“. . . She must have earned a bad name by now, For the number of swords unsheathed . . .” (Aftab Yusuf Shaikh)

Dkaika Village, South Hebron Hills (Photo: Hebron International Rehabilitation Network. Dec. 24, 2014)

❶ Al-Aqsa officials reject new Israeli security measures as compound reopens

  • Background: . “From ‘Ethnocracity’ to Urban Apartheid: The Changing Urban Geopolitics of Jerusalem\Al-Quds.” Cosmopolitan Civil Societies: An Interdisciplinary Journal.

. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) PCHR Strongly Condemns Israeli Authorities’ Measures against Al-Aqsa Mosque in Unprecedented Step
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴃ) Knesset bill bans dividing occupied Jerusalem
❷ Israel is expelling 300 Palestinians, to a village it plans to demolish
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) My village is under threat. I’m not giving up hope
❸ POETRY by Aftab Yusuf Shaikh
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Ma’an News Agency       
July 16, 2017.  As Israeli officials moved to “gradually reopen” the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in occupied East Jerusalem on Sunday after three days of closure, officials from the Islamic Endowment (Waqf) that runs the holy site expressed their rejection to the new metal detectors installed at compound’s entrances . . .
___The attempt to reopen the compound came upon an order from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, after it had been closed following a deadly shooting attack inside the compound that left two Israeli border policemen killed and three Palestinian assailants shot dead on Friday.
___After discussions with “top security leadership,” Netanyahu announced additional security measures at the holy site Saturday evening, including the installation of the metal detectors as well as security cameras outside the compound.
___Meanwhile, Al-Aqsa and the entirety of the Old City has remained shuttered to Palestinians who don’t reside there since Friday, while Israelis and tourists have been allowed to enter the Old City.  MORE . . .

Yacobi, Haim. “FROM  ‘ETHNOCRACITY’  TO  URBAN  APARTHEID:  THE  CHANGING  URBAN  GEOPOLITICS  OF  JERUSALEM\AL-QUDS.” Cosmopolitan Civil Societies: An Interdisciplinary Journal, vol. 8, no. 3, July 2016, pp. 100-114.
(Haim Yacobi is Professor of Development Planning, University College, London)
[. . . .] ‘Jerusalem is the eternal capital of the Jewish people, a city reunified so as never again to be divided… Our people’s unparalleled affinity to Jerusalem has spanned thousands of years, and is the basis of our national renaissance. It has united our people, secular and religious alike’. The statement above, by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, expresses the mainstream Israeli understanding of the city as ‘unified Jerusalem,’ a fixed urban space, a given subject of Israeli sovereignty and ethno-national aspirations. But in fact, the city of Jerusalem is manufactured continuously by geopolitical practices, which include not merely military occupation but also colonial planning and demographic engineering.
___As widely documented and analyzed, a turning point in Israel’s geopolitical situation occurred in June 1967, when Israel occupied East Jerusalem and other territories. Following this occupation, and despite international objections, the Israeli government issued the Municipalities Ordinance (Amendment No. 6) Law, 5727–1967, applying Israeli law to East Jerusalem. As a result, Israel annexed Palestinian land and declared the city of Jerusalem to be its united capital. This stage in the colonization of East Jerusalem was heavily based on legal measures in the form of expropriation of Palestinian land into (Israeli) state hands.
___The next stage in the process was the rhetorical device of incessantly declaring that Jerusalem is a unified city. In this regard, planning policies have clearly reflected the paradigm of an ethnocracity; both state and city governments have pursued the same general policy, which persistently promoted the Judaization of Jerusalem – i.e. the expansion of Jewish political, territorial, demographic and economic control. More specifically, over the past five decades, Israel has used its military might and economic power to redraw borders and recreate boundaries, to grant or deny rights and resources, and to move populations around for the purpose of ensuring Jewish control. These all served a common goal, which was to construct a new cognitive map for the city and thus normalize its occupation.     FULL ARTICLE . . .

Palestine News Network – PNN     
July 16, 2017.   The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) condemns the measures taken by the Israeli Government against al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied Jerusalem.
___These measures included closing the Mosque; banning prayers; and arresting and investigating with dozens of Islamic Endowments (Awqaf) Department’s officers, Mosque’s guards and Grand Mufti of Jerusalem.
___PCHR emphasizes that these measures are part of Israeli policies applied to create a Jewish majority in the City and part of the Israeli collective punishment policy in the Palestinian territory . . .
___PCHR calls upon the international community, particularly the Permanent Member States of the UN Security Council and High Contracting Parties to the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention . . .  to take all deterrent measures against the Israeli government’s serious violations in the oPt.        MORE . . .
Alray-Palestinian Media Agency
July 16, 2017.   Israeli ministerial committee for legislation approved Sunday Unified Jerusalem Bill that bans dividing occupied Jerusalem in any future settlement.
___A bill spearheaded by . . .  Education Minister Naftali Bennett designed to make dividing Jerusalem virtually impossible was vetoed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday afternoon after the former made clear his intentions to put the so-called ‘Unified Jerusalem Bill’ to the vote without proper prior coalition consultations.
___According to the proposed legislation, any decision taken on Jerusalem’s fate would require the consent of eighty MKs in the Knesset.   MORE . . .
+972 Blog
By Eli Bitan
July 13, 2017.   Dkaika, a tiny Bedouin-Palestinian village in the south Hebron Hills, is under threat of demolition. The state hopes to expel its residents to a nearby village — which is also under threat of destruction.
Israel’s High Court of Justice is set to decide the future of a small Palestinian village in the West Bank next week. Dkaika, located on the edge of the South Hebron Hills in Area C, is living under the shadow of demolition . . .  The village’s 300 residents are to be expelled to the nearby village Hamida — which is also under threat of demolition.
___The High Court is set to hear the case on July 17.
___Out of Dkaika’s 140 structures, 114 are slated for demolition. In order to prevent the expulsion, the village submitted a detailed plan, put together by Professor Rasem Khamaisi, to the state. . . .
___Should the petition be rejected, or should the High Court refuse to intervene and defend the residents from expulsion, the state may completely or partially demolish the village.   MORE . . .
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ)   MY  VILLAGE  IS  UNDER  THREAT.  I’M  NOT  GIVING  UP  HOPE    
+972 Magazine 
By Awdah al-Hathalean
July 16, 2017.  My name is Awdah Mohammed al-Hathalean. I’m 23 years old and I live in Umm al-Khair, a village in the South Hebron Hills of the West Bank. My story is bittersweet.
___When I was seven months old, I fell into a fire in my home, and my father was not able to move fast enough to rescue me because of his disability.
[. . . .] I have now finished my studies at university, and have returned to live in my village . . .    sometimes I feel that I have overcome many obstacles in my life.
___I believe, like my father did, that we have the right to live without the constant threat of demolition, to have enough clean water, to have good houses that we can live in during all seasons, to have a community center for our children, and for all of us to continue learning and growing, to live without fear, and to do what we want as autonomous humans.   MORE . . . 

If this city were a woman,
She must have earned a bad name by now,
For the number of swords unsheathed,
For the cauldrons of blood shed,
For the haunting silence that rings in wombs,
For the innocent childhoods weeded,

But, No!
This is a city, and a holy one!
Holy for whom? The ones who heap
unholiness on it.

O children of Abraham!
You are not pagans or witches,
You must remember very sharply,
That the shedding of blood cleanses nothing,
And nothing cleanses the shedding of blood,

Man remembers the Promises of God,
But very casually forgets
The Promise God took from him.

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.
About Aftab Yusuf Shaikh

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