medical Students On The Geopolitical Barriers To Accessing Hospitals For Clinical Training: A Qualitative Study.” Conflict & Health 

❷ . In Jerusalem, insurance becomes extortion
❸ . Teacher with Down syndrome breaks stereotypes for Gaza’s mentally disabled students
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❶ .  WORLD  HEALTH  ORGANIZATION:  SUBSTANTIAL  ISRAELI  RESTRICTIONS  ON  ACCESS  TO  HEALTH  
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Dec. 1, 2016
Marking the United Nations declaration of November 29 as the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, the World Health Organization (WHO) published a 2-year report on health access for Gaza patients to highlight how the Israeli permit system and physical barriers obstruct health access for Palestinian patients, ambulances and health workers.
___The study “Right to health: crossing barriers to access health in the occupied Palestinian territory, 2014 – 2015,” was based on data provided by Palestinian Authority ministries and non-profit health providers, as well as patient interviews and field studies, said a WHO press release.     “Access is a fundamental element of the right to health. . . .   ” said Dr. Gerald Rockenschaub, the WHO head of the office in the West Bank and Gaza. “Yet the data indicates substantial restrictions for thousands of patients and their companions who are trying to travel to their places of referral.”    More . . . 

  • Shahawy, Sarrah, and Megan Diamond. “Attitudes Of Palestinian Medical Students On The Geopolitical Barriers To Accessing Hospitals For Clinical Training: A Qualitative Study.” Conflict & Health 10.(2016): 1-9.   ARTICLE.

[. . . .]  We designed a qualitative study using focus group discussions to explore the attitudes of Palestinian medical students at Al-Quds University on the barriers they face reaching hospitals for clinical training.
[. . . .] The findings from this study identify some of the hardships that Palestinian medical students face when undergoing their clinical training in the West Bank and Jerusalem. Living and studying in an occupied territory characterized by permit and checkpoint regulations significantly hindered the students’ ability to access high quality medical training.
___Medical students who had their permits to enter Jerusalem rejected were unable to train at Al-Makassed Hospital and were often forced to rely on clinical training in the West Bank, which they felt was less adequate.
[. . . .] Consistent with other literature on the challenges of receiving an education under occupation, focus groups highlighted how the emotional and psychological burden of the occupation specifically affected them as students, as it was hard to concentrate on their studies due to a stressful commute and surrounding political instability and violence. Their quality of life was impacted with little time for sleep or social activity. In the face of these challenges, Palestinian medical students exhibited extraordinary resilience, resourcefulness, and dedication to their education.
___Obstacles to accessing education in the occupied Palestinian territories are not limited to medical students. Since the beginning of the Israeli occupation, confrontation and tension surrounding Palestinian education has been pervasive at all educational levels.
[. . . .]  Conclusion:  Our findings suggest that medical students living and studying in the occupied Palestinian territories receive sub-optimal training due to ambiguous permit rules, barriers at checkpoints, and the psychological burden of the process. These results highlight the impact that military occupation has on the education and quality of life of Palestinian medical students in a setting in which there is regular violence and many health indicators are already poor. New transparent policies and a larger context of peace and sovereignty will be required to build an effective health care system in which Palestinian medical students can pursue adequate clinical training that will prepare them to care for their people in a resource-poor and war-torn setting.

❷ . IN  JERUSALEM,  INSURANCE  BECOMES  EXTORTION 
The Electronic Intifada
Joharah Baker
Nov. 28,  2016
Earlier this year, new regulations made it mandatory for all residents in Jerusalem with temporary family unification permits to obtain Israeli medical insurance.
___The law, which came into effect on 1 August, will cost those affected a monthly fee in addition to a large backdated one-time charge.
___It has caused an angry uproar among Jerusalem’s Palestinians, who see it as yet another attempt by Israeli authorities to target their community and make their precarious existence in the city even more challenging.       More . . .

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Hiba Anis Mustafa Shurafa guides students in her Gaza classroom, Nov. 30, 2016 (Photo: Mondoweiss)

❸ . TEACHER  WITH  DOWN  SYNDROME  BREAKS  STEREOTYPES  FOR  GAZA’S  MENTALLY  DISABLED  STUDENTS 
Mondoweiss  
Mohammed Asad
Nov. 30, 2016
Hiba Anis Mustafa Shurafa guides students in her Gaza classroom, instructing them on the art of how to hold a pen and keep a steady hand when writing out letters. She understands the task is challenging because, like her students, Shurafa has Down syndrome.
___The 27-year old teacher at the Right to Life Society school in Gaza City was once a student at the institution where she now instructs pupils with mental disabilities. Researchers at Bir Zeit University found that among Palestinians with disabilities in the occupied territories and Lebanese refugee camps, more than one-third never attend school. A further 87 percent will never be employed, making Shurafa and the Right to Life Society all the more unique.       More . . .

