“. . . It’s fine to have a clean death, with no holes in our shirts . . .” (Mourid Barghouti)

Israel demolished two apartments of the el-Salaima family, Beit Hanina (Photo: +972 Magazine, May 21 2013)

❶ Palestinian families forced to raze their homes amid spike in Israeli-enforced demolitions

  • Background from Geopolitics

. . . ❶― (ᴀ) Israeli Army Displaces Bedouin Families To Conduct Military Training
. . . ❶ ― (ᴃ) Israelis raze Palestinian olive orchards to expand illegal settlement
. . . ❶ ― (ᴄ) IOF opens fire towards farmers east of Deir al-Balah
❷ PPS: “Israeli Soldiers Kidnap 13 Palestinians In The West Bank”
❸ POETRY by Mourid Barghouti
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Ma’an News Agency
Sep. 28, 2016
Two Palestinian families in the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of Beit Hanina were forced to demolish their own homes for being built without licenses on Wednesday, in order to avoid the expensive demolition fines imposed by the Jerusalem municipality when its employees carry out the demolition themselves.
___Between the two families, 15 Palestinians were displaced as a result of the demolitions.
___Owner of one of the homes Imad Jaber told Ma’an he was forced to rent a bulldozer to demolish his house, after receiving an order from the municipality.     MORE . . .  

  • Tawil-Souri, Helga. “Uneven Borders, Coloured (Im)Mobilities: ID Cards In Palestine/Israel.” Geopolitics 17.1 (2012): 153-176     SOURCE    

Upon the insistence of its first Prime Minister, David Ben-Gurion, Israel’s Declaration of Independence did not define the state’s borders so as to keep the option for future expansion possible. Already by the time statehood was declared in May 1948, Israel had expanded beyond the boundaries of the Jewish state delineated in the 1947 UN partition plan; it expanded even more in the months leading up to the Armistice Agreements in 1949; and has been expanding ever since (with the one occasion of ‘shrinking’ when it returned the Sinai to Egypt between 1973 and 1982 which it had held since the 1967 war).
[. . . .]
Palestinians in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, Jerusalem and ‘inside’ Israel, claim that the state of Israel through various methods simultaneously attempts to thwart, isolate, fragment, transfer and erase them away: slowly kill them all; send them off to neighbouring Arab countries; strangle them geographically, politically, economically, and militarily until they accept their subordination. This is not a chimerical claim of ethnic cleansing, but a reality that can be analysed as a ‘problem’ of the geo-political conditions of Palestinians’ status. Moreover, it is no secret that “the mere existence of the Palestinian people is a major strategic impediment to the realization of classical Zionist ambitions”; and thus, exclusion, throughout Palestine/Israel, “forms the logical background of a segregational policy that erects defensive walls of legal, institutional, and physical kinds to prevent Palestinians access to land, institutions, or other rights that could threaten Jewish hegemony.”57 These realities seem to form a cognitive dissonance: on the one hand the Israeli state is accused of trying to eradicate Palestinians, on the other hand the state institutes an impressive infrastructure of control and containment based on Palestinians’ continued presence in Palestine/Israel.  [. . . .]
(Note 57: Nils Butenschon, Uri Davis, and Manuel Hassassian (eds.), Citizenship and the State in the Middle East: Approaches and Applications [Syracuse: Syracuse University Press 2000] pp. 20–21.)

International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC
Sep. 29, 2016
Dozens of Israeli soldiers invaded, Thursday, the Hamsa al-Fouqa area, near Tubas in central West Bank, and removed 19 Bedouin families from their dwelling, so that the army can conduct life fire training in their community.
___The soldiers surrounded Abu Hamsa al-Fouqa area before invading it, and handed the military orders for the families before removing them.        MORE . . .  
Sep. 29, 2016
Israeli settler gangs residing in the illegal Leshem settlement, in western Salfit, uprooted Palestinian olive trees, paving the way for settlement expansion.
___Palestinian farmers said Israeli bulldozers leveled their olive orchards in eastern Deir Balout town, to the west of Salfit, in an attempt to expand illegal settlement at the expense of their own lands.    MORE . . .     
Alray-Palestinian Media Agency
Sep. 29, 2016
Israeli occupation forces (IOF) opened fire on Thursday morning towards farmers’ land east of Deir al-Balah in the central of the Gaza Strip.
___Israeli occupation troops positioned in military towers in vicinity of “Kissufim” site penetrated towards the border southeast of the city and opened fire with machine guns towards farmers’ lands in the region.      MORE . . .      

Israeli settlers uprooted 450 olive trees in Deir Istiya, northern Salfit (Photo: Ma’an News Agency, Apr. 21, 2015)

International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC
Sep. 29, 2016
The Palestinian Prisoners Society (PPS) has reported that Israeli soldiers have kidnapped overnight and on Thursday morning, thirteen Palestinians in different parts of the occupied West Bank.
___The Hebron office of the PPS, in the southern part of the West Bank, said the soldiers invaded various communities in the district, searched many homes and kidnapped four Palestinians, two of them identified as Mohammad Qassem Shallash and Abdul-Nasser Abu Mariyya.      MORE . . .    


It’s also fine to die in our beds
on a clean pillow
and among our friends.

It’s fine to die, once,
our hands crossed on our chests,
empty and pale,
with no scratches, no chains, no banners,
and no petitions.

It’s fine to have a clean death,
with no holes in our shirts,
and no evidence in our ribs.

It’s fine to die
with a white pillow, not the pavement, under our cheek,
with our hands resting in those of our loved ones,
surrounded by desperate doctors and nurses,
with nothing left but a graceful farewell,
paying no attention to history,
leaving this world as it is,
hoping that, someday, someone else
will change it.

Mourid Barghouti.
From Barghouti, Mourid. MIDNIGHT AND OTHER POEMS. Trans. Radwa Ashour. Todmorden, UK: Arc Publications, 2008. Available from Amazon

“. . . Though to the walls they bind me, Palestinian I am . . .” (Harun Hashim Rashid)

Abu Nuwar old school, NEW SCHOOL foundations, BUILT AND NOW DESTROYED. Illegal Qedar settlement, background (Photo: EAPPI/C. Merer, Feb. 21 2016.)

❶ Autopsy reveals Palestinian prisoner died of heart condition after years of medical neglect
. . . ❶― (ᴀ) Palestinian prisoner starts hunger strike to protest forcible prison transfers
❷ Israel prevents Palestinian woman from leaving Gaza for cancer treatment

  • Background from Cardozo Journal Of International & Comparative Law  

❸ IOF demolish Palestinian school for the fourth time
❹ POETRY by Harun Hashim Rashid
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Ma’an News Agency
Sept. 26, 2016
An autopsy has confirmed the cause of death of 41-year-old Palestinian prisoner Yasser Thiyab Hamduna, who died in Israeli custody Sunday morning, was cardiomegaly, a condition in which the heart is enlarged and can lead to sudden cardiac death.
___A statement from the Palestinian Committee of Prisoners’ Affairs released on Monday announced the cause of death following the autopsy. Initial reports indicated the prisoner had died of either a stroke or a heart attack.     MORE . . .   
Ma’an News Agency
Sept. 27, 2016
A Palestinian prisoner serving a lifetime sentence in Israeli custody started an open hunger strike on Sunday to protest Israel’s use of torture and the tactical transfer of prisoners from one detention facility to another, a Bethlehem-based prisoners rights group said on Tuesday.
___The head of the Association for Freed Prisoners in Bethlehem, Muhammad Hamida, told Ma’an that Jawad al-Jawarish, a 40-year-old father of two girls, had been detained since 2002 for his involvement in the Fatah movement’s military wing, the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades.
___According to Hamida, al-Jawarish was among 120 Fatah-affiliated prisoners who were recently transferred by the Israel Prison Service (IPS) from Eshel prison to the Nafha detention facility. Shortly after arriving in Nafha, IPS moved al-Jawarish again, this time to the Ramon prison, where he was placed in a smaller cell.      MORE . . .     

