from INTERNATIONAL MIDDLE EAST MEDIA CENTER
ARMY KIDNAPS 18 PALESTINIANS NEAR BETHLEHEM
Tuesday March 10, 2015
Israeli soldiers invaded, on Tuesday at dawn, Teqoua’ town, east of the West Bank city of Bethlehem, and kidnapped eighteen Palestinian youths, including several siblings, after storming dozens of homes and detonating the front doors of some of them, and assaulted many residents. (More. . .)
from WASHINGTON REPORT ON MIDDLE EAST AFFAIRS
PALESTINIANS PAY A HIGH PRICE FOR JUSTICE
By Rachelle Marshall
Only in a Kafka-esque world would it be a punishable offense to seek justice before a court of law. Yet that is the world that Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza live in. For nearly half a century Israel has controlled their land and water, restricted their every movement, and taken steps to cripple their economy. For years they were forbidden to hold political gatherings.
Today, Palestinians in the West Bank live at the mercy of trigger-happy soldiers. The U.N. reported that Israeli forces killed 50 Palestinians in the West Bank in 2014, including a 55-year-old Palestinian official, Ziad Abu Ein, who was grabbed around the neck and butted in the chest by a helmeted Israeli soldier while taking part in a peaceful demonstration. Scores of Palestinians were wounded last year by gunfire, including several members of the International Solidarity movement, who are pledged to nonviolence.
Soldiers make no distinction between Palestinian children and adults. More than a thousand children in the West Bank were injured last year, among them 5-year-old Muhammed Ubeid and 11-year-old Saleh Mahmoud, both of whom were shot in the face with rubber-coated steel bullets. Saleh was permanently blinded. Amira Hass concluded in her Dec. 15 Haaretz column: “The violence of the Israel Defense Forces has become normal, an obvious routine.” (More. . .)
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THE NAKBA DAY DENIAL
Eyal Weizman, Nick Axel, Steffen Kraemer, Lawrence Abu Hamdan and Jacob Burns
March 10, 2015
Denial is an important and often underemphasized dimension of Israel’s violence toward Palestinians. Israel equally denies historical crimes and daily incidents. Denial has become, in fact, a constant and almost instinctual official reaction to any accusation of wrongdoing. This is not only an offence against truth, but also enables the ongoing perpetration of crimes. If one has done no wrong, one may, of course, continue doing it.
Israel’s denial of the Nakba—the Palestinian catastrophe of 1948—has been legally sanctioned since 2011. The “Nakba law” now imposes harsh fines on public organizations that refer to Israel’s official Independence Day on the 15th of May as a day of mourning. The Nakba is, however, not just a historical fact: it is a daily reality for many Palestinians living under Israeli domination. Despite Israel’s attempt to expunge the Palestinian disaster from memory, every May 15th in the West Bank Nakba denial is countered by protests that often lead to clashes with Israeli security forces. (More. . . )
PALESTINIAN LEADERS VOTE TO END SECURITY COORDINATION WITH ISRAEL, A CORNERSTONE OF OSLO AND THE OCCUPATION
March 8, 2015
Palestinian leaders decided Thursday night they will “end all forms of security coordination with Israel,” a much-criticized practice of shared policing across the West Bank and a staple of Israeli-Palestinian relations over the last two decades. The announcement included one loophole that would allow Israel to salvage the security arrangement, a signal that the Palestinian leaders could be seeking to leverage Israel’s security concerns in order to get funds due to the Palestinian Authority that Israel has frozen.
In their statement, Palestinian leaders left open the possibility that security coordination could continue so long as Israel enforces all “signed agreements” with the Palestinians. Moreover, ending security coordination would not go into effect until at least three months from now, said Xavier Abu Eid, spokesman for the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). (More. . .)
from THE ELECTRONIC INTIFADA
THE MONTH IN PICTURES: FEBRUARY 2015
March 6, 2015
Israeli forces fired on Palestinians in Gaza every day during the month of February, particularly in the so-called Access Restricted Areas along the Gaza-Israel boundary, the United Nations monitoring group OCHA reported.
The Rafah crossing with Egypt — the sole exit and entry point for the vast majority of Gaza’s 1.8 million residents — remained closed throughout the month. According to OCHA, an estimated 30,000 Palestinians in Gaza were waiting to cross into Egypt, including medical patients and students. (More. . .)
“COMMANDO,” BY IBRAHIM TUQAN (1905-1941)
Do not consider his safety—
He bares his life on the palms of his hands.
Worries have substituted
A pillow for his shroud
As he waits for that hour
That ushers in the terrible hour of his death.
His bowed head disturbs
All who glance his way.
Within his breast there is
A throbbing heart afire with its purpose.
Who has not seen night’s charcoal blackness
Set on fire by his spark
Hell itself has touched
His message with its fire.
There he stands at the door:
Death is afraid of him.
Abashed by his boldness.
Silent he is, but should he speak
He would unite fire with blood.
Tell whoever faults with his silence
Resolution was born mute
And in the man of resolution
The hand is quicker that the word.
Rebuke him not for he has seen
The path of righteousness darkened
The foundations of a country
He loves demolished
And enemies at whose injustice
Heaven and earth cry out!
There was a time when despair
Almost killed him… but
There he stands at the door
And death is afraid of him.
Abashed at his boldness!
——Translated by Lena Jayyusi and John Heath-Stubbs
Jayyusi, Salma Khadra, ed. Anthology of Modern Palestinian Literature. New York: Columbia University Press (1992) 317-318.