“. . . the colonel came over and asked why I’d been provocative . . .” (Sam Hamod)

Palestinian, Israeli and international activists march during a protest marking ten years for the struggle against the Wall in the West Bank village Bil’in, February 27, 2015. (photo: Yotam Ronen/Activestills.org)

❶ Israeli Commander: I Will Make All the Youth of Al-Duheisha Camp Disabled
❷ Israel investigating claim unarmed Palestinian was shot in the back

  • Background from Critique: Critical Middle Eastern Studies.  “. . . territoriality is ultimately about power and is embedded in social relations . . .”

. . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) Five Palestinians Injured by Army Fire during Funeral of Slain Palestinian in Silwad
❸ Israeli forces attack non-violent weekly protest in Bil’in village
❹ POETRY by  Sam Hamod

` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
The Middle East Monitor-MEMO  
Aug 27 2016
An Israeli army commander responsible for the Al-Duheisha area, known to locals as “Captain Nidal”, has repeatedly been reported as threatening to make “all youth in the [Al-Duheisha] camp disabled”.
___BADIL, the Resource Centre for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights, reported an Israeli army commander making repeated threats during and after raids on the camp as well as during interrogations.      MORE . . .  

Ma’an News Agency   
Aug. 28, 2016
The Israeli army’s military police have reportedly opened an investigation into the killing of an unarmed Palestinian man who was shot dead by Israeli forces on Friday, an Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an.
___Thirty-eight-year-old Iyad Zakariya Hamed, a resident of the Ramallah area village of Silwad, was shot dead by Israeli forces near a military post at the village’s entrance not far from the illegal Israeli settlement Ofra, when soldiers alleged that they saw Hamed “charging” towards them.
___Israeli media initially reported that Hamed, a husband and father of three, fired shots at the Israeli soldiers, though it was later confirmed that he was unarmed.     MORE . . .    

Clashes in Silwad after the funeral of Iyad Zakariya Hamed. (Photo: Palestine Chronicle via Twitter)

International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC    
August 26, 2016
Israeli soldiers shot, on Friday, five Palestinians with rubber-coated steel bullets, at the western entrance of Silwad town, east of the central West Bank city of Ramallah, during the funeral procession of a Palestinian who was killed by the soldiers a few hours earlier.      MORE . . .

  • Hallward, Maia Carter. “NEGOTIATING BOUNDARIES, NARRATING CHECKPOINTS: THE CASE OF MACHSOM WATCH.” Critique: Critical Middle Eastern Studies 17.1 (2008): 21-40.

Territoriality has a tendency to ‘neutralize’ the relationship between identity and geographic boundaries by classifying according to area rather than type. This means that all who live within a specific area are classified accordingly, regardless of felt identification or other personal characteristics (such as language, culture, etc.) . . .  Palestinian movement between areas is regulated according to the identity card—each of which is identified with a particular geographic location—they carry, regardless of family, personal, or work-related considerations. Likewise, discussions of Jewish settlements are often framed in ‘neutral’ planning language . . . rather than noting . . .  location on the West Bank, or Jewish-only population in the midst of a Palestinian Arab population, etc. Territoriality is ultimately about power and is embedded in social relations; an ‘area’ becomes a ‘territory’ only once its boundaries have been established. . . Boundaries must be maintained constantly . . .  they are applied in various degrees to different people and at different times . . .
[. . . .]
Checkpoints serve as gatekeepers; they delimit a boundary and soldiers staffing them enforce regulations regarding who can cross . . .  The vast majority of checkpoints are located deep within the West Bank  . . . consequently, they primarily affect Palestinians trying to conduct their daily lives. However, checkpoints also make Israeli–Palestinian interaction extremely difficult: Israeli law forbids Israeli citizens from entering areas under nominal Palestinian control . . .  and it is extremely difficult for Palestinians to obtain permission to travel to Jerusalem or areas within 1948 Israel. Such restrictions amplify tendencies to stereotype the ‘Other’ as ‘Enemy’ and further solidify place (area)-based boundaries of identity. Official language used to justify the checkpoints often reflects the displacing tendency of territoriality, as it shifts focus away from the location of the checkpoints . . .  as well as the relationship between the controllers and the controlled (it focuses on the regulation of who can cross and not on who has the power to make that classification).

International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC
August 27, 2016 12:06 AM
On Friday afternoon, dozens of local residents from the village of Bil’in, along with Israeli and international activists, marched toward the site of the Israeli Annexation Wall constructed on village land. They were pushed back by Israeli forces who attacked the protesters with rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas and concussion grenades.  ___According to the Popular Resistance Committee of Bil’in, this week’s protest focused on the recent desecration and attacks on holy sites by Israeli settlers and soldiers. These attacks have included armed marches by settlers and soldiers into the Al-Aqsa mosque, as well as the defacement of numerous Christian churches by Israeli assailants.  ___Palestinian residents of Bil’in have been protesting every Friday for the past eleven years, and the weekly protests recently entered the 12th year.      MORE . . .  

(In memory of Mahmoud Darwish, the greatest of Arab Poets)
At the checkpoint, the
Israeli private asked me my name, I told
her, my name is
Zaitoun, she asked, what does that mean,
I told her 4,000 year old trees, she laughed,
asked for my real name, I told her, “Dumm,” what?
i said, it means blood, she said, that’s no name, I told her
blood of my grandfather, my father, my uncle
and even mine if necessary, she bridled, called the corporal,
he came running up, said, what kind of threat is that,
I said, it’s no threat, it’s just a fact,
he called the sergeant, he came up and hit me before he spoke,
my mouth  bled,  I told him, this is the blood I mean, that same
blood, you are afraid of, it’s over 4000 years old, see how dark it is
he called the lieutenant, who asked why my mouth was bleeding,
the sergeant said I had threatened him, the lieutenant asked me
if that was the truth, I told him, I had only stated facts, that
they would be true, after they conferred, he called the
colonel, the colonel came over and asked why I’d been provocative,
I said,all I was doing was stating facts; he asked what I did,
I told him, I was a farmer, he asked what kind, I told him
a farmer with words, what some call a poet—
he asked me if I knew the work of Amichai, I told him yes,
that I’d met him, that he knew what I meant, that Amichai was
sorry for what he’d felt he “had to do”—the colonel shrugged
dismissed the others and told me, “pass on,
I understand, but they don’t, they are not Jews, I am Jew,
not a Zionist”
I pulled the qhubz arabi from my pocket, pulled some zaitoun
from another, some jibbin from my bag and gave it to him–
we laughed, he split the bread in half—
we ate together, we laughed at how sad and foolish all this was

-Sam Hamod is a poet who was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry, has published 10 books of poems, the winner of the Ethnic Heritage Prize for Poetry, taught at The Writers Workshop of The U. of Iowa, Princeton, Michigan, Howard and edited THIRD WORLD NEWS in Washington, DC. He contributed this poem to PalestineChronicle.com. Contact him at: samhamod@sbcglobal.net.


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