Yasser Diab Hamduni, (40years old), who died as a result of medical neglect the hands of the Israeli prison authorities (Photo: Group 194, Sep. 26, 2016)

Ma’an News Agency
Sept. 26, 2016
Israeli forces have prevented a Palestinian woman from leaving the blockaded Gaza Strip through the Erez crossing for a medical exam at Israel’s Sheba Medical Center in Tel Hashomer, Tel Aviv.
___According to statement from the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PHCR) released Monday, 52-year old Nadia al-Bakri, a women’s rights activist in Gaza, has been suffering from breast cancer and underwent chemotherapy, an operation, and radiation treatment at Sheba Medical Center in 2009.
___Doctors recommended to al-Bakri that she travel to the hospital for periodic checkups, due to the fact that the medical equipment necessary for the exams are not found in hospitals in the besieged coastal enclave.         MORE . . .

[Note: IHL is International Humanitarian Law, as described by the International Committee of the Red Cross.]

  • Glazer, Emma. “Do No Harm: The Dispute Over Access To Health Care Between Israel And The Palestinian Territories.” Cardozo Journal Of International & Comparative Law 22.1 (2013): 51-84.    FULL ARTICLE

Israel’s highest court has also recognized the freedom of movement as one of the state’s essential rights . . .  the HCJ [High Court of Justice] analyzed state-proposed traffic measures that resulted in increased travel time for local residents in Palestinian settlements. The State initially proposed rerouting roads . . . The original proposal isolated a number of Palestinian residents within security walls, only providing them access to Bethlehem through a series of roadblocks . . . .
___The HCJ remarked that freedom of movement has been recognized as an independent basic right, as well as a right derived from the right to liberty and from basic human dignity. The freedom of movement is also protected under international law. However, like all freedoms, “the freedom of movement is not absolute. It is relative, and it should be balanced against other interests and rights.”
[. . . .]
. . . the freedom of movement may be restricted as necessary “to protect national security.” The opposing interests of movement and security should be balanced based on the nature and relative importance of the competing rights. . . . Relevant here, the Court emphasized that “an absolute denial of movement cannot be compared to a traffic delay or inconvenience.” That being said, the purpose of the travel also impacts the weight of the restriction; movement that is “essential and important” cannot be compared with personal travel for leisure. The Court specifically stated that travel for immediate medical treatment is included as “essential and important” travel.
[. . . .]
In its interpretation of Israeli law and IHL, the HCJ has held that so long as Palestinian freedom of movement is not entirely restricted or prohibited, reasonable interferences with the freedom of movement are proper.  On the other hand . . . the HCJ was persuaded by the existence of communities that were isolated within the barrier and unable to move freely throughout the West Bank, violating the freedoms of movement, self-determination, and receipt of health care and education.

Palestine News Network – PNN
Sep. 27, 2016
Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) on Tuesday morning have demolished a new classroom made out of Zinc in The Abu Nuwwar school in Khan Al-Ahmar, occupied East Jerusalem. This is the fourth time the school is demolished by Israel, who refuses to give it permission to continue.
___The school is located in area C of the West Bank, between the illegal settlements of Ma’ale Adumim and Qedar: an area that has been marked by the Israeli authorities as Area E1, site of the planned expansion of Ma’ale Adumim in order to create territorial contiguity between the settlement and Jerusalem.
___According to B’Tselem rights group, the Abu a-Nuwar community consists of more than 100 families, with a total population of about 600, about half of them minors.   MORE 

Palestinian is my name.
In a clear script,
On all battlefields
I have inscribed my name,
Eclipsing all other titles.
The letters of my name cling to me,
Live with me, nourish me,
Fill my soul with fire
And pulse through my veins.
Such is my name, I know
It torments and grieves me,
Their eyes hunt me,
Pursue me, wound me.
For my name is Palestinian.
And as they pleased
They have made me wander.

I have lived all my life
Without traits and features
As they pleased,
They gave me names and titles.
Jails with their gates flung wide
Summon me
And in all the airports of the world
Are found my names and titles―
The lying wind carries me,
Disperses me.
The name pursues me, lives with me.
Palestinian is my fate,
Clinging to me, reviving me.
Palestinian I am
Though they betray me and my cause
Palestinian I am
Though they sell me in the market
For what they please,
For thousands of millions;
Palestinian I am,
Though to the gallows they drive me;
Palestinian I am,
Though to the walls they bind me.
Palestinian I am,
Palestinian I am,
Though to the flames they cast me.
I―what am I?
Without my name, Palestinian,
Without a homeland to live for,
To protect and be protected by?
I―what am I?
Answer me, answer me.

Harun Hashim Rashid  
AN  ANTHOLOGY  OF  MODERN  ARABIC  POETRY. Selected, Edited, and Translated by Mounah A. Khouri and Hamid Algar. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1974. Available from Amazon.

“. . . Lay him at the foot of the mountain: for it knows his sorrow . . .” (Samih al-Qasim)

❶ Prosecutor calls for Palestinian boy to receive 12-year sentence over alleged stabbing
❷ On Palestinian Journalists’ Day, 24 reporters imprisoned by Israel hold hunger strike
. . . ❷― (ᴀ) Israel committed 489 violations against Palestinian Journalists
❸ Israeli army ravages nature reserve in al-Khalil

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

❹ Israeli Soldiers Invade Bedouin Community Near Jerusalem
❺ Poetry by Samih al-Qasim
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Ma’an News Agency
Sept. 26, 2016
An Israeli court in Jerusalem postponed on Sunday the sentencing of a 14-year-old Palestinian Ahmad Salih Manasra, as the prosecution called for the boy to spend 12 years in prison for allegedly stabbing and wounding two Israelis in a settlement in October.     ___Manasra, a resident of occupied East Jerusalem, was found guilty in May of carrying out a stabbing attack on Oct. 12, 2015 in the illegal settlement of Pisgat Zeev in East Jerusalem, injuring two Israelis ages 13 and 21.
___Manasra’s cousin, 15-year-old Hassan Manasra, was shot dead at the scene of the attack. His body was withheld by Israeli authorities for seven months, finally returned to his family for burial in May after they rejected an earlier transfer due to his body being handed over completely frozen.     MORE . . .     
Interrogation video of Ahmad Salih Manasra

Ma’an News Agency
Sept. 26, 2016
Palestinian journalists imprisoned by Israel went on a one-day hunger strike on Monday to mark the Day of Solidarity with Palestinian Journalists, as 24 of them remained behind bars.
___The Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS) said in a statement that 24 Palestinian journalists were currently held in Israeli prisons.
___The longest serving Palestinian journalist, according to PPS, is Mahmoud Issa Moussa who has been serving a life sentence since 1993.     MORE . . .   
Alray-Palestinian Media Agency
Sept. 26, 2016
On the International Day of Solidarity with Palestinian Journalist , Israeli occupation forces arrested 79 journalists and shot 130 others, Commission of Supporting Palestinian Journalists reported.
___The commission reported that the Israeli violations against Palestinian journalists and cameramen have raised dramatically since the beginning of Al-Aqsa Habba – uprising.     ___Last October recorded the highest number of Israeli violations against Palestinian media staffs in the West Bank, Gaza and occupied Jerusalem.    MORE . . . 
The Palestinian Information Center
Sept. 25, 2016
An Israeli army patrol stormed on Sunday a nature reserve in the southern occupied West Bank city of al-Khalil and its soldiers razed cultivated land lots.
___Coordinator for the national anti-settlement committee in southern al-Khalil, Rateb al-Jabour, said the Israeli occupation army broke into the al-Daqiqa nature reserve in Yatta, removed barbed wire surrounding the area, and leveled vast land tracts covering an area of over 100 dunums.
___According to al-Jabour, the Israeli forces threatened to devastate the reserve upon three earlier occasions on claims of surpassing the border fence.
___He added that the nature reserve was built some eight years ago with the help of foreign charities and is planted with 5,000 unfruitful trees. The reserve also includes eight wells for amassing rainwater.      MORE . . .       

