“. . . occupation to the occupied resembled daily suffocation. . . .” (Samuel Hazo)

Mideast Gaza Rush to Normalcy
In this Saturday, Sept. 13, 2014 photo, a Palestinian family shelters amid the rubble of their destroyed house in the town of Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)

❶ Israeli siege on Gaza illegal, UN says
❷ Israel to destroy West Bank village’s only water source
❸ Palestinians decry rabbi call to poison West Bank water
❹ Opinion/Analysis: Israeli calls for ethnic cleansing grow louder
❺ POETRY by Samuel Hazo
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Days of Palestine
Jun 18, 2016
A new UN report has reiterated that the Israeli, internationally backed siege on Gaza is illegal and violates humanitarian law.
___The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) confirmed the severe deterioration in various aspects of life in Gaza as a result of the continued Israeli siege imposed on the Strip over the last 10 year.
___In the report, the UNRWA listed the negative impact of the siege on the health and education sectors, as well as the freedom of movement and travel, and the living conditions of Gazans.      MORE . . .     

According to former Attorney General of Israel, Michael Ben Yair:
___“The intifada is the Palestinian people’s war of national liberation. Historical processes teach us that no nation is prepared to live under another’s domination and that a suppressed people’s war of national liberation will inevitably succeed. We understand this point but choose to ignore it. We are prepared to engage in confrontation to prevent an historical process, although we are well aware that this process is anchored in the moral justification behind every people’s war of national liberation and behind its right to self-determination” (“The War’s Seventh Day,’’ Ha’aretz 3 March 2002).
___The continued violence is the product of a systematic denial of self-determination to the Palestinian people and the consequent violation of their human rights. . .  it is arguably one of the major political mistakes of the twentieth century, for the decision to create a Jewish state in the Near East, against the will of the vast majority of people who live in that region, has not only fueled a six-decade long conflict between Israeli Jews and Palestinian Arabs but has contributed to tensions between the Western and Islamic worlds that continue to threaten global stability [. . . .]
___Israel is currently not a legitimate state. The reason is not because its establishment violated the principle of self determination, nor because Israel is an ethnocracy. Instead, its current illegitimacy is based on its continued refusal to allow exercise of the right of self-determination by the legitimate residents of the territory it governs. To deny this conclusion is to deny either that the principle of self-determination places a constraint on state legitimacy or that Palestinians are legitimate residents of region under dispute.

  • Kapitan, Tomis. “Violence And Self-Determination In The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.” Peace & Change 36.4 (2011): 494-526.     SOURCE.  

The New Arab
June 19, 2016
Israel is planning to destroy a West Bank village’s only water holding tank, cutting off a vital supply to the homes of 20 Palestinian shepherd families in the northern Jordan Valley.
___According to Haaretz, Israel intend to carry out the move despite the territories’ coordinator of government promising to international agencies that demolitions would pause in Ramadan. The Civil Administration, however, says that the shepherds’ water tank was built illegally.
___The structure in question collects water from a natural spring, which is then guided into a plastic trough by a rubber hose that is several metres long.
___By destroying the facility, Israeli authorities will deprive the shepherds of Umm al-Jimal of a vital resource used to sustain themselves and their herd of around 700 sheep and goats, 300 cows and several horses.      MORE . . .   

The issue of Israel and the occupied territories is not religion. . .  The issue is colonialism; it is the Zionist agenda of ‘maximum geography with minimum demography’. It is ownership and control of land and water. The issue is humanitarian laws, Geneva Conventions, the International Rights of the Child, and International Court of Justice rulings. . . .
___The [Separation, or ‘Apartheid’] wall is not for security; it is for oppression. It is separating Palestinians from Palestinians. [The Wall] in 2004 was declared illegal by the International Court of Justice and [is] expanding to this day, sealing off villagers from their farmlands and water sources. Villagers protest non-violently and are always met with extreme violence: tear gas, tear gas canisters, rubber-coated bullets, water cannons and something vile that the Israelis call skunk water.
__[In] Ma’ale Adumim, one of many settlements in the occupied West Bank. Settlements are for Jews only. They receive subsidised housing, water, electricity, rubbish collection, and security. Settlements are illegal under international law. Under the fourth Geneva Convention, an occupying power cannot transfer its population into occupied territory.
___ . . . Settlers are allowed plentiful amounts of water, which comes from mountain aquifers. By international law, mountain aquifer water should be a Palestinian resource, but Israel controls all water resources. Palestinians are forced to try to survive with less than minimum WHO requirements. Someone has coined the phrase hydro- logical apartheid.

  • Griffiths, Lois, and Martin Griffiths. “The Palestine Story: To Exist Is To Resist.” New Zealand International Review 37.5 (2012): 4-9.      SOURCE.

The Middle East Monitor – MEMO
June 19, 2016
The Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) has denounced a Jewish rabbi’s permission for settlers to poison water sources in Palestinian areas in the occupied West Bank as “an order to kill”.
___Rabbi Shlomo Mlma, chairman of the Council of Rabbis in the West Bank settlements, has issued an advisory opinion in which he allowed Jewish settlers to poison water in Palestinian villages and cities in the West Bank.
___According to Israeli anti-occupation organisation “Breaking the Silence”, the call for poisoning Palestinian water aim to push the Palestinians to leave their villages and pave the way for settlers to take over their lands.         MORE . . .     

The Middle East Monitor – MEMO
June 19, 2016
Israel is a state that owes its very existence to ethnic cleansing, massacres and seemingly perpetual wars.
___The events of 1947-48 when the state was founded are known as the Catastrophe (Nakba) by Arabs [. . . .]
___Palestine was literally wiped off the map, and the refugees were sent into exile in the surrounding countries. They and their decedents have still not been allowed to return until this day.
___ . . . extreme voices in Israel are growing louder all the time, declaring that a slow process is not good enough. They call for swift expulsion. These voices, once on the extreme fringes of Zionism, are now centre stage – even in government . . .     MORE . . .


Singly at first, then doubly
then slowly by the tens or twenties,
then steadily on . . .

about the deathcount in Ramallah,
one sergeant said, “We’ll kill
them all, but we’ll never
forgive them for making us do it.”

Later he aimed his Uzi at a boy
armed with a stone and a slingshot,
One general claimed his soldiers
fired only rubber-coated bullets.
When asked about the difference
to the dead, he frowned and shouted,
“Their leaders and parents use
these children as human shields.”
Despite the contradicting photographs
pundits and lobbyists concurred.
After all, who could deny
that boys with all their lives
ahead of them would happily
seek execution, that mothers loved
to see their sons in open
coffins, that choosing a brave
death instead of a lifelong one
was an option for fools?

No one
would claim that occupation
to the occupied resembled daily
No one would add
that suffocation or the fear of it
begot a courage born
of desperation.
No one compared it
to the fate of being locked
in darkness in a stalled elevator
Like someone buried
upright and alive, anyone
trapped there would stop at nothing.

from We  Begin  Here:  Poems  for  Palestine  and  Lebanon . Ed. Kamal Boullata. Northampton, MA: Interlink Pub Group Inc (March 30, 2007).
Samuel Hazo was born in Pittsburgh, July 19, 1928. The son of Lebanese and Syrian immigrants, Hazo tackles themes of faith, family, and war in his poems, which are often elegiac in tone. Poet Naomi Shihab Nye noted Hazo’s poems of “immense intelligence, lyricism, and humanity” on awarding his book Just Once: New and Previous Poems (2002) the Maurice English Award for Poetry.

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