“. . . Your house is shrouded with the dust of death . . .” (Fadwa Tuqan)

Israeli forces storm Hebron-area refugee camp, Aug. 16, 2016 (Photo: Ma’an News Agency)

❶ Israeli forces kill 18-year-old Palestinian in Gaza after shooting him in head during protests

  • Background:   “Mental Suffering In Protracted Political Conflict: Feeling Broken Or Destroyed.”

❷ B’Tselem: Palestinian youth killed in al-Fawwar refugee camp away from clashes when shot dead

  • Background:  “An ‘Invented People’: Palestinian Refugee Women And Meanings Of Home.”

❸ US critical of Israeli [Netanyahu’s] remarks on West Bank settlements
❹ POETRY by Fadwa Tuqan
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Ma’an News Agency  
Sept. 9, 2016
An 18-year-old Palestinian in Gaza was killed by Israeli forces on Friday after a soldier shot the youth in the head during protests east of al-Bureij refugee camp near the border between the besieged enclave and Israel. The Israeli army, however, has denied any involvement in the deadly shooting.
___Ministry of Health spokesman Ashraf al-Qidra identified the youth as Abd al-Rahman Ahmad al-Dabbagh and confirmed the 18-year-old had been shot in the head. He was rushed to the Al-Aqsa hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival.
[. . . .]   Witnesses told Ma’an that dozens of youths had gathered in several areas near the border with Israel . . . .  An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an that a “violent riot erupted” near the border with Gaza, as “dozens of rioters breached the buffer zone” . . .  According to the spokesperson “in an attempt to prevent an escalation of violence,” Israeli forces used tear gas in order to disperse the “riot.”      MORE . . .  

  • Barber, Brian K., et al. “Mental Suffering In Protracted Political Conflict: Feeling Broken Or Destroyed.” Plos ONE 11.5 (2016): 1-17  ARTICLE  . . .

Gazan psychiatrist Eyad El Sarraj [wrote] “When we hear the blasts of their bombs, we do not falter. We resist even in our silence. We hope still that one day they will send a message of justice and peace. We will always be there.”  ___ Muna, one West Bank woman from our study, elaborated the suffering and its complexity as follows: “a kind of depression or despair, and some sort of emotional or psychological disorders, I don’t want to call them physiological disease. We live a very difficult life, in our practical and educational lives, we lived a short period of those trouble and suffered a great deal, how would you imagine someone lived all along those conflicts and intifadas. . . suffering a great deal, and feel[ing] emotionally exhausted and psychologically ill, and having great psychological problems. If not all the Palestinians, I’m sure more than three quarters feel this way, we lost hope, but [we are] still immovable and resisting.”

Ma’an News Agency
Sept. 10, 2016
A report released Friday by the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem revealed that 19-year-old Muhammad Yudef Sebar Abu Hashhash, who was killed by an Israeli sniper on August 16 during a military raid in Hebron’s al-Fawwar refugee camp, was not taken part in clashes at the time he was killed as was initially reported by media.
___. . . .  Abu Hashhash, who was initially reported as being 17-years-old, and other youths in the camp had climbed to the roof of a building and threw stones at soldiers who had also taken position on rooftops in the camp . . . .
___Some ten Israeli soldiers entered the home of Bajes al-Hamuz nearby Abu Hashhash’s home at around noon, and proceeded to close the family in the bedroom as they ransacked their home.. . . .       During the raid on the home of al-Hamuz, witnesses told B’Tselem that a sniper was positioned at the hole in the family’s guestroom located some 30 to 40 meters away from Abu Hashhash’s family home.  Ayad told B’tselem he heard a sound that sounded like “a shot fired through a silencer . . . .
___Hashhash was killed by live fire, as the Israeli sniper shot him in his back, and the bullet exited through his chest right above his heart.      MORE . . .