  • Power, Susan, and Elisabeth Koek. “Israel’s Cash Cow: Natural Resources In The Occupied Palestinian Territories.” Palestine-Israel Journal Of Politics, Economics & Culture 19/20.4/1 (2014): 88-96.  SOURCE.   

Underneath and adjacent to the lands inhabited by Israelis and Palestinians, natural fresh water from the Jordan River and the Mountain and Costal Aquifers flows abundantly.20 However, at present, the water sector in Israel and the OPT “is characterised by highly asymmetrical overexploitation of damageable shared water resources, exhaustion of long-term storage, deterioration of the water quality and increasing levels of demand driven by high population growth and accompanied by decreasing per capita supplies.” Palestinians residing in the occupied territory face an impending water crisis in the region. Many do not have sufficient access to clean and safe water to their meet daily needs, while residents in Israel proper and in Israel’s illegal settlements have ample water available, enough even for intensive farm irrigation.
___Israel’s desire to secure uninterrupted access to, and exercise exclusive control over, the region’s major surface and groundwater resources dates back to the 1967 Six-Day War, when Israel strategically occupied lands rich in natural water resources. Immediately after the war, Israel prioritized maintaining access to and control over the water resources by declaring all water resources subject to Israeli military control through a series of military orders, which are still in place today. These efforts were clearly aimed at consolidating control over the Palestinian share of the water resources as it integrated the West Bank water system into the Israeli system. The integration was completed in 1982 when then-Minister of Defense Ariel Sharon transferred ownership over all West Bank water supply systems to Mekorot for the symbolic price of 1 NIS (approximately $0.25). By making use of its military power, Israel laid the foundations for a system of water governance that remains in place today and is characterised by discrimination in allocation of water resources, and, more broadly, by Israel’s unlawful exercise of sovereign rights over all the water resources of the OPT.

International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC
Sept. 26, 2016
Israeli soldiers and officials of the “Civil Administration Office” invaded, Sunday, the Abu Nowwar Bedouin committee in the al-Ezarriya town, southeast of occupied East Jerusalem, and took pictures of a room that was added to the local elementary school.
___Daoud Jahalin, the spokesperson of Abu Nowwar community, said the soldiers surrounded the local school, and photographed a recently added room, an issue that raises fears the army intends to demolish it, especially since most demolition orders are issued by the Civil Administration of the Israeli army, in the occupied West Bank.
___Jahalin added that dozens of soldiers also invaded Abu Nowwar community on Saturday, and conducted various provocative acts.      MORE . . .    


Leave the martyr shrouded in his garments,
Lay him at the foot of the mountain: for it knows his sorrow.
Do not bury him, while his wounds
Proclaim his testament of love and suffering.
Do you hear?

Let him take leave of his friends,
A bleeding eagle among the rocks.
Lay him in the sun; his face caressed
By the winds, redolent with the fragrance of the land of his youth.

Do not close his eyes; a final
Red glimmer still shines in them.
His call reverberates in the golden valleys:
“You who fear death, I fear it not;
Take me to my home
To rest my cheek upon its threshold,
To kiss the doorknob,
Take me to my vineyard, I would die, with the pangs of my love in my heart,
If my eyes do not feast once more on the sight of its soil.

Samih al-Qasim 
From THE PALESTINIAN WEDDING: A BILINGUAL ANTHOLOGY OF CONTEMPORARY PALESTINIAN RESISTANCE POETRY. Ed. and Trans. A. M. Elmessiri. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2011. Reprint from Three Continents Press, Inc., 1982. Available from Palestine Online Store.


“. . . To put me in prison, as they did, is a very easy thing . . .” (Rashid Hussein)

Blindfolded Palestinian prisoners in Israeli detention facility. 46 Palestinians at Etzion Prison on hunger strike to protest mistreatment. Mar. 4, 2016 (File Photo: PressTV)

❶ Palestinian prisoners declare 3-day hunger strike after death of fellow detainee
. . . ❶ ― (ᴀ)  Samidoun demands accountability for Israeli medical neglect in the death of Palestinian prisoner Yasser Hamdouna

  • Background from Biography: An Interdisciplinary Quarterly

❷ Detainees Committee: “Israeli Soldiers Kidnapped 1000 Children This Year”
. . . ❷ ― (ᴀ)  Pilot programme to limit night arrests – update
POETRY by Rashid Hussein
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Ma’an News Agency
Sept. 25, 2016
Palestinian prisoners held by Israel announced a three-day hunger strike in protest and mourning after a fellow detainee died in Israeli custody on Sunday morning following a fatal stroke.
___Residents of the occupied West Bank village of Yaabad in the Jenin district, said that Yasser Thiyab Hamduna, a 41-year-old Palestinian from the village, died of a stroke on Sunday in the Israeli prison of Ramon.
___Israel Prison Service (IPS) spokesman Assaf Librati confirmed to Ma’an that a Palestinian prisoner held in Ramon had had a “heart attack or stroke,” and was pronounced dead by medics at around 8:30 a.m. on Sunday.
___Local sources in Yaabad said that Hamduna, who was serving a 14-year prison sentence, had been suffering from a number of health issues, including shortness of breath, heart problems, and ear pains.       MORE . . . 
Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network    
Sept. 25, 2016
Palestinian prisoner Yasser Diab Hamdouna, 41, died on Sunday morning, 25 September, in Israeli Ramon prison
[. . . .]  Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network condemns the ongoing medical neglect and mistreatment of Palestinian prisoners by the Israeli occupation prisons and demands the immediate release of the sick prisoners in Israeli jails.
[. . . .]  Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network affirms the responsibility of the Israeli occupation state for the medical neglect, mistreatment and death of Yasser Hamdouna and dozens of fellow Palestinian prisoners . . .  and demand international accountability for the death of Hamdouna and the ongoing threats to Palestinian prisoners’ lives due to medical neglect.     MORE . . .  

  • OMAR, SA’ED. “Food Is Not Our Issue”: Reflections On Hunger Striking.” Biography: An Interdisciplinary Quarterly 37.2 (2014): 556-559.    FULL ARTICLE.  

It’s impossible to ignore the smell of meat when you are dying from hunger.
___But food is not our issue. We don’t live to eat. We eat to live. If your life is without dignity, you don’t need life. That’s how we look at things in prison.
___Even in prison, you are home. Being restricted from entering Palestine is our greatest fear, to be deported or prevented from going home. The Prison Administration offered to deport us, to Jordan, to Syria, anywhere we wanted. They offered us freedom if we would leave Palestine. But we preferred jail to freedom outside of Palestine.
___This is the life we live here. We have a government that doesn’t support its own people. It just chases its political and economic projects.
___And a few people who fight every day for their freedom.
___And over our heads, Occupation.

