“. . . Do you sanction what’s being done In your names . . .” (Lahab Assef Al-Jundi)

❶ Jerusalem: Israel planning park to connect two settlements

  • Background: “UN Security Council Resolution 2334: An Important Lease on Life for the Two-State Solution.” Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture

. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) IOF closes off al-Khalil thoroughfares with checkpoints
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴃ) Qareqea: Israel’s intent to seize our tax money “financial piracy”
❷ Dozens of Palestinians were wounded during clashes with IOF on Friday of anger
❸ Opinion/Analysis: Trump’s Palestine deal is a real estate transaction
❹ POETRY by Lahab Assef Al-Jundi
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Palestine News Network – PNN
Feb. 8, 2018 ― The Hebrew daily, Haaretz newspaper on Thursday has unveiled an Israeli plan to build a park in the Mount of Olives overlooking Old Jerusalem, which will link two settlement outposts to the Jewish side of  Jerusalem.
___According to Haaretz, the park will be located on the western slopes of the Mount of Olives, and will link the settlement neighborhoods of “Beit Orot” and “Beit Hohchen.”     MORE . . . 

PALESTINE-ISRAEL  JOURNAL  OF  POLITICS,  ECONOMICS  &  CULTURE, vol. 22, no. 2/3, July 2017, pp. 78-84.   Dr. Alon Liel served from 2000 to 2001 as the director-general of the Israeli Foreign Ministry.
[. . . .] At a time when support for a two-state solution was rapidly disappearing, the international community provided emergency aid in the form of Resolution 2334 [Dec. 23, 2016]. The resolution demands that Israel cease illegal settlement activity, focus on the two-state solution . . .   The UNSC resolution makes a clear distinction between the area of the sovereign State of Israel and the area of the territories occupied in 1967. . .   This distinction between Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) touches upon the holy of holies of the current Israeli government; senior ministers call the occupied West Bank “the heart of the land,” and the settlers are the political elite in Israel today.
[. . . .] Beyond touching the sensitive settlements nerve, the reason for the Israeli anger is very clear. Most of the Knesset members of the ruling coalition . . .  do not support the two-state solution. . . .
[. . . .] Precisely because of the tremendous anger that it raised, UNSC Resolution 2334 also became an important life-saver for the Israeli opposition that supports the two-state solution. This opposition . . .  is practically not felt in the political/parliamentary discourse in Israel.
[. . . .] Now President Trump is preparing, at least according to his declarations, to “broker a deal” to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. However, the most important statement he made in connection with the conflict has already caused real damage. In the joint press conference with Prime Minister Netanyahu, he said: “I am looking at two states or one state, and I like the one that both parties like.” With this possibly unplanned off-the-cuff remark, the president shook up the one foundation for agreement that has accompanied the peace process for the last 20 years (1994-2014). [. . . .] This is where we are today. Within Israel and Palestine, the two-state idea is disappearing from the horizon; the world via Resolution 2334 is trying to revive and breathe new life into the peace camp on both sides; and President Trump is trying to undermine the UN itself and destroy the lifesaver. . . .  Resolution 2334, therefore, is much more than just a resolution about the fate of the ongoing conflict in the Middle East. The resolution has become a symbol of the global struggle between facts and “alternative facts,” between sanity and magic tricks, between international diplomatic continuity and the dangerous breaking of rules.    FULL ARTICLE . . . 

The Palestinian Information Center
Feb. 9, 2018 ― The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) on Thursday evening set up a series of military checkpoints at the main entrances to Halhul town, north of al-Khalil province, in the southern West Bank.
___Reporting from al-Khalil, a PIC news correspondent said the IOF cracked down on Palestinians at a military checkpoint pitched in al-Hawawer area, north of Halhul. Palestinian civilians have been made to endure exhaustive inspection.     MORE . . . 
The Palestinian Information Center
Feb. 9, 2018 ― The Palestinian Commission of Detainees’ and Ex-Detainees’ Affairs has strongly denounced Israel’s intent to enact a new law confiscating Palestinian tax revenues to prevent the Palestinian Authority from using them to support families of prisoners, martyrs and wounded citizens.
___In a press release on Thursday, head of the commission Issa Qaraqea accused the Israeli government of practicing financial extortion and pressure on the Palestinian people through its racist legislation. . . .     MORE . . .  
Palestine News Network – PNN
Feb. 9, 2018 ― Dozens of Palestinians were wounded today Friday during clashes with IOF on Friday of anger in which began in several areas and Palestinian cities after Friday none prayers.
___The confrontations took place in several Palestinian cities, including Ramallah and its villages, Bethlehem northern entrance, Bab al-Zawiya area in Hebron, Qalqilya and Nablus in addition to Gaza Strip borders.     MORE . . . 
Al Jazeera English
By Bill Law
Feb. 9, 2018 ― As President Donald Trump continues to bluster and tweet his way through a chaotic presidency, the Middle East is simmering dangerously close to a boiling point. Wars in Yemen and Syria are still burning hard . . .   Once again, all but forgotten are the Palestinians.
[. . . .] Trump threatens to cut off US aid because the Palestinians refused to meet his Vice President Mike Pence after the president had provocatively named Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. . . .
[. . . .] The peace proposal that Trump likes best – and that his son-in-law and special Middle East adviser Jared Kushner is reportedly pursuing together with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman – looks remarkably like a real estate transaction. Unsurprising, given that the 36-year-old Kushner has no previous experience in diplomacy, but an awful lot of it in wheeling and dealing in the high-stakes world of New York property ventures.      MORE . . .  

Survivors of The Holocaust please
Talk to me. Help me understand―
Do you sanction what’s being done
In your names?

I thought your spirits
grew more gentle
having lived through the unspeakable.

Bombs are not less lethal or evil―
Stop being so deathly afraid of the other.

A thousand eyes for an eye?
Children of the Holocaust
please do not lash out
as if you lost your sight.

Lahab Assef Al-Jundi
Lahab Assef Al-Jundi was born of Palestinian refugee parents and grew up in Damascus, Syria. He graduated from the University of Texas in Austin with a degree in Electrical Engineering. Not long after graduation, he discovered his passion for writing. He published his first poetry collection, A Long Way, in 1985. His poetry has appeared in numerous literary publications, and many anthologies including Inclined to Speak, An Anthology of Contemporary Arab American Poetry, edited by Hayan Charara, and Between Heaven and Texas, edited by 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 & Noble.

“. . . a land that can fit, with wilderness to spare, in the Panhandle of Texas . . .” (Lahab Assef Al-Jundi)

❶ Abu Rudeineh responding to US ambassador: Occupation is reason for violence
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Amid rising tensions, US troops in Israel for missile defense drill
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴃ) 44 Settlers, 33 US soldiers storm al-Aqsa Mosque plaza

  • Background: “The Gold Standard: U.S.–Israel Military Relations.” American Foreign Policy Interests.

