“The earth is closing in on us . . .” (Mahmoud Darwish)

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SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY
. . .

| ISRAELI  SETTLERS  HANG  POSTERS  CALLING  FOR  KILLING  PALESTINIAN  PRESIDENT   
Israeli extreme Jewish groups hung posters of the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas at the Huwwara crossroads in southern Nablus, in the northern occupied West Bank, on Tuesday, calling for his assassination.    [. . . .] The posters read “supporter of terrorists” and called for killing (assassinating) the Palestinian President.    ___The incident comes as member of the Likud party at the Israeli Knesset, Oren Hazan, had called for imposing closure on the Ramallah and al-Bireh district until the suspect of an attack carried out in the Ofra illegal Israeli settlement, two days ago, is detained.    [. . . .] Israeli forces raided several institutions in Ramallah, including the Palestinian Authority (PA)-owned Wafa News and Information Agency, allegedly searching for the suspect.    More. . .
. . . . Related  Palestinian journalists, officials protest Israeli army raid of WAFA news agency office  
. . . . Related  Palestinians kidnapped, civilian homes ransacked by Israeli forces
. . . . Related  Israel shoots dozens of Palestinians in the 19th maritime march in Gaza
. . . . Related  Palestinian shot, killed by Israeli forces in Hebron
RAMALAWI:  THE  OCCUPATION  HAS  ISSUED  A  DECISION  RESTRICTING  VACCINE  IMPORTS  TO  PALESTINE
The Israeli occupation authorities issued a decree banning the Palestinian Ministry of Health from importing vaccines, starting from the beginning of the year 2019, said Undersecretary of the Ministry of Health Dr. Asaad Ramlawi.    ___In an interview with the official Voice of Palestine radio station, Dr. Ramlawi said that the Israeli decree put the supply of vaccinations at risk; the Ministry of Health has resources for just two months of vaccine provision, after which there will be a serious problem if the issue is not resolved.    More . . .
. . . . Related  Mizan Center: Eight patients died due to Israeli travel restriction
| OMAN  ALLOWS  ISRAELI  PLANES  TO  USE  ITS  AIRSPACE    More . . .
. . . . Related  Qatari envoy says Gaza airport was proposed, Israel unresponsive
. . . . Related  Britain’s unreported military alliance with Israel
. . . . Related  World Zionist Organization Used Israeli Public Funds to Finance Illegal Outpost
. . . . Related  [American] Evangelical Christian Groups Invested $65 Million to Jewish Settlements

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .
|  WHY  IS  ISRAEL  FORGING  SECRET  TIES  WITH  SUDAN?
The past two months saw Israeli official visits to several Arab countries. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited Qatar Oct. 26 and met with Sultan Qaboos bin Said to discuss the situation in the region. On the same day, Israeli Sports Minister Miri Regev touched down in Abu Dhabi as part of the Israeli judo team participating in international competitions there. Israeli Minister of Transportation Yisrael Katz arrived Nov. 4 in Muscat for an international conference on global transportation.    ___Moreover, Bahrain invited Nov. 25 Israeli Minister of Economy Eli Cohen for a visit in April to attend a technology conference. On the same day, Chadian President Idriss Debby visited Israel, in a bid to strengthen ties between the two countries, while Chad is hoping to obtain Israeli-made weapons and security assistance as well as benefit from Israeli technologies.    ____Amid these Arab-Israeli developments, Israel’s Channel 2 reported Nov. 25 that Netanyahu’s next Arab visit will be Sudan, without specifying a date. The visit comes within the framework of efforts to create short air routes from Israel to South America via Sudan.    More . . .    

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

“THE  EARTH  IS  CLOSING  IN  ON  US,”  BY  MAHMOUD  DARWISH

The earth is closing in on us, pushing us through the last passage, and
. . . . we tear off our limbs to pass through.
The earth is squeezing us. I wish we were its wheat so we could die
. . . . and live again. I wish the earth was our mother
So she’d be kind to us. I wish we were pictures on the rocks for our
. . . . dreams to carry
As mirrors. We saw the faces of those to be killed by the last of us
. . . . in the last defense of the soul.
We cried over their children’s feast. We saw the faces of those who’ll
. . . . throw our children
Out of the windows of this last space. Our star will hang up mirrors.
Where should we go after the last frontiers? Where should the birds
. . . .fly after the last sky?
Where should the plants sleep after the last breath of air? We will
. . . . write our names with scarlet steam.
We will cut off the hand of the song to be finished by our flesh.
We will die here, here in the last passage. Here and here our blood
. . . . will plant its olive tree.

–From Adonis; Mahmud Darwish; and Samih al-Qasim. VICTIMS OF A MAP: A BILINGUAL ANTHOLOGY OF ARABIC POETRY.  Trans. Abdullah al-Udhari. London: Saqi Books, 2008. Available from Barnes and Noble.

“Have you forgotten your shame. . .” (Samih Al-Qasim)