International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC   
September 25, 2016
The Palestinian Detainees Committee reported Saturday that Israeli soldiers have kidnapped at least 1000 children, between the ages of 11 and 18, since the beginning of this year. Testimonies from six detained children are included in this report.
___In a press release, the committee said that the numbers showed an %80 increase when compared to the number of child abducted in the same period of 2015.
___It stated that some of the kidnapped children have been imprisoned under arbitrary Administrative Detention orders, without charges or trial, while many others were sent to court, faced high fines and even were sentenced to actual prison terms.       MORE . . .   

On International Children’s Day, Israel Kidnaps 400 Palestinian Children. Nov. 22, 2015 (Photo: IMEMC News)

Military Court Watch
Sept. 22, 2016
Following widespread criticism of the use of night raids to arrest children in the West Bank, the military authorities announced in February 2014, the introduction of a pilot programme to issue written summonses in lieu of night arrests.
___The programme commenced operation in the Nablus and Hebron districts but was temporarily suspended in or about September 2014 due to “increased violence”. At the time of the suspension the military authorities stated that they did not keep any statistics during the initial operation of the programme making any official assessment impossible.
[. . . .]  During the course of 2016 there appears to have been a sharp decrease in the use of summonses which are currently being issued in just 2 per cent of cases documented by MCW. Meanwhile, the practice of arresting children at night is currently unchanged and remains at 2013 levels.     MORE . . . 

Don’t be sad, Darling!
To put me in prison, as they did, is a very easy thing!
But what can they do about the sun
Shining outside and torturing new rebels?

I should like to be romantic and say to you:
If my being in jail
Did nothing more than bring you to visit me
And cry in my arms ―
Then my arrest was not in vain.

But I’m not feeling romantic right now!
(How can one be romantic with the bedbugs
having such a feast?)
I’m just scratching away, and writing to you,
And asking myself this banal question:
If I and others don’t go to prison,
How will the prison guard
Feed his children?

Darling! I would so like for us
To have a baby!
We spoke of it once,
But I don’t know if
We’ll ever be given the chance.
That is why, for the time being, I give myself
To thoughts about the babies of others
Including my enemies’ babies!
And because they cannot understand this simple feeling
They put me here in prison.   

From: Aruri, Naseer and Edmund Ghareeb, eds. ENEMY OF THE SUN: POETRY OF THE PALESTINIAN RESISTANCE. Washington, DC: Drum and Spear Press, 1970.  Available from Amazon.  
Rashid Hussein (1936-1977) was born in Musmus, Palestine. He published his first collection in 1957 and established himself as a major Palestinian poet and orator. He participated in founding the Land Movement in 1959. He left in 1966 and lived in Syria and Lebanon and later in New York City where he died in February, 1977. He was buried a week later in Musmus. His funeral was attended by thousands of Palestinians


“. . . Whenever a child’s voice goes silent . . .” (Maya Abu Al-Hayyat)

AL Jaad 6 years old at the Artificial Limbs and Polio Center in Gaza City. He lost his right leg when an Israeli tank shell hit his home 2014. (Photo: Mohammed Zaanoun/Getty Images)

❶ Five days, four children shot dead

  • Background from Third World Quarterly

❷ Israeli soldiers attack the weekly protest in Kufur Qaddoum
❸ ANALYSIS: Israel left me with half a body
❹ POETRY by Maya Abu Al-Hayyat
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Defense for Children International Palestine (DCIP)
Sep. 22, 2016
Israeli forces shot dead four Palestinian children in Hebron, during the most concentrated period of deadly violence in the West Bank since June.
___In separate incidents between September 16 and September 20, four Palestinian teenagers were fatally shot by Israeli soldiers in Hebron. Seven Palestinians have been killed by Israeli soldiers in less than a week, marking the highest concentration of Palestinian deaths since June, when three Palestinians were killed in under 48 hours, according to Ma’an News Agency. Earlier this month, another child, Abdul-Rahman Dabbagh, was shot dead by an Israeli soldier in Gaza.
___“International law requires that intentional lethal force is only used when lesser means would be insufficient to apprehend a suspect,” said Brad Parker, attorney and international advocacy officer at DCIP. “Recent evidence suggests that Israeli forces are implementing a ‘shoot-to-kill’ policy, yet systemic impunity is normal and accountability extremely rare.”     MORE . . . 

  • Dossa, Shiraz. “Auschwitz’s Finale: Racism and Holocausts.” Third World Quarterly 33.9 (2012): 1575-1593.   SOURCE.

It was clear to [Hannah] Arendt that Israel was crafting a new ‘regime of truth’. . . who can say ‘what counts as true’. This rhetoric has become a real presence in the West. It has metastasised into a global truth and it controls much of the narrative on Muslims. Western foreign policy is substantially based on this ‘truth’. . .  The disdain for Palestinians flows from it as well. Any opposition to it is labelled anti-Semitic (as in hating Jews); resistance in Occupied Palestine is quelled by F16s and military invasions. The West sells this as stability and peace. To reject it is to rebuff human rights, freedom and democracy.
___. . . . Hating Arabs is normal and calling Palestinians the new Nazis obligatory. Loving Israel is a sign of tolerance, opposing its policies is ‘terrorism’. So is being Muslim, since Islam is deemed violent by nature. Critics of the Jewish/Israel lobby are branded ‘hateful’. Arendt understood that the Zionist settlers in Palestine had pioneered this logic: ‘they did not even to stop to think of the very existence of Arabs’. . .
[. . . .]
The ‘uniqueness’ of the Holocaust flows from Ashkenazi pride in their racial superiority. Its corollary is not denied but defended: non-Jews count for very little, which can be traced back to the Old Testament thesis on the acceptability of the Canaanite genocide because Yahweh willed it . . .  It is evident that the chosen Jew–unchosen non-Jew divide has been globalised. It is even accepted by many ‘Third world’ elites . . . who endorse the US–Israeli agenda without demurral. Its legitimacy, its ‘truth’ has long been settled.
[. . . .]
It comes as no surprise that the self-described ‘Jewish state’ occupies Palestinian land, terrorises its inhabitants, builds illegal settlements, and violates international law. It is the proudly ‘Jewish state’ which slays Arabs in Lebanon, Gaza and the West Bank at will. It is Western Jews who invoke the Old Testament and Western civilisation to defend invasion and occupation. Yet Jews routinely, 67 years after the Holocaust, still claim to be victims. In 2008 Israeli Deputy Defence Minister Matan Vilnai warned that ‘The more Qassam (rocket) fire intensifies . . . they (the Palestinians) will bring upon themselves a bigger holocaust’.  (Ynet News, ‘Israeli minister warns Palestinians of ‘‘holocaust’”, Reuters, 29 February 2008.)

Many Injured As Israeli Soldiers Attack The Weekly Protest In Kufur Qaddoum, Jun. 18, 2016 (Photo: IMEMC News)

International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC
September 24, 2016
Israeli soldiers attacked, Friday, many local and international activists, holding the weekly protest in Kufur Qaddoum village, in the northern West Bank district of Qalqilia, causing scores to suffer the effects of teargas inhalation.
___The protesters marched from the center of the village raising Palestinian flags and carrying posters of the detainees who ended their hunger strikes after reaching agreements for their release after extended strikes.
___The Popular Committee in Kufur Qaddoum said scores of locals, and international activists, suffered the effects of teargas inhalation, after the soldiers assaulted the protest.       MORE . . .  

