“. . . debris clattered down the outside stairway and fell towards the marble pavement. . . .” (Yousef Al-Mahmoud)

❶ Israel halts construction of school in Bethlehem, despite residents receiving permit
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Settler Caravans Erected Near Bethlehem

  • “The Future of Israel and Palestine: Expanding the Debate.” Middle East Policy.

❷ Israeli forces blow up home of slain Palestinian in Ramallah-area village
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) Israeli forces demolish homes in Bedouin villages in southern Israel
❸ Hebron: Israeli Occupation Forces Confiscate 47 Dunums of Land
. . . . . ❸ ― (ᴀ) Hebron: ‘We’re living in the heart of a prison’
❹ POETRY by Yousef Al-Mahmoud
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ ISRAEL  HALTS  CONSTRUCTION  OF  SCHOOL  IN  BETHLEHEM,  DESPITE  RESIDENTS  RECEIVING  PERMIT
Ma’an News Agency
Aug. 18, 2017.   Israeli authorities forcibly halted the construction of a school in Jubbet Al-Dhib village in the eastern part of Bethlehem in the southern occupied West Bank on Thursday, despite Palestinians receiving an Israeli-issued building permit for the project.
___A representative of a popular resistance committee in Bethlehem Hadan Brejiyeh told Ma’an that Israeli forces, escorted by employees of the Israeli civil administration had “raided the village,” and shut down the construction at the school.
___Israeli forces had put a stop to the construction, which consisted of eight mobile structures, and confiscated vehicles belonging to an Italian NGO. The residents said they had received a difficult-to-obtain Israeli-issued building permit for the project.   MORE . . .
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) SETTLER CARAVANS ERECTED NEAR BETHLEHEM
International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC 
August 17, 2017.   Israeli settlers, on Wednesday, installed caravans near the village of Nahalin, to the west of Bethlehem, according to local sources.
___Sobhi Zeidan, head of Nahalin village council, told WAFA that settlers from the nearby illegal settlement of Beitar Elit installed 10 caravans near the fence separating the settlement from Nahalin.   MORE . . .

Walt, Stephen M., et al.
“THE  FUTURE  OF  ISRAEL  AND  PALESTINE:  EXPANDING  THE  DEBATE.”
Middle East Policy,
vol. 20, no. 2, Summer2013, pp. 1-24.
[. . . .] The second scene is in a small village that I visited near the Hebron Hills in Area C in the West Bank. There are Palestinian herdsmen there who have a couple of small houses and sheds for livestock. The day I visited this hamlet — Sadat a Thaale, I think it was called — the Israelis had come in a few days before and, using a bulldozer, had destroyed the cistern. It is an ancient practice, throughout the Middle East and many parts of the world, of storing water in cisterns — in this case a limestone cistern carved out of the hill. The Israelis had destroyed it. The source of water was destroyed and five sheep were killed. This kind of wanton destruction is happening on a regular basis in the West Bank, with the aim of pushing people off the land, off Area C and into cities, where they can be gathered together. Israel has always wanted as much land as possible with as few Palestinians on it. That has been part of the program from the start.
[. . . .] Because Israel has so permeated the West Bank and East Jerusalem and has encircled East Jerusalem, I believe the two-state solution is over. It’s not going to happen. There are 600,000-650,000 Israelis east of the Green Line. They’re not going to move. So this historic conflict, which has been called two irreconcilable claims to the same land, is over. One side has won. That has always been the case; one side was winning. We’re now at a point where one side controls all the land with the exception of Area A, in which the Palestinian Authority is exercising some type of authority.    FULL ARTICLE . . .

❷ ISRAELI  FORCES  BLOW  UP  HOME  OF  SLAIN  PALESTINIAN  IN  RAMALLAH-AREA  VILLAGE     
Ma’an News Agency
Aug. 17, 2017.   In a raid Thursday morning on the Ramallah-area village of Deir Abu Mashaal in the central occupied West Bank, Israeli forces blew up the home of slain Palestinian Adel Hassan Ahmad Ankoush, who was killed by Israeli forces in June along with two other Palestinians after the three carried out a deadly shooting and stabbing attack in occupied East Jerusalem that left an Israeli border police officer dead.
___Locals told Ma’an that the Israeli army raided Ankoush’s family home and set up explosives around the house, as other forces surrounded Deir Abu Mashaal and deployed across all entrances to the village, while drones hovered overhead.   MORE . . .
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) ISRAELI  FORCES  DEMOLISH  HOMES  IN  BEDOUIN  VILLAGES  IN  SOUTHERN  ISRAEL 
Ma’an News Agency
Aug. 17, 2017.   Israeli authorities demolished three Palestinian homes on Thursday morning in several Bedouin villages in the Negev of southern Israel for allegedly being built without Israeli-issued building permits, locals told Ma’an.
___According to locals, Israeli authorities demolished a house belonging to Salman Abu Sabileh in the Umm Qabu village, while two other homes were demolished in the al-Atrash and al-Sayyid villages.
___Meanwhile, locals in the Umm al-Hiran village in the Negev told Ma’an that clashes had erupted between Palestinian residents and Israeli police forces after they raided the village to carry out demolitions. However, there were no reports of demolitions being carried out.   MORE . . .
❸ HEBRON:  ISRAELI  OCCUPATION  FORCES  CONFISCATE  47  DUNUMS  OF  LAND
PalestineChronicle
Aug. 17, 2017.  Israeli authorities confiscated at least 47 dunams (12 acres) of lands in al-Thahiryeh village, south of Hebron city, in the southern occupied West Bank for alleged military purposes, locals told Ma’an on Wednesday.
___Al-Thahiryeh mayor Ratib al-Sabber told Ma’an that locals were surprised last Sunday when an Israeli confiscation order was put up on the entrance of the Mitar checkpoint in the southern part of al-Thahiryeh, close to the lands that were confiscated. The order stated that the land would be used for Israeli army purposes.   MORE . . .
. . . . . ❸ ― (ᴀ) HEBRON:  ‘WE’RE  LIVING  IN  THE  HEART  OF  A  PRISON’   
Al Jazeera English 
August  16, 2017.   (Amid heightened restrictions and harassment, Palestinians struggle to keep their homes in Hebron’s historic Old City.)     
For weeks, members of the Abu Rajab family have been confined to their home in the heart of Hebron’s historic Old City.
___They cannot leave for fear that settlers will occupy the house. When absolutely necessary, one family member takes a short trip to buy food or other necessities, before hurrying back inside.     “We’re always careful about going out and coming back in, and we make sure not to leave the house alone,” Hazem Abu Rajab, 28, told Al Jazeera as he sat outside on their porch.
___On July 25, a group of 15 settler families broke into apartments belonging to the Abu Rajabs’ ancestral family home and moved in. The same evening, the settlers physically attacked members of the Abu Rajab family while attempting to invade their primary residence. Yet when Israeli authorities arrived on the scene, they attempted to arrest the Abu Rajabs, they said.
___For six days, the Abu Rajab family could not leave their home at all, due to a military order that forbade anyone from exiting or entering, Abu Rajab said. The Palestinian Civil Administration tried to deliver food on the fourth day but was turned away.   MORE . . .

“ABOVE  THE  CARNATIONS,”  BY  YOUSEF  AL-MAHMOUD
Her house is above the carnations
on the path to the wind-swept hills. . .
At evening we sought refuge there
watching out for the guns and the aeroplanes.

The crack of bullets followed our coffee
and smashed into our conversation.
The crack of bullets and the bark of artillery
came near to the flowers inside the windows
came near to the warmth and the water jug
debris clattered down the outside stairway
and fell towards the marble pavement.

Her house is above the carnations
there we were in it
we had sought refuge there
and so we moved to where the Jewish soldiers could no longer see us.

Translated by DM Black
Yousef Al-Mahmoud is a prominent broadcaster and poet, and former head of the Ministry of Culture in his native Jenin.
From A  BIRD  IS  NOT  A  STONE:  AN  ANTHOLOGY  OF  CONTEMPORARY  PALESTINIAN  POETRY.   (Glasgow: Freight Books, 2014) –available from Amazon.com.

“. . .Each land has its own rebirth. . .” (Mahmoud Darwish)

A personal note: I was unable to rouse myself to post here yesterday (or to complete many of my regular activities) because of the distressing events in the American body politic since Friday evening. I will resume with a regular posting this afternoon.

However, I want to express my gratitude to Mazin Qumsiyeh, Professor and (volunteer) Director of the Palestine Museum of Natural History and Palestine Institute of Biodiversity and Sustainability at Bethlehem University, for his writing on his blog yesterday that helped me think through exactly why the events in the US and our president’s reaction to them were so devastating to me (and many other Americans).

Please read Professor Qumsiyeh’s writing at his blog, Popular Resistance.

I am also grateful that I recalled Mahmoud Darwish’s poem on “hope” to give a word of clarity in this bizarre time.

(You may check back here later today for my regular posting.)

