“. . . watched him accept the silent homage of water . . .” (Tawfiq Sayigh)

❶ Arab League aims to nullify Trump’s Jerusalem move
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Egypt [news] hosts ‘told to convince viewers’ over Jerusalem
❷ Arrests, interrogation writs reported in dawn sweep by Israeli army
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) Palestinian injured during clashes in Birzeit
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴃ) Israel accused of using live ammunition against West Bank civilians

  • Background: “Jewish-Muslim Veneration at Pilgrimage Places in the Holy Land.” Religion & the Arts

Custos of the Holy Land marks baptism of Christ at Jordan River
❹ POETRY by Tawfiq Sayigh
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ ARAB  LEAGUE  AIMS  TO  NULLIFY  TRUMP’S  JERUSALEM  MOVE   
Al Jazeera English
Jan. 7, 2018 ― Arab foreign ministers are calling for international recognition of a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital, aiming to nullify a controversial US decision on the holy city’s status.
___Ayman Safadi, the Jordanian foreign minister, hosted a committee of officials from Egypt, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Palestine in Amman on Saturday to discuss the Arab League’s response to US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel last month.
___The committee – created at an emergency meeting of the Arab League in Cairo on December 9, just days after Trump’s declaration – is hoping to reverse the decision and “to assert that it has no legal effect”, Safadi told reporters at the summit.     MORE . . .  
.  .  .  .  .  ❶  ―  (ᴀ)  EGYPT  [NEWS]  HOSTS  ‘TOLD  TO  CONVINCE  VIEWERS’  OVER  JERUSALEM
Al Jazeera English 
Jan. 7, 2018 ― A report by the New York Times has said that while Egypt’s government was publicly condemning a US decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, a state intelligence officer was asking influential TV hosts in the country to persuade their viewers to accept it.
___The newspaper reported on Saturday that it had obtained audio recordings in which Ashraf al-Kholi, the intelligence officer, can be heard telling the hosts that Egypt, like its “Arab brothers, are denouncing this matter”, but that “after that, this thing will become a reality”.
___”Palestinians can’t resist and we don’t want to go to war,” added Kholi, according to the New York Times. “We have enough on our plate as you know.”    MORE . . . 
❷ ARRESTS,  INTERROGATION  WRITS  REPORTED  IN  DAWN  SWEEP  BY  ISRAELI  ARMY  
The Palestinian Information Center
Jan. 7, 2018 ― The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) at daybreak Sunday arrested a number of Palestinians and summoned others to questioning.
___Israeli army troops rolled into al-Arroub refugee camp, north of al-Khalil province, and kidnapped 22-year-old Palestinian youth Safi al-Titi from his family home.
___The occupation forces also ransacked the home of the slain Palestinian protester Khaled Jawabra, in al-Arroub camp, and seized cash from the home of prisoner Nidhal Shahada.  MORE . . . 
.  .  .  .  .  ❷ ―  (ᴀ)  PALESTINIAN  INJURED  DURING  CLASHES  IN  BIRZEIT      Palestine News Network – PNN
Jan. 7, 2018 ― Israeli soldiers on Sunday injured one Palestinian and caused many to suffer the effects of teargas inhalation, near the western entrance of Birzeit University, north of Ramallah, in central West Bank.
___Medical sources said the young man suffered a moderate injury, after the soldiers shot him with a rubber-coated steel bullet in his abdomen, while many others suffered the effects of teargas inhalation.
___The soldiers installed a military roadblock near the western entrance of the university, and attacked many Palestinians, who protested the invasion.    MORE . . .  
.  .  .  .  .  ❷ ―  (ᴃ)  ISRAEL  ACCUSED  OF  USING  LIVE  AMMUNITION  AGAINST  WEST  BANK  CIVILIANS
Palestine News Network – PNN    Jan. 7, 2018 ― The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights has accused the Israeli army of deliberately increasing the use of live ammunition against unarmed civilians through sniper attacks during peaceful demonstrations.
___“The number of casualties, including fatalities, proves that the Israeli forces are deliberately intending to have as many victims as possible from among Palestinian protesters,” the Centre said on Thursday.
___It cited the case of Musab Firas Al-Tamimi, aged just 17, from Deir Netham village north-west of Ramallah. The boy was shot by an Israeli soldier from a distance of 30 metres when he approached a military vehicle in an attempt to help a young man who was arrested earlier.     MORE . . .    ..

Berger, Pamela.
“JEWISH-MUSLIM  VENERATION  AT  PILGRIMAGE  PLACES  IN  THE  HOLY  LAND.”
RELIGION  &  THE  ARTS, vol. 15, no. 1/2, Mar. 2011, pp. 1-60.  

[. . . .] We do not know when the tradition of compiling un-illustrated accounts or “lists” of these holy sites began. Among Christians we have the fourth-century travel writings of an anonymous pilgrim from Bordeaux, France. . . Among Muslims, one of the earliest is surely Al-Muqaddasi (c. 945–1000), who provides a good deal of valuable information about the places he visits. Starting in the twelfth century, Jewish travelers from the Arab lands write about numerous sacred tombs in their ziyara, “visits, or travelogues” in Arabic. These Jews, writing and speaking Arabic, were familiar with the local Arab residents’ mentality, since they spoke the same language. Un-illustrated “ziyara” lists of holy places, drawn up by Arabic-speaking Jews, are known from the thirteenth century; texts of western Jewish travelers have come down to us from the first half of the twelfth century. . .  Muslim illustrated itineraries, which are not the subject of this essay, have survived from around the same time.
___It is a normal human need to hope that a holy figure or sage can help one in times of trouble. The material gathered in this essay demonstrates how Muslims and Jews shared that hope, and indeed how, until the middle of the twentieth century, Jews and Muslims shared a reverence for so many of the same Biblical and Quranic figures, and must have felt comfortable venerating those figures at the same holy sites. Since for the most part the Muslims living on the land were in charge of the sites, we will see that many Jewish travelers comment on how the Arabs guarding the holy places treated the Jewish pilgrims with respect, allowing them to pray there without harassment. . . .
  SOURCE . . .

