“. . . martyrs vie with one another in the Negev prison . . .” (‘Abd al-Nasir Salih)

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Israeli Occupation Forces guard tower on a main street in Hebron, a virtual prison-city. (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 7, 2015)

❶ Israeli forces detain Palestinian prisoner released in Shalit exchange
. . ❶―A— Solitary confinement: A common denominator in Jerusalem attacks
❷ Since 1967: 95,000 Palestinian Children Incarcerated By Israel
❸ Israeli authorities expand closed military zone in Hebron’s Old City
❹ Israeli MK: burning Palestinian boys is not act of terror
❺ Opinion/Analysis: IS  ISRAEL’S  HIGH  COURT  THE  ENEMY  OF  HUMAN  RIGHTS?
❻ Poetry by ‘Abd al-Nasir Salih
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
ISRAELI  FORCES  DETAIN  PALESTINIAN  PRISONER  RELEASED  IN  SHALIT  EXCHANGE
Dec. 13, 2015
NABLUS (Ma’an) — Israeli forces early Sunday detained a former Palestinian prisoner who was released in the Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange deal, according to a local prisoners’ committee.
___Fahd Sharaya was detained from the Balata refugee camp in the occupied West Bank city of Nablus, the coordinator for a local Palestinian prisoners’ committee, Imad al-Din Ishteiwi, told Ma’an.
[. . . . ]
___Over 1,000 Palestinian detainees were released in the Egypt-brokered 2011 agreement between Hamas and Israel in exchange for Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, who was held captive by Hamas for five years.
More . . .
. . ❶―A +972 MAGAZINE
SOLITARY  CONFINEMENT:  A  COMMON  DENOMINATOR  IN  JERUSALEM  ATTACKS
More . . .
IMEMC NEWS
SINCE  1967:  95,000  PALESTINIAN  CHILDREN  INCARCERATED  BY  ISRAEL
June 10, 2015
Since martial law was imposed in the West Bank 48 years ago, some 95,000 children have been detained, of which 59,000 are likely to have been subjected to some form of physical violence.
More . . .
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
ISRAELI  AUTHORITIES  EXPAND  CLOSED  MILITARY  ZONE  IN  HEBRON’S  OLD  CITY
Dec. 13, 2015
HEBRON (Ma’an) — Israeli authorities early Sunday expanded a closed military zone in the area of Hebron’s Old City Sunday, preventing access to the headquarters of an activist group, a local activist said.
___Issa Amr, head of the Youth Against Settlements group, told Ma’an that Israeli officials handed him a notification banning the presence or arrival of any persons to the area of the headquarters, excluding Palestinian residents.
___The building — known as Sumoud and Tahaddi (steadfastness and challenge) center — lies in the Tel Rumeida neighborhood of central Hebron, and borders one of the city’s illegal Israeli settlements.
More . . .

Bezalel Smotrich
What could be more obvious to Member of the Israeli Knesset Bezalel Smotrich than that it’s OK to burn Palestinian children? (Photo: Days of Palestine)

DAYS OF PALESTINE
ISRAELI  MK:  BURNING  PALESTINIAN  BOYS  IS  NOT  ACT  OF  TERROR
Dec 12, 2015
Days of Palestine, Jerusalem –Israeli Knesset Member (MK) Bezalel Smotrich considered on Thursday burning Palestinian children is not an act of terror.
___Smotrich published a column in the B’Sheva weekly newspaper, saying that the attacks carried out by extremist Israeli settlers, including “price tag” attacks are not classified as terrorism.
___“Terrorism is only violence carried out by an enemy within the framework of war against us, and only that justifies taking severe steps who are out of place in normal situations,” he wrote, “all the rest are serious crimes, abominable crime, nationalist crime, but not terrorism.”
More . . .
Opinion/Analysis
+972 MAGAZINE
IS  ISRAEL’S  HIGH  COURT  THE  ENEMY  OF  HUMAN  RIGHTS?
Noam Rotem
Dec. 11, 2015
When he woke up from his nightmare one morning, Mr. Israeli discovered that the Israeli High Court had turned into a giant insect. Tasked with balancing the sickening populism of the legislative branch and fighting to protect Israeli democracy, the High Court has become the legal rubber stamp for the racist caprices of its overlords.
___This week, as we marked International Human Rights Day, Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, published a report on 10 recent decisions by the High Court that violate basic human rights.
More . . . 

