“. . . Do you sanction what’s being done In your names . . .” (Lahab Assef Al-Jundi)

❶ Jerusalem: Israel planning park to connect two settlements

  • Background: “UN Security Council Resolution 2334: An Important Lease on Life for the Two-State Solution.” Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture

. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) IOF closes off al-Khalil thoroughfares with checkpoints
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴃ) Qareqea: Israel’s intent to seize our tax money “financial piracy”
❷ Dozens of Palestinians were wounded during clashes with IOF on Friday of anger
❸ Opinion/Analysis: Trump’s Palestine deal is a real estate transaction
❹ POETRY by Lahab Assef Al-Jundi
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
JERUSALEM:  ISRAEL  PLANNING  PARK  TO  CONNECT  TWO  SETTLEMENTS
Palestine News Network – PNN
Feb. 8, 2018 ― The Hebrew daily, Haaretz newspaper on Thursday has unveiled an Israeli plan to build a park in the Mount of Olives overlooking Old Jerusalem, which will link two settlement outposts to the Jewish side of  Jerusalem.
___According to Haaretz, the park will be located on the western slopes of the Mount of Olives, and will link the settlement neighborhoods of “Beit Orot” and “Beit Hohchen.”     MORE . . . 

Liel, Alon. “UN  SECURITY  COUNCIL  RESOLUTION  2334:  AN  IMPORTANT  LEASE  ON  LIFE  FOR  THE  TWO-STATE  SOLUTION.”
PALESTINE-ISRAEL  JOURNAL  OF  POLITICS,  ECONOMICS  &  CULTURE, vol. 22, no. 2/3, July 2017, pp. 78-84.   Dr. Alon Liel served from 2000 to 2001 as the director-general of the Israeli Foreign Ministry.
[. . . .] At a time when support for a two-state solution was rapidly disappearing, the international community provided emergency aid in the form of Resolution 2334 [Dec. 23, 2016]. The resolution demands that Israel cease illegal settlement activity, focus on the two-state solution . . .   The UNSC resolution makes a clear distinction between the area of the sovereign State of Israel and the area of the territories occupied in 1967. . .   This distinction between Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) touches upon the holy of holies of the current Israeli government; senior ministers call the occupied West Bank “the heart of the land,” and the settlers are the political elite in Israel today.
[. . . .] Beyond touching the sensitive settlements nerve, the reason for the Israeli anger is very clear. Most of the Knesset members of the ruling coalition . . .  do not support the two-state solution. . . .
[. . . .] Precisely because of the tremendous anger that it raised, UNSC Resolution 2334 also became an important life-saver for the Israeli opposition that supports the two-state solution. This opposition . . .  is practically not felt in the political/parliamentary discourse in Israel.
[. . . .] Now President Trump is preparing, at least according to his declarations, to “broker a deal” to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. However, the most important statement he made in connection with the conflict has already caused real damage. In the joint press conference with Prime Minister Netanyahu, he said: “I am looking at two states or one state, and I like the one that both parties like.” With this possibly unplanned off-the-cuff remark, the president shook up the one foundation for agreement that has accompanied the peace process for the last 20 years (1994-2014). [. . . .] This is where we are today. Within Israel and Palestine, the two-state idea is disappearing from the horizon; the world via Resolution 2334 is trying to revive and breathe new life into the peace camp on both sides; and President Trump is trying to undermine the UN itself and destroy the lifesaver. . . .  Resolution 2334, therefore, is much more than just a resolution about the fate of the ongoing conflict in the Middle East. The resolution has become a symbol of the global struggle between facts and “alternative facts,” between sanity and magic tricks, between international diplomatic continuity and the dangerous breaking of rules.    FULL ARTICLE . . . 

.  .  .  .  .  ❶  ―  (ᴀ)  IOF  CLOSES  OFF  AL-KHALIL  THOROUGHFARES  WITH  CHECKPOINTS
The Palestinian Information Center
Feb. 9, 2018 ― The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) on Thursday evening set up a series of military checkpoints at the main entrances to Halhul town, north of al-Khalil province, in the southern West Bank.
___Reporting from al-Khalil, a PIC news correspondent said the IOF cracked down on Palestinians at a military checkpoint pitched in al-Hawawer area, north of Halhul. Palestinian civilians have been made to endure exhaustive inspection.     MORE . . . 
.  .  .  .  .  ❶  ―  (ᴃ)  QAREQEA:  ISRAEL’S  INTENT  TO  SEIZE  OUR  TAX  MONEY  “FINANCIAL  PIRACY”
The Palestinian Information Center
Feb. 9, 2018 ― The Palestinian Commission of Detainees’ and Ex-Detainees’ Affairs has strongly denounced Israel’s intent to enact a new law confiscating Palestinian tax revenues to prevent the Palestinian Authority from using them to support families of prisoners, martyrs and wounded citizens.
___In a press release on Thursday, head of the commission Issa Qaraqea accused the Israeli government of practicing financial extortion and pressure on the Palestinian people through its racist legislation. . . .     MORE . . .  
DOZENS  OF  PALESTINIANS  WERE  WOUNDED  DURING  CLASHES  WITH  IOF  ON  FRIDAY  OF  ANGER
Palestine News Network – PNN
Feb. 9, 2018 ― Dozens of Palestinians were wounded today Friday during clashes with IOF on Friday of anger in which began in several areas and Palestinian cities after Friday none prayers.
___The confrontations took place in several Palestinian cities, including Ramallah and its villages, Bethlehem northern entrance, Bab al-Zawiya area in Hebron, Qalqilya and Nablus in addition to Gaza Strip borders.     MORE . . . 
OPINION/ANALYSIS:  TRUMP’S  PALESTINE  DEAL  IS  A  REAL  ESTATE  TRANSACTION
Al Jazeera English
By Bill Law
Feb. 9, 2018 ― As President Donald Trump continues to bluster and tweet his way through a chaotic presidency, the Middle East is simmering dangerously close to a boiling point. Wars in Yemen and Syria are still burning hard . . .   Once again, all but forgotten are the Palestinians.
[. . . .] Trump threatens to cut off US aid because the Palestinians refused to meet his Vice President Mike Pence after the president had provocatively named Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. . . .
[. . . .] The peace proposal that Trump likes best – and that his son-in-law and special Middle East adviser Jared Kushner is reportedly pursuing together with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman – looks remarkably like a real estate transaction. Unsurprising, given that the 36-year-old Kushner has no previous experience in diplomacy, but an awful lot of it in wheeling and dealing in the high-stakes world of New York property ventures.      MORE . . .  

“COLLATERAL  SAVAGE,”  BY  LAHAB  ASSEF  AL-JUNDI
Survivors of The Holocaust please
Talk to me. Help me understand―
Do you sanction what’s being done
In your names?

I thought your spirits
grew more gentle
having lived through the unspeakable.

Bombs are not less lethal or evil―
Stop being so deathly afraid of the other.

A thousand eyes for an eye?
Children of the Holocaust
please do not lash out
as if you lost your sight.

Lahab Assef Al-Jundi
Lahab Assef Al-Jundi was born of Palestinian refugee parents and grew up in Damascus, Syria. He graduated from the University of Texas in Austin with a degree in Electrical Engineering. Not long after graduation, he discovered his passion for writing. He published his first poetry collection, A Long Way, in 1985. His poetry has appeared in numerous literary publications, and many anthologies including Inclined to Speak, An Anthology of Contemporary Arab American Poetry, edited by Hayan Charara, and Between Heaven and Texas, edited by Naomi Shihab Nye.

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. Available from Barnes & Noble.

“. . . a land that can fit, with wilderness to spare, in the Panhandle of Texas . . .” (Lahab Assef Al-Jundi)

❶ Abu Rudeineh responding to US ambassador: Occupation is reason for violence
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Amid rising tensions, US troops in Israel for missile defense drill
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴃ) 44 Settlers, 33 US soldiers storm al-Aqsa Mosque plaza

  • Background: “The Gold Standard: U.S.–Israel Military Relations.” American Foreign Policy Interests.

❷ Israeli forces shower Palestinian school with tear gas, sending several students to hospital
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) Israeli forces detain father of slain Palestinian teen from Halhul, clash with locals
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴃ) Teen critically injured in clashes with Israeli soldiers north of Jerusalem
❸ PCHR: IOF continue systematic crimes in the oPT
❹ POETRY by Lahab Assef Al-Jundi
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
ABU  RUDEINEH  RESPONDING  TO  US  AMBASSADOR:  OCCUPATION  IS  REASON  FOR  VIOLENCE
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Feb. 8, 2018 ― Responding to statements by the US ambassador to Israel David Friedman criticizing the Palestinian Authority, presidential spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh said on Wednesday that the Israeli occupation and the settlement policy are the main reason for violence in the region.
___Friedman, a staunch supporter of Israeli settlements and settlers who regularly donates money and support for the illegal Jewish settlement in the occupied territories, which are in violation of international law, lashed out at what he said in a tweet as “Palestinian leader” not speaking out against the killing of  settlers in the West Bank.
___“The statements by the US ambassador lead us to wonder about the ambassador’s relationship with the occupation: Does he represent the US or Israel?” wondered Abu Rudeineh.     MORE . . . 
.  .  .  .  .  ❶  ―  (ᴀ)  AMID  RISING  TENSIONS,  US  TROOPS  IN  ISRAEL  FOR  MISSILE  DEFENSE  DRILL
The Jerusalem Post
Feb. 4, 2018 ― With tensions high on both the northern and southern fronts, US troops are in Israel and have deployed anti-missile defense systems across the country ahead of the biennial Juniper Cobra military exercise.
___The large-scale, five-day drill will simulate a massive missile attack on Israel from both fronts and will be led by the Israel Air Force, the IDF confirmed to The Jerusalem Post on Sunday.    MORE . . . 
.  .  .  .  .  ❶  ―  (ᴃ)    44  SETTLERS,  33  US  SOLDIERS  STORM  AL-AQSA  MOSQUE  PLAZA
The Palestinian Information Center
Feb. 8, 2018 ―  Some 44 Jewish settlers escorted by 33 American soldiers on Thursday broke into al-Aqsa Mosque’s plazas amid protection by Israeli police.
___Islamic Endowment Department in Jerusalem, said the American soldiers stormed the holy site in civilian uniform with the company of an Israeli officer.  MORE . . .

