“. . . the whole concept of ‘law enforcement’ is highly problematic and misleading when the agents of enforcement are themselves illegitimate . . .” (Michael Dumper)

❶ Palestinian youths detained for throwing rocks, paint cans at Israeli settlers
. . . ❶― (ᴀ) Israeli forces detain Palestinian at Bethlehem-area checkpoint
. . . ❶― (ᴃ) Israeli forces injure 4 Palestinians, 1 critically, in clashes south of Nablus
. . . ❶― (ᴄ) IOA slaps visit ban on Palestinian detainee

  • Background from journal International Affairs

❷ PCHR Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the oPt (01– 07 September 2016)
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Ma’an News Agency
Sept. 13, 2016
Israeli forces detained three Palestinian youths overnight for allegedly throwing rocks and paint cans at an Israeli settler’s bus that was passing by the al-Arrub refugee camp in northern Hebron in the southern occupied West Bank, while two other rock-throwing incidents were reported in Bethlehem-area villages.    MORE . . .  
Ma’an News Agency
Sept. 13, 2016
Israeli forces detained a Palestinian man late Monday at the Container checkpoint in northeastern Bethlehem.
____Palestinian security sources told Palestinian state-run Wafa news agency that Israeli forces detained Rafat Nael Shafiq, 28, a resident of the city of Ramallah in the central occupied West Bank, after they stopped the vehicle he was riding and took him to an unknown location.     MORE . . .   
Ma’an News Agency
Sept. 12, 2016
Four Palestinians were injured Monday evening during clashes with Israeli forces in the village of Qusra south of Nablus in the northern occupied West Bank, local sources said.
____Ghassan Doughlas, an official who monitors settlement activity in the northern occupied West Bank, told Ma’an that after Israeli forces stormed the town sparking clashes with locals, Israeli soldiers fired tear gas canisters, stun grenades, and live ammunition at demonstrators.      MORE . . . 
The Palestinian Information Center
Sept. 13, 2016
The Israeli occupation authorities (IOA) denied prisoner Murad Izzedine Fatash the right to family visits in Israeli custody. Family sources said the lawyer saw Fatash in the court hall but was prevented from talking to him. Fatash was kidnapped by the occupation soldiers at the Zaatara checkpoint in southern Nablus on August 28.   MORE . . . 

International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC
Sept. 11, 2016
Israeli violations of international law and international humanitarian law in the oPt continued during the reporting period (01 – 07 September 2016).
Israeli forces have continued to commit crimes, inflicting civilian casualties. They have also continued to use excessive force against Palestinian civilians participating in peaceful protests in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, the majority of whom were youngsters. . .
[Arrests and] Incursions:
During the reporting period, Israeli forces conducted at least 78 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and 8 ones in occupied East Jerusalem and its suburbs. During these incursions, Israeli forces arrested at least 60 Palestinian civilians, including 9 children. Seventeen of them, including 5 children, were arrested in occupied Jerusalem. . .
Creating Jewish Majority in Occupied East Jerusalem [. . . .]
Settlement activities [. . . .]
Restrictions on movement [ . . . .]        
MORE . . .   

  • DUMPER, MICHAEL. “Policing Divided Cities: Stabilization And Law Enforcement In Palestinian East Jerusalem.” International Affairs 89.5 (2013): 1247-1264.   SOURCE. 

Despite [many] attempts to control and divide the Palestinian community over 46 years of Israeli rule, and despite their being poorly served by a divided and ineffective political leadership, Palestinian residents . . . have refused to accept the sequestration of their land and property by Israeli bodies, and continue to demand Jerusalem as their putative national capital . . . . policing in Jerusalem, East and West, faces three major challenges. In the first place, this city is the capital of Israel and the location of almost all the key institutions of the state. (Footnote: It should also be noted that not one country has its embassy located in Jerusalem—a sign of international non-recognition of the city as the Israeli capital.) Second, as a religious centre for Muslims, Christians and Jews . . . it attracts the attention of radical fundamentalist groups across the religious spectrum who seek to displace . . .  rival claimants . . . . Third, Jerusalem is a ‘world city’ in that its role in the Arab–Israeli conflict and regional politics makes it a centre for international diplomatic and media activity.
[. . . .]
Israeli policing priorities and objectives in East Jerusalem are directed primarily towards the maintenance of public order rather than law enforcement. To some extent this approach flows from a continued perception of Palestinians as a threat to the Israeli state and to Israeli control over both parts of the city.
[. . . .]
. . .  this approach to policing has been a concentration on constraining dissent and opposition. In the absence of political representation in either the Israeli Municipality or other Israeli institutions that operate in East Jerusalem, Palestinian residents and their supporters are obliged to resort to protests, demonstrations and violent attacks to voice their opposition to Israeli policies. The Israeli authorities’ concern to prevent these activities has led to a blanket suppression of all forms of protest, whether they are political or concern more specific localized grievances, and the employment of militarized forms of policing.
[. . . .]
Indeed, the whole concept of ‘law enforcement’ is highly problematic and misleading when the agents of enforcement are themselves illegitimate in the eyes of both the international community and over one-third of the residents of the city. Unless a political framework is put in place which can build cross-cutting support for a legal system which is designed to protect both political communities in Jerusalem, the security regime in the city will remain one which is an instrument of one community, imposed by force and highly militarized.
[. . . .]