Thank you, Harold Knight

“ON  HOPE,”  BY  MAHMOUD  DARWISH

Do not tell me:
I wish to be a baker in Algeria
In order to sing with the revolutionaries
Do not tell me:
I wish to be a shepherd in the Yemen
To sing for the uprising of the age
Do not tell me:
I wish to be a waiter in Havana
To sing for the victory of the poor
Do not tell me:
I wish to be a stone carrier in Aswan
To sing for the rocks
My friends:
The Nile will not pour into the Volga
The Congo and Jordan Rivers
Will not serve the Euphrates
Each river has its own
Our land is not barren
Each land has its own rebirth
Each dawn has a date with revolution.

From: Aruri, Naseer and Edmund Ghareeb, eds. ENEMY  OF  THE  SUN:  POETRY  OF  THE  PALESTINIAN  RESISTANCE. Washington, DC: Drum and Spear Press, 1970.  Available from Amazon.
About Mahmoud Darwish.  

“. . . the light of day will dawn, And, dazzled by it, my jailer will be humbled . . .” (Samih Al-Qasim)

❶ Israel’s collective punishment policy: Entire family in prison, whole village under siege

  • Background: “There Will Not Be a Stable Peace without Justice and Accountability. An interview with human rights lawyer Eitay Mack.” Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture.

❷ Army Offers Conditions for Removal of Hebron Restrictions
❸ 16 Palestinians kidnapped in abduction sweep by Israeli forces
❹ POETRY by Samih Al-Qasim
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
ISRAEL’S  COLLECTIVE  PUNISHMENT  POLICY:  ENTIRE  FAMILY  IN  PRISON,  WHOLE  VILLAGE  UNDER  SIEGE   
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Ihab Rimawi
August 14, 2017.   The family home of  OMAR EL-ABED in the Ramallah area village of Kobar stood at empty of people and furniture.
___Omar el-Abed is the 19-year-old Palestinian from Kobar who on July 21 sneaked into the illegal settlement of Halamish, not far from his West Bank village, to avenge earlier Israeli police killing of three young Palestinians during pro-Aqsa protests in East Jerusalem and stabbed to death three Israeli settlers. He was shot, wounded and arrested.
[. . . .] Army units raid their village and home almost every day in a way to punish not only the entire el-Abed family, but the whole village of 6000 young and old people.
[. . . .] The mother, Ibtisam, was arrested . . . .  along with her husband, Abdul Jalil, and two of her sons: Khaled, the eldest who works as driver of a company van, who was arrested while waiting for his wife to give birth at Ramallah hospital, and Munir, a senior at Birzeit University studying finance . . . .
___A handicapped brother and sister were the only two members of el-Abed family the army has so far spared. Yet, they were left with no one to take care of them after the arrest of their entire family.    MORE . . .

“THERE  WILL  NOT  BE  A  STABLE  PEACE  WITHOUT  JUSTICE  AND  ACCOUNTABILITY.  An interview with human rights lawyer Eitay Mack.” Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture, vol. 21, no. 3, Jan. 2016, pp. 114-125.
[. . . .]  Are there two types of Israelis in the courts, human rights activists and settlers? What are the chances a settler will be indicted? The way the system operates is that every crime committed against a Palestinian by an Israeli, in Israel and the Occupied Territories, is first considered as a regular, criminal offense unless proven to be a hate or terror crime. When the victim is a Jew, and this applies also in Israel, and the perpetrator is Palestinian, the first option is usually that it was a security offense, a terror offense. If a settler attacks a human rights activist or a Palestinian it depends on the preliminary classification of the complaint. . . . I think they try to minimize the offenses made by Jews against Palestinians . . .
___Do Palestinians immediately have access to lawyers upon arrest or is that also problematic? It’s a big problem. In the criminal situation it’s easier for them to get a lawyer because the family can reach out to a human rights organization. In most cases, people do get a lawyer, whether from the organization, by themselves, or through the court. With victims of Jewish terror or hate crimes, and victims of the violence of the soldiers, with all the NGOs – B ‘Tselem, Yesh Din, etc. – the numbers of victims is so high that there is a large area of the West Bank that is not receiving a proper defense.
___Since last October, there was a big increase in collective punishment and the limitation of freedom of movement.
. .  I realized how many people were being harassed and not filing. . .
___The military has also blocked the entrance to many villages. When Israel left the northwestern part of the West Bank, they left areas without settlements- a bubble of Palestine. Yet, the army enters there . . .  the soldiers just come and go and they continue with their lives. There is no destabilization, thus they see this as the best way for them to survive their situation.   SOURCE . . .

❷ ARMY  OFFERS  CONDITIONS  FOR  REMOVAL  OF  HEBRON  RESTRICTIONS
International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC
August 14, 2017.   Israeli forces, on Sunday, informed locals from three Hebron neighborhoods that they would remove the security restrictions if they “behave”, via leaflets distributed in the area.
___Conditions, according to the leaflets, will depend on “the population’s non-interference in terrorist operations and stone and Molotov throwing incidents.”   MORE . . .
❸ 16  PALESTINIANS  KIDNAPPED  IN  ABDUCTION  SWEEP  BY  ISRAELI  FORCES
The Palestinian Information Center
August 14, 2017.   At least 16 Palestinians were kidnapped by the Israeli occupation forces (IOF) in abduction sweeps rocking West Bank provinces at daybreak Monday.
___The Israeli army claimed that weapons and ammunition were spotted in al-Khalil’s southern town of Yatta and in Beit Sahour, east of Bethlehem.
___The Palestinian young man Khaled Sabah was kidnapped by the Israeli soldiers from his family home in Deir Abu Mishaal village, west of Ramallah, before he was dragged to an unknown destination.
___The IOF also stormed al-Jalazoun refugee camp, north of Ramallah, and ravaged Palestinian homes and shops.  Clashes flared up in the area, where the occupation soldiers attacked Palestinian protesters with live rounds and sound bombs.   MORE . . .

“LETTER FROM A PRISON CAMP,” BY SAMĪH AL-QĀSIM
Mother, it grieves me,
That because of me, throughout your night of agony,
You shed silent tears, anxiously awaiting the return
Of my beloved brothers from their chores;
That you are not able to eat
While my seat remains empty, and there is no talk or laughter.
How it pains me, Mother,
That tears rush to your eyes
When friends drop by to ask about me.
But I believe, Mother,
That the splendor of life
Is being born within the walls of my prison,
And I believe that the last of my visitors
Will not be an eyeless bat, coming to me by night.
Surely, the light of day will dawn,
And, dazzled by it, my jailer will be humbled.
He will fall to the ground . . . broken,
Shattered, burnt by daylight.
Translated by A. M. Elmesseri

Samīh al-Qāsim (1939-2014)
From BEFORE THERE IS NOWHERE TO STAND: PALESTINE ISRAEL POETS RESPOND TO THE STRUGGLE. Ed. By Joan Dobbie and Grace Beeler. Sandpoint ID: Lost Horse Press, 2012.

“. . . when we can run in the streets without anyone pronouncing us crazy . . .” (Ibrahim Nasrallah)

❶ UN expresses ‘deep concern’ over ever-worsening humanitarian crisis in Gaza
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Debunking Israel’s UN-bias claims
❷ Greek Orthodox patriarch says Israeli court ruling on church property politically motivated

  • Background: “Surviving Jerusalem: Fifty Years of Neglect and Daily Suffering Just to Remain.” Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture.

. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) EU calls on Israel to reconsider eviction of Shamasneh family in Sheikh Jarrah
❸ POETRY by Ibrahim Nasrallah
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ UN  EXPRESSES  ‘DEEP  CONCERN’  OVER  EVER-WORSENING  HUMANITARIAN  CRISIS  IN  GAZA  
Ma’an News Agency
Aug. 12, 2017.   The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights office (OHCHR) expressed “deep concern” on Friday over the ever-deteriorating situation in the besieged Gaza Strip, three months after the electricity supply was severely cut by Israel at the behest of the PA.
___In May, the Fatah-led PA decided to slash funding for Israeli fuel to the coastal enclave, as Israeli authorities acceded to PA demands to dramatically reduce its electricity supply to Gaza, which was already reeling from lack of adequate access to electricity and fuel.
___The PA was accused of carrying out “collective punishment” on Palestinians living in the Hamas-led Gaza Strip, which had already been embroiled in a dire electricity crisis that was only worsened by increasing punitive measures by Israel and the PA.
[. . . .] “This has a grave impact on the provision of essential health, water and sanitation services,” Shamdasani said, adding that the large-scale power cuts were a life-threatening risk for vulnerable residents of the coastal enclave. “Israel, the State of Palestine, and the authorities in Gaza are not meeting their obligations to promote and protect the rights of the residents of Gaza.”    MORE . . .
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) DEBUNKING  ISRAEL’S  UN-BIAS  CLAIMS
Al Jazeera English 
August 13, 2017.   Nikki Haley, the US envoy to the United Nations, made headlines in June when she denounced what she claimed was a pattern of “anti-Israel” behaviour at the UN.
[. . . .] . . .analysts say there is little substance to her allegations that, in the words of Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, Israel has been “the UN’s punching bag”.
[. . . .] While issues concerning Namibia, South Africa, Cape Verde, Vietnam, Laos and others have in one way or another been resolved, Erakat told Al Jazeera, “the only one that hasn’t is Palestine”.
___ In 2016, the UN Security Council’s activity [saw] just one resolution dealt with Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories. It was the first in almost eight years.
[. . . .]  It is a different story, however, elsewhere within the UN, where Israel faces frequent condemnation for its actions through bodies such as the UN Human Rights Council and the General Assembly.
[. . . .] “But this must be viewed in the context of the UN political organs as a whole,” [John Dugard, the UN’s former special rapporteur for human rights in the occupied Palestinian territories] added. “The Security Council and Quartet on the Middle East [UN, European Union, United States and Russia] are notoriously pro-Israel and refuse to pay adequate attention to Palestinian issues.”     MORE . . .
❷ GREEK  ORTHODOX  PATRIARCH  SAYS  ISRAELI  COURT  RULING  ON  CHURCH  PROPERTY  POLITICALLY  MOTIVATED  
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA 
August 13, 2017.   Greek Orthodox Patriarch Theophilos III said Sunday that a two-week old Israeli District Court ruling upholding a 99-year lease of church property in Jerusalem’s Old City to Jewish settler organizations is politically motivated.
___Theophilos said at a press conference in the Jordanian capital Amman that this legal battle, which has been going on for a decade, has resulted in an unjust decision that has ignored very clear legal evidence presented by the church, which made it clear that it was done in “bad faith, bribery and conspiracy” for the benefit of the group of settlers from Ateret Cohanim.
[. . . .] The Greek Orthodox patriarch said his church is going to appeal the District Court’s ruling, which he said will have a grave negative impact on Christian presence in the Holy Land, at the Israeli Supreme Court.   MORE . . .

Abu Ghoush, Amaal.
“SURVIVING  JERUSALEM:  FIFTY  YEARS  OF  NEGLECT  AND  DAILY  SUFFERING  JUST  TO  REMAIN.”
Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture
, vol. 21, no. 4, Mar. 2016, pp. 6-11.
No one can imagine when first looking at Jerusalem, with the light rail, the clean paved roads, the old and new buildings, that just a few blocks away from the European-like main streets, there are Palestinian neighborhoods that look like slums, and not because the buildings are poorly constructed, on the contrary. More than 37% of Jerusalem s population are Palestinian residents who are living in East Jerusalem neighborhoods that lack basic services, adequate roads and safe sidewalks — when and if they exist.
___East Jerusalem, which is 70 square kilometers, compromises 56% of all Jerusalem, including the Old City. Palestinian Jerusalemites, or “Arabs,” according to the 2106 Jerusalem Institute for Policy Research statistical yearbook, make up 37.2% of Jerusalem residents. They live on just 13% of the land that was annexed in 1967. One-third of the annexed land, or about 34% of it, has been turned into Israeli settlements, while the rest is land Palestinian East Jerusalemites cannot develop because it is designated as an open space or a green area.
[. . . .]  East Jerusalemites see that Israeli settlements are built on their lands. The settlers receive better services and infrastructure by far, while it takes the Palestinians ages to get a permit to build one house to live in with their family or for their married children on land they own. And many times they try to get a permit and do not succeed. At the same time, huge settlements are built quickly. Infrastructure, roads and other services are provided — with long-time residents’ tax money — quickly and smoothly for settlers who just immigrated from outside.
[. . . .] Fifty years of neglect and no-planning has turned our Palestinian neighborhoods in East Jerusalem into places we do not approve of, but it has also turned us into people who are so worried about our survival and well-being that we no longer work together. We complain to one another about the situation, and we demand services and better conditions, but not in the right places nor in the right ways for our demands to be heard. We wait for the Jerusalem Municipality to solve our problems, knowing that it will not do anything unless it is forced to. . . .  Recently, with the support of Palestinian and international organizations, some neighborhoods have started working collectively to prepare plans which will eventually legalize their homes. But more importantly, they are beginning to understand that through pursuing the collective interest, individual interests are achieved as well and the impact will be stronger.   FULL ARTICLE . . .

. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) EU  CALLS  ON  ISRAEL  TO  RECONSIDER  EVICTION  OF  SHAMASNEH  FAMILY  IN  SHEIKH  JARRAH  
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
August 13, 2017.   The European Union missions in Jerusalem and Ramallah expressed concern at the imminent threat of eviction by Israeli authorities of the Shamasneh family from their home in the neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah in East Jerusalem.
___In a statement Sunday, EU missions called on the Israeli authorities to reconsider the decision, saying, “The eviction, of carried out, would be the first in the area since 2009. Further settlement plans including evictions are being moved forward in Sheikh Jarrah.”
___The Shamasneh family is one of at least 180 households in East-Jerusalem, mainly in Sheikh Jarrah, Silwan, the Old City and Beit Safafa, facing the threat of eviction from their homes.   MORE . . .

“BEGINNINGS,” BY IBRAHIM NASRALLAH
When all the bids in the world flap their wings in unison
as one  body, when the waters of springs and mountain streams
gather in a dusty palm,
when a human being runs
and trees and the hidden future follow him,
when the world become simple
and I can climb onto a table in the office of the daily news
and speak of your love to the elegant shuttered windows,
to the good and bad paintings on the walls,
when I am able to freely place a gentle kiss
on your cheek in public,
when I am able to return with you after midnight
without a police patrol desecrating our bodies
in search of a confession,
when we can run in the streets
without anyone pronouncing us crazy,
when I am able to sing
and share a stranger’s umbrella
and when she in turn may share my loaf of bread,
when you are able to say I love you
without fear of death or imprisonment
and I can open a window in the morning
without being silenced by a bullet,
when I am able to grow older
and the trees are added to your attire
and we can count the drops of rain on each other’s faces
and sing and love free of weapons,
raids. Chronic fear, and disappearances –
another world will begin,
a new homeland will have been readied.
But for now we announce a new beginning with our death,
a new beginning of love.

About Ibrahim Nasrallah.
From Nasrallah, Ibrahim. RAIN INSIDE: SELECTED POEMS. Trans. Omnia Amin and Rick London. Willimantic, CT: Curbstone Press, 2009. Available from Barnes and Noble

“. . . In the rubble I rummage for light and new poetry . . .” (Mahmoud Darwish)

❶ Israeli settlers erect 29 mobile homes in Nablus, Tulkarem
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Israel is razing a Bedouin village to build a Jewish-only town on its ruins

  • Background: “The Biopolitics of Israeli Settler Colonialism: Palestinian Bedouin Children Theorise the Present.” Journal of Holy Land & Palestine Studies.

. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴃ) Palestinians perform prayers at Jerusalem home threatened by settler takeover
❷ 9th anniversary of the passing of Mahmoud Darwish
❸ POETRY by Mahmoud Darwish
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ ISRAELI  SETTLERS  ERECT  29  MOBILE  HOMES  IN  NABLUS,  TULKAREM
Ma’an News Agency
Aug. 12, 2017.   Israeli settlers installed 29 mobiles homes in and near several illegal Israeli settlements in the Nablus and Tulkarem districts of the occupied West Bank, a Palestinian official told Ma’an on Saturday.
___Ghassan Daghlas, a Palestinian official who monitors Israeli settlement activity in the northern West Bank, told Ma’an that Israeli settlers from the infamous Yitzhar settlement . . .    installed 11 mobile homes inside the settlement, located south of Burin village.
___Another nine houses were erected by settlers near the village of Qusin . . . .  settlers from the Einav settlement in the eastern part of Tulkarem district erected nine homes . . .
[. . . .] There are some 196 government recognized Israeli settlements scattered across the Palestinian territory, all considered illegal under international law, while hundreds of unauthorized Israeli settler outposts — considered illegal even under Israeli law — also dot the Palestinian landscape.
[. . . .] Meanwhile, in June, Israeli authorities broke ground on the first official new Israeli settlement in 25 years amid fierce condemnation from the international community and rights groups.   MORE . . .
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) ISRAEL  IS RAZING  A  BEDOUIN  VILLAGE  TO  BUILD  A  JEWISH-ONLY  TOWN  ON  ITS  RUINS
+972 Magazine
By Edo Konrad     August 10, 2017.   Despite assurances made to Israel’s High Court of Justice, a new town being built on the ruins of a Bedouin village in southern Israel is intended for Jews only, according to the bylaws of the future town’s cooperative association.
___Israel first notified the residents of Umm al-Hiran, Bedouin citizens of Israel, that it plans to demolish their entire village and build another community in its place 15 years ago. A legal battle has been taking place ever since, although Israel’s top court ultimately approved the plan — partially based on assurances that the current Bedouin residents would have the option of living in the new community.     
___ According to the bylaws of Hiran, the future Jewish town, which were uncovered by “Adalah — The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel,” acceptance into the community will be open only to “Jewish Israeli citizens or permanent residents who observe the Torah and the commandments according to the values of Orthodox Judaism.”    MORE . . .    RELATED . . .