Holt, Blaine D.
“THE  GOLD  STANDARD:  U.S.–ISRAEL  MILITARY  RELATIONS.”
AMERICAN FOREIGN POLICY INTERESTS, vol. 36, no. 2, Mar/Apr2014, pp. 111-118. ‘‘The Gold Standard’’ may well be one of the most cliche´d and overused phrases used to communicate any field’s leading program or effort. However, in considering the military-to-military relationship between the United States and Israel, this trite descriptor may be more than appropriate. . . .
[. . . .] At present, the bilateral relationship in the military sphere is the envy of strategists and planners around the world. Joint and combined exercises, staff colleges and fellowships, interoperability training, and joint research and development are some of the jewels in the crown that suits both countries well. . . .   Today’s relationship boasts robust intelligence cooperation in addition to all the measures that yield two very capable, ready forces that have confidence in their ability to meet the bilateral challenges posed by leaders in Washington and Tel Aviv. And, while U.S.–Israeli bonds at the political level have ebbed and flowed, military-to-military relations have grown steadily, while remaining pragmatic and professional, over the last 50 years.
[. . . .] Irrespective of the level at which U.S. foreign aid settles as the political leadership in both countries engage in dialogue and debate domestically, the relationship between militaries forged over five decades is valuable. A way to safely shepherd this evolving and dynamic military alliance through any political, economic, or diplomatic climate is to deepen the roots of the existing programs while looking at innovative options to form new initiatives. In other words, rather than looking for ways to sustain the status quo, the timing is optimal to move the relationship to the next level . . . version 2.0.     SOURCE . . .  

ISRAELI  FORCES  SHOWER  PALESTINIAN  SCHOOL  WITH  TEAR  GAS,  SENDING  SEVERAL  STUDENTS  TO  HOSPITAL 
Ma’an News Agency
Feb. 8, 2018 ― Dozens of Palestinian school students in the southern occupied West Bank city of Hebron were exposed to high levels of tear gas on Thursday morning as Israeli forces showered their school with tear gas canisters.
___Several students were transferred to the Muhammad Ali al-Muhtaseb Hospital for treatment.   MORE . . .
.  .  .  .  .  ❷  ―  (ᴀ)  ISRAELI  FORCES  DETAIN  FATHER  OF  SLAIN  PALESTINIAN  TEEN  FROM  HALHUL,  CLASH  WITH  LOCALS
Ma’an News Agency
Feb. 8, 2018 ― Clashes erupted in the Hebron-area town of Halhul in the southern occupied West Bank district of Hebron on Wednesday during an Israeli raid into the town, just shortly after an Israeli security guard had shot and killed Halhul resident Hamzeh Youssif Zamaareh, 19.
[. . . .] After the alleged attack, Israeli forces raided Zamaareh’s family house and detained his father, Youssif.   MORE . . .
.  .  .  .  .  ❷―  (ᴃ)  TEEN  CRITICALLY  INJURED  IN  CLASHES  WITH  ISRAELI  SOLDIERS  NORTH  OF  JERUSALEM
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Feb. 8, 2018 ― Israeli soldiers Wednesday critically injured a 16-year-old Palestinian in Kafr ‘Aqab, north of Jerusalem, said medical sources.
___The Palestinian Red Crescent told WAFA the teen, who remains unidentified until the moment, was hit in the face, chest, and thigh areas during clashes that erupted with Israeli soldiers.     MORE . . .  
❸  PCHR:  IOF  CONTINUE  SYSTEMATIC  CRIMES  IN  THE  OPT
Palestine News Network – PNN
Feb. 7, 2018 ― The Gaza based Palestinian Center for Human Rights in its weekly report during the reporting period of (01 – 07 Feb. 2018) has recorded ongoing systematic crimes in the occupied Palestinian territories, which include:

  • Israeli forces continued to use excessive force in the oPt
  • Two Palestinian civilians were killed in peaceful protests that did not pose any threat to the Israeli soldiers’ life.
  • Israeli forces killed Ahmed Jarar in a crime of extra-judicial execution.
  • [. . . .] Israeli forces conducted 74 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and 7 into Jerusalem.    MORE . . . 

“HOLY  LANDERS,”  BY  LAHAB  ASSEF  AL-JUNDI
Listen!
You are fighting over a land that can fit,
with wilderness to spare,
in the Panhandle of Texas.

You are building walls to segregate,
splitting wholes till little is left,
killing and dying for pieces of sky
in the same window.

The olive trees are dying
of embarrassment.
They have enough fruits
and pits for all of you.
All they want is for you to stop
uprooting them.
Sending your children to die
in their names.

Listen!
Your land is no holier than my backyard.
None of you is any more chosen
than the homeless veteran panhandling
with a God Bless cardboard sign
at the light of Mecca
and San Pedro.
Draw a borderline around the place.
Call it home for all the living,
all the dead
all the tired exiles with its dust
gummed on their tongues.

There are no heroes left.

Lahab Assef Al-Jundi was born, and grew up, in Damascus, Syria. He attended The University of Texas in Austin, where he graduated with a degree in Electrical Engineering. Not long after graduation, he discovered his passion for writing. He published his first poetry collection, “A Long Way”, in 1985. His poetry has appeared in numerous literary publications,

“. . . and struggle ardently for my liberty My liberty . . .” (Fadwa Tuqan)

❶ Government Committee to devise plan for disengagement from Israel

  • Background: “It’s Nakba, Not a Party”: Re-Stating the (Continued) Legacy of the Oslo Accords.” Arab Studies Quarterly

❷ After weeks-long manhunt, Israeli forces kill Palestinian fighter suspected of killing settler
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) Angry protests in Jenin following the killing of Jarrar
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴃ) Israeli forces detain Palestinian journalist after assaulting him and his brother
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴄ) Israeli forces detain 18 Palestinians in West Bank raids
❸ Palestinians pay homage to poet Fadwa Tuqan
❹ POETRY by Fadwa Tuqan
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
GOVERNMENT  COMMITTEE  TO  DEVISE  PLAN  FOR  DISENGAGEMENT  FROM  ISRAEL
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Feb. 6, 2018 – The Palestinian government, and following a decision by the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) to start planning for disengagement from Israel, decided on Tuesday to establish a committee to consider ways for that.
___ The PLO’s Executive Committee decided in its last meeting in Ramallah on Saturday to ask the government to devise plans for disengagement from Israel politically, administratively, economically and in security.
___The government said in a statement following its weekly cabinet meeting in Ramallah that it has decided to form a committee of various ministries to lay out plans for the disengagement.     MORE . . .

Sen, Somdeep.
“IT’S  NAKBA,  NOT  A  PARTY”:  RE-STATING  THE  (CONTINUED)  LEGACY  OF  THE  OSLO  ACCORDS.”
ARAB STUDIES QUARTERLY, vol. 37, no. 2, Spring2015, pp. 162-176.
[. . . .]  . . .  a frequently ignored facet of the Interim Agreement is its persistent relevance as a result of the manner in which it influences how Palestinian factions (are allowed to) conduct politics. The most tangible manifestation of this aspect of the Accords is evident in its creation of a realm of official Palestinian politics. At the very outset, entrance into this realm is limited to Palestinian organizations that have publicly renounced an armed struggle and recognized Israel. Subsequently, the faction would be deemed a “legitimate” representative of the Palestinian populace and granted a permanent seat in negotiations with Israel and Western stakeholders. Once a Palestinian faction abides by this pre-condition, it is given the responsibility of governing the Palestinian territories and would subsequently have access to the financial resources earmarked for the PA.
[. . . .] . . . in keeping with the “statist logic” of Oslo-mandated official politics and abiding by the image of a Weberian state (and its monopoly over violence), the recognized Palestinian faction would also be responsible for ensuring the primacy of the mandate of the state-like PA (evocative of the logic of “official politics”) through the Palestinian internal security forces.
[. . . .] Having incentivized a brand of Palestinian liberation faction, the disincentives imbued in the Oslo-logic are not merely limited to barring (non-complying) Palestinian factions from entering “official politics.” Instead, it renders activism outside its realm a difficult enterprise. But, with this victory [the 2006 elections], as Hamas maintained its role as a “resistance,” it challenged the foundational logic of Oslo and the delimitations it places in terms of the brand of Palestinian faction it allows into the realm of official politics. That is to say, its victory ensured that the organization would rise to the helm of the PA’s governance structures. But by remaining officially committed to its role as an armed liberation faction, it violated the pre-conditions that, until now, needed to be fulfilled before a Palestinian faction was allowed entrance into the realm of official politics and granted the responsibility of governing Palestinian Territories. In order to then ensure the primacy of the delimitations placed around the realm of Oslo-mandated official politics, what then ensued was the inducement of a “failed state.”      SOURCE . . . 

AFTER  WEEKS-LONG  MANHUNT,  ISRAELI  FORCES  KILL  PALESTINIAN  FIGHTER  SUSPECTED  OF  KILLING  SETTLER
Ma’an News Agency
Feb. 6, 2018   Israeli forces assassinated Palestinian fighter Ahmad Nasser Jarrar during a wide scale military operation in the al-Yamoun town in the northern occupied West Bank district of Jenin on Tuesday at dawn.
___Since an Israeli settler was shot and killed last month while driving near Nablus, Israeli forces have embarked on a manhunt for Jarrar — the alleged main suspect in the shooting — who had managed to evade capture for weeks.
___In January, during a raid searching for Jarrar, Israeli forces shot and killed his cousin Ahmad Ismail Jarrar near the Jarrar family’s home in the Wadi Bruqin neighborhood of Jenin city.
___On Saturday, Israeli forces shot and killed Ahmed Samir Abu Obeid, 19, during another raid on Wadi Bruqin.     MORE . . .
.  .  .  .  .  ❷  ―  (ᴀ)  ANGRY  PROTESTS  IN  JENIN  FOLLOWING  THE  KILLING  OF  JARRAR
Palestine News Network – PNN
Feb. 5, 2018 ― Palestinians went out to the streets in angry protests following the killing of Ahmad Jarrar in the town of Yamoon this morning.
___School students and masses carried photos of Jarrar, chanting slogans  calling for the end of Israeli crimes against the Palestinian people.
___The protesters condemned the international silence on the crimes of the occupation, demanding the protection of defenseless people who face the killing, destruction, vandalism and detention, cruelty and brutality of the occupation.      MORE . . .    ..
.  .  .  .  .  ❷  ―  (ᴃ)  ISRAELI  FORCES  DETAIN  PALESTINIAN  JOURNALIST  AFTER  ASSAULTING  HIM  AND  HIS  BROTHER
Ma’an News Agency
Feb. 5, 2018 ―  Israeli forces detained a Palestinian journalist on Monday after assaulting him and his brother in the central occupied West Bank city of Ramallah, according to Palestinian Authority (PA)-owned Wafa news agency.
___Wafa reported that Israeli forces raided the home of Ahmad Arabeed, 28, a journalist who works for al-Hurriyah radio in Ramallah.
___Israeli forces reportedly assaulted Arabeed and one of his brothers during the raid. Wafa added that soldiers held the family in one room and seized their cellular phones during the raid.
___Arabeed was taken to an unknown location.   MORE . . . 
.  .  .  .  .  ❷  ―  (ᴄ)  ISRAELI  FORCES  DETAIN  18  PALESTINIANS  IN  WEST  BANK  RAIDS
Ma’an News Agency
Feb. 6, 2018 ― Israeli forces Tuesday detained at least 18 Palestinians in multiple raids that were mostly concentrated in the northern West Bank, said the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS).
___Israeli forces detained two Palestinians after storming their homes in Beit Furik town, east of Nablus. One of the detainees was a father whom Israeli soldiers detained in order to force his son to turn himself in.
___Mayor of Beit Furik, Awad Hanani, said soldiers stormed a detainee’s family home, seizing his laptop and vehicle.   MORE . . .    ..
PALESTINIANS  PAY  HOMAGE  TO  POET  FADWA  TUQAN
Al-Monitor (Palestine Pulse)
Aziza Nofal
Feb.  2, 2018 ― For many Palestinians, Fadwa Tuqan is more than a poet: She is the symbol of Palestinian resistance and pride. She is the embodiment of the spiritual strength of Palestine despite the losses they have suffered.
___Tuqan, born in 1897 in Nablus, West Bank, lived through the Nakba (Catastrophe) of 1948, the 1967 war and the first intifada of 1987. Her involvement in the national struggle strengthened her writing, making her one of the most famous female poets in Palestine and the Arab world.
[. . . .] Her works were translated to English in the 1980s, bringing her international fame and literary awards such as the United Arab Emirates’ Al Owais Award for poetry in 1988-89. She published “An Autobiography: A Mountainous Journey” in 1990.
___Tuqan died on Dec. 12, 2003, during the height of the Al-Aqsa intifada, while her hometown Nablus was under siege — her last poem, “Longing,” cited above, was written while she was bedridden and in deep sorrow over her hometown.    MORE . . . 

