“. . . with their dyed hair and Italian shoes, they play prophet on golf courses . . .” (Mourid Barghouti)

❶ Abbas spokesman: We will not accept changes to 1967 East Jerusalem borders
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Ashrawi to foreign diplomats: The situation needs real action from int’l community

  • Background: “Narratives of Jerusalem and Its Sacred Compound.” Israel Studies.

❷ Israeli Forces Kill 4 in Palestine During Clashes
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) Israeli security forces raid East Jerusalem neighborhood, detain young Palestinians
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴃ) Night clashes erupt in Qalqilia town
❸ Rafah crossing [Gaza] with Egypt reopens for four days, students urged to travel to their colleges
. . . . . ❸ ― (ᴀ) UN says half a million Gaza Palestinians at risk of displacement due to flooding
❹ Opinion/Analysis: Israel Has No Right to Establish Its Capital in an Occupied City
❺ POETRY by Mourid Barghouti
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ ABBAS  SPOKESMAN:  WE  WILL  NOT  ACCEPT  CHANGES  TO  1967  EAST  JERUSALEM  BORDERS  
Ma’an News Agency
Dec. 16, 2017 – Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ spokesperson, Nabil Abu Rudeinah, released a statement [on Saturday] saying that Palestinians “will not accept any changes to the 1967 border of East Jerusalem,” as tensions surrounding the Israel-occupied Palestinian territory continue to rise in the aftermath of US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
___Abu Rudeinah’s speech . . . . was allegedly in response to statements attributed to a White House official saying that the US considers the Wailing or Western Wall – which Muslims refer to as Al-Buraq Wall — as part of Israel.
___“This American position proves once again that the current US administration is completely out of the peace process,” he said.   MORE . . .
.  .  .  .  .  ❶  ―  (ᴀ)  ASHRAWI  TO  FOREIGN  DIPLOMATS:  THE  SITUATION  NEEDS  REAL  ACTION  FROM  INT’L  COMMUNITY 
Palestine News Network – PNN
Dec. 16, 2017 ― PLO Executive Committee member, Dr. Hanan Ashrawi told foreign diplomats that the current situation  in Palestine needs real action from the international community.
___Ashrawi said US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel unilaterally undermined peace opportunities and efforts . . . .
___“Trump’s announcement has led to a change in all conditions,” Ashrawi said, stressing that the United States is no longer suitable to be a mediator in the political process as the American decision led to the impossibility of returning to the bast stage she said.
___“US President Donald Trump move leads us to a new stage and Palestinians can not go back to past stages. Everything that is said about peace deals is now frozen, and all options is open after the American announcement.”   MORE . . .

Reiter, Yitzhak. “NARRATIVES  OF  JERUSALEM  AND  ITS  SACRED  COMPOUND.”
ISRAEL  STUDIES,
vol. 18, no. 2, Summer2013, pp. 115-132.
[. . . .] The Temple Mount/al-Aqsa compound. . . .  is a central symbol of national and religious identity for both sides, and therefore the element of greatest conflict. The battle over the myths and narratives surrounding this compound . . . serve as a vehicle to support the meta-narrative of both Israelis and Palestinians . . .  the right to the Holy Land, to Palestine/Eretz Israel. Within the struggle over public awareness of Jerusalem’s importance, one particular site is at the eye of the storm—the Temple Mount and its Western Wall—the Jewish Kotel—or, in Muslim terminology, the al-Aqsa compound (alternatively: al-Haram al-Sharif) including the al-Buraq Wall. From both the Jewish and the Muslim points of view, the Foundation Stone, the Rock adorned with the golden dome, is the “Rock of our existence”—a symbol of religious-national identity . . .
___The site’s status as a sacred space makes it the natural focal point of the power struggle, including claims to sovereignty, efforts to exclude the opposing group and to claim recognition and inclusion. This situation is all the more true when the site in question lies at the center of a national conflict between two peoples who also represent, to a great extent, two essentially different religions and cultures. “Al-Aqsa” for the Palestinian-Arab-Muslim side is not merely a mosque mentioned in the Qur’an within the context of the Prophet Muhammad’s miraculous Night Journey to al-Aqsa which, according to tradition, concluded with his ascension to heaven (and prayer with all of the prophets and the Jewish and Christian religious figures who preceded him); rather, it also constitutes a unique symbol of identity, one around which various political objectives may be formulated, plans of action drawn up and masses mobilized for their realization.
[. . . . ] The current Jewish and Muslim historical narratives of Jerusalem are mirror images of each other. In pre-modern time they were developed independently, reflecting the religious and collective identity and outlook of each of the two peoples. Since the nineteenth century they have crystallized to respond to national challenges. The historical debate was intensified after 1967, when the eastern part of Jerusalem, including the holy shrines, was conquered by Israel.   SOURCE . . . 

