“. . . The twenty revolutions that will eternalize this cell . . .” (Fouzi El Asmar)

Aug. 19, 2016, Philadelphia: Friday Protest: Free Bilal Kayed! End Administrative Detention! (Photo: Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network)
Aug. 19, 2016, Philadelphia: Friday Protest: Free Bilal Kayed! End Administrative Detention! (Photo: Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network)

❶ Palestinian released, placed on house arrest after serving 14 year sentence in Israeli prisons
❷ Palestinian PM Office: Israel’s ‘horrific treatment’ of Bilal Kayid amounting to ‘torture’
❸ Seven Palestinians arrested in WB, Jerusalem
❺ POETRY by Fouzi El Asmar
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Ma’an News Agency 
Aug. 24, 2016
An Israeli judge Tuesday ordered the release of a Palestinian from the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of Jabal al-Mukkabir who was redetained four days after being released from a 14-year sentence in Israeli prisons, according to local sources.
___Israeli Magistrate Court’s judge ordered the release of Jerusalemite prisoner Sufian Fakhri Abdo from Israeli prison and imposed 14 days of house detention and a 10,000 shekel ($2,653) fine on him.  MORE . . .

Ma’an News Agency
Aug. 23, 2016
The Palestinian Prime Minister’s office called on Tuesday for the immediate release of Bilal Kayid, saying that Israel’s “horrific treatment” of the hunger-striking prisoner amounted to “torture.”
___Kayid has been on hunger strike for 70 days after Israeli authorities sentenced him to administrative detention — internment without trial or charges — on the day he was scheduled to be released from prison after serving a 14-and-a-half year sentence.  ___Kayid has since been hospitalized after his health severely deteriorated. However, the Israel Prison Service (IPS) has kept him shackled to his hospital bed and has had guards surrounding him at all times.     MORE . . .    

Alray-Palestinian Media Agency
Aug. 24, 2016
Israeli occupation forces (IOF) arrested on Wednesday morning seven citizens in raids to different parts of the occupied West Bank.
___The public Israeli radio said that the occupation forces accused four of the detainees in involving in “terrorist actions.”
___Local sources said that Israeli forces raided several houses in the town of Halhul in Hebron, and arrested three citizens identified as Abed Jnazrah, Ayman al-Omran, and Ali Sarayaa.       MORE . . .

Bailey, Pam.  Washington Report On Middle East Affairs 33.3 (2014): 21-22.

Prisoners are perhaps the most powerless individuals in the world. They are at the mercy of their captors–deprived of freedom of movement, stripped of virtually all personal resources, limited in communication with the outside to rationed, supervised moments.  ___But the human spirit is not easily extinguished and, particularly when people are imprisoned for their belief in a cause, the natural leaders among them fight back with what little they have: their brains and their bodies.
[. . . .]   The Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association has joined the World Organization Against Torture to express concern about their health and harsh treatment, as well as call on international activists to protest to Israeli authorities. Meanwhile, the Israeli government is considering a new rule that would allow the force-feeding of hunger-striking prisoners whose lives are in danger. Israel had previously stopped the practice after three prisoners died as a result.
[. . . . ]  Sometimes, however, what seems like individual wins can carry larger symbolism–as in the case of Samer Issawi. Over the course of a partial hunger strike of 266 days, Issawi lost half his body weight and suffered numerous health problems–yet rejected offers to release him if he agreed to be deported someplace other than East Jerusalem. By insisting on going home, he captured the hearts of activists and caught the fickle media’s attention–and won.
___”My victory was a Palestinian victory that proves nothing is impossible in the face of our will,” he says now. “If I had to do it over again, I would, because nothing is more valuable than freedom.”     FULL ARTICLE . . . . 

Beloved, you ask me
Of life in this prison, this cell
what of the chains
chafing my wrists
what of my food and drink
and the comrades of my cell?

Beloved, let me tell you:
Our clouds are indeed heavy
But our being here
is a smile of spring,
The shock of thunder
in autumn, after draught.
We are not defeated
Like our jailers.

Life in this prison, this cell
is a palm tree impregnated
at the dawn.
My chains are the round
echo of a muezzin,
Their clank is the ringing
of my people’s bells.

Beloved, you as me
of the meaning of my food
Here beloved
we grow like the wild flowers.

And what of
my comrades in this cell? You ask
They are the twenty candles
lighting the darkness of this cell
The twenty songs
shaking the walls of this cell
The twenty revolutions
that will eternalize this cell
And we, beloved
we shall not be stopped.  (June, 1970)

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

“. . . Don’t ask me to abandon . . . the memory of my childhood . . .” (Fouzi El Asmar)

Settlers break into Palestinian apartments in Hebron (Photo: Elisha Ben Kimon)

❶ Palestinian family of 7 in Hebron Hills faces imminent displacement by Israel
. . . ❶― (ᴀ) Israeli court rejects appeal against [Hebron district] home demolition of Palestinian attacker’s family

  • Background: “The Last Colonialist: Israel In The Occupied Territories Since 1967.” Independent Review

❷ Israeli occupation plans to build new settlement units in Hebron
❸ POETRY by Fouzi El Asmar
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Ma’an News Agency
Aug. 21, 2016
Seven Palestinians face imminent displacement after Israeli forces delivered a demolition warrant for their home on Sunday, which is located inside the official village limits of al-Tuwani in the vulnerable Southern Hebron Hills region of the occupied West Bank. ___Al-Tuwani village council head Nasser al-Adra told Ma’an that Israeli forces notified Kamil Mousa al-Rabai and his family for a second time that their 120-square-meter house would be demolished [. . . .]
___“This would be the first time Israeli forces demolish a house located within the official community master plan,” al-Adra told Ma’an. “This new policy is a dangerous escalation against al-Tuwani and its neighboring villages and hamlets.”       MORE . . .    

Ma’an News Agency 
Aug. 22, 2016
The family of Palestinian prisoner Muhammad Abd al-Majid Omaireh, who Israel accused of being an accomplice in a shooting attack last month which left one Israeli settler dead, said on Monday that an Israeli court decided to demolish their family home in the village of Dura in the southern occupied West Bank district of Hebron.      MORE . . .  

Alray-Palestinian Media Agency
Aug. 22, 2016
The Israeli occupation authorities (IOF) plan to build new settlement units in the Jewish settlement amid Hebron southern the West Bank, Haartez newspaper reported.  ___The newspaper reported on Monday that the plan is scheduled to be ended these days, noting that the former Army Minister, Moshe Yaalon, has issued a statement to build the settlement unit on h2 area under Israeli sovereignty.      MORE . . .       RELATED . . .

  • Reuveny, Rafael. “The Last Colonialist: Israel In The Occupied Territories Since 1967.” Independent Review 12.3 (2008): 325-374.  FULL ARTICLE.  