“MY  LIBERTY,”  BY  FADWA  TUQAN
My liberty―my liberty―my liberty,
a sound I repeat
with angry lips
under the exchange of fire
and flames
I run after it
despite my chains
and follow its tracks
despite the night
and struggle ardently
for my liberty
My liberty
My liberty

And the Holy River
and Bridge repeat:
my liberty
and the two banks reiterate:
my liberty
and the raging wind and thunder,
tornadoes and rain
echo the sound:
my liberty

I shall carve its name
while I resist
on the land
by the walls and the doors
in the Temple of the Virgin
in the altar
and in the field,
on every hill
and every valley
and every curve
and road
in prison
in the torture rooms
and on the gallows
Despite the chains
and the house demolition
I shall carve its name
until I see it again
extending to my Homeland
and flourish
and flourish
until every inch of the land is covered
until every door is opened
by red liberty.
And the night vanishes
and the day breaks
My liberty―my liberty―my liberty

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.

“. . . they’ve grown, grown more than the years of a normal life . . .” (Fadwa Tuqan)

❶ UN official deeply concerned by Israeli demolition of classrooms
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Palestinian PM slams Israel for demolition of Bedouin classrooms in E1

  • Background:  “‘In Your Face’ Democracy: Education for Belonging and Its Challenges in Israel.” British Educational Research Journal.
    “Confronting the authority of the Ministry of Education in such a way . . . constructs the Palestinians in Israel as activist citizens who seek to expand their rights of recognition into the field of education.”

❷ Video: Palestinians protest UNRWA cuts and US policies
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) Ministry stages protest against US decision to cut aid to UNRWA
❸ IOF prevents Palestinian farmers from entering their lands
. . . . . ❸ ― (ᴃ) Israeli bulldozer destroys Palestinian water pipeline in Jordan Valley
❹ POETRY by Fadwa Tuqan
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
UN  OFFICIAL  DEEPLY  CONCERNED  BY  ISRAELI  DEMOLITION  OF  CLASSROOMS
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Feb. 5, 2018 ― United Nations acting Humanitarian Coordinator for the occupied Palestinian territories, Roberto Valent, said on Sunday that he was deeply concerned by Israel’s destruction of donor-funded classrooms in the Palestinian community of Abu Nuwar, east of Jerusalem.
___”I am deeply concerned by the Israeli authorities’ demolition this morning of two donor-funded classrooms (3rd and 4th grade), serving 26 Palestinian school children in the Bedouin and refugee community of Abu Nuwar, located in Area C on the outskirts of Jerusalem,” Valent said in a statement. “The demolition was carried out on grounds of lack of Israeli-issued permits, which are nearly impossible to obtain.”
___The UN official added: “Abu Nuwar is one of the most vulnerable communities in need of humanitarian assistance in the occupied West Bank. The conditions it faces also represent those of many Palestinian communities, where a combination of Israeli policies and practices –including demolitions and restricted access to basic services, such as education – have created a coercive environment that violates the human rights of residents and generates a risk of forcible transfer.   MORE . . .
.  .  .  .  .  ❶  ―  (ᴀ)  PALESTINIAN  PM  SLAMS  ISRAEL  FOR  DEMOLITION  OF  BEDOUIN  CLASSROOMS  IN  E1
Ma’an News Agency
Feb. 5, 2018 ― Israeli forces demolished two classrooms in the Palestinian Bedouin community of Abu Nuwwar on Sunday, located in the central occupied West Bank district of Jerusalem.
___The school in Abu Nuwwar was built and funded by the European Union in 2017 in order to provide the opportunity for a more accessible education to students in the village, who previously had to travel several kilometers by foot to the nearest school.
___More than 25 students were affected by the demolition of the two classrooms.
___The entire school serves more than 60 students in Abu Nuwwar which is home to 600 Palestinians.
___Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah released a statement on Monday condemning the demolition, saying “besides the fact that such a demolition contravenes international humanitarian law, this latest attack is directed against Palestinian schoolchildren, and is simply immoral.”   MORE . . .

Agbaria, Ayman K., et al.
‘IN  YOUR  FACE’  DEMOCRACY:  EDUCATION  FOR  BELONGING  AND  ITS  CHALLENGES  IN  ISRAEL.”
BRITISH EDUCATIONAL RESEARCH JOURNAL, vol. 41, no. 1, Feb. 2015, pp. 143-175.
[. . . .] As an ethnocratic regime, Israel excludes its Palestinian citizens and treats them as merely an aggregate of individuals entitled to selective individual liberal rights, but deprived of collective rights of self-definition or collective claims over the nature and distribution of public goods in Israel. Controlling the Arab education system that serves this minority is part and parcel of these hierarchical strategies . . .  Despite the fact that Arab schools teach in Arabic [there is an] absence of recognition of the Palestinian collective identity. This lack of recognition is particularly salient in the school curricula and textbooks which were voided of any substantial engagement with Palestinian history and culture. All in all, Arab education was designed by the state to ‘instil feelings of self-disparagement and inferiority in Arab youth; to de-nationalize them, and particularly to de-Palestinize them; and to teach them to glorify the history, culture and achievements of the Jewish majority’ (Mar’i, S. K.).
[. . . .] a common feature of the Israeli education system, as argued by Yossi Yonah, is its commitment to function as a main carrier of the Zionist historiography, while disregarding the Palestinian narrative . . .  misrepresentat[ing] the multicultural and multi-ethnic reality of Israel as a deeply divided society. These attempts . . .  serve the desirable character of the state as a Jewish state, thus ignoring the need for cultural recognition of the non-Jewish student population.
[. . . .] Yet, dialogical as it is, the capacity of “Identity and Belonging” [the Palestinian curriculum] for confrontation, not only compliance and appropriation, remains high, as it directly challenges the laws and regulations of the Ministry of Education and its official knowledge. Confronting the authority of the Ministry of Education in such a way, at such a scale, and within the most natural sites of influence—the schools themselves—constructs the Palestinians in Israel as activist citizens who seek to expand their rights of recognition into the field of education. . .  In this way, “Identity and Belonging” is a citizenship act that challenges the extent . . . content . . . and depth . . .  of Israeli citizenship by presenting a counter-narrative permeated with political, moral and socio-political claims. Ultimately, these claims constitute the Palestinian minority in Israel as an independent political actor in both the Palestinian and Israeli arenas. Therefore, this initiative presents a symbolic challenge, which exposes the fragility of the double marginality of the Palestinians in Israel by reconstructing an integrative meaning of being part of both Israel and the Palestinian people.     SOURCE . . .

VIDEO:  PALESTINIANS  PROTEST  UNRWA  CUTS  AND  US  POLICIES
Palestine News Network – PNN
Feb. 5, 2018 ― The Refugee Youth Movement on Monday held a protest outside the main UNRWA office in Bethlehem against the cuts of the agency’s services after the Trump administration had cut its funding.
___The participants raised banners protesting the UNRWA cuts and recent US resolutions impacting the rights of Palestinian refugees.
___Protesters included students and teachers, and called for improving the education services and halting decisions to lay off teachers, improve classes, and activate the operating system to reduce unemployment among refugee youth, as well as improving the quality of health services.   MORE . . .
.  .  .  .  .  ❷  ―  (ᴀ)  MINISTRY  STAGES  PROTEST  AGAINST  US  DECISION  TO  CUT  AID  TO  UNRWA 
The Palestinian Information Center
Feb. 5, 2018 ― The Palestinian Ministry of Education and Higher Education on Monday held a protest against the recent US decisions against UNRWA and its educational institutions.
___Undersecretary of the Ministry, Ziad Thabet, participated in the protest which was held at the Ministry’s headquarters in Gaza in conjunction with a similar protest in Ramallah in the West Bank.
___The protesters raised banners expressing support for UNRWA and calling on the world’s countries to intervene and help the Agency.
___Ziad Thabet affirmed that this protest came in rejection of the US decision to cut aid to UNRWA forcing the UN Agency to reduce its services to the Palestinian refugees.    MORE . . .
❸  IOF  PREVENTS  PALESTINIAN  FARMERS  FROM  ENTERING  THEIR  LANDS
The Palestinian Information Center 
Feb. 5, 2018 ― The Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) prevented on Monday a group of Palestinian farmers from entering their olive groves located behind the Apartheid Wall.
___The farmers, from Salfit, were stopped by Israelis forces on their way to work in their farm lands, located on the Israeli side of the separation wall, which runs through the farmers’ lands.
___Palestinians living in the areas where Israel’s separation wall cut off their lands, are required to obtain entry permits, and cannot enter their lands for any purpose other than work or residence.   MORE . . .
.  .  .  .  .  ❸  ―  (ᴃ)  ISRAELI  BULLDOZER  DESTROYS  PALESTINIAN  WATER  PIPELINE  IN  JORDAN  VALLEY
Ma’an News Agency  
Feb. 5, 2018 ― Israeli bulldozers destroyed water lines supplying tens of acres of land in the northern Jordan Valley on Monday morning.
___Local activist Aref Daraghmeh told Ma’an that Israeli bulldozers destroyed a water pipeline belonging to a Palestinian identified as Bassem Faqha.
___The line feeds some 150 dunams (37 acres) of land planted with watermelons.
___The Jordan Valley forms a third of the occupied West Bank, with 88 percent of its land classified as Area C — under full Israeli military control.
___Demolitions of Palestinian infrastructure and residences occur frequently in Area C, with the Jordan Valley’s Bedouin and herding communities being particularly vulnerable to such policies.   MORE . . .

“SONG  OF  BECOMING,”  BY  FADWA  TUQAN
They’re only boys
who used to frolic and play
launching rainbowed kites
on the western wind,
their blue-and-green kites
whistling, leaping,
trading easy laughter and jokes
dueling with branches, pretending to be
great heroes in history.

