“. . . there’s still some hope, behind that nearby dune . . .” (Samih Al-Qasim)

2015: The Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Reformation in Beit Jala celebrated Palm Sunday with palms and flowers before joining the local Catholic Church for a procession through Beit Jala. (Photos: Lutheran Church of the Redeemer Website)
2015: The Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Reformation in Beit Jala celebrated Palm Sunday with palms and flowers before joining the local Catholic Church for a procession through Beit Jala. (Photos: Lutheran Church of the Redeemer Website)

❶ Unidentified assailants set fire to home of 2015 Duma arson witness
❷ 850 Gaza Christians receive permits to celebrate Easter in Jerusalem
❸ Shanti: Gaza suffers from a serious water crisis
❹ Japan Deplores Israel’s Decision to Expropriate Thousands of Dumuns in Jericho
❺ Opinion/Analysis: ECONOMIC POLICIES ENTRENCH ISRAELI OCCUPATION
❻ Poetry by Samih Al-Qasim
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
UNIDENTIFIED  ASSAILANTS  SET  FIRE  TO  HOME  OF  2015  DUMA  ARSON  WITNESS
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
20 Mar. 2016
Unidentified assailants on Saturday night set fire to a house in the village of Duma in the occupied West Bank, targeting the only witness of an arson attack that killed a Palestinian family last year.
___.  . .  unidentified attackers threw Molotov cocktails at the house of Ibrahim Dawabsha at 2 a.m. and broke a window while he and his family were sleeping. . . .  Dawabsha was the only witness of the deadly arson attack carried out by extremist Israeli settlers on the home of Saad and Riham Dawabsha in the northern West Bank village on July 30 last year.      MORE . . .

850  GAZA  CHRISTIANS  RECEIVE  PERMITS  TO  CELEBRATE  EASTER  IN  JERUSALEM
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
19 Mar. 2016
Hundreds of Christian Palestinians from the Gaza Strip will travel to celebrate Easter in Bethlehem and occupied East Jerusalem after the Israeli authorities agreed to grant them permits, a Palestinian Authority official said Saturday.
___Muhammad al-Maqadma, a public information officer for the Palestinian Ministry of Civil Affairs, told Ma’an that Israel had granted around 850 permits to Gaza Christians of different ages to travel to the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.       MORE . . .
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SHANTI:  GAZA  SUFFERS  FROM  A  SERIOUS  WATER CRISIS
THE PALESTINIAN INFORMATION CENTER
20 Mar. 2016
The water authority in Gaza has warned that the besieged enclave suffers from a severe water shortage in its coastal aquifer, which is the primary source for getting water.
___This came during “an interview with an official,” which was organized on Sunday by the government’s information office in Gaza City in the presence of a reporter from the Palestinian Information Center (PIC). Head of the water authority Yaser al-Shanti described the water situation in Gaza as very dangerous.      MORE . . . 

JAPAN  DEPLORES  ISRAEL’S  DECISION  TO  EXPROPRIATE  THOUSANDS  OF  DUMUNS  IN  JERICHO
PALESTINE NEWS AND INFORMATION AGENCY – WAFA
20 Mar. 2016
The Government of Japan Sunday deplored the Israeli government’s decision to expropriate nearly 2,342 dunums near the West Bank district of Jericho, under the pretext of being classified as ‘state land’.
___“The announcement by the Government of Israel clearly contradicts the ongoing efforts by the international community toward a two-state solution,” said the statement . . . .      MORE . . .

OPINION/ANALYSIS:   ECONOMIC  POLICIES  ENTRENCH  ISRAELI  OCCUPATION
ALTERNATIVE INFORMATION CENTER (AIC)
Nassar Ibrahim
20 Mar. 2016
The Palestinian economy has not been independent in centuries. Like the economies of other Arab countries, the Palestinian economy was subject to foreign control and looting for four centuries under Ottoman rule. Next, British colonial rule lorded over Palestine, until the Nakba uprooted Palestinians from their land in 1948. Following Israel’s occupation of Palestine, Israeli colonial powers took control of the Palestinian economy. All of this made the already weak Palestinian economy an easy target for manipulation and destruction. Israeli management of the Palestinian economy has created deep structural disparities in Palestinian society.       MORE . . .

“OASIS,”  BY  SAMIH  AL-QASIM

Behind this dune we have an oasis. Leave me alone.
Leave me to rinse myself off in a bit
of its mirage. I’m tired of running after myself
to catch myself before I die.
Take―old friends and my companions―my body,
the shadow of its body’s shadow,
and hold it for a while, so I can reach my time in time.
Behind this dune we have an oasis.
Sustain your longing with dates and water,
without despair.
Listen with me to the songs of the girls
beneath the palms, but do not follow
the voice of my silence.
We have, friends, the right to die as we desire.
But there’s still some hope, behind that nearby dune.
And we have the right to make the stranger
a stranger’s friend, and we have an oasis―
and a bit of rest in the house
of the loved one who left us.
He will come from behind this dune.

From Al-Qasim, Samih. SADDER  THAN  WATER.  NEW  AND  SELECTED  POEMS.  Trans. Nazih Kasis and Adina Hoffman. Jerusalem: Ibis Editions, 2008. Available from Amazon
Samih al-Qasim Obituary,
August 20, 2014
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