During the past five hundred years, three primary types of colonies have been established: colonies of exploitation, colonies of settlement, and colonies of contested settlement. Colonies of exploitation, the large majority, overworked natives in labor intensive sectors and did not include many settlers. In colonies of settlement, the settlers became the majority and gained full control. In Spanish America, for example, settlers intermarried with the local elites, killed many natives, and enslaved others, and in British North America and Australia, settlers ousted the natives and decimated them demographically, turning them into a small minority in the land they had previously inhabited. Some of these settler societies also imported slaves from Africa. In colonies of contested settlement in Africa and Asia, many settlers went to live in the colonized lands, but they remained a minority rejected by the natives.
[. . . .]
Recent settler actions in the West Bank city of Hebron and the former settlement of Homesh provide additional insight. Seeking to gain control over Hebron’s old city, settlers have attacked Palestinians since 2001, playing a key role in driving out 15,000 to 20,000 Palestinian residents and 1,500 to 1,700 Palestinian businesses from the city. Settlers also have often attacked verbally and physically the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) personnel sent to enforce order. In early 2007, settlers took over a large Palestinian house in Hebron and returned to Homesh, from which the government had removed them during 2005. Because they had done so without approval. Defense Minister Amir Peretz from the Labor Party sought to evacuate them, but the World Council tor Saving the People and the Land of Israel, a settler body, warned him not to intervene. IDF evacuated the settlers from Homesh, but they have since returned several times. In Hebron, the settlers reportedly presented forged documents to prove their ownership of the house and have refused to leave.
[. . . .]
In line with historical colonial examples, Israeli settlers have often built settlements, so-called outposts, without state approval. By 2007, some two thousand settlers lived in about one hundred outposts, seizing 75 percent of their lands from Palestinians. Some Israeli governments have promised to remove outposts and have even removed a few, but all the governments have essentially accepted them after the fact.

Homes Demolished in the South Hebron Hills, Feb. 12, 2016 (Photo: Cassandra Dixon/antiwar.com blog)

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.

“. . . For the tragedy I live Is but my share in your larger tragedy. . .” (Tawfiq Ziad)

Khan Al Ahmar Primary School, West Bank (Photo: James Mollison, 2015)

❶ UN: 46 areas in West Bank ‘at risk of forcible transfer’
❷ Israel opens construction tenders for the expansion of illegal Maale Adumim settlement
❸ PCHR Weekly Report: One civilian killed, 33 wounded, 73 abducted by Israeli forces this week

  • Background:“Israel’s Palestinian Minority in the Two-State Solution: The Missing Dimension.” Middle East Policy 

❹ POETRY by Tawfiq Ziad
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Days of Palestine
Aug. 20, 2016
United Nations warned that 46 Palestinian residential areas in Central West Bank are “at risk of forcible transfer” due to increasing Israeli settlements.
___David Carden, Head OCHA oPt, delivered a speech on the occasion of the opening the school year in Khan al-Ahmar, one of the ‎Palestinian community at risk of forcible transfer in Central West Bank, and launched his warning.
___Carden delivered the speech on behalf of the UN Coordinator for Humanitarian Aid and Development Activities Robert Piper.
___“We come here today to express our solidarity with the people of Khan al-Ahmar, long identified as a community at risk of forcible transfer and with whom the international community has worked closely for many years,” he said.
___”As we know, Khan al-Ahmar is one of 46 residential areas in the Central West Bank identified as being at risk of forcible transfer due to Israeli relocation (settlement) plans,” he said.    MORE . . .

Ma’an News Agency
Aug. 20, 2016
The Israeli Land Authority (ILA) and the Maale Adumim Economic Development Company Saturday opened four tenders for leasing land, establishing a hotel, and constructing a park in the illegal Israeli settlement of Maale Adumim, according to Israeli media.
___Two tenders were published to lease land for renewable 49 year contracts, while the others were for building a hotel and park near the industrial zone of the settlement, according the Israeli newspaper Kol Hair.
___The six-story hotel will reportedly be the first in the settlement, and is planned to be built over 2,300 square meters. It will also be located near the mall.     MORE . . .

maale adumin
Apartments in Maale Adumim near Jerusalem, in this June 7, 2012 file picture. Picture taken June 7, 2012. (Reuters)

International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC
August 20, 2016
In its Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territories for the week of 11– 17 August 2016, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) found that Israeli forces continued systematic crimes in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
___A Palestinian civilian was killed while 32 others were wounded in al-Fawar refugee camp, south of Hebron. A Palestinian civilian was wounded in the eastern side of al-Bureij in the Central Gaza Strip.      MORE . . .

BACKGROUND: Waxman, Dov. “Israel’s Palestinian Minority in the Two-State Solution: The Missing Dimension.” Middle East Policy 18.4 (2011): 68-82.  FULL ARTICLE.

[. . . .]
Thus, if Palestinians in the territories abandon their demand for an independent state and instead demand equal rights within Israel, Palestinians in Israel could easily join them in demanding a single bi-national state within the whole territory of Israel/Palestine. As long as the occupation continues and the Palestinian minority in Israel is completely marginalized; the chance of this happening — a “nightmare scenario” for Israel — steadily increase. There are already signs of growing support for the one-state solution among Palestinians in the territories, and, although most Palestinian citizens of Israel are currently opposed to this, some prominent individuals have voiced support for it. One thing is certain: there is absolutely no way Israeli Jews will accept a one-state solution. They will staunchly resist it, even at the cost of war.
[. . . .]
Respecting the rights of all parties to the conflict — Jewish citizens of Israel, Palestinian citizens of Israel, Palestinians in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem, and Palestinian refugees in the Diaspora — is the only way to eventually achieve peace and reconciliation.

[Note: In this blogger’s opinion some of the conclusions the above article are faulty, but they are based in sound reasoning and are, therefore, ideas worth considering.]

I call upon you
And clasp your hands.
I kiss the dust under your shoe
And say: I’ll lay down my life for you,
Grant you the gift of eyesight in my eyes.
The warm love in my heart I give to you,
For the tragedy I live
Is but my share in your larger tragedy.

I call upon you
And clasp your hands.
I never stooped in my country
Nor will I ever be humbled.
Orphaned, naked and barefoot
I confronted my oppressors,
Carrying my blood in my palms.
I have never lowered my flags,
And have always tended the grass over my ancestors’ graves.
I call upon you, and clasp your hands!

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.
Tawfik Zayyad (Tawfiq Ziad) was a Palestinian poet, writer, scholar and politician. He was born in Nazareth in 1929 and died on July 5, 1994.   (More. . .)

“. . . I am the son of the land and for that I find goodness . . .” (Fouzi El Asmar)

Image showing proposed Israeli corruption of Ibrahim Mosque in Hebron (Photo: Palestine News Network, Aug. 19, 2016)

❶ Islamic Christian Committee: Israel Planning Jerusalem Entrance Project to Obliterate Muslim Christian Spirit

  • Background:  Journal Of Islamic Studies

❷ Urgent Intervention Needed to Prevent Permanent Damage to the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron’s Old City
❸ Lieberman to Launch Online Channel Directed at Palestinians
❹ POETRY by Fouzi El Asmar
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International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC
August 19, 2016
The Islamic Christian Committee to Defend Jerusalem and Holy Sites warned, on Thursday, against an Israeli project called the “New Face of Modern Jerusalem,” which targets the main western entrance of the city.
___The committee said, in a press release, that the plan aims to give Jerusalem a Jewish character, obliterate its Arab Muslim and Christian identity, deface its history and create a new face that doesn’t relate to the original Arab Jerusalem.
___Secretary General of the Committee Hanna Isaa said, according to WAFA correspondence, that the plan is proposed on around 720,000 meter square of land and would cost 1.4 billion shekels ($370 million USD).      MORE . . .

  • Rosmer, Tilde. “Resisting ‘Israelization’: The Islamic Movement In Israel And The Realization Of Islamization, Palestinization And Arabization.” Journal Of Islamic Studies 23.3 (2012): 325-358.  SOURCE. . .  