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Esther Bejarano, Auschwitz survivor, 2015. (Photo: Uwe Zucchi DPA- German News Agency)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .
|  TENTS,  SCHOOL  FURNITURE  SEIZED  IN  SOUTH  OF  WEST  BANK
Israeli soldiers raided a village in the south Hebron hills on Monday and seized tents and furniture brought for a local school the Israeli army had demolished last week, according to the local education department.    ___The Israeli army demolished the school built near the town of Samou, south of the West Bank, on Wednesday and seized its furniture after destroying the grounds.    ___Residents, along with the Ministry of Education and solidarity groups, brought tents and furniture to rebuild it, but an army force broke into the area during the night and seized everything.    [. . . .] The school, referred to as Challenge School 13, serves 35 students up to grade six from two Palestinian communities living in that area. Its construction had cost 40,000 euros.    More . . .
. . . . Related  IOF raids homes, kidnaps citizens in different W. Bank areas
. . . . Related  Thousands of settlers storm different West Bank sites for rituals
. . . . Related  Israeli settlers break into Palestinian archaeological site [Beita Town, Nablus]
. . . . Related  Israeli forces raid outskirts of Ramallah, seize surveillance cameras
. . . . Related  Farmer Mansour Marayta mourns his stolen land
. . . . Related  IOF storm Ramallah villages after shooting of Ofra settlers
|  SCORES  OF  AMPUTATIONS  IN  GAZA  AS  ISRAELI  TROOPS  AIM  AT  LEGS
Israeli forces deployed along the fence that separates Israel from the Gaza Strip have fired live rounds at rock-throwing Palestinian protesters ever since demonstrations demanding the right to return began in March.    ___And for eight months, Israeli snipers have targeted one part of the body more than any other – the legs.    ___The Israeli army says it is responding to weekly assaults on its frontier by Palestinians armed with stones, grenades and firebombs. It says it opens fire only as a last resort and considers firing at the lower limbs an act of restraint.    More . . .
. . . . Related  Report: Palestinian Prisoners In Israel Jails Suffer Medical Negligence
. . . . Related  Palestinians injured after Israeli settlers break into Joseph’s Tomb in Nablus
|  SENIOR  ISRAELI  LAWMAKER  CALLS  FOR  KILLING  ALL  PALESTINIANS
Chair of the Defence Committee at the Israeli Parliament Avi Dichter has called for killing all the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.    ___As he was commenting on the peaceful protests of the Great March of Return taking place along the eastern fence of the Gaza Strip, he said: “The Israeli army has enough bullets for every Palestinian.”    ___Dichter is a senior member of the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s ruling Likud Party, which is a right wing one. [. . . .] He later added: “The number [of peaceful Palestinian protesters] killed does not mean anything because they are just Nazis anyhow.”    More . . .

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .
WHY  AUSCHWITZ  SURVIVOR  ESTHER  BEJARANO  SUPPORTS  BDS
Esther Bejarano learned to love music from her father Rudolf Loewy, a cantor in the Jewish community of the southwest German town of Saarlouis, where she was born in 1924.  That was lucky for her, because music literally saved her life.     ___Bejarano recently spoke to The Electronic Intifada at her home in Hamburg.  [. . . .] After the war, Bejarano emigrated to Palestine, but her aversion to Israel’s policies towards the Palestinians eventually led her to return to Germany.  [. . . .] But Bejarano knows no fear and continues to raise her voice, calling Israel’s government “fascist” and saying she supports BDS – boycott, divestment and sanctions – if it helps challenge Israel’s persecution of Palestinians.   More . . .

NOTICES  FROM  ORGANIZATIONS. . . .
| MEDICAL  AID  FOR  PALESTINIANS
Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP) works for the health and dignity of Palestinians living under occupation and as refugees.  We provide immediate medical aid to those in great need, while also developing local capacity and skills to ensure the long-term development of the Palestinian healthcare system.  Donate

POEM  FOR  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 from Barnes and Noble.

 

“. . . An Arab who has protested at the suffering of his people . . .” (Fouzi el-Asmar)

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Destruction of home of Murad Hushema in Wadi Qadum, East Jerusalem. (Photo: Palestine News Network, Dec. 8, 2018)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .
OCHA:  ‘INCREASE  IN  ISRAELI  DEMOLITIONS,  VANDALISM  AGAINST  PALESTINIANS’
Citing the lack of building permits, the Israeli authorities demolished or seized 33 Palestinian-owned structures in Area C of the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, including two structures provided as humanitarian assistance, United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in the occupied Palestinian territory confirmed in its report covering the period from November 20th to December 3rd.    ___OCHA’s biweekly “Protection of Civilians” report said that Israeli settler violence and vandalism in the West Bank have been on the rise since the beginning of 2018, with a weekly average of five attacks resulting in injuries or property damage, compared with an average of three in 2017.     More . . .
. . . . Related  Rain and Israeli tunnels [under homes] cause land cave-in in Silwan
. . . . Related  Israel commits 24 violations against journalists in November
. . . . Related  Settlers, led by the Israeli Minister of Agriculture, charge into Al-Aqsa Mosque
|  IOF  ARREST  10  PALESTINIANS  IN  WEST  BANK  RAIDS 
Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) on Sunday overnight launched a campaign of raids and arrests in cities all over the occupied West Bank.    ___IOF raided Balata and Askar refugee camps in Nablus, northern West Bank, where they arrested four men, including ex-prisoners. Israeli army patrols also stormed Salem, Asira, Al-Lubban towns in the vicinity of the city.    ___In addition, Israeli settlers, under under the protection of the Israeli army, have stormed the area of ​​Sada Al-Fahs in Hebron [. . . .]    More . . .
. . . . Related  Citizens rally in al-Khalil in solidarity with female prisoners
|  GAZA:  19TH  MARITIME  RALLY  TO  KICK  OFF  MONDAY  
The National Committee for Breaking Gaza Siege has announced the launch of the 19th maritime rally on the coast and in Gaza waters on Monday.    ___A spokesman for the Committee told a news conference on Sunday morning that the rally would be staged under the slogan “Resistance to freedom” to confirm the Palestinian people’s adherence to all forms of resistance.    ___The spokesman called on all citizens in Gaza to participate in the rally in order to send a message to the international community, the US administration and the Israeli occupation state stating that “the Palestinian people’s resistance of the occupation is legitimate.”    More . . .
. . . . Related  Egyptian security delegation to visit Gaza
. . . . Related  Former Israel PM ordered targeting densely populated areas in 2008 Gaza war

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .
  A  DECADE  AFTER  HOLY  LAND  CONVICTION [Dallas, Texas],  PALESTINE  ADVOCACY  IN  U.S.  STILL  UNDERMINED
Ten years ago, United States federal prosecutors shut down what was then the biggest Muslim charity in the country, a foundation supporting Palestinians refugees. Authorities seized all of the Holy Land Foundation’s assets and put five of its leaders in prison.    ___ Over the past decade, the case has set into motion a broad and powerful effort to criminalize and sanction Palestine advocacy in the United States. It created a chilling effect that forces many Americans to think twice before supporting Palestinian or Muslim charities to this day.    More . . .
| ON  THE  10TH  ANNIVERSARY
By  Imprisoned  Humanitarian  Activist  Shukri  Abu  Baker  of  The  Holy Land  Foundation (Dallas, Texas, USA)
Sick, is all I’d been feeling on that cold Monday night. Some hours earlier, the ominous air in that courtroom, the timid gestures, the awful anticipation, the dreadful verdicts… all was too much to stomach. I cringed every time the judge’s voice rang “guilty” in my head; his gloating only amplified by the claustrophobic compactness in my prison cell.    More . . .
. . . . And  Who  Is  Not  Special?   [. . . .] This is why it’s wrong to spew insults at others from a place of power just because one can. . .    More . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . .

