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
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❶ JERUSALEM: ISRAEL PLANNING PARK TO CONNECT TWO SETTLEMENTS
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 . . .
Liel, Alon. “UN SECURITY COUNCIL RESOLUTION 2334: AN IMPORTANT LEASE ON LIFE FOR THE TWO-STATE SOLUTION.”
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 . . .
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) IOF CLOSES OFF AL-KHALIL THOROUGHFARES WITH CHECKPOINTS
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 . . .
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴃ) QAREQEA: ISRAEL’S INTENT TO SEIZE OUR TAX MONEY “FINANCIAL PIRACY”
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 . . .
❷ DOZENS OF PALESTINIANS WERE WOUNDED DURING CLASHES WITH IOF ON FRIDAY OF ANGER
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 . . .
❸ OPINION/ANALYSIS: TRUMP’S PALESTINE DEAL IS A REAL ESTATE TRANSACTION
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 . . .
“COLLATERAL SAVAGE,” BY LAHAB ASSEF AL-JUNDI
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.