. . . Sabra – sings her lost half, between the sea and the last war. . . (Mahmoud Darwish)

Selected News of the Day

OIC: Israeli Government Fully Responsible for Consequences of Colonial Policies

IMEMC-International Middle East Media Center
September 16, 2019
The Council of Foreign Ministers of the Member States of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) held fully responsible the Israeli government for the consequences of its colonial policies in the occupied territory of the State of Palestine . . . .
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ This came during the 16th extraordinary meeting of the OIC council of foreign ministers held at the OIC headquarters in Jeddah, at the request of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, on the “Israeli Prime Minister’s stated intention to annex territories in the Occupied West Bank.” ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ The council proclaimed absolute rejection and vehemently condemned the Israeli Prime Minister’s stated intention to “apply Israeli sovereignty on all of the Jordan Valley, northern Dead Sea and settlements in the occupied West Bank”, describing it as a dangerous escalation, a further serious encroachment on the historical and legal rights of the Palestinian people, a flagrant breach of the UN Charter, the principles of international law and the relevant UN resolutions . . .   More . . . .

Palestinian FM discusses Israeli plans on Jordan Valley with Jordanian, Turkish counterparts

WAFA
September 16, 2019
Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad Malki met in Jeddah with his Jordanian and Turkish counterparts and discussed coordinating efforts to confront the declaration by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on annexing the occupied Jordan Valley and Israeli violations in Jerusalem and its Islamic holy places.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙Malki told Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi that annexing the Jordan Valley will destroy any chance of having a just and comprehensive peace in the region and will be a threat to world peace and security. Safadi stressed Jordan’s strong position against Netanyahu’s plans, which it considers a blatant violation of international law and undermines the right of peoples in this region to live in peace.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙The Malki-Safadi meeting took place on the side of a meeting for foreign ministers of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation’s (OIC) member states, who also strongly condemned Israeli plans to annex any part of the occupied Palestinian territory.  More . . . .

Blackout expected in parts of West Bank as Israel’s electricity company starts power cut

WAFA
September 16, 2019
Several hours of blackout are expected to disrupt life in parts of the West Bank next Monday and Tuesday as the Israeli Electricity Company (IEC) intends to cut power supply to the Palestinian-owned Jerusalem District Electricity Company (JDECO), today said JDECO chairman of board and CEO Hisham Omari.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ He said his company has received the third warning from the IEC informing it that it will start rationing or cutting electricity supply to some of the company’s concession areas . . . .
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Omari considered the IEC decision, supported by the Israeli government, as “collective punishment against the Palestinian people,” warning that if IEC goes on with its threat, it will have serious repercussions, particularly on hospitals, education, water supply, communications and many other vital areas.  More . . . .

Remembering the Sabra and Shatila massacre (Sep 16, 1982 – Sep 18, 1982)

For the Palestinians, the tragedy of Sabra and Shatila remains as a powerful reminder of their apparently endless cycle of displacement.
The Middle East Monitor
September 16, 2019
Thirty-seven years ago this week, one of the bloodiest chapters in Palestinian history unfolded in a refugee camp in Lebanon. Surrounded by Israeli forces from all sides, thousands of refugees, bereft of leadership and protection from the international community, were slaughtered during a two day killing spree in the Shatila refugee camp and the adjacent Sabra neighbourhood of Beirut by the Christian Phalangist militia, Israel’s paramilitary ally in Lebanon.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Israeli forces, who had invaded Lebanon three months earlier, advanced into Beirut and surrounded the Palestinian refugee camp of Shatila. A tenuous ceasefire agreement had already been brokered by the US. . .  UN Security Council Resolution 520 dated 17 September was passed unanimously and condemned “the recent Israeli incursions into Beirut in violation of the cease-fire agreements and of Security Council resolutions.” Israel ignored this resolution too.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Virtually sealed off from the outside world by Israeli tanks, hundreds of Phalangist fighters — a Christian militia group inspired by European fascists — were instructed by Israeli forces to clear out PLO members from the area. What unfolded over the following day and half horrified the world.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ In the 38 hours that the Israelis allowed the Phalange militia to enter the refugee camp unhindered, the Palestinians bunkered in their makeshift shelters suffered unspeakable horrors. Israel’s proxy militiamen raped, tortured, mutilated and killed more than 3,000 Palestinian and Lebanese residents of Sabra and Shatila.  More . . . .

Poem of the Day

SABRA AND SHATILA BY MAHMOUD DARWISH
Sabra – a sleeping girl
The men left
War slept for two short nights,
Beirut obeyed and became the capital…
A long night
Observing the dreams in Sabra,
Sabra is sleeping.
Sabra – the remains of a dead body
She bid farewell to her horsemen and time
And surrendered to sleep out of tiredness.. and the Arabs who threw her behind them.
Sabra – and what the soldiers Departing from Galilee forgot
She doesn’t buy and sell anything but her silence
To buy flowers to put on her braided hair.
Sabra – sings her lost half, between the sea and the last war:
Why do you go?
And leave your wives in the middle of a hard night?
Why do you go?
And hang your night
Over the camp and the national anthem?
Sabra – covering her naked breasts with a farewell song
Counts her palms and gets it wrong
While she can’t find the arm:
How many times will you travel?
And for how long?
And for what dream?
If you return one day
for which exile shall you return,
which exile brought you back?
Sabra – tearing open her chest:
How many times
does the flower bloom?
How many times
will the revolution travel?
Sabra – afraid of the night. Puts it on her knees
covers it with her eyes’ mascara. Cries to distract it:
They left without saying
anything about their return
Withered and tended
from the rose’s flame!
Returned without returning
to the beginning of their journey
Age is like children
running away from a kiss.
No, I do not have an exile
To say: I have a home
God, oh time ..!
Sabra – sleeps. And the fascist’s knife wakes up
Sabra calls who she calls
All of this night is for me, and night is salt
the fascist cuts her breasts – the night reduced –
he then dances around his knife and licks it.
Singing an ode to a victory of the cedars,
And erases
Quietly .. Her flesh from her bones
and spreads her organs over the table
and the fascist continues dancing and laughs for the tilted eyes
and goes crazy for joy, Sabra is no longer a body:
He rides her as his instincts suggest, and his will manifests.
And steals a ring from her flesh and blood and goes back to his mirror
And be – Sea
And be – Land
And be – Clouds
And be – Blood
And be – Night
And be – Killing
And be – Saturday
and she be – Sabra.
Sabra – the intersection of two streets on a body
Sabra, the descent of a Spirit down a Stone
And Sabra – is no one
Sabra – is the identity of our time, forever.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Translated by Saad El Kurdi