“. . . this community interpreted the [1967] war and its results as a heavenly call from above to do whatever possible to keep all the occupied territories under Israel’s sovereignty. . . .” (Eliezer Don-Yehiya)

❶ . Israeli military order to transfer Amona settlement to Palestinian lands
❷ . Israel pledges to vote on bill banning Athan next week

  • Background:     “Messianism and Politics: The Ideological Transformation Of Religious Zionism.” Israel Studies

❸ . Motion for withdrawing confidence from Israeli government
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❶ . ISRAELI  MILITARY  ORDER  TO  TRANSFER  AMONA  SETTLEMENT  TO  PALESTINIAN  LANDS
Alray-Palestinian Media Agency
Dec. 1, 2016
Chief of General staff of Israeli occupation army Roni Nomah signed Wednesday at night a military order to transfer settlers of Amona settlement to another location in the West Bank.
___The Israeli High Court of Justice ordered to evacuate the settlement by December 25 since it was built on Palestinian private lands.
___The Israeli occupation Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit proposed on Monday an apparent compromise to end the problem of demolishing an illegal West Bank settlement.
___According to Mandelblit’s suggestion, the evacuees of Amona, would be housed temporarily on three plots of land administered by Israel’s Custodian for Absentees’ Property.    
___Settlers in Amona refused this solution saying that they are not tools to be transferred on another place.     More . . .   
❷ . ISRAEL  PLEDGES  TO  VOTE  ON  BILL  BANNING  ATHAN  NEXT  WEEK   
Days of Palestine   
Dec. 1, 2016
Israeli Knesset postponed on Wednesday voting on bill banning Muslim call to prayer using loudspeakers in Palestinian territories.
___The vote on the bill, which aroused global criticism of Israeli restrictions on religious freedoms, was set on next Wednesday.
___Meanwhile, another bill legalising Jewish settler outposts built on privately-owned Palestinian lands in the occupied Palestinian territories, was also postponed.   More . . .

  • Don-Yehiya, Eliezer. “Messianism And Politics: The Ideological Transformation Of Religious Zionism.” Israel Studies 19.2 (2014): 239-263. (Professor, Department of Political Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan, Israel)   SOURCE.  

The Israeli religious Zionist community has undergone profound changes in various areas, and particularly in the sphere of political ideology. The religious Zionist parties were known for their political moderation. However, in recent decades they have become identified with radical or Right-wing positions on foreign and political affairs, especially those that are related to the Arab–Israeli conflict. Religious Zionists are among the firmest supporters of the idea of the “Greater Land of Israel”
[. . . .]  . . . the change in the political line of religious Zionism was the result of Israel’s victory in the Six-Day War.
___ [. . .  the liberation of territories that were part of the historic Land of Israel and included the most holy places of Jewish religion stirred messianic enthusiasm within the religious Zionist community in Israel. Many, if not most, of the members of this community interpreted the war and its results as a heavenly call from above to do whatever possible to keep all the occupied territories under Israel’s sovereignty.
[. . . .] The messianic idea is a central foundation of traditional Judaism. And yet, for a lengthy period of time it was linked with a passive waiting for Heavenly redemption. Even today this is the interpretation it receives in Haredi circles.
[. . . .]   While even the most radical of the participants in the struggle against the disengagement [from Gaza] recoiled from the use of loaded firearms, many of those who took part in the struggle were dissatisfied with the way that it was conducted. . . . The lesson that these people drew from the event was that further attempts to evacuate Jews from their homes should be confronted by a much more militant and resolute resistance. This lesson was in fact implemented in the Amona affair, which occurred about half a year after the disengagement from Gaza.
[. . . .]   They appealed to the Israel High Court of Justice, which instructed the government to order the evacuation and destruction of the houses. The settlers and their supporters from all over the country sharply denounced the decision of the court and declared their intention to do whatever possible to thwart its implementation. . . . In the fierce confrontation that erupted, both parties resorted to violent . . .

❸ . MOTION  FOR  WITHDRAWING  CONFIDENCE  FROM  ISRAELI  GOVERNMENT     Alray-Palestinian Media Agency     
Dec. 1, 2016
The United Arab list in the Israeli Knesset submitted a motion for withdrawing confidence from the Israeli government due to its decision of expanding the project of settlement in the occupied Palestinian territories.
___The United Arab list said in a press release that the motion will be discussed and voted on later in the next week.
___The United Arab list added that Israel’s Extreme Right-Wing Government continues to expand settlements in the Occupied Palestinian territories and tries to legislate a law of legitimizing settlements that violates international law and human rights.   More . . .

