“. . . they’ve grown, grown more than the years of a normal life . . .” (Fadwa Tuqan)

❶ UN official deeply concerned by Israeli demolition of classrooms
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Palestinian PM slams Israel for demolition of Bedouin classrooms in E1

  • Background:  “‘In Your Face’ Democracy: Education for Belonging and Its Challenges in Israel.” British Educational Research Journal.
    “Confronting the authority of the Ministry of Education in such a way . . . constructs the Palestinians in Israel as activist citizens who seek to expand their rights of recognition into the field of education.”

❷ Video: Palestinians protest UNRWA cuts and US policies
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) Ministry stages protest against US decision to cut aid to UNRWA
❸ IOF prevents Palestinian farmers from entering their lands
. . . . . ❸ ― (ᴃ) Israeli bulldozer destroys Palestinian water pipeline in Jordan Valley
❹ POETRY by Fadwa Tuqan
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Feb. 5, 2018 ― United Nations acting Humanitarian Coordinator for the occupied Palestinian territories, Roberto Valent, said on Sunday that he was deeply concerned by Israel’s destruction of donor-funded classrooms in the Palestinian community of Abu Nuwar, east of Jerusalem.
___”I am deeply concerned by the Israeli authorities’ demolition this morning of two donor-funded classrooms (3rd and 4th grade), serving 26 Palestinian school children in the Bedouin and refugee community of Abu Nuwar, located in Area C on the outskirts of Jerusalem,” Valent said in a statement. “The demolition was carried out on grounds of lack of Israeli-issued permits, which are nearly impossible to obtain.”
___The UN official added: “Abu Nuwar is one of the most vulnerable communities in need of humanitarian assistance in the occupied West Bank. The conditions it faces also represent those of many Palestinian communities, where a combination of Israeli policies and practices –including demolitions and restricted access to basic services, such as education – have created a coercive environment that violates the human rights of residents and generates a risk of forcible transfer.   MORE . . .
Ma’an News Agency
Feb. 5, 2018 ― Israeli forces demolished two classrooms in the Palestinian Bedouin community of Abu Nuwwar on Sunday, located in the central occupied West Bank district of Jerusalem.
___The school in Abu Nuwwar was built and funded by the European Union in 2017 in order to provide the opportunity for a more accessible education to students in the village, who previously had to travel several kilometers by foot to the nearest school.
___More than 25 students were affected by the demolition of the two classrooms.
___The entire school serves more than 60 students in Abu Nuwwar which is home to 600 Palestinians.
___Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah released a statement on Monday condemning the demolition, saying “besides the fact that such a demolition contravenes international humanitarian law, this latest attack is directed against Palestinian schoolchildren, and is simply immoral.”   MORE . . .

Agbaria, Ayman K., et al.
BRITISH EDUCATIONAL RESEARCH JOURNAL, vol. 41, no. 1, Feb. 2015, pp. 143-175.
[. . . .] As an ethnocratic regime, Israel excludes its Palestinian citizens and treats them as merely an aggregate of individuals entitled to selective individual liberal rights, but deprived of collective rights of self-definition or collective claims over the nature and distribution of public goods in Israel. Controlling the Arab education system that serves this minority is part and parcel of these hierarchical strategies . . .  Despite the fact that Arab schools teach in Arabic [there is an] absence of recognition of the Palestinian collective identity. This lack of recognition is particularly salient in the school curricula and textbooks which were voided of any substantial engagement with Palestinian history and culture. All in all, Arab education was designed by the state to ‘instil feelings of self-disparagement and inferiority in Arab youth; to de-nationalize them, and particularly to de-Palestinize them; and to teach them to glorify the history, culture and achievements of the Jewish majority’ (Mar’i, S. K.).
[. . . .] a common feature of the Israeli education system, as argued by Yossi Yonah, is its commitment to function as a main carrier of the Zionist historiography, while disregarding the Palestinian narrative . . .  misrepresentat[ing] the multicultural and multi-ethnic reality of Israel as a deeply divided society. These attempts . . .  serve the desirable character of the state as a Jewish state, thus ignoring the need for cultural recognition of the non-Jewish student population.
[. . . .] Yet, dialogical as it is, the capacity of “Identity and Belonging” [the Palestinian curriculum] for confrontation, not only compliance and appropriation, remains high, as it directly challenges the laws and regulations of the Ministry of Education and its official knowledge. Confronting the authority of the Ministry of Education in such a way, at such a scale, and within the most natural sites of influence—the schools themselves—constructs the Palestinians in Israel as activist citizens who seek to expand their rights of recognition into the field of education. . .  In this way, “Identity and Belonging” is a citizenship act that challenges the extent . . . content . . . and depth . . .  of Israeli citizenship by presenting a counter-narrative permeated with political, moral and socio-political claims. Ultimately, these claims constitute the Palestinian minority in Israel as an independent political actor in both the Palestinian and Israeli arenas. Therefore, this initiative presents a symbolic challenge, which exposes the fragility of the double marginality of the Palestinians in Israel by reconstructing an integrative meaning of being part of both Israel and the Palestinian people.     SOURCE . . .