Posted on the Blog Kadaitcha September 19, 2012 By Jinjirrie
You can listen to Mahmoud Darwish read this poem on tumbler.com.

Enemy of light I shall not compromise -(Samih Al-Qasim)

News of the Day

Official: UNCTAD report holds Israel responsible for deterioration of Palestinian economy

WAFA
September 14, 2019
Economy Minister Khaled Ossaili today said the recent report by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) is a living proof of the responsibility of the Israeli occupation for the rapid deterioration in the Palestinian economy.

He said Israel continues to block production inputs and imposes a control system that undermines the possibility of developing the national economy as well as denying access to reach and invest in the Palestinian territory which is rich in natural resources.

“UNCTAD warning of the imminent collapse of the Palestinian economy is an additional document in condemning the occupation for its violations, arbitrary policies and control of our national economy along with the restriction on the movement of people and goods and the suffocating blockade imposed by Israel on the Gaza Strip,” he said in a statement. More . . . .

UNCTAD: Palestinian socioeconomic crisis now at breaking point

WAFA
September 14, 2019
Economy Minister
Khaled Ossaili today said the recent report by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) is a living proof of the responsibility of the Israeli occupation for the rapid deterioration in the Palestinian economy.

He said Israel continues to block production inputs and imposes a control system that undermines the possibility of developing the national economy as well as denying access to reach and invest in the Palestinian territory which is rich in natural resources.

“UNCTAD warning of the imminent collapse of the Palestinian economy is an additional document in condemning the occupation for its violations, arbitrary policies and control of our national economy along with the restriction on the movement of people and goods and the suffocating blockade imposed by Israel on the Gaza Strip,” he said in a statement.  More . . . .

UNCTAD: Palestinian socioeconomic crisis now at breaking point

WAFA
September 14, 2019 –
The fiscal standoff with Israel may lead to a collapse of Palestinian finances, and environmental degradation is placing a health burden on the population, says new report.

Suffering is deepening in Palestine as its economy continues to deteriorate and rising poverty levels and increasing environmental degradation exact a heavy toll, according to the latest UNCTAD report on its assistance to the Palestinian people. More . . . .

Archbishop Atallah warns against taking over Orthodox real estate in Hebron Gate

Al Hourriah
September 14, 2019
Atallah Hanna, the archbishop of Sebastian Roman Orthodox, stated today that the ancient Orthodox real estate in the area of ​​Hebron Gate is under serious threat, and that extremist settlers may seize these properties at any time. “We might witness the same scenario of the building of Saint John the Beloved in the Old City, to which the settlers were allowed years ago, again here in Hebron Gate.”

“This is a new and renewed calamity targeting our ancient Orthodox estates in Jerusalem. The seizure of Hebron Gate and its buildings means further weakening, and marginalising Christian presence in Jerusalem,” he declared.   More . . . .

Great Return March: 55 Palestinians Injured By IOF

Days of Palestine
September 13 2019
At least 55 Palestinians were injured today by live bullets and many others by rubber-coated rounds as Israeli forces attacked thousands of protesters taking part in the weekly Great March of Return at Gaza border.
The Ministry of Health reported that The Israeli Forces shot  55 Palestinian non-violent protesters, twenty- nine (29 )were wounded with live ammunition, east of Gaza Strip in the 74 th Friday of the GMRBS.  MORE . . . .

Poem of the Day

“I  MAY  LOSE  MY  DAILY  BREAD,”  BY  SAMIH  AL-QASIM
I may lose my daily bread, if you wish
I may hawk my clothes and bed
I may become a stonecutter, or a porter
Or a street sweeper
I may search in animal dung for food
I may collapse, naked and starved
Enemy of light
I will not compromise
And to the end
I shall fight.
You may rob me of the last span of my land
You may ditch my youth in prison holes
Steel what my grandfather left me behind:
Some furniture or clothes and jars,
You may burn my poems and books
You may feed your dog on my flesh
You may impose a nightmare of your terror
On my village
Enemy of light
I shall not compromise
And to the end
I shall fight.

“Poems of Resistance: 7 Poems for Palestine.” SCOOP  WORLD  INDEPENDENT  NEWS. January 2011.

“. . . Her name is and always Palestine . . .” (Bisan Abu Khaled)

Selected News of the Day

France, Germany, Italy, Spain, UK concerned over Israel’s possible annexation of occupied lands

WAFA
September 13, 2019
In a joint statement today, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom said they were deeply concerned about Israel’s announcement of possible annexation of areas in the West Bank, particularly the Jordan Valley and the northern portion of the Dead Sea.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ “This would, if implemented, constitute a serious breach of international law. France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom will continue to call on all parties to refrain from contravention of international law,” the statement said.  More . . . .

Pakistan rejects Israel’s plan to annex parts of West Bank

WAFA
September 13, 2019
Pakistan has rejected Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s announcement that he will immediately annex the Jordan Valley region in the occupied West Bank if he was re-elected next week.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ “We reject any such move, which would be illegal and a dangerous escalation,” Pakistani Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad Faisal was quoted as saying by Anadolu Agency.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ “While reaffirming our solidarity with the Palestinians, Pakistan reiterates its support for a viable, independent and contiguous State of Palestine, on the basis of internationally agreed parameters, the pre-1967 borders with Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital,” he added.  More . . . .