“. . . In the framework of international law . . . Palestinians are virtually nowhere . . .” (Laurie King-Irani)

palestino
Jan, 15, 2014. A sports uniform is accused of “fomenting terrorism” and inspiring “violence and hatred”. The team is a Chilean soccer club called CLUB DEPORTIVO PALESTINO, and their offense was incorporating an image of historic Palestine on their jerseys. (Photo: Portside.org)

❶ . Chile-based court files war crimes lawsuit against Israeli Supreme Court justices
❷ . Human Rights Watch: Arabs face imminent displacement in Israel
❸ . IOF closes main road in Ramallah

  • Background: “Exiled To A Liminal Legal Zone: Are We All Palestinians Now?” Third World Quarterly

` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ . CHILE-BASED  COURT  FILES  WAR  CRIMES  LAWSUIT  AGAINST  ISRAELI  SUPREME  COURT  JUSTICES     
Ma’an News Agency     
Nov. 29, 2016
A Santiago-based court in Chile on Monday filed a war crimes lawsuit against three Israeli Supreme Court justices for approving the construction of the Israeli separation wall, declared illegal by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in 2004.
___According to Israeli newspaper Haaretz, the lawsuit was filed by six Palestinian landowners in Beit Jala in the occupied West Bank district of Bethlehem and alleged war crimes, including crimes against humanity, against former chief Justice Asher Grunis, and Justices Neal Hendel and Uzi Vogelman.
___The claimants reportedly own the land that is expected to be cut off from their village by the separation wall, while five of the plaintiffs are Chilean nationals, Haaretz reported.
___Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians migrated to Chile over the last century, resulting in a large Palestinian diaspora community in the South American country, while many Palestinians with Chilean nationality also reside in the West Bank, particularly in Beit Jala.      More . . .

❷ . HUMAN  RIGHTS  WATCH:  ARABS  FACE  IMMINENT  DISPLACEMENT  IN  ISRAEL     
Days of Palestine
Nov. 30, 2016
More than 80,000 Palestinians in Negev are currently under Israeli threat of displacement Israeli occupation authorities should revoke plans to forcibly displace Arab residents from the Negev village of Umm al-Hiran, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said.
___The American human rights group said that the Israeli occupation is planning to force the Arabs, the indigenous Palestinian resident who remained home after the Israeli occupation of Palestine, in the village to build a new Jewish community in its place.     ___According to a statement by HRW, the Israeli Execution and Collection Authority on November 20, 2016, approved a request by the Israeli Land Authority to forcibly demolish two homes and approximately eight surrounding structures at the entrance of Umm al-Hiran.
[. . . .] Adalah, a nongovernmental legal centre that advocates for Arab minority rights in Israel and represents Umm al-Hiran residents, fears that the evictions will take place before the November 30 deadline.
___In a statement to Human Rights Watch, the lead Adalah attorney on the case, Suhad Bishara, said they would continue to “seek all available legal channels” to halt the displacement and support the “existential, moral and legitimate right” of the villagers to “continue living on their land.”
___In conditions similar to those in Umm al-Hiran, about 80,000 Arabs live under constant threat of home demolitions in 35 villages that Israel does not recognise in the Negev.     More . . .    Related . . .    ETHNIC  CLEANSING:  NEGEV  IS  A  BATTLEFIELD  FOR  A  VERY  FIERCE  STRUGGLE    Palestine Chronicle    Nov 29 2016

umm-al-hiram
May 06, 2015. Court rules that Umm al-Hiran in the northern Negev is built on state land, paving way for construction of Jewish community of Hiran. (Photo: Ha’aretz)

❸ . IOF  CLOSES  MAIN  ROAD  IN  RAMALLAH  
Alray-Palestinian Media Agency 
Nov. 30, 2016
Israeli occupation forces (IOF) closed on Wednesday morning the main road between Silwad town and Ain Yabrod village east of Ramallah city in the center of the West Bank with cement cubes.
___Local sources said that the IOF closed the bridge connecting Ain Yabrod village with Silwad town and forced Palestinian citizens to take other long alternative roads. More . . .

(Note: While the article below is 10 years old and some of the legal issues it discusses have been decided, it is still an insightful and compelling study of the Palestinian Diaspora. I have included a much longer quotation than I usually do. Unfortunately the article is available online only through EBSCO databases or Research Gate.)   

  • King-Irani, Laurie. “Exiled To A Liminal Legal Zone: Are We All Palestinians Now?” Third World Quarterly 27.5 (2006): 923-936.   SOURCE. 