Suddenly now they’ve grown,
grown more than the years of a normal life,
merged with secret and passionate words,
carried love’s messages like the Bible or the Quran,
to be read in whispers.
They’ve grown to become trees
plunging deep roots into the earth,
stretching high towards the sun.
Now their voices are ones that reject,
that knock down and build anew.
Anger smouldering on the fringes of a blocked horizon,
invading classrooms, streets, city quarters,
centering on squares,
facing sullen tanks with streams of stones.

Now they shake the gallows of dawn
assailing the night and its flood.
They’ve grown more than the years of a life
to become the worshipped and the worshippers.

When their torn limbs merged with the stuff of our earth
they became legends,
they grew into vaulting bridges,
they grew and grew, becoming
larger than all poetry.
――Translated by Naomi Shihab Nye
ANTHOLOGY OF MODERN PALESTINIAN LITERATURE. Ed. Salma Khadra Jayyusi. New York: Columbia University Press, 1992.
Available from Columbia University Press.
Fadwa Tuqan

“. . . the bark of artillery came near to the flowers . . .” (Yousef Al-Mahmoud)

❶ Israel closes Palestinian institutions in Jerusalem
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) EU’s security committee discussed secret report on Israel, says official

  • Background: “State-Sponsored Vigilantism: Jewish Settlers’ Violence in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.” Sociology.
    “. . . the Israeli state itself, assisted by its agents, works in collusion with the settlers, and maintains the structural preconditions for this provisional political activity. . .”

❷ UN report says at least 206 international companies tied to Israeli settlements
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) Haley slams UN anti-settlement report: It is a “waste of time”
❸ Israeli settlers attack Palestinian farmers north of Hebron
. . . . . ❸ ― (ᴀ) ‘Construction terror’ Israel’s metaphor for Palestinian displacement
❹ POETRY by Yousef Al-Mahmoud
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
ISRAEL  CLOSES  PALESTINIAN  INSTITUTIONS  IN  JERUSALEM
Al Hourriah Magazine (Freedom)
Feb. 3, 2018 — Israel Hayom newspaper on Friday said that the Israeli authorities have decided to close a number of Palestinian institutions in Occupied Jerusalem.
___According to the Hebrew newspaper, the Israeli Minister of Public Security, Gilad Erdan, on Thursday issued a decision to close the Palestine Chamber of Commerce, the Higher Council of Tourism, the Palestinian Center for Studies, the Palestinian Prisoner Society and the Office of Social Studies and Statistics.
___Erdan’s decision was based on an Israeli law issued in 1994 preventing the Palestinian Authority from opening offices or carrying out activities in “Israeli areas”. The same law grants the minister the authority to issue decisions prohibiting such activities.
___The paper said, quoting Erdan, that efforts will continue to impose Israeli sovereignty over every part of Jerusalem. . . following the US president Donald Trump’s recognition . . . .  MORE . . . 
.  .  .  .  .  ❶  ―  (ᴀ)  EU’S  SECURITY  COMMITTEE  DISCUSSED  SECRET  REPORT  ON  ISRAEL,  SAYS  OFFICIAL
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Feb. 3, 2018 ― The European Union’s (EU) Political and Security Committee (PSC) discussed in its session on Wednesday a secret report that strongly criticized Israel and its policies, Palestine’s ambassador to the EU, Abdul Rahim al-Farra, said on Saturday.
___He said in an interview with the official Palestine TV that the PSC, which is composed of ambassadors from the 28 EU member states, also discussed the situation in occupied East Jerusalem in particular and came out with recommendations that will be presented to the EU’s Foreign Affairs Council when it meets on February 25 and 26 in Brussels.
___He said the PSC recommended that the EU plays a primary and active role in the Middle East peace process in order to salvage the two-state solution.      MORE . . .

Gazit, Nir.
“STATE-SPONSORED  VIGILANTISM:  JEWISH  SETTLERS’  VIOLENCE  IN  THE  OCCUPIED  PALESTINIAN  TERRITORIES.”
SOCIOLOGY
, vol. 49, no. 3, June 2015, pp. 438-454.
[. . . .] Civilian violence often disrupts government authority and undermines its exclusive sovereignty. However, it may also operate as an extra-juridical force that reproduces governmental power through unofficial channels. This dynamic is salient in situations of contested and fragmented sovereignty, when state power is discontinuous and lacks international and local legitimacy . . .  provisional violence by state forces and ordinary civilians becomes an important mechanism of political power and control.
[. . . .] These trends . . .  suggest a correlation between the two forms of Israeli violence – institutional military violence and non-institutional civilian violence. In times and places of low military presence and violence, unofficial civilian political mechanisms come into play. These reproduce Israeli dominance through direct violence or through initiating Palestinian hostility resulting in provisional active military involvement. The dialectical relationship between the two forms of violence is not trivial . . .  Hence, it is important to analyse the relationship between Israeli ground-level state agents and settlers, and consider how the two sides manage this tension.
[. . . .] . . . the ambiguity surrounding the formal status of the Israeli state in the OTP creates a governmental void. This void is filled, inter alia, by greater freedom of action of the settlers, who, in effect, act as informal agents of the state, behaving as vigilantes and taking the law into their own hands. The settlers’ violence contributes to the manifestation of Israeli rule in two significant ways. First, it brings Israeli dominance to areas with a scarce presence of military forces, generating ad hoc ‘effective control’ over Palestinian territory and population even in the absence of state officials. . .  While the state has limited direct influence over these domains, they undoubtedly contribute to the overall Israeli dominance in the region. The second and complementary mode of support these acts provide to the overall control system is when the Israeli security forces intervene and prevent the settlers from harassing the Palestinians. Such interventions paradoxically demonstrate and reproduce the Israeli power in the region – this time as protectors of the local civilian population. The elusive political and legal structural frameworks of the Israeli occupation are important factors of this phenomenon, generating the necessary ‘degrees of freedom’, so to speak, that allow, and even support, a proliferation of settlers’ violence against Palestinian civilians. In other words, the Israeli state itself, assisted by its agents, works in collusion with the settlers, and maintains the structural preconditions for this provisional political activity, even if it challenges its exclusive jurisdiction.     SOURCE . . .

UN  REPORT  SAYS  AT  LEAST  206  INTERNATIONAL  COMPANIES  TIED  TO  ISRAELI  SETTLEMENTS
Ma’an News Agency
Feb. 1, 2018 ― The United Nations (UN) High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) released a report on Wednesday identifying 206 companies from around the world that are doing business linked to Israeli settlements, which are built in the occupied West Bank in violation of international law.
___The long-delayed report was initially intended to include the names of companies, but reportedly after intense pressure from the US and Israel, the published report included only the number of companies from each country, rather than naming them.
___”Businesses play a central role in furthering the establishment, maintenance and expansion of Israeli settlements,” the UN report said.    MORE . . .
.  .  .  .  .  ❷  ―  (ᴀ)  HALEY  SLAMS  UN  ANTI-SETTLEMENT  REPORT:  IT  IS  A  “WASTE  OF  TIME”
Palestine News Network – PNN 
Feb. 1, 2018 ― US Ambassador to the United Nations on Wednesday slammed a UN report on 206 companies tied to Israeli settlements as “a waste of time and resources” that showed an “anti-Israeli obsession.”
___The office of the UN high commissioner for human rights released the report that did not name the companies but could pave the way to a “blacklist” of businesses that Israeli officials fear would be targeted for an international boycott.
___“This whole issue is outside the bounds of the High Commissioner for Human Rights office’s mandate and is a waste of time and resources,” Haley said.   MORE . . . 
ISRAELI  SETTLERS  ATTACK  PALESTINIAN  FARMERS  NORTH  OF HEBRON
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA   
Feb. 3, 2018 ― Israeli settlers attacked on Saturday Palestinian farmers in the town of Beit Ummar, north of Hebron in the occupied West Bank, according to Yousef Abu Maria, a local activist.
___He told WAFA that a group of settlers from the illegal settlement of Karmi Tsur and settlement security guards threw rocks at farmers, cursed them and prevented them from cultivating their land. The settlement is built on seized Palestinian land that belong to Beit Ummar and other area villages.   MORE . . . 
.  .  .  .  .  ❸  ―  (ᴀ)  ‘CONSTRUCTION  TERROR’  ISRAEL’S  METAPHOR  FOR  PALESTINIAN  DISPLACEMENT
The Palestinian Information Center
Feb. 1, 2018 ― Israel’s construction of its politics on contrasting levels which echo its colonial agenda knows no limits. Now that the international community is largely reluctant to do more than refer to previous statements of colonial expansion as illegal, Israel is more explicit in promoting its state and settler narratives in its appropriation of land ownership.
___A news report published on Monday in Haaretz quotes Jewish Home Party MK Moti Yogev: “Our goal is to protect state lands, consistent with decisions by the state not letting their status be determined by construction terror guided by the Palestinian Authority with the intervention of international elements such as the European Union.” He also suggested legal recourse against Palestinians opposing demolition orders.
___This is not the first time that such rhetoric has been used. In April 2016 a press release titled “Re-evaluate state’s handling of EU-funded construction in Area C” described Palestinian dwellings in similar terms, accusing the EU of financing “construction and infrastructure terror”.     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.

“. . . Fear encloses the sweet basil and the alley’s mint . . .” (Ibrahim Nasrallah)

❶ EU provides €317,000 to support West Bank farmers
. . . . . ❶― (ᴀ) UNRWA chief says US aid cut “most severe crisis in agency’s history”
. . . . . ❶― (ᴃ)  Dear Mr Trump, we’re facing a humanitarian disaster

  • Background: “The Palestinian Refugee Camps: The Promise of ‘Ruin’ and ‘Loss’.” Rethinking History

❷ Arab FMs meet again over US Jerusalem decision
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) AL-Malki: Arab response to US Jerusalem decision decides peace future
❸ Seven more healthcare centres in Gaza shut down
. . . . . ❸ ― (ᴀ) Israeli airstrikes target sites in northern Gaza
❹ POETRY by Ibrahim Nasrallah
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
EU  PROVIDES  €317,000  TO  SUPPORT  WEST  BANK  FARMERS
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA 
Feb. 2, 2018 ― The European Union announced on Friday its contribution of about €317,000 to the Palestinian Authority to support Palestinian farmers and agro-businesses in the West Bank.
___A statement by the EU representative office in Jerusalem said the eligible beneficiaries are farmers and agro-businesses in the West Bank directly affected by the Israeli occupation, and particularly farmers in Area B and C.    MORE . . . 
.  .  .  .  .  ❶―  (ᴀ)  UNRWA  CHIEF  SAYS  US  AID  CUT  “MOST  SEVERE  CRISIS  IN  AGENCY’S  HISTORY”
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Feb. 2, 2018 ― Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) Pierre Krähenbühl said on Thursday that the recent US aid cut represents the most severe crisis in the agency’s history.
___Krähenbühl’s comments came during his speech at the meeting of Arab Foreign ministers in Cairo to discuss the Arab action in response to the US decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
___The UN official said the agency is facing an unprecedented financial crisis because of the US decision to reduce its contribution to UNRWA, adding that he has been travelling around the world to call for mobilization to help UNRWA overcome this crisis.   MORE . . .
.  .  .  .  .  ❶―  (ᴃ)    DEAR  MR  TRUMP,  WE’RE  FACING  A  HUMANITARIAN  DISASTER
Al Jazeera English
by Mays Abu Ghosh
Feb. 1,  2018 ― Dear President Trump, Every evening, my grandmother sits us down and tells us stories about a piece of heaven on earth, a place called “Imwas”. She describes every little detail about this place – the water spring, the lavish trees and the flowers that bloom throughout the year. She tells us about the beautiful old stone houses, the fig trees and the cactus plants.
___Imwas is a village situated southeast of the town of Ramleh, where my grandfather owned a plot of land. After my grandfather passed, my father inherited the land. One day, my nine siblings and I will inherit this land from our father. We’ll build our home there, and we’ll harvest the crops of our field.     ___But for now, we live in a small apartment in the Qalandia refugee camp . . .    MORE . . .