[. . . .]  Islamic Movement activists continuously structure their activism with the intention of preserving and reinforcing the Palestinian and Muslim identity of Muslim Palestinian citizens of Israel, despite their presence in what is now a Jewish state. Interviewees were aware of the balancing act this predicament necessitates and were willing to discuss it openly.
[. . . .] The process of Israelization can be viewed from two perspectives. Measures taken by the state towards its Palestinian citizens intended to weaken their Palestinian identity and strengthen their identity as acquiescent, Hebrew-speaking ‘Israeli Arabs’, enforced through controlling their education and economic and political opportunities. Israelization is also an effect of the expected influences on Palestinian citizens’ identity, culture and lifestyle derived from living and working in Israel and the resulting exposure to, and to a degree participation in, Hebrew and Israeli media and mainstream culture.
[. . . .] In common with other Islamic movements in the region, the Islamic Movement in Israel shares the approach of Islamization from below through its network of local institutions and mosques and through the emphasis it places on da’wa. The main difference between this Movement and other regional movements is due to its political context in Israel. This context has produced the paradoxical predicament wherein Palestinian citizens are able to establish and run their Islamic Movement openly and lawfully, including enjoying representation in the Knesset, as long as their activism is not perceived to threaten the Zionist identity or national goals of the state. However, members and supporters of the Islamic Movement are discriminated against as non-Jewish citizens of the Jewish state and particularly as members of an indigenous national group with which Israel remains in conflict.
[. . . .] . . . the interrelated processes of Islamization, Palestinization and Arabization are responses to the processes of Israelization, which refers to the adjustments of identity and life-style and to limitations in political and social activism in accordance with their minority status.
[. . . .] . . .  the activism of the Islamic Movement in Israel focuses on creating local institutions that provide services the State does not provide for this constituency and promoting its Muslim, Palestinian and Arab identity. Both the goals articulated by the Islamic Movement in Israel’s leaders and its activism portray a pragmatic appreciation of the limitations of their context while simultaneously struggling to cater to the social, spiritual and communal needs of the Palestinian citizens of the Jewish State.

Palestine News Network – PNN
Aug. 19,2016
For more than one month the Israeli Government and Occupation Authorities have planned and have worked on installing a new permanent checkpoint structure and other permanent buildings on the historic grounds of the Ibrahimi Mosque in the Old City. Their plans (as seen below) reveal vast damage will be done to the historic grounds of this cultural heritage site. The Israeli plans include remove stones from the Mosque’s site which is more than 2000 years old. These plans will permanently damage the historical Ibrahimi mosque and the aesthetic fabric of the area.    MORE . . .  

Palestine Chronicle
Aug 18 2016
Israeli Defense Minister, Avigdor Lieberman, announced during a meeting with military reporters at the headquarters of the Israeli Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv yesterday, a plan to launch a 10-million shekel online channel directed at Palestinians in the West Bank.
___Lieberman said the plan would include “treating Palestinians who are ready to co-exist with Israeli settlers in the West Bank well, and imposing restrictions on those who do not.”    More . . .  

You may take my hands
and lock them in your chains
You may also blindfold me.

You bereaved me
from the light
and I marched
You robbed me
of the bread
and I ate.
You plundered the land
from me
and I ploughed.

I am the son of the land
and for that
I find goodness in this earth
anywhere I happen to be:
The ants of this land
feed me
The branches of this land
foster me
The eagles of this land
will shield my open revolt

You may take my hands
And lock them in your chains
You may also blindfold me
But here I will stand tall
And here I shall remain
until the very end. (April, 1970) 

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

“. . . I shall carve the record of my sufferings . . . On an olive tree. . .” (Tawfiq Zayyad)

Suspended in space: uprooting of olive trees for the expansion of Zufin, Jewish settlement in the Tulkarm district (Photo: B’Tselem/ Christoph Gocke – EAPPI)

❶ Israeli forces demolish Palestinian-owned structures in Nablus
. . . ―❶ (ᴀ) Israeli Occupation uproots 300 trees west of Hebron
. . . ―❶ (ᴃ) Israel demolishes multiple Palestinian structures in Jerusalem area
. . . ―❶ (ᴄ) Israeli forces uproot 50 olive trees as Palestinian farmer awaits court date to appeal

  • Background: “Uprooting Identities: The Regulation of Olive Trees in the Occupied West Bank.”

❷ Gaza Strip: Attacks in the Border Areas and their Consequences
❸ POETRY by Tawfiq Zayyad
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Ma’an News Agency
Aug. 17, 2016
Israeli forces on Wednesday demolished two rooms used for agricultural purposes and leveled stone walls in the villages of Khirbet al-Marajim and Qusra in the southern part of the occupied West Bank district of Nablus.
___Ghassan Daghlas, a Palestinian official who monitors Israeli settlement activities in the northern West Bank, told Ma’an that Israeli bulldozers, escorted by Israeli forces, demolished a room belonging to Tariq Dirawi in Khirbet al-Marajim.    MORE . . .  

Alray-Palestinian Media Agency
Aug. 17, 2016
Hebron. ALRAY. Israeli military bulldozers uprooted about 300 olives trees on Wednesday morning and swept lands in Oula town, West of Hebron in the south of the occupied West Bank.
___Isa Al Omla, the activist in the wall and settlements resistance, said that the Israeli bulldozers broke into Al- Najar Valley area, near the apartheid wall, and swept away some lands ( 15 acres) owned by the family of Mohammed Khalil Abdul Aziz Al Omla.  MORE . . .

Ma’an News Agency
Aug. 16, 2016
Israeli forces demolished multiple Palestinian structures in the Jerusalem area on Tuesday, the same morning that Israeli-enforced demolitions left more than 70 Palestinians homeless in the Hebron and Bethlehem districts of the occupied West Bank.
___In the Jabal al-Mukabbir neighborhood of occupied East Jerusalem, bulldozers escorted by Israeli police officers and Jerusalem municipality inspectors demolished a single-room house and several outdoor walls, because the structures were built without licenses issued by the Jerusalem municipality.     MORE . . .  

Event marking Rachel Corrie's death, Qariyut, West Bank, 15.3.2
Israeli soldiers attack Palestinians during an olive tree planting commemorating (March, 2015). Corrie, an American, was killed by an Israeli military bulldozer in 2003, blocking the demolition of a Palestinian home in the Gaza Strip (Photo: Activestills.org)

Ma’an News Agency
Aug. 16, 2016
Israeli bulldozers uprooted more than 50 olive trees on Tuesday morning in the Palestinian village of Shufa in the northern occupied West Bank district of Tulkarem, Palestinian farmers told Ma’an, two weeks before a court hearing was scheduled to be held to appeal the Israeli-ordered confiscation of the land.
___One of the farmers, Abed Hamid, said he received a phone call from a neighbor notifying him that Israeli forces brought bulldozers to his olive tree orchard and started to uproot the trees, which were planted between 15 and 20 years ago.
___After Hamid rushed to his land, he said he witnessed Israeli forces “stealing” the majority of his trees, which were left intact.    MORE . . .    

  • Braverman, Irus. “UPROOTING IDENTITIES: THE REGULATION OF OLIVE TREES IN THE OCCUPIED WEST BANK.” Polar: Political & Legal Anthropology Review 32.2 (2009): 237-264.    FULL ARTICLE.   

