“. . . casting off what has kept you down . . .” (Peter Boullata)

El-Funoun Dance Troupe performs the production
El-Funoun Dance Troupe performs the production “Images Remembered,” June 21, 2009. (photo by El-Funoun)

❶ From AL MONITOR (PALESTINE PULSE)
THE PALESTINIAN DANCER WHO WAS LOCKED AWAY
Ahmad Melhem
July 19, 2015
RAMALLAH, West Bank — Lina Khattab is a journalism student at Birzeit University and a dancer in the El-Funoun Palestinian Popular Dance Troupe. Her release from an Israeli prison June 11 represented an important transitional phase of her life . . . .
____The Israeli military arrested Khattab, 18, on Dec. 13. After appearing in court 11 times, she was sentenced to prison for six months and a fine of $1,500 on Feb. 16.
____Yet, prison did not break Khattab’s spirit. During her imprisonment, she learned Hebrew and silk bead embroidery from other prisoners. She has pieces of her work displayed in her living room. In return, she taught her fellow prisoners some dabke moves.
____Khattab said she was arrested and was severely beaten and abused near Ofer prison, west of Ramallah.
(More. . .)
(Background)

❷ From THE MIDDLE EAST MONITOR (MEM)
HAMAS DENIES TAKING PART IN SAUDI-LED COALITION
20 July 2015
Palestinian Islamist Movement Hamas has officially denied claims by Iranian news agency Fars that it agreed to take part in the Saudi-led coalition against the Houthi coup in Yemen. . . .
____Hamas official spokesman Sami Abu-Zuhri said: “What was published by Fars news agency regarding Saudi-Hamas agreement . . . to take part in Decisive Storm was mere lies.”
[. . . .]
____Abu-Zuhri stressed that “. . . Hamas never thinks about sending its fighters abroad.”
(More. . .)

❸ From INTERNATIONAL MIDDLE EAST MEDIA CENTER (IMEMC)
PALESTINIAN KIDNAPPED, MANY SUFFER EFFECTS OF TEARGAS INHALATION, NEAR HEBRON
July 20, 2015
Several Palestinians suffered the effects of teargas inhalation, earlier on Monday, during clashes that took place after Israeli soldiers invaded Beit Ummar town, north of the southern West Bank city of Hebron. Soldiers also searched homes, kidnapped one Palestinian.
____The soldiers also invaded a home, belonging to resident Suleiman Ali Mohammad Abu Ayyash, before searching and ransacking his property.
____In addition, soldiers . . . kidnapped one Palestinian identified as Salah al-‘Allami, 28 years of age.
(More. . .)
(Related)

 IDF soldiers invade home belonging to Beit Ummar resident Suleiman Ali Mohammad Abu Ayyash. Still Image From Palestine TV Video Report
IDF soldiers invade home belonging to Beit Ummar resident Suleiman Ali Mohammad Abu Ayyash. Still Image From Palestine TV Video Report

❹ From MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
2 MAIN ISRAELI POWER GRIDS PROVIDING ELECTRICITY TO GAZA DOWN FOR DAYS
July 20, 2015
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — A technical error in Israel cut off two main power grids responsible for supplying Gaza with electricity over the weekend. The down lines provide 25 percent (30 megawatts) of the electricity Israel supplies to Gaza.
[. . . .]
____The Gaza Electricity Distribution Company said it is attempting to cooperate with the Palestinian Power Authority to repair the broken grids, but said THE ISRAELI ARMY IS OBSTRUCTING THESE EFFORTS and allegedly preventing the Israeli electricity corporation from fixing the grids on the grounds of security concerns.
(More. . .)

❺ Opinion
From MONDOWEISS
THE ISRAELI ANTHROPOLOGICAL ASSOCIATION’S DESPERATE ATTEMPT TO DERAIL THE ACADEMIC BOYCOTT
Isaiah Silver
July 16, 2015
On 11 June 2015, the Israeli Anthropological Association passed a resolution . . . calling for an end to the occupation, while simultaneously opposing the call for academic boycotts of Israeli academic institutions. . . both the timing and content of the statement raise serious questions about the sincerity of the organization’s newfound commitment to ending human rights abuses.
____The fact that the IAA’s long-overdue recognition of Palestinians’ basic human rights is sutured to a condemnation of academic boycotts immediately raises red flags. The IAA . . . should be able to recognize the basic human rights of Palestinians. This recognition should not be coupled, conditioned, or predicated on what Israelis view as acceptable actions in pursuit of recognition.
(More. . .)

“INTIFADA,” BY PETER BOULLATA

the land of Palestine shook
until the very stones loosened
and were gathered up by you
as other children, innocent, have picked flowers
your rocks blossomed blood-red
against a conspiracy of years
of having your every breath, heartbeat observed constrained
until you could not breath, every gasp a battle
the way you suffocate under a veil
of teargas, chambers of death
your own homes, streets, gardens
you said you have had enough
and started an earthquake
drawing down a shower of hailstones
against a sinful nation
the occupation officers have hit a stone, been struck
by the steadfast hardness
of a people willing
to die on their feet
rather than live on their knees
you love your lives enough
to struggle
against the constraints
bound, as you have been
all your lives
you are loosening the bonds now
casting off what has kept you down
you are bound for glory
shaking, shaking until you are free

Reverend Peter Boullata is minister of the Unitarian Universalist First Parish Church in Lexington, Massachusetts. His father is the well-known Palestinian-Canadian academic Issa J. Boullata.
(More. . .)

August 22, 2014. A Palestinian man reacts as a fire burns the only power plant supplying electricity to the Gaza Strip. Israeli shells struck the plant. (Photo: AFP/Getty Images)
August 22, 2014. A Palestinian man reacts as a fire burns the only power plant supplying electricity to the Gaza Strip. Israeli shells struck the plant. (Photo: AFP/Getty Images)

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