Abreek-Zubiedat, Fatina.
“THE  PALESTINIAN  REFUGEE  CAMPS:  THE  PROMISE  OF  ‘RUIN’  AND  ‘LOSS’.”
RETHINKING  HISTORY
, vol. 19, no. 1, Mar. 2015, pp. 72-94
[. . . .] According to the political theorist Hannah Arendt, a ‘refugee’ is a ‘stateless’ or ‘non-citizen’ person who threatens the nation-state system. Consequently, countries have acknowledged the need for a solution to the refugee problem, whose status is considered temporary, with two possible options: return to the homeland or country of origin, or naturalization in the host country. Historically, both solutions have failed. Arendt views the refugee camp as a ‘final solution’ involving the incarceration of refugees after denying their citizenship. Only then do they become homo sacer in the sense implied by ancient Roman law: destined to die, with their life defined as ‘bare.’
[. . . .]  Exclusion and the definition of modes of belonging and non-belonging and marking populations as ‘outside’ are sovereign acts that cannot be thought of independently of the actor which performed them. These acts are . . .  ‘nothingness acts’ which gain an inherent nihilistic relationship: ‘It is in one guise, a promise of creative destruction. In another, it can work to the opposite end; turn to sheer destruction, annihilating the very context of creativity’. . .  Nihilistic actions not only delineated the creation and development of the camps, but are themselves processes that led to paradoxical situations, veritably positioning the camps on the borderline between the ‘private’ and the ‘public’ spheres.
[. . . .] The refugees’ adherence to the idea of return was very strong. Their various architectural activities which left their mark on the region undermined the abnormal basis of the camp and created an opening for discussing refugee–camp relations, while emphasizing the idea that any attempt to dismantle a camp would only prove successful if citizenship were achieved. Through the many architectural practices discussed above, the refugees succeeded in rewriting the binary layout articulated in the language of planning, which defined a ‘private’ versus ‘public’ sphere. They knew how to dismantle this language through practices designed to negotiate the complexities of discourses about this same sphere, revealing contrasts, struggles, and conflicts reflected in the camp’s appearance, and the impossibility of a single, exclusive discourse with which to describe the harsh duality of camp existence.     SOURCE . . .   ..

ARAB FMS MEET AGAIN OVER US JERUSALEM DECISION
The Palestinian Information Center    
Feb. 2, 2018 ― The Arab League, chaired by Djibouti foreign minister, Mahmoud Ali Yusuf, on Thursday held an emergency meeting in Cairo to discuss the US decision to recognize Occupied Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
___The meeting, which was attended by Arab foreign ministers or their representatives, was a follow-up to the previous sessions in December and January on Washington’s capital announcement as well as its declared intent to relocate its embassy to Jerusalem.
___The attendees discussed the repercussions of US president Donald Trump’s decision on Jerusalem and the implementation of the Arab League’s ministerial resolution on September 9, 2017, which stipulated that the Arab League should convene another meeting within a month to evaluate the situation and agree on future measures . . .   MORE . . .
.  .  .  .  .  ❷  ―  (ᴀ)  AL-MALKI:  ARAB  RESPONSE  TO  US  JERUSALEM  DECISION  DECIDES  PEACE  FUTURE   
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Feb. 1, 2018 – Minister of Foreign and Expatriates Affairs Riyad al-Malki affirmed on Thursday that the shape of the Arab countries’ response to the US decision on Jerusalem will determine the future of peace and stability, based on an end of the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories occupied in 1967.
___Al-Malki’s comments came during his speech at the meeting of Arab foreign ministers in Cairo during which they discussed the Arab action in response to the US decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
___“The shape and level of the Arab [countries’] response will determine the future of peace and stability, based on an end of Israeli colonization of all the Palestinian territories occupied in 1967. . . .   MORE . . .
❸  SEVEN  MORE  HEALTHCARE  CENTRES  IN  GAZA  SHUT  DOWN
Days of Palestine
Huge amounts of fuel needed to operate electricity generators to compensate lack of electricity caused by Israeli siege.
Feb. 01 2018 ― Gaza is heading to real disaster as seven more healthcare centres in Gaza Strip closed their doors on Thursday due to tightening 11-year-old Israeli siege.     ___According to the Palestinian ministry of health in the Gaza Strip, fuel ran out in seven more healthcare centres in different areas across Gaza.
___“This problem, which is a result of the Israeli sieged, happened due to the lack of fuel needed to operate electricity generators,” a statement by the ministry said.   MORE . . .
.  .  .  .  .  ❸  ―  (ᴀ)  ISRAELI  AIRSTRIKES  TARGET  SITES  IN  NORTHERN  GAZA      Ma’an News Agency
Feb. 2, 2018     Israeli forces carried out airstrikes targeting several sites in the northern Gaza Strip on Friday before dawn.
___Locals told Ma’an that the strikes hit targets near the al-Nada Towers in northeastern Beit Lahiya. No injuries were reported.     ___The Israeli army had reported earlier that rockets coming from the Gaza Strip had landed in an Israeli town outside around Gaza.   MORE . . .

“THE  EXILE,”  BY  IBRAHIM  NASRALLAH
Silence becomes solid in bones,
in a bird’s song,
in he meaning of a word,
spreading over all of the greenery
and swallowing up the town squares,
creeping like a desert snake
and dwindling the horses’ neighing.
Blossoming in my woman’s embrace,
in the song’s pale light
and in the flowers on the balconies.
I gather myself to lift dry clouds from my body
and prayers from my soul.
I see God’s sun, my face, and my hand: three doves.
The time that’s passed is more than age can carry
and my undulations are in restraints.
The spikes of my soul do not reach the horse’s back,
an angle overlaps another angle . . . within an angle,
this body of mine.
Poets surround me like the fruit of regret.
My mother says: White is laughter’s waterfall.
So we laugh till our blood explodes.
Fear encloses the sweet basil and the alley’s mint.
My love’s tough on my forehead is like a runaway train.
The wind on my shoulders is like a dead horse,
the Sea far away.
Time is a coffin, while nakedness is the daily news.
For thirty three years
I have been digging tunnels
so I might emerge from this cold womb. . .

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

“. . . Don’t ask me to empty the sea. . .” (Fouzi El Asmar)

تنزيل
16-year-old Laith Haitham Abu Naeem, EXECUTED BY Israeli Soldier (Photo, PNN, Feb. 1, 2018)

❶ MOFA: The Silence On the Execution of “Laith Abu Naeem” is Disgraceful
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Ramallah bids last farewell to 16-year-old martyr
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴃ) Children terrorized as Israeli army ransacks homes, kidnaps civilians

  • Background: “Our Jerusalem — a Reality Check.” Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture

❷ Israel releases Palestinian lawmaker who has spent nearly 32 years behind bars
. . . . . ❷― (ᴀ) Israeli detention of Palestinians up by 5% in 2017, say groups
❸ POETRY by Fouzi El Asmar
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
MOFA:  THE  SILENCE  ON  THE  EXECUTION  OF  “LAITH  ABU  NAEEM”  IS  DISGRACEFUL
Palestine News Network – PNN  
Jan. 31, 2018 ― The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates in a statement strongly condemned the unlawful killing of the 16 years old “Laith Haitham Abu Naeem” in the village of al Mughayer near Ramallah. The crime happened after an Israeli soldier shot the martyr in the head from a close range to deliberately kill him.
___The Ministry assured that this crime reflects the culture of barbaric killing which is popular among the Israeli soldiers who are deployed throughout the Palestinian territory, addnig that it’s also considered a reflection of the political instructions of the political and military levels in the state of Israel that permits and encourages the killing of Palestinians.
___The Ministry warned against the consequences of dealing with the death penalty against the unarmed Palestinians as numbers and statistics, those grotesque crimes became a routine and insignificant that’s not worth paying attention to the amount of tragedy and suffering of the Palestinian families due to the loss of their loved ones.    MORE . . .
.  .  .  .  .  ❶  ―  (ᴀ)  RAMALLAH  BIDS  LAST  FAREWELL  TO  16-YEAR-OLD  MARTYR   
Palestine News Network – PNN 
Feb. 1, 2018 ― Crowds of Ramallah on Wednesday noon bid the last farewell to its 16-year-old martyr, Laith Abu Naim, who was shot dead by Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) on Tuesday, during clashes in the city.
___Abu Na’im was buried in his home-village, Al-Mughir, northeast of Ramallah, in midst of large popular and official presence.
___The boy wes shot dead in cold blood by the IOF during clashes in Ramallah on Tuesday. . .   MORE . . .
.  .  .  .  .  ❶  ―  (ᴃ)  CHILDREN  TERRORIZED  AS  ISRAELI  ARMY  RANSACKS  HOMES,  KIDNAPS  CIVILIANS 
The Palestinian Information Center
Feb. 1, 2018 ― A number of Palestinians were kidnapped by the Israeli occupation forces (IOF) at daybreak Thursday in abduction sweeps rocking West Bank provinces.
___Overnight, special Israeli forces kidnapped three Palestinian young men after they chased down a car near Nablus’s western town of Zawata.
___According to eye-witnesses, a driver accidentally rammed a parked car before undercover Israeli officers showed up in the area and dragged the driver to their jeep at gunpoint.
___Sometime later, the family of Palestinian prisoner Jamal Abu al-Heija said their eldest son, Abdul Salem, also an ex-prisoner, was kidnapped from the targeted car. Another son of al-Heija’s, Emad, was kidnapped just a few hours later from the family’s home in Jenin.    MORE . . .