As a diaspora of over nine million people, Palestinians are everywhere: second-class citizens of Israel, stateless residents of fragmented and walled-in Bantustans in the occupied West Bank, refugees residing inside and outside of camps in Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan; and immigrants, students, professionals and nationalised citizens in virtually every country in the world. Palestinians dwell in the ‘First’ as well as the ‘Third’ worlds, economically speaking. Among the far-flung Palestinian diaspora are some of the poorest as well as some of the wealthiest people in the world. In the framework of international law, however, Palestinians are virtually nowhere. As stateless persons they occupy a liminal and interstitial space in the international legal and political order, an order that (contemporary discourses of cosmopolitanism, globalisation and emergent transnational organisations aside) remains founded upon and grounded in the interests of sovereign nation-states rather than in the claims of sub- or transnational actors, whether individuals or groups.
___Palestinians reaped few if any benefits from the late 20th century florescence of international humanitarian law (IHL), an era that witnessed a serious international focus on human rights and ‘policing the past’, as well as the establishment of the first ad hoc international criminal tribunals in half a century to address massive human rights violations (including genocide) in Africa and Europe. The defining event of the 1990s for Palestinians was the signing of the Oslo Accords and the now-famous handshake  between PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat and the late Israeli Prime Minster Yitzhak Rabin in 1993.
___Oslo, however, was not founded on international law or treaties but, rather, constituted a negotiated agreement between unequal partners. It was an agreement that side-stepped the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, UN General Assembly Resolution 194 (concerning the rights of Palestinian refugees), UN Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338 (censuring Israel’s acquisition of territory by force), the Fourth Geneva Convention’s limitations on the actions of an occupying power, and a bevy of annual reports, issued by such bodies as the UN Human Rights Commission, the International Jurists Commission, and the International Committee of the Red Cross, emphasising Israel’s duty to uphold IHL and to abide by all of international treaties it has signed.
___The Oslo Accords (the Declaration of Principles— DOP) did not represent a legally binding, international document, but a slippery ‘deal’ or ‘understanding’ brokered by the USA, a superpower actor with a long record of supporting Israel regardless of its failure to comply with international humanitarian norms. Rather than being empowering, conciliatory, or liberating the Palestinians from a chronic state of legal and political liminality, the Oslo process ultimately proved to be a coercive set of mechanisms that further entrenched Israeli control over Palestinian land. It also set precedents for a dangerous attenuation of IHL’s relevance to the overall Israeli – Palestinian conflict.
___Following the Al-Qaida attacks on New York City and Washington, DC on 11 September 2001, IHL’s growing focus on the needs of individual victims was eclipsed once again by the interests of sovereign states, or, as Hajjar terms them, hyper-sovereign states.10 The USA and its ally, Israel, are the chief embodiments of hyper-sovereignty, a political and military stance characterised by pre-emptive policies, a distaste for multilateral legal frameworks to counter emerging extra-state threats, and a pronounced reliance on overwhelming unilateral force that often violates IHL, international human rights law (IHRL) and UN resolutions, while rendering international diplomacy beside the point. The travails of the Palestinian people since 1948 offer a disturbing, though highly instructive, reverse-image view of the contours and limitations—as well as the possibilities—of an international legal order. The ongoing Palestinian tragedy also illuminates serious contradictions in prevailing discourses of human and civil rights, exposing ambiguities in prevailing legal definitions of, and guarantees for, human beings.
[. . . .]

 

 

“. . . the international community decided to intervene negatively, and thus began the tragedy of Palestine . . .” (Hanan Ashrawi)

un_assembly_vote
The UN passing Resolution 181, Nov. 29, 1947 (Stock photo online)

❶ . Ashrawi: Partition is a historical concession, and solidarity should be an active engagement
❷ . Egyptian power line malfunctions, parts of southern Gaza left without electricity

  • Background:  “The Energy Poverty Nexus In The Middle East And North Africa.” OPEC Energy Review

❸ . Israeli forces enter southern Gaza Strip, level lands
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ . ASHRAWI:  PARTITION  IS  A  HISTORICAL  CONCESSION,  AND  SOLIDARITY  SHOULD  BE  AN  ACTIVE  ENGAGEMENT  
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA     
Nov. 29, 2016
In marking on Tuesday the 69th anniversary of the adoption of UN General Assembly Resolution 181 (the Partition Plan)  and the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, PLO Executive Committee Member Hanan Ashrawi said: “This anniversary marks an occasion in which the international community decided to intervene negatively, and thus began the tragedy of Palestine.”
___She said in a statement that “[a]lthough the Partition Resolution itself gives the international community the right and power to take action against any party that is responsible for attempts that constitute ‘any threat to the peace, breach of the peace, or act of aggression’ and alter ‘by force the settlement envisaged by [the] resolution,’ it has repeatedly failed to do so or to hold Israel to account.”       More . . .  
Related:  Jeremy R. Hammond. “The Myth of the Creation of Israel.” Foreign Policy Journal. Oct. 26, 2010.

❷ . EGYPTIAN  POWER  LINE  MALFUNCTIONS,  PARTS  OF  SOUTHERN  GAZA  LEFT  WITHOUT  ELECTRICITY     
Ma’an News Agency
Nov. 29, 2016
Parts of the southern Gaza Strip were left without electricity on Tuesday morning, after a main Egyptian line feeding southern Gaza malfunctioned hours after it was reported as fixed.
___Spokesman for the Gaza Electricity Company Muhammad Thabet confirmed to Ma’an that an Egyptian electricity line known as ‘Gaza 2’ malfunctioned on Tuesday morning, causing outages across the southern besieged coastal enclave.
___He pointed out that the line was fixed on Monday evening after it, along with an Israeli power line, had been damaged on Wednesday.
[. . . .]  Even at full capacity, Egyptian and Israeli electricity grids, together with Gaza’s sole power plant, fail to cover the Gaza Strip’s energy needs and only provide energy to Gaza’s inhabitants for eight hours each day.        More . . .

  • El-Katiri, Laura. “The Energy Poverty Nexus In The Middle East And North Africa.” OPEC Energy Review 38.3 (2014): 296-322.     SOURCE.