Trees in general, and olive and pine trees in particular, perform a pivotal role in both the Zionist and the Palestinian national narratives. Since 1901, the Jewish National Fund (JNF) . . . has planted over 240 million trees in Israel, most of which are pines. This massive enterprise has fundamentally transformed the Israeli/Palestinian landscape. Indeed, over the years, the pine has come to be perceived as the quintessential symbol of the Zionist project . . .  If the Jewish tree is the pine, the Palestinian tree is the olive. As Ismat Shbeta, a refugee from the depopulated Palestinian village Miske, tells me in an Interview, “The olive is the Palestinian tree . . . . That’s the olive’s nationality”
[. . . .]  A fusion of humans and trees is thereby constructed: the olive embodies the Palestinian people, the green of its foliage is perceived as interchangeable with the red of their blood. However, the olive is not only a proxy witness; it also provides a model of survival for the Palestinian people. In this sense, the olive not only stands for but also speaks for the mute and uprooted Palestinian . . .
[. . . .]  Since its inception, and increasingly in the last two decades, Israel has been uprooting Palestinian olive trees. . . . . Israel’s central rationale for uprooting olive trees in the occupied territories has not been framed as punitive, or at least not explicitly so. Israel explains these uprootings, rather, as essential for its national security. First, Israel has been uprooting olives to make way for the recently built Separation Barrier. In the same vein, Israel’s Defense Forces have uprooted thousands of olive . . .  to secure roads, increase visibility, and make way for watchtowers, checkpoints. . . .
[. . . .]  In addition to the uprooting of Palestinian olive trees by the State of Israel, for the last decade or so Jewish settlers have also been targeting Palestinian trees. . . . The tree warfare conducted by the New Settlers adds another layer of meaning to the relationship between humans and trees in the occupied West Bank. . . .  the sabotage of olive trees is still an everyday occurrence in the West Bank. As a result, Palestinian access to agricultural land is frequently jeopardized.
[. . . .]   Although both the New Settlers and the human rights activists interviewed here have insisted that the Israeli/Palestinian war is not really about trees but about land, it is nonetheless clear that the emotional, cultural, ritualistic, and economic significance of the tree has been at the forefront of their actions. [Palestinians] would never have claimed that trees are unimportant in this battle. However, they also see clearly the connection between the trees and the overall power struggle over land, autonomy, identity, and power . . . .

International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC
Aug. 16, 2016
Following disengagement from the Gaza Strip in September 2005, Israel unilaterally and illegally established a so-called “buffer zone”, an area prohibited to Palestinians along the land and sea borders of the Gaza Strip.
[. . . .]
Preventing Palestinians from accessing their lands and fishing areas violates numerous provisions of international human rights law, including the right to work, the right to an adequate standard of living, and the right to the highest attainable standard of health. Enforcing the “buffer zone” through the use of live fire often results in, inter alia, the direct targeting of civilians and/or indiscriminate attacks, both of which constitute war crimes.     MORE . . .

Because I do not weave wool,
And daily am in danger of detention,
And my house is the object of police visits
To search and “to cleanse,”
Because I cannot buy paper,
I shall carve the record of my sufferings,
And all my secrets
On an olive tree
In the courtyard
Of my house.

I shall carve my story and the chapters of my tragedy,
I shall carve my sighs
On my grove and on the tombs of my dead;
I shall carve
All the bitterness I have tasted,
To be blotted out by some of the happiness to come

I shall carve the number of each deed
Of our usurped land
The location of my village and its boundaries.
The demolished houses of its peoples,
My uprooted trees,
And each crushed wild blossom.
And the names of those master torturers
Who rattled my nerves and caused my misery.
The names of all the prisons,
And every type of handcuff
That closed around my wrists,
The files of my jailers,
Every curse
Poured upon my head.
I shall carve:
Kafr Qasim, I shall not forget!
And I shall carve:
Deir Yassin, it’s rooted in my memory.
I shall carve:
We have reached the peak of our tragedy.
It has absorbed us and we have absorbed it,
But we have finally reached it.

I shall carve all that the sun tells me,
And what the moon whispers,
And what the skylark relates,
Near the well
Forsaken by lovers.

And to remember it all,
I shall continue to carve
All the chapters of my tragedy,
And all the stages of the disaster,
From beginning
To end,
On the olive tree
In the courtyard
Of the house.

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.
About Tafiq Zayyad. 

“. . . I am a child who lives under the ruins of constant Israeli violence . . . the bombs . . .” (Riham Mansour Hasanat – age 14)

children al-fawwar
Children from Hebron Excellence Center in Al-Fawar Refugee Camp painting a roadside mural. Jan. 24, 2015 (Photo: Hebron Excellence Center)

❶ Israeli forces storm Hebron area refugee camp, injure 35 with live fire, tear gas, rubber bullets
RELATED: Israel detains 22 Palestinians overnight, including family of teen accused of stabbing

  • Background: “Ongoing Exile: Palestinian Children Write Their Ongoing Nakba.”

❷ Israel refuses to give building permits, demolishes Palestinian homes.
❸ EU logo no shield from Israel’s bulldozers
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` 
Ma’an News Agency
Aug. 16, 2016
35 Palestinians were injured, one seriously, early Tuesday morning during clashes when Israeli forces stormed the al-Fawwar refugee camp in the southern occupied West Bank district of Hebron.
___Locals told Ma’an that large numbers of Israeli troops surrounded the camp around dawn on Tuesday, when they began ransacking homes and interrogating residents in the streets.
___Local youth reportedly reacted to the forces, sparking clashes with the soldiers who fired live gunshots, tear gas, and rubber-coated steel bullets at the youth.    MORE . . .       RELATED:   ISRAEL  DETAINS  22  PALESTINIANS  OVERNIGHT,  INCLUDING  FAMILY  OF  TEEN  ACCUSED  OF  STABBING  

  • Background: “Ongoing Exile: Palestinian Children Write Their Ongoing Nakba.” Palestine-Israel Journal Of Politics, Economics & Culture 15/16.4/1 (2008): 159-164.

“My Nakba”
Lalifa al-Wawi (15).
Palestine Al-Fawwar Refugee Camp – Occupied West Bank
My Nakba separated me from my family and my land. I live in a place far from the past, but the past will be the present with my return to my homeland… the land I dream of every night. I often look at the stars in the sky and wonder why I am here… in a camp that has nothing for my present and nothing of my past. In it I live as a stranger amongst the rubble and the ruins.
[. . . .] My cousin completed his studies in Sudan and worked in Saudi Arabia. He decided to leave everything to come to find us and live here as long as he could. It was here that the Israeli soldiers killed him. Perhaps it was his fate after being separated from his land and family all his life; it would be from here, after his return, that he would ascend to heaven.

“I Am a Child of This World”
Riham Mansour Hasanat (14).
Deir al-Dubhan Al-Fawwar Refugee Camp – Occupied West Bank
I am one of the children of this world; I live in a refugee camp, and I say to anyone who will listen that I am a child, and that I will be free like the other happy people living in their homes, on their land, in their country. I am a child who lives under the ruins of constant Israeli violence, the bullets and the bombs. Every day I hear that someone in our camp has been killed or injured or imprisoned. I wake up to the sound of the tanks and the sounds of the planes hovering in the skies above our houses, our homes. They search these homes; they kill and imprison children and old people; they injure and kill those who have committed no crime, and then they call us terrorists. I am a child, and I know that one day I will be free like the other happy people, but that this day will only come after I return to our real homes, the place where we can return happiness to the hearts of the children, the women, and all those who have committed no crime.