❸  CUSTOS  OF  THE  HOLY  LAND  MARKS  BAPTISM  OF  CHRIST  AT  JORDAN  RIVER 
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Jan. 7, 2018 ― The Custos of Holy Land  Francesco Patton of the Latin Church, Sunday led the procession that commemorated what the denomination refers to as the baptism of Jesus Christ at the Jordan River, on the Palestine-Jordan border.
___The procession was received by local government figures, including Governor of Jericho Mjaed al-Fetyani, Mayor of Jericho Salem Ghrouf, head of the Jericho intelligence department Belal Hloub, as well as representatives of police and security services and Muslim clerks.    MORE . . .    ..

“THE  SERMON  ON  THE  MOUNT,”  BY  TAWFIQ  SAYIGH
I followed him,
married my frailty to his virtue, and
helped him reveal himself.

On the lisping hill, long waited for
by the dull arms of drowsy Kinnereth
(like a couple of tears the cheeks expect,
that cling to feeble eyes), I shared the meal
of the thick-necked multitude. Well-fed,
they hailed him Lord and rolled down after him.
Alone I lay upon the hill, watched him
accept the silent homage of water
amid the crow-like shrieks of his elect.
Alone I lay, waiting for his return.

I knew he would return.
Cold crumbs and fish (though by a mother’s hands
wrapped and with a mother’s blessings salted)
left me starved. Water-turned-to-wine
tasted water to my lips. The mud,
that cleared Bartimeus’ eyes of mud, made mine
unsatisfied with what they feasted on.
The call that once restored to life the lad
of Nain, left my mother in black. Upon
the fertile hill, and the candle-like
corn, by the lake, wherein the sleepless fish
make weary passes at the blushing corn
I starved.
I too was tempted, in no wilderness.

And he came.
Divinities of love spring out of sea.
He came and talked (some say he prayed, and some
he sang). Did others hear? I thought he talked
only to me. He called me not, and I
came forth. He broke no loaves, and touched no jars,
baskets were full again; the wedding guests,
unconscious, conscious sipped the better wine.

Tawfiq Sayigh 
From AN ANTHOLOGY OF MODERN ARABIC POETRY. Selected, Edited, and Translate by Mounah A. Khouri and Hamid Algar. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1974.   Available from Amazon.

 

“. . . Have you forgotten your shame at Buchenwald? . . .” (Samih Al-Qasim)

❶ US freezes $125 million grant to UNRWA
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Bennett slams reported Israeli call on US not to cut aid to Palestinians
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴃ) What would happen if Trump cuts UNRWA funding?

BACKGROUND: Congress removes Israeli missile defense funds from US wartime budget (2017)

❷ Tzachi Hanegbi: Two-state solution is not dead
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) Peace Now: Israel to approve more than 1,329 illegal settlement units
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴃ) Palestinians protest visit of Greek Orthodox patriarch accused of selling land to Israel
❸ POETRY by Samih Al-Qasim
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ US  FREEZES  $125  MILLION  GRANT  TO  UNRWA
The Palestinian Information Center   
Jan. 6, 2018 ― The United States has frozen $125 million of its funding for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA).
___Quoting three US officials, Reuters news agency reported that the administration of the US president, Donald Trump, informed the United Nations that it had frozen a $125 million grant that was due to be paid on 1st January.
___According to the three officials who spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the matter, Trump’s administration is considering cutting $180 million from its aid payments to the UNRWA in an effort to pressure the Palestinian Authority to resume negotiations with Israel.   MORE . . . 
.  .  .  .  .  ❶  ―  (ᴀ)  BENNETT  SLAMS  REPORTED  ISRAELI  CALL  ON  US  NOT  TO  CUT  AID  TO  PALESTINIANS:  Israeli officials call on US and all world countries to cut all aid to Palestinians.  
Days of Palestine
Jan. 6, 2018 ― Israeli Education Minister and head of the right-wing Jewish Home party, Naftali Bennett, slammed reports on Friday reported Israeli call on US not to cut UN support for Palestinian refugees.
___Earlier this week, Donald Trump warned that his country would cut aid for Palestinians who he believes receive millions of US dollars without respecting America.
___According to Israeli Hadashot TV, though, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who also serves as Foreign Minister, is opposed to any cut in such aid.
___ “UNRWA,” claims, Bennett, “is a terror-supporting organisation. Its very existence perpetuates the dire situation of Gaza’s population, who suffer under the rule of Hamas.” He insisted that the US decision to cut aid is the right choice.     MORE . . . 
.  .  .  .  .  ❶  ―  (ᴃ)  WHAT  WOULD  HAPPEN  IF  TRUMP  CUTS  UNRWA  FUNDING?
The Palestinian Information Center 
By Yara Hawari
Jan. 5, 2018 ― The Palestinian Information Center On Tuesday, Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the UN, delivered a rather ambiguous threat in response to a question on the maintenance of the US level of funding to the UN Palestinian refugee programme. She replied: “The president has said that he doesn’t want to give any additional funding or stop funding until the Palestinians are agreeing (sic) to come back to the negotiating table.”
___President Trump himself tweeted the following threat to UNRWA: “But with the Palestinians no longer willing to talk peace, why should we make any of these massive future payments to them?”
[. . . .] However, a total US funding cut would mean a serious reduction in services and the complete halt of many of the education and health programmes.
___In other words, schools and health clinics would close leaving hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees across the region without schooling, health care, jobs, making their situation even more dire.   MORE . . .  

  • BACKGROUND: Congress removes Israeli missile defense funds from US wartime budget 
    The Jerusalem Post     
    By Michael Wilner
    Nov. 17, 2017 ― On Thursday Congress approved the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act to include $705 million for US-Israel missile defense cooperation.
    ___Congress has resolved a budgeting dispute with the Trump administration by sourcing hundreds of millions of dollars in missile defense aid for Israel from its base budget– and not from a fund typically reserved for US wartime operations, as was initially proposed.
    ___The White House made clear over the summer that it was not opposed to adding hundreds of millions of dollars above its own budget for missile defense to Israel, but rather the vehicle for its delivery– an unprecedented use of dollars typically saved for US military readiness. Earlier this month, Congress approved the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act to include $705 million for US-Israel missile defense cooperation, including $588 million over President Donald Trump’s proposed budget.     MORE . . . 