❷ Israeli forces shower Palestinian school with tear gas, sending several students to hospital
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) Israeli forces detain father of slain Palestinian teen from Halhul, clash with locals
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴃ) Teen critically injured in clashes with Israeli soldiers north of Jerusalem
❸ PCHR: IOF continue systematic crimes in the oPT
❹ POETRY by Lahab Assef Al-Jundi
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Feb. 8, 2018 ― Responding to statements by the US ambassador to Israel David Friedman criticizing the Palestinian Authority, presidential spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh said on Wednesday that the Israeli occupation and the settlement policy are the main reason for violence in the region.
___Friedman, a staunch supporter of Israeli settlements and settlers who regularly donates money and support for the illegal Jewish settlement in the occupied territories, which are in violation of international law, lashed out at what he said in a tweet as “Palestinian leader” not speaking out against the killing of  settlers in the West Bank.
___“The statements by the US ambassador lead us to wonder about the ambassador’s relationship with the occupation: Does he represent the US or Israel?” wondered Abu Rudeineh.     MORE . . . 
The Jerusalem Post
Feb. 4, 2018 ― With tensions high on both the northern and southern fronts, US troops are in Israel and have deployed anti-missile defense systems across the country ahead of the biennial Juniper Cobra military exercise.
___The large-scale, five-day drill will simulate a massive missile attack on Israel from both fronts and will be led by the Israel Air Force, the IDF confirmed to The Jerusalem Post on Sunday.    MORE . . . 
.  .  .  .  .  ❶  ―  (ᴃ)    44  SETTLERS,  33  US  SOLDIERS  STORM  AL-AQSA  MOSQUE  PLAZA
The Palestinian Information Center
Feb. 8, 2018 ―  Some 44 Jewish settlers escorted by 33 American soldiers on Thursday broke into al-Aqsa Mosque’s plazas amid protection by Israeli police.
___Islamic Endowment Department in Jerusalem, said the American soldiers stormed the holy site in civilian uniform with the company of an Israeli officer.  MORE . . .

Holt, Blaine D.
AMERICAN FOREIGN POLICY INTERESTS, vol. 36, no. 2, Mar/Apr2014, pp. 111-118. ‘‘The Gold Standard’’ may well be one of the most cliche´d and overused phrases used to communicate any field’s leading program or effort. However, in considering the military-to-military relationship between the United States and Israel, this trite descriptor may be more than appropriate. . . .
[. . . .] At present, the bilateral relationship in the military sphere is the envy of strategists and planners around the world. Joint and combined exercises, staff colleges and fellowships, interoperability training, and joint research and development are some of the jewels in the crown that suits both countries well. . . .   Today’s relationship boasts robust intelligence cooperation in addition to all the measures that yield two very capable, ready forces that have confidence in their ability to meet the bilateral challenges posed by leaders in Washington and Tel Aviv. And, while U.S.–Israeli bonds at the political level have ebbed and flowed, military-to-military relations have grown steadily, while remaining pragmatic and professional, over the last 50 years.
[. . . .] Irrespective of the level at which U.S. foreign aid settles as the political leadership in both countries engage in dialogue and debate domestically, the relationship between militaries forged over five decades is valuable. A way to safely shepherd this evolving and dynamic military alliance through any political, economic, or diplomatic climate is to deepen the roots of the existing programs while looking at innovative options to form new initiatives. In other words, rather than looking for ways to sustain the status quo, the timing is optimal to move the relationship to the next level . . . version 2.0.     SOURCE . . .  

Ma’an News Agency
Feb. 8, 2018 ― Dozens of Palestinian school students in the southern occupied West Bank city of Hebron were exposed to high levels of tear gas on Thursday morning as Israeli forces showered their school with tear gas canisters.
___Several students were transferred to the Muhammad Ali al-Muhtaseb Hospital for treatment.   MORE . . .
Ma’an News Agency
Feb. 8, 2018 ― Clashes erupted in the Hebron-area town of Halhul in the southern occupied West Bank district of Hebron on Wednesday during an Israeli raid into the town, just shortly after an Israeli security guard had shot and killed Halhul resident Hamzeh Youssif Zamaareh, 19.
[. . . .] After the alleged attack, Israeli forces raided Zamaareh’s family house and detained his father, Youssif.   MORE . . .
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Feb. 8, 2018 ― Israeli soldiers Wednesday critically injured a 16-year-old Palestinian in Kafr ‘Aqab, north of Jerusalem, said medical sources.
___The Palestinian Red Crescent told WAFA the teen, who remains unidentified until the moment, was hit in the face, chest, and thigh areas during clashes that erupted with Israeli soldiers.     MORE . . .  
Palestine News Network – PNN
Feb. 7, 2018 ― The Gaza based Palestinian Center for Human Rights in its weekly report during the reporting period of (01 – 07 Feb. 2018) has recorded ongoing systematic crimes in the occupied Palestinian territories, which include:

  • Israeli forces continued to use excessive force in the oPt
  • Two Palestinian civilians were killed in peaceful protests that did not pose any threat to the Israeli soldiers’ life.
  • Israeli forces killed Ahmed Jarar in a crime of extra-judicial execution.
  • [. . . .] Israeli forces conducted 74 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and 7 into Jerusalem.    MORE . . . 

You are fighting over a land that can fit,
with wilderness to spare,
in the Panhandle of Texas.

You are building walls to segregate,
splitting wholes till little is left,
killing and dying for pieces of sky
in the same window.

The olive trees are dying
of embarrassment.
They have enough fruits
and pits for all of you.
All they want is for you to stop
uprooting them.
Sending your children to die
in their names.

Your land is no holier than my backyard.
None of you is any more chosen
than the homeless veteran panhandling
with a God Bless cardboard sign
at the light of Mecca
and San Pedro.
Draw a borderline around the place.
Call it home for all the living,
all the dead
all the tired exiles with its dust
gummed on their tongues.

There are no heroes left.

