“. . . the stones of your streets grow sad, the towers of mosques downcast . . .” (Nizar Qabbani)

Al Ahli Arab Hospital has been ministering in Gaza City since 1882. The institution was founded by the Church of England’s Church Mission Society. (Photo: Mary Frances Schjonberg/Episcopal News Service)

The Israeli Supreme Court yesterday rejected a petition submitted by 104 Palestinians against claims by a right-wing Israeli organization paving the way for 700 Palestinians to be forced from their homes, Haaretz reported.    ___The 700 Palestinians, who make up 70 families, have been going through a legal battle to protect their right to remain in their homes since 2002. Last June, lawyers for the occupation admitted that the process by which settlers organization Ateret Cohanim received rights to the land was flawed. In spite of this, the judge ruled in favor of the settlers’ rights to siege the area.    ___Ateret Cohanim aims to take over Palestinian properties in occupied East Jerusalem and transfer then to Israeli settlers. The ownership claims were based on arguments of the properties’ situation before the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948. Palestinian house deeds were transferred to the Benvenisti Trust by Israel’s Justice Ministry in 2002 claiming it purchased the land in the late 1800s to settle Jews arriving in Palestine from Yemen.    More . . .
. . . . Related  Experts:  Occupation  seeks  to  establish  a  50km  settlement  belt  in  JERUSALEM
. . . . Related  Palestinian family left homeless after demolition in LOD CITY
. . . . Related  Israel demolishes Palestinian family home in NEGEV
. . . . Related  Israeli forces demolish Palestinian carwash in HEBRON
  CABINET  CONDEMNS  ISRAELI  DECISION  TO  EXPEL  PALESTINIANS  FROM  THEIR  HOMES  IN  JERUSALEM     The Palestinian cabinet condemned on Thursday the Israeli decision to evacuate 28 dunums of Palestinian land in Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in occupied Jerusalem, home to more than 500 Palestinians, despite all documents proving the Palestinian ownership of these lands.    ___It said in a statement issued at the conclusion of the weekly cabinet meeting headed by Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah that the government also condemned the Israeli Supreme Court’s approval of the demolition of the  TAHADI  FIVE  SCHOOL  IN  BEI T TA’MUR  VILLAGE, near BETHLEHEM, the demolition of shops in SHUFAT  REFUGEE  CAMP  IN  JERUSALEM  and the forced break-in into dozens of houses and shops in DEIR  AL-GHUSOUN  TOWN,  NORTH  OF  TULKARM  in the north of the West Bank.    ___“The Cabinet emphasized that all such decisions are clear attempts to undermine the steadfastness of the Palestinian people and the role of the Palestinian Government,” said the statement.    More . . .

By Sandy Tolan
[. . . .] if the Gaza Strip truly becomes “uninhabitable” by 2020, as the UN and humanitarian groups warn, it will be largely because of the utter collapse of the system for delivering safe drinking water and properly disposing of disease-causing sewage.    ___Because of Gaza’s water and sewage catastrophe, medical experts are now seeing sharp increases in waterborne and foodborne diseases . . .  [. . . .] And doctors in Gaza’s hospitals now report increased cases of paediatric cancer.    ___For years these torments seemed sealed off from the outside world by layers of fences, locked gates, patrolling Israeli drones and warplanes, and international disdain and indifference.    ___Now, finally, from Washington to European capitals, and even to the Israeli security infrastructure in Tel Aviv, alarm bells are going off, warning that something must be done to prevent the water catastrophe in Gaza. . .    More . . .

In the midst of a steady stream of news and photos from Gaza over the past ten days – bombed buildings, burning buses, terrified children, fragile cease-fire agreements – there was one story that didn’t get widely reported.    ___On November 9, the 25 year-old hot water system at Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza City suddenly collapsed. This urgent situation caused an immediate shut down of the water supply to the entire facility.    ___The  result?  No  drinking  water,  no  pressurized  water  for  sterilization  of  medical  equipment  and  surgical  instruments,  no  laundry  services.  No  water,  period.  All  scheduled  surgeries  were  cancelled, and staff continued to treat patients under dire circumstances . . .    Your generosity gets Ahli Hospital through an emergency   Donate . . . 

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . .

Oh Jerusalem, luminous city of prophets
The shortest path between heaven and earth!

Jerusalem, you of the myriad minarets,
become a beautiful little girl with burned fingers.
City of the Virgin, your eyes are sad.
Shady oasis where the Prophet passed,
the stones of your streets grow sad,
the towers of mosques downcast.
City swathed in black, who’ll ring the bells
at the Holy Sepulchre on Sunday mornings?
Who will carry toys to children on Christmas Eve?
City of sorrows, a huge tear
trembling on your eyelid,
who’ll save the Bible?
Who’ll save the Qur’an?
Who will save Christ?
Who will save man?

Jerusalem, beloved city of mine,
tomorrow your lemon trees will bloom,
your green stalks and branches rise up joyful,
and your eyes will laugh. Migrant pigeons
will return to your holy roofs
and children will go back to playing.
Parents and children will meet
on your shining streets,
my city, city of olives and peace.
—Translated by Sharif Elmusa and 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 and Noble.

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