Israeli Soldiers Attack The Weekly Protest In Kufur Qaddoum, Mar. 27, 2015 (Photo: IMEMC News)

The Electronic Intifada
Sarah Algherbawi
Sep. 20, 2016
Manar al-Shenbari has vague recollections of what happened on 24 July 2014. She was taking shelter at the UNRWA Beit Hanoun Elementary School in the Gaza Strip when the Israeli military shelled it. Manar’s mother, sister and two brothers were among the 11 people killed at the UN-funded school.
___“There were bodies on the ground, people screaming,” she said. “And lots of blood on my body. Those are the only things I can remember from that day. It was like a nightmare. I lost consciousness and woke up in hospital.”
___Manar – now aged 17 – lost both of her legs in the attack and required emergency treatment. She was transferred to Jordan for surgery. When she returned to Gaza, she found everyday life extremely difficult.     MORE . . .  

Whenever a child’s hand comes out of a collapsed building
I check the hands of my three children
I count the digits of their hands and feet
I check the number of teeth
and the hairs of their eyebrows

Whenever a child’s voice goes silent in Camp Al Yarmouk

I turn up the volume on the TV
and the songs on the radio
I pinch my three children on their sides
to keep them moving and feel they’re alive

Whenever a heart is devoured by fear
on Qalandia checkpoint
I open my mouth and start to eat
Comfort myself with salty treats
Bock out the sparks of the eyes that cry everywhere
―translated by Graham Fulton

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


“. . . But this bullet had no innocence, did not wish anyone well . . .” (Naomi Shihab Nye)

LisaGay Hamilton, 2005 Peabody Award. (Photo: Wikipedia) “I’m here because I’m concerned about the effects of war and blockade on the women [of Gaza].”
❶ Gaza power station to shut down due to lack of fuel supplies
. . . ❶― (ᴀ) Egypt opens Rafah crossing one last day for return of Gaza Hajj pilgrims
. . . ❶― (ᴃ) Messina, Italy welcomes the Women’s Boat to Gaza (WBG)
❷ Opinion/Analysis:  LisaGay Hamilton

  • Background from: International Journal Of Applied Psychoanalytic Studies

❸ POETRY by Naomi Shihab Nye
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Ma’an News Agency    
Sept. 22, 2016
The energy authority in the Gaza Strip has announced that the besieged coastal enclave’s sole power plant would stop running until next Tuesday due to fuel shortages, as Israel’s Karam Abu Salem (Kerem Shalom) crossing remained closed to fuel imports for the second consecutive day.
___In a statement issued on Thursday, the authority said that since the crossing was closed after it was breached by burglars early Wednesday morning, the power station would be out of service due to lack of fuel deliveries.       MORE . . .    
Ma’an News Agency
Sept. 23, 2016
The Rafah border crossing between Egypt and the besieged Gaza Strip opened on Friday for the last of four days on Friday to allow Palestinian worshipers returning from the Muslim pilgrimage of Hajj to return to Gaza.
___Two groups of pilgrims were reportedly allowed to cross through on Thursday, with one group in at dawn and another in the evening.
___Egypt opened the crossing on Sunday, Wednesday and Thursday to allow the retun of the pilgrims.          MORE . . .     
Gaza.Scoop.ps – Real Time News From Gaza
Sept. 22, 2016
This morning the community of Messina, Italy welcomed the participants on board Zaytouna-Oliva as they arrived following their voyage from Ajaccio, France. The sailing boat will soon leave Messina for its final destination, the shores of Gaza.
___Lucio Intruglio, the local organizer in Messina noted, “We have been waiting eagerly for our sisters to arrive and have a variety of activities to celebrate their mission.”       MORE . . .  

Lisagay Hamilton
Sept. 23, 2016
Sunday night, September 18, 2016. As my “industry” colleagues attend Emmy parties and dress for the red carpet, I stand on the chilly docks of Ajaccio, Corsica, in the wee hours of the morning awaiting the arrival of a small sailboat called the Zaytouna-Oliva.
[. . . .]  I’m here because I’m concerned about the effects of war and blockade on the women [of Gaza], as schools, hospitals, and homes have been periodically destroyed and sources of power and water compromised. I’m here because some 1.8 million Gazans are trapped in what is often described as a giant open-air prison.
[. . . .]   I’m afraid for myself and especially for the courageous women who will try to break through the blockade. But I’m more afraid of what might happen if we all stayed home, silent and complacent and posing for the paparazzi. Breaking the siege is not the same as freedom for Gaza, but it is a start.    MORE . . .  

  • Shehadeh, Said. “The 2014 War On Gaza: Engineering Trauma And Mass Torture To Break Palestinian Resilience.” International Journal Of Applied Psychoanalytic Studies 12.3 (2015): 278-294.   SOURCE. 

[. . . .]    Most of the post-war assessments focus predominantly on the enormous civilian death toll and injured persons, especially children, as well as the massive destruction to homes, factories, public (governmental) buildings and infrastructure. Indeed, the numbers speak for themselves: 1.8 million people, trapped in a small costal enclave of 365 square kilometers, mercilessly bombarded from the air, land and sea by the sixth strongest military in the world with no means of escape.
[. . . .]  These post-war statistics regarding the human and financial costs of the war on Gaza do not fully capture the scope and depth of human suffering inflicted.
[. . . .]   How then, can we explain the Israeli policy behind all these oppressive acts of physical and psychological aggression against the Palestinians in Gaza? The answer, I contend, is that it was a deliberate policy of torture executed on a massive scale against the entire population of Gaza, during the 50-day war. Torture, as defined by the United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (UNCAT) is:
any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity. It does not include pain or suffering arising only from, inherent in or incidental to lawful sanctions. 
[. . . .] 

Flames engulf the Gaza Strip power plant after it was hit by Israeli shelling, on July 29, 2014. (Photo: MAHMUD HAMS/AFP/Getty Images)

There is no stray bullet, sirs.
No bullet like a worried cat
crouching under a bush,
no half-hairless puppy bullet
dodging midnight streets.
The bullet could not be a pecan
plunking the tin roof,
not hardly, no fluff of pollen
on October’s breath,
no humble pebble at our feet.

So don’t gentle it, please.

We live among stray thoughts,
tasks abandoned midstream.
Our fickle hearts are fat
with stray devotions, we feel at home
among bits and pieces,
all the wandering ways of words.

But this bullet had no innocence, did not
wish anyone well, you can’t tell us otherwise
by naming it mildly, this bullet was never the friend
of life, should not be granted immunity
by soft saying—friendly fire, straying death-eye,
why have we given the wrong weight to what we do?

Mohammed, Mohammed, deserves the truth.
This bullet had no secret happy hopes,
it was not singing to itself with eyes closed
under the bridge.

Naomi Shihab Nye
From YOU  AND  YOURS,  by Naomi Shihab Nye (CBOA Editions, 2005).  Available from Barnes and Noble. 

“. . . The eagles of this land will shield my open revolt . . .” (Fouzi El-Asmar)

A thousand Palestinian children directed a message of peace to the world as they observe the International Day of Peace. (Photo: Ma’an News Agency, Sept. 21)

❶ Palestinian children commemorate International Day of Peace in Ramallah
❷ 23 Palestinians detained, dozens of houses ordered to be demolished in Jerusalem raids
❸ Secret Israeli Documents Reveal Violation of the Geneva Convention

  • Background article from Journal Of The Historical Society

❹ POETRY by Fouzi el-Asmar
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Ma’an News Agency   
Sept. 21, 2016
A thousand Palestinian children directed a message of peace to the world on Wednesday as they convened in Ramallah to observe the International Day of Peace.
___In an event organized by the Palestinian Ministry of Education and the European Union (EU), the children released white pigeons and balloons marked with inscriptions reading “We want to live in peace” into the air.    ___Palestinian Minister of Education Sabri Saidam, Deputy Minister of Education Basri Saleh, EU representative Ralph Tarraf participated in the event, in addition to a number of representatives of international organizations.     MORE . . .   

