“. . . 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
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
EU  PROVIDES  €317,000  TO  SUPPORT  WEST  BANK  FARMERS
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 . . . 
.  .  .  .  .  ❶―  (ᴀ)  UNRWA  CHIEF  SAYS  US  AID  CUT  “MOST  SEVERE  CRISIS  IN  AGENCY’S  HISTORY”
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.
“THE  PALESTINIAN  REFUGEE  CAMPS:  THE  PROMISE  OF  ‘RUIN’  AND  ‘LOSS’.”
RETHINKING  HISTORY
, 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 . . .   ..

ARAB FMS MEET AGAIN OVER US JERUSALEM DECISION
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 . . .
.  .  .  .  .  ❷  ―  (ᴀ)  AL-MALKI:  ARAB  RESPONSE  TO  US  JERUSALEM  DECISION  DECIDES  PEACE  FUTURE   
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 . . .
❸  SEVEN  MORE  HEALTHCARE  CENTRES  IN  GAZA  SHUT  DOWN
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 . . .

“THE  EXILE,”  BY  IBRAHIM  NASRALLAH
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.

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