“. . . raze to the ground every farm and every village . . .” (Fawaz Turki)

Israeli By-Pass Road over Cremisan Valley near Bethlehem as seen from Palestinians-only road (Photo: Harold Knight, November 18, 2015)

❶ Report: Israel plans massive land takeover in Hebron Governorate through bypass road
❷ Israeli civil administration remapped 62,000 West Bank hectares to expand settlements
❸ Palestinians to form ‘protection committees’ against Israeli settler violence
❺ POETRY by Fawaz Turki
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Palestine News Network
May 31, 2016
Since the beginning of April 2016, the Israeli machinery and bulldozers affiliated to the so-called Israeli Civil Administration (ILA) commenced the construction of a new bypass road on lands of Halhul town in the northern Hebron Governorate. The work being implemented on the ground is . . . a new Israeli bypass road that extends all the way from Al Arroub refugee camp north of Hebron to reach Halhul town, through lands of Beit Ummer.       MORE . . .  
First published:
poica.org – Monitoring Israeli Colonization Activities in the Palestinian Territories
April 26, 2016

The closure system in the West Bank refers to a series of restrictions placed by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) to control the movement of more than 2.3 million Palestinians living there . . . .
___The closure system has become steadily more sophisticated and has increasingly channelled Palestinian traffic onto smaller, local roads, leaving main . . . routes reserved exclusively for Israeli settlers to travel to settlements inside the West Bank [. . . .]
___ The construction of the Barrier has meant that Palestinians can no longer travel through Jerusalembut instead have to take a winding road around the city. Once the Barrier is completed this road will pass under the Barrier through specially constructed tunnels thereby preventing Palestinians from using Israeli roads that go to settlements [. . . .]
___ The urban and manufacturing hub of the main towns of Nablus, Ramallah, Hebron and Jericho, that are critical for Palestinian jobs and the economy, are also difficult to access because of tight restrictions. [. . . .]
___As the closure system becomes more institutionalised it has a myriad of other impacts [. . . .]

  • Shearer, David. “Territorial Fragmentation Of The West Bank.” Forced Migration Review 26 (2006): 22-23.    ARTICLE. . .

Palestine News Network
May 31, 2016
The Israeli civil administration in 2015 has re-mapped an area of 62 thousand hectares in the West Bank in order to expand illegal Israeli settlements. The old maps are being digitally scanned to enhance their accuracy.
___The report, composed by Dror Etkes, founder of Kerem Navot, an NGO that monitors the Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories, is based over the map digitizing at COGAT.
___“It’s important to understand that the mapping efforts are directed almost exclusively at the depth of Judea and Samaria (West Bank) and to settlements which are well outside the ‘settlement clusters,’ as well as, most emphatically, to areas declared by Israel to be ‘fire zones’ despite the fact that in reality they are part of the lands reserve which Israel gradually assigns to settlement,” Etkes told Ha’aretz.       MORE . . . 

Recognizing now that the Palestinian narrative gets erased and misappropriated through a biblical theology of dispossession, what does this mean, in practical terms, for the conflict? How does it function on a daily basis? If a people have no history, then their ability to interrogate the past and engage with it for the present will constantly encounter insurmountable limits. In this regard, the first act of true liberation and freedom is to be located in the mind, with the reclamation of the history and memory of the Palestinians and Palestine.
___We must also note that to interrogate the above ques­ tions would be a normal academic exercise if it had to do with any other region in the world, but when it comes to Palestine and its people, the starting point for many tends to be the rendition of the familiar biblical narrative, ending with the creation of modern Israel by Zionism. Indeed, the success of modern Zionism in Palestine complicates our attempts to locate and treat the history of the indig­ enous Palestinians, since the colonial project undertook the normative strategy of negating or problematizing the relationship of the people to their ancestral lands.

  • BAZIAN, HATEM. “The Indigenous Palestinians.” Harvard International Review 35.3 (2014): 40-43.   ARTICLE . . .
Israeli West Bank Settlement (Photo: Flikr, posted in The Oxford University Politics Blog, March 1, 2013)

Middle East Eye
May 30, 2016
Nearly 200 members of the most isolated and under threat Palestinian communities living in the occupied West Bank came together on Monday for the launch of a new project aimed at establishing “protection committees” to document Israeli human rights violations.
___Community leaders and families from villages across the governorates of Hebron and Bethlehem met at a school in the tiny poverty stricken village of Imnezel, which is surrounded by Israeli settlements filled with new and luxurious homes deemed illegal under international law.
___Sheltered from the hot sun by a beige tarpaulin in a makeshift marquee, Palestinians welcomed the launch of a new three-year project by international aid agency ActionAid, which will see the formation of local community protection committees that will document human rights violations in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.    MORE . . .

[. . . . ]
As we have seen, the ambiguity surrounding the formal status of the Israeli state in the OTP creates a governmental void. This void is filled, inter alia, by greater freedom of action of the settlers, who, in effect, act as informal agents of the state, behaving as vigilantes and taking the law into their own hands. The settlers’ violence . . . brings Israeli dominance to areas with a scarce presence of military forces, generating ad hoc ‘effective control’ over Palestinian territory and population even in the absence of state officials. . .  based on permanent-temporariness and political ambivalence. Such actions contribute to the ambivalence surrounding the identity of ‘the sovereign’ and form localized, temporary ‘sovereign’ domains [. . . .]
___The elusive political and legal structural frameworks of the Israeli occupation are important factors of this phenomenon, generating the necessary ‘degrees of freedom’, so to speak, that allow, and even support, a proliferation of settlers’ violence against Palestinian civilians. In other words, the Israeli state itself, assisted by its agents, works in collusion with the settlers, and maintains the structural preconditions for this provisional political activity, even if it challenges its exclusive jurisdiction.

  • Gazit Nir. (Ruppin Academic Center, Israel). “State-sponsored Vigilantism: Jewish Settlers’ Violence in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.”  Sociology 49.3 (2015): 438–454.

The Middle East Monitor – MEMO
Zaakir Ahmed Mayet
May 30, 2016
It is often easy to be absorbed by plebeian geopolitics, the sectarian divides plaguing Syria or the outward lack of unity amongst various resistance movements within the Middle East and North Africa. On the face of it, the situation is particularly bleak . . . .
___ . . . . However, the world has unmasked the [Israeli] state as one which cannot function within the fabric of normal society. It has become harder to protect and defend the outlandish action of Israel, be it the continued illegal blockade of the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and slow strangulation by the Apartheid Wall of those in the West Bank; the occupation in contravention of international law; or the continued development of colonial-settlements on stolen Palestinian land. . . .       MORE . . .   

(A Recital)

Burn our land
burn our dream
pour acid onto our songs
cover with sawdust
the blood of our massacred people
muffle with your technology
the screams of our imprisoned patriots,
our grass and soil
raze to the ground
every farm and every village
our ancestors had built,
destroy every city and every town
every tree and every home
every book and every law,
flatten with your bombs
every valley,
erase with your edicts
our past
our literature
our metaphor,
denude the forests
and the earth
till no insect
no word
can find a place to hide.
Do that and more,
I do not fear your tyranny.
I guard one seed
of a tree
my forefathers have saved
that I shall plant again
in my homeland.

About Fawaz Turki (b. 1940)
From ANTHOLOGY OF MODERN PALESTINIAN LITERATURE. Ed. Salma Khadra Jayyusi. New York: Columbia University Press, 1992. Available from Columbia University Press

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