Klein, Menachem. “OUR  JERUSALEM  —  A  REALITY  CHECK.” 
PALESTINE-ISRAEL  JOURNAL  OF  POLITICS,  ECONOMICS  &  CULTURE, vol. 22/23, no. 4/1, Jan. 2018, pp. 9-15.
[. . . .] Israel’s overwhelming victory in the 1967 war placed Israeli Jerusalem in a position of superiority. Since then, Israel has been acting to shape Jerusalem as its place alone. In the first years after the war, Israel turned East Jerusalem into a hybrid area which contains components of the State of Israel alongside components of the West Bank. Israel annexed East Jerusalem and, from the point of view of Israeli law, detached it from the West Bank. But in a number of other ways, East Jerusalem remained part of the West Bank — for example, from a social point of view and marital connections, in the educational system and the curriculum, in the organization of the religious establishment and the transportation and communication systems. The policy was to cut off East Jerusalem from the West Bank while at the same time not integrating it into Israel.
[. . . .] The building of the Separation Wall cut off tens of thousands of Palestinians from the city, and those areas became ungovernable. They are formally annexed to the State of Israel but, in actuality, they are outside of it. . .  Periodically the Israeli army and police enter the area. These incursions are a matter of routine in the West Bank but occur only infrequently in East Jerusalem. In other words, these Palestinian neighborhoods are today a hybrid area within the West Bank, although they are formally annexed into Israel.
[. . . .] The genetic code of the Palestinian reaction to the Israeli expansionism and political and legal superiority is identical in Jerusalem and in the West Bank: survival in the field, passive resistance to Israeli control and sporadic violence. . .  Violent protests are a sporadic and unorganized phenomenon with similar characteristics in Jerusalem and in the West Bank: stabbing and running over civilians and soldiers, and throwing rocks and Molotov cocktails at settlers, soldiers and police at checkpoints.
[. . . .]  It is important to note that the hybridization of Jerusalem is not multicultural and equal but ethnic and hierarchal. The Jewish collective preserves by force its privileges and discriminates against the Palestinian collective, whose number is almost equal to that of the Jews. This is not only the reality of Jerusalem: Between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea there is a very similar demographic balance. Israel is aware of this and is afraid of its repercussions, but it is trapped in the entanglement that it has created. It refuses to give up on its privileges and is turning to more intensive use of force, yet it frequently underestimates the severity of the problem or denies it.     FULL ARTICLE . . .

ISRAEL  RELEASES  PALESTINIAN  LAWMAKER  WHO  HAS  SPENT  NEARLY  32  YEARS  BEHIND  BARS 
Ma’an News Agency 
Feb. 1, 2018 ―  Israeli forces released Palestinian lawmaker Muhammad Abu Tir after he was held in Israeli prison for six months under administrative detention — Israel’s widely-condemned policy of internment without charge or trial.
___Abu Tir was detained on August 4, 2017 after Israeli forces raided his house in the town of al-Bireh in the central occupied West Bank district of Ramallah. He had been released from Israeli prison two months prior to his latest detention in August.
___Abu Tair has spent an estimated total of 32 years behind Israeli bars.
___The Hamas-affiliated lawmaker moved to al-Bireh after being exiled from his home in occupied East Jerusalem in 2010, along with fellow imprisoned parliamentarian Ahmad Attun, Palestinian Legislative Committee (PLC) member Muhammad Tutah, and former PA Minister Khalid Abu Arafeh.   MORE . . .
.  .  .  .  .  ❷―  (ᴀ)  ISRAELI  DETENTION  OF  PALESTINIANS  UP  BY  5%  IN  2017,  SAY  GROUPS
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Feb. 1, 2018 ― Israeli detention of Palestinians increased by 5% in 2017 compared to the previous year for a total of 6742 Palestinians, three Palestinian rights organizations said on Thursday.
___The Palestinian Prisoner’s Society, Addameer and al-Mezan said in a joint report that out of the 6742 Palestinians Israel detained, 1467 were minors, 156 women, 14 lawmakers, and 25 journalists.    MORE . . .

“TO  A  JEWISH  FRIEND,”  BY  FOUZI  EL-ASMAR
Don’t ask me
the impossible
Don’t’ ask me
to hunt stars,
walk to the sun.
Don’t ask me
to empty the sea
to erase the day’s light
I am nothing but a man.

Don’t ask me
to abandon my eyes, my love,
the memory of my childhood.

I was raised
under an olive tree,
I ate the figs
of my orchard
drank wine from
the sloping vineyards
Tasted Cactus fruit
in the valleys
more, more.

The nightingale has sung
in my ears
The free winds of fields and cities
always tickled me
My friend
You cannot ask me
to leave my own country.  (March 1971)

El Azmar, Fouzi. POEMS  FROM  AN  ISRAELI  PRISON.  Intro. By Israel Shahak. New York: KNOW Books, 1973.
Available from Amazon.
About Fouzi El Asmar.

“. . . my dreams took the night train and I did not know how to say goodbye . . .” (Mourid Barghouti)

❶ Geneva Human Rights Centre calls on international community to halt violations in Palestine
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) FM calls on ICC prosecutor to prevent crimes against Palestinian people

  • Background: Statement of the UNRWA Commissioner-General;  PRESS STATEMENT, UNRWA

❷ US backtracks on pledge of $45 million food aid to UNRWA
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) Belgium pledges $23m to UNRWA after US aid cut
❸ Abbas’ security coordination challenge
. . . . . ❸ ― (ᴀ) Al-Quds Int’l: Switching off light at Aqsa Mosque serious violation
❹ POETRY by Mourid Barghouti
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
GENEVA  HUMAN  RIGHTS  CENTRE  CALLS  ON  INTERNATIONAL  COMMUNITY  TO  HALT  VIOLATIONS  IN  PALESTINE
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Jan. 19, 2018 ― The Executive Director of the Geneva Centre for Human Rights Advancement and Global Dialogue Idriss Jazairy appealed to the international community, and in particular the Arab and Muslim community, “to join forces and act in concert in order to halt the violations of Palestinians human rights.”
___Ambassador Jazairy said during a speech at the two-day Al-Azhar conference in Cairo on the situation in Jerusalem, that the international community has a “moral duty” to protect and to uphold the human rights of the Palestinian people in the wake of the decision of the US to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
___”Al Quds is a textbook case of multi-faceted and cross-cutting violations of human rights,” said Jazairy.   MORE . . .        RELATED . . . 
.  .  .  .  . ❶ ―  (ᴀ)  FM  CALLS  ON  ICC  PROSECUTOR  TO  PREVENT  CRIMES  AGAINST  PALESTINIAN  PEOPLE
Al Hourriah Magazine (Freedom)
Jan. 18, 2018 ― The Palestinian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates [Riyad al-Malki] called on the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Ms. Fatou Bensouda, to exercise her statutory authority, without delay, to prevent the continuation and perpetuation of crimes against the Palestinian people. On the three-year anniversary of the opening of the preliminary examination in the situation in Palestine, the Minister dispatched a letter to Ms. Bensouda pointing her attention to the recent escalation of violence by Israeli occupation forces in their implementation of unlawful colonial policies and practices in the past month, including the unlawful killing of 16 Palestinians and the injury of approximately 3000 and detention of 720, including 184 children.   MORE . . .  

STATEMENT  OF  THE  UNRWA  COMMISSIONER-GENERAL
PRESS  STATEMENT,  UNRWA

Pierre Krähenbühl, Commissioner General
January 17, 2018 ― Not for the first time in its proud history, UNRWA faces a formidable challenge in upholding its mandate – an expression of the will of the international community – and preserving key services like education and health care for Palestine Refugees.
___Today, the US government has announced a contribution of $60 M, in support of our efforts to keep our schools open, health clinics running, and emergency food and cash distribution systems functioning for some of the world’s most vulnerable refugees. While important, this funding is dramatically below past levels. The total US contribution in 2017 was above $350 M.
___Since UNRWA began its operations in May 1950, every US administration – from President Truman onwards – has stood with and provided strong, generous and committed support to our Agency. The US has consistently been UNRWA’s largest single donor, something we sincerely thank the American people for, and countless American decision-makers – presidents, members of Congress, diplomats and civil servants, who embodied the commitment of assisting a vulnerable people through UNRWA.
___Funding UNRWA or any humanitarian agency is the discretion of any sovereign member state of the United Nations. At the same time, given the long, trusted, and historic relationship between the United States and UNRWA, this reduced contribution threatens one of the most successful and innovative human development endeavors in the Middle-East.   COMPLETE STATEMENT: Gaza.Scoop.ps – Real Time News From Gaza.

US  BACKTRACKS  ON  PLEDGE  OF  $45  MILLION  FOOD  AID  TO  UNRWA          The Palestinian Information Center
Jan. 19, 2018 ― The US State Department on Thursday announced that Washington will not provide $45 million in food aid which it pledged last month for Palestinian refugees.
[. . . .] Spokeswoman for the US State Department, Heather Nauert, said in statements, “At this time we will not be providing that, but this does not mean that it will not be provided in the future.”
___Nauert claimed that the withholding of the funds was not intended to punish Palestinians who strongly criticized the US president Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital last month.
___”Other countries are required to do more,” she said, adding that the US does not have to be the chief donor to every organization around the world.  MORE . . . 
.  .  .  .  . ❷ ―  (ᴀ)  BELGIUM  PLEDGES  $23M  TO  UNRWA  AFTER  US  AID  CUT
Al Jazeera English
Jan. 18, 2018 ― Belgium has pledged to donate 19m euro ($23m) to UNRWA, the UN’s aid organisation for Palestinian refugees, after the US government announced it would slash its funding to the agency by half.
___Deputy Prime Minister Alexander De Croo said in a statement on Wednesday that Brussels would allocate the funds over three years.
___The first annual payment is being disbursed immediately “considering the financial difficulties that UNRWA currently faces”, the statement said.      MORE . . .  
ABBAS’  SECURITY  COORDINATION  CHALLENGE
Al-Monitor (Palestine Pulse)
By Daoud Kuttab
Jan.18, 2018 ― In a fiery two-hour speech at the start of the Palestinian Central Council (PCC) meeting Jan. 14, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas did not once raise the issue of ending security coordination with Israel. Abbas did, however, mention, several times, the futility of continuing with the Oslo process . . . Despite this omission, however, the PCC resolved the matter in the final statement.
___This was not the first time the Palestinians have resolved to end the security arrangement, a step often demanded by Hamas and other opposition groups. In March 2015 . . .
[. . . .] An online survey by the leading Palestinian newspaper Al-Quds on the eve of the PCC session, revealed that an overwhelming 94% of Palestinians want the PCC to withdraw recognition of Israel and end security coordination . . .   Palestinian leaders are concerned that fully implementing the recommendation would mean the end of the Palestinian government . . .
[. . . .] Israel is unlikely to sit idly by if the recommendation were implemented. Its tolerance for the existence of the Palestinian government, with its security apparatus, is contingent on the Palestinians adhering to the minimum level of security coordination.   MORE . . . 
.  .  .  .  . ❸ ―  (ᴀ)  AL-QUDS  INT’L:  SWITCHING  OFF  LIGHT  AT  AQSA  MOSQUE  SERIOUS  VIOLATION
Al Hourriah Magazine (Freedom)     Jan. 18, 2018 ― Al-Quds International Institution (QII) condemned on Wednesday Israeli attempts to cut power feeding the Dome of the Rock at Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa Mosque, the third holiest site in Islam.
___“Switching off the light of the Dome of the Rock is an aggression against Muslims and their holy sites,” a statement by QII read.
___QII warned of Israeli attempts to control and obstruct reconstruction and maintenance works at al-Aqsa Mosque.
___QII’s director Yassin Hamoud said the fact that the Israeli authorities obstructed the entry of materials needed to fix power cuts at al-Aqsa is “a translation of Trump’s biased move into action.”   MORE . . . 