Shalhoub-Kevorkian, Nadera.
“THE  BIOPOLITICS  OF  ISRAELI  SETTLER  COLONIALISM:  PALESTINIAN  BEDOUIN  CHILDREN  THEORISE  THE  PRESENT.”
Journal of Holy Land & Palestine Studies, vol. 15, no. 1, May 2016, pp. 7-29.
[. . . .] nearly half of the 192,000 Bedouin live in ‘unrecognised villages’. Closely examining the context of the Naqab Bedouin and how, specifically, the children who live under conditions of unrecognisability conceptualise their place within a wider system of dispossession and elimination can enhance our framework and sharpen our lens of analysis in our attempts to interrogate Israeli  settler colonialism . . .
___ Interviews, conversations, and reflections led me to understand that within settler colonial contexts, children and childhood become political and politicised sites. . .  settler states attempt to turn children into instruments and targets that assist in the project’s need to eliminate and efface Native communities and people. . .
[. . . .]  Forced removal and ‘modernisation’ efforts were (and are) driven by the Zionist leaders’ perceptions of Native inferiority and threat. These depictions of the Palestinian Bedouin, as uncivilised, pre-modern, and Other, have contributed to their construction as an inherent threat to Israel’s modern and civilised way of life. Additionally, the state’s treatment of the Bedouins as a minority population, rather than a native community, allows for further erasure. . .   discourse around Bedouin primitivism begins to emphasise race/ethnicity and gender, but works to deny collective and historical belonging.
[. . . .]  . . . In a study of 250 Bedouin teenagers from 32 unrecognised villages that sought to include the children’s own reflections, over 95 percent of the participants met the criteria for posttraumatic stress disorder, with over 57 percent suffering from severe PTSD.
[. . . .] In many ways, the foundational violence of the Jewish state remains sacred and untouchable. But we must begin to unravel the centrality of Jewish supremacy – as the primary constituent of being Israeli – which has come to shape and define the fabric of Palestinian life and society. The structural violence embedded in the various colonial technologies of dispossession and colonial distractions makes it difficult to overcome the racialised barriers inscribed on children’s bodies and lives. Each component is interrelated and interlocked with the other, and they all reveal how childhood, and children’s lives, are political questions that demand thorough and complex political discussion. The eviction of Palestinian children from childhood, from humanity to zones of unrecognisability, especially in sickness, arrest, evacuation, and state terror, plays a major role in narrating the settler’s story of needing to fear the colonised child, who, in the case of Israeli settler colonialism, is always already a terrorist other.   FULL ARTICLE . . .

. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴃ) PALESTINIANS  PERFORM  PRAYERS  AT  JERUSALEM  HOME  THREATENED  BY  SETTLER  TAKEOVER  
Ma’an News Agency
Aug. 11, 2017.   Tens of Palestinians in occupied East Jerusalem performed prayers outside the Shamasna home in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood on Friday in a show of solidarity with the family, who is facing imminent evacuation from their home of 53 years to make room for Israeli settlers claiming they own the family’s home.
___Ekrima Sabri, head of the High Islamic Committee, said during the Friday khutbah — Islamic sermon — that “the land that the Shamasna family home is built on belongs to the family, and not to Jews.” He said that the Shamasna family had rented the house from its “original owners” since before 1948 — the year Israel was established.
___However, Sabri’s claims contradict reports that the family patriarch, Ayoub Shamasna, moved into the house in 1964.   MORE . . .

(Note: the anniversary of Mahmoud Darwish’s death was August 9, 2017.)
❷ 9TH  ANNIVERSARY  OF  THE  PASSING  OF  MAHMOUD  DARWISH     
Palestine News Network – PNN
August 11, 2017.   PLO Executive Committee Member Dr. Hanan Ashrawi on the 9th anniversary of the passing of Mahmoud Darwish said :”On behalf of the Palestinian leadership and the people of Palestine, we mark with great sorrow the 9th anniversary of the death of Palestine’s greatest poet and national literary figure, Mahmoud Darwish, whose passing continues to be felt in Palestine and throughout the world.     ___Darwish was not just a national poet; he was a poet of humanity and creativity who forged a new language and awareness for Palestine and beyond. He humanized Palestinian reality during its darkest hours, and he generated an undeniable energy to legitimize hope and affirmation, as well as resistance.   MORE . . .

“THE  ROSES  AND  THE  DICTIONARY,”  BY  MAHMOUD  DARWISH
Be that as it may,
I must . . .
The poet must have a new toast
And new anthems.
Traversing a tunnel of incense
And pepper and ancient summer,
I carry the key to legends and ruined monuments of slaves.
I see history and old man
Tossing dice and gathering the stars.

Be that as it may,
I must refuse death
Even though my legends die.
In the rubble I rummage for light and new poetry.
Did you realize before today, my love,
That a letter in the dictionary is dull?
How do they live, all these words?
How do they grow?
How do they spread?
We still water them with the tears of memories
And metaphors and sugar.

Be that as it may,
I must reject the roses that spring
From a dictionary or a diwan.
Roses grow on the arms of a peasant, on the fists of a laborer,
Roses grow over the wounds of a warrior
And on the face of a rock.

From THE  PALESTINIAN  WEDDING:  A  BILINGUAL  ANTHOLOGY  OF  CONTEMPORARY  PALESTINIAN  RESISTANCE  POETRY.  Ed. and Trans. A. M. Elmessiri. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2011. Reprint from Three Continents Press, Inc., 1982. Available from Palestine Online Store.

 

“. . . Have years of suffering . . . led to this? . . .” (Harun Hashim Rashid)

❶ 5 Palestinians shot, injured in the legs during clashes in Ramallah-area village

  • Background: “The Impact of Occupation on Israeli Democracy.” Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture

. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) 2 Palestinians shot by Israeli forces undergo surgery, 1 in critical condition
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴃ) Four Children injured After Being Struck By An Israeli Colonist’s Car In Silwan
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴄ) Israel’s culture of impunity in full view of the world
❷ Behind the headlines in Jerusalem: Recent al-Aqsa clashes are a result of Israel’s long-standing plans to expand control over Jerusalem.
❸ POETRY by Harun Hashim Rashid
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
5  PALESTINIANS  SHOT,  INJURED  IN  THE  LEGS  DURING  CLASHES  IN  RAMALLAH-AREA  VILLAGE  
Ma’an News Agency 
Aug. 11, 2017.  Five Palestinians were injured with live fire during clashes that erupted Thursday evening in the Beit Rima town in northern Ramallah between Palestinian youths and Israeli undercover forces that raided a house in the town, according to official Palestinian sources.
___Israeli forces fired live bullets, rubber-coated steel bullets, tear-gas and stun grenades at youths that surrounded the undercover forces as they were raiding a house in the area.
___The Palestinian Ministry of Health said in a statement that five Palestinians were injured with live fire during clashes in Beit Rima, which is located in the central occupied West Bank.      MORE . . .

Schnell, Izhak. “THE  IMPACT  OF  OCCUPATION  ON  ISRAELI  DEMOCRACY.”
Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture,
vol. 22, no. 2/3, July 2017, pp. 18-25.
Military control of large numbers of people who are denied basic human rights and the right for national self-determination cannot be aligned with democratic values. International law legitimizes such situations in occupied territories but only for a limited time and under strict regulations that do not allow putting the occupied people’s interests at risk except for security reasons of both the occupiers and the occupied. . . .
___We have identified five main processes of deterioration in Israeli democracy: first, intensive use of propaganda in order to adopt a blind and a narrow definition of national patriotism; second, the loss of consensus concerning the balance between the Jewish and the democratic characteristics of the state; third, a weakening of the authority of law; fourth, the involvement of the military in politics; and fifth, the undermining of the authority of the Supreme Court.
[. . . .] In its struggle for hegemony, the new elite increasingly applied propaganda techniques that played on the deep fears of the public in order to promote an uncritical and narrow definition of Israeli identity.  . . . the one-sided historical “truth” of the neo-Zionist narrative infiltrated into the established Israeli discourse. Statements like those of . . .  former military generals like Uzi Dayan, who repeatedly say that they care about the interests of Israel and not the Palestinians . . .  helped establish a blind uncritical patriotism. Increasingly, the Bible was introduced as the ultimate justification to our attachment to the land and our identity as Jews and heavenly promise became the ultimate justification for our sole ownership of the land with disregard to the rights of Palestinians who have lived on the land for hundreds of years.
[. . . .] The vicious circle of violence between the occupier and the occupied only increases mistrust and dehumanization of the other. In such a milieu children grow up with a mistrust of foreigners, which may lead to hatred and racism. This mindset is amplified by the fortification of space by fences, walls and guards. Under such a regime the discourse of human rights developed in Western culture could not be adopted by Israelis who support the occupation, thus increasing Western countries’ criticism of Israel and the perception among right-wing Israelis of a nation under siege that, as a consequence, is allowed to use any and all means for its survival.   FULL ARTICLE . . .

. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ)  2  PALESTINIANS  SHOT  BY  ISRAELI  FORCES  UNDERGO  SURGERY,  1  IN  CRITICAL  CONDITION 
Ma’an News Agency.
Aug. 10, 2017.   Two injured Palestinian detainees, who were detained on Wednesday after they were shot with live ammunition by Israeli forces during a raid on the Bethlehem-area al-Duheisha refugee camp, have undergone surgery and are still in the hospital, with one in critical condition.
___Lawyer of the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS) Karim Ajwa released a statement on Thursday after visiting the two injured Palestinians, Abd al-Aziz Arafeh and Raed al-Salhi, who are being held in Jerusalem’s Hadassah hospital.
[. . . .] Ajwa added that a court session is expected to be held on Thursday to extend the detention of the two, who were detained during a predawn raid on the camp, located in the southern occupied West Bank.   MORE . . .
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴃ) FOUR  CHILDREN  INJURED  AFTER  BEING  STRUCK  BY  AN  ISRAELI  COLONIST’S  CAR  IN  SILWAN  
International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC     
Aug. 11, 2017.   Palestinian medical sources have reported that four children were injured, Thursday, after being rammed by a speeding Israeli colonist’s car, in the al-‘Ein Street, in Silwan town, south of Al-Aqsa Mosque, in occupied East Jerusalem.
___The sources said the four children suffered various cuts and bruises, before an Israeli ambulance moved them to Hadassah Medical Center.
___Two of the wounded children have been identified as Hamza Abu Sbeih and his brother Amir.
___Eyewitnesses said the colonist deliberately rammed the children with his car as they were walking along the sidewalk . . .   MORE . . .
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴄ) ISRAEL’S  CULTURE  OF  IMPUNITY  IN  FULL  VIEW  OF  THE  WORLD
Ma’an News Agency 
April 12, 2016.  “Whether he made a mistake or not, is a trivial question,” said an Israeli Jewish man who joined large protests throughout Israel in support of a soldier who calmly, and with precision, killed a wounded Palestinian man in al-Khalil (Hebron). The protesting Jewish man described Palestinians as ‘barbaric,’ ‘bestial,’ who should not be perceived as people.
[. . . .] The vast majority of Israelis, 68 percent, support the killing of Abdel Fatah Yusri al-Sharif, 21, by the solider who had reportedly announced before firing at the wounded Palestinian that the “terrorist had to die.”
[. . . .] The incident, once more, highlights a culture of impunity that exists in the Israeli army, which is not a new phenomenon.   MORE . . .
See post of July 8, 2017 for further discussion of “culture of impunity.”
❷ BEHIND  THE  HEADLINES  IN  JERUSALEM:  RECENT  AL-AQSA  CLASHES  ARE  A  RESULT  OF  ISRAEL’S  LONG-STANDING  PLANS  TO  EXPAND  CONTROL  OVER  JERUSALEM.
Al Jazeera English    
By Nur Arafeh
Aug. 11, 2017.   Jerusalem has been in the spotlight again recently as tensions reached the boiling point after the mid-July attack on Israeli forces in the Old City of occupied East Jerusalem. Despite the apparent resolution of the immediate crisis owing to mass Palestinian civil disobedience, which forced Israel to reverse its attempt to change the status quo that has been in place since 1967 at the historic Noble Sanctuary mosque complex, the underlying issues remain in place.
___Media coverage of Jerusalem has tended to focus on clashes as and when they erupt, and to frame these as the harbingers of an emerging “religious war”. However, this approach fails to address the history of and context in which such clashes unfold, and the explicit aims of the Israeli government.   MORE . . .

(After occupying Gaza in 1967, the Israelis searched houses and forced men and women to stand next to walls with arms raised. Often they shot at them. The poet had this experience.)

“RAISE  YOUR  ARMS,”  BY  HARUN  HASHIM  RASHID
――Raise your arms . . .
they aimed their guns at me . . .
――Raise your arms . . .

I stood, my eyes flaming
and scorching with anger
as an insistent film of events
assailed me.
Can defiled cities be
the outcome of our struggle?
Have years of suffering,
long days of vigilance
in trenches, on hills
and in tattered tents
led to this?

The world blackened in my eyes
my hands on the wall
as guns were pointing at me
I wished the wall would fall on my head
My comrades and I waited
for their bullets,
for their bullets

They walked away, and the wall
remained, gazing back at us
waiting for a fiery volcano, for the flames.
―Translated by Sharif Elmusa and Naomi Shihab Nye

About HARUN HASHIM AL RASHID (born in Gaza, 1927)
From ANTHOLOGY  OF  MODERN  PALESTINIAN  LITERATURE.  Ed. Salma Khadra Jayyusi.  New York: Columbia University Press, 1992. Available from Columbia University Press.

“. . . the cataclysm comes that will seed them from the borders of Palestine. . .” (Abdel Rahim al-Sheikh)

Correction by Waqf of item from August 8, 2017.

❶ Israel demolishes 3 homes belonging to alleged Palestinian assailants in Ramallah

  • Background from Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture: “Occupied East Jerusalem: A Continuous Colonial Scheme,”
     and “Jewish Settlements in the Israeli Occupied State of Palestine: Undermining Authentic Resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.”

❷ The new normal in Palestine
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) Locals stop Israeli demolitions in Bethlehem town
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴃ) Israeli forces abduct 37 Palestinians in West Bank
❸ POETRY by Abdel Rahim al-Sheikh
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Correction by Waqf of item from August 8, 2017.

ISRAEL  DEMOLISHES  3  HOMES  BELONGING  TO  ALLEGED  PALESTINIAN  ASSAILANTS  IN  RAMALLAH     
Ma’an News Agency
Aug. 10, 2017.   Israeli forces demolished at three homes belonging to the families of alleged Palestinian attackers, while another home was sealed, in the villages of Deir Abu Mashaal and Silwad in the central occupied West Bank district of Ramallah during pre-dawn hours on Thursday, leaving dozens of Palestinians homeless.
___Israeli forces demolished the family homes of two alleged attackers in Deir Abu Mashaal: Baraa Ibrahim Saleh, 18, and Osama Ahmad Atta, 19.
___Meanwhile, the family home of the third alleged assailant Hassan Ankosh, 18, was sealed, not demolished, according to an Israeli army spokesperson.
___The families received demolition orders last month after the youths allegedly carried out a deadly attack near Damascus Gate in the Old City of occupied East Jerusalem, which left an Israeli police officer dead. The three Palestinians were shot dead at the scene by Israeli forces.   MORE . . .

Abdelrazek, Adnan.
“OCCUPIED  EAST  JERUSALEM:  A  CONTINUOUS  COLONIAL  SCHEME.”
Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture, vol. 22, no. 2/3, July 2017, pp. 126-132.
[. . . .] According to an Ir Amim report (reference), 66% of building violations in Jerusalem occur in the Jewish neighborhoods, yet 65-70% of house demolitions take place in the Palestinian neighborhoods . . .  as part of an overall policy designed to force Palestinians to leave the city. HOUSE  DEMOLITION  POLICY is viewed as an instrument of COLLECTIVE  PUNISHMENT that the Israeli government uses against Palestinians in East Jerusalem . . .   during the years 2003-05 house demolitions reached one of the highest rates following the second intifada, and again in 2015-16 in response to the so called “individual intifada.”   SOURCE . . .

Isaac, Jad.
“JEWISH  SETTLEMENTS  IN  THE  ISRAELI  OCCUPIED  STATE  OF  PALESTINE:  UNDERMINING  AUTHENTIC  RESOLUTION  OF  THE  ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN  CONFLICT.”
Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture, vol. 22, no. 2/3, July 2017, pp. 85-91. A viable, contiguous Palestinian state remains a challenging concept, as Israel has spared no effort to undermine the “two-state solution” and the peace process altogether with its persistence in continuing with its land seizure policy, HOUSE  DEMOLITION  STRATEGY,  matrix of control on movement  and sustaining the dependency of the Palestinian economy, which ultimately eradicated the essence of the entire peace process and only restructured and repositioned the presence of the Israeli occupation army in the OPT.   SOURCE . . .