A hole carved into a home nearby Muhammad Abu Hashhash’s where an Israeli sniper was stationed and apparently shot Abu Hashhash in the back. (Photo: B’Tselem)
  • Background: Holt, Maria. “An ‘Invented People’: Palestinian Refugee Women And Meanings Of Home.” ACME: An International E-Journal For Critical Geographies 14.2 (2015): 98-106.   SOURCE.  

Notions of ‘national identity’, clearly, have undergone significant changes since 1948. In the process, Palestinians have developed new ways of envisaging themselves as a nation. They live as diasporic communities and share a longing to ‘return’. . . .  I suggest that the shape of Palestinian identity is changing to accommodate more fluid elements of belonging. . . .  In recent years, Palestinian identity has been demonized as violent and terrorist and this perception inevitably has an effect on how Palestinians practice resistance . . . .  women have strongly influenced the evolution of a transnational, diasporic identity, rooted both in the memory of place and the reality of placelessness.
[. . . .]     
While the Palestinian leadership attempted to sustain a unifying ideology based on memory and heroic struggle, individual Palestinians, especially women, have frequently dissented from the official narrative. They do not do this because they are opposed to the notion of an inclusive Palestinian nation but, rather, because it fails to represent the complex reality . . .  of Palestinians. ‘Real’ events, for example, the 2008-09 Israeli war against Gaza, have had a unifying effect on disparate Palestinian communities.
. . .  This incident, like the 1982 Israeli invasion of Lebanon before it, unites individual women . . .  and confirms their identity as Palestinians.
___Place ‘is space to which meaning has been ascribed’ but, while the refugees may not choose to ascribe meaning to the spaces they occupy, the fact that  successive generations have been forced to inhabit these spaces indicates that a degree of ‘meaning’ is inevitable. However, while memories of Palestine evoke nostalgia . . .  the present reality of the refugee camps is rejected. It is an uncomfortable position. On the one hand, women’s traditional role of homemaker has placed them at the centre of the project of place-making and yet, as it is not something they have chosen, they must find other meanings. Thus, their contribution to recreating a sense of place ‘is far from being restricted to the domestic arena’; their ‘place-making practices are integral to the cultural and political struggles against displacement’. Women ‘weave personal and collective struggles – from home to camp and beyond – into a collective historical process of place making’ (Harcourt and Escobar).

❸ US CRITICAL OF ISRAELI REMARKS ON WEST BANK SETTLEMENTS      Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA      Sept. 10, 2016      The United States strongly criticized on Friday statements by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in which he described Palestinians not wanting settlers in their future state as “ethnic cleansing.”
___Netanyahu was seen in a video circulated on social media saying: “The Palestinian leadership actually demands a Palestinian state with one pre-condition: No Jews. There’s a phrase for that: It’s called ethnic cleansing.”
___He also described this demand as “outrageous,” and said that what is even more outrageous that the world does not find it outrageous and that some enlightened countries, hinting at the US, even promote this outrage.     MORE . . .

Will you not open this door for me?
My hand is exhausted from knocking at Your door.
I have come to Your vastness to beg
Some tranquility and peace of mind
But Your door is closed in my face,
Drowned in silence.
Lord of the house,
The door was open here,
A refuge for all burdened with grief.
The door was open here,
And the green olive tree rose high
Embracing the house.
The oil lamb kindling without fire,
Guiding steps of one walking at night,
Relieving those crushed by the burden of Earth,
Flooding them with satisfaction and ease.
Do you hear me, O Lord of the house,
After my loss in the deserts;
Away from You I have returned to You
But Your door is closed
In my face, drowned in silence.
Your house is shrouded
With the dust of death.
You are here. Open, then, the door.
Do not veil your face.
See my orphanhood, my loss,
Amid the ruins of a collapsing world,
The grief of the world on my shoulders
And terrors of a tyrant destiny
To be undone.

From: A Lover From Palestine and Other Poems: An Anthology of Palestinian Poetry. Ed. Abdul Wahab Al-Messiri. Washington, DC: Free Palestine Press, 1970. Available from Amazon.
Fadwa Tuqan obituary.

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