“. . . Tank shells and small-arms fire and their hatred, all these roll . . .” (Uthman Hussein)

IMG_3567
The Sea of Galilee near the Church of the Multiplication (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 9, 2015)

❶ UN appeals for funding to address ‘spiraling’ humanitarian crisis in Gaza
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Cancer patient dies in Gaza after being denied treatment abroad
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴃ) Egypt supplying fuel to rescue Palestinians

Background: “Countdown to the Next Chernobyl–Gaza.” Washington Report on Middle East Affairs.

❷ Israeli court finds right-wing extremist guilty in 2015 church arson
❸ A memorial service for a dead settler from Hebron at Al-Aqsa Mosque
❹ POETRY by Uthman Hussein
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
UN  APPEALS  FOR  FUNDING  TO  ADDRESS  ‘SPIRALING’  HUMANITARIAN  CRISIS  IN  GAZA 
Ma’an News Agency
July 3, 2017.   United Nations humanitarian organizations in the occupied Palestinian territory appealed on Monday for funding to address the “spiraling” situation in the besieged Gaza Strip.
___According to a statement published by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the agencies requested some $25 million in funding during a meeting with diplomats in Jerusalem.
___The additional funding would seek to “mitigate the effects of deep power cuts and lack of fuel” that have severely affected Gaza’s infrastructure — such as water treatment plants and sewage systems — and its health sector, the statement said
___The funding would also help assist some 100,000 food-insecure families, the OCHA statement added.   MORE . . .
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) CANCER  PATIENT  DIES  IN  GAZA  AFTER  BEING  DENIED  TREATMENT  ABROAD    
Al Hourriah Magazine (Freedom) 
July 4, 2017.  The Gaza Ministry of Health announced on Monday the death of a citizen suffering from cancer due to Israel’s procrastination in allowing him to receive treatment outside the Gaza Strip.
___Spokesman of the Ministry Ashraf al-Qedra said that the Israeli authorities have been procrastinating for 20 days in transferring Jameel Tafesh, 60, who was suffering from liver cancer, to a hospital in the 1948 occupied Palestinian territories.   MORE . . .
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴃ) EGYPT  SUPPLYING  FUEL  TO  RESCUE  PALESTINIANS 
Al-Monitor (Palestine Pulse)   
Mohammed Othman
July 3, 2017.  The diesel fuel Egypt has supplied to the Gaza Strip is but a drop in the bucket toward easing Gaza’s power crisis, but there is hope the gesture might signal a thaw in Egypt’s relations with the Hamas-run Gaza government and possibly open the flow of trade.
___Egyptian authorities opened the Rafah border crossing to the Gaza Strip June 21-24 to allow in Egyptian industrial diesel for Gaza’s sole power plant, which has been offline more than two months. Since then, the plant has received intermittent deliveries of Egyptian diesel fuel through the Rafah crossing.   MORE . . .  

Abood, Jeffery. “COUNTDOWN  TO  THE  NEXT  CHERNOBYL –GAZA.” Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, vol. 35, no. 5, Aug/Sep2016, pp. 1-5.
Gaza is home to 1.9 million people, over a million of whom are children. According to the CIA Factbook, only 19 other territories (out of 229) have a younger median age. Last year, a United Nations report warned that the Gaza Strip, the place these children call home, “could become uninhabitable by 2020, if current economic trends persist.” By the time we are inundated with the next round of presidential election ads, Gaza could very well have become uninhabitable, unable to support human life–thus joining the list of other uninhabitable areas of the world, including the Arctic, Death Valley and Chernobyl.
___Why will one of the most densely populated areas on earth soon to be designated, like the city of Chernobyl, as unable to sustain life? It will not be due to some nuclear accident or natural disaster. It will, instead, be uniquely by design.
___According to a June 2016 U.N. report, “Fragmented Lives,” “the major drivers of humanitarian vulnerability in the oPt were directly linked to Israel’s protracted occupation.” In 2015, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) warned that “short of ending the blockade [we cannot] reverse the ongoing de-development and impoverishment in Gaza.” According to UNCTAD, this “de-development” is a process by which development is not merely hindered but reversed. A state of “de-development” requires control of all the aspects that contribute to a normal life. Keeping a population captive, while never allowing their situation to improve, denies them the ability to live, grow and thrive.    FULL ARTICLE . . .