THE  NEW  NORMAL  IN  PALESTINE
Palestine News Network – PNN 
By Iris Mark
Aug. 10, 2017.   On the 14 of May 1948, the state of Israel was declared. By the time Israel and the Arab States signed the Armistice agreement in 1948, Israel had gained control over 75% of mandate Palestine. . . .  800 000 were expelled or forced to flee and 15,000 were killed in a series of mass atrocities, including more than 70 massacres. This is known as the Nakba, and is a violation of international law.
[. . . .] THE NEW NORMAL OF TODAY
___Israelis uphold their discriminatory policies in several ways and are severely affecting life in the West Bank.
___The enforced permit system, were the Palestinians have to apply for living in their own homes, travel a few kilometers to see their family, harvest on their own land and traveling to occupied east Jerusalem to pray. There are more than 100 different types of permits, which includes movement, residency, travel, work, farming, trade and money transfer, education, worshipers, visiting holy sites, construction, renovation and health. With only 19% of the West Bank being controlled by the Palestinian Authorities, the Israeli are using checkpoints to control where and when the Palestinians can travel.   MORE . . .
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) LOCALS  STOP  ISRAELI  DEMOLITIONS  IN  BETHLEHEM TOWN
The Palestinian Information Center   
Aug. 10, 2017.   Local residents in Walaja town, south of Bethlehem, managed Thursday morning to stop Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) from demolishing the exterior wall of a house and from bulldozing a nearby agricultural land.
___Head of the village council told Quds Press that Israeli forces stormed the town early today to demolish a home wall only to find a large number of Palestinian standing outside the property to stop its demolition.   MORE . . .
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴃ) ISRAELI  FORCES  ABDUCT  37  PALESTINIANS  IN  WEST  BANK
Days of Palestine
Aug. 10, 2017.   Israeli occupation forces abducted on Wednesday night 37 Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, Palestinian rights group said.
___Reporting local sources, the Palestinian Prisoner Club (PPC) said that the Israeli occupation forces raided several Palestinian villages, towns and cities.
___In a statement, the PPC said that the Israeli occupation forces abducted at least 37 Palestinian civilians during the raids.
___The PPC also said that the Israeli occupation inspected houses of the Abductees and confiscated mobiles, laptops and money.   MORE . . .

“SINGLE  ADDRESS  FOR  THE  POST,”  BY  ABDEL  RAHIM  AL-SHEIKH
On my way to them, I pass Him by,
(as, on his way, God passes me by)
for as we go our separate ways
we see no one but those on high.
The beds are allotted before the violet dawn.
The black and endless night is spent alone
and then the cataclysm comes
that will seed them from the borders of Palestine
the Great Thorn.
They are the only roses that grow.
From where they stalk the edge of paradise
the first paradise.
From where the children use thorns
to draw maps of this paradise.
From this spot.
We raise in the sky a glorying arc
the first milestone to Mecca
and we leave a kiss for those who left
with neither luggage nor papers for their passage.
This is the way the journey will always be.
They leave their bags for the postman to deliver
He takes them from the hands
of those who follow
And those who follow leave their packages
as the first ones do.
It’s hard for the post to make it to paradise.
There is no address
neither here nor there.
—translated by Rachel McCrum

Abdel Rahim al-Sheikh is from Jerusalem. He teaches philosophy, history, and creative writing at Bir Zeit University and the Qattan Center in Ramallah, and is the author of many literary and academic books.
From A BIRD IS NOT A STONE: AN ANTHOLOGY OF CONTEMPORARY PALESTINIAN POETRY (Glasgow: Freight Books, 2014) –available from Barnes & Noble.

“. . . Prison assaults but does not hit the mark . . .” (Ahmad Dahbur)

❶ Israel’s arrests of Palestinians ‘highest in years’

Background: “Multiple Legal Systems in the West Bank.” Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture.

❷ 2 Palestinians, Israeli soldier injured during al-Duheisha refugee camp raid
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) Israeli forces detain 32 Palestinians in West Bank, Jerusalem
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴃ) Israeli forces ban Palestinian citizens of Israel from entering Old City of Jerusalem
❸ “MADA” demands release of detained journalists in Palestinian prisons
❹ POETRY by  Ahmad Dahbur
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ ISRAEL’S  ARRESTS  OF  PALESTINIANS  ‘HIGHEST  IN  YEARS’
Al Jazeera English
Zena Tahhan
Aug. 9, 2017.   Israeli forces arrested some 1,268 Palestinians in the occupied Palestinian territories over the last two months, according to rights groups.
___Several non-governmental organisations, including the Ramallah-based Addameer prisoner rights group and al-Mezan rights centre in Gaza, released the figures in a joint press release published on Tuesday.
___In June, the arrest of 388 Palestinians from across the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and Jerusalem, including 70 children and six women was documented.
___In July, Israeli forces proceeded to arrest an additional 880 Palestinians, including 144 children and 18 women.   MORE . . .

(Note: This article is an explanation of the evolution of the current system of laws and courts in the West Bank.)

Shehadeh, Raja.
“MULTIPLE  LEGAL  SYSTEMS  IN  THE  WEST  BANK.”
Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture, vol. 21, no. 3, Jan. 2016, pp. 6-15.
The concept of a ’’dual legal system” has a long history, stemming from the beginning of Israel’s military occupation of the West Bank of the Jordan River in 1967. . .  Israel’s ultimate aim is the annexation of the West Bank without its Palestinian inhabitants. However, the unlikelihood and difficulty of a mass expulsion of Arabs has meant that an interim period, pending full de jure annexation, has necessitated the creation of a particular legal relationship with the territory. Among the legal problems that arise in this interim period are the following:

* How to apply Israeli law to the Jewish settlements in the West Bank while the area has not been annexed and is not under Israeli sovereignty. Related to this problem are the situations in which courts are to apply this law, which government departments are to execute it, and how to ensure that only the Jewish settlers will be subject to these laws, courts and government departments.

* How to avoid applying the Israeli legal system to the Palestinian inhabitants.

* How to reconcile this peculiar legal state of affairs with the requirements of international law.     FULL ARTICLE . . .

❷ 2  PALESTINIANS,  ISRAELI  SOLDIER  INJURED  DURING  AL-DUHEISHA  REFUGEE  CAMP  RAID  
Ma’an News Agency 
Aug. 9, 2017.   Two Palestinians were shot and injured during a predawn raid on Wednesday by Israeli forces on the al-Duheisha refugee camp in the southern occupied West Bank city of Bethlehem.
___Locals identified the two injured as Raed al-Salhi and Aziz Arafeh, adding that al-Salhi was critically injured while Arafeh was injured in the leg and in stable condition.
___The two were detained by Israeli forces and taken to the Hadassah hospital in Jerusalem for treatment.        MORE . . .
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) ISRAELI  FORCES  DETAIN  32  PALESTINIANS  IN  WEST  BANK,  JERUSALEM
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
August 9, 2017.   Israeli forces detained overnight at least 32 Palestinians during raids across the occupied West Bank districts and East Jerusalem, the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS) said on Wednesday.   MORE . . .
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴃ) ISRAELI  FORCES  BAN  PALESTINIAN  CITIZENS  OF  ISRAEL  FROM  ENTERING  OLD  CITY  OF  JERUSALEM 
Ma’an News Agency
Aug. 9, 2017.   Israeli forces prevented dozens of Palestinian citizens of Israel from entering the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in occupied East Jerusalem on Tuesday afternoon, claiming that they had been subjected to bans from “higher orders.”
___Sources told Ma’an that Israeli forces were deployed at the entrances to the Old City and Al-Aqsa ahead of the asr afternoon prayers, examining the IDs of people entering the Old City, and preventing Palestinians whose ID cards said they resided in Palestinian-majority towns in Israel from entering.
___Witnesses said that Israeli forces chased after some people who tried to pass through Damascus Gate into the Old City despite having been told they were not allowed in, and escorted them out.
___The witnesses added that Israeli forces had forced some buses carrying worshipers to leave Jerusalem.
___A worshiper from the town of Umm al-Fahm said that some eight buses coming from Palestinian-majority municipalities such as Umm al-Fahm, Mashhad, and Baqa al-Gharbiya had been stopped by Israeli security forces upon arriving at the Old City of Jerusalem.   MORE . . .
❸ “MADA”  DEMANDS  RELEASE  OF  DETAINED  JOURNALISTS  IN  PALESTINIAN  PRISONS    
Palestine News Network – PNN
Aug. 9, 2017.   The Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms (MADA) condemns the arrest campaign carried out by the security services in the West Bank last night against five journalists; MADA expresses its rejection of all justifications of attacks against media freedoms.
___The arrestment campaign included the following journalists: Ahmad Mohammad Halayka, Tareq Abu Zeyd, Quttaiba Saleh Qasem, Mamdouh Mahmoud Hamamreh and Amer Abdulhakim Abu Arafa.
___Moy’ad Hamamreh the brother of the journalist Mamdouh Hamamreh reported to MADA “at around19:00pm of (08/08/2017) and while my brother Mamdouh was in a shop right near his house in Husan village, a private car arrived (Scoda), with agents dressed in civil presented themselves as Palestinian intelligence agents, and asked Mamdouh to accompany them without presenting any official document or any arrest warrant, and they deported him to the headquarters of the Palestinian Intelligence in Bethlehem”.   MORE . . .

“THE  PRISON,”  BY  AHMAD  DAHBUR  (Ahmed  Dahbour)
(To Abu Faris. . . who has been there)

Prison teaches that the heart is a desert,
That light is a desert.
It curses the fire and the land of the commandos.
Prison teaches that water is a chameleon,
That the landscape is a snake,
That echo is treacherous, and the wind an enemy.
Prison teaches that the guide’s sight grows dim,
And that the homeland departs.
Prison is a black kingdom in the sand;
Prison is a sword guarding the eyelids;
Prison . . . not the homeland!
So how, my beloved homeland, will the beloved ones survive?