❷   TZACHI  HANEGBI:  TWO-STATE  SOLUTION  IS  NOT  DEAD
Al Jazeera English 
by Ali Younes
Jan. 6, 2018 ― An Israeli minister has said US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital does not signal the end of the two-state solution, with Israel willing to grant Palestinians their own independent state but with limited sovereignty.
___Tzachi Hanegbi, minister of regional cooperation, said Trump’s controversial decision on December 6 should not hinder Palestinian claims to have occupied East Jerusalem as their capital.
___”We claim that Jerusalem is our capital and should not be divided, but that’s only a claim, not a diktat,” Hanegbi, a member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party, told Al Jazeera at his office in the Israeli parliament, the Knesset.
___Jerusalem remains at the core of the perennial Israel-Palestine conflict.     MORE . . .  
.  .  .  .  .  ❷  ―  (ᴀ)  PEACE  NOW:  ISRAEL  TO  APPROVE  MORE  THAN  1,329  ILLEGAL  SETTLEMENT  UNITS
Ma’an News Agency 
Jan. 6, 2018 ― The Israeli Civil Administration’s High Planning Committee is expected to approve the promotion of at least 1,329 housing units in illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank, according to settlement watchdog Peace Now.
___In a statement released on Friday, Peace Now said that the committee published its agenda, and is expected to approve the new settlement units next Wednesday, January 10.
___According to the group, two-thirds of the 1,329 units (883 housing units) “will be located in isolated settlements that Israel would probably have to evacuate under any two-state agreement.”      MORE . . .   
.  .  .  .  .  ❷  ―  (ᴃ)  PALESTINIANS  PROTEST  VISIT  OF  GREEK  ORTHODOX  PATRIARCH  ACCUSED  OF  SELLING  LAND  TO  ISRAEL
Ma’an News Agency  
Jan. 6, 2018 ― Palestinian Christians from around the occupied West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Israel came out in harsh opposition on Saturday to a visit by Greek Orthodox Church Patriarch of Jerusalem, Theophilos III, to the southern occupied West Bank city of Bethlehem.
___Theophilos III, along with several other religious and political figures, were visiting Bethlehem as part of celebrations for Greek Orthodox Christmas Eve.
___Despite an intense presence of Palestinian security forces who attempted to open roads near Bethlehem’s Manger Square for the patriarch’s car, angry citizens swarmed around his procession, holding signs, Palestinian flags, and chanting slogans against Theophilus III.   MORE . . .  

“BUCHENWALD,”  BY  SAMIH  AL-QASIM
Have you forgotten your shame at Buchenwald?
Do you remember your flames at Buchenwald?
Have you forgotten your love in the lexicon
of silence? Do you remember your panic―
at the reign of death, in the nightmare of time―
that the whole world
would become a Buchenwald?
Whether you’ve forgotten or not,
the dead’s images linger
among the wreaths of flowers,
and from the dismembered corpses
a hand emerges,
a nail in the palm and tattoo on the wrist―
a sign for the planet.
Do you remember? Or not?
Buchenwald― whether or not you’ve forgotten,
the images of the murdered
remain among the wreaths of flowers . . .

From Al-Qasim, Samih. SADDER  THAN  WATER.  New  and  Selected  Poems.  Trans. Nazih Kasis and Adina Hoffman. Jerusalem: Ibis Editions, 2008.
Available from Amazon
About Samih Al-Qasim. Obituary, August 20, 2014.

“. . . I shall sing in spite of fences . . .” (Fouzi El-Asmar)

❶ MOFA: Preliminary death penalty bill is state terrorism

  • Background: “Israel and Its Messianic Right: Path Dependency and State Authority in International Conflict.” International Studies Quarterly.

. . . . . ❶― (ᴀ) [PCHR] Weekly report: Israel’s systematic crimes in the oPt
. . . . . ❶― (ᴃ) Serious injury by IOF gunfire north of Ramallah
. . . . . ❶― (ᴄ) The famous UNRWA staffer killed by Israel’s security check

❷ PA signs 22 international treaties and agreements
❸ Opinion/Analysis: There is no status quo, only Greater Israel
❹ POETRY by Fouzi El-Asmar
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ MOFA:  PRELIMINARY  DEATH  PENALTY  BILL  IS  STATE  TERRORISM          Palestine News Network – PNN
Jan. 4, 2018 ― The Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates on Thursday condemned the Israeli Knesset’s approval of the preliminary death penalty bill for the Palestinian prisoners, considering it an extension of the Israeli authorities’ escalation of its arbitrary measures against Palestinian citizens and its grave violations of international law, international conventions, protocols and the principles of human rights.
___“This bill follows a series of racist laws which deepen the rights’, the extreme rights’, and the settlers’ control of the Israeli government, and extends the racist regime of apartheid that the occupation authorities continue to establish and expand in the Palestinian land, in a clear and explicit targeting of Palestinian land and the national and humanitarian Presence in Palestine,” the ministry said in a statement.   MORE . . .

MENDELSOHN, BARAK.
“ISRAEL  AND  ITS  MESSIANIC  RIGHT:  PATH  DEPENDENCY  AND  STATE  AUTHORITY  IN  INTERNATIONAL  CONFLICT.” 
INTERNATIONAL  STUDIES  QUARTERLY, vol. 60, no. 1, Mar. 2016, pp. 47-58.
[. . . .] The religious settler movement was born in the aftermath of Israel’s victory in the 1967 war, which wrested the Palestinian-populated West Bank from Jordanian control. . . .  This movement viewed the struggle to keep the West Bank under Jewish sovereignty as pertinent to the process of redemption; leaders prioritized occupying the land above all other values, including the state’s authority or even the Jewish principle of the sanctity of life.
___The messianic movement’s campaign involved numerous and significant extralegal actions that challenged state authority. Prominent among them was the establishment of unauthorized settlements in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip in an effort to commit the state to these territories and fight the government’s “temptation” to reach territorial compromises.
___In addition, movement members launched violent attacks on Palestinians and their property and mosques, as well as on representatives of the Israeli state, including the assassination of Prime Minister Rabin. Granted, the movement also engaged in modes of resistance that are accepted as legal and legitimate in a democratic country . . . .
[. . . .] A second mechanism concerns a shift in the balance between the primacy of the state and the ideological positions of Jewish Messianism. The erosion of state primacy in a country where illegalism has always been part of the political culture gradually diminished state capacity to promote the rule of law in the face of the messianic challenge. The state’s inability (and, at certain periods, its disinterest) to reassert its authority created a severe legitimacy crisis. . . .  Illegalism in support of resistance to territorial compromise became increasingly accepted, even when it meant fighting the authority of the state.
___Empowering the messianic Right presents a greater challenge to state authority than delegation to a nonideological nonstate actor would, because religion can offer a competing principle for organizing politics. . . .      SOURCE . . . 

