“Roads die when peoples’ hopes . . . no longer flow through them. . .” (Tareq al-Karmy)

Palestinians working in Israel wait to cross the Israeli-controlled Jalama checkpoint on International Labour Day near the West Bank city of Jenin May 1, 2014.  REUTERS
Palestinians working in Israel wait to cross the Israeli-controlled Jalama checkpoint on International Labour Day near the West Bank city of Jenin May 1, 2014. REUTERS

❶ From PALESTINE INFORMATION CENTER
FOR JEWISH HOLIDAYS, JALAMA CROSSING CLOSED
[Shavuot—“Feast of Weeks,” May 24-25]
May 24, 2015
JENIN, The Israeli occupation army on Saturday informed the Palestinian Authority liaison office that it would close on Sunday Jalama crossing, north of Jenin city, at the pretext of celebrating Jewish holidays.
___Local sources in Jenin said that the Israeli measure would prevent thousands of workmen and business owners from entering the 1948 occupied lands.
___They added that the closure of the crossing would cause a recession in the markets of Jenin.
(More. . .)

❷ From INTERNATIONAL MIDDLE EAST MEDIA CENTER (IMEMC)
GAZA’S ONLY COMMERCIAL CROSSING CLOSED BY ISRAELI AUTHORITIES
May 24, 2015
Israel closed the Gaza Strip’s only functioning commercial crossing at Kerem Shalom [“Vineyard of Peace” sic], on Sunday, for the Jewish holiday “Feast of Weeks”, a Palestinian official said.
“The Israeli closure would disrupt trade traffic in the strip and negatively affect the flow of fuel into the enclave,” Mounir al-Ghalban of Gaza’s border authority said, according to World Bulletin/Al Ray.
___Blockaded by Israel – by air, land and sea – since 2007, the Gaza Strip has seven border crossings linking it to the outside world.
___Six of these are controlled by Israel, while a seventh – the Rafah crossing – is controlled by Egypt, which keeps it tightly sealed for the most part.
(More. . .)

Trucks waiting to cross at The VINEYARD OF PEACE
Trucks waiting to cross at The VINEYARD OF PEACE [SIC]
❸ From MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
EGYPT TO OPEN RAFAH CROSSING INTO GAZA FOR 2 DAYS
May 24, 2015
CAIRO (Ma’an) — Egyptian authorities will open the Rafah border crossing for two days on Tuesday and Wednesday allowing passengers to travel from Egypt into Gaza, although not the other way around, Egyptian security sources told Ma’an.
___Palestinian officials have reportedly been notified so as to make the necessary arrangements.
__Rafah crossing has been the principal connection between Gaza’s 1.8 million residents and the outside world since the imposition of an Israeli blockade on the coastal enclave since 2007.
___However, for the last two years, the Egyptian authorities have largely kept the crossing closed,
(More. . .)

❹ From MONDOWEISS
BESIEGED IN GAZA FROM BIRTH TO DEATH
Dan Cohen
May 22, 2015
Leila Najjar is 25 years old and six months pregnant. She and her husband Mohammed Sulaiman want to be together for their child’s birth. But she may not see him for years.
__That’s because Najjar lives in Gaza and her husband is studying in Adelaide, Australia. Israeli authorities won’t let Najjar pass through the Israeli-controlled Erez crossing or the Egyptian-controlled Rafah crossing to join Sulaiman, 25, in Australia. With only ten weeks before she will be unable to travel by airplane because of health risks, she is struggling to remain optimistic. . .
__In fact, it is possible that Najjar will be prevented from leaving Gaza at all, meaning Sulaiman, who is on track to complete his PhD in 2018, may not see his son-to-be until he is three years old. . .
(More. . .)

❺ From +972
HOW JERUSALEM MAKES PALESTINIANS DISAPPEAR
Orly Noy
May 23, 2015
While the exclusion of Palestinian cab drivers from a Jerusalem megaplex is illegal and immoral, it is just the tip of the iceberg in a city that constantly tries to erase Palestinian existence.
__“If she wants a Jewish driver, she’ll get a Jewish driver, I don’t understand what difference it makes.” This is how Merav Basher, the representative of Cinema City Jerusalem, responded to Thair Raga, a cab driver from East Jerusalem, when he confronted her about the megaplex’s policy of ordering Jewish-only drivers for some of their workers. . .
__The truth is that I believe Basher. I believe her when she says that she does not understand the problem with keeping Palestinian drivers away from her workers, all the while harming their livelihood. . .
(More. . .)

“Not only Rivers,” by Tareq al-Karmy
Not only rivers have a source.
Paths trickle from single dwellings till,
fed by tracks from villages, they go
through towns and cities. Swelled
by tributary streets till they end
in mighty ports and seaside resorts.
Roads die when peoples’ hopes, fears,
wishes, traffic, no longer flow through them,
unlike rivers which are not made by fishes.

—Translated by Alasdair Gray
From A BIRD IS NOT A STONE: AN ANTHOLOGY OF CONTEMPORARY PALESTINIAN POETRY (Glasgow: Freight Books, 2014) –available from Amazon.com.

Tareq al-Karmy studied at Al-Najah University in Nablus. A prolific poet, his work has been published in numerous anthologies and solo collections. [Link to The New Statesman]
Tarek al-Karmy was born in 1975 in the Palestinian coastal city of Tolkarim. He is a member of the Palestinian Left and he teaches and plays professionally the nay (reed flute).
__He has produced and presented numerous programs for local Palestinian radio stations and has participated in a number of local and international music festivals like the Mediterranean Voices Festival in the south of France. He has written several books of poetry and has a website devoted to poetry

The walkway from Gaza to Israel at the Erez crossing Photo Oxfam
The walkway from Gaza to Israel at the Erez crossing Photo Oxfam

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