Ma’an News Agency   
Sept. 22, 2016
Israeli forces carried out a massive detention raids into Palestinian communities in Jerusalem before dawn on Thursday for the second day in a row, detaining at least 23 Palestinians and assaulting locals — including a minor, while demolition orders were delivered to dozens of Palestinian homes during raids on Wednesday.
___Israeli forces raided the Shufat refugee camp in the Jerusalem district of the occupied West Bank as well as the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of Issawiya, located just south of Shufat beyond Israel’s separation wall.     MORE . . .     

Palestine Chronicle
Sept. 22 2016
Israeli officials have acknowledged systematic violations of the Geneva Conventions in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, secret documents disclosed by Israeli newspaper Haaretz have revealed.
[. . . .]
The documents show how the Israeli government sought “to avoid application of the Geneva Conventions to the territories immediately after they were captured” and how “it tried to prevent international criticism of violations of the conventions.”
[. . . .]
One document, a “top-secret” cable sent in March 1968 to Israel’s then-ambassador in Washington, Yitzhak Rabin, states: “Our consistent policy has been and still is to avoid discussing the situation in the administered territories with foreign parties on the basis of the Geneva Conventions.     MORE . . .   

Blogger’s note: By excerpting this article, I do NOT mean to equate Israel with Nazi Germany. This is simply to show the parallels between the justifications for “ethnic cleansing” and forced evacuations of land, from the “Trail of Tears” in the United States, to South African Apartheid, to the Spanish destruction of the Aztec civilization, to Nazi Germany, to Palestine.

  • Piskorski, Jan M. “From Munich Through Wannsee To Auschwitz: The Road To The Holocaust.” Journal Of The Historical Society 7.2 (2007): 155-175.   SOURCE.

. . .  “spontaneous” events of the so-called Kristallnacht of November 1938, when synagogues were burned and Jewish shops demolished, are today viewed by most historians as elements of terror. At the same time . . . the mouthpiece of the SS, Das Schwarze Korps, declared on November 24 that there was no place for Jews in Germany. They must be distinctly marked, moved to separate town sections, and deprived of their assets—a step that will throw them into poverty.
[. . . .]
Regarding the “evacuation” of the Jews . . .  because they are Germany’s eternal, primeval enemy: “We have the moral right, and we have had the obligation toward our nation, to do this—to root out the nation that has wished to root us out.”
___In Himmler’s view, the strength of the SS consisted of the fact that its members had the capacity to conduct murderous operations—to withstand those operations psychologically, while at the same time retaining their own “decency”. . .This is because . . . the Germans are known for their gentle disposition and deep emotions. For example, they are the only nation on earth to be kind to animals and thus they might also treat with decency those “human animals,” the Slavs—since the Jews were outside of any such categorization—and yet, “it would be a crime against our race to be bothered on their behalf, and to impart our ideals to them, so that our children and grandchildren have more trouble from them later.”
[. . . .]

BACKGROUND:   Nazi Bands Raid Thousands Of Jewish Homes In Reich, Paris Hears, November 12, 1939
Jewish Telegraphic Agency   [. . . .] Nazi bands shouting “British Agents!” were reported to be pillaging and demolishing Jewish homes throughout the Reich.   MORE . . . 

House demolition in the Sur Baher neighborhood of East Jerusalem, January 2007. (Photo: The Electronic Intifada)

You may take my hands
and lock them in your chains
You may also blindfold me.

You bereaved me
from the light
and I marched
You robbed me
of the bread
and I ate.
You plundered the land
from me
and I ploughed.

I am the son of the land
and for that
I find goodness in this earth
anywhere I happen to be:
The ants of this land
feed me
The branches of this land
foster me
The eagles of this land
will shield my open revolt

You may take my hands
And lock them in your chains
You may also blindfold me
But here I will stand tall
And here I shall remain
until the very end. (April, 1970) 

From: El Azmar, Fouzi. POEMS  FROM  AN  ISRAELI  PRISON. Intro. By Israel Shahak. New York: KNOW Books, 1973.    Available from Amazon
About Fouzi El Asmar 

“. . . It doesn’t matter what you had planned . . .” (Lena Khalif Tuffaha)

The Sea of Galilee, photo taken by Harold Knight in 2008. The beauty, like that of Palestine itself, is fragile and deceptively calm.

A (too) personal note from the blogger: 

As you can see from the dates on the news items, I meant this post for yesterday. However, I could not continue. The news is simply too horrendous day after day. If I am overwhelmed from this distance, it is impossible to imagine what the Palestinian people experience and feel every day, even though I have traveled to Palestine three times.
___Americans especially, and most citizens of Western nations, do not understand that this situation is not a matter of politics (no matter what Hillary and Donald say). It is not a matter of religion (no matter what Bibi says). And it most certainly is not a “conflict.” It is a simple matter of morality and of the so-called American dreams of freedom, equality, and self-determination.
___So I am back after three days of being distressed by the news. These postings simply have to be done, no matter who does or does not read them. This bungling record of events with supplementary scholarly and poetic works must be here in cyberspace.
___My friend Samia Khoury in Jerusalem brought me back by emailing me today’s poem for which I am grateful.

Harold Knight, Dallas, Texas, USA

❶ Killing Jordanian an act of terror by Israel, Jordan says
❷ Democratic front condemns adding Hammad to [United States] terrorist list
. . . ❷― (ᴀ) [United States] Florida mosque arsonist shared extreme pro-Israel propaganda
❸― (ᴀ) Army Kidnaps Four Palestinians In Hebron
. . . ❸― (ᴃ) Israeli Soldiers Kidnap Four Palestinians in Tulkarem And Nablus
. . . ❸― (ᴄ) Israeli Soldiers Kidnap Three Young Men In Jerusalem
. . . ❸― (ᴆ) Israeli Soldiers Kidnap A [13-year-old] Child In Jericho
❹ Poetry by Lena Khalif Tuffaha
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Days of Palestine
Sep 18, 2016
Jordanian foreign ministry described on Saturday Israeli murder of Jordanian citizen in Jerusalem’s Old City on Friday “an act of terror,” a statement said.
___The Israeli occupation police murdered on Friday the Jordanian national Sayid Amro in at the Damascus Gate of Al-Aqsa Mosque, in Jerusalem’s Old City.
___Israeli media reported Israeli officials claiming that the Jordanian citizen had two knives and attempted to stab an Israeli policeman.
___However, the Jordanian foreign ministry did not believe the Israeli claims, stressing that the deceased citizen had no extremist views and he travelled to Palestine just to perform prayer at Al-Aqsa Mosque.      MORE . . .

Alray-Palestinian Media Agency
Sept. 18, 2016
The Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine condemned Sunday the US administration step of adding senior Hamas official, the former interior minister Fathi Hamad, to its “global terrorist” list.
___The Democratic front explained in a statement that US administration decision is a creator of terrorism in the region, denouncing its deafening silence towards Israeli violations of human rights.
___It called the free world to condemn such decisions and to stand by the just Palestinian rights. It stressed that Palestinian people will go on with their struggle against Israeli occupation and for regaining the right of return, self-determination and their independent state with Jerusalem as its capital.      MORE . . .   
The Electronic Intifada
Rania Khalek
Sept. 18,2016
[. . . .]
[American] Media outlets were quick to publicize Schreiber’s anti-Muslim postings, but few mentioned his promotion of pro-Israel propaganda or his admiration for Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, two great champions of the anti-Muslim far right.        MORE . . .    