Netanyahu, Putin to Meet as Russia Condemns Annexation Pledge (VIDEO)

Palestine Chronicle
September 12, 2019
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is set to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin in the Russian coastal city of Sochi for talks on Thursday after Moscow condemned the Israeli leader’s pledge to annex parts of the occupied West Bank.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Russia’s foreign ministry warned on Wednesday it was concerned over the Israeli leader’s plan, saying its implementation could lead to a “sharp escalation of tensions in the region [and] undermine hopes for the establishment of long-awaited peace between Israel and its Arab neighbors”. More . . . .

Palestinians in Jordan Valley: ‘Our lands are already annexed’

Aljazeera
Arwa Ibrahim
September 12, 2019
In between sprawling arid lands of the Jordan Valley, which stretches north of the Dead Sea and west of the occupied West Bank’s borders with Jordan, lies the small Palestinian village of Ras Ain al-Auja.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ If Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu goes through with his plan, announced on Tuesday, to annex the Jordan Valley and areas north of the Dead Sea, the village of about 350 residents and its fertile farmlands would become part of Israel.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Observers have dismissed Netanyahu’s plan as a campaign stunt ahead of next week’s general election. But the residents of Ras Ain al-Auja say Netanyahu’s words are threatening as his plan would formalise Israeli control over the area.  More . . . .

Commentary

Palestinian Refugee Students Must Not be Incidental to Humanitarian Endeavors

Palestine Chronicle
Ramona Wadi is a staff writer for Middle East Monitor
September 11, 2019
Despite financial setbacks caused by political agendas and misconduct allegations, the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) ensured that its schools opened on time for the new academic year. Commissioner-General Pierre Krähenbühl described education as central to UNRWA’s mandate, yet the agency is not past attaching importance to symbolism and, despite its work, normalize the violence inherent in Israel’s settler-colonial project.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ The opening of the new school year in Silwan, for example, publicized due to renovation works carried out during the summer recess, was lauded by Krähenbühl. “This return to school is also a symbol of preserving normalcy and a safe learning environment,” he remarked.  More . . . .

Poem of the Day

“WHAT PUSHKIN’S POEMS NEVER SAID,”  BY  BISAN ABU KHALED

Something that will startle Lenin ―
oh, love, confront your destiny ― don’t kill yourself.
Time will not slow down for lovers to tarry
after the first kiss
and the last time they met.

Passing minutes would slit the throats of the women
had they not already drowned themselves in nostalgia.

Shall no one bear witness or know
that the maps of our planet have lied
about the face of our star
which always used to show her name.

Her name is and always Palestine
My song. . . .
my homeland . . . .
my face full of sorrow.
― Translated by Magi Gibson

From A BIRD IS NOT A STONE: AN ANTHOLOGY OF CONTEMPORARY PALESTINIAN POETRY. Ed. by Henry Bell and Sarah Irving. (Glasgow: Freight Books, 2014) –available from Barnes & Noble.
About the book, with short discussion of Bisan Abu Khaled

“. . . All that I love of my absent country. . .” (Samih Al-Qasim)

Selected News of the Day

Israeli military uproot trees, raze wells in northeastern West Bank

WAFA
September 12, 2019
Israeli military today uprooted scores of olive trees and destroyed water wells in Um Kbeish area near Tammun town, south of Tubas, in the northeastern West Bank, said human rights activist.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Aref Daraghmeh confirmed that Israeli military arrived to Um Kbeish, where they uprooted scores of olive trees and destroyed four water wells used for irrigation by local Palestinian farmers. . . .
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ . . . . under the pretext that the land constituted “State land.” The family filed a complaint and had a court hearing set for June 24. Ignoring this, Israel’s demolition took place on June 11. . . .
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Designating an area as a nature reserve may convey the impression that Israel wishes to protest the environment. In practice, however, Israeli has been using such designations for advancing the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians.  More . . . .

Netanyahu tells voters: If you don’t vote Likud, Arabs will ‘annihilate us all’

Mondoweiss
Yumna Patel
September 11, 2019
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is coming under fire again for anti-Arab comments made by his campaign, this time for a message on his official Facebook page telling voters “Arabs want to annihilate us all – women, children and men.”
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Israeli media reported that upon accessing Netanyahu’s official page, viewers are greeted with an automated popup message in Hebrew with a message to voters, imploring them to “make sure” their friends and family vote Likud.   More . . . . 

Abbas: If Israel takes Palestinian land, all deals off

Al-Hourriah
September 11, 2019
If Israel annexes parts of the occupied West Bank, all agreements signed with Israel will end, warned the Palestinian president on Tuesday, reports the Agency.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ “All agreements and their resulting obligations would end if the Israeli side annexes the Jordan Valley, the northern Dead Sea, and any part of the Palestinian territories occupied in 1967,” Mahmoud Abbas said in a statement, according to Palestine’s WAFA news agency.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Abbas’ remarks came in response to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s announcement that he would annex the Jordan Valley and a number of settlements if he wins next week’s election.   More . . . .

Israeli Army Launches Renewed Aerial Attack On Gaza

Days of Palestine
September 12, 2019
An Israeli warplane last night bombed a resistance site belonging to the Palestinian resistance in the north of the Gaza Strip.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙A reporter for the Palestinian Information Center (PIC) that a warplane fired at least three missiles at a resistance post in Beit Lahia in northern Gaza, with no reported casualties.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ A spokesman for the Israeli occupation army claimed the air raid was in response to the launch of projectiles towards Israeli communities around the border with Gaza.   More . . . .