“BECAUSE  I  AM  AN  ARAB,”  BY  FOUZI  EL-ASMAR

I sit in preventive detention.
The reason, see, is that I am an Arab.
An Arab who has refused to sell his soul
who has always striven, sir, for freedom.
An Arab who has protested at the suffering
of his people
Who has carried with him the hope
of a just peace
Who has spoken out against death
at every corner
Who has called for and has lived
a life of brotherhood.
That is why I sit in preventive detention
Because I carried on the struggle
And because I am an Arab.

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

“. . .hate is not love and love is freedom . . .” (Ramzy Baroud)

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Sunrise, The Great March of Return. (Photo: Palestinian Information Center, December 7, 2018)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .
  ON  37TH    FRIDAY  OF  GREAT  MARCH  OF  RETURN  AND  BREAKING  SIEGE,  ISRAELI  FORCES  WOUND  72  CIVILIANS,  INCLUDING  11  CHILDREN,  1  WOMAN  AND  2  PARAMEDICS
On Friday evening, 07 December 2018, Israeli forces wounded 72 Palestinian civilians, including 11 children, 1 woman and 2 paramedics in the peaceful demonstrations in the eastern Gaza Strip despite the decreasing intensity of the demonstrations there for the sixth week consecutively and absence of most means usually used during the demonstrations since the beginning of the Return and Breaking the Siege March 7 months ago.    ___According to observations by PCHR’s fieldworkers, for the fifth week since the beginning of the Return March on 30 March 2018, the demonstrators abstained from burning tires while the attempts to cross the border fence and throw stones and incendiary balloons were completely absent.     More . . .
. . . . Related   Palestinian Forced to Demolish his Home in East Jerusalem
. . . . Related   Child injured in settler attack on Palestinian family
. . . . Related   Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (29 November – 05 December 2018)
. . . . Related   41 violations committed against Palestinian content on social media
| PALESTINE  SIGNS  10  COOPERATION  AGREEMENTS  WITH  FRANCE;  PREMIER  APPRECIATES  FRENCH  SUPPORT
Palestine and France signed 10 cooperation agreements on Friday during a visit for Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah to Paris and his meeting with his French counterpart Edouard Philippe.    ___Hamdallah thanked France during a joint press conference with Philippe for its support for Palestine on all levels and its support for the two-state solution.    ___”As I expressed in our discussions with Prime Minister Philippe today, we are grateful for the French positions which demonstrate strong commitments to deepen and develop our partnership and cooperation and I would like to emphasize that this is also our commitment,” said Hamdallah.    More . . .
. . . . Related  FM Malki: France agreed in principle to cooperate in opening of the Paris Economic Protocol
. . . . Related  One year on: The political and human impact of Trump’s Jerusalem decision
DECEMBER  9  MARKS  31ST  ANNIVERSARY  FOR  OUTBREAK  OF  FIRST  UPRISING  –  THE  STONES  INTIFADA
On DECEMBER 8, 1987
, an Israeli settler identified as Herzel Boukiza rammed his vehicle into Palestinian workers returning home through Erez/Beit Hanoun checkpoint between Israel and Gaza. Four workers from Jabalya and Maghazi in Gaza were killed.    ___The next day, and following the funerals of the four, angry Palestinians took to the streets in Jabalya to protest the premeditated attack. The protests then quickly spread to the rest of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank where thousands of Palestinians took to the streets and engaged the heavily armed Israeli soldiers with stones in what has become to be known as the stones uprising or Intifada.   [. . . .] a total of 1550 Palestinians were killed, over 70,000 injured more than half of them suffered permanent disabilities, between 100,000 to 200,000 were detained. . .      More . . .

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .
| ISRAEL  DISPLACES,  LOCKS  UP  AND  KILLS  PALESTINIAN  CHILDREN
By Mohammad Balawi
What does it take to make someone wield a screwdriver and attack a fully armed, well-trained, well-protected soldier, knowing that if he got injured no ambulance would take him to hospital, and if he is lucky he will spend the best years of his life behind bars?    [. . . .] Consider a 16-year-old who has lived all his life under occupation. . . Given how he has grown up, would it make sense for him to attack a fully grown man armed to his teeth with a screwdriver or a kitchen knife, or throw a stone at his tormentors?    ___Israeli occupiers have a peculiar way of explaining this situation. These teens, according to them, are no more than terrorists . . .  lured by money, instigated by terror organisations and encouraged by the leniency of Israeli democracy and the judiciary system, even though Israeli authorities demolish the attacker’s family home and in many cases leave him on the ground bleeding to death.    More . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . .   

“MY  NAME  IS  HERMAN  WALLACE,”  BY  RAMZY  BAROUD

I am a black Palestinian,
South African,
Vietnamese . . .
My name is Mohammed,
Fatima,
Wallace,
Mandela,
Durra,
King . . .
Resistance is my creed.
Prophets found their sanctuary when
they were shot on my soil.
By Israeli bullets
In the Battle of Dien Bien Phu
And just when you think I am defeated,
My fist will rise from the charred earth,
In a painting by Naji Ali,
Through the thick walls of Louisiana State Penitentiary
In the streets of Hanoi,
Amid the rubble of a Gaza mosque.
Even on my dying bed.
I speak many tongues,
And have many names.
But my face is always my face.
On my forehead stitched the memory of pain.
I smile still.
And teach my son never to hate
Because hate is not love
And love is freedom.
I am a Palestinian.
My name is Herman Wallace
And I will always die free.

From: I  REMEMBER  MY  NAME:  POETRY  BY  SAMAH  SABAWI,  RAMZY  BAROUD,  JEHAN  BSEISO.  Vacy Vlazna, editor. London: Novum Publishing, 2016. Available from publisher.

