“. . . Am I lacking something? . . .” (Marwan Makhoul)

Palestinian Munir Shindi drives a replica of 1927 Mercedes Gazelle that he built from scratch, on a street in Gaza City
Munir Shindi drives a replica of a 1927 Mercedes Gazelle that he built from scratch, in Gaza City, June 19, 2016. (Photo:REUTERS/Mohammed Salem)

❶ Army Kidnaps Two Palestinian Teenagers In Bethlehem

  • background from Palestine-Israel Journal Of Politics, Economics & Culture

❷ How education reform could curb Palestinian unemployment

  • background from Foreign Affairs

❸ Gaza mechanic turns heads in handmade classic car
❹ Opinion/Analysis:  THE  TERROR  OF  THE  CHILDREN
❺ POETRY by Marwan Makhoul
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ ARMY  KIDNAPS  TWO  PALESTINIAN  TEENAGERS  IN  BETHLEHEM
International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC
July 11, 2016
Israeli soldiers invaded, on Monday at dawn, the ‘Aida refugee camp, searched several homes and kidnapped two teenagers from their homes. The soldiers also assaulted and injured a Palestinian from Jenin.
___Local sources said the army surrounded Aida refugee camp, north of Bethlehem, before several military vehicles invaded it, and the soldiers stormed and violently searched many homes, and kidnapped two teenagers.
___The two kidnapped teenagers have been identified as Mohammad Khaled al-Kurdi, 17, and Sayyed Mohammad al-Jabiri, 17.     MORE . . .

from  Palestine-Israel Journal Of Politics, Economics & Culture
To appreciate the constraints of the operation of law and the legal system in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) in general and the West Bank in particular, it is important to understand the jurisdictional and sovereign limitations and duality of laws that exist, given the present and past political contexts and the historic legal heritage that have prevailed for centuries. . . .
[. . . .]  Israel’s control over movement within the OPT (West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem) and family reunification matters has led to issues concerning marriages, children living with both parents and receipt of health care and/or education. If a resident of the West Bank marries abroad, the spouse is denied entry and so are the children, resulting in divorce, separation or emigration abroad. These policies are carried out through the application of military decrees, amended over time to increase the restrictions and limitations.
___These amendments have converted thousands of West Bank residents into “offenders” and “violators” of the military orders.

  • Husseini, Hiba. “Legal Duality In The Occupied West Bank.” Palestine-Israel Journal Of Politics, Economics & Culture 21.3 (2016): 22-30.
The Wider Image: Child labour in Gaza
Palestinian Mohamoud Yazji, a 16-year-old apprentice mechanic, at a garage in Gaza City, March 17, 2016. (Photo: REUTERS/Mohammed Salem)

❷ HOW  EDUCATION  REFORM  COULD  CURB  PALESTINIAN  UNEMPLOYMENT
Al-Monitor (Palestine Pulse)
Ahmad Melhem
July 8, 2016
Come September, Palestinian schools will begin emphasizing vocational and technical training as part of the government’s vision to reform the educational system and alleviate unemployment.
___The Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Labor formed the Supreme Council for Vocational and Technical Education on Jan. 5. The council is tasked with promoting and supporting professional and technical specializations to meet the demands of the labor market.       MORE . . . 

from Foreign Affairs
Arabs remain deeply segregated from Israel’s Jewish population: 90 percent of Arabs live in almost exclusively Arab towns and villages, and with just a few exceptions, Arab and Jewish children attend separate schools.
[. . . .]  when it comes to government support in such areas as the allocation of land for new construction, financing for cultural institutions, and educational funding, Arabs suffer from ongoing discrimination, despite some recent progress. Arabs make up around 21 percent of Israel’s population, but according to the Mossawa Center, a nongovernmental organization that advocates for Israel’s Arab citizens, Arab communities receive only seven percent of government funds for public transportation and only three percent of the Israeli Ministry of Culture and Sport’s budget is allocated for Arab cultural institutions; Arab schools are also significantly underresourced. (Toward the end of 2015, the Israeli government approved a five-year economic development program for Israel’s Arab community, worth up to $4 billion, that will increase funding for housing, education, infrastructure, transportation, and women’s employment. Although the plan represents a step in the right direction, the exact amount of funding that will be allocated to each of these areas remains unclear, as does the process by which its implementation will be monitored.)