Alray-Palestinian Media Agency
Aug. 16, 2016
Israeli occupation forces destroyed Tuesday morning eight homes and two stores in Sa’ir town east of Hebron.
___Local sources reported that the houses which were demolished are inhabited. Israeli occupation had handed the Palestinian homeowners demolition orders before two years, so they have tried to get building permits but the occupation refused to give them building permits.
___It added that a large military force raided with bulldozers Ein Aljawza town and forced the Palestinian residents to evacuate their homes in order to destroy them.     MORE . . .  

Soldiers from Israel’s Civil Administration demolish structures donated by the European Union in the southern Hebron Hills on February 2, 2016. (Photo: Nasser Nawaja/B’Tselem)

The Electronic Intifada
Silvia Boarini
Aug. 16, 2016
Bilal Hammadin looks beyond the tin shacks in the occupied West Bank village of Abu Nuwwar, home to approximately 600 Palestinians, to the red-roofed homes in Maaleh Adumim, an Israeli settlement where nearly 40,000 people live.
___“As I was growing up, I could see the settlement getting bigger. I guess you can say that we grew up together,” he says, laughing at the irony.
[. . . .] In February [in Abu Nuwwar], the Israeli army demolished two trailers which were to serve as a new school for first- and second-graders. The cabins, donated by a French nongovernmental organization and funded by the European Union, bore visible EU logos. MORE . . .

Buttu, Diana, and Nadia Hijab
Oct. 22, 2015
[. . . .] Palestinians have taken to the streets to demonstrate against nearly 50 years of military rule and the denial of their freedom at the hands of Israel. These protests come after the death of the peace process, the election of a rightwing Israeli government that has stated it has no intention of granting Palestinians their rights, and growing discontent with the unelected Palestinian Authority (PA).
___The protests have also been fueled by repeated Israeli announcements of settlement expansion; settler attacks on Palestinian lives, property, and holy places; and the Israeli government’s decision to allow right-wing extremists who seek the destruction of the Al-Aqsa Mosque to enter the Haram al-Sharif compound while simultaneously denying Palestinians access to their holy sites.
[. . . .]  First, as the occupying party, Israel is required under international law to ensure the protection of the civilians under its rule. Instead, Israel has, during its 48-year occupation and colonization of Palestinian land, done exactly the opposite.
___Two Palestinian generations have grown up entirely under Israel’s military control. By 2014, more than 800,000 Palestinians had been imprisoned by Israel, including 8,000 children under the age of 18 arrested since 2000. Currently, there are 5,621 Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli jails.
[. . . .] Things have reached such a pass that even PA President Mahmoud Abbas has been compelled to call on the UN “to provide international protection for the Palestinian people,” as he did in his September 30 speech to the General Assembly.    MORE . . .


“. . . I had no address. I am a man in transit . . .” (Rashid Hussein)

Palestinian women walk past a mosque and water tower damaged by Israeli air strikes and shelling in KHUZAA near ABU RIDA GATE in the southern Gaza Strip. Aug. 3, 2014. (Photo: The Irish Times)

❶ Israel surveys vast tract of land southeast of J’lem to declare it state land

  • Background: “Settlements and Ethnic Cleansing In the Jordan Valley.”

❷ Israeli forces level lands in southern Gaza Strip

  • Background: “Perils of Parity: Palestine’s Permanent Transition.”

❸ Palestinian human rights groups ‘gravely concerned’ over ongoing death threats to staff
❹ POETRY by Rashid Hussein
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
The Palestinian Information Center
Aug. 15, 2016
The Israeli occupation authority (IOA) has embarked recently on conducting a land survey between the settlement of Efrat (southeast Jerusalem) and the area to its east with the intention of annexing it and declaring it state land, according to a report published by Haaretz newspaper on Sunday.
___Efrat is in the Gush Etzion settlement bloc in the southern West Bank, and the area to its east is called Givat Eitam.    MORE . . .  

  • Tofakji, Khalil. “Settlements And Ethnic Cleansing In The Jordan Valley.” Palestine-Israel Journal Of Politics, Economics & Culture 21.3 (2016): 81-87.

[. . . .] The Israeli government utilized two main methods in order to construct and expand its settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT).The first method involved setting legal and bureaucratic procedures enabling the government to confiscate lands. By using the following justifications: seizure for military purposes, declaration of state lands, seizure of absentee property, confiscation for public needs, and initial registration, Israel has managed to take over about 50% of the lands in the West Bank, barring the local Palestinian public from using them. The second method is by evicting Palestinians from these lands, with the declared objective of controlling maximum land with a minimum number of Palestinian Arabs. The Israeli daily Haaretz on 21 May 2014 revealed in a report the methods the IDF uses to remove the Palestinians from Area C, and quoted Israeli army officer col. Einav Shalev as saying the Israeli army practices daily confinement, harassment and attacks on Palestinians through the sabotage of their crops and lands, as well as preventing them from obtaining building licenses, water and electricity. These “tools” are used to place pressure on and eventually force the Palestinian inhabitants of these areas to leave their houses and lands. Shalev added that the army also increased its military training in the Jordan Valley in an attempt to force the Palestinians to leave the land.
___These methods are viewed by Palestinians as systematic ethnic cleansing policy and have also been also implemented in the Jordan Valley.
[. . . .] With security considerations no longer being the primary motivation, the continued expansion into and occupation of the West Bank is a strategic move for Israel serving its economic interests. Through the restrictions on movement of people and goods, Israel is able to control the Palestinian economy and constrain growth to limited designated areas, or via immigration into neighboring countries. These methods, combined with the Bahrain Canal Project linking the Dead Sea to the Red Sea, which would primarily benefit the Israelis, the continued demolition of Palestinian homes, and the eviction of Bedouins, aim at attaining the undeclared goal of the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from the OPT.    SOURCE.

Illustrative photo of the West Bank settlement of Efrat, December 17, 2014 (Photo: Times of Israel/Miriam Alster/Flash90)

Ma’an News Agency
Aug. 15, 2016
Israeli military vehicles staged a limited incursion across the borderline of the besieged Gaza Strip to level land on Monday morning, locals said.
___Locals told Ma’an that six Israeli military vehicles crossed the Abu Rida gate at the border east of the town of Khuzaa in the southern Gaza Strip and leveled Palestinian land in the area.
___Israeli military incursions inside the besieged Gaza Strip and near the “buffer zone” which lies on both land and sea sides of Gaza, have long been a near-daily occurrence.    MORE . . .  

  • Miller, Zinaida. “Perils of Parity: Palestine’s Permanent Transition.” Cornell International Law Journal 47.2 (2014): 331-415.

