“. . . was consistent with a study of Cambodian refugees who experienced political violence. . . .” (Clea McNeely)

prisoners
Palestinian prisoners at the Megiddo Prison. (Photo: Agence France‑Presse/)

❶ August 2016 report: 516 Palestinians arrested by Israeli occupation forces
❷ Report: Israel detained 30 Palestinian teens in August, majority report being tortured

  • Background from Journal Of Traumatic Stress. “. . . the feelings captured by this scale were interpreted by Palestinians to be symptoms of social suffering associated with the injustice and violence of the Israeli military occupation . . .”

❸ Ten Palestinians arrested in West Bank
❹ POETRY by Fouzi El Asmar
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ AUGUST 2016 REPORT: 516 PALESTINIANS ARRESTED BY ISRAELI OCCUPATION FORCE
Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network
September 2, 2016
During August 2016, Israeli occupation forces arrested 516 Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza, including 73 children and ten women, including two minor girls. The institutions noted that 143 arrests took place in Jerusalem; 100 in al-Khalil; 57 in Bethlehem; 51 in Jenin; 37 in Ramallah and El-Bireh; 35 in Nablus; 34 in Tulkaren; 18 in Qalqilya; nine in Tubas; five in Jericho; and four in Salfit.
___There are approximately 7,000 total Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons, including 56 women prisoners. This number includes 13 minor girls. The total number of child prisoners is 340, held mostly in Megiddo and Ofer prisons. 159 administrative detention orders were issued in August, including 52 new orders issued for the first time.    MORE . . .

  • McNeely, Clea, et al. “Political Imprisonment And Adult Functioning: A Life Event History Analysis Of Palestinians.” Journal Of Traumatic Stress 28.3 (2015): 223-231.   FULL ARTICLE.

In this representative sample from the occupied Palestinian territory, 26% of men aged 32 to 43 years were imprisoned for political reasons between 1987 and 2011. This equates to nearly 48,000 men in the full population (Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, 2012).
[. . . .]
The Palestinian context makes it possible to study political imprisonment in community samples due to the frequency with which Palestinian boys and men are imprisoned. An estimated 750,000–800,000 Palestinians, mostly males, have been detained or imprisoned by Israel for political reasons since 1967. There are few families that have not had at least one male family member imprisoned. Indeed, political imprisonment has become endowed with particular significance to Palestinians, whether as an ultimate symbol of resistance to Israeli military occupation of Palestinian land or as evidence of the invasive military occupation. The unique persistence of trauma-related stress over many years—but not other forms of mental suffering—was consistent with a study of Cambodian refugees who experienced political violence. We described the measure as trauma-related stress (instead of PTSD) to deny any implication that it assesses a clinical disorder. Rather, the feelings captured by this scale were interpreted by Palestinians to be symptoms of social suffering associated with the injustice and violence of the Israeli military occupation.
[. . . .]
Of note, two domains of functioning were not affected by recent imprisonment: economic and family. Economic functioning may not have been worse because the Palestinian Authority provided financial support to families of prisoners during the imprisonment period. Family functioning may not have been worse, compared to never-imprisoned men, because wives and mothers of political prisoners worked hard to maintain family cohesion and support for the prisoner.
___The finding of the widespread suffering of the recently imprisoned illustrates the value of searching beyond the conventional focus on psychopathology to include functioning across the multiple contexts affected by political conflict. In terms of practice, the findings suggest that efforts to support former political prisoners in the occupied Palestinian territory pay particular attention to those who have been imprisoned most recently.

❷ REPORT: ISRAEL DETAINED 30 PALESTINIAN TEENS IN AUGUST, MAJORITY REPORT BEING TORTURED
Ma’an News Agency
Sept. 5, 2016
Israeli forces imprisoned 30 teenage Palestinians over the month of August and collected 65,000 shekels ($1,727) from their families as fines, the Palestinian Committee of Prisoners’ Affairs said Monday, with the majority of the detainees saying they were beaten and tortured during their detention, interrogation, and transport from one detention center to another.
___A statement released Monday quoted the committee’s lawyer Luay Akka as saying that among the detainees were minors as young as 13 years old.
___Akka added that 17 of the detainees were taken from their homes during military raids, five were detained from off the street, four at military checkpoints, and four arrived voluntarily to detention centers after they received summons from Israeli authorities.    MORE . . .  
❸ TEN PALESTINIANS ARRESTED IN WEST BANK
Alray-Palestinian Media Agency
Sep. 6, 2016
Ten Palestinians were arrested on Tuesday at dawn as the Isareli occupation forces (IOF) stormed different areas in the occupied West Bank and closed a fireworks shop in Hebron.
___Israeli media sources claimed that the IOF arrested three “wanted” Palestinians from Hebron, a Hamas activist from Jalazon camp north of Ramallah, another citizen form Qalandia camp, north of Jerusalem, two from Beit Reema town and two from Moughair village near Ramallah.
___Another Palestinian from Kofel Hares town north of the West Bank was arrested.   MORE . . .     

“TO  THE  BELOVED  MOTHERLAND,”  BY  FOUZI EL-ASMAR
Night in my cell
is life still in bud.
Beloved, you are like the breaking of light,
Like truth
Like a song dissolved into longing
Tearing apart the draped evening
Wrecking the flow of moans.

Beloved,
The joy of daylight
embraces the darkness
in my cell;
persistent silence here
will turn back the blade
of the swindler, the torturer
the thief of my childhood dreams
in the day’s heat.

Beloved, in your name
dusk has touched my forehead
grey dreams flooded my head
But my will remains uncowed
for since I came to manhood
with my eyelashes
I have borne your ancient love
You remain my lighthouse
and only refuge.

Beloved,
we are here to nurse at life
Your full breast
stretches are lightening
of hope and will
It shall flower a new prophecy
in our souls
It shall loosen the chains
and hurl light over our love.

Beloved,
The prison is a brief cloud
The bitter winds
of a cold journey
which we must accomplish.

Our road is wrapped in sighs, tears, and thorns
In all that dark claws can weave
but our love shall triumph
At the end of the road.

There
We shall meet with the sun
Its rays shall enter every house
Fill every crack
Flooding mountains, hills, and plains.

As I sit in a corner of my dim cell
lacing the seeds of the little light
stretching them to these lines for you
I am struck with the joy of a child:
Beloved,
With all that tears this life apart
They forget they cannot put
my mind in jail.

El-Asmar, Fouzi. THE  WIND-DRIVEN  REED  AND  OTHER  POEMS. Washington, DC: Three Continents Press, 1979.
Available at Amazon. 
About Fouzi El-Asmar.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s