.  .  .  .  . ❶ ―  (ᴀ)  [PCHR]  WEEKLY  REPORT:  ISRAEL’S  SYSTEMATIC  CRIMES  IN  THE  oPT
Palestine News Network – PNN
Jan. 4, 2018 ―    PCHR/ Gaza/  During the reporting period (28 December 2017- 03 January 2018): Israeli forces escalated the excessive use of force in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt).
___*Two Palestinian civilians, including a child, were killed, in the West Bank and Gaza Strip; *89 Palestinian civilians, including 12 children, were wounded in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, *53 of them were hit with live bullets, 23 were hit with rubber-coated metal bullets, and 13 were hit with tear gas canisters.  *Nine civilians, including 7 children and a woman, were arrested in a protest in the West Bank.  *Israeli forces conducted 69 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and a limited one was conducted in the southern Gaza Strip.   MORE . . . 
.  .  .  .  . ❶ ―  (ᴃ)  SERIOUS  INJURY  BY  IOF  GUNFIRE  NORTH  OF  RAMALLAH 
The Palestinian Information Center
Jan. 4, 2018 ―  Palestinian youth on Thursday afternoon was seriously wounded by Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) who shot him with a live bullet in the head during clashes that erupted in Deir Nitham town west of Ramallah after the funeral of the Palestinian martyr Musab al-Tamimi.
___The injured Palestinian man was transferred to hospital as his injury was described as serious.
___The head of the local council of Deir Nitham, Ahmad al-Tamimi, told WAFA news agency that IOF soldiers blocked the funeral of martyr al-Tamimi, assaulted  participants and showered them with tear gas canisters and stun grenades.    MORE . . .
RELATED:   Soldiers attack funeral of youth they shot and killed the day before.     Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA, Jan. 4, 2018.
.  .  .  .  .  ❶ ―  (ᴄ)  THE  FAMOUS  UNRWA  STAFFER  KILLED  BY  ISRAEL’S  SECURITY  CHECK
The Palestinian Information Center
Jan. 4, 2018 ―The Israeli occupation authority (IOA) is responsible for the death of the famous UNRWA staffer Abdel Fattah al-Sibakhi, 65, after banning him from crossing the Beit Hanoun checkpoint, when he was still in the middle of his chemotherapy treatment for lung cancer.
___He had been working for 30 years at UNRWA’s Procurement and Warehousing Unit in occupied Jerusalem until he was promoted to a director, thus obtaining an almost permanent residency in Jerusalem and the West Bank.
___Al-Sibakhi died a few days ago after being denied access to the Israeli-controlled Beit Hanoun crossing for chemical treatment and urgent medical tests under the pretext of security checks.     MORE . . . 
❷ PA  SIGNS  22  INTERNATIONAL  TREATIES  AND  AGREEMENTS  
Al Hourriah Magazine (Freedom) 
Jan. 3, 2018 ― Palestine has joined 22 international conventions and treaties, the Palestinian Authority (PA) announced today.
___In a statement, the PA said that the move was made “to strengthen the legal status of the State of Palestine on a global scale,” stressing that “adopting the international law is the only way to achieve the Palestinians’ legitimate national rights.”
___On the Israeli decision to annex the West Bank to Israel’s sovereignty, the PA noted that the decision is “a declaration of war against the Palestinian people.”
___The Palestinian government also noted to the US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel saying that it is “devoid of any legitimacy.”    MORE . . .  
❸ Opinion/Analysis:  THERE  IS  NO  STATUS  QUO,  ONLY  GREATER  ISRAEL        +972 Magazine
Jan. 3, 2018 ― Over the past few years, analysts have been using the term “creeping annexation” to describe Israel’s land grabbing, segregationist policies in the West Bank. But over the past few days, the country’s leaders have been openly signaling that annexation need no longer creep. It is the new game in town.
___On Sunday night, Likud’s Central Committee, the body responsible for updating the party’s constitution, unanimously passed a resolution to extend Israeli sovereignty to all West Bank settlements, effectively annexing them to­­ Israel.
___The Likud decision received a significant boost from Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, who announced Wednesday that beginning next week, all new pieces of government-supported legislation would include a short directive on how they are to be applied to Israeli settlements. The move, Shaked said Wednesday morning at a Knesset committee hearing, will help implement government policy in the settlements and “normalize life in Judea and Samaria.”
[. . . .] Taken together,  Likud and Shaked’s decisions are important for both their practical and psychological implications: they are changing the paradigm. If, until now, annexation was openly championed only by those on the far-right, today it has become a fundamental tenet of Israel’s ruling party, and the Justice Ministry is continuing to lay the groundwork for its future implementation.       MORE . . .   

“I  SHALL  SING,”  BY  FOUZI  EL-ASMAR
I shall create
out of the darkness of my jail
my dawn out of the jaws of hatred
my destiny.
I shall sing
the wind
the sun
the flowers
the spring.
I shall sing
in spite of fences
in spite of jailers
in spite of hatred.

From: El-Asmar, Fouzi. THE  WIND-DRIVEN  REED  AND  OTHER  POEMS. Washington, D.C.: Three Continents Press, 1979.  Available from Amazon.
For more than fifty years, FOUZI EL-ASMAR was one of the most important public intellectuals of the Palestinian liberation struggle. Born in Haifa in 1937, he grew up in a Palestinian area of present-day Israel. In 1958, he became a member of the editorial board of the literary monthly Al-Fajr and in 1966 he became editor of the Arabic magazine Hadha Al-Alam. In 1979, after attending university in the US and graduate school in the UK, he became the managing editor of the London-based international newspaper, Asharq Al-Awsat.   More . . .

“. . . For it is the function of history To follow our dictates . . .” (Tawfiq Zayyad)

❶ PCHR: New attempts by Israel to legitimize killing of Palestinians
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Israel’s attorney general says new laws will consider West Bank

  • Background: “International Law and the Occupied Territories.” Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture.