Lahab Assef Al-Jundi was born, and grew up, in Damascus, Syria. He attended The University of Texas in Austin, where he graduated with a degree in Electrical Engineering. Not long after graduation, he discovered his passion for writing. He published his first poetry collection, “A Long Way”, in 1985. His poetry has appeared in numerous literary publications,

“. . . and struggle ardently for my liberty My liberty . . .” (Fadwa Tuqan)

❶ Government Committee to devise plan for disengagement from Israel

  • Background: “It’s Nakba, Not a Party”: Re-Stating the (Continued) Legacy of the Oslo Accords.” Arab Studies Quarterly

❷ After weeks-long manhunt, Israeli forces kill Palestinian fighter suspected of killing settler
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) Angry protests in Jenin following the killing of Jarrar
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴃ) Israeli forces detain Palestinian journalist after assaulting him and his brother
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴄ) Israeli forces detain 18 Palestinians in West Bank raids
❸ Palestinians pay homage to poet Fadwa Tuqan
❹ POETRY by Fadwa Tuqan
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Feb. 6, 2018 – The Palestinian government, and following a decision by the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) to start planning for disengagement from Israel, decided on Tuesday to establish a committee to consider ways for that.
___ The PLO’s Executive Committee decided in its last meeting in Ramallah on Saturday to ask the government to devise plans for disengagement from Israel politically, administratively, economically and in security.
___The government said in a statement following its weekly cabinet meeting in Ramallah that it has decided to form a committee of various ministries to lay out plans for the disengagement.     MORE . . .

Sen, Somdeep.
ARAB STUDIES QUARTERLY, vol. 37, no. 2, Spring2015, pp. 162-176.
[. . . .]  . . .  a frequently ignored facet of the Interim Agreement is its persistent relevance as a result of the manner in which it influences how Palestinian factions (are allowed to) conduct politics. The most tangible manifestation of this aspect of the Accords is evident in its creation of a realm of official Palestinian politics. At the very outset, entrance into this realm is limited to Palestinian organizations that have publicly renounced an armed struggle and recognized Israel. Subsequently, the faction would be deemed a “legitimate” representative of the Palestinian populace and granted a permanent seat in negotiations with Israel and Western stakeholders. Once a Palestinian faction abides by this pre-condition, it is given the responsibility of governing the Palestinian territories and would subsequently have access to the financial resources earmarked for the PA.
[. . . .] . . . in keeping with the “statist logic” of Oslo-mandated official politics and abiding by the image of a Weberian state (and its monopoly over violence), the recognized Palestinian faction would also be responsible for ensuring the primacy of the mandate of the state-like PA (evocative of the logic of “official politics”) through the Palestinian internal security forces.
[. . . .] Having incentivized a brand of Palestinian liberation faction, the disincentives imbued in the Oslo-logic are not merely limited to barring (non-complying) Palestinian factions from entering “official politics.” Instead, it renders activism outside its realm a difficult enterprise. But, with this victory [the 2006 elections], as Hamas maintained its role as a “resistance,” it challenged the foundational logic of Oslo and the delimitations it places in terms of the brand of Palestinian faction it allows into the realm of official politics. That is to say, its victory ensured that the organization would rise to the helm of the PA’s governance structures. But by remaining officially committed to its role as an armed liberation faction, it violated the pre-conditions that, until now, needed to be fulfilled before a Palestinian faction was allowed entrance into the realm of official politics and granted the responsibility of governing Palestinian Territories. In order to then ensure the primacy of the delimitations placed around the realm of Oslo-mandated official politics, what then ensued was the inducement of a “failed state.”      SOURCE . . . 

Ma’an News Agency
Feb. 6, 2018   Israeli forces assassinated Palestinian fighter Ahmad Nasser Jarrar during a wide scale military operation in the al-Yamoun town in the northern occupied West Bank district of Jenin on Tuesday at dawn.
___Since an Israeli settler was shot and killed last month while driving near Nablus, Israeli forces have embarked on a manhunt for Jarrar — the alleged main suspect in the shooting — who had managed to evade capture for weeks.
___In January, during a raid searching for Jarrar, Israeli forces shot and killed his cousin Ahmad Ismail Jarrar near the Jarrar family’s home in the Wadi Bruqin neighborhood of Jenin city.
___On Saturday, Israeli forces shot and killed Ahmed Samir Abu Obeid, 19, during another raid on Wadi Bruqin.     MORE . . .
Palestine News Network – PNN
Feb. 5, 2018 ― Palestinians went out to the streets in angry protests following the killing of Ahmad Jarrar in the town of Yamoon this morning.
___School students and masses carried photos of Jarrar, chanting slogans  calling for the end of Israeli crimes against the Palestinian people.
___The protesters condemned the international silence on the crimes of the occupation, demanding the protection of defenseless people who face the killing, destruction, vandalism and detention, cruelty and brutality of the occupation.      MORE . . .    ..
Ma’an News Agency
Feb. 5, 2018 ―  Israeli forces detained a Palestinian journalist on Monday after assaulting him and his brother in the central occupied West Bank city of Ramallah, according to Palestinian Authority (PA)-owned Wafa news agency.
___Wafa reported that Israeli forces raided the home of Ahmad Arabeed, 28, a journalist who works for al-Hurriyah radio in Ramallah.
___Israeli forces reportedly assaulted Arabeed and one of his brothers during the raid. Wafa added that soldiers held the family in one room and seized their cellular phones during the raid.
___Arabeed was taken to an unknown location.   MORE . . . 
Ma’an News Agency
Feb. 6, 2018 ― Israeli forces Tuesday detained at least 18 Palestinians in multiple raids that were mostly concentrated in the northern West Bank, said the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS).
___Israeli forces detained two Palestinians after storming their homes in Beit Furik town, east of Nablus. One of the detainees was a father whom Israeli soldiers detained in order to force his son to turn himself in.
___Mayor of Beit Furik, Awad Hanani, said soldiers stormed a detainee’s family home, seizing his laptop and vehicle.   MORE . . .    ..
Al-Monitor (Palestine Pulse)
Aziza Nofal
Feb.  2, 2018 ― For many Palestinians, Fadwa Tuqan is more than a poet: She is the symbol of Palestinian resistance and pride. She is the embodiment of the spiritual strength of Palestine despite the losses they have suffered.
___Tuqan, born in 1897 in Nablus, West Bank, lived through the Nakba (Catastrophe) of 1948, the 1967 war and the first intifada of 1987. Her involvement in the national struggle strengthened her writing, making her one of the most famous female poets in Palestine and the Arab world.
[. . . .] Her works were translated to English in the 1980s, bringing her international fame and literary awards such as the United Arab Emirates’ Al Owais Award for poetry in 1988-89. She published “An Autobiography: A Mountainous Journey” in 1990.
___Tuqan died on Dec. 12, 2003, during the height of the Al-Aqsa intifada, while her hometown Nablus was under siege — her last poem, “Longing,” cited above, was written while she was bedridden and in deep sorrow over her hometown.    MORE . . . 