Palestine News Network – PNN
Feb. 5, 2018 ― The Refugee Youth Movement on Monday held a protest outside the main UNRWA office in Bethlehem against the cuts of the agency’s services after the Trump administration had cut its funding.
___The participants raised banners protesting the UNRWA cuts and recent US resolutions impacting the rights of Palestinian refugees.
___Protesters included students and teachers, and called for improving the education services and halting decisions to lay off teachers, improve classes, and activate the operating system to reduce unemployment among refugee youth, as well as improving the quality of health services.   MORE . . .
The Palestinian Information Center
Feb. 5, 2018 ― The Palestinian Ministry of Education and Higher Education on Monday held a protest against the recent US decisions against UNRWA and its educational institutions.
___Undersecretary of the Ministry, Ziad Thabet, participated in the protest which was held at the Ministry’s headquarters in Gaza in conjunction with a similar protest in Ramallah in the West Bank.
___The protesters raised banners expressing support for UNRWA and calling on the world’s countries to intervene and help the Agency.
___Ziad Thabet affirmed that this protest came in rejection of the US decision to cut aid to UNRWA forcing the UN Agency to reduce its services to the Palestinian refugees.    MORE . . .
The Palestinian Information Center 
Feb. 5, 2018 ― The Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) prevented on Monday a group of Palestinian farmers from entering their olive groves located behind the Apartheid Wall.
___The farmers, from Salfit, were stopped by Israelis forces on their way to work in their farm lands, located on the Israeli side of the separation wall, which runs through the farmers’ lands.
___Palestinians living in the areas where Israel’s separation wall cut off their lands, are required to obtain entry permits, and cannot enter their lands for any purpose other than work or residence.   MORE . . .
Ma’an News Agency  
Feb. 5, 2018 ― Israeli bulldozers destroyed water lines supplying tens of acres of land in the northern Jordan Valley on Monday morning.
___Local activist Aref Daraghmeh told Ma’an that Israeli bulldozers destroyed a water pipeline belonging to a Palestinian identified as Bassem Faqha.
___The line feeds some 150 dunams (37 acres) of land planted with watermelons.
___The Jordan Valley forms a third of the occupied West Bank, with 88 percent of its land classified as Area C — under full Israeli military control.
___Demolitions of Palestinian infrastructure and residences occur frequently in Area C, with the Jordan Valley’s Bedouin and herding communities being particularly vulnerable to such policies.   MORE . . .

They’re only boys
who used to frolic and play
launching rainbowed kites
on the western wind,
their blue-and-green kites
whistling, leaping,
trading easy laughter and jokes
dueling with branches, pretending to be
great heroes in history.