❷ Palestinians kidnapped, homes ransacked in predawn sweep by IOF
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) Detainees narrate how they were tortured during interrogation in Israeli centers
❸ Gov’t to supply Gaza with electricity following bank guarantee
. . . . . ❸ ― (ᴀ) Gaza: Health Sector may collapse due to shortage of medicines
❹ Hanan Ashrawi to Trump: ‘We will not be blackmailed’
❺ POETRY by Tawfiq Zayyad
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ PCHR:  NEW  ATTEMPTS  BY  ISRAEL  TO  LEGITIMIZE  KILLING  OF  PALESTINIANS 
Palestine News Network – PNN 
Jan. 3, 2018 ― The Israeli Knesset is set to vote on Wednesday to amend the Penal Code in order to legalize the use of death penalty against those involved in murders while carrying out “terrorist operations”.
___The bill was presented before the Knesset on 30 October 2017 by three Israeli extremist parliamentarians: Robert Eltov, Oded Forer and Yuli Leminovsky.
___The bill stipulates that “the Minister of Defense orders the commander of the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) in the division to give orders to: 1- the Military Court in the division to have the power to sentence death penalty without requiring the consensus of the Military Court, but only the ordinary majority; 2- No other court in the division has the right to commute a final death sentence issued by the military court in the division.”    MORE . . .  
.  .  .  .  .  ―  (ᴀ)  ISRAEL’S  ATTORNEY  GENERAL  SAYS  NEW  LAWS  WILL  CONSIDER  WEST  BANK
The Palestinian Information Center
Jan. 3, 2018 ― Israel’s Attorney General on Monday issued a decision stating that all new laws from now on will include the West Bank settlements.
[. . . .] Bennett stressed that they will no longer approve the passage of any law unless it is applied to the West Bank settlers.
___For her turn, Israel’s Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked hailed the decision and said that the Israelis living in the West Bank are not “second class citizens” and that she will work to develop new measures to make sure that the new legislations will be applied to them too.   MORE . . . 

Weiss, Peter.
“INTERNATIONAL  LAW  AND  THE  OCCUPIED  TERRITORIES.” 
PALESTINE-ISRAEL JOURNAL OF POLITICS, ECONOMICS & CULTURE, vol. 21, no. 3, Jan. 2016, pp. 96-101.
[. . . .] There is virtually unanimous international agreement that Israel’s presence in the West Bank constitutes an occupation within the meaning of Section III of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which deals with the protection of civilian persons in times of war. The United States, the United Nations Security Council and the International Court of Justice have all upheld the agreement. A number of important consequences flow from this fact:
* The settlements are illegal because, under Article 49, “the occupying power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies”;
* Under Article 3, “outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment” are prohibited, as well as violence to life and person, in particular murder and torture”;
* Under Article 5, persons suspected of activity hostile to the occupying power shall be treated with humanity;
* Under Article 13, the provisions of the convention are to be applied “without any adverse distinction based, in particular, on race, nationality, religion or political opinion”;
* Under Article 16, the wounded, sick, infirm and expectant mothers “shall be the object of particular protection and respect”;
* Under Article 31, No physical or moral coercion shall be exercised against protected persons, in particular to obtain information from them or from their parties”;
* Article 32 prohibits the commission of murder, torture and corporal punishment against protected persons, as well as “any other measures of brutality whether applied by civilian or military agents”;
* Under Article 33, “No protected person may be punished for an offense he or she has not personally committed. Collective penalties and likewise all measures of intimidation or terrorism are prohibited. Reprisals against protected persons and their property are prohibited.”
[. . . .] It requires no evidentiary brief to demonstrate that these and similar provisions are, by the current occupying power, more honored in the breach than in the observance.
[. . . .] There are, of course, many principles of international law beyond those derived from the law of war. To take only one example: The International Covenant on Social, Economic and Cultural Rights, to which Israel is a party, contains provisions dealing with, inter alia, the rights of self-determination, the right to work, an adequate standard of living and the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health. Similar legal obligations flow from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which, while not a treaty, is widely regarded as another source of basic rights applicable in occupied territories, as well as in the territory of the occupier.     SOURCE . . . 

PALESTINIANS  KIDNAPPED,  HOMES  RANSACKED  IN  PREDAWN  SWEEP  BY  IOF
The Palestinian Information Center   
Jan. 3, 2018 ― Several Palestinians were kidnapped by the Israeli occupation forces (IOF) at daybreak Wednesday in abduction sweeps launched across the West Bank and Jerusalem.
___Clashes burst out in Jenin’s southern town of Qabatiya shortly after the IOF stormed the area and ransacked civilian homes.
___The occupation forces showered residential neighborhoods with spates of bullet fire and teargas grenades, resulting in injuries.    MORE . . .  
.  .  .  .  .  ❷  ―  (ᴀ)  DETAINEES  NARRATE  HOW  THEY  WERE  TORTURED  DURING  INTERROGATION  IN  ISRAELI  CENTERS
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA   
Jan. 3, 2018 ― Omar Zuhour, from Beit Kahil village near Hebron, WAS ONLY 14 YEARS OLD when he was detained by Israeli soldiers who hit him on the head and knees with their bullet case, kicked him all over his body . . .
___This testimony from Zuhour was given to the Prisoners’ Commission and was distributed on Wednesday in a statement on the torture of Palestinians in Israeli detention and interrogation centers.  MORE . . . 
❸ GOV’T  TO  SUPPLY  GAZA  WITH  ELECTRICITY  FOLLOWING  BANK  GUARANTEE
The Palestinian Information Center 
Jan. 3, 2018 ― After receiving a bank guarantee from the electricity distribution company in the Gaza Strip, the Ramallah-based consensus government decided to supply the besieged enclave with its power needs.
___An informed source told the Palestinian Information Center (PIC) on Tuesday that the government took such decision after the distribution company provided it with a bank guarantee worth 10 million dollars.   MORE . . . 
.  .  .  .  .  ❸  ―  (ᴀ)  GAZA:  HEALTH  SECTOR  MAY  COLLAPSE  DUE  TO  SHORTAGE  OF  MEDICINES 
Palestine News Network – PNN
Jan. 3, 2018 ― The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) said it’s deeply concerned over the severe lack of medicines and medical consumables in the Gaza Strip Hospitals, warning that conditions of the Gaza Strip patients would deteriorate due to the shortage of medicine and periodic medications, which are not available in the Gaza healthcare facilities.
___PCHR called upon the Ministry of Health in Ramallah to guarantee the free and secure flow of all consignments of medicines and needed medical supplies for the health facilities in the Gaza Strip.    MORE . . .  
❹ HANAN  ASHRAWI  TO  TRUMP:  ‘WE  WILL  NOT  BE  BLACKMAILED’   
Al Jazeera English
Jan. 3, 2018 ― A senior Palestinian official has responded with defiance to Donald Trump’s threat via Twitter to cut aid to the Palestinian Authority.
___Hanan Ashrawi’s rebuke followed the US president’s tweet admitting that the Middle East peace process was in difficulty and warning Palestinians that they could lose US aid worth more than $300m a year.
___”We will not be blackmailed,” Ashrawi said in a statement on Wednesday.
___”President Trump has sabotaged our search for peace, freedom and justice. Now he dares to blame the Palestinians for the consequences of his own irresponsible actions!” MORE . . . 

