SELECTED NEWS OF THE DAY. . .
US CUTS FUNDING TO EAST JERUSALEM HOSPITALS
The Lutheran World Federation regrets the decision by the US administration . . . to cut its funding for the six East Jerusalem Hospitals. According to a budget approved by the US Congress, the hospitals in East Jerusalem, including the Lutheran World Federation’s Augusta Victoria Hospital (AVH), were budgeted to receive USD 25 million in funding during financial year 2017 to cover costs for patients referred by the Palestinian Ministry of Health. Today’s news reports come following a policy review by the US administration that resulted in several funding cuts affecting people in the West Bank and Gaza. ___Overall, AVH is owed over USD 38 million while the total owed to the six East Jerusalem hospitals, including AVH, is over USD 80 million making the situation of the hospitals unsustainable. More . . .
Related . . . HOSPITALS IN GAZA TO SHUT DOWN DUE TO POWER SHORTAGE
TRUMP TO CLOSE PLO OFFICE IN WASHINGTON
The United States Donald Trump administration is expected to announce on Monday that it will close the Palestine Liberation Organization’s office in Washington. ___According to reports, this decision is part of a widening U.S. pressure campaign on Palestinian officials amid stalled Middle East peace prospects and that the US National Security Advisor, John Bolton, is expected to announce the decision in several hours. ___Bolton is also expected to threaten to impose severe sanctions against the International Criminal Court (ICC) if it attempts to investigate or consider any war crime charges against Israel raised by the Palestinians. More . . .
Related . . . PLO OFFICIALS: ‘PALESTINIANS WILL NOT SURRENDER’
IN VIDEO – ISRAEL INTENTIONALLY KILLS 16-YEAR-OLD PALESTINIAN
A video documented the method of how Israeli forces targeted and killed 16-year-old Palestinian, Ahmad Misbah Abu Tyour, while he was participating in “The Great March of Return” protests in the besieged Gaza Strip. ___The video showed the Palestinian teen, while maintaining his distance, throwing rocks towards the border with Israel as a form of protest to the nearly 12-year Israeli siege of Gaza. ___Ahmad’s rock-throwing posed no threat to the heavily armed Israeli forces. . . ___Ahmad succumbed to his wounds on Saturday morning. More . . .
COMMENTARY AND OPINION. . . .
PALESTINIANS: US CUTS WILL HAVE DIRE EFFECT ON HEALTH CARE
The director of an east Jerusalem hospital said Sunday that a U.S. decision to cut funding to hospitals serving the Palestinians will have a “severe effect.” ___Bassem Abu Libdeh, of the Makassed Hospital, said the U.S. covers 40 percent of costs in six east Jerusalem hospitals that provide care for Palestinians from the Israeli-occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip. ___The Trump administration announced the $25 million funding cut on Saturday, saying it would redirect the money toward “high-priority projects elsewhere.” More . . .
Related . . . JERUSALEM HOSPITAL CALLS US AID CUT ‘UNJUSITIFED’
ASHRAWI: CLOSING PLO OFFICE IN WASHINGTON AN IRRESPONSIBLE MOVE
Hanan Ashrawi, member of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), said on Monday that the US closing the General Delegation of the PLO office in Washington DC is an irresponsible move. ___”It is ironic that the US is punishing the PLO, the national representative of the Palestinian people and the highest political body that made the commitment to reaching a political and legal settlement of the Palestinian question and that has engaged in negotiations with successive US administrations for decades,” she said in a statement. ___“It is also extremely cruel and spiteful to persist in deliberately bashing the Palestinian people by denying them of their rights, giving away their lands and rightful capital of Jerusalem, and defunding UNRWA (the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees) and Palestinian institutions, including East Jerusalem hospitals.” More . . .
NOTICES FROM ORGANIZATIONS. . . .
POEM FOR THE DAY. . . .
THAT SLAP IN THE FACE, BY SHUKRI ABU-BAKR **
This is for you, Ahed
Like a Free Palestine Spirit, your home is hospitable and warm, but has no fireplace for a cold killer.
Your fingernails sun-kissed, your palms soft as a whisper; but you did it, girl; you slapped a lethal weapon right in the face.
Your lips breathless over a million unheard cries… So rouse the world. Make it listen. Make it rise. Stand face-to-face and slap it right in the face.
Your green eyes, what do they see or so desire; but a white dawn to descend upon a nation’s dream set on fire.
So, girl, strip the arsonist of his undue grace…and yes, princess, with your bare hands slap him right in the face.
You’re noble from head to toe, daughter of the mountains, so bring your oppressor down on his armored knees.. and slap him hard. Slap him right in the face.
Slap him every time his psycho boots step into your peace of mind.
Slap him every time his tanks roll over your tender foot-marks. Slap him every time his smoke out-smells the wild sage in your yard. And slap him, daughter of the land…
Slap him for every time he stole dirt from your great grandfather’s grave. Slap him for every time he left an olive tree butchered in your neighbor’s grove. Slap him for every time he demanded respect for his loaded gun.
Slap him for your cousin… for all the young bones punctuated with bullets. And your highness, with your wrists besieged in cuffs as cruel as my own, slap him; not once, not twice, but thrice, for every time he thought that at the sight of coming invaders, Red-headed Palestine would simply run away.
** Shukri Abu Bakr is a Palestinian humanitarian from Dallas, Texas, serving a 65 year prison sentence in the United States following the controversial Holy Land Foundation trial