[. . . . ]  Rather than understanding the situation in terms of occupation—a framework that seeks to protect a vulnerable people from a militarily strong sovereign—the Oslo regime suggests two warring parties. In the process, Israeli, international, and even Palestinian discourse has gradually reduced or eliminated the use of the term ‘occupation’ while focusing on the achievement of ‘peace.’
___The Oslo regime has also affected Palestinian resistance. While the PLO in the past sought to end the occupation, current iterations have focused on the achievement of statehood. In the process, the goal of equality . . .  may at times be undermined by a process predicated on parity . . . . Relations of parity resulted in part from the Palestinian belief that mutual recognition or formal status would alter the terms of the conflict; in the end, however, the conception— and perception—of equivalence largely overtook the reality of asymmetry, making it harder rather than easier to address the structural inequality between the players. The focus of the international community (and the PLO) on establishing a state has oriented the Palestinian national movement away from earlier approaches rooted in rhetoric of emancipation and liberation.   [. . . . ]    No longer simply occupier and occupied, Israel and the Palestinian Authority have been transformed into putative equals engaged in perpetual negotiation [. . . .]
___These changes came about in no small part because of the unexpectedly enduring presence of international actors. The Accords reassigned responsibility for the Palestinian population to the newly created Palestinian Authority while leaving control over territory largely in the hands of the Israeli government. With the nascent Authority severely lacking capacity, the arrangement was tenable only because of international support in the form of money and expertise [. . . . ]
___Over the course of the following two decades, international actors and organizations provided aid . . .  facilitated peacebuilding, development, and post-conflict reconstruction, and supported negotiations between the parties. International actors, however, brought more than money or institutional blueprints: their ideas about how to make peace and reconstruct territories after conflict reshaped the form and conceptualization of governance and peace in the Occupied Territories.  FULL ARTICLE.

Aug. 15, 2016
The Palestinian Human Rights Organizations Council (PHROC) said in a press release on Sunday that they were “gravely concerned” over an ongoing smear campaign and mounting threats by Israeli authorities and associated groups directed at employees of PHROC member organizations. ___The statement came after reports emerged that human rights lawyer Nada Kiswanson, who represents Palestinian NGO Al-Haq before the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the Hague, had been receiving death threats since February, Dutch newspaper NRC reported on Wednesday. ___The report revealed the threats referred specifically to Kiswanson’s work with the ICC, rousing suspicions that Israeli security services may have been involved in the attack, according to the newspaper.    MORE . . .          RELATED . . .

Hairs as short as my life is
And a mouth as sensuous as my dreams
And fire is her voice
And so is the music
Yet she wants me to rest
On an easy chair
And keep my thoughts clean.

Oh my dear hunter!
What you ask is much more
Than all that I can give . . .
For the angels are dead,
And I am not with them.

A wine was her perfume
Generous was her bed
But her hopes were stronger,
And the strongest of all:
She wanted my address.
She asked: “Where lives the ‘Prince’?”
Then, I stood silenced
For I had no address.
I am a man in transit,
Twenty years in transit
A man who was even deprived
The right of having an address.

Rashid Hussein  
See also  
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.


“. . . dashing off to defile the purity of Jerusalem . . .” (Fadwa Tuqan)

Palestinians performed Friday prayers in front of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) building in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of occupied East Jerusalem (Photo: Ma’an News Agency)

❶ Hundreds commemorate Jewish holy day at Aqsa, 9 evacuated for violating regulations

  • Background: A Roman Catholic Perspective

❷ Palestinians perform Friday prayers at ICRC headquarters, demand release of hunger strikers

  • Background: A Muslim Perspective

❸ Israeli Soldiers Occupy A Palestinian Home In Bethlehem

  • About the Kairos Palestine Document

❹ Poetry by Fadwa Tuqan
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Ma’an News Agency
Aug. 14, 2016
Hundreds of Jewish worshippers gathered inside the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City on Sunday morning to commemorate the Jewish fasting holy day of Tisha Bav, which commemorates the destruction of Judaism’s First and Second Temple in Jerusalem, amid heightened security measures throughout the city and the occupied West Bank.
___Public information officer of the department of the Islamic Endowment (Waqf) — the religious trust responsible for managing the compound — told Ma’an that more than 180 extremist Israeli settlers “stormed the compound” in groups throughout the morning.
___Witnesses added that they saw some performing Jewish rituals inside the compound, in violation of long-standing agreements regarding non-Muslim worship at the site.   MORE . . .

  • Patriarch Michel Sabbah. “Religion And The Palestinian-Israeli Conflict.” Palestine-Israel Journal Of Politics, Economics & Culture 20/21.4/1 (2015): 7-11.     SOURCE 

The conflict between Israel and Palestine is military and political. It is not a religious conflict between Palestinian Muslims or Christians and Judaism. It is a conflict between two peoples, the Jewish people and the Palestinian people. The conflict is a dispute over the land and the question: Is there a place for both peoples, and in what way? The Palestinian position was expressed in 1988, when the Palestine Liberation Organization recognized the state of Israel on 78% of the British Mandate land. After that, the Palestinians claimed, and are still claiming, the right to have an independent Palestinian state on the remaining 22% of the land. Israel, for its part, is still not clear about the question: is there a place for the two peoples, and in what way? In recent months, there were negative declarations from Israeli political leaders affirming that there will be no Palestine and there will be no peace.
___The conflict is political and military. But it also has a religious dimension. Religion inspires many in the conflict. Many Israelis, to support their right, advocate the Bible, the word of God, the promise of the land by God to the Jewish people. And some Muslim Palestinians also give a religious dimension to the land, and consider it entirely Muslim land. For many, on both sides, the conflict has become a fight for God and religion. Some Christians, too, the world’s Evangelicals and pro-Zionists, add their religious input and pro-Jewish advocacy to the fight. On both sides of the conflict, religion is advocated to support its own position. Some Christian Palestinians, in the Kairos document, and many other world churches with them, advocate religion to call for justice and reconciliation based on repentance and forgiveness.

Ma’an News Agency
Aug. 13, 2016
Dozens of Palestinians performed Friday prayers in front of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) building in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of occupied East Jerusalem, in solidarity with the current wave of hunger striking prisoners.
___Upon the request of the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS) and the Families of Jerusalem Detainees Committee, the Muslim worshipers gathered outside the building in order to draw attention to what Sheikh Muhammad Hussein, a local religious leader, said was the “Israeli authorities’ escalation of procedures against Jerusalemite prisoners.”    MORE . . .      BACKGROUND, ICRC   

  • Abu-Amr, Ziad.  “The Significance of Jerusalem: A Muslim Perspective.” Palestine-Israel Journal Of Politics, Economics & Culture 2.2 (1995): 7-11.    FULL ARTICLE

There is perhaps no other city in the world that has drawn the continued attention of the world community as much as the city of Jerusalem, especially among the adherents of the three monotheistic religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. The city’s religious centrality has generated its historical and political importance, as well as its symbolic impact, but its religious position has also been at the root of a considerable controversy
[. . . .]
While the Muslims, for example, especially Palestinian and Arab Islamists, recognize the religious significance of Jerusalem to Christians and Jews, they stress the Muslim character of the city and Muslim entitlement to it, and their attachment to Jerusalem constitutes part of their doctrinal views of the city
[. . . .]
Historically speaking, Jerusalem has generally been the site for Muslim pilgrimage, prayer, study or residence. Al Aqsa Mosque was a particular seat of learning. Muslim scholars came to Jerusalem from distant lands. “Just as it is true to say that the first textbook in Islam was the Koran, so it is true to say that the first school was the mosque.

International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC
August 14, 2016
Israeli soldiers invaded, on Saturday evening, Harmala town, east of Bethlehem city in the occupied West Bank, and occupied a Palestinian home after kicking the family out.
___Resident Mohammad Sbeih told the Maan News Agency said that soldiers invaded his two-story home, and confiscated its keys before kicking him and his nine family members, including several children, out.
___He added that the soldiers told the family to “find another place to live, as long as Palestinian youths continue to hurl stones at the army vehicles.” MORE . . .