Poem of the Day

I  DEFY,”  BY  SAMIH  AL-QASIM

Talk about exile―I defy
silence my argument with chains
and a foolish prison cell
I defy

Turn plague and sadness against me
I remain defying

cut my wrist
with my bloody chest I defy
cut my leg
I mount the wound and walk
and with my violence I defy
with my forehead I defy
and with my teeth
and the teeth of songs―I defy

and kill me―I defy
I kill death
and come to you a defying God

All that I own of my father’s and grandfather’s
inheritance is to defy!

All that I understand from the
wind and the secrets of erased villages
and the songs of springs
on dying grass

a concealed sob
the roots of the tree
memorize it for me
a sob: To defy

All the eyes of children living within me
in bloody exile
All that I love of my absent country
in name and deed
a scream bruising me―to defy!
My anger drips oil and honey
my pain bears almonds, flouts and roses
so jail my piece of bread

I defy

From: Aruri, Naseer and Edmund Ghareeb, eds. ENEMY  OF  THE  SUN:  POETRY  OF  THE  PALESTINIAN  RESISTANCE. Washington, DC: Drum and Spear Press, 1970.   Available from Goodreads

“. . . into the shadow of the Holy Heights. . .” by Reja-e Busailah

News of the Day

Report: Israeli raids at Al-Aqsa reflect official tendencies to change status quo in Jerusalem

WAFA
September 09, 2019
The Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor (Euro-Med) confirmed in a new report that the Israeli occupation forces escalated their attacks in the occupied city of Jerusalem, as party of a policy adopted by the highest Israeli political level, amid clear indications of Israeli tendencies to break the status quo at Al-Aqsa Mosque.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ The report, which examines human rights violations in Jerusalem in August 2019, explained that the most serious incident witnessed in the city was on the morning of Eid al-Adha, August 11, when hundreds of Israeli settlers stormed Al-Aqsa Mosque following a decision by the Israeli Prime Minister to perform their Talmudic rituals in commemoration of the so-called Tisha B’Av.  More . . . . 

31 violations against media freedoms in Palestine during August

Al-Hourriah
September 9, 2019
August 2019 has witnessed a modest decline in the number of violations against media freedoms in Palestine, which resulted from the decrease in the number of Facebook closures of Palestinian journalists and news websites claiming that “they have violated the criteria of Facebook”.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ The Palestinian Center for Development & Media Freedoms “MADA” has documented a total of 31 attacks during August 2019 (compared to a total of 38 attacks documented during July), 17 of which were committed by the Israeli Occupation while 6 violations were committed by Palestinian Authorities. Moreover, the Facebook has closed 8 pages for Palestinian journalist and news websites during this month, noting that Facebook has closed 16 pages belonging to Palestinian journalists and news websites during July.  More . . . .

Teenager Injured, Three Students Among 15 Detained By IOF

Days of Palestine
September 9, 2019
Israeli occupation forces shot and injured a teenager today and detained three students who were among at least 15 Palestinians detained in various raids in the West Bank and Jerusalem.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙Local sources said Israeli military stormed Beit Rima village, northwest of Ramallah city, where soldiers ransacked two houses and detained three children who were on their way to school. During ensuing confrontations, soldiers opened fire towards local youngsters injuring one in the neck with a rubber-coated steel bullet.  More . . . .

Medical Neglect Kills Palestinian Prisoner In Israeli Jails 

Days of Palestine
September 9, 2019
The Palestinian political prisoner Bassam al-Sayeh, 47, died on Sunday in the Israeli Assaf Harofeh hospital.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ The Israel Prison Service had rejected many Palestinian calls for the release of al-Sayeh, who was suffering from bone and blood cancer, despite his deteriorated health condition.  More . . . .

Poem of the Day

IN THE SHADOW OF THE HOLY HEIGHTS, by Reja-e Busailah     

for Haniya Suleiman Zarawneh, killed by the Israelis at the age of 25, near
Jerusalem, January 4, 1988

The sun came out that day from the depth of winter
like the rare orphan of good luck —
what else can the light of heaven be
on a day rising from the dead of winter?

And she had risen before the sun that day
and like her mother and grandmother before her
she washed by hand and wrung by hand
the linen for spouse and child,

and like mother and grandmother
she walked up the wooden ladder
with the pail onto the roof
into the shadow of the Holy Heights —
so clear was the sky
it almost recalled the sight and the scent of the sea down west.

Faithfully she hung her labors on the rope
article by article
that the good sun might dry them for her,
she clasped each with a wooden pin
as safeguard against the prankish wind —

it was no senseless nature that did it when she was done
just about to come down for other chores,
it was no fiendish Nazi,
it was one of the Chosen
selected her heart for his anointed lead
so that limp went the spring in the covenant
which joined soul and limb —

and the good sun shines
and the sheets and the skirts and the nightgowns
and the small socks
and the outfit for the wooden doll
they toss in the wind
and smell like linen hand-washed and sun-dried
they swing lighthearted on the rope
waiting for mother to collect them.

From BEFORE THERE IS NOWHERE TO STAND, Ed. By Alicia Ostriker. Lost Horse Press, 2012.
REJA-E BUSAILAH, who has been blind since infancy, and who (along with his family) was forcibly evicted from his home in Lydda into exile. Educated in Cairo, he earned a PhD in English from NYU and taught for thirty years at Indiana University. His recent collection of poetry is POEMS OF A PALESTINIAN BOYHOOD, Smokestack books, 2019. You may hear Reja-e Busailah read one of his poems here.

“Palestinian― The name pursues me, lives with me . . .” (Harun Hashim Rashid)

Selected News of the Day

Israel confiscates 100 dunums of land south of Nablus

WAFA
September 8, 2019
Israeli authorities issued today a military order to size about 100 dunums of Palestinian-owned lands in Qaryut and Jaloud, two villages located south of Nablus in the West Bank, local sources said.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙Ghassan Daghlas, a Palestinian official who monitors settlement activities, told WAFA that Israeli authorities decided to seize 100 dunums of land in Qaryut and Jaloud villages in order to expand the nearby illegal Israeli settlement of Shilo.  More . . . .