In part of the [Middle East and North Africa], the persistence of energy poverty does not stem from a lack of government attention, underinvestment, geographical factors or low incomes. Rather, it is driven by socio-political instability, whether short-term or ongoing. Little is known about the scope and duration of conflict-driven energy poverty, especially in the case of conflicts that result in years of instability and a lack of effective domestic institutions. The consequences must nevertheless be seen as severe for local populations, adding to socioeconomic neglect that in turn perpetuates and feeds into social conflict. The Arab–Israeli conflict is a case in point. The conflict caused hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees to settle in the Gaza strip and camps in Jordan and Lebanon, where many of them ended up spending decades in provisional housing, often with little if any access to electricity and sewage. There are no available data on electricity service rates in the West Bank and Gaza, but official Israeli reports estimated operating rates at the Gaza Strip’s sole power station’s 20 per cent of capacity at end of 2012, suggesting significant undersupply of Gazan households (Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 2012***).
***Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 2012. The humanitarian situation in Gaza. 18 November 2012.

(A journal article justifying Israel’s economic and humanitarian treatment of Gaza.)
Meisels, Tamar. “Economic Warfare – The Case Of Gaza.” Journal Of Military Ethics 10.2 (2011): 94-109.

❸ . ISRAELI  FORCES  ENTER  SOUTHERN  GAZA  STRIP,  LEVEL  LANDS
Ma’an News Agency 
Nov. 29, 2016
Israeli military vehicles escorted several bulldozers into the southern Gaza Strip on Tuesday morning, where they leveled Palestinian agricultural fields.     ___Witnesses told Ma’an that five military bulldozers escorted by military vehicles crossed the border fence in the eastern outskirts of the town of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, “and carried out earthworks near the border fence.”        More . . . 

power
The Egyptian power plant that provides electricity to parts of the southern Gaza, Jan. 29, 2016 (Photo: Ma’an News Agency)

 

“. . . the major obstacle to any peace negotiations has always been Israel’s incessant building of settlements on Palestinian lands . . .” (Ghada Hashem Talhami)

mideast-israel-palest_horo-635x357
Israeli settler looks at the West Bank settlement of Ma’ale Adumim the eastern outskirts of Jerusalem. Sep. 5, 2013. (Photo: AP/Sebastian Scheiner)

❶ . Israeli forces detain Hamas-affiliated Palestinian lawmaker in Hebron

  • Background: “The Conundrum Of The Palestinian Two-State, One-State Solution.” Arab Studies Quarterly

❷ . Hamas, Islamic Jihad invited to attend Fatah conference
❸ . Foreign Minister says resolution on settlements in few days
. . . ❸ ― (a) Tayseer Khaled : Betting on International Initiatives is futile, Unless Coupled with Encountering Occupation on the Ground
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ . ISRAELI  FORCES  DETAIN  HAMAS-AFFILIATED  PALESTINIAN  LAWMAKER  IN  HEBRON 
Ma’an News Agency    
Nov. 28, 2016
Israeli forces detained Hamas-affiliated Palestinian lawmaker Azzam Nuaman Salhab during a raid in the southern occupied West Bank city of Hebron on Monday morning, his family told Ma’an.
___According to the family, large numbers of Israeli troops stormed the home of 60-year-old Salhab and thoroughly searched the house before taking the Palestinian MP into custody.
___Separately, Israeli forces detained Anas Hatim Qafisha — the son of oft-imprisoned Hamas MP Hatem Qafisha — and Asim Amr Ubeido in Hebron, locals reported.  More . . .   

  • Talhami, Ghada Hashem. “The Conundrum Of The Palestinian Two-State, One-State Solution.” Arab Studies Quarterly 38.2 (2016): 468-480.     SOURCE.

Since the Nixon and Ford administrations, the US has assiduously attempted to ban any unfriendly government, such as the Soviet Union, from participating in the Middle East peace negotiations and to maintain control of the peace process itself. Now, there seems to be a palpable willingness to relinquish the entire arena of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to the initiatives of Benjamin Netanyahu’s government.
___Unfortunately, the US’s withdrawal will only perpetuate the current territorial status quo favoring Israel. This has already delineated the weakness of the Palestinian Authority (PA) and energized the simmering debate among supporters of the two-state and one-state solution, with the latter claiming the backing of a wide spectrum of Palestinians, as well as international sympathizers. Not surprisingly, the debate has acquired an ideological tinge, turning into a referendum on the future of the PA.
[. . . .]  No one questions that the major obstacle to any peace negotiations has always been Israel’s incessant building of settlements on Palestinian lands. The bi-partisan determination to choose this form of establishing facts on the ground, which the Palestinians describe as creeping annexation, constricted any possibility of achieving a genuine peace settlement.
[. . . .] Israel recognizes that the only time in which the outside world will accept its own borders is through the signing of an agreement to create an independent Palestinian state. It is generally believed that such an eventuality would act as an inducement for Israel to hasten moving in this direction. But the two-state solution which has been predicated on such a plan was perceived by Israel to be advantageous on another level, namely, the prevention of the creation of a unified Israeli-Palestinian state, or the one-state solution. Israel continues to fear this development, assuming that it will threaten its own security when the demographic balance inevitably tilts in the Palestinians’ direction. According to this majority view, an influx of Arabs will also erode the democratic nature of the state.