Here we are, no complaints and no regrets,
We never say: an aimless wandering!
Blood gushes forth from the depths of our love.
Prison assaults but does not hit the mark;
Our wounds hit back,
Reaching out like water . . . like the wilderness,
Promising the light with a new light.
From deep within us, signaling twice!
Our cub child,
And the fire of salvation.
We see it, yes we do.
We are not dreaming,
We almost step into his joyous landscape
We almost do.
This is the moment of travail in our difficult labor,
We hug the newborn―
He who springs from our very ecstasy,
Whose kicks we feel in our guts,
Who teaches the hungry what he knows
And declares in words well understood:
Revolution, revolution . . . till life.

The inmate has not lost his features in the sand,
Prison did not turn him into a desert.
From his hunger, water and vegetation sprang.
When silence wounds him,
He can break it with a sigh,
But he endures.
His testimony:
Near death, there were exhaustion and fatigue,
His executioner pressing him to promise
A word . . . a groan, or to divulge his secret,
But all in vain.
His countenance was radiating in the sand
Like an oasis,
For prison had not turned him into a desert.

About Ahmad Dahbur. And here.
From THE  PALESTINIAN  WEDDING:  A  BILINGUAL  ANTHOLOGY  OF  CONTEMPORARY  PALESTINIAN  RESISTANCE  POETRY.  Ed. and Trans. A. M. Elmessiri. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2011. Reprint from Three Continents Press, Inc., 1982. Available from Palestine Online Store

“. . . I did not steal―did not kill―didn’t oppress . . .” (Mahmoud Darwish)

❶ Israel steals Jerusalem’s documents from Al-Aqsa Mosque

  • Background: “Relations of Ruling in the Colonial Present: An Intersectional View of the Israeli Imaginary.”  Canadian Journal of Sociology.

❷ Israeli forces destroy Palestinian home in East Jerusalem, leaving 4 homeless
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) Jerusalem family has until Wednesday to vacate its home for Jewish settlers
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴃ) Israeli forces delivers 14 demolition notices to Palestinian structures in Area B
❸ Opinion/Analysis: Don’t Historicize the Balfour Declaration: The Past is Still the Palestinians’ Present
❹ POETRY by Mahmoud Darwish
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ ISRAEL  STEALS  JERUSALEM’S  DOCUMENTS  FROM  AL-AQSA  MOSQUE   (Israeli authorities plan to forge documents in favour of Judaization plans) 
Days of Palestine
Aug. 8, 2017.   Israeli occupation forces stole important documents from Al-Aqsa Mosque related to Jerusalem’s properties and endowments, reports revealed on Monday.
___Chairman of Jerusalem International Centre Hassan Khater said that the Israeli occupation stole the documents from the “rooms, libraries, documentary archives” of Al-Aqsa Mosque when its forces were alone during the closure of the Mosque last month.
___“Through these documents, the Israeli occupation is putting its hand on the endowments, properties and real estate of Jerusalem’s endowment department,” Khater said, noting that the theft of these documents is a “real disaster.”
___He noted that these documents include “details, secrets and signatures,” adding that more than 90 per cent of Jerusalem’s Old City is part of these endowments.   MORE . . .
RELATED . . .    “Copies of those documents are kept in Jordan, and the committee will compare the lists of documents to account for any stolen items,” [Shaikh Ekrima Sabri, who heads the Supreme Islamic Council of Occupied Jerusalem] told Gulf News.

Santos, Madalena. “RELATIONS  OF  RULING  IN  THE  COLONIAL  PRESENT:  AN  INTERSECTIONAL  VIEW  OF  THE  ISRAELI  IMAGINARY.”
Canadian Journal of Sociology, vol. 38, no. 4, Oct. 2013, pp. 509-532.
[. . . .]  The seemingly evident contradiction between political Zionism and what is construed as modern secular racism are complexly interrelated. Notably, the increase in anti-Jewish sentiment during the Nazi period resulted in increased support for the Zionist movement which had not received a great deal of backing from Jewish peoples previously. The historical foundation for Zionist ideology that began as a political response to racism “through the construction of an ethnically-defined and exclusively ‘Jewish’ modern capitalist state … moved from a marginal view to one that is hegemonic in global politics”. Prior to this period, many Jewish peoples understood the Zionist idea of creating a Jewish-only state to be accepting of the racist notion that Jews were unable to live with non-Jews and could only live with each other.
[. . . .] To carry on its transformation of historical Palestine into a Jewish majority state, Israel has maintained its practices of ethnic cleansing through land expropriation which are not only geopolitically significant and meaningful in a material sense, but are culturally symbolic and intended to alter the story of Palestine. For instance, through the bureaucratic machinery of the Israeli state, 95 percent of state territory is administered via the offices of the Jewish National Fund according to “laws that differentiate between Jew and non-Jew making it illegal for non-Jews (read Palestinians) to lease state lands”. As a result, most Palestinians who remained within ’48 or what is more commonly considered Israel proper are not legally entitled to own or lease land since Israel has designated almost all of the land within the Green Line as available exclusively to Jews. Known as the “Judaization of land”, these processes include the erasure of Arab villages through their purposeful unrecognition as well as the Hebraicization of Arab villages and street names. In addition to the material dispossession of land and property, displacement of peoples, and the creation of a considerably large refugee population with all of the socioeconomic consequences that result from these processes, the Zionist methods of erasure of Palestinian history, collective memory, and existence are central to the aim of white colonial rule that naturalizes notions of settler nationality and citizenship belonging. [. . . .]  FULL ARTICLE . . .

❷ ISRAELI  FORCES  DESTROY  PALESTINIAN  HOME  IN  EAST  JERUSALEM,  LEAVING  4  HOMELESS  
Ma’an News Agency
Aug. 8, 2017.   Israeli forces on Tuesday demolished a Palestinian home in the Jabal al-Mukabbir neighborhood of occupied East Jerusalem, leaving a family of four homeless.     ___The owner of the home, Hamza Shaludi, told Ma’an that bulldozers, escorted by Israeli Jerusalem Municipality crews and large Israeli police forces broke into the family home “without prior notice” and “coerced the family into evacuating the home quickly.”     ___Municipality workers, Shaludi said, removed some of the furniture, but the majority of the family’s belongings remained inside the home and ended up buried under the rubble.   MORE . . .
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) JERUSALEM  FAMILY  HAS  UNTIL  WEDNESDAY  TO  VACATE  ITS  HOME  FOR  JEWISH  SETTLERS 
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
August 8, 2017.   The Palestinian Shamasneh family has until Wednesday to vacate its home located in Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of East Jerusalem following an Israeli court order to turn the home over to Jewish settler organizations.
___The occupation authorities threatened that unless the Shamasneh family leaves its home voluntarily, Israeli police will use force to evict them.
___Meanwhile, activists and supporters of the family have been holding a vigil at the house to protect the family from forceful eviction.
___The Shamasneh family rented the house in 1964 from the Custodian of Enemy Property of the Jordanian government . . . .   MORE . . .
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴃ) ISRAELI  FORCES  DELIVERS  14  DEMOLITION  NOTICES  TO  PALESTINIAN  STRUCTURES  IN  AREA  B  
Ma’an News Agency
Aug. 8, 2017.  Israeli authorities raided the town of Silwad, east of Ramallah in the central occupied West Bank on Tuesday to issue demolition orders for 14 structures.
___Silwad Mayor Abd al-Rahman Saleh told Ma’an that the demolition orders were issued over allegations that they were built without the necessary Israeli-issued construction permits.
___Saleh noted, however, that the structures were located in Area B, under combined Palestinian civil and Israeli military control, not in Area C — the 60 percent of the West Bank under full Israeli military and civilian control — meaning that they should not be required to receive Israeli building permits.
___One of the 14 structures is a private school, which has been operating for more than 10 years and is the only private school that serves villages in eastern Ramallah.   MORE . . .
❸ Opinion/Analysis:  DON’T  HISTORICIZE  THE  BALFOUR  DECLARATION:  THE  PAST  IS  STILL  THE  PALESTINIANS’  PRESENT 
Al-Shabaka: The Palestinian Policy Network   
Yara Hawari
June 27, 2017.   The political turmoil in the United Kingdom following Prime Minister Theresa May’s re-election with a reduced, precarious majority . . .  casts doubt on the way in which the UK will mark the centennial of the Balfour Declaration later this year. As is well known, the fateful letter, signed by Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour on November 2, 1917, promised British support of a Jewish homeland in Palestine, completely disregarding the sovereign rights of the Palestinian people who lived there.
[. . . .] Britain’s involvement in Israel and Palestine has consisted of an almost unwavering support for the Zionist project since its colonial inception. Despite claims of a commitment to peace, Britain has shown that it is Israel’s ally first and foremost. . .   Britain has also failed to sanction Israel for its continued settlement building in the West Bank, which has doubled since the Oslo Accords, with over half a million settlers in areas that would constitute a Palestinian state . . .
___ A century ago, Christian Zionist ideology, which sought to facilitate the return of Jews to the Holy Land to fulfil a biblical prophecy, guided Britain’s political elite. . .   Just over a month after the Balfour Declaration, General Edmund Allenby took Jerusalem from the Ottoman forces, marking the beginning of British colonial rule in Palestine. Though this rule ended at the establishment of the State of Israel in May 1948 and the forcible displacement of and denial of return to the majority of the Palestinian population, British interference in Palestine would continue thanks to Britain’s unwavering commitment to Zionism.     MORE . . .

