“. . . At evening we sought refuge there watching out for the guns . . .” (Yousef Al-Mahmoud)

❶ Israeli forces shoot, kill 2 young Palestinians during raid in Jenin refugee camp

Background: “Exiled at Home: Writing Return and the Palestinian Home.” Biography: An Interdisciplinary Quarterly

❷ Palestinian family served punitive demolition order by Israeli army
❸ Ashrawi tells “Know Thy Heritage” delegation Palestinians are united in national identity
❹ POETRY by Yousef Al-Mahmoud
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Ma’an News Agency
July 12, 2017.   Israeli forces shot and killed two young Palestinians — one 17-year-old and one 20-year-old — and injured at least two others after a violent military raid into Jenin refugee camp in the northern occupied West Bank erupted into clashes early Wednesday morning.
___An Israeli army spokesperson said that during an “operation” in the camp, a Palestinian gunman opened fire at Israeli forces, and other locals threw Molotov cocktails, which prompted Israeli fires to open fire toward the “attackers.”
___No casualties were reported among the heavily armed and armored Israeli forces.
[. . . .] The Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs condemned Israeli forces for the deadly raid and accused the Israeli government of deliberately escalating the situation in the occupied territory to coincide with visits from US diplomats, in an attempt to disrupt the peace process.
___”The Israeli crime in Jenin was committed in line with a visit from US envoy Jason Greenblatt, who is conducting meetings with Israeli and Palestinian officials to revive negotiations.” the ministry’s statement said, alleging the raid was committed as part of attempts by Israel’s right-wing government to impose their agenda on meetings with Greenblatt.
___The ministry said it held the Israeli government responsible for the “a hideous crime” in Jenin, for the continuous deterioration of the situation in the occupied Palestinian territory, and for “obstructing American efforts for peace.”   MORE . . .

Shalhoub-Kevorkian, Nadera And Sarah Ihmoud. “Exiled at Home: Writing Return and the Palestinian Home.” Biography: An Interdisciplinary Quarterly, vol. 37, no. 2, Spring2014, pp. 377-397.
The homespace and the homeland are critical places of being and becoming. Homing works as a powerful force that gives voice, spreads love, and maintains continuities. . . .
[. . . .]   Handal’s ongoing process of this web documentary exposes the reality of the absurd post-1948 political situation in West Jerusalem where expropriated Palestinian houses are being sold on Israeli real-estate agents’ websites. The realisation of this absurd political reality was the persuasive point for Handal’s engagement in this issue:
The idea for the work grew from an encounter I made in the early 1990s. During a trip to NYC, I met a Palestinian refugee and he showed me a real estate advertisement that featured upscale residential properties in West Jerusalem. At first glance, there was nothing particularly special about this ad, but the absurd political reality around it became evident after he explained to me that this was in fact his family’s expropriated home that was now on sale for an Israeli international clientele. I was a teenager at the time and the story had an enduring impact on me – beneath the glossy surface of the ad was a cruel reality. [From Karmah Elmusa, Alexandra Handal Combines Palestinian History and Art in Web Documentary].
[. . . .]  The concept of homeland and the limitations of the Green Line are obvious in Alexandra Handal’s practice. Born in 1975 into a Palestinian family in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Handal is influenced by the 1948 Palestinian depopulation from West Jerusalem and the ongoing Palestinian occupation by Israel.
[. . . .] The desire to document the socio-political events of her homeland is obvious in Handal’s work. In the artist’s statement for No Parking without Permission, Jerusalem, Handal describes her longing to explore the occupied areas:
I wanted to go see first-hand what had become of those neighbourhoods whose stories had shaped my image of the city. So I decided to undertake a number of walks there. Although walking through a city would almost anywhere in the world be seen as a mundane activity, for a Palestinian drifting in Jerusalem is politicised and loaded with emotional ramifications. Through numerous walks, I explored these areas by looking through all sorts of barriers, fences, gates and bushes in an attempt to remove the distance and be/come closer to the spaces that Palestinians were torn apart from in 1948. These drifts culminated into a series of photos, each image – a visual testimony of my yearning. [Author’s Communication with Alexandra Handal, 2015]       SOURCE . . .

Ma’an News Agency        
July 12, 2017.   The Israeli army delivered a punitive demolition order to a Palestinian family in the village of Deir Abu Meshaal in the central occupied West Bank district of Ramallah in a predawn military raid Wednesday, in the wake of a deadly attack in front of Jerusalem’s Old City last month in which three Palestinians assailants were shot dead and an Israeli border police officer was killed.
___Last week, the Israeli army already delivered demolition warrants for the homes belonging to the families of two of the slain Palestinians, and for unknown reasons, the third family was not notified that their house would be demolished until Wednesday’s raid.   MORE . . .
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA  
July 12, 2017.    Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Executive Committee member Hanan Ashrawi, who serves on the Know Thy Heritage (KTH) Advisory Board, Wednesday told the 2017 KTH delegation visiting Ramallah that as Palestinians living in exile, Palestinians are united by their national identity and historical roots in Palestine.
___Ashrawi, who met the participants who represent four continents and seven countries at the PLO Headquarters in Ramallah, reminded them of the importance of reconnecting to Palestine and returning to their homeland to maintain a sense of belonging and to defy Israeli violations and unlawful policies on the ground.
___Ashrawi concluded her presentation on the escalation of Israel’s continued breach of international law by taking questions on the internal division, the importance of the BDS movement, American efforts to revitalize the “peace process,” and the role of Palestinians politicians working in the Israeli Knesset.   MORE . . . 

Her house is above the carnations
on the path to the wind-swept hills. . .
At evening we sought refuge there
watching out for the guns and the aeroplanes.

The crack of bullets followed our coffee
and smashed into our conversation.
The crack of bullets and the bark of artillery
came near to the flowers inside the windows
came near to the warmth and the water jug
debris clattered down the outside stairway
and fell towards the marble pavement.

Her house is above the carnations
there we were in it
we had sought refuge there
and so we moved to where the Jewish soldiers could no longer see us.
—Translated by DM Black

—Yousef Al-Mahmoud is a prominent broadcaster and poet, and former head of the Ministry of Culture in his native Jenin.
—From A BIRD IS NOT A STONE: AN ANTHOLOGY OF CONTEMPORARY PALESTINIAN POETRY (Glasgow: Freight Books, 2014) –available from Barnes and Noble


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