“THE  FIRE  OF  THE  MAGI,  BY  TAWFIQ  ZAYYAD
I take my time!
I take my time!
I draw the first thread of light
From the deep darkness of night;
I tend the nursery of dreams
At the source of the torrent,
And dry the tears of loved ones
With a kerchief of jasmine.
I plant the most verdant oases
Amidst the scorched sands,
And shape a life for the outlaws
From fragrance, plenty, and justice.
If someday, on the road, my foot should stumble,
My roots will uphold and support me.

I take my time
For I am unlike the match
That flickers once, then dies.
I am more like the fire of the magi, burning bright
From my cradle to my grave.
And from my forebears to my offspring.
My endurance is as limitless as the horizon,
And the skill of the ant I’ve mastered.

I take my time,
For it is the function of history
To follow our dictates.
We have prepared for the downfall of the giants of the earth,
We will pay them back in kind;
We will give them enough rope, not that they may live longer,
But that they might have enough to hang themselves.

About Tawfiq Zayyad.
From THE  PALESTINIAN  WEDDING:  A  BILINGUAL  ANTHOLOGY  OF  CONTEMPORARY  PALESTINIAN  RESISTANCE  POETRY. Ed. and Trans. A. M. Elmessiri. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2011. Reprint from Three Continents Press, Inc., 1982. Available from  Palestine Online Store.

“. . . Jerusalem, beloved city of mine, tomorrow your lemon trees will bloom . . .” (Nizar Qabbani)

❶ “Unified Jerusalem” bill passes in Knesset plenum
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Trump will move embassy to Jerusalem in 2018

  • Background: “‘The Road to the Village’: Israeli Social Unconscious and the Palestinian Nakba.” International Journal of Applied Psychoanalytic Studies.

❷ Settlers set up tents in Nablus area, seen as nucleus for building settlement
. . . . . ❷ ― CONTEXT: Netanyahu’s Party Votes to Annex West Bank, Increase Settlements
❸ Ahed Tamimi indicted on charges of assaulting a soldier and stone throwing
. . . . . ❸ ― (ᴀ) Administrative detention orders issued against 41 Palestinians
❹ POETRY by Nizar Qabbani
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ “UNIFIED  JERUSALEM”  BILL  PASSES  IN  KNESSET  PLENUM 
The Palestinian Information Center
Jan. 2, 2018 ― The “unified Jerusalem” bill which provides for separating Palestinian neighborhoods from Jerusalem and prohibits relinquishing any part of the city under any future agreement has passed its second and third readings at the Israeli Knesset.
___Any decision relating to Jerusalem, the bill stipulated, will require the consent of 80 MKs—even in the case of a peace agreement.
___64 MKs supported the bill and 51 objected. MK Ofer Shelah (Yesh Atid) ended up abstaining, despite his intention of voting against it.
___The bill, filed by the Jewish Home party, requires the approval of 80 MKs for any decision to hand over parts of Jerusalem to the Palestinian Authority in the future.     MORE . . . 
.  .  .  .  .  ❶  ―  (ᴀ)  TRUMP  WILL  MOVE  EMBASSY  TO  JERUSALEM  IN  2018
Palestine News Network – PNN
Jan. 2, 2018 ― Hebrew “0404” website on Tuesday said that US President Donald Trump, has confirmed to Israel his intention to transfer the embassy of his country from “Tel Aviv” to Jerusalem as soon as possible, and begin to transfer this year.
___The website reported that Trump is pressuring his staff in Washington in coordination with the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, to start working on moving the embassy.
___“President Trump has sent a clear message that he wants to start moving the embassy soon,” a source at the White House said, adding work will begin in 2018.    MORE . . .  

Even-Tzur, Efrat.
“‘THE  ROAD  TO  THE  VILLAGE’:  ISRAELI  SOCIAL  UNCONSCIOUS  AND  THE  PALESTINIAN  NAKBA.”
INTERNATIONAL  JOURNAL  OF  APPLIED  PSYCHOANALYTIC  STUDIES, vol. 13, no. 4, Dec. 2016, pp. 305-322.
[. . . .] Historical research clearly reveals an active policy designed to erase the memory of the Nakba from Israeli collective memory. . . .  On a material level, the destruction of buildings in depopulated Palestinian localities that has been going on since the 1960s explicitly served to eliminate the traces of previous Palestinian presence and to conceal the void left behind by this presence . . . . a 1957 letter from the ministry of foreign affairs to the ministry of Labor, present[s] the raison d’être for this extensive demolition: “The ruins of Arab villages […] standing desolate and empty since 1948, bring up harsh associations that cause considerable diplomatic damage . . . . the remains of dozens of villages now reside within the bounds of various tourism and recreation sites run by the JNF and the “Israel Nature and Parks Authority” . . .  signs posted in these sites offer ample information about the historical and geographical aspects of the area – while repeatedly failing to mention the fact that these places were inhabited by vibrant communities until quite recently.
[. . . .] Understanding the Nakba as a trauma that is shared . . . accounts for an interesting aspect of these practices – the fact that their wide-scale implementation did not begin immediately after the war, but gained full momentum only a decade later . . . .
[. . . .] Insufficiently worked through as it is, Israeli society’s traumatic past leads to yet another “pathological” manifestation: the appearance of repressed materials in a compulsively repetitive manner, “not as an event of the past, but as a present-day force”. Today, the ongoing repetition of the Nakba’s injustices is re-enacted in the violent relationship between Israel and its discriminated Palestinian citizens . . .  The destructive assaults on Palestinian society. . .  have been continuously launched and re-launched through the state’s actions and policies to this day. The besiegement and recurring bombardment of Gaza, for example, are not unrelated to the ignorance, on the part of most Israelis, of the fact that the majority of Gaza’s current inhabitants are descendants of refugees who lost their homes in 1948. This ignorance should be understood, in my view, in terms of the repression and effacement processes described . . .    SOURCE . . .  