“A  DIALOGUE  WITH  A  MAN  WHO  HATES  ME,”  BY  MAHMOUD  DARWISH
Rome was burnt, O crazy man
..Rome is more durable than Nero
Rome will not grasp your poems
..She can recite them by heart
Rome will slice your strings
..My tunes arise from my heart
Your voice echoes a miserable past
..My voice echoes a rocket rage
Your path is long
..I shall not tire
Yehuda** sold you
..I shall not be crucified
My ancestors were cremated in Auschwitz
..My heart is with them
..Pull out the wires from my skin
And the wounds of yesterday?
..A shameful scar―in the face of the executioner over there
What do you carry in your head
..A little wheat
What’s in your chest?
..A picture of a wound
Your face reflects a rancor color
..My face reflects the color of the earth
Then convert your sword into plowshares
..You did not leave me land to plow
You criminal!
..I did not steal―did not kill―didn’t oppress
You Arab! You are a dog!
..O man, may God cure your soul
..Why don’t you try the taste of love
..Why don’t you make way for the sun!!

** The Israeli town of Or Yehuda was established in 1950 on the lands of the depopulated Palestinian villages of Saqiya and Kfar ‘Ana. Jews from Iraq and North Africa settled there.

From: Aruri, Naseer and Edmund Ghareeb, eds. ENEMY  OF  THE  SUN:  POETRY  OF  THE  PALESTINIAN  RESISTANCE. Washington, DC: Drum and Spear Press, 1970.    Available from Amazon.
Mahmoud Darwish Obituary

“. . . the silent majority watch water go on fire . . .” (Jehan Bseiso)

❶ How long can Gaza survive with no water?

  • Background: “A cross sectional study of the relationship between the exposure of pregnant women to military attacks in 2014 in Gaza and the load of heavy metal contaminants in the hair of mothers and newborns.” BMJ Open.

❷ Israel bans Palestinian mother of six from her Jerusalem home
❸ Israel to close Al Jazeera, mouthpiece of Palestine’s cause
. . . . . ❸ ― (ᴀ) Opinion/Analysis: What is behind Israel’s attempt to ban Al Jazeera?

  • Daily Report: Israeli Violations Activities in the oPt

❹ POETRY by Jehan Bseiso
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HOW  LONG  CAN  GAZA  SURVIVE  WITH  NO  WATER?
Al-Monitor (Palestine Pulse)      
Rasha Abou Jalal
August 6, 2017.   The water crisis caused by ongoing power outages of more than 20 hours a day has pushed Gaza Strip residents to dig unlicensed wells, disregarding the ensuing serious threats to the already scarce aquifer water stock.
___ At the request of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, Israel reduced its power supply to Gaza on June 19 from 120 megawatts to 48 megawatts, causing the current water crises.
___Omar Hamid, the head of a family of nine, told Al-Monitor, “The municipality is delivering water to the citizens’ homes for only two hours every two or three days. This is not sufficient to meet a household’s minimum basic water needs.”
___He said, “There’s no electricity to operate the water pumps and fill our water tanks. Gaza has been living with barely four hours of power supply a day. This scarce supply of electricity often does not coincide with the supply hours of water pumped from the various municipality wells to the citizens’ homes.”   MORE . . .

Paola Manduca, Safwat Y Diab, et al. “A  CROSS  SECTIONAL  STUDY  OF  THE  RELATIONSHIP  BETWEEN  THE  EXPOSURE  OF  PREGNANT  WOMEN  TO  MILITARY  ATTACKS  IN  2014  IN  GAZA  AND  THE  LOAD  OF  HEAVY  METAL  CONTAMINANTS  IN  THE  HAIR  OF  MOTHERS  AND  NEWBORNS.” BMJ Open. Bmjopen.bmj.com. July, 2017.
ABSTRACT: Metal contamination of humans in war areas has rarely been investigated. Weaponry’s heavy metals become environmentally stable war remnants and accumulate in living things. They also pose health risks in terms of prenatal intake, with potential long term risks for reproductive and children’s health. We studied the contribution of military attacks to the load of 23 metals in the hair of Palestinian women in the Gaza Strip, who were pregnant at the time of the military attacks in 2014, and their newborns. We compared the metal load in the mothers with values for adult hair from outside the war area (RHS) as the reference. We investigated heavy metals trans-passing in utero, and assessed if the heavy metal intake could derive from sources unrelated to the war.   FULL ARTICLE . . .

❷ ISRAEL  BANS  PALESTINIAN  MOTHER  OF  SIX  FROM  HER  JERUSALEM  HOME Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA 
Aug. 7, 2017.   After spending 12 months in prison, the Israeli authorities Monday banned Dalal Said Abu al-Hawa, 39, from her East Jerusalem home and sent her into exile in the West Bank, according to her family.
___Abu al-Hawa, a mother of six, was detained one year ago and charged with transferring money to Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails, including her son Omar, 17, who is serving a two-and-a-half-year sentence for throwing stones and Molotov cocktails at Israeli police.
___She was also charged with being in Jerusalem without a permit.
___Abu al-Hawa, who is originally a West Bank resident, moved to East Jerusalem’s al-Tur neighborhood after marrying an East Jerusalem resident and getting family reunification.
[. . . .] Exiling Abu al-Hawa is part of Israeli policy aimed at punishing families of Palestinians who resist the Israeli occupation of their homeland.   MORE . . .
❸ ISRAEL  TO  CLOSE  AL JAZEERA,  MOUTHPIECE  OF  PALESTINE’S  CAUSE   
Days of Palestine
Aug. 7, 2017.  Israeli Communication Minister Ayoob Kara said on Sunday that Israel is preparing to close Al Jazeera’s office in Jerusalem.
___Kara said he had requested that the government press office revoke press credentials of Al Jazeera’s journalists.
___He said that he would join the Gulf countries, adding: “These countries say the channel [Al Jazeera] is a tool of Daesh, Hezbollah and Iran; we are supporting this.”   MORE . . .
. . . . . ❸ ― (ᴀ)  OPINION/ANALYSIS:  WHAT  IS  BEHIND  ISRAEL’S  ATTEMPT  TO  BAN  AL JAZEERA?
Al Jazeera English 
Mark LeVine (professor of Middle Eastern History at University of California, Irvine)
Aug. 7, 2017.   The present attempt by the government of Israel to close down Al Jazeera‘s offices in Jerusalem reflects a potentially far-reaching shift in the perceived power and role of critical media, not just in the Israeli occupation of Palestine, but across the Arab world and larger Middle East and North Africa.
___The move is particularly odd since Al Jazeera and Israel have long had a symbiotic, if often adversarial, relationship. Despite long-standing and often harsh criticism of the Israeli occupation and its policies, Israel has afforded the channel relatively wide latitude in its coverage. There have been repeated grumblings over the years, and threats to close down its bureaus, but it hasn’t prevented coverage and commentary by Al Jazeera‘s staff and contributing writers.    MORE . . .

  • (Daily Report)  ISRAELI  VIOLATIONS  ACTIVITIES  IN  THE  OPT
    The Applied Research Institute – Jerusalem (on POICA – Monitoring Israeli Colonization Activities in the Palestinian Territories)
    Aug. 6, 2017.  The daily report highlights the violations behind Israeli home demolitions and demolition threats in the occupied Palestinian territory, the confiscation and razing of lands, the uprooting and destruction of fruit trees, the expansion of settlements and erection of outposts, the brutality of the Israeli Occupation Army, the Israeli settlers violence against Palestinian civilians and properties, the erection of checkpoints, the construction of the Israeli segregation wall and the issuance of military orders for the various Israeli purposes.   MORE . . .   (Note: the complete report is available daily at ARIJ .)

“GAZA, 2009,” BY JEHAN BSEISO
No matter flag.
No matter medicine.
No matter civilian.
No matter international community.
No matter your international waters.
No matter your sanctions, no matter your rhetoric and foreign policy.
Only 62 years status quo,
Everyday Nakba,
Subsidized settlements,
Even more walls-
Matter.
Children on the ICRC bus, visiting their Baba’s in your prisons―
Matter.
Food and medicine rotting at every border―
Matter
From the shadows, the silent majority watch water go on fire.

Jehan Bseiso
From: I  REMEMBER  MY  NAME:  POETRY  BY  SAMAH  SABAWI,  RAMZY  BAROUD,  JEHAN  BSEISO.  Vacy Vlazna, editor. London: Novum Publishing, 2016. Available from publisher.