My liberty―my liberty―my liberty,
a sound I repeat
with angry lips
under the exchange of fire
and flames
I run after it
despite my chains
and follow its tracks
despite the night
and struggle ardently
for my liberty
My liberty
My liberty

And the Holy River
and Bridge repeat:
my liberty
and the two banks reiterate:
my liberty
and the raging wind and thunder,
tornadoes and rain
echo the sound:
my liberty

I shall carve its name
while I resist
on the land
by the walls and the doors
in the Temple of the Virgin
in the altar
and in the field,
on every hill
and every valley
and every curve
and road
in prison
in the torture rooms
and on the gallows
Despite the chains
and the house demolition
I shall carve its name
until I see it again
extending to my Homeland
and flourish
and flourish
until every inch of the land is covered
until every door is opened
by red liberty.
And the night vanishes
and the day breaks
My liberty―my liberty―my liberty

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

“. . . they’ve grown, grown more than the years of a normal life . . .” (Fadwa Tuqan)

❶ UN official deeply concerned by Israeli demolition of classrooms
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Palestinian PM slams Israel for demolition of Bedouin classrooms in E1

  • Background:  “‘In Your Face’ Democracy: Education for Belonging and Its Challenges in Israel.” British Educational Research Journal.
    “Confronting the authority of the Ministry of Education in such a way . . . constructs the Palestinians in Israel as activist citizens who seek to expand their rights of recognition into the field of education.”

❷ Video: Palestinians protest UNRWA cuts and US policies
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) Ministry stages protest against US decision to cut aid to UNRWA
❸ IOF prevents Palestinian farmers from entering their lands
. . . . . ❸ ― (ᴃ) Israeli bulldozer destroys Palestinian water pipeline in Jordan Valley
❹ POETRY by Fadwa Tuqan
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Feb. 5, 2018 ― United Nations acting Humanitarian Coordinator for the occupied Palestinian territories, Roberto Valent, said on Sunday that he was deeply concerned by Israel’s destruction of donor-funded classrooms in the Palestinian community of Abu Nuwar, east of Jerusalem.
___”I am deeply concerned by the Israeli authorities’ demolition this morning of two donor-funded classrooms (3rd and 4th grade), serving 26 Palestinian school children in the Bedouin and refugee community of Abu Nuwar, located in Area C on the outskirts of Jerusalem,” Valent said in a statement. “The demolition was carried out on grounds of lack of Israeli-issued permits, which are nearly impossible to obtain.”
___The UN official added: “Abu Nuwar is one of the most vulnerable communities in need of humanitarian assistance in the occupied West Bank. The conditions it faces also represent those of many Palestinian communities, where a combination of Israeli policies and practices –including demolitions and restricted access to basic services, such as education – have created a coercive environment that violates the human rights of residents and generates a risk of forcible transfer.   MORE . . .
Ma’an News Agency
Feb. 5, 2018 ― Israeli forces demolished two classrooms in the Palestinian Bedouin community of Abu Nuwwar on Sunday, located in the central occupied West Bank district of Jerusalem.
___The school in Abu Nuwwar was built and funded by the European Union in 2017 in order to provide the opportunity for a more accessible education to students in the village, who previously had to travel several kilometers by foot to the nearest school.
___More than 25 students were affected by the demolition of the two classrooms.
___The entire school serves more than 60 students in Abu Nuwwar which is home to 600 Palestinians.
___Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah released a statement on Monday condemning the demolition, saying “besides the fact that such a demolition contravenes international humanitarian law, this latest attack is directed against Palestinian schoolchildren, and is simply immoral.”   MORE . . .

Agbaria, Ayman K., et al.
BRITISH EDUCATIONAL RESEARCH JOURNAL, vol. 41, no. 1, Feb. 2015, pp. 143-175.
[. . . .] As an ethnocratic regime, Israel excludes its Palestinian citizens and treats them as merely an aggregate of individuals entitled to selective individual liberal rights, but deprived of collective rights of self-definition or collective claims over the nature and distribution of public goods in Israel. Controlling the Arab education system that serves this minority is part and parcel of these hierarchical strategies . . .  Despite the fact that Arab schools teach in Arabic [there is an] absence of recognition of the Palestinian collective identity. This lack of recognition is particularly salient in the school curricula and textbooks which were voided of any substantial engagement with Palestinian history and culture. All in all, Arab education was designed by the state to ‘instil feelings of self-disparagement and inferiority in Arab youth; to de-nationalize them, and particularly to de-Palestinize them; and to teach them to glorify the history, culture and achievements of the Jewish majority’ (Mar’i, S. K.).
[. . . .] a common feature of the Israeli education system, as argued by Yossi Yonah, is its commitment to function as a main carrier of the Zionist historiography, while disregarding the Palestinian narrative . . .  misrepresentat[ing] the multicultural and multi-ethnic reality of Israel as a deeply divided society. These attempts . . .  serve the desirable character of the state as a Jewish state, thus ignoring the need for cultural recognition of the non-Jewish student population.
[. . . .] Yet, dialogical as it is, the capacity of “Identity and Belonging” [the Palestinian curriculum] for confrontation, not only compliance and appropriation, remains high, as it directly challenges the laws and regulations of the Ministry of Education and its official knowledge. Confronting the authority of the Ministry of Education in such a way, at such a scale, and within the most natural sites of influence—the schools themselves—constructs the Palestinians in Israel as activist citizens who seek to expand their rights of recognition into the field of education. . .  In this way, “Identity and Belonging” is a citizenship act that challenges the extent . . . content . . . and depth . . .  of Israeli citizenship by presenting a counter-narrative permeated with political, moral and socio-political claims. Ultimately, these claims constitute the Palestinian minority in Israel as an independent political actor in both the Palestinian and Israeli arenas. Therefore, this initiative presents a symbolic challenge, which exposes the fragility of the double marginality of the Palestinians in Israel by reconstructing an integrative meaning of being part of both Israel and the Palestinian people.     SOURCE . . .