“I  HAVE  NO  PROBLEM,”  BY  MOURID  BARGHOUTI
I look at myself:
I have no problem.
I look all right
and, to some girls,
my grey hair might even be attractive;
my eyeglasses are well made,
my body temperature is precisely thirty seven,
my shirt is ironed and my shoes do not hurt.
I have no problem.
My hands are not cuffed,
my tongue has not been silenced yet,
I have not, so far, been sentenced
and I have not been fired from my work;
I am allowed to visit my relatives in jail,
I’m allowed to visit some of their graves in some countries.

I have no problem.
I am not shocked that my friend
has grown a horn on his head.
I like his cleverness in hiding the obvious tail
under his clothes, I like his calm paws.
He might kill me, but I shall forgive him
for he is my friend;
he can hurt me every now and then.

I have no problem.
The smile of the TV anchor
does not make me ill any more
and I’ve got used to the Khaki stopping my colours
night and day.
That is why
I keep my identification papers on me, even at
the swimming pool.
I have no problem.
Yesterday, my dreams took the night train
and I did not know how to say goodbye to them.
I heard the train had crashed
in a barren valley
(only the driver survived).
I thanked God, and took it easy
for I have small nightmares
that I hope will develop into great dreams.

I have no problem.
I look at myself, from the day I was born till now.
In my despair I remember
that there is life after death;
there is life after death
and I have no problem.
But I ask:
Oh my God,
is there life before death?
――Translated by Radwa Ashour
From poem hunter.com
Interview with Mourid Barghouti 

“. . . our eyes full of dust That never clears in our ceaseless wandering . . .” (Jabra Ibrahim Jabra)

❶ OCHA says reduction in humanitarian aid to UN refugee agency worrying
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Fatah: U.S. action will restrict the work of UNRWA
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴃ) American Arab group condemns US cut in aid to UN agency
❷ After Jenin raid, Israeli army leaves behind devastation, both physical and psychological

  • Opinion:  “In Words and Deeds: The Genesis of Israeli Violence.” The Palestine Chronicle.

. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) Israeli court indefinitely extends detention of Ahed Tamimi and her mother
❸ Israeli army considering taking control of Palestinian areas in Jerusalem
❹ PLO calls on EU to take effective political steps to salvage peace
❺ POETRY by Jabra Ibrahim Jabra
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶  OCHA  SAYS  REDUCTION  IN  HUMANITARIAN  AID  TO  UN  REFUGEE  AGENCY  WORRYING
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA 
Jan. 18, 2018 ― The significant reduction in funding to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) is worrying against the backdrop of an overall decline in humanitarian funding in the occupied Palestinian territories (oPt) in recent years, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) for the oPt said on Wednesday.
___The United States announced this week that it has cut $65 million of its $125 million January installment to UNRWA . . .
___“I am deeply concerned about the significant reduction in funding for UNRWA, which is critical to the provision of humanitarian assistance in the occupied Palestinian territory. Some 2.5 million Palestinians in this area, or about half of the population, need humanitarian aid, including 1.4 million Palestine refugees, who are among the most vulnerable groups in the oPt,” Acting Humanitarian Coordinator for the oPt, Roberto Valent, said in a statement.  MORE . . . 
.  .  .  .  .  ❶ ― (ᴀ) FATAH:  U.S.  ACTION  WILL  RESTRICT  THE  WORK  OF  UNRWA     Palestine News Network – PNN 
Jan. 18, 2018 ―  [. . . .] It is important to note that the U.S. contribution to UNRWA represents neither support nor assistance to the Palestinian National Authority . . .  It is to an agency of the United . . . .
___A statement by the Palestine National Liberation movement (Fatah) in a press release said that this U.S. action will restrict the work of UNRWA and threaten severe deprivation putting Palestinian refugees at even more serious risk.
[. . . .]  “We believe that the methods of extortion and pressure of the U.S. Administration on the United Nations, especially with regard to programs that do not suit Israel and rightwing extremists, are unacceptable to the international community and UN member states.”   MORE . . . 
 .  .  .  .  .  ❶ ― (ᴃ)  AMERICAN  ARAB  GROUP  CONDEMNS  US  CUT  IN  AID  TO  UN  AGENCY
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Jan. 18, 2018 ― The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) strongly condemned on Wednesday the US cut of $65 million in funding for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), which provides education and healthcare to millions of Palestinian refugees in Gaza, West Bank, Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan.
___“This abrupt cut in funding has created an existential crisis for UNRWA,” said ADC in a statement.
___At stake is the education of more than 525,000 students, primary health care for millions, and the provision of emergency relief, including food assistance to one million refugees in Gaza.    MORE . . . 
❷ AFTER  JENIN  RAID,  ISRAELI  ARMY  LEAVES  BEHIND  DEVASTATION,  BOTH  PHYSICAL  AND  PSYCHOLOGICAL 
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
By Mohammad Najim
Jan. 18, 2018 ―  At about 11:00 pm (Jerusalem time) on a cold Wednesday night, Palestinian residents of Wad Burqin neighborhood in Jenin, north of the occupied West Bank, were awakened at the sound of gunfire. It was soon clear that a large Israeli military force has surrounded a number of Jarrar family buildings and opened heavy gunfire at the houses to force a member identified as Ahmad Nasr Jarrar, 26, to come out.     [. . . .] Army units used loudspeakers to call on the family to leave their house, and soon after Ahmad Nasr’s mother, her younger son, Mohammad, and her daughter were out in the cold the army asked them to remove their coats.
[. . . .]  She said the soldiers then asked her daughter to get back to the house and to open all of the windows and doors before their bulldozers approached the house and started to demolish it together with the house of her elder son, Sohaib . . . .   the residents were shocked to find out that three buildings for the Jarrar family had been demolished and a fourth was badly damaged.
___The Palestinian Ministry of . . . . identified the dead person as Ahmad Ismail Jarrar, 31, a cousin of Ahmad Nasr Jarrar.     MORE . . . 

OPINION:    IN  WORDS  AND  DEEDS:  THE  GENESIS  OF  ISRAELI  VIOLENCE 
The Palestine Chronicle
By Ramzy Baroud
Jan. 16, 2018 ― Not a day passes without a prominent Israeli politician or intellectual making an outrageous statement against Palestinians. Many of these statements tend to garner little attention or evoke rightly deserved outrage.
___Just recently, Israel’s Minister of Agriculture, Uri Ariel, called for more death and injuries on Palestinians in Gaza.
[. . . .] Israeli Education Minister, Naftali Bennett, known for his extremist political views, demanded that Ahed [Tamini] and other Palestinian girls should “spend the rest of their days in prison”.
[. . . .] This violent and revolting mindset, however, is not new. It is an extension of an old, entrenched belief system that is predicated on a long history of violence.
___Undeniably, the views of Ariel, Bennett . . . are all reflections of real policies that have been carried out for over 70 years. Indeed, killing, raping and imprisoning for life are features that have accompanied the state of Israel since the very beginning.
___This violent legacy continues to define Israel to this day, through the use of what Israeli historian Ilan Pappe describes as ‘incremental genocide.’
[. . . .] Israel’s violent birth in 1947- 48 was the culmination of the violent discourse that preceded it for many years [. . . .] Nearly 30 years later, a once wanted terrorist, Begin became Prime Minister of Israel. He accelerated land theft of the newly-occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, launched a war on Lebanon, annexed Occupied Jerusalem to Israel and carried out the massacre of Sabra and Shatilla in 1982.
[. . . .]  Some of the other terrorists-turned-politicians and top army brass include Begin, Moshe Dayan, Yitzhak Rabin, Ariel Sharon, Rafael Eitan and Yitzhak Shamir. Each one of these leaders has a record dotted with violence.
[. . . .] So, when government ministers like Ariel and Bennett call for wanton violence against Palestinians, they are simply carrying on with a bloody legacy that has defined every single Israeli leader in the past. It is the violent mindset that continues to control the Israeli government and its relationship with Palestinians; in fact, with all of its neighbors.     MORE . . .    ..

.  .  .  .  .  ❷  ―  (ᴀ)  ISRAELI  COURT  INDEFINITELY  EXTENDS  DETENTION  OF  AHED  TAMIMI  AND  HER  MOTHER  
Ma’an News Agency   
Jan. 18, 2018 ―  An Israeli military court on Wednesday ordered 16-year-old Palestinian activist Ahed al-Tamimi to remain in custody indefinitely, until she faces trial for a number of charges relating to a video of her slapping and kicking an Israeli soldier.
___The teenager was arrested on December 19, days after the video of her confrontation with the soldiers — who were raiding her hometown of Nabi Saleh in the central occupied West Bank, and had shot her 14-year-old cousin in the face moments before the video was filmed — went viral on social media.
[. . . .]  During the hearing, the judge reportedly said that they could not grant the teenager bail because she was “too dangerous.”
___The court also ruled to indefinitely extend the detention of Ahed’s mother, Nariman, who was detained a day after her daughter. Nariman is being charged with “incitement” for livestreaming the video.     MORE . . .  
❸ ISRAELI  ARMY  CONSIDERING  TAKING  CONTROL  OF  PALESTINIAN  AREAS  IN  JERUSALEM 
Palestine News Network – PNN
Jan. 18, 2018 ― Israeli military forces are considering taking control over Shu’fat refugee camp and Kafr Aqab areas, according to information obtained by Israeli daily Haaretz.
___Whilst the proposed  plan is still unknown, army officials said the decision has been motivated by an increase in unrest and violence in East Jerusalem.     ___The two areas are currently under the jurisdiction of the Jerusalem municipality but are physically cut off from the city [by] the separation wall.     MORE . . .  
❹ PLO  CALLS  ON  EU  TO  TAKE  EFFECTIVE  POLITICAL  STEPS  TO  SALVAGE  PEACE
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA    
Jan. 18, 2018 ― Secretary-General of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), Saeb Erekat Thursday called on the European Union to take effective political steps to save peace in the region.
___This came during a meeting with representatives of the EU countries at the PLO’s headquarters in Ramallah . . . .
___He called on the EU to protect the principles and the human rights’ system that it has built over the years, by translating and embodying its firm position on the two-state solution based on the 1967 borders and recognizing East Jerusalem as the capital of a recognized State of Palestine.
___Erekat reiterated the PLO’s position that the United States’ has lost eligibility to play the role of peace broker after its illegal recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel . .  MORE . . .