❷ SETTLERS  SET  UP  TENTS  IN  NABLUS  AREA,  SEEN  AS  NUCLEUS  FOR  BUILDING  SETTLEMENT    
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Jan. 2, 2018 ― Jewish settlers set up on Tuesday tents on Palestinian land that belongs to Deir al-Hatab village, east of Nablus, which is seen as a nucleus for a new settlement in the area, said a local activist.
___Ghassan Daghlas, who monitors settlement construction in the northern West Bank, told WAFA that settlers from the illegal Elon Moreh settlement set up tents on a land in Ras al-Ein, an area east of the village, and fenced it off.    MORE . . . 
. . . . . ❷ ― CONTEXT: Netanyahu’s Party Votes to Annex West Bank, Increase Settlements   
Haaretz
Jan 01, 2018 ― The Likud Central Committee voted Sunday to unanimously accept a resolution that calls on the party’s leaders to move to formally annex the West Bank.
___The vote by the ruling party is nonbinding and was called for in a letter signed by some 900 members of the central committee.
___The wording of the resolution states: “On the 50th anniversary of the liberation of the regions of Judea and Samaria [the West Bank], including Jerusalem our eternal capital, the Likud Central Committee calls on the Likud’s elected officials to act to allow free construction and to apply the laws of Israel and its sovereignty to all liberated areas of Jewish settlement in Judea and Samaria.”   MORE . . .  
❸ AHED  TAMIMI  INDICTED  ON  CHARGES  OF  ASSAULTING  A  SOLDIER  AND  STONE  THROWING 
Ma’an News Agency    
Jan. 2, 2018 ―An Israeli military court on Monday indicted 16-year-old Palestinian activist Ahed Tamimi on 12 charges, including assaulting an Israeli soldier, interfering with a soldier’s duties, and two past instances of stone throwing.
___Tamimi, who along with her family is well-known internationally for her fierce opposition to the Israeli occupation, was detained last month after a video went viral of her slapping and kicking two Israeli soldiers near her home in the central occupied West Bank village of Nabi Saleh.
___Since her arrest, Tamimi has had her detention extended several times, until charges were finally presented against her on Monday.
___Ahed’s mother Nariman has been charged with “incitement” for livestreaming the altercation, while her cousin Nour, who also appeared in the video, was charged with assaulting a soldier and interfering with a soldier’s duties.  MORE . . . 
.  .  .  .  .  ❸  ―  (ᴀ)  ADMINISTRATIVE  DETENTION  ORDERS  ISSUED  AGAINST  41  PALESTINIANS 
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Jan. 2, 2018 ― The Israeli authorities recently issued administration detention orders against 41 Palestinians, including a member of the Palestinian parliament, the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS) said on Tuesday.   MORE . . .    ..

“JERUSALEM,”  BY  NIZAR  QABBANI
Oh Jerusalem, luminous city of prophets
The shortest path between heaven and earth!

Jerusalem, you of the myriad minarets,
become a beautiful little girl with burned fingers.
City of the Virgin, your eyes are sad.
Shady oasis where the Prophet passed,
the stones of your streets grow sad,
the towers of mosques downcast.
City swathed in black, who’ll ring the bells
at the Holy Sepulchre on Sunday mornings?
Who will carry toys to children on Christmas Eve?
City of sorrows, a huge tear
trembling on your eyelid,
who’ll save the Bible?
Who’ll save the Qur’an?
Who will save Christ?
Who will save man?

Jerusalem, beloved city of mine,
tomorrow your lemon trees will bloom,
your green stalks and branches rise up joyful,
and your eyes will laugh. Migrant pigeons
will return to your holy roofs
and children will go back to playing.
Parents and children will meet
on your shining streets,
my city, city of olives and peace.
—Translated by Sharif Elmusa and Naomi Shihab Nye

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.
Nizar Qabbani (1923-1998) was a Syrian diplomat and poet revered by Arabs for his sensual and romantic verse. A man of his times and of all times, he is by far the most popular contemporary poet in the Arab world.

“. . . a permanent phenomenon incapable of being nullified, and we need to consider another vision. . .” (Dr. Meir Margalit)

❶ Government condemns Likud’s decision to annex West Bank settlements
. . . . . ❶― (ᴀ) Knesset to vote on unified Jerusalem bill
. . . . . ❶― (ᴃ) Abbas to make important decisions in 2018 in response to Israel’s violations

  • Background: “Jerusalem between the Veteran and the Younger Generation.” Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture.

❷ Palestinian girl indicted for slapping heavily armed Israeli soldier
. . . . . ❷― (ᴀ) IOF arrest retired General at Jerusalem checkpoint
. . . . . ❷― (ᴃ) IOF extend re-arrest of Parliamentarian Khalida Jarrar
❸ IOF breaks into al-Khalil, erects checkpoint north of Halhul
❹ “On Hope,” poetry by Mahmoud Darwish
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
GOVERNMENT  CONDEMNS  LIKUD’S  DECISION  TO  ANNEX  WEST  BANK  SETTLEMENTS
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA 
Jan. 1, 2018 ― The government condemned on Monday the approval by Likud party, Israel’s ruling party, of a draft resolution that calls on Likud leaders and Israeli lawmakers to agree on annexing Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank.
__Government’s spokesman Yousef al-Mahmoud described the resolution as “an outrageous violation of the resolutions of international legitimacy, especially the resolutions of the United Nations and the Security Council, as well as an irony and contempt for the entire UN system.”
___“The Palestinian land that includes the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, foremost of which our eternal capital Jerusalem, is a land occupied by Israel. . .   MORE . . .  
.  .  .  .  . ❶ ―  (ᴀ)  KNESSET  TO  VOTE  ON  UNIFIED  JERUSALEM  BILL
The Palestinian Information Center   
Jan. 1, 2018 ― The Knesset is set on Monday to vote on the “unified Jerusalem” bill which provides for separating Palestinian neighborhoods from Jerusalem and prohibits relinquishing any part of the city under any future agreement.
___The bill, filed by the Jewish Home party, requires the approval of 80 MKs for any decision to hand over parts of Jerusalem to the Palestinian Authority in the future.   MORE . . .   
.  .  .  .  . ❶―  (ᴃ)  ABBAS  TO  MAKE  IMPORTANT  DECISIONS  IN  2018  IN  RESPONSE  TO  ISRAEL’S  VIOLATIONS  
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA  
Jan. 1, 2018 ― President Mahmoud Abbas said that he is going to make important decisions in 2018 to hold Israel accountable for its grave and systematic violations of international law.
___Abbas’ statement came in response to the decision of the ruling Israeli party, Likud, to annex the Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank to Israel, which the president said was a result of the support Israel enjoys from the United States.
___“We shall make important decisions during 2018, including regarding legal venues, in order to hold Israel accountable for its grave and systematic violations of international law, and to revisit agreements signed with Israel,” Abbas said in a press statement.    MORE . . .    ..