Palestine News Network – PNN
Feb. 5, 2018 ― The Refugee Youth Movement on Monday held a protest outside the main UNRWA office in Bethlehem against the cuts of the agency’s services after the Trump administration had cut its funding.
___The participants raised banners protesting the UNRWA cuts and recent US resolutions impacting the rights of Palestinian refugees.
___Protesters included students and teachers, and called for improving the education services and halting decisions to lay off teachers, improve classes, and activate the operating system to reduce unemployment among refugee youth, as well as improving the quality of health services.   MORE . . .
The Palestinian Information Center
Feb. 5, 2018 ― The Palestinian Ministry of Education and Higher Education on Monday held a protest against the recent US decisions against UNRWA and its educational institutions.
___Undersecretary of the Ministry, Ziad Thabet, participated in the protest which was held at the Ministry’s headquarters in Gaza in conjunction with a similar protest in Ramallah in the West Bank.
___The protesters raised banners expressing support for UNRWA and calling on the world’s countries to intervene and help the Agency.
___Ziad Thabet affirmed that this protest came in rejection of the US decision to cut aid to UNRWA forcing the UN Agency to reduce its services to the Palestinian refugees.    MORE . . .
The Palestinian Information Center 
Feb. 5, 2018 ― The Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) prevented on Monday a group of Palestinian farmers from entering their olive groves located behind the Apartheid Wall.
___The farmers, from Salfit, were stopped by Israelis forces on their way to work in their farm lands, located on the Israeli side of the separation wall, which runs through the farmers’ lands.
___Palestinians living in the areas where Israel’s separation wall cut off their lands, are required to obtain entry permits, and cannot enter their lands for any purpose other than work or residence.   MORE . . .
Ma’an News Agency  
Feb. 5, 2018 ― Israeli bulldozers destroyed water lines supplying tens of acres of land in the northern Jordan Valley on Monday morning.
___Local activist Aref Daraghmeh told Ma’an that Israeli bulldozers destroyed a water pipeline belonging to a Palestinian identified as Bassem Faqha.
___The line feeds some 150 dunams (37 acres) of land planted with watermelons.
___The Jordan Valley forms a third of the occupied West Bank, with 88 percent of its land classified as Area C — under full Israeli military control.
___Demolitions of Palestinian infrastructure and residences occur frequently in Area C, with the Jordan Valley’s Bedouin and herding communities being particularly vulnerable to such policies.   MORE . . .

They’re only boys
who used to frolic and play
launching rainbowed kites
on the western wind,
their blue-and-green kites
whistling, leaping,
trading easy laughter and jokes
dueling with branches, pretending to be
great heroes in history.

Suddenly now they’ve grown,
grown more than the years of a normal life,
merged with secret and passionate words,
carried love’s messages like the Bible or the Quran,
to be read in whispers.
They’ve grown to become trees
plunging deep roots into the earth,
stretching high towards the sun.
Now their voices are ones that reject,
that knock down and build anew.
Anger smouldering on the fringes of a blocked horizon,
invading classrooms, streets, city quarters,
centering on squares,
facing sullen tanks with streams of stones.

Now they shake the gallows of dawn
assailing the night and its flood.
They’ve grown more than the years of a life
to become the worshipped and the worshippers.

When their torn limbs merged with the stuff of our earth
they became legends,
they grew into vaulting bridges,
they grew and grew, becoming
larger than all poetry.
――Translated by Naomi Shihab Nye
ANTHOLOGY OF MODERN PALESTINIAN LITERATURE. Ed. Salma Khadra Jayyusi. New York: Columbia University Press, 1992.
Available from Columbia University Press.
Fadwa Tuqan

“. . . the bark of artillery came near to the flowers . . .” (Yousef Al-Mahmoud)

❶ Israel closes Palestinian institutions in Jerusalem
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) EU’s security committee discussed secret report on Israel, says official

  • Background: “State-Sponsored Vigilantism: Jewish Settlers’ Violence in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.” Sociology.
    “. . . the Israeli state itself, assisted by its agents, works in collusion with the settlers, and maintains the structural preconditions for this provisional political activity. . .”

❷ UN report says at least 206 international companies tied to Israeli settlements
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) Haley slams UN anti-settlement report: It is a “waste of time”
❸ Israeli settlers attack Palestinian farmers north of Hebron
. . . . . ❸ ― (ᴀ) ‘Construction terror’ Israel’s metaphor for Palestinian displacement
❹ POETRY by Yousef Al-Mahmoud
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Al Hourriah Magazine (Freedom)
Feb. 3, 2018 — Israel Hayom newspaper on Friday said that the Israeli authorities have decided to close a number of Palestinian institutions in Occupied Jerusalem.
___According to the Hebrew newspaper, the Israeli Minister of Public Security, Gilad Erdan, on Thursday issued a decision to close the Palestine Chamber of Commerce, the Higher Council of Tourism, the Palestinian Center for Studies, the Palestinian Prisoner Society and the Office of Social Studies and Statistics.
___Erdan’s decision was based on an Israeli law issued in 1994 preventing the Palestinian Authority from opening offices or carrying out activities in “Israeli areas”. The same law grants the minister the authority to issue decisions prohibiting such activities.
___The paper said, quoting Erdan, that efforts will continue to impose Israeli sovereignty over every part of Jerusalem. . . following the US president Donald Trump’s recognition . . . .  MORE . . . 
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Feb. 3, 2018 ― The European Union’s (EU) Political and Security Committee (PSC) discussed in its session on Wednesday a secret report that strongly criticized Israel and its policies, Palestine’s ambassador to the EU, Abdul Rahim al-Farra, said on Saturday.
___He said in an interview with the official Palestine TV that the PSC, which is composed of ambassadors from the 28 EU member states, also discussed the situation in occupied East Jerusalem in particular and came out with recommendations that will be presented to the EU’s Foreign Affairs Council when it meets on February 25 and 26 in Brussels.
___He said the PSC recommended that the EU plays a primary and active role in the Middle East peace process in order to salvage the two-state solution.      MORE . . .

Gazit, Nir.
, vol. 49, no. 3, June 2015, pp. 438-454.
[. . . .] Civilian violence often disrupts government authority and undermines its exclusive sovereignty. However, it may also operate as an extra-juridical force that reproduces governmental power through unofficial channels. This dynamic is salient in situations of contested and fragmented sovereignty, when state power is discontinuous and lacks international and local legitimacy . . .  provisional violence by state forces and ordinary civilians becomes an important mechanism of political power and control.
[. . . .] These trends . . .  suggest a correlation between the two forms of Israeli violence – institutional military violence and non-institutional civilian violence. In times and places of low military presence and violence, unofficial civilian political mechanisms come into play. These reproduce Israeli dominance through direct violence or through initiating Palestinian hostility resulting in provisional active military involvement. The dialectical relationship between the two forms of violence is not trivial . . .  Hence, it is important to analyse the relationship between Israeli ground-level state agents and settlers, and consider how the two sides manage this tension.
[. . . .] . . . the ambiguity surrounding the formal status of the Israeli state in the OTP creates a governmental void. This void is filled, inter alia, by greater freedom of action of the settlers, who, in effect, act as informal agents of the state, behaving as vigilantes and taking the law into their own hands. The settlers’ violence contributes to the manifestation of Israeli rule in two significant ways. First, it brings Israeli dominance to areas with a scarce presence of military forces, generating ad hoc ‘effective control’ over Palestinian territory and population even in the absence of state officials. . .  While the state has limited direct influence over these domains, they undoubtedly contribute to the overall Israeli dominance in the region. The second and complementary mode of support these acts provide to the overall control system is when the Israeli security forces intervene and prevent the settlers from harassing the Palestinians. Such interventions paradoxically demonstrate and reproduce the Israeli power in the region – this time as protectors of the local civilian population. The elusive political and legal structural frameworks of the Israeli occupation are important factors of this phenomenon, generating the necessary ‘degrees of freedom’, so to speak, that allow, and even support, a proliferation of settlers’ violence against Palestinian civilians. In other words, the Israeli state itself, assisted by its agents, works in collusion with the settlers, and maintains the structural preconditions for this provisional political activity, even if it challenges its exclusive jurisdiction.     SOURCE . . .