International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC
Sept. 19, 2016
Israeli soldiers invaded, on Monday at dawn, Beit Ummar and Ethna towns, in the southern West Bank district of Hebron, searched homes and kidnapped four Palestinians. One of the invaded homes belongs to the family of a teen who was killed by the army on November 27, 2015.     MORE . . .  
International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC
Sept. 19, 2016
Many Israeli military vehicles invaded, earlier Monday, Kufur Abboush village, south of the northern West Bank city of Tulkarem, in addition to Tal village and Balata refugee camp, in the northern West Bank city of Nablus, and kidnapped four Palestinians.      MORE . . .
International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC
Sept. 19, 2016
Israeli soldiers invaded, on Sunday evening, a number of neighborhoods, in the Old City other parts of occupied East Jerusalem, and kidnapped three young men. The soldiers also invaded a home in Bethlehem.       MORE . . .
International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC
Sept. 19, 2016
Israeli soldiers invaded, on Sunday evening, the Aqabat Jaber refugee camp, southwest of Jericho city, in the occupied West Bank, kidnapped a child, and took him to a detention and interrogation center, near Jerusalem. The army also invaded Marda village, near Salfit.
___The WAFA Palestinian News Agency has reported that the soldiers kidnapped Mohammad Ahmad Maharma, 13, after stopping him at the southern entrance of Jericho.     MORE . . .


They call us now.
Before they drop the bombs.
The phone rings
and someone who knows my first name
calls and says in perfect Arabic
“This is David”.
And in my stupor of sonic booms and glass shattering symphonies
still smashing around in my head
I think “Do I know any Davids in Gaza?”
They call us now to say
You have 58 seconds from the end of this message.
Your house is next.
They think of it as some kind of
war time courtesy.
It doesn’t matter that
there is nowhere to run to.
It means nothing that the borders are closed
and your papers are worthless
and mark you only for a life sentence
in this prison by the sea
and the alleyways are narrow
and there are more human lives
packed one against the other
more than any other place on earth
Just run.
We aren’t trying to kill you.
It doesn’t matter that
you can’t call us back to tell us
the people we claim to want aren’t in your house
that there’s no one here
except you and your children
who were cheering for Argentina
sharing the last loaf of bread for this week
counting candles left in case the power goes out.
It doesn’t matter that you have children.
You live in the wrong place
and now is your chance to run
to nowhere.
It doesn’t matter
that 58 seconds isn’t long enough
to find your wedding album
or your son’s favorite blanket
or your daughter’s almost completed college application
or your shoes
or to gather everyone in the house.
It doesn’t matter what you had planned.
It doesn’t matter who you are
Prove you’re human.
Prove you stand on two legs.

Lena Khalaf Tuffaha  



“. . . he laughs, his Uzi sputters―they are nothing. . . [Sabra/Shatilla, Sept. 16, 1982]” (Sam Hamod)

Massacre of Palestinian People at Sabra and Shatilla Camps. By Katsikoviannis. (Photo: Arabic Literature in English, Sept. 17, 2010)

❶ The Appointment of General Yaron: Continuing Impunity for the Sabra and Shatilla Massacres
❷ Palestinian shot dead, another injured in Hebron after car ramming attack
. . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) Israeli forces shoot and kill Jordanian in East Jerusalem after alleged stab attack
❸ Opinion/Analysis: The Logic of Murder in Israel: A Culture of Impunity in Full View of the Entire World
❹ POETRY by Sam Hamod
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ Malone, Linda A. “The Appointment of General Yaron: Continuing Impunity for the Sabra and Shatilla Massacres.” Case Western Reserve Journal of International Law 32.3 (2000): 287.     FULL ARTICLE  

According to Yaron’s [1985] testimony. . . “one of the Phalangists had asked the commander what to do with 45 people, and the reply had been to do with them what God orders you to do.”
[. . . .]
Lieutenant Grabowsky, who had witnessed the Phalangists’ treatment of civilians from the earth embankment outside the camps, continued his own inquiry that afternoon. One of his soldiers, at his request, asked Phalangist soldiers in Arabic why they were killing civilians. He was told, “The pregnant women will give birth to terrorists and children will grow up to be terrorists.” Throughout the afternoon, the l.D.F. soldiers saw the Phalangists’ treatment of men, women and children and heard complaints and stories of the massacre. One soldier said he heard a report to the battalion commander, describing the Phalangists as “running wild.” Lieutenant Grabowsky left the area at 4:00 p.m., and later that afternoon related what he had seen to his commander and other officers. They referred him to his brigade commander, to whom he reported at 8:00 p.m., again conveying what he had seen earlier in the day. The battalion commander, in his testimony, denied receiving any report of killings or mistreatment of civilians other than the report that 300 were killed on Thursday night. The Report says there was no need to resolve these testimonial conflicts beyond the soldiers’ attempts to report the acts to their superiors, and that these soldiers’ reports did not reach Yaron or Drori. The Commission sent no 15(a) notice to the battalion commander, leaving any further investigation of his conduct to the I.D.F.
[. . . .]  The Chief of Staff did not ask the Phalangists any questions or debrief them about activities in the camps. Eitan said he refused to permit them to send in more forces, but Yaron testified that there were no restrictions placed on the Phalangists’ use of additional forces. The killing continued beyond 5:00 a.m. the following day [Saturday], until 8:00 a.m.
[. . . .]  The Phalangists removed truckloads of bodies. Other bodies are believed to remain under the ruins or in mass graves the Phalangists dug. The I.D.F. itself estimates 700 to 800 were killed. Other estimates place the death toll at approximately a thousand, with more than 900 people driven away in trucks. One Israeli source suggested the total number civilians killed was 3,000.

Ma’an News Agency
Sept. 16, 2016
Israeli forces shot and killed a Palestinian man at the entrance of the Kiryat Arba settlement in the occupied West Bank district of Hebron and critically wounded a woman who was also in the vehicle after the two allegedly carried out a car ramming attack on Friday that left three Israeli civilians injured.
___The slain Palestinian was later identified by locals as Moussa Muhammad Khaddour, 18, while the wounded Palestinian woman was identified as  Moussa’s fiance, 18-year-old Raghad Abdullah Abdullah Khaddour, the sister of Majd Khaddour who was killed by Israeli forces at the same junction in June after attempting a car ramming attack.     MORE . . . 

Ma’an News Agency
Sept. 16, 2016
Israeli forces Friday shot and killed a Jordanian youth in occupied East Jerusalem after an alleged stab attack at Damascus Gate in the Old City.      ___Israeli police spokeswoman for Arabic media Luba al-Samri said in a statement that a “terrorist” attempted a stabbing attack on an Israeli border policeman outside Damascus Gate and was “neutralized” by Israeli forces. . . .      MORE . . .