. HAMAS,  ISLAMIC  JIHAD  INVITED  TO  ATTEND  FATAH  CONFERENCE  
Ma’an News Agency    
Nov. 27, 2016
The Hamas movement is currently discussing the possibility of attending Fatah’s seventh conference later this week, Hamas spokesman Hazem Qasim told Ma’an on Sunday.
___The announcement came almost a week after Hamas denied reports that it had been invited to attend the congress.
___Qasim said that Hamas had recently received an invitation to attend the Nov. 29 event in the West Bank city of Ramallah.
___Meanwhile, Islamic Jihad spokesman Daoud Shihab told Ma’an that the political faction had also received an invitation to the conference, and that it would send a representative to participate.     More . . .  

hatem
Feb. 28, 2007, IOF troops kidnapped Palestinian MP Hatem Qafisha bringing the number of Palestinian lawmakers kidnapped. (Photo: The Palestinian Information Center)

❸ . FOREIGN  MINISTER  SAYS  RESOLUTION  ON  SETTLEMENTS  IN  FEW  DAYS   
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Nov. 28, 2016
Foreign Minister Riyad Malki said Monday work on a draft resolution on the illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories to be submitted to the United Nations Security Council is underway and will be ready in few days.
___Speaking to Voice of Palestine radio, Malki said consultations with the Arab countries are continuing to ensure their support to the Palestinian bid in the international organization.       More . . .    
. . . ❸ ― (A) TAYSEER  KHALED :  BETTING  ON  INTERNATIONAL  INITIATIVES  IS  FUTILE,  UNLESS  COUPLED  WITH  ENCOUNTERING  OCCUPATION  ON  THE  GROUND   
Palestine News Network – PNN
Nov. 25, 2016
The so called French Peace Initiative is facing obstacles and impediments. Betting on reaching settlements in Paris is, in fact, running after a delusion,” said Tayseer Khaled, member of the PLO’s Executive Committee , Head of the Palestinian Expatriate Affairs Department during an interview with local mass media.
___“The alternative is an actual confrontation of the Israeli procedures on the ground, in addition to a truthful implementation of the National Consensus Paper, aka. The Detainees’ National Consensus Paper,” asserted Khaled.      More . . .    

“. . . inside fear lies an unsustainable fire that eventually leads to hell. . .” (Samah Salaime)

neve-shalom
Wahat al-Salam – Neve Shalom. (Photo from community website)

❶ As firefighters try to control wildfires, Israeli troops abduct 23 Palestinians for ‘arson’

  • Background: “Forest fires across Palestine (aka ‘Israel’).”  Mazin Qumsiyeh, Human Rights Newsletter.

. . . ❶ ― (a) Army Abducts Eight Palestinians In The West Bank
. . . ❶ ― (b) Israeli Army Abducts Five Palestinians Near Jenin
❷ . No fires or inciting politicians can destroy our shared society
❸ . Deported from Palestine: Why Israel fears journalists
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶  AS  FIREFIGHTERS  TRY  TO  CONTROL  WILDFIRES,  ISRAELI  TROOPS  ABDUCT  23  PALESTINIANS  FOR  ‘ARSON’
IMEMC News
Celine Hagbard
Nov. 27, 2016
Despite a total lack of evidence of any human cause of the wildfires that have burned in Israel for nearly a week, Israeli troops have detained 23 Palestinians. This follows a statement Thursday by Israeli Education Minister Naftali Bennett, who claimed “only someone who this land does not belong to would be capable of setting fire to it”.
___By this statement, he pointed blame at Palestinians, who have continuously lived on the land and had connection to it for thousands of years prior to the displacement of hundreds of thousands when Israel was created on their land in 1948.       More . . .

  • FOREST FIRES ACROSS PALESTINE (AKA “ISRAEL”).  Mazin Qumsiyeh, Human Rights Newsletter, Fri, Nov 25, 2016.       Professor Mazin Qumsiyeh teaches and does research at Bethlehem and Birzeit Universities. He is director of the main clinical cytogenetics laboratory and director of the Palestine Museum of Natural History and Institute for Biodiversity Research.