Ma’an News Agency
Feb. 1, 2018 ― The United Nations (UN) High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) released a report on Wednesday identifying 206 companies from around the world that are doing business linked to Israeli settlements, which are built in the occupied West Bank in violation of international law.
___The long-delayed report was initially intended to include the names of companies, but reportedly after intense pressure from the US and Israel, the published report included only the number of companies from each country, rather than naming them.
___”Businesses play a central role in furthering the establishment, maintenance and expansion of Israeli settlements,” the UN report said.    MORE . . .
.  .  .  .  .  ❷  ―  (ᴀ)  HALEY  SLAMS  UN  ANTI-SETTLEMENT  REPORT:  IT  IS  A  “WASTE  OF  TIME”
Palestine News Network – PNN 
Feb. 1, 2018 ― US Ambassador to the United Nations on Wednesday slammed a UN report on 206 companies tied to Israeli settlements as “a waste of time and resources” that showed an “anti-Israeli obsession.”
___The office of the UN high commissioner for human rights released the report that did not name the companies but could pave the way to a “blacklist” of businesses that Israeli officials fear would be targeted for an international boycott.
___“This whole issue is outside the bounds of the High Commissioner for Human Rights office’s mandate and is a waste of time and resources,” Haley said.   MORE . . . 
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA   
Feb. 3, 2018 ― Israeli settlers attacked on Saturday Palestinian farmers in the town of Beit Ummar, north of Hebron in the occupied West Bank, according to Yousef Abu Maria, a local activist.
___He told WAFA that a group of settlers from the illegal settlement of Karmi Tsur and settlement security guards threw rocks at farmers, cursed them and prevented them from cultivating their land. The settlement is built on seized Palestinian land that belong to Beit Ummar and other area villages.   MORE . . . 
The Palestinian Information Center
Feb. 1, 2018 ― Israel’s construction of its politics on contrasting levels which echo its colonial agenda knows no limits. Now that the international community is largely reluctant to do more than refer to previous statements of colonial expansion as illegal, Israel is more explicit in promoting its state and settler narratives in its appropriation of land ownership.
___A news report published on Monday in Haaretz quotes Jewish Home Party MK Moti Yogev: “Our goal is to protect state lands, consistent with decisions by the state not letting their status be determined by construction terror guided by the Palestinian Authority with the intervention of international elements such as the European Union.” He also suggested legal recourse against Palestinians opposing demolition orders.
___This is not the first time that such rhetoric has been used. In April 2016 a press release titled “Re-evaluate state’s handling of EU-funded construction in Area C” described Palestinian dwellings in similar terms, accusing the EU of financing “construction and infrastructure terror”.     MORE . . . 

Her house is above the carnations
on the path to the wind-swept hills. . .
At evening we sought refuge there
watching out for the guns and the aeroplanes.

The crack of bullets followed our coffee
and smashed into our conversation.
The crack of bullets and the bark of artillery
came near to the flowers inside the windows
came near to the warmth and the water jug
debris clattered down the outside stairway
and fell towards the marble pavement.

Her house is above the carnations
there we were in it
we had sought refuge there
and so we moved to where the Jewish soldiers could no longer see us.

—Translated by DM Black
—Yousef Al-Mahmoud is a prominent broadcaster and poet, and former head of the Ministry of Culture in his native Jenin.
—From A  BIRD  IS  NOT  A  STONE:  AN  ANTHOLOGY  OF  CONTEMPORARY  PALESTINIAN  POETRY (Glasgow: Freight Books, 2014) –available from Amazon.com.

“. . . Fear encloses the sweet basil and the alley’s mint . . .” (Ibrahim Nasrallah)

❶ EU provides €317,000 to support West Bank farmers
. . . . . ❶― (ᴀ) UNRWA chief says US aid cut “most severe crisis in agency’s history”
. . . . . ❶― (ᴃ)  Dear Mr Trump, we’re facing a humanitarian disaster

  • Background: “The Palestinian Refugee Camps: The Promise of ‘Ruin’ and ‘Loss’.” Rethinking History

❷ Arab FMs meet again over US Jerusalem decision
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) AL-Malki: Arab response to US Jerusalem decision decides peace future
❸ Seven more healthcare centres in Gaza shut down
. . . . . ❸ ― (ᴀ) Israeli airstrikes target sites in northern Gaza
❹ POETRY by Ibrahim Nasrallah
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA 
Feb. 2, 2018 ― The European Union announced on Friday its contribution of about €317,000 to the Palestinian Authority to support Palestinian farmers and agro-businesses in the West Bank.
___A statement by the EU representative office in Jerusalem said the eligible beneficiaries are farmers and agro-businesses in the West Bank directly affected by the Israeli occupation, and particularly farmers in Area B and C.    MORE . . . 
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Feb. 2, 2018 ― Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) Pierre Krähenbühl said on Thursday that the recent US aid cut represents the most severe crisis in the agency’s history.
___Krähenbühl’s comments came during his speech at the meeting of Arab Foreign ministers in Cairo to discuss the Arab action in response to the US decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
___The UN official said the agency is facing an unprecedented financial crisis because of the US decision to reduce its contribution to UNRWA, adding that he has been travelling around the world to call for mobilization to help UNRWA overcome this crisis.   MORE . . .
.  .  .  .  .  ❶―  (ᴃ)    DEAR  MR  TRUMP,  WE’RE  FACING  A  HUMANITARIAN  DISASTER
Al Jazeera English
by Mays Abu Ghosh
Feb. 1,  2018 ― Dear President Trump, Every evening, my grandmother sits us down and tells us stories about a piece of heaven on earth, a place called “Imwas”. She describes every little detail about this place – the water spring, the lavish trees and the flowers that bloom throughout the year. She tells us about the beautiful old stone houses, the fig trees and the cactus plants.
___Imwas is a village situated southeast of the town of Ramleh, where my grandfather owned a plot of land. After my grandfather passed, my father inherited the land. One day, my nine siblings and I will inherit this land from our father. We’ll build our home there, and we’ll harvest the crops of our field.     ___But for now, we live in a small apartment in the Qalandia refugee camp . . .    MORE . . .