“. . . the stars Like refugees scattered . . .” (Rashid Hussein)

(NOTE: A group of articles about the Partitioning of Palestine prompted by yesterday’s UNGA votes.)

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Palestinian Refugee Camp, c. 1948. (Photo: Institute for Palestine Studies, Journal of Palestine Studies)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .
|  UNGA  VOTES  AGAINST  ANTI-HAMAS  RESOLUTION
The United Nations General Assembly failed to pass an anti-Hamas resolution, on Thursday, serving a crushing defeat to both the United States and Israel after weeks of diplomacy.     ___While the draft resolution, which was proposed by outgoing UN envoy, Nikki Haley, received 87 votes in favor, it fell short of the two-thirds super-majority needed to pass.     ___Additionally, 57 opposed it and 33 countries abstained and another 23 were not present.    ___Israeli leaders still praised the outcome as a “show of wide support” for their position against the Hamas movement.     More . . .
|   UN  VOTES  IN  FAVOR  OF  RESOLUTION  TO  END  ISRAELI  OCCUPATION  OF  PALESTINE 
The UN General Assembly voted in favor of a resolution calling to end the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories, current President of the UN General Assembly Maria Espinosa said in a statement.    ___The Comprehensive, Just and Lasting Peace in the Middle East resolution sponsored by Ireland urges to end the occupation of Palestinian territories by the state of Israel and reaffirms its support for the two-state solution.    More . . .   UN Press Release

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .
|  THE  MYTH  OF  THE  U.N.  CREATION  OF  ISRAEL
By Jeremy R. Hammond
There is a widely accepted belief that United Nations General Assembly Resolution 181 “created” Israel, based upon an understanding that this resolution partitioned Palestine or otherwise conferred legal authority or legitimacy to the declaration of the existence of the state of Israel. However, despite its popularity, this belief has no basis in fact, as a review of the resolution’s history and examination of legal principles demonstrates incontrovertibly.   More . . .
|   70  YEARS  LATER,  ISRAEL  CONTINUES  TO  IGNORE  WHAT  IT  DOESN’T  LIKE  IN  PARTITION  RESOLUTION   
By Ian Williams
IT IS NOW 70 years since the U.N. General Assembly voted for Resolution 181 to partition Palestine between an Arab and a Jewish state. . .    The partition of Mandatory Palestine and dispossession of its people are the original sins of the world organization when it collectively overrode the very principles it had just written into its charter.    ___The Arab side understandably boycotted the U.N.’s Special Committee on Palestine. After all, they were being invited to help map out the cuts for their own vivisection and did not agree with the process. . .   and the Palestinian absence allowed the Zionist side to shape the agenda and the details for the committee members—who, minutes show, were already predisposed to see the Jewish refugees and settlers in a very sympathetic light.    More . . .
|  THE  INTERNATIONAL  COMMUNITY’S  ROLE  IN  ISRAELI  HISTORY 
by Hillel Schenker
The fact that after over 20 years of fruitless negotiations the Palestinians have chosen an internationalization strategy to try to achieve national independence is considered by the current Israeli government and its supporters to be illegitimate “unilateral action” that bypasses the need for bilateral negotiations with Israel to resolve the conflict. What those opponents of internationalization are conveniently forgetting is the major role that internationalization has played in Israeli history.     More . . .
| THE  UNITED  NATIONS  AND  PALESTINE:  PARTITION  AND  ITS  AFTERMATH
By Phyllis Bennis  
[. . . .] The bi-polar U.S.-Soviet agreement on the partition of Palestine, and parallel efforts by Washington and Moscow to establish and maintain close ties with the nascent Israeli state, insured that neither the UN nor any other international institution was likely to respond to the Israeli capture of far more of 1947 Palestine than it was granted in Resolution 181. The partition agreement was ostensibly to include the creation of a Palestinian Arab state as well as a special international regime for Jerusalem under the UN Trusteeship Council. But those conditions were never met. Establishing UNRWA to alleviate some of the humanitarian crisis facing the Palestinians expelled from their homes was the primary response.    More . . .
|  THE  ORIGINS  AND  EVOLUTION  OF  THE  PALESTINE  PROBLEM  1917-1988 – Prepared for, and under the guidance of, the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People – UNITED NATIONS, New York, 1990

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

“TENT  #50  (SONG  OF  A  REFUGEE),”  BY  RASHID  HUSSEIN
Tent #50, on the left, is my new world,
Shared with me by my memories:
Memories as verdant as the eyes of spring.
Memories like the eyes of a woman weeping,
And memories the color of milk and love!

Two doors has my tent, two doors like two wounds
One leads to the other tents, wrinkle-browed
Like clouds no longer able to weep;
And the second ― a rent in the ceiling, leading
To the skies,
Revealing the stars
Like refugees scattered,
And like them, naked.

Also the moon is trudging there
Downcast and weary as the UNRWA,
Yellow as if it were the UNRWA
Under a load of yellow cheese for the refugees.

Tent #50, on the left, that is my present.
But it is too cramped to contain a future!
And ― “Forget!” they say, but how can I?

Teach the night to forget to bring
Dreams showing me my village
And teach the wind to forget to carry to me
The aroma of apricots in my fields!
And teach the sky, too, to forget to rain.

Only then, I may forget my country.

