“. . . And gagging on disaster, My sad city choked. . .” (Fadwa Tuqan)

SPECIAL    POSTING:    ISRAEL’S  DESTRUCTION  OF  SOCIETAL  INFRASTRUCTURE  IN  EAST  JERUSALEM

(Articles generally in chronological order. The first of several such single-subject postings.)

ISRAEL  BANS  ACTIVITIES  IN  JERUSALEM  CONNECTED  TO  PALESTINIAN  AUTHORITY  GOVERNMENT.
National Public Radio (NPR)
Heard on All Things Considered, January 19, 2018.

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:   President Trump has recognized Jerusalem as the capital Israel, but that doesn’t change Palestinian aspirations for a capital in part of the city. One thing that could strengthen these Palestinian claims would be national political institutions. NPR’s Daniel Estrin looks at how Israel has worked for decades to limit those institutions, whether they’re offices for leadership or even performances in theaters.   DANIEL ESTRIN, BYLINE: This used to be the Palestinian headquarters in Jerusalem – an old, stone mansion called the Orient House. Foreign diplomats were received here. The Palestinian flag used to fly. But Israel closed it in 2001 during a wave of Palestinian bombings. Israeli authorities deliver a new closure order every six months. It’s on the door for everyone to see.   More . . .

ISRAEL SHUTS DOWN PALESTINIAN INSTITUTIONS IN EAST JERUSALEM.
Asharq Al-Awsat.
February 3,2018
.
The Israeli authorities decided on Friday to shut down a number of Palestinian institutions operating in the occupied city of East Jerusalem.   ___Internal Security Minister Gilad Erdan extended the order against a number of Palestinian institutions, including the Orient House, in East Jerusalem due to their affiliation to the Palestinian Authority.   ___The Israeli decision anticipated an expected decision from the PA to announce the city of Jerusalem as the capital of the Palestinian State.   ___Israeli sources said on Friday that Erdan’s order does not only involve political institutions, but also include a number of vital civil institutions, the East Jerusalem Chamber of Commerce, the Supreme Council for the Arab Tourism Industry, the Center for Palestinian Studies, the Palestinian Prisoners’ Club, and the Office for Social and Statistical Studies.
More . . .    Related . . .

PLO  CHIEF  DENOUNCES  CLOSURE  OF  PALESTINIAN  INSTITUTION  IN  JERUSALEM.

Ma’an News Agency.
March 14, 2017.
Israeli authorities sealed off and shut down the Mapping and Geographic Information Systems Department of the Arab Studies Society in occupied East Jerusalem on Tuesday, with police detaining the center’s director, Khalil Tufakji, during the raid.
___PLO Secretary-General Saeb Erekat denounced the closure and “the illegal detention” of Tufakji, describing the man as “a distinguished scholar from Jerusalem.”
___Erekat said in a written statement that Israeli forces also seized the documents, computers, and equipment from the office.
More . . .

ANGER  AFTER  ISRAEL  SHUTS  DOWN  PALESTINIAN  UNIVERSITIES  IN  EAST  JERUSALEM.
The New Arab.
July 15, 2018.

Anger has spurred over Israel shutting down two Palestinian education facilities in occupied East Jerusalem, as Israeli plans to annex the territory continue.
___Israel closed down Hind al-Husseini College and Al-Quds University’s College of Art – both of which are located in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood – until further notice after banning an academic conference taking place and detaining 15 participants.
___The conference was due to take place on Saturday at al-Quds University’s College of Arts.
___The two-day conference was organised by the Jerusalem Islamic Waqf and Heritage Reservation Society and was supposed to discuss the status of Muslim endowment and property, as well as the protection of Islamic and Christian heritage in the occupied city.
___The move was also condemned by the president of the Arab American University, Ali Abu Zuhri, who said Israel was taking exceptional measures to disrupt the Palestinian education system, according to Palestinian Authority news agency WAFA.
More . . .   Related . . .

OPINION:    DESTROYING    PALESTINIAN    UNIVERSITIES.
Haaretz.
Daphna Golan.
July 26, 2018.

As Israeli students are finishing their final exams, Palestinian students in the occupied territories don’t know whether their institutions will be opening for the coming academic year or if their lecturers will continue to teach, as dozens of lecturers with European and American citizenship are being expelled.
___Around half the foreign lecturers at Palestinian universities started receiving letters last November, saying their requests to have their residency visas extended had been refused because they’ve been “living in the area for more than five years.”
More . . .

EARLIER  REPORTS . . .

HOW  ISRAEL  IS  TARGETING  PALESTINIAN  INSTITUTIONS.
AL JAZEERA.

Ylenia Gostoli.
May 20, 2017.

[. . . .] According to the Civic Coalition for Palestinian Rights in Jerusalem, more than 30 Palestinian institutions and organisations have been shut down in the city since the 2001 closure of Orient House. Six-month closure orders have been continuously renewed ever since, in defiance of recommendations made in the 2003 Road Map drawn up by the Middle East Quartet as part of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.
___”Targeting NGOs is targeting the presence of Palestinians in East Jerusalem. NGOs are the main body providing services, because according to Oslo [the interim accords signed by Israel and the Palestinians in 1993 and 1995], the Palestinian Authority is not allowed to be in Jerusalem,” Zakaria Odeh, executive director of the Civic Coalition for Palestinian Rights in Jerusalem, told Al Jazeera. “All policies, including house demolitions and residency revocations, have the goal to alter the demographic structure of Jerusalem as a whole.”
More . . .

ISRAEL  HAS  CLOSED  120  PALESTINIAN  INSTITUTIONS  IN  JERUSALEM  SINCE  1967.
Middle East Monitor
.
February 17, 2014.
A Palestinian human rights organisation has revealed that the Israeli occupation authorities have closed more than 120 Palestinian institutions in Jerusalem since it completed its occupation of the city in 1967. Around 88 were closed down completely, while the others had to transfer their operations from occupied Jerusalem to the occupied West Bank.
___In a press statement, the Almakdasi Foundation said that the Israeli authorities have now closed-down the Islamic Club and Salwan Charity Foundation for a period of 30 days under the pretext of them receiving funding from Hamas and conducting activities on its behalf. This is despite the fact that both foundations have appropriate licences and Salwan presented evidence to prove its independence.
___The Almakdasi statement said, “These closures, along with all the others last year and every year since 1967, are part of Israel’s policy since the occupation began. The Israeli occupation authorities are trying to obliterate Palestinian identity and institutions.” The first to go was the Arab Jerusalem Municipality which was closed by the Israelis in 1967.
More . . .

“MY  SAD  CITY,”  BY  FADWA  TUQAN

(The day of Zionist Occupation, June 27, 1967)

The day we saw death and betrayal,
The tide ebbed.
The windows of the sky closed,
And the city held its breath.
The day the waves were vanquished, the day
The ugliness of the abyss revealed its true face,
Hope turned to ashes,
And gagging on disaster,
My sad city choked.

Gone were the children and the songs,
There was no shadow, no echo.
Sorrow crawled naked in my city,
With bloodied footsteps,
Silence reigned in the city,
Silence like crouching mountains,
Mysterious like the night, tragic silence,
Burdened,
Weighed down with death and defeat.
Alas! My sad and silent city.
Can it be true that in the season of harvest,
Grain and fruit have turned to ashes?
Alas! That this should be the fruit of all the journeying!
―Translated by A.M. Elmesseri

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 B&N.

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