Israel Warplanes Bomb Different Areas In Gaza Strip

Days of Palestine
September 8, 2019
Israeli warplanes attacked this night several targets throughout the Gaza Strip causing damage but no injuries, according to DOP correspondent.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙He said the targets included open areas east of Gaza City as well as Resistance posts in the central Gaza Strip.  More . . . .   

Opinion

Palestinians see Greenblatt resignation as sign of failure for US Mideast vision

Al-Monitor – Palestine Pulse
Daoud Kuttab

As pundits try to mull over the meaning of the upcoming resignation of US President Donald Trump’s special envoy to Middle East peace, Jason Greenblatt, most Palestinians are celebrating his exit, calling it proof of the failure of Trump’s policy. Others argue the US plans will not be deterred by the resignation.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙PLO Executive Committee member Hanan Ashrawi told Al-Monitor Greenblatt was a “failure, ill-equipped for the post, showed blind support for Israel, indulged in bashing Palestinians and lacked understanding of the realities of the region.” Ashrawi said Greenblatt simply “had no chance to succeed.”  More . . . .

Poem of the Day

“PALESTINIAN,”  BY  HARUN  HASHIM  RASHID

Palestinian,
Palestinian is my name.
In a clear script,
On all battlefields
I have inscribed my name,
Eclipsing all other titles.
The letters of my name cling to me,
Live with me, nourish me,
Fill my soul with fire
And pulse through my veins.
Palestinian,
Such is my name, I know
It torments and grieves me,
Their eyes hunt me,
Pursue me, wound me.
For my name is Palestinian.
And as they pleased
They have made me wander.

I have lived all my life
Without traits and features
As they pleased,
They gave me names and titles.
Jails with their gates flung wide
Summon me
And in all the airports of the world
Are found my names and titles―
The lying wind carries me,
Disperses me.
Palestinian―
The name pursues me, lives with me.
Palestinian is my fate,
Clinging to me, reviving me.
Palestinian I am
Though they betray me and my cause
Palestinian I am
Though they sell me in the market
For what they please,
For thousands of millions;
Palestinian I am,
Though to the gallows they drive me;
Palestinian I am,
Though to the walls they bind me.
Palestinian I am,
Palestinian I am,
Though to the flames they cast me.
I―what am I?
Without my name, Palestinian,
Without a homeland to live for,
To protect and be protected by?
I―what am I?
Answer me, answer me.

From AN  ANTHOLOGY  OF  MODERN  ARABIC  POETRY. Selected, Edited, and Translated by Mounah A. Khouri and Hamid Algar. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1974.

“. . . all that pain can be breached. . .” (Ramzy Baroud)

SELECTED NEWS OF THE DAY

Israeli snipers kill two Gaza boys

The Electronic Intifada
Maureen Clare Murphy
September 6, 2019
Israeli occupation forces shot and killed two Palestinian children during Great March of Return protests, Gaza’s health ministry stated on Friday.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ The ministry named one of those slain as Ali Sami Ali al-Ashqar, 17. He was reportedly shot in the head east of Jabaliya, northern Gaza. The second killed child was identified as Khalid Abu Bakr al-Rabai, 14, shot in the chest east of Gaza City. Sixty-six others were injured during Friday’s protests, 38 of them by live fire.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Nearly 50 children are among the 210 Palestinians who have been killed during the protests since their launch in early 2018. Nineteen Palestinian children have been killed by Israeli forces in the West Bank and Gaza so far this year, most of them during Great March of Return protests.  More . . . .

IOF launches fresh attack on Gaza Strip

Palestine News Network
September 7, 2019
The Israeli military has launched fresh attacks on the besieged Gaza Strip, after Israeli troops killed two Palestinian teenagers during anti-occupation protests near the fence separating the coastal sliver from the occupied territories.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Palestinian media reported that an Israeli tank shelled an outpost purportedly belonging to the Palestinian Hamas resistance movement north of Beit Hanoun and a regime drone struck a Hamas observation post near Beit Lahia early on Saturday. More . . . .

Female university student kidnapped by IOF in Bireh city

The Palestinian Information Center
September 7, 2019
The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) on Saturday morning kidnapped a Palestinian female student from her home in al-Bireh city in the central West Bank.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ According to local sources, Samah Jaradat, a student at Birzeit University, was kidnaped after Israeli soldiers broke into and ransacked her home in the city.  More . . . . 

Netanyahu Corruption Case: State Witness Reveals New Details

Palestine Chronicle
September 6, 2019
A state witness in the corruption case against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu revealed scathing details to investigators on Thursday.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Netanyahu is standing for his fifth term in upcoming 17 September elections. Shortly after the elections, he faces an October pre-trial hearing on the corruption allegations that have dogged him for months.  More . . . .

BACKGROUND

Shaping the Future, Skills and Competencies for Palestinian Youth: Cooperation in Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET)

This Week in Palestine
By: Michael Klode and Wissam Deeb
September, 2019
In the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem, youth represent about one-third of the population. It is this young generation that constitutes the basis for developing the Palestinian society and economy amid rising unemployment and an unstable political situation. Every August is the time of year when the injaz (tawjihi) results are out, and the new cohort of young Palestinians prepares the next steps in their path through life. Even though the ratio of unemployed academic graduates is extremely high, most young people and their families dream of a future as medical doctors, engineers, or lawyers.  More . . . .

POEM OF THE DAY

“BREATHING,” BY RAMZY BAROUD 

That distance
all that distance
can be bridged
by a touch

that pain
all that pain
can be breached
knowing you meant
every word even when
you ceased to talk

tomorrow
all tomorrows
can only happen if
I know you are breathing
just breathing
and I am yet to die

I heard nothing for so long
I wondered
are you really you
will you ever come back?

