“. . . is it my country or the source of my exile? . . .” (Zuhair Abu Shaib)

ramallah
Israeli forces activated all military checkpoints around Ramallah — many of which are normally open with no soldiers present — in addition to new flying checkpoints set up throughout the area. (Photo: Ma’an News Agency)

❶ Israeli forces kill Palestinian youth near Tulkarem
❷ Israeli forces tighten grip on Ramallah as closure continues
❸ Analysis: Reflections on Food Security under the Conditions Prevalent in Area C
❹ Israeli Soldiers Kidnap Ten Palestinians in the West Bank
❺ Opinion/Analysis: WHEN  EQUALITY  IS  THE  BIGGEST  EXISTENTIAL  THREAT  OF  ALL
❻ Poetry by Zuhair Abu Shaib
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
ISRAELI  FORCES  KILL  PALESTINIAN  YOUTH  NEAR  TULKAREM
Feb. 1, 2016
A Palestinian youth was shot dead by Israeli forces on Monday after he allegedly attempted to stab an Israeli soldier south of Tulkarem.
___Palestinian medical sources identified the teenager as 19-year-old Ahmad Hassan Tuba from the village of Kafr Jammal near Tulkarem.
___An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an that Israeli forces found Tuba near the illegal settlement of Salit, south of Tulkarem, adding that Tuba “drew a knife and attempted to stab” an Israeli soldier.   More . . .
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
ISRAELI  FORCES  TIGHTEN  GRIP  ON  RAMALLAH  AS  CLOSURE  CONTINUES
Feb. 1, 2016
Israeli forces continued their blockade on Monday of the central West Bank city of Ramallah and its neighboring villages and towns for the second consecutive day, after a shooting attack at a military checkpoint on Sunday.
___Israeli forces initiated the blockade hours after the shooting near the illegal Israeli settlement of Beit El north of Ramallah, in which a Palestinian Authority staff sergeant shot and injured three Israeli soldiers before being killed at the scene.   More . . .

strike1
A Palestinian citizen of Israel waves a Palestinian flag during a protest against the police killing of Khir Hamdan in Umm al-Fahm. (Photo: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

ANALYSIS
THIS WEEK IN PALESTINE
REFLECTIONS  ON  FOOD  SECURITY  UNDER  THE  CONDITIONS  PREVALENT  IN  AREA  C
Roubina Bassous Ghattas
Feb. 1, 2016
Although it is difficult to ascertain the exact size of the Palestinian population that resides in Area Ci due to the large number of communities whose boundaries overlap areas A, B, and C, it is estimated that, as of 2015, as many as 40,245 Palestinians, 1.4 percent of the West Bank population, live. . . in Area C. . . .
___. . . the farmers and herders who live in Area C tend to experience worse conditions than the general population because they usually live in small communities located in remote areas that are under-served not only with respect to public services (such as education, water and sanitation, and health care) but also in terms of infrastructure. . . . struggle for access to basic assistance and services such as water/sanitation, primary education, and basic safe shelter.    More . . .
IMEMC-INTERNATIONAL MIDDLE EAST MEDIA CENTER
ISRAELI  SOLDIERS  KIDNAP  TEN  PALESTINIANS  IN  THE  WEST  BANK
Feb. 01, 2016
Israeli soldiers kidnapped, on Monday at dawn, at least ten Palestinians, in numerous invasions and searches of homes, in different parts of the occupied West Bank. One Palestinian was kidnapped on Sunday evening.
Several army vehicles invaded the northern West Bank city of Nablus, searched homes, and kidnapped two Palestinians . . . .
In addition, dozens of soldiers invaded the northern West Bank city of Tulkarem, broke into and ransacked many homes, and kidnapped four Palestinians. . . .     More . . .
Opinion/Analysis
+972 MAGAZINE
WHEN  EQUALITY  IS  THE  BIGGEST  EXISTENTIAL  THREAT  OF  ALL
Natasha Roth
Jan. 31, 2016
In these days of entrapping human rights activists and blacklisting ‘traitors,’ the concept of equality has become as radical as it gets — and a threat to everything the governing regime stands for.
Last week Israeli lawmakers had the opportunity to take a first step towards enshrining equality in the law. They rejected this opportunity, voting down Joint List MK Jamal Zahalka’s proposed amendment to include a clause on equality in Israel’s Basic Law: Human Dignity and Liberty.
___ The vote was taken on a preliminary reading of Zahalka’s bill, meaning that it was shot down before it even left the starting blocks.    More . . . 

“NAME  OF  THE  SOIL,”  BY  ZUHAIR  ABU  SHAIB

what is its name?
what is the name of the soil
that falls from my withered body?
what is its name as it drifts and gathers
under my clothes
while, slowly, I build wall after wall?

I picture a sky full of clouds
I see it as I wish it to be
when night falls, I gulp my fill of springs
in darkness I lift my latch
to wise men

I ask my guests
who imprisoned the soul in rock?
who left prophets spread-eagled on doorsteps?

who risks everything to capture the earth?
a man who does not know his own shadow

what can I call this rug of soil?
is it my country or the source of my exile?
is it my miracle or my cross?

what is its name?

Zuhair Abu Shaib was born in Deir al-Ghusun and studied at Yarmouk University. He was a teacher and journalist in Yemen, and a book designer. He was also editor of the journal Awarq.
From A  BIRD  IS  NOT  A  STONE:  AN  ANTHOLOGY  OF  CONTEMPORARY  PALESTINIAN  POETRY (Glasgow: Freight Books, 2014) –available from Amazon.com.

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