  • Kassis, Rifat Odeh. “‘A Moment Of Truth’: The Kairos Palestine Document.” Ecumenical Review 63.1 (2011): 120-122.     SOURCE  

On 11 December 2009, a group of Palestinian Christians representing a variety of churches and church-related organizations issued a call for an end to occupation of Palestine by Israel. The call, in a document, ‘‘A Moment of Truth: A word of faith, hope, and love from the heart of Palestinian suffering’’, raises questions to the international community, political leaders in the region, and churches worldwide about their contribution to the Palestinian people’s pursuit of freedom. In the document, also referred to as, ‘‘The Kairos Palestine Document’’, Palestinian Christians declare that the military occupation of their land is a sin against God and humanity, and that any theology that legitimizes the occupation is far from Christian teachings because true Christian theology is a theology of love and solidarity with the oppressed, a call to justice and equality among peoples. The Palestinian call echoes a similar summons issued by South African churches in the mid-1980s at the height of repression under the apartheid regime. That call served to galvanize churches and the wider public in a concerted effort that eventually brought the end of apartheid. The Ecumenical Chronicle includes an introduction to the document by Rifat Odeh Kassis, the coordinator of Kairos Palestine, and texts by Imam A. Rashied Omar and John de Gruchy, both of whom come from South Africa. The full text of the document is available.

Israeli police accompany Jews past the Dome of the Rock mosque during a visit to the Al-Aqsa mosque compound in the Old City of Jerusalem on April 25, 2016 during the Jewish Pesach (Passover) holiday. (Photo: Ahmad Gharabli / AFP)


But those husbandmen said among themselves, This is the heir; come let us kill him, and the inheritance shall be ours. And they took him, and killed him, and cast him out of the vineyard.   St. Mark’s Gospel XII: 7-8

O Lord, O glory of the universe,
crucified this year on your birthday,
are the joys of Jerusalem
silenced on your birthday?
O Lord, all the bells
for two millenia have not been silenced
on your birthday
except for this year:
the domes of the bells are in mourning,
black wrapped in black.

Jerusalem along the Via Dolorosa,
whipped under the cross of ordeal,
bleeding at the hands of the executioner,
and the world is a sealed heart
in the face of affliction.
In this hard indifferent world, O Lord,
the sun’s eye is smothered: the world went astray
and was lost.
In the ordeal it did not even raise a candle.
It did not even shed a tear
to wash away the sorrows in Jerusalem.

The husbandmen killed the heir, O Lord,
and raped the vineyard.
The sinners of the world fledged the bird of evil
dashing off to defile the purity of Jerusalem,
damned and infernal, hated even by Satan.

O Lord, O glory of Jerusalem,
from the well of sorrows, from the abyss,
from the depth of the night,
from the heart of plight,
the wails of Jerusalem are raised up to you.
In your mercy, take away from me, O Lord, this cup!
――Translated by Ferial Ghazoul

From: Smith, Michael. Ed. “Contemporary Palestinian Poetry.” Free  Verse. English.chass.ncsu.edu. 2008. Web.
About Fadwa Tuqan

“. . . to expose the international community to their predicament . . .” (Galit Eilat)


Bilin weekly protest, April 10, 2015 (Photo: Ma’an New Agency)

❶ Israeli forces suppress weekly Bilin protest, residents march in solidarity with hunger-strikers
❷ Israeli forces injure Palestinian with live fire during protests in the Gaza Strip
❸ Israeli Forces Storm Bethlehem Zakat Committee Premises, Seize Belongings
❹ Opinion/Analysis:  “Where Do You Draw The Line?” South Atlantic Quarterly
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Ma’an News Agency
Aug. 12, 2016
Israeli forces reportedly “suppressed” the weekly protests in the Ramallah-area village of Bilin on Friday.
___Friday’s march was held in solidarity with Palestinian hunger-striker Bilal Kayid, where protesters chanted slogans of support and called for Kayid’s immediate release.
___Kayid, who entered the 60th day of his hunger strike on Friday, is a prominent member of the PFLP. After being sentenced to six months of administrative detention — an Israeli policy of internment without charge or trial — on the day he was expected to be released from a 14-year prison sentence, he declared an open hunger strike.     MORE . . .

Ma’an News Agency
Aug. 13, 2016
Israeli forces Friday injured a Palestinian with live fire in the eastern part of al-Bureij refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip during clashes with Israeli forces deployed near the border between the besieged enclave and Israel.
___Spokesperson of the Ministry of Health Ashraf al-Qidra told Ma’an that a 23-year-old sustained light injuries in the leg as Israeli snipers opened live fire at several Palestinians as protests erupted in the refugee camp.
___Meanwhile, protests were also reported in the eastern part of Gaza City, where witnesses told Ma’an Israeli snipers hid behind large dirt mounds as they shot live fire and tear gas bombs at the protestors.
___An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an that protesters “approached the buffer zone” after which Israeli forces “fired warning shots,” causing the protesters to retreat. The spokesperson made no comment on the reported injury.        MORE . . .  

Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
August 13, 2016
Israeli forces Saturday stormed and wreaked havoc into the Zakat committee’s premises during an overnight raid into the southern West Bank city of Bethlehem, said a Zakat Committee official.
___Chairman of the Bethlehem Zakat Committee Muhammad Rezeq said a large Israeli military force stormed the zakat committee’s premises in the central Bethlehem neighborhood of al-Karkafeh, destroying doors and ransacking it.
___Troops reportedly seized six computers, orphans’ files and cheque books. MORE . . .   

Pro-Palestine supporters in Sao Paulo, Brazil, march carrying a Palestine flag during a demonstration against Operation Cast Lead in 2009 (Photo: AFP)

❹ Opinion/Analysis:  EILAT,  GALIT.  “WHERE  DO  YOU  DRAW  THE  LINE?”  SOUTH  ATLANTIC  QUARTERLY  114.3 (2015): 680-686.

Galit Eilat is Founding Director of “DAL – The Israeli Center for Digital Art”; Editor-in-Chief of Maarav, an online art and culture magazine; lecturer in the Department of Photography, Video & Computer Imaging at the “Bezalel Academy of Art and Design” in Jerusalem; Advisor for the Israel Museum in Jerusalem.  Her projects deal with the topics of the political situation in the Middle East, activism and the political potential of art.

Present-day Israel is not a democratic state. During the past five years, we have witnessed increasing nationalism, the silencing of political minorities, the media, and civic organizations, and the approval of antidemocratic laws. What started in 1967 as the sin of occupying Palestinian lands continues today as a crime against the occupied population. What actions will awaken Israelis from their indifference and make them fight for their right to live in a democratic state? Why are no sanctions imposed on Israel, while more and more sanctions are imposed on Gaza, while Israel enjoys international support and is one of the leading countries calling for boycotts of other states and organizations? . . .  Israeli propaganda tends to define any struggle against government policy as a type of terror: diplomatic terror, economic terror, cyber terror, legal terror. In doing so, it deems any form of struggle against the occupation as violent and illegitimate. The Palestinian choice of a strategy of boycott and diplomatic-economic sanctions, however, is based on tactics of nonviolent struggle that are considered legitimate and effective around the world. Vis-à-vis the mighty propaganda machine implemented by Israel, the Palestinians have opted for a tool intended to expose the international community to their predicament and to enable anyone anywhere in the world to express active support for their cause.

[. . . .]