1982, the massacre of Israeli-allied Christian Phalange militiamen in west Beirut’s Sabra and Shatila refugee camps (Photo: Associated Press, Sep 14, 2015, found on Madison.com)

❸ Opinion/Analysis  (REPOSTED):  The  Logic  of  Murder  in  Israel:  A  Culture  of  Impunity  in  Full  View  of  the  Entire  World
Palestine Chronicle
Ramzy Baroud
Apr. 13, 2016
“Whether he made a mistake or not, is a trivial question,” said an Israeli Jewish man who joined large protests throughout Israel in support of a soldier who calmly, and with precision, killed a wounded Palestinian man in al-Khalil (Hebron). The protesting Jewish man described Palestinians as ‘barbaric’, ‘bestial’, who should not be perceived as people.
___This is hardly a fringe view in Israel. The vast majority of Israelis, 68%, support the killing of Abdel Fatah Yusri al-Sharif, 21, by the solider who had reportedly announced before firing at the wounded Palestinian that the “terrorist had to die.”
[. . . .]    ___The incident, once more, highlights a culture of impunity that exists in the Israeli army, which is not a new phenomenon.      MORE . . .    (paste URL into browser)


It is nothing, the blood
red    into stony ground,    nothing,    we can say
nothing, the flares red and white, blue, nothin
against black sky, faces blur, nothing
sharp rope cuts into wrists, it is
nothing, slash of knife on throat, gurgling, knowing
nothing, phalangist, israeli, we hear phalange, not
spoken, it is in the face, frangüyah’, gemeyal, it is
nothing, mustache moves,
nothing, these words
nothing, thunk, thunk of bazookas,     crunch
of bone, nothing, it is nothing, the
children run hiding under the bed
like play, a man comes in
they say nothing, he laughs, tells them
they’ll be safe, nothing, no sound, he
shouts, “Come out!” nothing
he lifts the bed,
their big eyes open,
he laughs,
his Uzi sputters―
they are nothing
their flesh nothing
oh, it is nothing
do not worry, they are
nothing, it is
nothing, do not worry, nothing
has happened,
nothing, it is nothing, say it is nothing―
so be peaceful brothers and sisters    do not run away
we are all Arabs     we will do nothing     it is nothing
we do nothing    it is nothing    it didn’t happen     if it did
it is nothing     oh, it is nothing
nothing at all
and now say it and believe it, it is nothing
nothing      nothing
oh God       nothing.

Sam Hamod, Palestinian-American Pulitzer Prize-Nominated poet.
From BEFORE THERE IS NOWHERE TO STAND: PALESTINE ISRAEL POETS RESPOND TO THE STRUGGLE.  Ed. By Joan Dobbie and Grace Beeler. Sandpoint ID: Lost Horse Press, 2012.  Available from Barnes and Noble.


“. . . No matter your sanctions, no matter your rhetoric and foreign policy . . .” (Jehan Bseiso)

BARCELONA, SPAIN – SEPTEMBER 14: Women show their support for two sailing boats with only female activists on board, before they set off for the Gaza Strip (Photo: The Middle East Monitor – MEMO)

❶ Israeli forces carry out airstrikes on Gaza Strip, target 3 alleged Hamas sites
❷ World Bank: Israeli restrictions ruining Palestinian economy
❸ POETRY by Jehan Bseiso

  • Background from journal Middle East Policy (lengthy excerpt)

` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Ma’an News Agency
Sept. 15, 2016
Israeli forces carried out several airstrikes on the besieged Gaza Strip during predawn hours on Thursday after a rocket was launched from Gaza and exploded near the border with Israel.
___The Israeli army had said the rocket hit an area near the Eshkol.
___According to locals, Israeli forces targeted empty agricultural lands northwest of Beit Lahiya in the northern region, reportedly striking a site used by the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of the Hamas movement. Israeli forces also shelled another site northwest of Beit Lahiya in the area of al-Shayma also allegedly used by Hamas, causing a fire to break out in the area.       MORE . . .
RELATED  Israeli military cleared on Wednesday its occupation forces of war crimes in incidents of killing civilians during Israeli major offensive on the coastal enclave in 2014. RELATED  Photos: ‘The Women’s boats to Gaza’ prepare to set sail

Israel’s air force hit the Gaza Strip early Thursday (Photo: Sept 15, 2016 (Agence France‑Presse)

The Palestinian Information Center
Sept. 15, 2016
The prolonged period of slow economic growth has resulted in persistently high unemployment and stagnation in the average income of Palestinian citizens, according to the latest World Bank report on the Palestinian economy.
[. . . .]
Donor aid remains key for improving the humanitarian situation in Gaza. Out of the US$3.5 billion pledged at the Cairo Conference for rebuilding Gaza (2014-2017), 46 percent has been disbursed, which means it is US$1.3 billion behind schedule. Critically, only 16 percent of the total Gaza recovery needs outlined in the detailed assessment that was prepared after the 2014 war have been addressed.   MORE . . .


No matter white flag.

No matter medicine.
No matter civilian.

No matter international community.

No matter your international waters.

No matter your sanctions, no matter your rhetoric and foreign policy.

Only 62 years’ status quo.
Every day, every day Nakba.
Subsidized settlements.

Even more walls.

Children on the ICRC bus, visiting Babas in your prisons ―

Food and medicine rotting at every border ―
From the shadows, the silent majority watch water go on fire.

Jehan Bseiso is a Palestinian poet, researcher and aid-worker currently based in Cairo. Born in Los Angeles, she grew up in Jordan and studied in Lebanon.
From: I  REMEMBER  MY  NAME:  Poetry  by  Samah  Sabawi,  Ramzy  Baroud,  Jehan  Bseiso. Vacy Vlanzna, ed. London: Novum Publishing, 2016. Available from Barnes and Noble.

  • Zunes, Stephen. “The Gaza war, Congress and international humanitarian law.” Middle East Policy 17.1 (2010): 68+.FULL ARTICLE

The large-scale killing of civilians during Israel’s three-week assault on the Gaza Strip in 2008-09 received widespread condemnation from human-rights advocates and international legal scholars the world over. In both Europe and North America, public reaction to the grossly disproportionate Israeli response to Hamas rocket attacks was the most negative ever expressed against an Israeli military action. In Israel itself, soldiers who had witnesses some of the atrocities joined Israeli peace activists in exposing war crimes committed by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). However, the U.S. Congress, under the leadership of the Democratic Party, overwhelmingly defended the Israeli offensive, even to the point of attacking leading defenders of international humanitarian law.

[. . . .]     On November 6, Israel tightened its siege of the Gaza Strip, prompting Human Rights Watch to note, “Israel’s severe limitations on the movement of nonmilitary goods and people into and out of Gaza, including fuel and medical supplies, constitutes collective punishment, also in violation of the laws of war.” Despite this, congressional leaders of both parties continued to defend the sanctions. . . .  Despite the congressional leadership’s support for Israel’s rejection of such efforts to salvage the ceasefire, which could have prevented further rocket attacks into Israel, they subsequently would claim that Israel had “no choice” but to launch its massive assault on the Gaza Strip in retaliation.
[. . . .]     . . . some members of Congress went so far as to simply deny that large-scale attacks against civilian targets were taking place. For example, Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA) . . . insisted that. . . . “The Israeli response has been a series of targeted strikes against Hamas militants, aimed directly at those who are launching the attacks on Israeli civilian population centers” and that “the Israeli military is taking extreme caution to limit civilian casualties.”
[. . . .]     . . .  the goal of Congress appears to be to protect war criminals from prosecution. U.S. support for human rights and international law has always been uneven, but never has Congress gone on record by such an overwhelming margin to discredit these universal principles so categorically. Indeed, it may be a means of preventing the kind of precedent that could serve as a deterrent to subsequent violations of international humanitarian law by the United States in its “global war on terrorism.” By essentially going on record that mass killing of civilians is legitimate as long as you are fighting “terrorists,” this provides a blank check for U.S. forces to commit future atrocities. . . .
[. . . .]
Of greatest concern for the U.S. Congress, however, was the mission organized by the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), headed by the distinguished South African jurist Richard Goldstone. The Goldstone Commission report cited a series of war crimes by both Hamas militia and Israeli forces, called on both Hamas and the Israeli government to bring to justice those responsible, and recommended that, in the absence of credible investigations by their respective governments, the case be referred to the International Criminal Court (ICC) for possible prosecution. . . .
[. . . .] That the report examined violations of international humanitarian law by both sides did not alter these senators’ insistence of bias since, according to the letter, “the vast majority of the report focuses on Israel’s conduct, rather than that of Hamas.”
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