Margalit, Meir.
“JERUSALEM  BETWEEN  THE  VETERAN  AND  THE  YOUNGER  GENERATION.” PALESTINE-ISRAEL JOURNAL OF POLITICS, ECONOMICS & CULTURE, vol. 21, no. 2, Nov. 2015, pp. 43-50
[. . . .] We have always known the solution to the conflict . . . .  and in the realm of intellectual debate, there are no inherent deficiencies in our program. However, the general public has not been impressed by our rational arguments . . . .
[. . . .]  We [Israelis] have also ignored the irrational components of the conflict. We provided a rational answer to a conflict that is, to a large extent, irrational. We downplayed (or ignored) the irrational dimensions, and in doing so, we lost most of the public. Freud wrote in 1915 that the behavior of nations stems far more from impulses and irrational compulsions then it does from rational calculations, and most even employ rational arguments to justify irrational urges. . .  We would like to believe that in life there is rational order, but . . . nothing can be taken for granted, and no rational explanation can truly explicate phenomena around us.
[. . . .]  . . .  since the 1990s . . . Jewish settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories have changed the reality . . . such that the occupation appears to be here indefinitely, a permanent feature of the landscape that is not going anywhere. A change of such magnitude is not merely quantitative but also fundamentally qualitative, which obligates new thinking, a different perspective and an alternative political model. If our occupation is akin to that of Algeria, Ireland or apartheid, then the impetus to disengage is correct. However . . . we are dealing with a permanent phenomenon incapable of being nullified, and we need to consider another vision. It would then not be precisely ending the occupation but reducing its associated damages and changing the power relations from within, for example, ensuring full civic equality for all citizens from the Jordan River to Mediterranean Sea and allowing demographic trends to exact their consequences. . . . we need to understand that “peace” itself is also no longer feasible.    SOURCE . . .  

PALESTINIAN  GIRL  INDICTED  FOR  SLAPPING  HEAVILY  ARMED  ISRAELI  SOLDIER  (In Israel, killing thousands of innocent Palestinians does not matter, but slapping a heavily armed Israeli soldier by a little girl deserves rape and life sentence.)    Days of Palestine 
Jan. 01, 2018 ― Israeli court indicted on Sunday Palestinian girl Nour Tamimi, 21, who was seen slapping heavily armed Israeli soldier along with her cousin Ahed Tamimi two weeks ago.
___The Israeli court charged Tamimi with aggravated assault of an Israeli soldier and obstructing a soldier from carrying out his duty.
___ A short video showed the young Tamimi girls, slapping an Israeli soldier in Nabi Salih after shoting their cousin in the head.   MORE . . .   
.  .  .  .  . ❷― (ᴀ) IOF  ARREST  RETIRED  GENERAL  AT  JERUSALEM CHECKPOINT
Palestine News Network – PNN    
Jan. 1, 2018 ― Israeli occupation forces on Sunday afternoon arrested the retired Major General and activist Yusuf al-Sharqawi at a military checkpoint east of occupied Jerusalem, while on his way from Ramallah to Bethlehem.
___Eyewitnesses said that the Israeli occupation forces arrested Al-Sharqawi during while he was in a taxi heading home from Ramallah to Bethlehem, when the vehicle was stopped by soldiers, and he was asked to show his ID card.
___After that, he was taken to an unknown destination.       MORE . . .  
.  .  .  .  . ❷ ―  (ᴃ)  IOF  EXTEND  RE-ARREST  OF  PARLIAMENTARIAN  KHALIDA  JARRAR 
Palestine News Network – PNN
Jan. 1, 2018 ― The Israeli occupation military issued an order extending the arbitrary administrative detention of Palestinian parliamentarian and national leader Khalida Jarrar for an additional six months on Wednesday, 27 December 2017, four days before her detention was to expire. Jarrar was seized by occupation soldiers who invaded her home in El-Bireh on 2 July 2017. A well-known Palestinian leader, Jarrar is a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council, head of its Prisoners’ Committee and Vice-Chair of the Board of Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association.     MORE . . .  
❸ IOF  BREAKS  INTO  AL-KHALIL,  ERECTS  CHECKPOINT  NORTH  OF  HALHUL
The Palestinian Information Center
Jan. 1, 2018 ― The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) on Monday morning stormed al-Shuyukh town in al-Khalil province.
___Eyewitnesses told the PIC reporter that six Israeli military vehicles, accompanied by a car belonging to the so-called Civil Administration, broke into a neighborhood to the southeast of the town, conducted some examinations and took several photos of the area.
___More than 20 years ago, the Israeli occupation authorities issued a decision to confiscate dozens of dunums of land privately-owned by Palestinian families living in al-Shuyukh in preparation for the establishment of a new settlement outpost, but the residents’ protests prevented the implementation of the Israeli plan.     MORE . . .  

“ON  HOPE,”  BY  MAHMOUD  DARWISH
Do not tell me:
I wish to be a baker in Algeria
In order to sing with the revolutionaries
Do not tell me:
I wish to be a shepherd in the Yemen
To sing for the uprising of the age
Do not tell me:
I wish to be a waiter in Havana
To sing for the victory of the poor
Do not tell me:
I wish to be a stone carrier in Aswan
To sing for the rocks
My friends:
The Nile will not pour into the Volga
The Congo and Jordan Rivers
Will not serve the Euphrates
Each river has its own
Our land is not barren
Each land has its own rebirth
Each dawn has a date with revolution.

From: Aruri, Naseer and Edmund Ghareeb, eds. ENEMY  OF  THE  SUN:  POETRY  OF  THE  PALESTINIAN  RESISTANCE. Washington, DC: Drum and Spear Press, 1970Available from Amazon.
About Mahmoud Darwish.