Suddenly now they’ve grown,
grown more than the years of a normal life,
merged with secret and passionate words,
carried love’s messages like the Bible or the Quran,
to be read in whispers.
They’ve grown to become trees
plunging deep roots into the earth,
stretching high towards the sun.
Now their voices are ones that reject,
that knock down and build anew.
Anger smouldering on the fringes of a blocked horizon,
invading classrooms, streets, city quarters,
centering on squares,
facing sullen tanks with streams of stones.

Now they shake the gallows of dawn
assailing the night and its flood.
They’ve grown more than the years of a life
to become the worshipped and the worshippers.

When their torn limbs merged with the stuff of our earth
they became legends,
they grew into vaulting bridges,
they grew and grew, becoming
larger than all poetry.
――Translated by Naomi Shihab Nye
ANTHOLOGY OF MODERN PALESTINIAN LITERATURE. Ed. Salma Khadra Jayyusi. New York: Columbia University Press, 1992.
Available from Columbia University Press.
Fadwa Tuqan

“. . . Lay him at the foot of the mountain: for it knows his sorrow . . .” (Samih al-Qasim)

❶ Prosecutor calls for Palestinian boy to receive 12-year sentence over alleged stabbing
❷ On Palestinian Journalists’ Day, 24 reporters imprisoned by Israel hold hunger strike
. . . ❷― (ᴀ) Israel committed 489 violations against Palestinian Journalists
❸ Israeli army ravages nature reserve in al-Khalil

  • Background from Palestine-Israel Journal Of Politics, Economics & Culture

❹ Israeli Soldiers Invade Bedouin Community Near Jerusalem
❺ Poetry by Samih al-Qasim
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Ma’an News Agency
Sept. 26, 2016
An Israeli court in Jerusalem postponed on Sunday the sentencing of a 14-year-old Palestinian Ahmad Salih Manasra, as the prosecution called for the boy to spend 12 years in prison for allegedly stabbing and wounding two Israelis in a settlement in October.     ___Manasra, a resident of occupied East Jerusalem, was found guilty in May of carrying out a stabbing attack on Oct. 12, 2015 in the illegal settlement of Pisgat Zeev in East Jerusalem, injuring two Israelis ages 13 and 21.
___Manasra’s cousin, 15-year-old Hassan Manasra, was shot dead at the scene of the attack. His body was withheld by Israeli authorities for seven months, finally returned to his family for burial in May after they rejected an earlier transfer due to his body being handed over completely frozen.     MORE . . .     
Interrogation video of Ahmad Salih Manasra

Ma’an News Agency
Sept. 26, 2016
Palestinian journalists imprisoned by Israel went on a one-day hunger strike on Monday to mark the Day of Solidarity with Palestinian Journalists, as 24 of them remained behind bars.
___The Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS) said in a statement that 24 Palestinian journalists were currently held in Israeli prisons.
___The longest serving Palestinian journalist, according to PPS, is Mahmoud Issa Moussa who has been serving a life sentence since 1993.     MORE . . .   
Alray-Palestinian Media Agency
Sept. 26, 2016
On the International Day of Solidarity with Palestinian Journalist , Israeli occupation forces arrested 79 journalists and shot 130 others, Commission of Supporting Palestinian Journalists reported.
___The commission reported that the Israeli violations against Palestinian journalists and cameramen have raised dramatically since the beginning of Al-Aqsa Habba – uprising.     ___Last October recorded the highest number of Israeli violations against Palestinian media staffs in the West Bank, Gaza and occupied Jerusalem.    MORE . . . 
The Palestinian Information Center
Sept. 25, 2016
An Israeli army patrol stormed on Sunday a nature reserve in the southern occupied West Bank city of al-Khalil and its soldiers razed cultivated land lots.
___Coordinator for the national anti-settlement committee in southern al-Khalil, Rateb al-Jabour, said the Israeli occupation army broke into the al-Daqiqa nature reserve in Yatta, removed barbed wire surrounding the area, and leveled vast land tracts covering an area of over 100 dunums.
___According to al-Jabour, the Israeli forces threatened to devastate the reserve upon three earlier occasions on claims of surpassing the border fence.
___He added that the nature reserve was built some eight years ago with the help of foreign charities and is planted with 5,000 unfruitful trees. The reserve also includes eight wells for amassing rainwater.      MORE . . .       