Abreek-Zubiedat, Fatina.
, vol. 19, no. 1, Mar. 2015, pp. 72-94
[. . . .] According to the political theorist Hannah Arendt, a ‘refugee’ is a ‘stateless’ or ‘non-citizen’ person who threatens the nation-state system. Consequently, countries have acknowledged the need for a solution to the refugee problem, whose status is considered temporary, with two possible options: return to the homeland or country of origin, or naturalization in the host country. Historically, both solutions have failed. Arendt views the refugee camp as a ‘final solution’ involving the incarceration of refugees after denying their citizenship. Only then do they become homo sacer in the sense implied by ancient Roman law: destined to die, with their life defined as ‘bare.’
[. . . .]  Exclusion and the definition of modes of belonging and non-belonging and marking populations as ‘outside’ are sovereign acts that cannot be thought of independently of the actor which performed them. These acts are . . .  ‘nothingness acts’ which gain an inherent nihilistic relationship: ‘It is in one guise, a promise of creative destruction. In another, it can work to the opposite end; turn to sheer destruction, annihilating the very context of creativity’. . .  Nihilistic actions not only delineated the creation and development of the camps, but are themselves processes that led to paradoxical situations, veritably positioning the camps on the borderline between the ‘private’ and the ‘public’ spheres.
[. . . .] The refugees’ adherence to the idea of return was very strong. Their various architectural activities which left their mark on the region undermined the abnormal basis of the camp and created an opening for discussing refugee–camp relations, while emphasizing the idea that any attempt to dismantle a camp would only prove successful if citizenship were achieved. Through the many architectural practices discussed above, the refugees succeeded in rewriting the binary layout articulated in the language of planning, which defined a ‘private’ versus ‘public’ sphere. They knew how to dismantle this language through practices designed to negotiate the complexities of discourses about this same sphere, revealing contrasts, struggles, and conflicts reflected in the camp’s appearance, and the impossibility of a single, exclusive discourse with which to describe the harsh duality of camp existence.     SOURCE . . .   ..

The Palestinian Information Center    
Feb. 2, 2018 ― The Arab League, chaired by Djibouti foreign minister, Mahmoud Ali Yusuf, on Thursday held an emergency meeting in Cairo to discuss the US decision to recognize Occupied Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
___The meeting, which was attended by Arab foreign ministers or their representatives, was a follow-up to the previous sessions in December and January on Washington’s capital announcement as well as its declared intent to relocate its embassy to Jerusalem.
___The attendees discussed the repercussions of US president Donald Trump’s decision on Jerusalem and the implementation of the Arab League’s ministerial resolution on September 9, 2017, which stipulated that the Arab League should convene another meeting within a month to evaluate the situation and agree on future measures . . .   MORE . . .
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Feb. 1, 2018 – Minister of Foreign and Expatriates Affairs Riyad al-Malki affirmed on Thursday that the shape of the Arab countries’ response to the US decision on Jerusalem will determine the future of peace and stability, based on an end of the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories occupied in 1967.
___Al-Malki’s comments came during his speech at the meeting of Arab foreign ministers in Cairo during which they discussed the Arab action in response to the US decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
___“The shape and level of the Arab [countries’] response will determine the future of peace and stability, based on an end of Israeli colonization of all the Palestinian territories occupied in 1967. . . .   MORE . . .
Days of Palestine
Huge amounts of fuel needed to operate electricity generators to compensate lack of electricity caused by Israeli siege.
Feb. 01 2018 ― Gaza is heading to real disaster as seven more healthcare centres in Gaza Strip closed their doors on Thursday due to tightening 11-year-old Israeli siege.     ___According to the Palestinian ministry of health in the Gaza Strip, fuel ran out in seven more healthcare centres in different areas across Gaza.
___“This problem, which is a result of the Israeli sieged, happened due to the lack of fuel needed to operate electricity generators,” a statement by the ministry said.   MORE . . .
.  .  .  .  .  ❸  ―  (ᴀ)  ISRAELI  AIRSTRIKES  TARGET  SITES  IN  NORTHERN  GAZA      Ma’an News Agency
Feb. 2, 2018     Israeli forces carried out airstrikes targeting several sites in the northern Gaza Strip on Friday before dawn.
___Locals told Ma’an that the strikes hit targets near the al-Nada Towers in northeastern Beit Lahiya. No injuries were reported.     ___The Israeli army had reported earlier that rockets coming from the Gaza Strip had landed in an Israeli town outside around Gaza.   MORE . . .

Silence becomes solid in bones,
in a bird’s song,
in he meaning of a word,
spreading over all of the greenery
and swallowing up the town squares,
creeping like a desert snake
and dwindling the horses’ neighing.
Blossoming in my woman’s embrace,
in the song’s pale light
and in the flowers on the balconies.
I gather myself to lift dry clouds from my body
and prayers from my soul.
I see God’s sun, my face, and my hand: three doves.
The time that’s passed is more than age can carry
and my undulations are in restraints.
The spikes of my soul do not reach the horse’s back,
an angle overlaps another angle . . . within an angle,
this body of mine.
Poets surround me like the fruit of regret.
My mother says: White is laughter’s waterfall.
So we laugh till our blood explodes.
Fear encloses the sweet basil and the alley’s mint.
My love’s tough on my forehead is like a runaway train.
The wind on my shoulders is like a dead horse,
the Sea far away.
Time is a coffin, while nakedness is the daily news.
For thirty three years
I have been digging tunnels
so I might emerge from this cold womb. . .

From Nasrallah, Ibrahim. RAIN  INSIDE:  SELECTED  POEMS. Trans. Omnia Amin and Rick London. Willimantic, CT: Curbstone Press, 2009. Available from Barnes and Noble.
Interview with Ibrahim Nasrallah.