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 abebooks.com

 

“. . . We go on dreaming oh, dream of ours . . .” (Mahmoud Darwish)

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United Nations Relief Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees 
(UNRWA) educates more than 500,000 Palestinian children in 711 schools.
(Photo: UNRWA website)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .
| ISRAELI  FORCES  DETAIN  14  PALESTINIANS  FROM  WEST  BANK
Israeli forces Thursday detained 14 Palestinians during multiple overnight raids across the West Bank, said Palestine Prisoner’s Society (PPS) in a statement.    ___Israeli forces detained six people during several raids in the Ramallah-district villages of al-Mughayyir, Kafr Ni’ma and Saffa.    ___This came as Israeli military jeeps raided the An-Nahda Street in Ramallah, where soldiers ransacked a printing shop and seized its equipment and publicity materials. . .  Meanwhile, Israeli forces detained two Palestinians after breaking into their homes in Hebron city. . . Forces carried out two similar raids in Halhul town and al-Arroub refugee camp, north of Hebron, detaining three Palestinians. . .    More . . .
. . . . Related  Israeli  forces  set  up  iron  gate  at  entrance  of  Ramallah-district  village 
. . . . Related  Israeli  occupation  grabs  Palestinian  lands  to  expand  illegal  outpost
|  AL-MALKI  PRESENTS  COMPLAINT  TO  ICC  OVER  INVESTIGATION  IN  ISRAELI  WAR  CRIMES
Palestinian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Riyad al-Malki, presented a complaint, on Wednesday, to the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Fatou Bensouda, for procrastination in opening an investigation into Israeli war crimes against the Palestinian people.    ___. . .  al-Malki expressed his disappointment, to Bensouda, with the initial study carried out by the prosecutor’s office on the situation in Palestine.    ___Al-Malki’s comments were made during a meeting with Bensouda on the sidelines of the 17th session of the Assembly of States Parties of the ICC. . . .    More . . .
. . . . Related  Attorney  General  elected  to  ICC  committee
. . . . Related  Jordan:  Aqsa  Mosque  cannot  be  divided  or  shared 
. . . . Related  Resheq:  Int’l  community  in  front  of  real  test  at  General  Assembly
. . . . Related  Irish  Senate  approves  bill  criminalizing  goods  made  in  settlements
GAZA  YOUTH  LAUNCH  CAMPAIGN  TO  HIGHLIGHT  GROWING  POLLUTION  CRISIS
Hundreds of Palestinian youth in the occupied Gaza Strip formed a human chain along the blockaded enclave’s only seaport yesterday to draw attention to the growing pollution crisis.    ___According to CGTN, the initiative – named “It will come back to you” – was “part of a campaign aimed at protecting the basin of the Gaza harbor from growing levels of pollution . . .”    [. . . . ] According to Hilles, Israel’s blockade is preventing Palestinians in Gaza from “building waste recycling plants to get rid of the accumulating waste pumped into the sea every day.”    More . . .
. . . . Related  The  Environment  and  Development  in  Palestine  Harmony  or  Discord? By Ramzi Sansur

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .
| TWO  DECADES  OF  RESILIENCE,  ADDED  TO  THE  PREVIOUS  FIVE  DECADES
By: Sam Bahour
In 1976, a report on Palestine declared, “The Palestinian people today face problems of formidable proportions.” That was the understatement of the century! Here we are, about to enter 2019, facing a daunting reality and an even more daunting future. One could say, The Palestinian people face problems of formidable proportions every day.    ___In the nitty-gritty of the here and now in Palestine, one is consumed by what seems to be a never-ending series of challenges brought about by our military occupier, Israel, and to a lesser degree, our governing body, the Palestinian government.   [. . . .] All analysis aside, I can guarantee you this: Palestinians will not collectively vanish. We are here to stay, forever.    More . . .

NOTICES  FROM  ORGANIZATIONS. . . .
| UNRWAUSA – The United States government has said no to helping Palestine refugees. But we won’t.     .. Due to the United States government’s recent decision to cut all funding to UNRWA, the Agency faces an unprecedented funding crisis.   ___It’s going to take all of us standing together to fund UNRWA’s work so the Agency can continue serving Palestine refugees in the Gaza Strip, the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon.    ___Our common humanity depends on it.   ..  Donate . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

“WE  FEAR  FOR  A  DREAM,”  by  MAHMOUD  DARWISH

We fear for a dream: don’t believe our butterflies.
Believe our sacrifices if you like, believe the compass of a horse, our
. . . need for the north.
We have raised the beaks of our souls to you. Give us a grain of
. . . wheat, our dream. Give it, give it to us.
We have offered you the shores since our coming to the earth born of
. . . an idea or of the adultery of two waves on a rock in the sand.
Nothing. Nothing. We float on a foot of air. The air breaks up within
. . . ourselves.
We know you have abandoned us, built for us prisons and called them
. . . the paradise of oranges.
We go on dreaming. Oh, desired dream. We steal our days from those
. . . extolled by our myths.
We fear for you, we’re afraid of you. We are exposed together, you
. . . shouldn’t believe our wives’ patience.
They will weave two dresses, then sell the bones of the loved ones to
. . . buy a glass of milk for our children.
We fear for a dream, from him, from ourselves. We go on dreaming
. . . oh, dream of ours. Don’t believe our butterflies!

– – – From VICTIMS  OF  A  MAP:  A  Bilingual  Anthology  of  Arabic  Poetry.
Trans. by Abdullah al-Udhari. London: Saqi Books, 1984 & 2005.

“. . . The stranger awakens in his exile, his homeland. . .” (Mourid Barghouti)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .
|  GERMANY  ALLOCATES  €55  MILLION  TO  PALESTINIAN  DEVELOPMENT  PROJECTS
Germany allocated 55 million Euros to be dispersed to Palestinian development projects in the occupied West Bank and the besieged Gaza Strip in 2019.    ___Klaus Kramer, the Head of Division in the German Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development, told reporters in Ramallah that it was agreed, in coordination with various ministries in the Palestinian government, that the money will go to mainly three sectors: sustainable economic development, infrastructure such as water projects and local governance, including projects with municipalities.    ___While the funds in form of grants will go mainly to these three areas, which are government-run projects, other development projects in other fields will also get part of the money, such as projects carried out by civil society organizations.     More . . .    ..
. . . . Related  PEA rejects Israeli threats against renewable energy projects
. . . . Related  Israel plans to turn settlements in Salfit into one large city
. . . . Related  Israel demolishes Palestinian school in southern Hebron
. . . . Related  US envoy Greenblatt: ‘We stand with Israel’
. . . . Related  Is the Israeli military operation along the border with Lebanon for real?
|  ISRAELI  FORCES  DETAIN  23  PALESTINIANS  FROM  WEST  BANK         
Israeli forces Wednesday detained 23 Palestinians, including three former prisoners and a 14-year-old minor, during multiple overnight raids across the West Bank, said Palestine Prisoner’s Society (PPS).    ___Israeli military jeeps raided Salfit city, where they detained two Palestinians. . .   ___Israeli forces also detained two other Palestinians in separate two raids into Iskaka and Qarawat Bani Hassan, east and west of Salfit city.    ___In Ramallah district, military jeeps raided Deir Nitham village, northwest of Ramallah, where soldiers detained three Palestinians. . . .   More . . .    ..
. . . .  Related  Over 2,000 Israelis break into 3rd holiest site in Islam in November
|  ISRAELI  COURT  RULES  AGAINST  GAZA  FATHER  WHO  LOST  3  DAUGHTERS  IN  2008  WAR
An Israeli court yesterday ruled against a Palestinian from Gaza whose three daughters were killed by the Israeli army during its 2008 war on the Strip, denying Israel’s responsibility for their deaths.    ___Izzeldin Abuelaish, a 63-year-old doctor from Jabalia in the north of the Gaza Strip, lost three daughters and a niece during Israel’s 2008-2009 war on the besieged enclave. His story was made famous after he discovered his children had been killed while speaking to an Israeli TV channel, with his suffering broadcast live across the country and later shared widely around the world.    More . . .
. . . . Related  MOFA demands ICC to try Israeli killers of Tulkarem martyr
. . . . Related  ‘Gender violence pushed Jewish, Palestinian women into a corner — together’