  • Power, Susan, and Elisabeth Koek. “Israel’s Cash Cow: Natural Resources In The Occupied Palestinian Territories.” Palestine-Israel Journal Of Politics, Economics & Culture 19/20.4/1 (2014): 88-96.  SOURCE.   

Underneath and adjacent to the lands inhabited by Israelis and Palestinians, natural fresh water from the Jordan River and the Mountain and Costal Aquifers flows abundantly.20 However, at present, the water sector in Israel and the OPT “is characterised by highly asymmetrical overexploitation of damageable shared water resources, exhaustion of long-term storage, deterioration of the water quality and increasing levels of demand driven by high population growth and accompanied by decreasing per capita supplies.” Palestinians residing in the occupied territory face an impending water crisis in the region. Many do not have sufficient access to clean and safe water to their meet daily needs, while residents in Israel proper and in Israel’s illegal settlements have ample water available, enough even for intensive farm irrigation.
___Israel’s desire to secure uninterrupted access to, and exercise exclusive control over, the region’s major surface and groundwater resources dates back to the 1967 Six-Day War, when Israel strategically occupied lands rich in natural water resources. Immediately after the war, Israel prioritized maintaining access to and control over the water resources by declaring all water resources subject to Israeli military control through a series of military orders, which are still in place today. These efforts were clearly aimed at consolidating control over the Palestinian share of the water resources as it integrated the West Bank water system into the Israeli system. The integration was completed in 1982 when then-Minister of Defense Ariel Sharon transferred ownership over all West Bank water supply systems to Mekorot for the symbolic price of 1 NIS (approximately $0.25). By making use of its military power, Israel laid the foundations for a system of water governance that remains in place today and is characterised by discrimination in allocation of water resources, and, more broadly, by Israel’s unlawful exercise of sovereign rights over all the water resources of the OPT.

International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC
Sept. 26, 2016
Israeli soldiers and officials of the “Civil Administration Office” invaded, Sunday, the Abu Nowwar Bedouin committee in the al-Ezarriya town, southeast of occupied East Jerusalem, and took pictures of a room that was added to the local elementary school.
___Daoud Jahalin, the spokesperson of Abu Nowwar community, said the soldiers surrounded the local school, and photographed a recently added room, an issue that raises fears the army intends to demolish it, especially since most demolition orders are issued by the Civil Administration of the Israeli army, in the occupied West Bank.
___Jahalin added that dozens of soldiers also invaded Abu Nowwar community on Saturday, and conducted various provocative acts.      MORE . . .    


Leave the martyr shrouded in his garments,
Lay him at the foot of the mountain: for it knows his sorrow.
Do not bury him, while his wounds
Proclaim his testament of love and suffering.
Do you hear?

Let him take leave of his friends,
A bleeding eagle among the rocks.
Lay him in the sun; his face caressed
By the winds, redolent with the fragrance of the land of his youth.

Do not close his eyes; a final
Red glimmer still shines in them.
His call reverberates in the golden valleys:
“You who fear death, I fear it not;
Take me to my home
To rest my cheek upon its threshold,
To kiss the doorknob,
Take me to my vineyard, I would die, with the pangs of my love in my heart,
If my eyes do not feast once more on the sight of its soil.

Samih al-Qasim 
From THE PALESTINIAN WEDDING: A BILINGUAL ANTHOLOGY OF CONTEMPORARY PALESTINIAN RESISTANCE POETRY. Ed. and Trans. A. M. Elmessiri. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2011. Reprint from Three Continents Press, Inc., 1982. Available from Palestine Online Store.


