❶ B’Tselem: Israel demolished more Palestinian homes in past 6 months than in all of 2015
- Background from Postcolonial Studies
❷ A new Israeli bypass road cater to the benefit of El Matan outpost
- Background from Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture
❸ Opinion/Analysis: JERUSALEM MUNICIPALITY ‘TAKING ADVANTAGE’ OF US ELECTIONS TO EXPAND SETTLEMENTS
❺ POETRY by Maya Abu Al-Hayyat
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ B’TSELEM: ISRAEL DEMOLISHED MORE PALESTINIAN HOMES IN PAST 6 MONTHS THAN IN ALL OF 2015
Ma’an News Agency
July 27, 2016
Israeli authorities have demolished more Palestinian homes in the West Bank in the first six months of 2016 as they did in all of 2015, Israeli human rights group B’Tselem revealed in a report released on Wednesday, in a worrying confirmation of Israel’s ongoing crackdown on Palestinian communities in Area C of the West Bank.
___The report, which was also presented by the Arab Joint List during a Knesset conference on Israel’s home demolition policy the same day, said that 168 homes were destroyed during the first half of 2016 for lacking hard to obtain Israeli-issued building permits, leaving 740 Palestinians homeless.
___B’Tselem’s report did not include punitive demolitions enacted on the home of suspected Palestinian attackers and their families. MORE . . .
From Postcolonial Studies
With the wall, this policy [Apartheid] became obvious and clear. Before there were laws, how they dealt with you differently, even in your daily life. But when they started building the wall and these checkpoints, the analogy became more obvious. . . [the Wall] is here. You can see it on a map, you see it on the ground, and you see the checkpoints. So now, talking about apartheid became much more open, especially to the international community after 2002. It has become totally accepted to the world . . . . everybody is talking about apartheid because this is something that is so clear. What they are doing here and inside Israel, destroying Palestinian homes through thousands of house demolitions, more than 76,000 people have had their homes threatened in Jerusalem—all of this fits into this analogy [of Apartheid].
- Lee, Christopher J. “Beyond Analogy: Bare Life In The West Bank.” Postcolonial Studies 16.4 (2013): 374-387. SOURCE.
❷ A NEW ISRAELI BYPASS ROAD CATER TO THE BENEFIT OF EL MATAN OUTPOST
POICA – Monitoring Israeli Colonization Activities in the Palestinian Territories
July 28, 2016
Since 1967, the successive Israeli Governments have actively supported Israeli settlers to build settlements and outposts in the occupied Palestinian territory . . . it has been a form of expanding Israel’s control of land and natural resources with the purpose of creating irreversible facts on the ground that will become hard to change in the future.
___El Matan, a tiny but strategic Israeli outpost in the heart of Wadi Qana area, in Salfit Governorate. It is one example of the Israeli encroachment on Palestinian land. In June 2002, a group of religious Israeli settlers from the nearby settlements of the so-called Shomron local council occupied a hilltop south of Ma’ale Shomron . . .
___Recently, Israeli Authorities commenced the construction of a new bypass road that connects the outpost (El Matan) with the nearby Ma’ale Shomron settlement. Extensive construction is underway in the outpost and is being implemented based on a previously approved master plan (TPS) No. 116/5. MORE . . .
From Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture
Behind the policy of denying the Palestinians permits to build or to expand their homes is an even greater motivation; to protect the interests and stability of the Jewish state.’ ___While this approach has existed since the establishment of the state of Israel, a policy decision related to Jerusalem was officially made in 1973 by a ministerial committee known as the Gafni Commission. At the core of the policy was the concern that the Jewish character of Jerusalem would be jeopardized if the Palestinian population kept increasing at its current rate. In 1977, the Planning Policy Division prepared a paper stating: “One of the cornerstones of Jerusalem’s planning process is […] the preservation of the demographic balance between the ethnic groups [in accordance with] the resolution of the Government of Israel.” Therefore, as a result of this growing “threat,” Israel has used a number of methods to keep the demographic balance between the Jewish and the Palestinian populations at a fixed ratio of 70% Jews to 30% Palestinians.'”
- Dimova, Nicoletta. “When Ideology Leads to Destruction: Home Demolitions in East Jerusalem.” Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture Sept. 2008: 92+. SOURCE.
❸ Opinion/Analysis: JERUSALEM MUNICIPALITY ‘TAKING ADVANTAGE’ OF US ELECTIONS TO EXPAND SETTLEMENT
July 27, 2016
Never let a serious crisis go to waste. This is the first thought that crossed my mind when I read Israel National News headline: ‘We’re taking advantage of the US elections to build’ . . . .
___Israel will use every opportunity to expand the breadth of their illegal colonies on Palestinian land, and the US election season is no exception. Jerusalem Online picked up the story too reporting “Jerusalem construction accelerated due to US elections“. The articles claim officials from the Jerusalem Municipality told Channel 2 News that plans to build 57 new housing units over the green line in the occupied East Jerusalem colony of Ramot had been fast-tracked because of U.S. election season and “the accelerated process is not a coincidence.” MORE . . .
“CHILDREN,” BY MAYA ABU AL-HAYYAT
Whenever I see an image of a child’s hands
sticking out of the rubble of a collapsed building
I check the hands of my three children
I count the fingers of their hands, the toes on their feet,
I check the numbers of teeth in their mouths, every
last hair in each finely-marked wee eyebrow.
Whenever a child goes silent in Al Yarmouk Camp
I turn up the volume on the TV, the songs on the radio,
I pinch my three children
to make them cry and squirm with life.
Whenever my sore heart gets hungry at Qalandia checkpoint
I comfort-eat, I
emotionally over-eat, craving excessive salt
as if I could then somehow say: enough, block out
the salt spark of the tears everyone around me is crying.
―Translated by Liz Lochhead
Maya Abu Al-Hayyat is a prize-winning author of novels, poetry, and short stories. Born in Lebanon, she has a degree in Civil Engineering from Al-Najah University in Nablus, the largest Palestinian university, and lives in Ramallah.
From A BIRD IS NOT A STONE: AN ANTHOLOGY OF CONTEMPORARY PALESTINIAN POETRY (Glasgow: Freight Books, 2014) –available From Amazon.com.
Maya Abu Al-Hayyat reading one of her poems
About Qalandia checkpoint