“. . . Next to the great room we call our country . . .” (Mourid Barghouti)

❶ Palestinians across the West Bank, Jerusalem protest Trump’s decision
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Over 50 injured, 9 with live ammunition, in clashes across Palestinian territory
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴃ) Israeli arrest campaign waged in anticipation of ‘day of rage’
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴄ) Israeli Soldiers Isolate Kufur Qaddoum
❷ Israel to construct 14,000 settlement units in Jerusalem

  • Background: “Divided We Rise: Politics, Architecture and Vertical Cityscapes at Opposite Ends of Jerusalem.” Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers.

❸ REACTIONS TO TRUMP’S DECISION
❹ POETRY by Mourid Barghouti
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
PALESTINIANS  ACROSS  THE  WEST  BANK,  JERUSALEM  PROTEST  TRUMP’S  DECISION  
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA 
Dec. 8, 2017 ― Thousands of Palestinians across the West Bank and East Jerusalem marched in protest of US President Donald Trump’s recent decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and plans to move the US embassy.
___The protestors headed to Israeli checkpoints in several districts to express condemnation and rejection of the illegal move. In Ramallah district, hundreds gathered after the Friday prayer and marched to al-Bireh’s northern entrance, where clashes erupted with Israeli soldiers.   MORE . . .
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ)  OVER  50  INJURED,  9  WITH  LIVE  AMMUNITION,  IN  CLASHES  ACROSS  PALESTINIAN  TERRITORY   
Ma’an News Agency
Dec. 7, 2017 ― The number of injured Palestinians continues to climb on Thursday as clashes with Israeli forces continue to escalate across the occupied West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza Strip, in response to U.S. President Donald Trump’s announcement recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
___Palestinian and world leaders warned Trump against making the announcement, for fear of instability and violence across the region that is now expected to continue in the days to come.
___9 injured with live ammunition [. . . .]   MORE . . .
. . . . . ❶―  (ᴃ)  ISRAELI  ARREST  CAMPAIGN  WAGED  IN  ANTICIPATION  OF  ‘DAY  OF  RAGE’   
The Palestinian Information Center
Dec. 8, 2017 ― The Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) launched at dawn Friday a large-scale raid and arrest campaign in West Bank and Jerusalem as Palestinians declare a day of rage over US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
___Local sources affirmed that at least 16 Palestinian were detained in occupied Jerusalem, while ten others were arrested in Issawiya town after being brutally attacked.   MORE . . .
. . . . . ❶― (ᴄ) ISRAELI  SOLDIERS  ISOLATE  KUFUR  QADDOUM 
International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC  
Dec. 8, 2017 ― Earlier Friday, dozens of Israeli soldiers surrounded and isolated Kufur Qaddoum town, east of the northern West Bank city of Qalqilia, ahead of the weekly protest against the Annexation Wall and colonies.
___The army stopped and searched dozens of cars, and interrogated many Palestinians, while inspecting their ID cards.
___Morad Eshteiwi, the coordinator of the Popular Committee against the Annexation Wall and Colonies in Kufur Qaddoum, said the army is trying to prevent the Palestinians, along with Israeli and international peace activists, from marching.   MORE . . .
ISRAEL  TO  CONSTRUCT  14,000  SETTLEMENT  UNITS  IN  JERUSALEM
The Palestinian Information Center 
Dec. 8, 2017 ― Emboldened by US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, the Israeli government is considering pushing ahead with plans to build around new 14,000 settler units in the city.
___Under the plan, pursued by Israeli housing minister Yoav Galant, 5,000 units would be built in the northern parts of the city and just outside Ramallah, Israeli media reported Thursday night.
___There would be 1,000 units built in East Jerusalem, while the remaining 8,000 units were to be built in the city’s western neighborhoods.   MORE . . .

Rosen, Gillad and Igal Charney.
“DIVIDED  WE  RISE:  POLITICS,  ARCHITECTURE  AND  VERTICAL  CITYSCAPES  AT  OPPOSITE  ENDS  OF  JERUSALEM.”
TRANSACTIONS OF THE INSTITUTE OF BRITISH GEOGRAPHERS, vol. 41, no. 2, Apr. 2016, pp. 163-174.
[. . . .] Since 1967 Palestinian East Jerusalem is to a large extent a construct of Israeli power and political domination. To strengthen control over annexed lands in East Jerusalem, Israel has been manipulating planning policies and procedures. . .  decisions are highly political and reflect the state’s power to . . .  determine what is acceptable and what is not, and direct which forms of informality will thrive and which will disappear.
___For almost 50 years, Israel has enforced a discriminatory planning regime that has systematically delegitimised Palestinian development rights, restricting the growth of Palestinian communities. Planning policies and practices in these areas have been largely subordinated to the ethno-national aspirations and geopolitical territorial claims of Israel, which have intentionally ignored the development needs of Palestinians. A Palestinian planning rights advocate explained this reality: ‘Palestinians do not exist for the Israeli planning system in Jerusalem . . . they are neither partners nor participants in planning agendas and procedures’, thus making them practically invisible to the Israeli planning authorities.
___Permissive approaches to tall-building development in West Jerusalem and in Jewish neighbourhoods in East Jerusalem make discrimination against Palestinians even blunter. It is nothing but preposterous to apply the anachronistic limit of four to six storeys to most Palestinian areas of East Jerusalem. . . .  As a planner from a human right advocacy group explained, this situation is actually ‘another tool of Israeli occupation which exploits and marginalises the Palestinian population of East Jerusalem’.   [. . . .]  SOURCE . . .    ..

REACTIONS  TO  TRUMP’S  DECISION
Arab League says Trump’s decision on Jerusalem inflames tension   MORE . . .    ..
Ambassador: EU will not transfer embassy to Jerusalem   MORE . . .    ..
Pakistan condemns US move, calls it violation of Security Council’s resolutions MORE . . .
South Africa: US Unilateral Decision Undermines Middle East Peace Process    MORE . . .
Norway warns of increased instability following Trump’s decision     MORE . . .
Abbas meets King Abdullah II to discuss Jerusalem developments     MORE . . .
‘If these decisions go into effect my life here will become like a prison’: Palestinians in Jerusalem respond to Trump    MORE . . .

“IN THE NEIGHBORING ROOM,” BY MOURID BARGHOUTI
Next to
our nation’s bedroom,
Next to
the 5 a.m. orchestra, when
upright and in a hurry
the farm-worker goes out
and the 5 p.m. flute, when

bent and dumb
he comes back

Next to
the room of hope and despair,
the family prayers,
the silence of nurses
and the dry branch,
motionless on clean sheets

Next to
the poet’s room
where words are dogs
or birds:
with his stick
he drives the assaulting dogs away,
his hand opens
to throw barley to the birds
and he waits

Next to
the interrogation room
packed with the stupidity of screams
and the cunning
of the iron chains

Next to
the grandmother
squatting near the clay oven
watching the interaction between
a loaf of bread
and the flames

Next to
the maternity ward

He sits
with strong muscles
and tools and weapons
ready to help:
he thinks of us a lot
he looks after us
like an indispensable
head of the family

Next to
the great room we call our country

Death
stays up, active
for our sake.

From Barghouti, Mourid. MIDNIGHT AND OTHER POEMS. Trans. Radwa Ashour. Todmorden, UK: Arc Publications, 2008. Available from Barnes and Noble.  A biographical essay about Mourid Barghouti.

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