Over 200 forest fires are raging in Palestine (now renamed the Jewish State of Israel including its occupied Palestinian territories). Many countries are helping put out the fires including four teams of Palestinian firefighters (no body helped Gaza when it was being fire-bombed by white phosphorous). But the fascist racist government of “Israel” blamed the Palestinians for the fires! Even some decent Israelis pointed out that fires are raging across Western Asia (aka the “Middle East”). Here is a map
%d7%9e%d7%a4%d7%aa-%d7%a9%d7%a8%d7%99%d7%a4%d7%95%d7%aa-%d7%91%d7%9e%d7%96%d7%a8%d7%97-%d7%94%d7%aa%d7%99%d7%9b%d7%95%d7%9f-%d7%9e%d7%95%d7%9b%d7%9f-500x333put out by one Israeli website of location of fires across the region including in Lebanon, Syria, and Turkey.
___Perhaps coincidentally or otherwise, right after war criminal Netanyahu blamed Palestinians, new fires erupted near Palestinian communities. If you really want to know who is to blame for the damage, it is clearly Zionism as I wrote in many articles and books before. In 1901 at the World Zionist Congress and despite objections of conscientious Jews, a Jewish National Fund (Keren Keyemet Li’Israel, or KKL) was establish to further “Jewish colonization” (the term they used) of Palestine. One of the tasks was to raise money and they used the gimmick of collecting money for trees. Indeed they did plant trees but it was unfortunately the highly flammable European pine tree. After 1948-1949 when some 500 Palestinian villages and towns were depopulated, their lands (cultivated with figs, almonds, olives and other trees) were razed to the ground and again resinous and inflammable pine trees were planted. The same happened after 1967 when more Palestinian villages were demolished and their village lands planted with the same European pines, one of those villages s the biblical Imwas (see photos before and after here).

. . . ❶ ― (B)  ARMY  ABDUCTS  EIGHT  PALESTINIANS  IN  THE  WEST  BANK   
IMEMC News   
Nov. 27, 2016
Israeli soldiers abducted, overnight and at dawn Sunday, at least eight Palestinians, including former political prisoners, in different parts of the occupied West Bank, the Palestinian Prisoners’ Society (PPS) has reported.      More . . .
. . . ❶ ― (C)  ISRAELI  ARMY  ABDUCTS  FIVE  PALESTINIANS  NEAR  JENIN     
IMEMC News     
Nov. 27, 2016
Israeli soldiers abducted, on Saturday evening, five Palestinians, including a child, from Barta’a town, isolated behind the Annexation Wall, southwest of Jenin, in the northern part of the occupied West Bank.       More . . .  
❷ . NO  FIRES  OR  INCITING  POLITICIANS  CAN  DESTROY  OUR  SHARED  SOCIETY      
+972 Magazine 
Samah Salaime
Nov. 26, 2016
The wildfire that struck Neve Shalom-Wahat al-Salam left our Jewish-Arab village more resilient than ever before. We invite Israel’s politicians to learn from us on how to heal our society’s wounds.        More . . .  
. DEPORTED  FROM  PALESTINE:  WHY  ISRAEL  FEARS  JOURNALISTS      
Al Jazeera   
Eoin Wilson reflects on Israel’s policy of deporting foreign witnesses to the Israeli occupation.
Nov. 27, 2016
As Israel tightens its grip on Palestinians and their international supporters, a growing number of activists, researchers and journalists have been denied access by the Israeli authorities. Among them is Eoin Wilson, an Irish-Scottish freelance journalist, earlier this month refused entry and banned for 10 years.
It is early November 2016, and we are at the Allenby crossing, in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. This crossing, also known as the King Hussein Bridge, is the only crossing between the West Bank and Jordan, and is controlled entirely by Israel. Palestinian baggage handlers pass by in orange high-vis vests. Like Palestinians who work on the construction of settlements and the Wall, they seem like prisoners employed by the prison.
[. . . .]  After several more hours of waiting, we are finally handed a letter confirming our denial of entry, and told that we are banned for 10 years. Among the reasons cited for my denial were “public order considerations”. When independent journalism is considered a threat to a society’s “public order”, profound questions must be asked about the values and principles of that society.        More . . .

“. . . an intentional policy to exacerbate the chronic shortage of electricity in Gaza . . .” (Aeyal Gross)

PALESTINIAN-GAZA-ISRAEL-CONFLICT
Flames engulf the fuel tanks of Gaza’s only power plant, hit by Israeli shelling, on July 29, 2014. (Photo: Mahmud Hams/AFP/Getty Images)

❶ . Health Ministry: Gaza’s fuel shortage puts hospitals at serious risk

  • Background: “We Didn’t Want To Hear The Word ‘Calories'”: Rethinking Food Security, Food Power, And Food Sovereignty–Lessons From The Gaza Closure.” Berkeley Journal of International Law

❷ . Army blocks two roads near Hebron school, movement curtailed
❸ . Arresting 4 Jerusalemite children from Silwan
. . . ❸ ― (a) The Martyrdom of a Palestinian young man at Shu’fat Refugee Camp in Jerusalem
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ . HEALTH  MINISTRY:  GAZA’S  FUEL  SHORTAGE  PUTS  HOSPITALS  AT  SERIOUS  RISK      
Ma’an News Agency
Nov. 26, 2016
The spokesperson of Gaza’s health ministry said in a statement on Friday that the health ministry would face a difficult situation if fuel is not provided to hospitals in the few upcoming hours.
___Ashraf al-Qadra called upon all competent authorities to quickly intervene and provide fuel for Gaza’s hospitals, noting that the fuel crisis in Gaza is expected to have severe effects on the besieged enclave’s hospitals.
___The plead came two days after health services in a children’s hospital were suspended due to a lack of fuel to its generators.         More . . .     Related . . .

