“. . . Our land is not barren . . .” (Mahmoud Darwish)

Spring in Gaza. Palestine In Pictures, March 2016. (Photo: The Palestinian Information Center)
Spring in Gaza. Palestine In Pictures, March 2016. (Photo: The Palestinian Information Center)

❶ Regional conflicts spill into Lebanon’s Palestinian refugee camps
❷ Israel suspends Aqsa visits for Gazans over Jewish holiday
❸ Israeli forces arrest suspects in connection to Jerusalem explosion
❹ Pro-Palestine forum kicks off in Tunisia
❺ Opinion/Analysis: PALESTINIAN  POLITICAL  DISINTEGRATION,  CULTURE,  AND  NATIONAL  IDENTITY
❻ POETRY by Mahmoud Darwish
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ REGIONAL  CONFLICTS  SPILL  INTO  LEBANON’S  PALESTINIAN  REFUGEE  CAMPS
Al-Monitor (Palestine Pulse)
Ahmad Melhem
April 21, 2016
Things are heating up in Lebanon’s Palestinian refugee camps, as many observers fear al-Qaeda and Islamic State (IS) influences are working to create chaos and violence there.
___The situation is particularly worrisome right now at the Ain al-Hilweh camp, where Fatah security official Gen. Fathi Zeidan was assassinated April 12. Another member of the secular Fatah movement was killed March 28 by a person officials described as an Islamic militant. . . .
___The tension is bubbling like a volcano ready to explode, and Ain al-Hilweh is perched on its crater.
“Extremist groups are trying to drag the camp into a battle with the Palestinian factions, which are seeking to control the situation on the ground” . . . .      MORE . . .

❷ ISRAEL  SUSPENDS  AQSA  VISITS  FOR  GAZANS  OVER  JEWISH  HOLIDAY
Ma’an News Agency
April 22, 2016
The Israeli authorities suspended visits to Jerusalem and the Al-Aqsa Mosque for Gazans on Friday due to the Jewish holiday of Passover.
___Israeli authorities prevented dozens of Palestinians over the age of 60 from traveling to Jerusalem via the Erez crossing for their weekly Friday worship at Al-Aqsa Mosque, sources at the Palestinian liaison office told Ma’an.      MORE . . . 

❸ ISRAELI  FORCES  ARREST  SUSPECTS  IN  CONNECTION  TO  JERUSALEM  EXPLOSION
Ma’an News Agency
April 21, 2016
Israeli forces arrested a number of suspects Thursday evening said to be linked to a bus explosion in Jerusalem on Monday that left the suspect responsible for the attack dead and 20 others injured.
___Israeli police spokesperson Micky Rosenfeld said in a statement that 19-year-old Hamas operative Abd al-Hamid Abu Srour exploded the bomb on the bus, and that “a number” of other suspects linked to the incident have also been arrested [. . . .]
___Shortly after the announcement of his death, the Palestinian Ministry of Health identified Abu Srour as a resident of the Aida refugee camp near Bethlehem in the southern occupied West Bank.      MORE . . .    
RELATED:  20  PALESTINIANS  DETAINED  IN  JERUSALEM  AMIDST  TIGHTENED  PASSOVER  SECURITY

A Palestinian man in Gaza turns his house, which was destroyed during the Israeli assault on Gaza in 2014, into a simple aviary. (Photo: The Palestinian Information Center)
A Palestinian man in Gaza turns his house, which was destroyed during the Israeli assault on Gaza in 2014, into a simple aviary. (Photo: The Palestinian Information Center)

❹ INTERNATIONAL  PRO-PALESTINE  FORUM  KICKS  OFF  IN  TUNISIA
The Palestinian Information Center
April 22, 2016
The Second International Arab Forum for Justice for Palestine is expected to kick off on Friday afternoon in Tunisia. The forum makes part of an initiative launched by the Arab International Center for Communication and Solidarity in coordination with the General Union of Tunisian Workers and other national and international human rights bodies.       MORE . . .   

❺ Opinion/Analysis:  PALESTINIAN  POLITICAL  DISINTEGRATION,  CULTURE,  AND  NATIONAL  IDENTITY
The Palestinian Policy Network
Jamil Hilal
March 15, 2016
The Palestinian political field, dominated by the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) since the late 1960s, has been in a state of disintegration since the Palestinian Authority (PA) was established under the Oslo Accords. What has been the impact of PLO dominance and what were the repercussions of its disintegration for the Palestinian body politic? And to what extent has the disintegration of the political field affected the cultural field and its contribution to Palestinian national identity? These are the questions addressed in this commentary.     MORE . . . 

“ON  HOPE,”  BY  MAHMOUD  DARWISH

Do not tell me:
I wish to be a baker in Algeria
In order to sing with the revolutionaries
Do not tell me:
I wish to be a shepherd in the Yemen
To sing for the uprising of the age
Do not tell me:
I wish to be a waiter in Havana
To sing for the victory of the poor
Do not tell me:
I wish to be a stone carrier in Aswan
To sing for the rocks
My friends:
The Nile will not pour into the Volga
The Congo and Jordan Rivers
Will not serve the Euphrates
Each river has its own
Our land is not barren
Each land has its own rebirth
Each dawn has a date with revolution.

From: Aruri, Naseer and Edmund Ghareeb, eds. ENEMY  OF  THE  SUN:  POETRY  OF  THE  PALESTINIAN  RESISTANCE. Washington, DC: Drum and Spear Press, 1970.  Available from Amazon.
About Mahmoud Darwish.  

Has anything changed in 46 years?
(Observation written in 1970; from the Preface to ENEMY  OF  THE  SUN)
Tragedy is accepted to mean a sequence of events seemingly inevitable, exciting pity and fear and leading to disaster. It is hard to escape the chilling impression that this describes the state of affairs in the Middle East. Not simply is our compassion invoked for the victims of that drama, and there are legitimate demands on either side for that―but there is a leitmotif of derailment―of unfixable outofjointedness; the times, and the place, are out of joint and no one has the tools to mend them.

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