“. . . what of my comrades in this cell? You ask. . .” (Fouzi El Asmar)

Some 250 Palestinians being held in Israel’s Negev prison have begun an open-ended hunger strike in protest to their administrative detention. Shiite News Photo.
Some 250 Palestinians being held in Israel’s Negev prison have begun an open-ended hunger strike in protest to their administrative detention. Shiite News Photo.

MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
5  PALESTINIANS  JAILED  WITHOUT  TRIAL  CONTINUE  HUNGER  STRIKES
August 29, 2015
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Five Palestinian prisoners in Israel’s Negev jail on Saturday continued a hunger strike they began on August 18 to protest their internment without trial or charge, the Palestinian Authority Committee for Prisoners’ Affairs said.
____Fadi Obeidat, a lawyer for the PA committee, met with some of the hunger strikers Saturday and said that they were demanding an end to Israel’s policy of administrative detention.
____The Negev jail — also known as the Ktz’iot prison — is one of Israel’s largest detention centers and has been site to frequent tensions between administrative detainees and prison personnel in recent months.
More. . .

INTERNATIONAL MIDDLE EAST MEDIA CENTER (IMEMC)
INCLUDING  A  CHILD,  THREE  PALESTINIANS  KIDNAPPED  IN  RAMALLAH  AND  JERUSALEM
August 30, 2015
Israeli soldiers invaded, on Sunday at dawn, the town of Silwad, east of the central West Bank city of Ramallah, kidnapped a child, and held his 10-year-old brother in the bathroom while interrogating and threatening him. The army also kidnapped two young men in occupied East Jerusalem.
____The child, Hamza Shokri Hammad, 15 years of age, was kidnapped after a large number of soldiers smashed the family’s main door, and detained him in one of the rooms after forcing him brother Bilal, 10 years of age, into the bathroom, where he was threatened and interrogated.
____Hammad was taken prisoner before the soldiers left the property; the family said the army confiscated mobile phones, Game CD’s, in addition to destroying a computer.
More. . .

INTERNATIONAL MIDDLE EAST MEDIA CENTER (IMEMC)
PCHR  REPORT  ON  ISRAELI  HUMAN  RIGHTS  VIOLATIONS  IN  THE  OPT  (20- 26 AUGUST 2015)
August 28, 2015
Israeli forces have continued with systematic attacks against Palestinian civilians and their property in the occupied Palestinian territories (oPt) for the reporting period of 20- 26 August 2015.
____During the reporting period, Israeli forces used excessive force against Palestinian civilians participating in peaceful protests in the West Bank. In the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces continued to open fire at border areas along the Gaza Strip border. . . .
____In the West Bank, Israeli forces continued to use excessive and systematic use of force against peaceful protests organized by Palestinian civilians and Israeli and international human rights activists. . . .
____Moreover, Israeli forces arrested 3 protestors, including 2 photojournalists and a human rights activist, participating in al-Nabi Saleh protest, northwest of Ramallah, under the pretext that they were present in a closed military zone. Two of whom were taken to Benjamin police station, east of occupied Jerusalem, while the third one was taken to Oferdetention facility, southwest of Ramallah.
More. . .

Samidoun: Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network Photo
Samidoun: Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network Photo

ALTERNATIVE INFORMATION CENTER (AIC)
VIDEO!  LINA:  STUDENT  ACTIVIST,  FORMER  PRISONER
Samidoun: Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network
August 23, 2015
The new short film, “Lina | لينا”, by Palestinian filmmaker Osama Abed, tells the story of Palestinian student activist and former political prisoner Lina Khattab. The 11-minute film, in Arabic with English subtitles, covers Lina’s arrest, abuse by occupation soldiers, Israeli military trial, struggle and her freedom, and her ongoing involvement in the struggle for the freedom of Palestine, its land and people.
____Abed is a filmmaker whose work has been accepted at multiple film festivals in the region and has received awards for his filmmaking from several Palestinian municipalities; he is currently directing “Let Me Live.”
More. . .

Opinion
+972 BLOG
‘WHAT’S  THE  NUMBER  OF  YOUR  ROOM,  CHILD?’
Sawsan Khalife
August 29, 2015
(Sawsan Khalife is an independent journalist.)
[. . . .]
According to Defense for Children International, each year approximately 500 to 700 Palestinian children, some as young as 12, are detained and prosecuted in the Israeli military court system. The most common charge is stone throwing.
____. . . I wondered whether there is a room for children in the West Bank similar to “Room Number 4,” which Palestinian children in East Jerusalem know all too well.
____It would be surprising to find a child, or even an adult, in East Jerusalem who is not familiar with “Room Number 4.” This is the name of the interrogation room in Jerusalem’s police station in the Russian compound neighborhood, where Palestinian residents, including children, are interrogated.
____While hundreds of children are arrested annually, it is the conditions they undergo during their arrest and interrogation that represents possibly the most severe violation, under both Israeli and international law.
More. . .

(Blogger’s note: This poem was written 45 years ago. Its timeliness today cannot be disputed.)

“TWENTY  COMRADES,”  BY  FOUZI  EL ASMAR
Beloved, you ask me
Of life in this prison, this cell
what of the chains
chafing my wrists
what of my food and drink
and the comrades of my cell?

Beloved, let me tell you:
Our clouds are indeed heavy
But our being here
is a smile of spring,
The shock of thunder
in autumn, after draught.
We are not defeated
Like our jailers.

Life in this prison, this cell
is a palm tree impregnated
at the dawn.
My chains are the round
echo of a muezzin,
Their clank is the ringing
of my people’s bells.

Beloved, you as me
of the meaning of my food
Here beloved
we grow like the wild flowers.

And what of
my comrades in this cell? You ask
They are the twenty candles
lighting the darkness of this cell
The twenty songs
shaking the walls of this cell
The twenty revolutions
that will eternalize this cell
And we, beloved
we shall not be stopped.  (June, 1970)

El Asmar, Fouzi. POEMS  FROM  AN  ISRAELI  PRISON. Intro. By Israel Shahak. New York: KNOW Books, 1973.
Available from Amazon.
About Fouzi El Asmar.

Israeli soldiers arresting a Palestinian boy for allegedly throwing stones at an Israeli police station on Salahaddin Street, East Jerusalem. [Middle East Monitor file photo]
Israeli soldiers arresting a Palestinian boy for allegedly throwing stones at an Israeli police station on Salahaddin Street, East Jerusalem. [Middle East Monitor file photo]

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