(The United Nations World Humanitarian Day was August 19. It is never too late to participate. See “Notices from Organizations” below.)
SELECTED NEWS OF THE DAY. . . .
EU, UK CONDEMN ISRAEL’S APPROVAL OF NEW SETTLEMENT UNITS
The European Union (EU) condemned the Israeli government’s approval of constructing some 1,000 new settlements units in the occupied West Bank. ___The EU said in a statement, issued late Thursday, that “within the past two weeks the Israeli authorities have advanced plans and tenders for over two thousand settlement units in the West Bank including East Jerusalem. If implemented, these plans would further jeopardize the prospect of a contiguous and viable future Palestinian state.” ___The EU stressed that it strongly opposes Israel’s settlement policy, saying that the policy is illegal under international law and an obstacle to peace. More. . .
ASHRAWI: ‘ISRAEL SEEKS NOT ONLY TO DEFY BUT TO DEFEAT THE WHOLE WORLD’
Member of the Palestinian Liberation Organization’s (PLO) Executive Committee Hanan Ashrawi strongly condemned, on Thursday, “Israel’s expansion of illegal settlement enterprise on stolen Palestinian land.” ___In her statement, Ashrawi said that “in response to media inquiries concerning the approval by Israel’s Higher Planning Committee of the Civil Administration to construct 2,000 illegal settlement units in the occupied West Bank, as well as the authorization of the Jerusalem ‘Municipality’ and the Israel Land Administration to build 20,000 settlement units in occupied Jerusalem.” ___”In a blatant disregard for and violation of international law and conventions, as well as United Nations Security Council resolutions and the basic requirements of stability and peace, Israel persists in its illegal policies and oppressive measures in favor of its extremist settler population and colonial project.” More. . .
See also: Erekat: “Israel’s Illegal Expansion Of Colonies, Direct Outcome of American Greed.”
HAMAS PURSUES TRUCE WITH ISRAEL, BUT NOT ALL FACTIONS APPROVE Flare-ups earlier this month between the Israeli army and Palestinian resistance factions in the Gaza Strip seemed likely to escalate into an expanded war were it not for the Egypt-brokered cease-fire in place. Instead, Hamas and Israel are close to reaching a genuine truce that could last for years. . . ___A real truce, however, will require the PLO’s blessing and the participation of various factions besides Hamas. . . . ___ Egypt and the UN are trying to mediate a long-term agreement between Israel and Hamas. The quest started July 26 with Nickolay Mladenov, the UN special coordinator for the Middle East peace process, visiting first the Gaza Strip to meet with Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh and then Israel, where he met with Israeli officials. More. . .
COMMENTARY AND OPINION. . . .
ISRAEL CONTINUES TO MISTREAT RELATIVES OF THOUSANDS OF PALESTINIANS HELD ILLEGALLY IN ITS TERRITORY
According to figures from the Israel Prison Service (IPS), on 30 June 2018 Israel was holding some 5,300 Palestinian residents of the West Bank as security detainees or prisoners in incarceration facilities. With the exception of Ofer Prison, all the facilities used to hold Palestinians are located inside Israel. ___Residents of the West Bank who wish to visit their loved ones have to overcome bureaucratic hurdles in order to secure permission from the relevant authorities – the Civil Administration, the IPS and the Israel Security Agency (ISA). After permission is received, the visits themselves entail a long day of traveling due to countless inspections and protracted delays. More. . .
JERUSALEM IN MAPS from THE APPLIED RESEARCH INSTITUTE – JERUSALEM (ARIJ). Presents a series of maps showing the changing boundaries of the Occupation in Jerusalem from 1948 to the present. More. . .
PALESTINIAN DANCER FROM BELGIUM JAILED BY ISRAEL
There is growing concern in Belgium for a Palestinian refugee and dancer who was detained by Israeli authorities as he tried to enter the occupied West Bank from Jordan a month ago. ___Mustapha Awad, who was born in Ein al-Hilweh refugee camp in Lebanon, has been granted refugee status and citizenship in Belgium. . . . ___According to Samidoun, Awad appeared in court on 16 August, and was then returned to an Israeli interrogation center. ___“My client was arrested at a frontier post for belonging to a terrorist organization, something he firmly denies,” Awad’s Belgian lawyer told media last Friday. ___The 36-year-old Awad is the co-founder of Raj’een, a Palestinian folk dance group. More. . .
NOTICES FROM ORGANIZATIONS. . . .
THE PALESTINIAN CAUSE ON WORLD HUMANITARIAN DAY August 19, 2018
There are almost no limits to the pleasure of giving, and there is a great deal of satisfaction to be gained when it is related to taking happiness into the hearts of others. This is, without doubt, one of the benefits of involvement in charitable and humanitarian work. . . . ___ The Palestinian cause remains one of the most prominent and important of contemporary issues. . . . ___ The Palestinian cause in general and the siege of Gaza, in particular, are gaining the support of free people around the world, but more must be done. . . . ___Humanitarian work, therefore, is an essential component of the struggle for Palestinian rights; for justice; and for peace. More. . .
A LIMITED SAMPLE OF HUMANITARIAN CAUSES IN AND FOR PALESTINE
UNRWA USA – United Nations Relief and Works Agency
Charities & Non Profit Organizations In Gaza Palestine
Islamic Relief USA
Bright Stars of Bethlehem Donate
KINDER USA – Kids in Need of Development, Education, and Relief
Palestine Institute Of Biodiversity And Sustainability
“POEM TO JERUSALEM,” BY HARUN HASHIM RASHEED
For the sake of a city that’s imprisoned,
for its Dome and Aqsa Mosque,
for the annihilated sanctuary
where Muhammad’s feet once stood,
for all this city has endured,
and for all it has preserved,
for Mary and Jesus,
for all the beings she has known,
for my city’s sake,
raped and abused,
on its wounded brow
God’s words are effaced.
I call on all our dead
and all our living
with verses from the Bible
if only they could hear
with verses from the Quran
in the name of God
calling the young among them and the very old
calling them from my depths
to every brave fighter
I tell them the struggle is for Jerusalem
I call on them to resolve and have faith
tell them how Jerusalem’s sanctity is wounded
I call upon them all to help Jerusalem
She cannot wait any longer,
she overflows with grief.
From the Atlantic to the Arabian Gulf
I call upon you in the name of God
with the purity of anger I beseech you
for the city with the humiliated eyes
I call you in your name,
I call my Arab people.
―translated by Sharif Elmusa and Naomi Shihab Nye