“. . . within the ancient walls, I walk from one epoch to another without a memory . . .” (Mahmoud Darwish)

Caption: Palestinians from the Gaza Strip visit occupied East Jerusalem on Monday to celebrate the holy night of Laylat al-Qadr in the al-Aqsa mosque compound. (MaanImages/File)
Caption: Palestinians from the Gaza Strip visit occupied East Jerusalem on Monday to celebrate the holy night of Laylat al-Qadr in the al-Aqsa mosque compound. (MaanImages/File)

From MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
ISRAEL ALLOWS 800 GAZANS TO PRAY AT AQSA FOR LAYLAT AL-QADER
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — The Israeli authorities permitted 800 Palestinians from the Gaza Strip to visit occupied East Jerusalem on Monday to celebrate the holy night of Laylat al-Qadr in the al-Aqsa mosque compound.
____Laylat al-Qader, meaning the Night of Destiny, takes place toward the end of the holy month of Ramadan, and according to Muslim belief marks the night the first verses of the Quran were revealed to the prophet Muhammad.
(More. . .)
(Related)

From INTERNATIONAL MIDDLE EAST MEDIA CENTER (IMEMC)
ISRAELI AUTHORITIES TO BUILD OVER HISTORIC MUSLIM CEMETERY
July 14, 2015
Q-Press media center for Jerusalem and al-Aqsa affairs today said that the planning and construction committee in occupied Jerusalem, last week, has approved the construction of a huge project on land for the Ma’man Allah historic Islamic cemetery. . . .
____Haaretz newspaper said, according to the PNN, that Israeli occupation authorities pushed to execute the project on the land even though it is Islamic Waqf (property) that cannot be seized.
(More. . .)

Construction of huge project on land of the Ma’man Allah historic Islamic cemetery, Jerusalem.
Construction of huge project on land of the Ma’man Allah historic Islamic cemetery, Jerusalem.

From THE MIDDLE EAST MONITOR (MEM)
ISRAEL PREVENTS PALESTINIANS IN JERUSALEM FROM GETTING WATER
July 13, 2015
The Israeli water authority has discussed appeals against the new system for collecting water charges from “unlicensed” houses, including those not linked to the water system. . . . Even houses which do not consume any water at all will be subject to charges under the new system.
____The amount charged would be based on the amount of water consumed by the whole neighbourhood, with the total divided among the Palestinian residents of the villages behind the Apartheid (“Separation”) Wall.
(More. . .)

❹ Opinion
From +972 MAGAZINE
NO, BDS DOES NOT UNFAIRLY ‘SINGLE OUT’ ISRAEL
Dahlia Scheindlin
July 13, 2015
[. . . .]
But precisely because Israel has a democratic ethos, because it is part of the West and in dialogue with it, activists reasonably believe gains can be made. They’re right. If Israel wants to be more democratic toward all the people it controls, it surely has the political culture in place to do so. The claim to democracy also makes the nearly 50-year occupation so much more offensive.
____But there’s an even simpler reason why students, celebrities, academics, and some individuals call to boycott Israel instead of other places: Palestinians asked them to.
(More. . .)

❺ Opinion
From THIS WEEK IN PALESTINE
THE JERUSALEM BLUES: A PORTRAIT OF THE CITY
Ali Qleibo
July, 2015 – Issue 207
I had arrived early for my daily walk with my friend Abed. I took a seat on the stairway leading to Damascus Gate and whiled away the time watching the hubbub below. . . .
____Jerusalem haunts me; sparks of light, images flicker, and a river of sadness flows, flooding the covered passageways embracing memories. Each of us carries an archetypal map of Jerusalem within our heart that corresponds to subjective visual imagery. The clarity, intensity, and proximity to the city determine our mood. Far from al-balad, its markets, alleys, mosques, and churches, one experiences a fall from grace: the Jerusalem blues. Jerusalemites, once severed from their city, languish in nostalgic melancholy (al-huzon). It is our burden, our joy, and our redemption. The vision of Jerusalem is a totalizing multifaceted experience of which each detail is a partial refraction of the whole: an open wound assuaged by its embrace once within the city walls.
(More. . .)

“IN JERUSALEM,” BY MAHMOUD DARWISH

In Jerusalem, and I mean within the ancient walls,
I walk from one epoch to another without a memory
to guide me. The prophets over there are sharing
the history of the holy . . . ascending to heaven
and returning less discouraged and melancholy, because love
and peace are holy and are coming to town.
I was walking down a slope and thinking to myself: How
do the narrators disagree over what light said about a stone?
Is it from a dimly lit stone that wars flare up?
I walk in my sleep. I stare in my sleep. I see
no one behind me. I see no one ahead of me.
All this light is for me. I walk. I become lighter. I fly
then I become another. Transfigured. Words
sprout like grass from Isaiah’s messenger
mouth: “If you don’t believe you won’t believe.”
I walk as if I were another. And my wound a white
biblical rose. And my hands like two doves
on the cross hovering and carrying the earth.
I don’t walk, I fly, I become another,
transfigured. No place and no time. So who am I?
I am no I in ascension’s presence. But I
think to myself: Alone, the prophet Mohammad
spoke classical Arabic. “And then what?”
Then what? A woman soldier shouted:
Is that you again? Didn’t I kill you?
I said: You killed me . . . and I forgot, like you, to die.

From Darwish, Mahmoud. The Butterfly’s Burden. Trans. Fady Joudah. Copper Canyon Press, 2008. Available.
About Mahmoud Darwish.

Palestinians inside Israel and in the West Bank have very little water and it costs a lot of money.
Palestinians inside Israel and in the West Bank have very little water and it costs a lot of money. (More. . .)

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