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .
|  PROFESSIONAL  SOLIDARITY  WITH  PALESTINE:  A  MENTAL  HEALTH  IMPERATIVE
By Dr. Samah Jabr
In the field of medicine, we often speak of the social determinants of health. In Palestine, not only social, but political determinants of health have a grave impact on the well-being and mental health of our community. I am not just talking about the political blackmail through recent blatant cuts of the US administration of millions of US dollars from East Jerusalem hospitals and defunding UNRWA educational and health services, but also through the daily realities of dismal work opportunities, a vacuum of leadership, the threat of political detention haunting our youth, and the pervasive experiences of loss and grief. Centuries of political oppression has created a cascade of damage to collective identity and individuals’ personalities.    ___The ongoing siege of Gaza is only a single dramatization of how the political realities of occupation deliberately destroy the quality of life for Palestinians.    More . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

“HOW  ARE  YOU?”  BY  MOURID  BARGHOUTI
Waiting for the school bus,
watching his breath turn into mist near his nose
in the icy morning,
the schoolboy’s fingers are frozen,
too stiff to make a fist.

On the pillow of regret,
the defeated soldier
lazily tries to get up,
raising his broken toothbrush
to his teeth.

Early or late,
The stranger awakens in his exile, his homeland.
Their clothes, their car number pates, their trees,
their quarrels, their love, their land, their sea
belong to them.
His memories are like rats gathering on his doormat,
new and warm
in front of his closed door.

On a lonely pillow,
the mother throws a quick glance
at the bed of her elder son,
made for the final time
and empty, forever.

A voice from the neighbouring window is heard:
“Hello, good morning, how are you?”
“Hello, good morning, we’re fine,
we’re fine!”

From: Barghouti, Mourid. Midnight and other Poems. Trans. By Radwa Ashour. Todmorden, Lancashire, UK: Arc Books, 2008. Available from B&N.

“. . . a dream beyond, half formed, half grasped . . .” (Reja-e Busailah)

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Mohamed Hebali, killed today by Israeli soldiers. (Photo: The Palestinian Information Center, Dec. 4, 2018)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .
|  DISABLED  PALESTINIAN  YOUTH  KILLED  BY  ISRAELI  MILITARY  IN  TULKAREM  RAID 
A Palestinian young man with special needs was fatally shot by the Israeli occupation army at daybreak Tuesday after the latter rolled into Tulkarem province, in the northern West Bank, and violently attacked Palestinian protesters.    ___Local sources said Mohamed Hebali, aged 22, was killed shortly after Israeli soldiers stormed Tulkarem and randomly unleashed spates of bullet fire.    ___Mohamed was hit with bullets in his chest and head.    More . . .
. . . . Related  250,000 people with disabilities in Palestine
. . . . Related  Children, students kidnapped by Israeli army in West Bank sweep
. . . . Related  9 Palestinians injured as Israel suppresses 18th naval march
. . . . Related  Palestinians suffer tear-gas suffocation during Israeli raid to Beit Ummar
ISRAELI  FORCES  DEMOLISH  COMMERCIAL  STRUCTURES  IN  NORTHERN  WEST  BANK  

Israeli forces Tuesday demolished several commercial structures in Hares village, west of Salfit in the northern West Bank, said a villager.    ___Fadi Suleiman, who owns one of the demolished structures, said that a large number of Israeli forces raided the village before a military bulldozer demolished a blacksmith workshop, a carpentry workshop and a laundry wash.    ___The structures were demolished purportedly for being built without a license from the so-called Israeli Civil Administration, in Area C, which accounts for 94 percent of the village’s land.  More . . .
. . . . Related  Israeli bulldozers raze lands in northern Gaza
. . . . Related  Palestinian family forced to demolish structures by Israeli occupation
. . . . Related  Israeli court rejects appeal to halt third demolition of Abu Hmaid family home
|  PALESTINIAN  LEADERSHIP  PRAISES  CANADA’S  COMMITMENT  TO  NOT  TRANSFER  ITS  EMBASSY  
Secretary General of the Palestine Liberation Organization’s (PLO) Executive Committee, Saeb Erekat, met with Canadian ambassadors, on Monday, and called on the Canadian government not to regard the independence of the State of Palestine with East Jerusalem as its capital on the 1967 borders and the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination as a “threat” to it.    ___Erekat met with the Canadian ambassadors to Palestine, Jordan and Israel, in the central occupied West Bank city of Jericho, to discuss the latest regional and international developments.    More . . .
. . . . Related  Haneyya reaches out to Turkish FM over US anti-resistance resolution
. . . . Related  Egypt proves itself a reliable mediator to Palestinians
. . . . Related  Israel launches military operation against ‘Hezbollah tunnels’