___The question is often asked in Israel: “Why are there no Palestinians who oppose violence?” or “When will a Palestinian leader emerge who will pursue a nonviolent struggle against the Israeli occupation?” Yet, here we have a group of Palestinian activists who choose precisely that—to promote an economic-cultural boycott over armed combat—but Israeli propaganda has dubbed the Palestinian consumer boycott of products from the settlements an “act of hostility.” The double standards of Israeli propaganda are underlined by the Israeli government’s advocacy of a boycott against Hamas in Gaza, against the regime in Iran, and against products made in Sweden—after Sweden officially recognized the Palestinian state.

[. . . .]

It has also been suggested that the boycott often backfires by reinforcing the claim that Israel is still struggling for its existence and that Jews are still being persecuted. One cannot accept such a stance because it forecloses the possibility of criticism of Israel, in general, and Jews, in particular. Above all, it disregards the fact that Israel is also the Palestinians’ homeland.     SOURCE



“Taking a leaf from the Bush-Blair weapons of mass destruction hoax . . .” (Vacy Vlazna)

Sunday, August 1, all that mattered between 14 Palestinian kids and 40 Irish children was one thing – “the beautiful game” (Photo: Ireland Today)

❶ UNRWA: Unemployment in Gaza is the Highest in the World
❷ Israeli forces open fire at Palestinian farmers, shepherds in central Gaza
❸ Israeli Navy Kidnaps Five Fishers In Gaza

  • Background from Cosmopolitan Civil Societies: An Interdisciplinary Journal

. . . ❹ ― (ᴀ) Israel and World Vision: Are journalistic ethics dead?
❺ Gaza football club dazzles Ireland
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Palestine Chronicle
Aug 9 2016
The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) said in a news report that the social and economic situation in Gaza is the worst in the world with the highest unemployment rate.
___UNRWA added that finding a job in Gaza is not an easy task and that unemployment, according to statistics revealed by the Central Bureau for Statistics, was 41.2% among men and 62.6% among women in the first quarter of the year.     MORE . . .  

Ma’an News Agency
Aug. 12, 2016
Israeli forces Thursday opened live fire at Palestinian farmers and shepherds in the eastern part of Deir al-Balah in the central Gaza Strip.
___Witnesses told Ma’an that Israeli soldiers stationed in military towers in eastern Deir al-Balah opened live fire at Palestinian farmers and shepherd. No injuries were reported
[. . . .]
___On a near-daily basis, the Israeli army fires “warning shots” at Palestinian fishermen, farmers, and shepherds entering the Israeli-enforced “buffer zone” on land and sea, implemented after Israel imposed a blockade on the Gaza Strip nearly a decade ago.
[. . . .]
___Approximately 35 percent of Palestinian agricultural land in Gaza is inaccessible without high personal risk, according to the center.     MORE . . .

International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC
Aug. 12, 2016
A number of Israeli navy ships attacked, earlier on Friday, a number of Palestinian fishing boats, opened fire on them and kidnapped five fishers, before confiscating their boats.
___Zakariyya Bakr, an official in charge of the Fishers Committee of the “Union of Agricultural Workers Committees,” said the navy ships opened automatic fire, approximately at 7 in the morning, targeting several boats in the al-Waha area, north of Gaza city.
___Bakr added that the navy then assaulted the fishers, who jumped into the water to avoid the bullets, and kidnapped five of them in addition to confiscating their boats.    MORE . . .

  • Pfingst, Annie. “Militarised Violence In The Service Of State-Imposed Emergencies Over Palestine And Kenya.” Cosmopolitan Civil Societies: An Interdisciplinary Journal 6.3 (2014): 6-37.

[. . . .] Even before the military attack of July 2014 the seven yearlong siege of Gaza produced conditions where the maintenance of life itself is compromised in the extreme. Controlling the capacity for life, also through carefully controlled abandonment produces conditions in which the maintenance of life is restricted and curtailed – the production of extreme precarity threatens, at the same time as it ‘indefinitely suspends’, catastrophic (humanitarian) emergency.
[. . . .]
During the 2014 Israeli aerial bombing and land offensive across the Gaza Strip, more than 16,700 housing units were destroyed or severely damaged (UNOCHA oPt 12 August 2014). In order to control and limit movement and deny access to food and supplies, colonial emergency practices delineate zones of exclusion across which it is forbidden to pass and in which growing crops was prohibited. . .  Israel delineated a military buffer zone inside the Gaza border – the most fertile of Gaza’s land no longer available for cultivation.
[. . . .]
A system . . . emergency laws, together with belligerent occupation, construct a fluid and enduring system, enabling shifts and turns to developing situations, always maintaining a semblance of legality to veil its political intentions and always maintaining a state of emergency to authorize laws and legal orders . . .  Inhabiting a geography designated by Israel as an enemy entity, the people of Gaza, 80% of whom are refugees from the expulsions from Southern Israel in 1948, are simultaneously inside and outside political space. Participation in ‘hostile acts against the State of Israel’ renders Gazans illegal combatants subject to the provisions of the Incarceration of Unlawful Combatants Law.
[. . . .]
Israeli liability for the deaths of civilians throughout the military offensive against Gaza in July-August 2014 is framed by the abrogation of internationally recognised norms of humanitarian law . . . and of the obligation of the occupying entity to protect the lives of those under occupation . . . . for Palestinians it is the continuation of al Nakba authorised under the conditions of a colonial declared emergency as the state attempts to effect ‘calm’ – the end of disorder, the end to resistance.  FULL ARTICLE

Gaza.Scoop.ps – Real Time News From Gaza
Aug. 8, 2016
Vacy Vlazna
The crackpot Israeli Hasbara Circus featuring the four clowns of the truth apocalypse, Shin Bet, the Israel government, Shurat HaDin and the mainstream media fools, has, yet again, hit the world stage with the usual lame show of fact contortions, tight rope slander and smoke and mirrors fantasies.
___Taking a leaf from the Bush-Blair weapons of mass destruction hoax, Israel is going all out to divert anti-Israel opinion on its monumental humanitarian disaster to a fictitious crime allegedly perpetrated by the very victims of said humanitarian disaster- Israel’s wars on Gaza -by concocting an elaborate false crime of embezzlement and terrorism by Mohammed el-Halabi, the dedicated zonal manager for World Vision in the West Bank, Jerusalem and Gaza.     MORE . . .   

Mohammed El Halabi, World Vision’s Area Development Programme Manager in Gaza, meets with children displaced by the violence during the brief ceasefire. (Photo by Mohammad Awed)

Gaza.Scoop.ps – Real Time News From Gaza
Julie Webb-Pullman
Aug.7, 2016
Widespread publication by media such as the New York Times and the Guardian, of Israeli allegations against the Gaza manager of World Vision Mohammad Al-Halabi, without any independent corroboration or substantiation, breach the most fundamental journalistic ethical principles – respect for and the right of the public to the truth, and to not publish unfounded accusations.
___As Peter Beaumont, author of the Guardian article, admits, “The Guardian was unable immediately to independently corroborate the claims against Halabi, who remains in custody.”        MORE . . .  

The Electronic Intifada
Ciaran Tierney
Aug. 10, 2016
Fourteen boys from Gaza have brought joy to Ireland by displaying their football skills during a tour of the country.
___Three weeks after the crushing disappointment of being refused exit permits by the Israeli authorities, the youngsters from al-Helal football academy were special guests of Galway United Football Club on 5 August.
___The talented young Palestinian footballers got to showcase their talents before Galway United’s biggest crowd of the season.     MORE . . .