“. . . I have not seen any horrors, everything was extremely normal. . .” (Mourid Barghouti)

A Palestinian boy rides his bicycle July 3, 2015, past the rubble of buildings destroyed during the 50-day Gaza war. (AFP Mohammed Abed)
A Palestinian boy rides his bicycle July 3, 2015, past the rubble of buildings destroyed during the 50-day Gaza war. (AFP Mohammed Abed)

From MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
DESPERATE GAZANS RESORT TO MAKESHIFT HOMES YEAR AFTER WAR
July 6, 2015
GAZA CITY (AFP) — Fouad Abu Asser and his family have returned to their neighborhood amid the rubble of the Gaza Strip — but something resembling a shed is what they now call home.
____”We hear talk and more talk, but we still haven’t seen anything,” the 54-year-old father said, referring to the slow pace of rebuilding in the Gaza Strip, devastated by last summer’s war with Israel.
____Wednesday marks a year since the war’s start, and thousands of homes in Gaza still have not been rebuilt, forcing residents like Abu Asser to construct makeshift houses where they once lived out of prefabricated supplies or rubble.
(More. . .)
(Background. . .)

❷ From ALTERNATIVE INFORMATION CENTER (AIC)
UN REPORT ON ISRAELI WAR CRIMES IN GAZA
Richard Falk
July 6, 2015
The magnitude of the Palestinian losses, as well as the comparison with Israeli losses, and the comparative ratio of civilians to military killed on the two sides, by itself suggests that the essential character of this Israeli undertaking is best understood as ‘state terror’ directed at Gaza’s population as a whole. This one-sided impression of the events, however, is not conveyed by the much anticipated UN report.
(More. . .)

Richard Falk is an American professor emeritus of international law at Princeton University. In 2008, the UN Human Rights Council appointed Falk to a six-year term as a United Nations Special Rapporteur on “the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967.

From THE PALESTINIAN INFORMATION CENTER
JEWISH SETTLERS STORM AL-AQSA MOSQUE
July 6, 2015
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)– A group of Jewish settlers stormed Monday morning al-Aqsa Mosque from the Israeli-controlled al-Magaribeh gate under heavy Israeli police protection.
____Unprecedentedly, the settlers left early the holy shrine before completing their tour due to the presence of big numbers of Palestinian worshipers.
(More. . .)
Background

 Palestinians clean the Al Aqsa mosque after clashes with Israeli police on the compound known to Muslims as Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as Temple Mount in Jerusalem's Old City November 5, 2014 (Reuters Photo)

Palestinians clean the Al Aqsa mosque after clashes with Israeli police on the compound known to Muslims as Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as Temple Mount in Jerusalem’s Old City November 5, 2014 (Reuters Photo)

From INTERNATIONAL MIDDLE EAST MEDIA CENTER (IMEMC)
SECURITY ZONES BEING USED TO FURTHER EXPAND WEST BANK SETTLEMENTS
July 05, 2015
Land confiscated from Palestinians for the purpose of security buffer zones around illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank is actually being utilized as “land reserves or for agriculture,” according to an investigation by Israeli newspaper Haaretz.
____The buffer zones were originally created during the Second Intifada reportedly as a way to curb attacks against illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank.
(More. . .)
The Haaretz article

❺ Opinion
From +972 MAGAZINE
WHY NETANYAHU CAN’T JUST WISH PALESTINE AWAY: ANALYSIS OF A FAILED POLICY
Dahlia Scheindlin
July 6, 2015
Since Benjamin Netanyahu began his second term as prime minister in 2009, he has resisted reaching a two-state solution but he also claims not to want a single state, with or without a Jewish hegemony. Nobody seems to be willing to simply ask the prime minister: what do you intend for Israel and the Palestinians in five or 10 years from now?
____In lieu of a vision, Netanyahu has aggressively pursued three policies: separation between Gaza and the West Bank (and within), the merging of Israel and the West Bank, and messaging the rightness of both — hasbara. . . . all three have failed.
(More. . .)

“NORMAL JOURNEY,” BY MOURID BARGHOUTI

I have not seen any horrors,
I have not seen a dragon in the land,
I have not seen the Kraken* in the sea,
nor a witch or a policeman
at the outset of my day.
Pirates have not overtaken mu desires,
thieves have not broken down the door of my life,
my absence has not been long,
it only took me one lifetime.

How come you saw scars
on my face, sorrow in my eyes,
and bruises in my bones and in my heart?
These are only illusions.
I have not seen any horrors,
everything was extremely normal.
Don’t worry,
your son is still in his grave, murdered,
and he’s fine.

From Barghouti, Mourid. MIDNIGHT AND OTHER POEMS. Trans. Radwa Ashour. Todmorden, UK: Arc Publications, 2008.

*a legendary sea monster of large proportions

Mourid Barghouti (born July 8, 1944, in Deir Ghassana, near Ramallah, on the West Bank) is a Palestinian poet and writer. While Barghouti was studying at the University of Cairo in 1967, the 6-Day War broke out, and he was unable to return to the West Bank until 1996. He was expelled from Egypt in 1977 and was exiled in Budapest separated from his wife, the Egyptian novelist Radwa Ashour. They lived together in the West Bank when he was allowed to return in 1996, but relocated to Cairo and lived there until her death in 2014. Their son, Tamim Al Barghouti, born in Egypt in 1977, is himself an important Palestinian poet.
Other poems by Mourid Barghouti here, and here.

 An Israeli flag is seen in front of the West Bank Jewish settlement of Maaleh Adumim. Photo by AP

An Israeli flag is seen in front of the West Bank Jewish settlement of Maaleh Adumim. Photo by AP

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