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .
CANADIAN  JEWISH  NEWS  PROMOTES  ‘TERROR  TOURISM’
By  Yves Engler
What should we make of a media outlet that praises those who join or give money to a foreign army, which occupies territory belonging to another people, terrorizes the local population by destroying houses, restricting their movement, subjecting them to military courts and shooting unarmed protesters?    ___What should we call the Canadian Jewish News, an unfailing flatterer of Canadians who join or finance a military subjugating Palestinians? Would “promoter of terror tourism” be an appropriate description?    ___Over the past month the CJN has published at least four pieces celebrating Canadian support for the Israeli military. On November 22 it reported, “Bayli Dukes, who recently won the Israel Defence Forces’ Award of Excellence for the Southern Command of the IDF, was a biology student at York University in Toronto less than two years ago. Tired of sitting on the couch and posting on Facebook about the situation in Israel, she decided there was more she could be doing.”    More . . .
| ISRAEL’S  NEW  WAR  OF  ATTRITION  ON  JERUSALEM’S  PALESTINIANS 
By Jonathan Cook
Czech president Milos Zeman offered Benjamin Netanyahu’s ultra-nationalist government a fillip during his visit to Israel last week. He inaugurated a cultural and trade center, Czech House, just outside Jerusalem’s Old City walls. . . .     At the opening, he expressed hope it would serve as a precursor to his country relocating its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.    [. . . .] It is this kind of endorsement that, of late, has emboldened Netanyahu’s government, the Israeli courts, Jerusalem officials and settler organisations to step up their combined assault on Palestinians in the Old City and its surrounding neighborhoods.    ___Israel has never hidden its ambition to seize control of East Jerusalem, Palestinian territory it occupied in 1967 and then annexed, as a way of preventing a viable Palestinian state from emerging.     More . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

“ALI  OF  LYDDA,”  BY  REJA-E  BUSAILAH

Before the conqueror shot him dead
from the top of our roof,
he had on his head
as he walked homeward in the morning sun
a tray made of straw and of circles,
none vicious though:
each flowed into the next
from small to large to larger rounds:

the first bore the transformation
of the dream of wheat, its ears still close to the ground,
into loaves of exciting breath;
the second of a humble communion
of young and old breaking bread into lasting bond
under the sanctity of one roof;
the third of modest hopes
which rose and tossed like one vast field shedding green
in the wind and ripening sun;
the fourth of a dream beyond,
half formed, half grasped –

after he shot him dead
and the tray fell in a manner undignified
and the bread tumbled and scattered
on hot hard stone
in shapes of heads rolling about a sanctuary,
I heard the conqueror on the high roof
under the bare sky,
I heard him snort
I heard him spit on the ground
I heard him piss
through the eye of light.

From BEFORE  THERE  IS  NOWHERE  TO  STAND:  PALESTINE  ISREL  POETS  RESPOND  TO  THE  STRUGGLE. Ed. By Joan Dobbie and Grace Beeler. Sandpoint ID: Lost Horse Press, 2012.  Available from B&N.

“. . . and struggle ardently for my liberty My liberty My liberty . . .” (Fadwa Tuqan)

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Jerusalem: Dr. Naim Ateek of Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center
leads a group on the Via Dolorosa
(Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 4, 2015)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . . 
| PALESTINIAN  GOVERNOR  OF  JERUSALEM  RELEASED  TO  HOUSE  ARREST    A court in Israel has released the Palestinian governor of Jerusalem from detention to house arrest for three days as part of an investigation related to a land sale.    ___Adnan Gheith, who was arrested on November 25, was released on Sunday from prison, but will remain under house arrest until Tuesday, Jerusalem magistrate court justice Chavi Toker ruled.    __Police have been investigating Gheith over suspicions he was involved in the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) arrest in October of US citizen Issam Akel, who is accused of involvement in selling an occupied East Jerusalem building to Jewish buyers. . . More . . .
. . . . Related  Report: Israel Abducts Dozens of Palestinians in Crackdown on Palestinian Authority
. . . . Related  Top court gives Israel even broader powers to use torture
. . . . Related  Israel committed 355 violations against Palestinians in November
. . . . Related  Israel demolished 19 Palestinian facilities in November
| PRESIDENT  ABBAS  ARRIVES  IN  ROME  ON  AN  OFFICIAL  VISIT    President Mahmoud Abbas Sunday arrived in the Italian capital, Rome, on an official visit where he is scheduled to meet with his Italian counterpart, Sergio Mattarella.    ___President Abbas will meet with Italian President Sergio Mattarella, Italy’s Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, and Pope Francis during his official visit to Rome, to discuss the latest political developments in the region as well as bilateral relations between the two countries and ways to develop them.    More . . .
. . . . Related  Hamas hails Fatah’s criticism to US’ draft resolution condemning resistance at UN
. . . . Related  President Abbas meets Pope Francis at the Vatican
. . . . Related  Islamic Jihad delegation from Gaza heads to Lebanon through Egypt
|  TURKEY’S  RED  CRESCENT  DONATES  8.5  TONS  OF  MEDICAL  AID  TO  GAZA   The Palestinian Ministry of Health dispatched from its warehouses in the northern occupied West Bank city of Nablus, about 8.5 tons of medical aid donated by the Turkish Red Crescent to the besieged Gaza Strip, on Monday.    ___According to the Palestinian Health Minister, Jawad Awwad, the ministry dispatched two truckloads of medical supplies worth $274,000, which included medicines to treat chronic diseases such as cancer and kidney diseases.    ___Awwad praised Turkey’s continued support to Gaza, pointing to the many vital projects that have been provided by Turkey to Palestine in all fields.   More . . .
. . . . Related  WHO: ‘Israel approved only 15% of medical permits for injured Gazans’
. . . . Related  Sharp rise in number of people with disabilities in Gaza Strip in last 10 years – statistics
. . . . Related  Israel undercover forces [in Gaza] posed as medical workers, used ID cards of real Palestinians

