“. . . the light of day will dawn, And, dazzled by it, my jailer will be humbled . . .” (Samih Al-Qasim)

❶ Israel’s collective punishment policy: Entire family in prison, whole village under siege

  • Background: “There Will Not Be a Stable Peace without Justice and Accountability. An interview with human rights lawyer Eitay Mack.” Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture.

❷ Army Offers Conditions for Removal of Hebron Restrictions
❸ 16 Palestinians kidnapped in abduction sweep by Israeli forces
❹ POETRY by Samih Al-Qasim
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
ISRAEL’S  COLLECTIVE  PUNISHMENT  POLICY:  ENTIRE  FAMILY  IN  PRISON,  WHOLE  VILLAGE  UNDER  SIEGE   
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Ihab Rimawi
August 14, 2017.   The family home of  OMAR EL-ABED in the Ramallah area village of Kobar stood at empty of people and furniture.
___Omar el-Abed is the 19-year-old Palestinian from Kobar who on July 21 sneaked into the illegal settlement of Halamish, not far from his West Bank village, to avenge earlier Israeli police killing of three young Palestinians during pro-Aqsa protests in East Jerusalem and stabbed to death three Israeli settlers. He was shot, wounded and arrested.
[. . . .] Army units raid their village and home almost every day in a way to punish not only the entire el-Abed family, but the whole village of 6000 young and old people.
[. . . .] The mother, Ibtisam, was arrested . . . .  along with her husband, Abdul Jalil, and two of her sons: Khaled, the eldest who works as driver of a company van, who was arrested while waiting for his wife to give birth at Ramallah hospital, and Munir, a senior at Birzeit University studying finance . . . .
___A handicapped brother and sister were the only two members of el-Abed family the army has so far spared. Yet, they were left with no one to take care of them after the arrest of their entire family.    MORE . . .

“THERE  WILL  NOT  BE  A  STABLE  PEACE  WITHOUT  JUSTICE  AND  ACCOUNTABILITY.  An interview with human rights lawyer Eitay Mack.” Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture, vol. 21, no. 3, Jan. 2016, pp. 114-125.
[. . . .]  Are there two types of Israelis in the courts, human rights activists and settlers? What are the chances a settler will be indicted? The way the system operates is that every crime committed against a Palestinian by an Israeli, in Israel and the Occupied Territories, is first considered as a regular, criminal offense unless proven to be a hate or terror crime. When the victim is a Jew, and this applies also in Israel, and the perpetrator is Palestinian, the first option is usually that it was a security offense, a terror offense. If a settler attacks a human rights activist or a Palestinian it depends on the preliminary classification of the complaint. . . . I think they try to minimize the offenses made by Jews against Palestinians . . .
___Do Palestinians immediately have access to lawyers upon arrest or is that also problematic? It’s a big problem. In the criminal situation it’s easier for them to get a lawyer because the family can reach out to a human rights organization. In most cases, people do get a lawyer, whether from the organization, by themselves, or through the court. With victims of Jewish terror or hate crimes, and victims of the violence of the soldiers, with all the NGOs – B ‘Tselem, Yesh Din, etc. – the numbers of victims is so high that there is a large area of the West Bank that is not receiving a proper defense.
___Since last October, there was a big increase in collective punishment and the limitation of freedom of movement.
. .  I realized how many people were being harassed and not filing. . .
___The military has also blocked the entrance to many villages. When Israel left the northwestern part of the West Bank, they left areas without settlements- a bubble of Palestine. Yet, the army enters there . . .  the soldiers just come and go and they continue with their lives. There is no destabilization, thus they see this as the best way for them to survive their situation.   SOURCE . . .

❷ ARMY  OFFERS  CONDITIONS  FOR  REMOVAL  OF  HEBRON  RESTRICTIONS
International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC
August 14, 2017.   Israeli forces, on Sunday, informed locals from three Hebron neighborhoods that they would remove the security restrictions if they “behave”, via leaflets distributed in the area.
___Conditions, according to the leaflets, will depend on “the population’s non-interference in terrorist operations and stone and Molotov throwing incidents.”   MORE . . .
❸ 16  PALESTINIANS  KIDNAPPED  IN  ABDUCTION  SWEEP  BY  ISRAELI  FORCES
The Palestinian Information Center
August 14, 2017.   At least 16 Palestinians were kidnapped by the Israeli occupation forces (IOF) in abduction sweeps rocking West Bank provinces at daybreak Monday.
___The Israeli army claimed that weapons and ammunition were spotted in al-Khalil’s southern town of Yatta and in Beit Sahour, east of Bethlehem.
___The Palestinian young man Khaled Sabah was kidnapped by the Israeli soldiers from his family home in Deir Abu Mishaal village, west of Ramallah, before he was dragged to an unknown destination.
___The IOF also stormed al-Jalazoun refugee camp, north of Ramallah, and ravaged Palestinian homes and shops.  Clashes flared up in the area, where the occupation soldiers attacked Palestinian protesters with live rounds and sound bombs.   MORE . . .

“LETTER FROM A PRISON CAMP,” BY SAMĪH AL-QĀSIM
Mother, it grieves me,
That because of me, throughout your night of agony,
You shed silent tears, anxiously awaiting the return
Of my beloved brothers from their chores;
That you are not able to eat
While my seat remains empty, and there is no talk or laughter.
How it pains me, Mother,
That tears rush to your eyes
When friends drop by to ask about me.
But I believe, Mother,
That the splendor of life
Is being born within the walls of my prison,
And I believe that the last of my visitors
Will not be an eyeless bat, coming to me by night.
Surely, the light of day will dawn,
And, dazzled by it, my jailer will be humbled.
He will fall to the ground . . . broken,
Shattered, burnt by daylight.
Translated by A. M. Elmesseri

Samīh al-Qāsim (1939-2014)
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.

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