“. . . There’s enough room for both of us in the field . . .” (Samih Al-Qasim)

A boy drinks from emergency water supplies being distributed by the UN in Gaza. (Photo by crazy_inventor Oct. 02, 2014)

❶ PM: Israel’s suspension of West Bank water supplies ‘inhumane and outrageous’
. . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) EU: 95% of water in Gaza ‘unfit for human use’
❷ WATCH: What life looks like in an unrecognized Bedouin village
❸ Turkish Electric Company to be established in Gaza
❹ POETRY by Samih Al-Qasim
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Ma’an News Agency
June 16, 2016
The Palestinian Prime Minister’s office on Thursday slammed Israel’s decision to cut off water supplies for tens of thousands of Palestinians in the occupied West Bank this week as “inhumane and outrageous.”
___Rami Hamdallah issued a statement in response to the move by Israel’s national water company Mekorot, which saw water supplies suspended in the municipality of Jenin, several villages in Nablus, as well as the city of Salfit and its surrounding villages.
___“Israel wants to prevent Palestinians from leading a dignified life and uses its control over our water resources to this end; while illegal Israeli settlements enjoy uninterrupted water service,” Hamdallah said. “Palestinians are forced to spend great sums of money to buy water that is theirs in the first place.”       MORE . . .  
. . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) EU:  95%  OF  WATER  IN  GAZA  ‘UNFIT  FOR  HUMAN  USE’      MORE . . .  

(Dr Yousef Abu Safieh is a former Palestinian minister for the Environment and chairman of the Environment Quality Authority of Palestine)

Have you  heard  of a  report  that said  by  2020  there  will  be  no  clean water left in Gaza?  If you made a report like this for the West Bank, what would its conclusions be? That report was done by the United Nations.  It shows that by the year 2020 the Gazan people will not have enough water to sustain the life of about 2.5 million inhabitants. But the water situation in the West Bank is different. There, renewable water is enough to sustain the life of all the Palestinian people for the next one hundred years [. . . .]
___I recall the letter sent to Lloyd George, the British prime minister in 1919, after the First World War, by Chaim Weizmann, requesting the extension of the British mandate over Palestine by an extra 40km   north of the Galilee Panhandle into Lebanon, so as to include the Litani and Wazzani rivers. His reasoning was that to create a homeland for the Israelis and implement the Balfour Declaration, they needed three things: land, water and energy. This would therefore increase the available water resources, and electricity, too, is generated by the power of the waterfalls [. . . .]

  • Abu Zayyad, Ziad. “How The Occupation Affects Palestinian Natural Resources. An Interview with Dr. Yousef Abu Safieh ” Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture 19/20.4/1 (2014): 140-150. SOURCE.  

+972 Magazine
Social TV
June 14, 2016
Approximately 90,000 Bedouin live in “unrecognized villages” spread across Israel’s Negev Desert. Because the Israeli government refuses to recognize them, they receive no municipal services, such as connection to the electrical grid, water mains or trash pickup, and are constantly at risk of demolition. Maryam Tarabin, the head of Umm al-Hiran‘s Women’s Committee, speaks about the discrimination facing Israel’s Bedouin population on a daily basis.
___”I lived in the village for 60 years. Why don’t I have electricity? Why don’t I have roads?”       MORE . . .

[. . . .] Throughout the last century, water legislation in Palestine has reflected the political agenda of the governing regime. During the Ottoman Era water resources were considered private property, in the form of ground water wells, springs and the utility of surface water, and these regulations are still valid. Legislation during the British Mandate period can be divided into two levels, the regulation level (licensing, taxation), which was under the control of the high commissar, and the level of the local management, which included the allocation of water resources, distribution and pricing under municipal control. During the Jordanian period, water legislation was issued to improve domestic and agricultural sectors in the West Bank; in addition, governmental water institutions were established in order to control and sustain water resources.
___Finally, Israeli military orders since 1967 have aimed to control the allocation, development and use of water resources in Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT). These Israeli orders have been especially aimed at limiting the use of water for agricultural purposes in the OP. These orders have indirectly given Mekorot, the Israeli semi-governmental company, the right to explore, distribute and develop water resources in the OP solely for the advantage of Israel and the Jewish settlers. (Acknowledgment: This study was funded by the UNESCO/Water History project.)

  • Marei, Amer, Imad Abu-Kishk, and Huda Radaydeh. “Review Of Water Legislation from The Pre-British Mandate Period Through The Israeli Occupation.” Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture 19/20.4/1 (2014): 42-48.  ARTICLE.
A Palestinian man from the West Bank pulls his donkey loaded with empty bottles and a jerrycan, as he makes his way to fill them with drinking water. (Photo: Reuters, June 15, 2016)

International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC
June 15, 2016
According to Israeli daily newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth (Ynet), new agreements between Turkey and Israel included the allowance of Ankara, by Israel, to establish a new electricity company in the Gaza Strip.
___Ynet, on Tuesday morning, said that both parties have reached a new settlement in which Israel finally refrained from its request to expel Hamas from Turkey. The aim is to prevent Hamas from attacking Israel.
___Turkey also refrained from its demand to lift the siege completely after Israel agreed to allow the establishment of a new electricity company, and to supply the Gaza Strip with goods.      MORE . . .  

(Scene: a Field on the Eastern Shore of the Mediterranean)

EAR OF CORN: Don’t kill me before my time is up.
JERUSALEM ROSE THORN: To kill for nothing is my only profession

EC: But your lovely flower
Is honey . . .
JRT: My unchecked desire
Is a road . . . its end is your death

EC: Live and die as you wish
With your sad flowers
And the gloom of your cursed desire
Live and die . . . but spare me
JRT: It’s our fate . . . I die so you may live
Or you die so I may live

EC: There’s enough room for both of us in the field
JRT: It’s our fate neighbor
It’s our fate
(Enter Fire and Fear jumps up)

EC & JRT: Don’t kill us fire
We are young and pretty and we grew up together
Don’t kill us
Don’t ki . . .
(Ashes, EC & JRT on the horizon)

From by Adonis, Mahmud Darwish, Samih al-Qasim. VICTIMS  OF  A  MAP:  A  BILINGUAL  ANTHOLOGY  OF  ARABIC  POETRY.  London: Saqi Books, 2008.
Available from Amazon.
About Samih Al-Qasim


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