Sitting still I thought
maybe you never existed
poetry was just a cruel joke

and the music
all the music
shed crocodile tears
persistently

Words that were
or are yet to be
belong to a language
any language

I am destined
to dream shadows
on grey walls

From I REMEMBER MY NAME, ed. Vacy Vlanza. Novum Publishing, 2016.

“. . . I was raised under an olive tree . . .” (Fouzi El-Azmar)

SELECTED NEWS OF THE DAY

Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (29 August – 04 September 2019)

Palestinian Center for Human Rights
September 5, 2019
Great March of Return in Eastern Gaza Strip: 1 Civilian killed and 93 others injured, including 33 children, a woman, 2 journalists, and a paramedic.
West Bank: 4 civilians injured, including a child and a human rights defender.
During 85 incursions into the West Bank: 91 civilians, including 8 children and 2 women, arrested
A Palestinian forced to self-demolish his house in the occupied East Jerusalem, while an under-construction mosque, a well and 2 agricultural rooms demolished in eastern Hebron.  Details . . . .

  • NGO: World’s worst tragic figures recorded in Gaza
    The Middle East Monitor
    September 5, 2019
    The blockaded Gaza Strip has marked the highest tragic humanitarian figures in the world, a humanitarian aid NGO said Thursday, Anadolu Agency reported. The Istanbul-based Gaza Aid Association held a conference dedicated to the Gaza Strip, and released its annual report on the humanitarian situation in the enclave.
    ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ The situation in the strip is “the worst over the years of siege,” said Abdul Majed al-Aloul, general manager of the association. It recorded tragic humanitarian figures that were “the highest in the world in the fields of unemployment with 52%, poverty 53% and water pollution 95% and the daily power outage rate that reached 75%,” he said.  More . . . .  
  • IOF Closes Main Road To West Bank Village Of Kifl Haris
    Days of Palestine
    September 5, 2019
    The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) on Thursday morning closed the main entrance to Kifl Haris village, west of Salfit in the West Bank. According to local sources, the IOF closed off the main road to the town with the  swing barrier, which it had been placed last year in the area.  More . . . .   
  • Settlers Storm Madama Village, Attack Citizens
    Days Of Palestine – Nablus
    September 5, 2019
    Dozens of Palestinian citizens suffered from their exposure to tear gas in Madama village, south of Nablus, during clashes with Israeli soldiers and settlers.
    ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Chief of the village Ihab al-Qut said that a horde of Jewish settlers from the illegal settlement of Yitzhar in Nablus stormed the southern area of the village and clashed with local youths in the presence of soldiers who fired volleys of tear gas grenades.  More . . . .  
  • Video: Going to school under Israeli occupation
    The Electronic Intifada
    September 5, 2019
    Omar Hajajleh is a local school bus driver in the occupied West Bank village of al-Walaja. Al-Walaja lies between the city of Bethlehem and occupied East Jerusalem.
    ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ In 2015, Israel built its separation wall directly through Hajajleh’s land, cutting off his family home from the rest of the village. . .  Hajajleh found himself uniquely positioned to take local children to school as only he has access to the valley leading to it.   More . . . .

OPINION

How much are Palestinians paying for ‘peace’ with Israel?

Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse
By Entsar Abu Jahal
September 6, 2019
As he was delivering another $10 million to the Gaza Strip recently, Qatari Ambassador Mohammed al-Emadi said Hamas and Israel have no interest in war and prefer peace and calm. He told Reuters that if citizens feel economically comfortable, they will no longer be haunted by the “ghost of war.”
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Emadi made these statements Aug. 24 after dropping off Qatari funds to Gaza. The money will be distributed to 100,000 poor families, with each receiving $100. This gift was just the most recent; Qatar has provided more than $1 billion in cash and relief projects to the Gaza Strip in recent years. For example, in October 2018, Qatar offered urgent humanitarian assistance to the Gaza Strip worth $150 million.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ But some Palestinians worry that all this money is a payoff in exchange for peace instead of protests as they seek to return to their homes in what is now Israel.  More . . . .

Why [US] ‘Moderates’ Don’t Have A Clue What To Do About Israel’s Settlements

Days of Palestine
September 6, 2019
Earlier this month, the High Planning Committee (HPC) of the Israeli Civil Administration authorised the construction of 2,304 new settlement units, just days after the approval of another 6,000 units in the occupied West Bank. These alarming developments are nothing if not predictable to those following recent events in the region, and the sordid course of US President Donald Trump’s “Deal of the Century”. With Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pledging during Israel’s April General Election campaign to annex settlements; US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman giving an approving nod to such a move; the US defunding of UNRWA and unilateral recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital; and with Senior US Advisor Jared Kushner declining to speak of a “two state solution”, the stage is almost set for the worst-case scenario. The inexorable march towards annexation is winding down to its last few strides.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ In principle, liberals and centrists tend to oppose annexation, as it would sound the death knell for the two-state solution that they’ve always maintained optimistically is just around the corner. However, despite these developments, “moderates” in the US Democratic Party (and even some “progressives”) have rallied around a bipartisan resolution decrying the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions movement . . .   More . . . .

POEM OF THE DAY

“TO  A  JEWISH  FRIEND,”  BY  FOUZI  EL-ASMAR
Don’t ask me
the impossible
Don’t’ ask me
to hunt stars,
walk to the sun.
Don’t ask me
to empty the sea
to erase the day’s light
I am nothing but a man.

Don’t ask me
to abandon my eyes, my love,
the memory of my childhood.

I was raised
under an olive tree,
I ate the figs
of my orchard
drank wine from
the sloping vineyards
Tasted Cactus fruit
in the valleys
more, more.

The nightingale has sung
in my ears
The free winds of fields and cities
always tickled me
My friend
You cannot ask me
to leave my own country.  (March 1971)

From: El Azmar, Fouzi. POEMS  FROM  AN  ISRAELI  PRISON.  Intro. By Israel Shahak. New York: KNOW Books, 1973.  Available from Abe Books.