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . . GAZA  –  TWENTY  YEARS  LATER     By Mkhaimar Abusada     The Gaza Strip. . .  is no more than 365 square kilometers with two million people. Population pressure has been critical in an area with limited water and arable land, weak infrastructure. . .  and many internal and external barriers that have resulted from the Israeli siege and blockade, which has turned it into the largest open-air prison in the world.    ___The . . .  golden days of Gaza [were about] 1998. At that time, Gaza was the center of Palestinian politics after the signing of the Oslo Agreement in September 1993, and the establishment of the Palestinian Authority (PA) in 1994. Gaza was promised by the international community to be the Singapore of the Middle East. . .  [. . . .] The outbreak of the second Palestinian Intifada in September 2000, and the ensuing violence and armed resistance against the Israeli army and settlers in Gaza triggered massive Israeli retaliation against infrastructure and the economy, and . . .  restricted the movement within and in and out of Gaza.    More . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

“MY  LIBERTY,”  BY  FADWA  TUQAN

My liberty―my liberty―my liberty,
a sound I repeat
with angry lips
under the exchange of fire
and flames
I run after it
despite my chains
and follow its tracks
despite the night
and struggle ardently
for my liberty
My liberty
My liberty

And the Holy River
and Bridge repeat:
my liberty
and the two banks reiterate:
my liberty
and the raging wind and thunder,
tornadoes and rain
echo the sound:
my liberty

I shall carve its name
while I resist
on the land
by the walls and the doors
in the Temple of the Virgin
in the altar
and in the field,
on every hill
and every valley
and every curve
and road
in prison
in the torture rooms
and on the gallows
Despite the chains
and the house demolition
I shall carve its name
until I see it again
extending to my Homeland
and flourish
and flourish
until every inch of the land is covered
until every door is opened
by red liberty.
And the night vanishes
and the day breaks
My liberty―my liberty―my liberty

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 abebooks.com

“. . . a saddening symptom of the demise of Al-Quds [Jerusalem] . . .” (Ali Qleibo)

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Bethlehem Christmas Tree lighting (Photo: Ma’an News Agency, Dec. 2, 2018)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .
| JERUSALEM  ANNOUNCED  PERMANENT  CAPITAL  OF  ISLAMIC  CULTURE
The Islamic Conference of Culture Ministers, at the conclusion of its emergency session in the Bahraini capital, Manama, on Thursday, announced Jerusalem a permanent capital of the Islamic culture.    ___The conference adopted a document on a draft program of action on enhancing Islamic and international support for the preservation of the cultural heritage of Jerusalem.    More . . .
. . . . Related  Hordes of Israeli settlers break into al-Aqsa Mosque
. . . . Related  Father Hanna warns of conspiracy targeting J’lem real estate
. . . . Related  New cameras set up by Israeli occupation around Aqsa Mosque
. . . . Related  Israel prevented Muslim call for prayer [Hebron] 47 times in November
|  THOUSANDS  CELEBRATE  CHRISTMAS  TREE  LIGHTING  IN  BETHLEHEM
Only meters away from where baby Jesus is said to be born, thousands of people made their way to Manger Square and gathered around the gigantic Christmas tree, to welcome in the holiest month of the Christian year – December.   ___Locals and foreigners, wrapped up in their coats and beanies, listened to speeches from the likes of the Mayor of Bethlehem, and the Prime Minister, Rami Hamdallah, with others including top officials from the Catholic church, such as Father Francesco Patton.    More . . .
NEW  SETTLEMENTS  PLANNED  IN  THE  HEART  OF  THE  WEST  BANK
The Israeli government on Sunday approved a map of “national priority” areas, including a number of settlements in the heart of the occupied West Bank.    ___The map aims to promote Israeli migration to the towns on the map, as well as to grant larger budgets for building. The National Law will increase budgets to “strengthen the Jewish character of Israel.”    ___The settlements referred to are: Magron, Shvut Rahal and Kerem Re’em, usually referred to as “isolated settlements” because they are built outside major settlement blocs in the West Bank.  More . . .
. . . . Related  IOA resumes settlement expansion activities west of Salfit
. . . . Related  Israeli settlers spray paint ‘Death to Arabs’ in Palestinian village

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .
JERUSALEM,  TWENTY  YEARS  LATER
By Ali Qleibo
More than twenty years after the Oslo Agreement, it has become evident that the slogan “Gaza and Jericho First” was a euphemism, preparing the ground for the Israeli takeover of our city. The Israeli Judaization of Jerusalem has escalated to an unprecedented level. In the systematic takeover of Jerusalem, most institutional Palestinian offices in Jerusalem have been driven out. The checkpoints and the arbitrary inclusion, or exclusion, of major Arab “suburbs” have created a great demographic change, leading to the total isolation of Jerusalem and of Jerusalemites. Through Israeli-manipulated bureaucratic procedures and unsurpassable barriers, families are broken apart. And as one walks the streets of the Old City, the blatant scarcity of rural peddlers in their colorful embroidered garments and of people in general is a saddening symptom of the demise of Al-Quds.    More . . .
. . . .  Related  Al-Quds: The Indigenous Jerusalem: Palestinian Tourism Organizations during the Past 20 Years, By Raed Saadeh
.  .  .  .  .  Also by Raed Saadeh
|  INTERNATIONAL  MEDIA  WATCH  FROM  ALRAY  PALESTINIAN  MEDIA  AGENCY (Dec. 2, 2018)

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

“WE  TRAVEL  LIKE  OTHER  PEOPLE,”  BY  MAHMOUD  DARWISH

We travel like other people, but we return to nowhere. As if travelling
Is the way of the clouds. We have buried our loved ones in the
darkness of the clouds, between the roots of the trees.
And we said to our wives: go on giving birth to people like us
for hundreds of years so we can complete this journey
To the hour of a country, to a metre of the impossible.
We travel in the carriages of the psalms, sleep in the tent of the
prophets and come out of the speech of the gypsies.
We measure space with a hoopee’s beak or sing to while away the
distance and cleanse the light of the moon.
Your path is long so dream of seven women to bear this long path
On your shoulders. Shake for them palm trees so as to know their
names and who’ll be the mother of the boy of Galilee.
We have a country of words. Speak speak so I can put my road on the
stone of a stone.
We have a country of words. Speak speak so we may know the end of
this travel.

From: Adonis; Mahmud Darwish; and Samih al-Qasim. VICTIMS  OF  A  MAP:  A  BILINGUAL  ANTHOLOGY  OF  ARABIC  POETRY. Trans. Abdullah al-Udhari. London: Saqi Books. 2008.