“IN  MEMORY  OF  ALI  SMOODY  AND  AS’AD  AL-SHAWWA  WHOM  THE  ISRAELIS  KILLED  IN  THE  NEGEV  AUGUST  16,  1988,”  BY  ‘ABD AL-NASIR  SALIH **

The martyrs vie with one another in the Negev prison
as they formulate with their blood the death-life dialectic
and baptise their bodies with the sand
they join the long procession celebrating the spirit
trees they are, planted on the path of martyrdom.
How often did they smite down the thrones of repression!
How often were the invaders foiled from conquering the spirit!
How often did the invaders fail!
The martyrs vie with one another
they overtake the ancient sand on the way to their wedding
they embrace n the procession of musk and henna
constantly they dreamt of the festival of the land
constantly they celebrated the names of the mountains
and they built a fortress for the winds; for the free song they mustered
the formations of those birds which crossed the barrier of death
and gathered on Negev land.
the martyrs did not fall from their heights

no, they ascended up to the ceiling of oneness
and in the dark regained their spirits
with the ink of their blood they wrote their testaments
they greeted the sea
and gathered its shells
they bared their chests before showers of bullets
that they might receive a flood of flames
in the noon sun the singing wrestled with the rattle of gunfire
it stirred up the sand
it granted the stones their magical shapes
and out of the shrapnels of thought
emerged a song which overwhelmed the sand
a song which now faces the firing and the teargas
it renews the covenant which gave to the spilt blood its green color
and it drops out of the modern fighter’s calculations
all the formulas of despair
of long-preserved grief and weariness.
Have the martyrs left the warmth of their homes
have they bid their children farewell
have they kissed an olive tree on the mountain slope
or did they leave in the night?
Did the birds of love alight on them
the air spreading about the walls of the spirit?
The Palestinian wedding tastes musk
as the women pour forth their ululations,
the children celebrating as young men in the square
and the horses dancing to the rhythm of the threshing on the rocks
did the dark faces embrace
did the eyes look up to discover the self
did the vanguards of our fiery wedding arrive?
Martyrs have the color of wild thyme and of henna
moons they are soaring in the sky
they are a banner of glory fluttering in the orbit of the heart
giving the Intifadah its popular depth
and etching in the sand the record of its rage
the martyrs vie with one another
and there the bullet which penetrates the chest
bearing good tidings to the Arab generations
the martyrs do not go away
rather their Intifadah will eventually
rescue Palestinian thought from the mud of speechmaking
the martyrs do not go away
rather they have bestowed life on their age
and in the sand of the Negev
they have recorded our ignored history.

This poem is posted on a University of Massachusetts class website.
The only information I have been able to find about the poet is from Google Books: “In the first volume of Ibda’at al-Hajar, for example, appear poets from the territories such as . . . ‘Abd al-Nasir Salih.” Ami Elad-Bouskila. Modern Palestinian Literature and Culture. London: Routledge, 1999, reprint 2014.

** Ktzi’ot Prison is an Israeli detention facility located in the Negev desert 45 miles south-west of Beersheba. It is Israel’s largest detention facility. Shortly after the camp was opened, on August 16, 1988, two inmates were shot dead in a riot involving 1,000 prisoners. The camp commander at the time, Colonel David Tsemach, fired the shots that killed at least one of the victims. He was cleared of wrongdoing by an army investigation headed by Colonel Mordechai Peled.

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“Kziot” by I, יוסי הראשון. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Kziot.JPG#/media/File:Kziot.JPG

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