“Do you remember your panic . . . .” (Samih Al-Qasim)

SELECTED NEWS OF THE DAY

After setting fire to olive fields in West Bank village, Israeli settlers return to chop down trees

WAFA
September 5, 2019
Extremist Israeli settlers last night chopped down Palestinian-owned olive trees in Burin village, in the northern occupied West Bank district of Nablus, only days after they set fire to other trees in the same fields, reported Ghassan Daghlas, a Palestinian official who monitors settlement activity.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ He told WAFA that a number of settlers from the illegal settlement of Yitzhar sneaked into the land in the village during the night and started to cut down the trees.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ He pointed out that the settlers were riding motorcycles in the area, part of which has been seized by the settlers and planted with grape vines.  More . . . .

Switzerland should not bow to Israeli pressure to prevent war criminals’ prosecution, Euro-Med says

WAFA
September 5, 2019
The Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor (Euro-Med) today called on the Swiss federal parliament not to bow to Israeli pressure to suspend the Swiss criminal legislation authorizing the country’s courts to prosecute Israeli politicians and military figures involved in war crimes against Palestinians.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ The Euro-Med said in a statement that it views with a great concern the Israeli delegation’s visit to Switzerland, headed by Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz and accompanied by a legal team to pressure the authorities to suspend a criminal legislation allowing bringing lawsuits against Israeli commanders and soldiers involved in violations of human rights in the Palestinian territories.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙Switzerland was one of the first countries to include in its domestic legislation legal provisions allowing for the prosecution of major crimes perpetrators if they were not tried by the International Criminal Court.    More . . . .

MSF [Doctors without Borders]: Over 1,000 patients in Gaza suffering from ‘severe infections’ from gunshot wounds sustained in Great March of Return

Mondoweiss
Yumna Patel
September 4, 2019
In the year since the Great March of Return began, thousands of Palestinians, mostly young men, from the Gaza Strip have suffered life changing injuries at the hands of Israeli forces.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Now, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), which has been treating hundreds of Gazans wounded during protests, says it is “dealing with immense challenges” when treating patients who were shot by the army.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙According to a new report released by MSF, more than 1,000 Palestinians who were shot by the Israeli army over the past year have developed  “severe bone infections” that are becoming increasingly difficult to treat. More . . . .

The case of Mohammad El Halabi and the rabbit hole of Israeli “justice”

The Electronic Intifada
Amjad Ayman Yaghi
September 3, 2019
It’s been three years and there have been 119 court appearances. He has been separated from his family and lost his freedom. It’s been three years and there have been 119 court appearances. He has been separated from his family and lost his freedom . . . .   Mohammad El Halabi languishes in an Israeli prison, charged but not convicted, a Kafkaesque nightmare of the kind in which Israel – with its administrative detentions and separate laws for separate peoples – has become expert.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Mohammad was arrested on 15 June 2016 at the Erez checkpoint. He had been having meetings in Jerusalem at the offices of World Vision, a UK-headquartered global Christian charity for which he had worked some 10 years and whose Gaza program he had led since 2014.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Israel accused Mohammad of channeling World Vision money to Hamas, the movement that won the 2006 parliamentary elections and faced down a Fatah insurrection in Gaza the year after to leave it in charge of the occupied Gaza Strip. . . .
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ World Vision undertook a “forensic audit” of its spending in Gaza, and came up with nothing. In a February 2017 statement, the charity said its review had “not generated any concerns about diversion of World Vision resources”. . . .
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ The Australian government undertook its own investigation and concurred. In April 2017, the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) found no evidence to back up the Israeli charges. More . . . .

POEM OF THE DAY

“BUCHENWALD,”  BY SAMIH  AL-QASIM
Have you forgotten your shame at Buchenwald?
Do you remember your flames at Buchenwald?
Have you forgotten your love in the lexicon
of silence? Do you remember your panic―
at the reign of death, in the nightmare of time―
that the whole world
would become a Buchenwald?
Whether you’ve forgotten or not,
the dead’s images linger
among the wreaths of flowers,
and from the dismembered corpses
a hand emerges,
a nail in the palm and tattoo on the wrist―
a sign for the planet.
Do you remember? Or not?
Buchenwald― whether or not you’ve forgotten,
the images of the murdered
remain among the wreaths of flowers . . .

From Al-Qasim, Samih. SADDER  THAN  WATER.  New  and  Selected  Poems.  Trans. Nazih Kasis and Adina Hoffman. Jerusalem: Ibis Editions, 2008. Available.

“. . . You may take the last strip of my land. . .” (Samih al-Qasim)

SELECTED NEWS OF THE DAY

Anticipating Netanyahu’s visit, Israeli forces close down Hebron’s Old City

WAFA
September 4, 2019
Israeli forces today morning closed down Palestinian stores and ordered Palestinian students vacate their schools in Hebron’s Old City in anticipation of Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu’s visit.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Jamal Sa’afin, an activist with the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem, confirmed that Israeli forces tightened restrictions in Hebron’s old city, closing Palestinian stores along the area from al-Salaymeh to Tel Rumeida besides to Wadi al-Husayn and Jaber neighborhoods.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ He added that soldier ordered Palestinian students out of their schools in the old city, including Qurtuba School purportedly in preparation for the visit.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Netanyahu is set to deliver a speech at the Ibrahimi Mosque, which Jews refer to as the Cave of the Patriarchs, to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the 1919 al-Buraq Uprising. The city of Hebron, which houses the Ibrahimi Mosque, is home to roughly 160,000 Palestinian Muslims and about 800 notoriously aggressive Israeli settlers who live in compounds heavily guarded by Israeli troops.  More . . . . 

