“. . . When cement has chocked the ancient springs . . .” (Samih Al-Qasim)

Mohammed Abu Tair
Israeli occupation authorities deporting from his home in Jerusalem Palestinian member of parliament Mohammed Abu Tair to West Bank, Oct. 12, 2010. (Photo: Al Qassam Website, 2010)

❶ Israeli forces detain Palestinian lawmaker, at least 22 others
❷ Israel advances settlement plans despite international outcry
. . . . .❷―(ᴀ) The fraud of Gush Etzion, Israel’s mythological settlement bloc
❸ Qatar warns of Israel’s persistence in blockading Gaza [and expanding settlements]
❹ Israel to Evict Several Families in Nablus Locality
. . . . .❹―(ᴀ) Israel demolishes mosque in Negev Desert village
❺ Opinion/Analysis: AMONG  THE  SETTLERS
❻ Poetry by Samih Al-Qasim
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
ISRAELI  FORCES  DETAIN  PALESTINIAN  LAWMAKER,  AT  LEAST  22  OTHERS
Jan. 28, 2016
Israeli forces detained Palestinian lawmaker Muhammad Abu Tair and at least 22 others from across occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank during raids carried out early Thursday . . . .
___The Ahrar Center for Prisoners Studies and Human Rights condemned Abu Tair’s detention, with the head of the center Fouad al-Khafsh calling the detention raid a “war crime.”
___The 65-year-old MP has spent at least 32 years in Israeli prison previously, and saw his permanent residency status in Jerusalem revoked on Oct. 8, 2010 after five months of detention.
___He joins at least six other members of PLC members held in Israeli prisons including Hatim Qafisha, a Hamas-affiliated MP who was detained on Sunday.   More . . .
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
ISRAEL  ADVANCES  SETTLEMENT  PLANS  DESPITE  INTERNATIONAL  OUTCRY
Killian Redden
Jan. 27, 2016
In defiance of mounting international criticism, Israel has started to formally approve a burst of new settler housing construction across the occupied Palestinian territory.
___Israeli media reported Tuesday that Israel’s Civil Administration had approved a further 153 settler units in settlements across the West Bank last week.
___The approval reportedly came through for 65 homes in the settlements of Etz Efraim and Rachelim in Nablus, 28 apartments in Carmel in the South Hebron Hills, and another 60 in Alon Shvut in the Gush Etzion settlement bloc south of Bethlehem.   More . . .
. . . . .❷―(ᴀ) +972 MAGAZINE
THE  FRAUD  OF  GUSH  ETZION,  ISRAEL’S  MYTHOLOGICAL  SETTLEMENT  BLOC
Hillel Bardin and Dror Etkes
Feb. 1, 2015
Destroyed by Arab armies during the 1948 War, Gush Etzion was repopulated after Israel occupied the West Bank in 1967. Since then, successive Israeli governments have done everything they can to expand the area of the mythological bloc, while settling Israelis on privately-owned Palestinian land.   More . . . 

watch tower
A watchtower peeks out over the road from Nablus to Ramallah, outside an Israeli settlement in Palestine. (Photo: Postcards from Palestine.com; Sep. 6, 2013)

THE PALESTINIAN INFORMATION CENTER
QATAR  WARNS  OF  ISRAEL’S  PERSISTENCE  IN  BLOCKADING  GAZA  [and  expanding  settlements]
Jan. 28, 2016
Qatar has warned of Israel’s persistence in blockading the Gaza Strip, expanding its settlements, and Judaizing the holy sites in Jerusalem, and committing many violations against the Palestinians and their land.
___Qatar demanded the UN Security Council to compel Israel to respect the international law, to express its rejection clearly of all Israeli illegal practices, and to necessarily take all measures to stop such violations, and provide the Palestinian people with international protection.   More . . .
PALESTINE NEWS AND INFORMATION AGENCY – WAFA
ISRAEL  TO  EVICT  SEVERAL  FAMILIES  IN  NABLUS  LOCALITY
Jan. 28, 2016
Israeli forces overnight handed several Palestinian families eviction orders from Ein al-Rushrash, a locality southeast Duma village, south of Nablus, said a local activist.
___WAFA reported on Ghassan Daghlas, who monitors settlement construction in northern West Bank, that Israeli forces handed a number of Palestinian families orders notifying them of the intention to evict them from Ein al-Rushrash.
___Daghlas noted that there are about 85 Palestinians living in 30 residential structures in this locality.   More . . .
. . . . .―(ᴀ) THE MIDDLE EAST MONITOR (MEMO)
ISRAEL  DEMOLISHES  MOSQUE  IN  NEGEV  DESERT  VILLAGE
Jan. 28, 2016
Israeli forces on Thursday demolished a mosque in the Bedouin village of Rakhma in the Negev Desert under the pretext that it had been built without a permit, eyewitness said.  More . . . 
Opinion/Analysis
MONDOWEISS
AMONG  THE  SETTLERS
Philip Weiss
Jan. 26, 2016
This is the first half of a piece about my tour of four Israeli settlements in mid-January. The second half is here. http://mondoweiss.net/2016/01/the-world-the-settlers-made
On my first night in an Israeli settlement, David served chicken soup left over from Sabbath and told me an unsettling story about the birth of Israel. His great uncle had escaped Europe to come to a Jewish kibbutz called Ein Harod. On the next hill was a Palestinian village. When hostilities broke out between Jews and Palestinians in 1948, the Jews went up to the village and announced that the next day they were bringing bulldozers to level the place, the people should leave. The next day they went back and were surprised to find that the Palestinians had all fled– fearing a massacre like the one that took place in Deir Yassin. The Jews then leveled the village and used the stones to build a stadium in their kibbutz. David said his uncle had told this story “with a twinkle in his eye.” More . . .  

“A  MOTHERLAND,”  BY  SAMIH  AL-QASIM
What,
When in my country
Dies the swallow of starvation,
In exile and without a shroud,
While the earthworm is over-fed
On God’s food?

What,
When the yellow fields
Yield to their tillers
Nothing except their weary memories,
While their rich harvest pours
Into the granaries of their usurpers?

What,
When cement has chocked
The ancient springs
And caused them to forget
Their courses,
They cry in the face
Of their creator, “Who are you?”

What,
When the olive and almond
Have become timber
Decoration on the doorway of inns,
Idols,
Whose nudity charms halls and bars,
And souvenirs for tourists
To carry to the far corners of the world,
While nothing meets my eyes
But dry timber and yellow leaves.

From: A  LOVER  FROM  PALESTINE  AND  OTHER  POEMS:  AN  ANTHOLOGY  OF  PALESTINIAN  POETRY. Ed. Abdul Wahab Al-Messiri. Washington, DC: Free Palestine Press, 1970.   Available from Amazon.
Samih Al-Qasim obituary

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