“. . . Don’t ask me to empty the sea. . .” (Fouzi El Asmar)

16-year-old Laith Haitham Abu Naeem, EXECUTED BY Israeli Soldier (Photo, PNN, Feb. 1, 2018)

❶ MOFA: The Silence On the Execution of “Laith Abu Naeem” is Disgraceful
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Ramallah bids last farewell to 16-year-old martyr
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴃ) Children terrorized as Israeli army ransacks homes, kidnaps civilians

  • Background: “Our Jerusalem — a Reality Check.” Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture

❷ Israel releases Palestinian lawmaker who has spent nearly 32 years behind bars
. . . . . ❷― (ᴀ) Israeli detention of Palestinians up by 5% in 2017, say groups
❸ POETRY by Fouzi El Asmar
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Palestine News Network – PNN  
Jan. 31, 2018 ― The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates in a statement strongly condemned the unlawful killing of the 16 years old “Laith Haitham Abu Naeem” in the village of al Mughayer near Ramallah. The crime happened after an Israeli soldier shot the martyr in the head from a close range to deliberately kill him.
___The Ministry assured that this crime reflects the culture of barbaric killing which is popular among the Israeli soldiers who are deployed throughout the Palestinian territory, addnig that it’s also considered a reflection of the political instructions of the political and military levels in the state of Israel that permits and encourages the killing of Palestinians.
___The Ministry warned against the consequences of dealing with the death penalty against the unarmed Palestinians as numbers and statistics, those grotesque crimes became a routine and insignificant that’s not worth paying attention to the amount of tragedy and suffering of the Palestinian families due to the loss of their loved ones.    MORE . . .
.  .  .  .  .  ❶  ―  (ᴀ)  RAMALLAH  BIDS  LAST  FAREWELL  TO  16-YEAR-OLD  MARTYR   
Palestine News Network – PNN 
Feb. 1, 2018 ― Crowds of Ramallah on Wednesday noon bid the last farewell to its 16-year-old martyr, Laith Abu Naim, who was shot dead by Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) on Tuesday, during clashes in the city.
___Abu Na’im was buried in his home-village, Al-Mughir, northeast of Ramallah, in midst of large popular and official presence.
___The boy wes shot dead in cold blood by the IOF during clashes in Ramallah on Tuesday. . .   MORE . . .
The Palestinian Information Center
Feb. 1, 2018 ― A number of Palestinians were kidnapped by the Israeli occupation forces (IOF) at daybreak Thursday in abduction sweeps rocking West Bank provinces.
___Overnight, special Israeli forces kidnapped three Palestinian young men after they chased down a car near Nablus’s western town of Zawata.
___According to eye-witnesses, a driver accidentally rammed a parked car before undercover Israeli officers showed up in the area and dragged the driver to their jeep at gunpoint.
___Sometime later, the family of Palestinian prisoner Jamal Abu al-Heija said their eldest son, Abdul Salem, also an ex-prisoner, was kidnapped from the targeted car. Another son of al-Heija’s, Emad, was kidnapped just a few hours later from the family’s home in Jenin.    MORE . . .

Klein, Menachem. “OUR  JERUSALEM  —  A  REALITY  CHECK.” 
PALESTINE-ISRAEL  JOURNAL  OF  POLITICS,  ECONOMICS  &  CULTURE, vol. 22/23, no. 4/1, Jan. 2018, pp. 9-15.
[. . . .] Israel’s overwhelming victory in the 1967 war placed Israeli Jerusalem in a position of superiority. Since then, Israel has been acting to shape Jerusalem as its place alone. In the first years after the war, Israel turned East Jerusalem into a hybrid area which contains components of the State of Israel alongside components of the West Bank. Israel annexed East Jerusalem and, from the point of view of Israeli law, detached it from the West Bank. But in a number of other ways, East Jerusalem remained part of the West Bank — for example, from a social point of view and marital connections, in the educational system and the curriculum, in the organization of the religious establishment and the transportation and communication systems. The policy was to cut off East Jerusalem from the West Bank while at the same time not integrating it into Israel.
[. . . .] The building of the Separation Wall cut off tens of thousands of Palestinians from the city, and those areas became ungovernable. They are formally annexed to the State of Israel but, in actuality, they are outside of it. . .  Periodically the Israeli army and police enter the area. These incursions are a matter of routine in the West Bank but occur only infrequently in East Jerusalem. In other words, these Palestinian neighborhoods are today a hybrid area within the West Bank, although they are formally annexed into Israel.
[. . . .] The genetic code of the Palestinian reaction to the Israeli expansionism and political and legal superiority is identical in Jerusalem and in the West Bank: survival in the field, passive resistance to Israeli control and sporadic violence. . .  Violent protests are a sporadic and unorganized phenomenon with similar characteristics in Jerusalem and in the West Bank: stabbing and running over civilians and soldiers, and throwing rocks and Molotov cocktails at settlers, soldiers and police at checkpoints.
[. . . .]  It is important to note that the hybridization of Jerusalem is not multicultural and equal but ethnic and hierarchal. The Jewish collective preserves by force its privileges and discriminates against the Palestinian collective, whose number is almost equal to that of the Jews. This is not only the reality of Jerusalem: Between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea there is a very similar demographic balance. Israel is aware of this and is afraid of its repercussions, but it is trapped in the entanglement that it has created. It refuses to give up on its privileges and is turning to more intensive use of force, yet it frequently underestimates the severity of the problem or denies it.     FULL ARTICLE . . .

Ma’an News Agency 
Feb. 1, 2018 ―  Israeli forces released Palestinian lawmaker Muhammad Abu Tir after he was held in Israeli prison for six months under administrative detention — Israel’s widely-condemned policy of internment without charge or trial.
___Abu Tir was detained on August 4, 2017 after Israeli forces raided his house in the town of al-Bireh in the central occupied West Bank district of Ramallah. He had been released from Israeli prison two months prior to his latest detention in August.
___Abu Tair has spent an estimated total of 32 years behind Israeli bars.
___The Hamas-affiliated lawmaker moved to al-Bireh after being exiled from his home in occupied East Jerusalem in 2010, along with fellow imprisoned parliamentarian Ahmad Attun, Palestinian Legislative Committee (PLC) member Muhammad Tutah, and former PA Minister Khalid Abu Arafeh.   MORE . . .
.  .  .  .  .  ❷―  (ᴀ)  ISRAELI  DETENTION  OF  PALESTINIANS  UP  BY  5%  IN  2017,  SAY  GROUPS
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Feb. 1, 2018 ― Israeli detention of Palestinians increased by 5% in 2017 compared to the previous year for a total of 6742 Palestinians, three Palestinian rights organizations said on Thursday.
___The Palestinian Prisoner’s Society, Addameer and al-Mezan said in a joint report that out of the 6742 Palestinians Israel detained, 1467 were minors, 156 women, 14 lawmakers, and 25 journalists.    MORE . . .

Don’t ask me
the impossible
Don’t’ ask me
to hunt stars,
walk to the sun.
Don’t ask me
to empty the sea
to erase the day’s light
I am nothing but a man.

Don’t ask me
to abandon my eyes, my love,
the memory of my childhood.

I was raised
under an olive tree,
I ate the figs
of my orchard
drank wine from
the sloping vineyards
Tasted Cactus fruit
in the valleys
more, more.

The nightingale has sung
in my ears
The free winds of fields and cities
always tickled me
My friend
You cannot ask me
to leave my own country.  (March 1971)

El Azmar, Fouzi. POEMS  FROM  AN  ISRAELI  PRISON.  Intro. By Israel Shahak. New York: KNOW Books, 1973.
Available from Amazon.
About Fouzi El Asmar.