  • Netanyahu’s ‘visit’ to Hebron will not change its fact as an Arab Palestinian city
    WAFA
    By Bilal Ghaith
    September 03, 2019
    Palestinian activists called for receiving Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Hebron on Wednesday night with black flags on homes near the Ibrahimi mosque as observers, politicians and historians dismissed all allegations regarding the “visit” describing it as a provocation.
    ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ According to Maarive newspaper, Netanyahu will take part in a ritual in the Jewish settlement in the city on the steps of the Ibrahimi Mosque where the Palestinians were massacred in 1994 that left dozens dead at the hands of an extremist named Baruch Goldstein. An official ceremony will be held at the site to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the 1929 al-Buraq uprising. These rituals will be held in the presence of Netanyahu, government ministers and Likud Knesset members, on his first official visit to Hebron in 13 years.   More . . . .

Palestinian refugee students must not be incidental to humanitarian endeavours

Al-Hourriah
Ramona Wadi
September 4, 2019
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Despite financial setbacks caused by political agendas and misconduct allegations, the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) ensured that its schools opened on time for the new academic year. Commissioner General Pierre Krähenbühl described education as central to UNRWA’s mandate, yet the agency is not past attaching importance to symbolism and, despite its work, normalise the violence inherent in Israel’s settler-colonial project.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ The opening of the new school year in Silwan, for example, publicised due to renovation works carried out during the summer recess, was lauded by Krähenbühl. “This return to school is also a symbol of preserving normalcy and a safe learning environment,” he remarked.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ The safe learning environment rhetoric, favoured by international organisations, is replete with discrepancies, and can have severe repercussions. A joint statement published by UNICEF in January 2019 focuses on the impact of Israeli state and settler colonial violence as regards access to education and safety for Palestinian students. If there is still need for UN statements to remind us that children “should never be the target of violence and must not be exposed to any form of violence,” it stands to reason that Israel is not facing any deterrent to its destabilisation of Palestinian education.  More . . . .

West Bank village courts tourists with eggplant, stone terraces

Al-Monitor (Palestinian Pulse)
Ahmad Abu Amer
September 3, 2019
Locally grown eggplants have earned a significant place in the Palestinian cuisine, heritage and economy and is celebrated every summer in Battir, a historical village in the West Bank, 6.5 kilometers (4 miles) west of Bethlehem. Light purple, large or small but always fragrant, eggplants make up an essential part of the Palestinian kitchen from makdous, a pickled stuffed eggplant dish, to maqluba, a traditional dish with chicken, rice and eggplant.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ The annual Battir Eggplant Festival, which took place on Aug. 17-19, is not just an occasion to celebrate the popular crop; it highlights just how this historical village — known for its 4,000 years of terraced cultivation of vines and olives — has suffered, first by plans of an Israeli separation barrier that could have been built right across the historical terraces, then under the restriction of movement and nearby Israeli settlers.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Battir, located on the Green Line, won the 2011 UNESCO-Greece Melina Mercouri International Prize for the Safeguarding and Management of Cultural Landscapes. The site was recognized for aesthetic and symbolic value . . . .   In June 2014, the village was added to UNESCO’s list of World Heritage in Danger. The UN cultural body described the village as “a major Palestinian cultural landscape,” due to its complex and unique irrigation system.  More . . . .

Israel Confiscates Palestinian Lands To Expand Illegal Colonies In Bethlehem 

IMEMC News
September 4, 2019
The Israeli authorities in the occupied West Bank, issued three orders for the illegal annexation of Palestinian lands in Beit Jala city, Teqoua’ and Rashayda towns, in Bethlehem governorate, south of occupied Jerusalem in the West Bank.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Hasan Breijiyya, the coordinator of the Wall and Colonization Commission in Bethlehem, said the first Israeli order targets Palestinian lands in Basin 2 of the al-Makhrour area Beit Jala, west of Bethlehem, and are owned by residents from Beit Jala and al-Khader.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Breijiyya added that Israel wants to confiscate lands in that area to expand colonialist bypass road #60, linking between occupied Jerusalem and Gush Etzion colony, south of Bethlehem, which effectively means annexing hundreds of Dunams of Palestinian agricultural lands.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ The second order targets lands in the Rashayda village, east of Bethlehem, and aims at expanding Maali Amos illegal colony.  More . . . .

POEM OF THE DAY

“ENEMY  OF  THE  SUN,”  BY  SAMIH  AL-QASIM

I may―if you wish―lose my livelihood
I may sell my shirt and bed.
I may work as a stone cutter,
A street sweeper, a porter.
I may clean your stores
Or rummage your garbage for food.
I may lie down hungry,
O enemy of the sun,
But
I shall not compromise
And to the last pulse in my veins
I shall resist.

You may take the last strip of my land,
Feed my youth to prison cells.
You may plunder my heritage.
|You may burn my books, my poems,
Or feed my flesh to the dogs.
You may spread a web of terror
On the roofs of my village.
O enemy of the sun,
But
I shall not compromise
And to the last pulse in my veins
I shall resist.

You may put out the light in my eyes
You may deprive me of my mother’s kisses.
You may curse my father, my people.
You may distort my history.
You may deprive my children of a smile
And of life’s necessities.
You may fool my friends with a borrowed face.
You may build walls of hatred around me.
You may glue my eyes to humiliations,
O enemy of the sun,
But
I shall not compromise
And to the last pulse in my veins
I shall resist.
O enemy of the sun
The decorations are raised at the port,
The ejaculations fill the air,
A glow in the hearts,
And in the horizon
A sail is seen
Challenging the wind
And the depths.
It is Ulysses
Returning home
From the sea of loss

It is the return of the sun,
Of my exiled ones
And for her sake, and his
I swear
I shall not compromise
And to the last pulse in my veins
I shall resist.
Resist―and resist.

From: Aruri, Naseer and Edmund Ghareeb, eds. ENEMY  OF  THE  SUN:  POETRY  OF  THE  PALESTINIAN  RESISTANCE. Washington, DC: Drum and Spear Press, 1970.