“IN  THE  DESERTS  OF  EXILE,”  BY  JABRA  IBRAHIM  JABRA
Spring after spring, in the deserts of exile,
What are we doing with our love,
When our eyes are full of frost and dust?

Our Palestine, green land of ours;
Its flowers as if embroidered of women’s gowns;
March adorns its hills
With the jewel-like peony and narcissus;
April bursts open in its plains
With flowers and bride-like blossoms;
May is our rustic song
Which we sing at noon, in the blue shadows,
Among the olive trees in our valleys,
And in the ripeness of the fields we wait for the promise of July
And the joyous dance amidst the harvest.

O land of ours where our childhood passed
Like dreams in the shade of the orange grove,
Among the almond trees in the valleys―
Remember us now wandering
Among the thorns of the desert,
Wandering in rocky mountains;
Remember us now
In the tumult of cities beyond deserts and seas;
Remember us with our eyes full of dust
That never clears in our ceaseless wandering.
They crushed the flowers on the hills around us,
Destroyed the houses over our heads,
Scattered our torn remains
Then unfolded the desert before us,
With valleys writhing in hunger
And blue shadows
Scattered into red thorns
Bent over corpses left as prey for falcon and crow.

Is it from your hills that the angels sang to the shepherds
Of peace on earth and goodwill among men?
Only death laughed when it saw
Among the entrails of beasts
The ribs of men,
And through the guffaw of bullets
It went dancing a joyous dance
On the heads of weeping women.
Our land is an emerald,
But in the deserts of exile,
Spring after spring,
Only the dust hisses in our face.
What then, what are we doing with our love,
When our eyes and our mouth are full of frost and dust?

About  Jabra Ibrahim Jabra      Related
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.

“. . . bored with the death creeping in their bones . . .” (Harun Hashim Al Rashid)

❶ Israeli forces kill Palestinian student, former prisoner during clashes in Qalqiliya
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Israeli forces detain Palestinian, injure another as settlers visit holy site in Nablus
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴃ) Israel orders 19 Palestinians to administrative detention

  • Background: “Israeli TV Host Warns Israelis: “Apartheid Has Been Here for Ages.” Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture.

❷ Israel to ban medical treatment visits by Hamas members
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) New Israel bill to ban ministers from taking part in BDS activities
❸ 500 West Bank schools to get power through solar cells
❹ Opinion/Analysis: Facing serious damage to its image, Israel must smear its critics as anti-Semites
❺ POETRY by Harun Hashim Al Rashid
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
ISRAELI  FORCES  KILL  PALESTINIAN  STUDENT,  FORMER  PRISONER  DURING  CLASHES  IN  QALQILIYA 
Ma’an News Agency 
Jan. 16, 2018 ― Israeli forces shot and killed a 28-year-old Palestinian student and former prisoner during clashes on Monday in the northern occupied West Bank district of Qalqiliya.     ___Locals identified the slain Palestinian as Ahmad Abd al-Jaber Muhammad Salim, a student at al-Quds Open University in Qalqiliya and the secretary of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) student bloc.      [. . . .] Witnesses told Ma’an that Israeli soldiers opened fire at Salim from less than 20 meters away, and that forces prevented Palestinian ambulances from reaching him by firing tear gas at ambulances and paramedics.     MORE . . .    ..
.  .  .  .  .  ❶  ―  (ᴀ)  ISRAELI  FORCES  DETAIN  PALESTINIAN,  INJURE  ANOTHER  AS  SETTLERS  VISIT  HOLY  SITE  IN  NABLUS
Ma’an News Agency
Jan. 16, 2018 ― At least one Palestinian was injured and another was detained by Israeli forces before dawn on Tuesday, as Israeli security forces escorted 1,000 Israeli settlers to perform religious rituals in the northern occupied West Bank city of Nablus.     ___Official Palestinian Authority (PA)-owned Wafa news agency reported that busloads of Jewish settlers, who live in the occupied Palestinian territory in violation of international law, were escorted into southern Nablus under heavy Israeli military protection, sparking clashes.
___According to Wafa, one 20-year-old Palestinian was injured with a rubber-coated steel bullet, while dozens of others were exposed to tear gas fired by Israeli forces.
___Israeli forces also detained one Palestinian, whose identity remained unknown.   MORE . . . 
.  .  .  .  .  ❶  ―  (ᴃ)  ISRAEL  ORDERS  19  PALESTINIANS  TO  ADMINISTRATIVE  DETENTION
Ma’an News Agency
Jan. 16, 2018 ― Israel recently issued 19 administrative detention orders — Israel’s widely condemned policy of internment without charge or trial — against Palestinians . . .
___Wafa reported on Tuesday that eight of the 19 orders were issued against Palestinian prisoners already serving time under administrative detention.
___Israel uses administrative detention almost exclusively against Palestinians. The widely condemned Israeli policy allows for a detainee to be sentenced for up to six-month renewable intervals based on undisclosed evidence.
___Although Israeli authorities claim the withholding of evidence during administrative detention is essential for state security concerns, rights groups have instead claimed the policy allows Israeli authorities to hold Palestinians for an indefinite period of time without showing any evidence that could justify their detentions.   MORE . . . 

Assaf Harel was the popular late-night show host on the
Israeli TV program “Good Night With Assaf Harel.”
He used his monologue on final episode [March 3, 2017]
of the program to warn his fellow countrymen about
the dangers of the continuation of the occupation.
Harel, Assaf.
“ISRAELI  TV  HOST  WARNS  ISRAELIS:  ‘APARTHEID  HAS  BEEN  HERE  FOR  AGES’.”
PALESTINE-ISRAEL JOURNAL OF POLITICS, ECONOMICS & CULTURE, vol. 22, no. 2/3, July 2017, pp. 182-184.
I don’t want to dedicate this last monologue to a specific issue from the last few days, but to something more general. If you look at our life in Israel, it’s pretty great . . .  Great weather, great food, great people, great beaches, it’s not so bad here, in general. And that’s exactly the point, that were doing great, but there are a couple of million people that we’re responsible for, and they’re in a horrible state.
[. . . .] Ever since the right wing took power, more and more voices are warning of apartheid. Are you kidding? Apartheid has been here for ages. . . .  We’ve been abusing the Palestinians on a daily basis for years, denying them their basic rights. In Judea and Samaria we’re taking their lands from them . . . .
___Soldiers shoot at stone-throwers because they’re a real threat, but if in Israel someone throws stones they won’t even be charged. Palestinian journalists are put under administrative detention, without trial because they wrote something wrong. . .  For years we’ve been deepening the hatred, the same hatred that we later complain about in peace talks.
[. . . .] The human-rights organizations are the most legitimate and healthy thing today in Israeli society. They are trying to wake a dormant society, a blocked society . . . and Bibi and Bennet know that on the day Israeli citizens wake up and discover what’s happening beyond the Green Line — what it does to our soldiers, to the children that are raised there, to the elderly, to the families, to the millions of innocent people, what it costs our budget, our society, our economy . . .  people will ask themselves if the occupied territories are really worth it.
___That’s why I believe — perhaps I’m convincing myself— that in the end the right wing will lose. Because they’re afraid of the truth. Of reality.  [. . . .]   SOURCE . . .  

❷ ISRAEL  TO  BAN  MEDICAL  TREATMENT  VISITS  BY  HAMAS  MEMBERS 
The Palestinian Information Center
Jan. 16, 2018 ― The Israeli government on Monday decided to ban the travel of Hamas members in Gaza and their first-degree relatives to the 1948 occupied Palestine for treatment.     ___The decision came in response to a petition filed by the family of the Israeli soldier Hadar Goldin, who was captured by Hamas during the 2014 war, to the Israeli Supreme Court . . .      ___The Israeli occupation totally refuses to allow Hamas members to enter the 1948 occupied Palestinian territories for any reason, but in some cases it allows their sick relatives to receive treatment there.    MORE . . .   
.  .  .  .  .  ❷  ―  (ᴀ)  NEW  ISRAEL  BILL  TO  BAN  MINISTERS  FROM  TAKING  PART  IN  BDS  ACTIVITIES  
Palestine News Network – PNN 
Jan. 16, 2018 ― Chairman of the Knesset House Committee, Yoav Kish proposed a bill that prevents BDS movements from financing trips made by Members of the Knesset abroad, Quds Press reported yesterday.     The news site reported the Israeli newspaper saying that the law is to be proposed to the Knesset tomorrow, noting that it is likely to be pushed through after the Ministry of Strategic Affairs identified a list of “blacklisted” organisations. Haaretz reported Kish saying that at least one of the blacklisted groups, American Muslims for Palestine, funded a trip by Arab MK Ahmad Tibi.  MORE . . . 
❸ 500  WEST  BANK  SCHOOLS  TO  GET  POWER  THROUGH  SOLAR  CELLS          Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA    
Jan. 16, 2018 (WAFA) – An estimated 500 West Bank schools are soon going to get their electric power from solar cells.
___The Ministry of Education and the Palestinian Investment Fund (PIF) signed on Tuesday an agreement to install solar cells on roofs of 500 public schools to generate 35 MW of electricity. The project, worth $35 million and funded by the PIF, the investment arm of the Palestinian Authority, will take four years to complete.
___Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah attended the signing ceremony and said the agreement is part of the government efforts to invest in renewable energy in many institutions.
___PIF director Mohammad Mustafa said this project is the first in the region in this volume and investment value and an important step in the Light Palestine project launched by the PIF.    MORE . . .    ..
❹ Opinion/Analysis: FACING  SERIOUS  DAMAGE  TO  ITS  IMAGE,  ISRAEL  MUST  SMEAR  ITS  CRITICS  AS  ANTI-SEMITES  
Mondoweiss   
By Moshé Machover
Jan. 16, 2018 ― On January 25, Labour activist and co-founder of Britain’s Palestine Solidarity Campaign Tony Greenstein will undergo a disciplinary hearing over accusations of alleged anti-Semitic comments made online. . . .
___This testimony is addressed to the Labour Party National Constitutional Committee in connection with its hearing called to consider accusations of ‘anti-Semitism’ that have been made against him . . .    I am a dissident Israel citizen, born in Palestine in 1936. I have been living in London since 1968 and am naturalised British citizen. I am a member of the Labour Party . . .
___I have known Tony Greenstein for over 40 years, as staunch socialist, active in defence of the rights of workers, in particular the unemployed, and against all racism, including anti-Semitism. In line with this, he is an uncompromising opponent of the Zionist project of colonisation and of Israel’s Zionist regime, which makes it a colonising settler state. He has devoted much scholarship and thorough research to the history of Zionism . . .
Having myself also done much reading on the subject, I find his statements on it well grounded in fact.   MORE . . .  

“LET  IT  BE  KNOWN,”  BY  HARUN  HASHIM  AL RASHID (b. 1927, Gaza)
Let it be known:
there will be no peace.
because the lodgers in the tents
have become fed up with humiliation of
living there,
become tired of suffering, misery and illness,
bored with the death creeping in their bones,
sick of life itself,
because they are homeless,
walking in darkness.   
–Source
  

About
Harun Hashim Al Rashid