Gross, Aeyal, and Tamar Feldman. “We Didn’t Want To Hear The Word ‘Calories'”: Rethinking Food Security, Food Power, And Food Sovereignty–Lessons From The Gaza Closure.” Berkeley Journal Of International Law 33.2 (2015): 379-441.    ARTICLE.

[. . . .] . . . the movement of goods and people into and out of the Gaza Strip was restricted to a so-called humanitarian minimum. . .  Although framed at first as “sanctions,” the policy was subsequently referred to as “economic warfare.” In essence, it was designed, according to Israel, to press the residents of the Gaza Strip to pressure Hamas . . .
___ . . .  Since its occupation of Gaza following the 1967 Arab-Israeli War, Israel has controlled the land crossings as well as Gaza’s airspace and territorial waters. . . all border crossing points between Israel and the Gaza Strip have been shut except for the Erez Crossing . . .  and the Kerem Shalom Crossing, which is the sole passageway for consumer goods.
[. . . .]  ___In a September 2007 decision, the Israeli Security Cabinet stated, “The sanctions will be enacted following a legal examination, while taking into account both the humanitarian aspects relevant to the Gaza Strip and the desire to avoid a humanitarian crisis.” Hence, the closure policy was aimed at causing damage to the Gaza economy and bringing the population to the verge of a humanitarian crisis . . .  The underlying principles of this policy were challenged early on, in October 2007, in a petition brought before the Israel Supreme Court . . . which focused on the restrictions on the supply of fuel and electricity to the Gaza Strip, the petitioners argued that the deliberate worsening of the quality of life of the inhabitants of the Gaza Strip to a state of minimal existence for the sole purpose of putting pressure on Hamas constitutes collective punishment which is strictly prohibited under international law . . .  In its response, the state claimed that its closure policy is a legitimate form of “economic warfare,” and it presented a set of calculations it had used to establish the minimum humanitarian fuel needs in the Gaza Strip, including industrial diesel for the power plant. Yet this minimum was knowingly calculated based on figures below the average, but above the minimum need for electricity in the Gaza Strip and, therefore, reflected an intentional policy to exacerbate the chronic shortage of electricity in Gaza.
___The Supreme Court ruled that Israel’s positive obligations towards the Gaza Strip are based on three factors: (1) its control over the land crossings and borders; (2) Gaza’s almost complete dependency on Israel to supply its electricity, which had developed over the course of the prolonged occupation; and (3) the ongoing state of belligerence in Gaza . . .  the Court authorized the electricity and fuel restrictions . . . In so doing, it gave its stamp of approval to the closure policy in its entirety and de facto accepted the “humanitarian-minimum standard” as a legitimate benchmark   [. . . .]  

❷ . ARMY  BLOCKS  TWO  ROADS  NEAR  HEBRON  SCHOOL,  MOVEMENT  CURTAILED 
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Nov. 26, 2016
The Israeli army Saturday blocked with cement cubes two roads in the vicinity of Tareq Ben Ziad school near the Ibrahimi mosque in the center of Hebron, south of the West Bank, according Rashad Muhtaseb, a local factory owner.
[. . . .]  The army put up cement cubes to close roads in the area, where several shops and factories are located, hampering as a result movement of people, mainly students.     ___Thousands of Israeli settlers are planning to converge on the Ibrahimi mosque and the old city of Hebron in the coming days to mark a Jewish event.      More . . .             Related . . . SETTLERS  TORCH  PALESTINIAN  FAMILY  HOME  IN  HEBRON       Palestine News Network – PNN      Nov. 22, 2016

children-hebron
Children walking past soldiers on their way to school, May 7, 2016 (Photo: International Solidarity Movement)

❸ . ARRESTING  4  JERUSALEMITE  CHILDREN  FROM  SILWAN      
Wadi Hilweh Information Center – Silwan
Nov. 24, 2016
The occupation forces arrested on Thursday four Jerusalemite children from the village of Silwan.
___Wadi Hilweh Information Center’s lawyer, Saleh Mheisen, explained that the Israeli forces arrested three children while heading home after school on charges of throwing stones. . . .
___Lawyer Mheisen added that the police released the three children after interrogating them for several hours on condition of house-arrest for 5 days and an unpaid bail of 5 thousand NIS for each.
___Lawyer Mheisen added that the forces also arrested 13-year old Jamal Mohammad Qaraeen and interrogated him for several hours on charges of throwing stones . . . .     More . . .
. . . ― (A) THE  MARTYRDOM  OF  a  PALESTINIAN  YOUNG  MAN  AT  SHU’FAT  REFUGEE  CAMP  IN  JERUSALEM
Wadi Hilweh Information Center – Silwan 
November 25, 2016
A young man passed away after being shot at Shu’fat Refugee Camp checkpoint north of Jerusalem.
___ Lawyer Mohammad Mahmoud said that the Martyr is 14-year old Mohammad Nabil Salam.
___Thaer Fasfoos, spokesman of Fateh movement in the Refugee Camp, said that the young men descended from a bus right before the checkpoint for unknown reasons before being shot by the occupation forces which led to his immediate Martyrdom.     More . . .