❷ ISRAELI  FORCES  KILL  4  IN  PALESTINE  DURING  CLASHES 
Palestine News Network – PNN
Dec. 16, 2017 ― Israeli Occupation Forces Kill four Palestine During Clashes in the West Bank and Gaza strip in additions of hundreds wounded on Friday.
___According local reports the clashes between Palestinians and Israeli forces left four dead and hundreds wounded Friday by live ammunition and rubber coated steel bullets.
___Thousands of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, the West Bank and East Jerusalem are continuing mobilizations against U.S. President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
___Six more have been killed during clashes this week, bringing the total death toll to 10.  MORE . . . 
.  .  .  .  .  ❷  ―  (ᴀ)  ISRAELI  SECURITY  FORCES  RAID  EAST  JERUSALEM  NEIGHBORHOOD,  DETAIN  YOUNG  PALESTINIANS
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA 
Dec. 16, 2017 ― Israeli security forces raided early Saturday the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Issawiyeh and detained at least seven of its young residents, according to Wadi Hilweh Information Center based in Silwan, another East Jerusalem neighborhood.
___It said, according to attorney Mohammad Mahmoud, that the seven Palestinians ranging in age between 17 and 21 years, were taken to the Russian compound interrogation center in West Jerusalem.     MORE . . . 
.  .  .  .  .  ❷  ―  (ᴃ)  NIGHT  CLASHES  ERUPT  IN  QALQILIA  TOWN
The Palestinian Information Center 
Dec. 16, 2017 ― Violent clashes broke out Friday evening in Azzun town, east of Qalqilia, when Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) stormed the town amid heavy firing of teargas bombs.
___Local sources told the PIC reporter that angry protesters attacked Israeli patrols with Molotov cocktails while storming the town.     Several youths suffered breathing problems after inhaling teargas fired by IOF.     MORE . . . 
❸ RAFAH  CROSSING  WITH  EGYPT  REOPENS  FOR  FOUR  DAYS,  STUDENTS  URGED  TO  TRAVEL  TO  THEIR  COLLEGES
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Dec. 16, 2017 ― Egypt reopened on Saturday its border crossing with the Gaza Strip at Rafah, in southern Gaza, as the Ministry of Education urged Gaza students enrolled in colleges abroad to take advantage of the opening and travel to their colleges.
___The Palestinian border authority said Rafah terminal will be open in both directions for four days, starting Saturday.
___Nathmi Muhanna, director of the border authority, said Egypt informed them that the crossing will be open for four days to allow humanitarian cases to leave Gaza or return to it.   MORE . . . 
.  .  .  .  .  ❸  ―  (ᴀ)  UN  SAYS  HALF  A  MILLION  GAZA  PALESTINIANS  AT  RISK  OF  DISPLACEMENT  DUE  TO  FLOODING
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Dec. 16, 2017 ― The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) to the occupied Palestinian territories said on Friday that over 560,000 Palestinians in Gaza residing in areas prone to flooding are at risk of temporary displacement due to the precarious state of infrastructure.
___It said in its Monthly Humanitarian Bulletin for November that poor infrastructure and lack of funding put over 560,000 people at risk of flooding in the Gaza Strip.  MORE . . .
❹ OPINION/ANALYSIS:  ISRAEL  HAS  NO  RIGHT  TO  ESTABLISH  ITS  CAPITAL  IN  AN  OCCUPIED  CITY
Palestine Chronicle
Richard Falk
Dec. 13, 2017 ―
(Richard Falk  is Professor Emeritus of International Law at Princeton University. He was the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Palestinian human rights.)
Those who speak on behalf of Israel like to defend Donald Trump’s provocative decision of December 6th to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel with this contention: “Israel is the only state in the world that is not allowed to locate its capital in a national city of its choice.”
[. . . .] a more thoughtful formulation of the issue would be: “Israel is the only state in the world whose government dares to locate its capital in a city located beyond its sovereign borders and subject to superior competing claims.” Granted, Israel has declined to date to define its borders for purposes of international law, presumably to leave room for its own further territorial expansion [. . . .]   MORE . . . 

EXCERPT FROM “MIDNIGHT” [2005], BY MOURID BARGHOUTI
[. . . .] You, whose mother gave birth to you
in the homestead of the Orient,
surrounded by miracles and ballads
and hillsides wet with dew;
the sound of flutes,
the bustard’s feathers
and across a copper-colored sky
flashes the appetite of the hawk,
you’ll keep seeing in the sand
the footprints of bare-foot prophets
chasing the devils of metaphor
and you will see the devils of your own times
as, with their dyed hair and Italian shoes,
they play prophet
on golf courses, and in the corridors of banks
and on CDs.

You’ll hear promises tailored to be neglected,
like a wedding dress, the day after.

You’ll hear the discourse of your long-gone ancestors
pedants whose graves
have long since been engulfed by desert mounds,
announcing the weather forecast for tomorrow
and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow [. . . .]

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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