“. . . gradually absolving itself of its duty to act within international law . . .” (Yesh Din)

Israeli forces repressing march in Kafr Qaddum. (Photo: Ma’an Photos, Feb. 26, 2016)

❶ Dozens wounded as Israeli forces repress weekly Palestinian marches
. . . . . ❶―(ᴀ) Israeli forces assault, detain human rights lawyer in Hebron
❷ IOF confiscates Bedouin [school] tents east of Jerusalem [again]
❸ Why donor countries are giving less to the Palestinians
❹ Racial segregation as a constant policy in Israel
❺ Opinion/Analysis: SHHHHHHHHH,  WE’RE  ANNEXING
❻ Poetry by Samih Al-Qasim
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Feb. 26, 2016
Dozens of Palestinians were wounded across the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip on Friday as Israeli forces repressed weekly demonstrations against the ongoing military occupation.     More . . . 
. . . . . ❶―(ᴀ) MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
Feb. 26, 201
Israeli forces on Friday detained a director for the Independent Commission for Human Rights during a peaceful protest marking the 22nd anniversary of the Ibrahimi mosque massacre.
___The ICHR said in a statement that Israeli forces assaulted then detained Farid al-Atrash, a lawyer, in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron.
___The organization called the violence used against al-Atrash “a crime.”    More . . .
The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) raided Friday afternoon Abu Nawar Bedouin hamlet, east of Jerusalem, and confiscated two tents used for teaching children of Bedouins in the area. The representative of Abu Nawar hamlet, Abu Imad Jahalin, told Quds Press that the occupation troops confiscated two tents which were used as classrooms for Palestinian students of the region, to replace the caravans which were confiscated by the IOF earlier on Sunday.     More . . .

1-assault lawyer
Israeli forces assault then detain Farid al-Atrash, a lawyer, in Hebron. Independent Commission for Human Rights. (Photo: Ma’an Photos, Feb. 26, 2016)

Adnan Abu Amer
Feb. 24, 2016
When the Palestinian Authority was established in 1994 pursuant to the 1993 Oslo Accord, the international community undertook to provide it with financial and economic support, amounting to $17 billion since its establishment until today. . . .
___ However, Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah announced Feb. 16 that in 2015, the PA received half the usual aid pledged by donor countries. . . .
___A European diplomat visiting Gaza told Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity, “The EU may cease its financial aid to the PA in light of the worsening political situation between the Palestinians and Israelis and the lack of a negotiated political process between them.      More . . .
Majed Al-Sheikh
Feb. 26, 2016
During its most recent conference, the Israeli Labour Party revived some of the features of what it called the “Compromise Solution”, which it has been promoting since the 1990s . . . . The Labour Party revived these ideas in its decision to prevent a “one-state solution” and achieve its “two-state” vision by adopting what it called the “Separation Plan” . . . . hand over a number of areas in the West Bank and some neighbourhoods in East Jerusalem to the Palestinian Authority, in addition to completing the construction of another separation wall around the settlement blocs in the West Bank.      More . . .
+972 BLOG
Feb. 26, 2016
Yesh Din, written by Yossi Gurvitz
Last week Yesh Din published its position paper, “From Occupation to Annexation,” which deals with the way the Israeli government is implementing the conclusions of the Levy Commission Report without any public debate or even an official government decision – an process in which is dragging Israel into de facto annexation of the West Bank, without granting the annexed people their rights.      More . . .


It is bound to come,
To come with the sun;
Its face deformed by the dust of books.
It is bound to come,
After the wind has committed suicide in my voice,
Something whose wonders have no bounds;
Something called in the songs:
The thunderbird.
It is bound to come;
For we have reached it,
We have reached the summit of death.

―Translated by Dr. Mahmud Hassan of Alexandria University.

From: A  LOVER  FROM  PALESTINE  AND  OTHER  POEMS:  AN  ANTHOLOGY  OF  PALESTINIAN  POETRY. Ed. Abdul Wahab Al-Messiri. Washington, DC: Free Palestine Press, 1970.   Available from Amazon.
About Samih Al-Qasim