❷ ISRAELI  COURT  FINDS  RIGHT-WING  EXTREMIST  GUILTY  IN  2015  CHURCH  ARSON 
Ma’an News Agency
July 3, 2017.  A far-right Israeli extremist was found guilty on Monday in a 2015 arson attack targeting the famous Church of Multiplication in northern Israel, Israeli media reported.
___According to Israeli newspaper Haaretz, 22-year-old Yinon Reuveni was found guilty of all charges after torching the church, believed to be the site where Jesus Christ performed the miracle of multiplying fishes and loaves of bread, in June 2015.
___The church only reopened in February of this year after undergoing extensive repairs following the fire.
___Reuveni had also been charged in 2016 for committing acts of violence against Palestinians, Ynet noted, whereas Haaretz quoted Shin Bet sources as claiming that Reuveni had been involved in other arson attacks against mosques.   MORE . . .

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Church of the Multiplication. Damage from firebomb thrown by right-wing Israeli terrorist Yinon Reuveni (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 9, 2015)

❸ A  MEMORIAL  SERVICE  FOR  A  DEAD  SETTLER  FROM  HEBRON  AT  AL-AQSA  MOSQUE
Wadi Hilweh Information Center – Silwan
June 29, 2017.
Dozens of settlers broke into Al-Aqsa Mosque on Thursday morning as a group of them conducted a memorial service on the first anniversary of the death of Halil Yafa; a settler from Kiryat Arba’ settlement in Hebron.
___The Islamic Awqaf department said that 123 settlers broke into Al-Aqsa Mosque on Thursday morning through Dung Gate which is controlled by the occupation authorities since the occupation of the city of Jerusalem. Settlers carried out a tour inside the courtyards of Al-Aqsa while one group 970 settlers) including the mother of Halil Yafa (member of the Alleged Temple groups) and the Chief of Police in Jerusalem as well as senior police officers and Special Forces personnel conducted a memorial service for Halil.   MORE . . .

“CAMP  BLOCK  5,”  BY  UTHMAN  HUSSEIN

I have to go, I said: I have to. The barbarians are besieging time and place, besieging this rapid breathing in the side-alleys of frustration’s long journey. Explosions ripple, fear controls the situation. Justified and upstanding fear in the face of history at a great crossroads. They monitor us and we monitor them and we besiege their glory with our weakness. Tank shells and small-arms fire and their hatred, all these roll before the demolition machines.
I will go now. Many children, half asleep and stumbling and falling as you hurry them from their houses at the hour of dawn. Houses that will be leveled like accusations in just a moment. A father carries his children and rushes like a missile out of what will shortly be a pile of cement, oh if he didn’t draw back from you a moment, he would still be Ahmed al-Munsi under the pile which his house became, as if I had an appointment with justified forgetting as well. The hour of dawn passes and shells pound the dilapidated house and the demolition machine bears down on the overwhelmed blocks of the camp in their misery. . . .     COMPLETE POEM . . .

Uthman Hussein is the founder and editor-in-chief of the Palestinian cultural magazine Ashtar. He lives in Rafah in Gaza.
From A BIRD IS NOT A STONE: AN ANTHOLOGY OF CONTEMPORARY PALESTINIAN POETRY. Ed. by Henry Bell and Sarah Irving. (Glasgow: Freight Books, 2014) –available from Barnes & Noble.

Further reading about the situation in Gaza:
Bouris, Dimitris. “The Vicious Cycle Of Building And Destroying: The 2014 War On Gaza.” Mediterranean Politics 20.1 (2015): 111-117.       SOURCE . . .
Hartley, Delinda C. “What Looms Ahead for the Forgotten Heroes of Gaza?.” Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, vol. 34, no. 3, May 2015, pp. 16-74.
FULL ARTICLE . . .
Macintyre, Donald. “Life among the Ruins. (Cover Story).” New Statesman, vol. 143, no. 5221, 08 Aug. 2014, pp. 22-27.     FULL ARTICLE . . .

 

 

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