  • Ghanem, As’ad. “Israel’s Second-Class Citizens.” Foreign Affairs 95.4 (2016): 37-42.

❸ GAZA  MECHANIC  TURNS  HEADS  IN  HANDMADE  CLASSIC  CAR
Al-Monitor (Palestine Pulse)
Mohammed Othman
July 8, 2016
The spirit of challenge and love of classic cars pushed Palestinian Munir Shindi, who lives in the neighborhood of al-Tuffah, east of Gaza City, to spend a year and a half in his small workshop manufacturing a replica of the 1927 Mercedes Gazelle.
___ Shindi, who now works as an auto mechanic in his own workshop, only completed middle school. He arrived in the Gaza Strip from the United Arab Emirates a year and seven months ago after spending 13 years there working in a mechanic shop in Abu Dhabi, where he became a specialist in repairing classic cars.
___He explained, “I decided to import some accessories from the United States so as to build an exact replica of the original model. Israel banned the entry of car parts into Gaza, and any parts I would import from the United States to Gaza would probably be confiscated. This is why I ordered the parts through a friend in the UAE and we had to resort to trickery to bring in these parts using Gazans arriving to the Gaza Strip to bring them in one by one. I waited more than six months to have all of the parts I needed to build my Gazelle.”     MORE . . .

❹ Opinion/Analysis: THE  TERROR  OF  THE  CHILDREN
Military Court Watch (monitoring the treatment of children in detention)
Mario Vargas Llosa, El Pais
[. . . .]
Did you know that in 2012 not one settler in the West Bank was killed? Do you also know that the average number of crimes committed against settlers in the past five years was as low as 4.8 a year? The Occupied Territories are safer, in fact, for settlers than the streets of New York, Mexico or Bogotá are for their inhabitants. Taking into account that there are 370,000 settlers in the West Bank (half a million with east Jerusalem) compared to 2,700,000 Palestinians, we are talking about one of the least violent corners of the world, despite the gunfights, demolitions, terrorism and protests that we hear about in the news.
___The only way to achieve such a low crime rate is by coldly and methodically imposing a strategy. Israel’s involves the systematic intimidation and psychological destabilization of children and teenagers between the ages of 12 to 17.
___This is done by “demonstrating the ubiquitous presence” of the Israeli Defense Forces, “the cauterization of the conscience” and “simulated operations disturbing the peace”. In other words, generating panic to prevent terror.       MORE . . .

“IDENTITY,” BY MARWAN MAKHOUL

I’m unfamiliar with refugee camps.
Is that the ultimate in giving up?
Or are they tents I’ve been told are white
with guy ropes at the corners to hold them up
that hold me up?

I’m unfamiliar with tear gas.
Is it a weapon whose used bears the radiance of defeat?
Or is it his disappointment at the pathos of my tears
when I cry

I’m unfamiliar with settlements.
Are some of those people good?
Sure, completely. Like I walk
on my hands,
and the sand sings?

I’m unfamiliar with my mother too.
Is she the one who suckled me?
Or is she the one bereft, standing in my doorway,
or a window on belonging?

I’m unfamiliar with UNRWA.
Is it a shipment I once chanced upon?
Or did I direct its driver
when he asked the way to Rafah?

I’m unfamiliar with the “cause”.
Is it a fiancée searching in the rubble
for her finger to put the ring on?
Or is half the whole of a fifth?

I’m unfamiliar with the truth.
Am I lacking something?
Or does my blood course within me
but not as my nerves would wish?

Personally, I’m unfamiliar with myself.
Am I the one now in my body?
Or am I that one I wrote about
the day I became my neighbor?
―Translated by Raphael Cohen   

From BANIPAL: MAGAZINE OF MODERN ARAB LITERATURE 45  Winter 2012.
Marwan Makhoul was born to a Palestinian father and a Lebanese mother in 1979 in the village of Boquai’a in the Upper Galilee region of Palestine. He currently lives in the village of Maalot Tarshiha. Marwan holds a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from Al-Mustaqbal College. His first book of poetry was published in 2007 in both Beirut and Baghdad by Al-Jamal Publishers. That same year a second edition of the book was published in Haifa by Maktabat Kul Shai’ Publishers. In 2009 he won the prize of best playwright in The Acre Theatre Festival for his first play.
(An interview with Marwan Makhoul )

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