“. . . When the faces of the judges peer down on us . . .” (Muhammad al-As’ad)

Israeli Tanks Invade Border Areas Near Central Gaza Strip, April 22, 2010 (Photo IMEMC)

Israeli forces detain 47 Palestinians in major East Jerusalem, West Bank raids
❷ Israeli [alleged] murderer of Dawabsheh family released
❸ Israeli Army Invades Palestinian Agricultural Lands in Central and Southern Gaza
❺ POETRY by Muhammad al-As’ad
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Ma’an News Agency
June 1, 2016
Israeli forces detained at least 47 Palestinians in overnight raids in occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank, Palestinian and Israeli sources told Ma’an.
___Israeli police carried out a major detention campaign in the al-Tur and al-Suwwana neighborhoods of East Jerusalem, detaining at least 29 Palestinian men and teenagers, locals told Ma’an [. . . .]
___Israeli police spokeswoman Luba al-Samri said in a statement that Israeli police and border guard officers detained 33 Palestinians across East Jerusalem on Tuesday night.  MORE . . .  

The Fourth Geneva Convention establishes a high standard for detaining a civilian, whether in occupied territory or in the territory of a party to the conflict. . . .
___The rule is slightly different for occupying powers in occupied territory. In that case, “if the Occupying Power considers it necessary, for imperative reasons of security”  [. . . .]
___Israel has two laws that authorize it to conduct security detentions―an emergency powers law and an “incarceration of illegal combatants” law. Under both laws, a detainee may have his detention reviewed by a court. The Government of Israel views itself as being in an ongoing armed conflict with Palestinian terrorist organizations operating from Judea and Samaria and the Gaza Strip [. . . .]
___Under Israel’s emergency powers law, the Ministry of Defense (MOD) may detain a person during a “state of emergency” when the Minister has “reasonable cause to believe that reasons of state security or public security require “. . . . The proceedings are not public, and may depart from the regular rules of evidence.

  • Deeks, Ashley S. “Administrative Detention in Armed Conflict.” Case Western Reserve Journal of International Law 40.3 (2009): 403-436.      MORE. . .

Palestine News Network – PNN
June 1, 2016
The top Israeli terror suspect, Meir Ettinger (20) who [allegedly] led the arson attack on the Dawabsheh home in Duma village was released after 10 months of administrative detention on Wednesday morning.
___Ettinger, the grandson of the slain far-right activist Meir Kahane, was detained following the murder of the Dawabsheh family last July, in which baby Ali Dawabsheh and both his parents were killed.       MORE . . .

master plan
Jerusalem’s Har Homa Jewish Settler neighborhood in 2008. (Photo: Haaretz/Emil Salman)

International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC
June 1, 2016
Several armored Israeli military vehicles and bulldozers invaded, on Wednesday morning, Palestinian agricultural lands, close to the border fence, in the southern and central parts of the Gaza Strip.
___Several tanks and bulldozers, stationed in the Kissufim military base, east of Khan Younis, invaded Palestinian lands, northeast of al-Qarara town, northeast of Khan Younis, while three tanks were positioned behind sand hills, across the border fence.     MORE . . .  
. . . RELATED   Israeli navy injures one Palestinian fisher, kidnaps four others, in Gaza waters   
. . . RELATED   Gaza commemorates 6th anniversary of the freedom flotilla attack

If it cannot be established that the objective (intention) of the closure [of Gaza] regime was to deny the civilian population of Gaza objects essential for its survival then the closure regime will still be unlawful if . . . ‘the damage to the civilian population is, or may be expected to be, excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated from the blockade’. A blockade cannot be therefore deployed if the damage to the civilian population is expected to be excessive in relation to the anticipated military advantage [. . . .]
. . . even if the Israel-Hamas armed conflict could be internationalised and thus regarded as an international armed conflict, the blockade would still be unlawful because, on 31 May 2010, the blockade was not deployed in accordance with the principle of proportionality. . . Israel’s blockade of Gaza on 31 May 2010 cannot be regarded as lawful. As a state cannot lawfully enforce an unlawful blockade Israel cannot rely upon international humanitarian law to override its obligations under the law of the sea . . .

  • Buchan, Russell. “The International Law of Naval Blockade and Israel’s Interception of the Mavi Marmara.” Netherlands International Law Review (Cambridge University Press) 58.2 (2011): 209-241

Al-Shabaka: The Palestinian Policy Network.
Nur Arafeh
May 31, 2016
It is the year 2050 and Israel has fulfilled its vision for Jerusalem: Visitors will see a largely Jewish high-tech center amid a sea of tourists, with a minimal Palestinian presence. To achieve this vision, Israel is working on three master plans; one is well-known but two remain under the radar [. . . .]
___The best known of the three Israeli master plans for the city is the Jerusalem 2020 Master Plan, which has not been deposited for public view even though it was first published in 2004. The least known are the Marom Plan, a government-commissioned plan for the development of Jerusalem, and the “Jerusalem 5800” Plan, also known as Jerusalem 2050, which is the outcome of a private sector initiative and is presented as a “transformational master plan for Jerusalem” (see below).      MORE . . .

. . . Israel occupied East Jerusalem in 1967 during the Six-day War and in 1980 declared the whole city, both the western part and the eastern occupied part, to be the “eternal and united” capital of the Jewish State. Nonetheless, the international community has never recognized Israel’s annexation of East Jerusalem and Palestinians still claim East Jerusalem as the capital of their future state. This is the reason why the main Israeli effort since the 1967 annexation has been to strengthen de facto its control over the whole city; the aim being to create “urban facts” which would make any future division of the city practically impossible. As Michael Romann and Alex Weingrod state, “the overall policy had as its main axiom the prevention of any possible future attempts to again divide the city or to cut off the occupied East Jerusalem territory from sovereign Israeli control.” 9

  • Chiodell, Francesco. The Jerusalem Master Plan: Planning into the Conflict. Jerusalem Quarterly 51 (2012): 5-20.  MORE. . .

(The footnotes to above article are below)


A deep plunge into the darkness
Merits golden birds
Red roses
And a band all ready to play.
But we the singers in the Arab night
The night of low-profile stars
And eternal sands
We scorn the reward
And cannot take it in.
When the faces of the judges peer down on us
We weep a botanical pain
Picked up in meadows, weep
The blue of waters
And the beauty of deer
Running in our valleys.
When sentence is passed down
In our absolute absence
We will be content with a smile
Or perhaps a sneer.
We are
Not of
Who comprehends the bewilderment
of the last bird
In a blazing forest.
―Translated by May Jayyusi and Jack Collom

About Muhammad al-As’ad
From: ANTHOLOGY  OF  MODERN  PALESTINIAN  LITERATURE. Ed. Salma Khadra Jayyusi. New York: Columbia University Press, 1992. Available from Columbia University Press.

8 The international resolutions about Jerusalem by the General assembly and Security Council of the United Nations are available at http:// unispal.un.org  . For a summary, see Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, Jerusalem Statistical Yearbook No 13 (Ramallah: Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, 2011), 49-60).
9 Michael Romann and Alex Weingrod, Living Together Separately. Arabs and Jews in Contemporary Jerusalem (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1991), 54. The words of Golda Meir (Prime minister of Israel from 1969 to 1974 . . .) are very elucidatory: “Arab sovereignty in Jerusalem just cannot be. This city will not be divided – not half and half, not 60–40, not 75–25, nothing” (Golda Meir, “Middle East: Getting almost all Points of View”, The Times, February 19, 1973).

One thought on ““. . . When the faces of the judges peer down on us . . .” (Muhammad al-As’ad)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.