NOTE: This post was prepared for yesterday, August 30, but because of unforeseen circumstances, I was unable to finish it. However, it is imperative to post the excerpt from the article by Ghazi-Walid Falah as background for the news items of detention and torure.

❶ Palestinian minor tortured in Israeli jail after being shot and detained for rock throwing
. . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) PPS: “Army Kidnaps Twenty-One Palestinians In The West Bank”
. . . ❶ ― (ᴃ) Israel Issues 8 Administrative Detention Orders To Palestinian Prisoners

Ghazi-Walid Falah, professor at the University of Akron, Ohio.

❷ “Geography In Ominous Intersection With Interrogation And Torture: Reflections On Detention In Israel.”
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Ma’an News Agency
Aug. 29, 2016
Two Palestinian minors have been tortured, abused, and medically neglected in Israeli custody, one of which after being shot at point-blank range when Israeli forces detained them for rock throwing earlier this month, a lawyer from the Palestinian Committee of Prisoners’ Affairs said Monday.
­­­___The lawyer, Luay Akka, said that 17-year-old Mumin Tawfiq Hamayel and 16-year-old Abd al-Fatah Mubarek were both being held inside Israel’s Ofer prison.    MORE . . .

International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC
August 30, 2016
The Palestinian Prisoners Society (PPS) has reported that Israeli soldiers have kidnapped, overnight and on Tuesday, twenty-one Palestinians, during massive military invasions and searches of homes, in different parts of the occupied West Bank.
___The PPS said the soldiers invaded several towns in the southern West Bank district of Hebron, violently searched homes and kidnapped nine Palestinians, including children. MORE . . .

Ma’an News Agency
Aug. 29, 2016
Israel’s military court at Ofer prison ruled that eight Palestinian prisoners be placed in administrative detention on Monday, the controversial Israeli policy of internment without trial or charge based on undisclosed evidence.
___The Palestinian Prisoner’s Society said in a statement that five were sentenced to six months in administrative detention, identified as Ammar Ibrahim Hamour, Huthaifa Subhe Jabareen, Yousef Abd al-Aziz al-Batran, Hazim Ghaleb Nayroukh, and Muhammad Hussein Abu Aida.
___Israeli forces also ordered Muhammad Yousef Awad, Alaa Salim Rujbe, and Yousef Issa Amar to four months in administrative detention.
___Rights groups have claimed that Israel’s administrative detention policy, which allows internment without trial or charges under undisclosed evidence, has been used as an attempt to disrupt Palestinian political processes, notably targeting Palestinian politicians, activists, and journalists.      MORE . . .

❷ Falah, Ghazi-Walid. “Geography In Ominous Intersection With Interrogation And Torture: Reflections On Detention In Israel.” Third World Quarterly 29.4 (2008): 749-766.  SOURCE.  

NOTE: Professor Falah was detained in 2008 as an academic visitor to Palestine. The reasons for his detention differ from those of a Palestinian citizen, but the methods used by the Israelis to extract information are very much the same even today. See biographical note at end.

My detention was principally political, a form of punishment and intimidation for my writing as a geographer over two decades. But I was not detained and held in isolation because I had committed some crime and there was a court order to keep me separate from other prisoners. There was another aim: to extract by almost any means thought necessary what the Security Police deemed ‘usable information’, especially about my academic contacts with Arab and Iranian geographers (and/or others) in the Middle East. From this viewpoint of intelligence extraction my time behind bars and in a micro-space of extreme coercion was utilised to the utmost to get the maximum ‘information’ from . . .  to break my will to resistance before I could see my lawyer. ‘Detention’ is not a static space of some kind of suspension of time, as a detainee simply ‘waits’ or is abused as a form of punishment: it is a mechanism in highly confined and pressurised hyper-dynamic space to extract intelligence under the impress of limited legal time. While my detention was to intimidate me as an academic, it also was a prime example of space–time mobilised to gather what is the interrogator’s stock in trade: intelligence as it is fantasised by interrogators to exist.
[. . . .]
How did the Israeli interrogators in my case approach the issue of gathering information for some ‘usable’ end? Interrogator Ehud (all names here are aliases) said: ‘We have a puzzle here, and we need answers for each question we are asking you in order to construct the puzzle’. ‘There is nothing that we are not going to get an answer to. If we do not get the answer directly from you we have to get it from other sources, and no matter how long it takes we will.’ Basically he is saying: we will be keeping you a long time until we get the answers we think we want. This was perhaps a technique to make me speak, but the issue of the ‘puzzle’ is consistent with the broader dimension of gathering ‘usable’ information. Another interrogator, Lavi, said: ‘We are interested in the truth and this is why we keep repeating the same questions and many others. It does not matter for us whether you are innocent or guilty. We are interested in knowing the truth.’ He also commented: ‘our interrogation is not like the police. The testimony you give to the police officer and then you go to court and they have to prove your innocence. We are different because our duty is to know the truth in order to protect the security of the ‘‘state’’.’
[. . . .]
The practice of isolating a detainee for a certain time, either by being left alone behind bars or simply isolated from a normal setting in the world outside the prison is coercion at the ultimate micro-scale of the individual body. From the interrogator’s perspective, this practice means that the detainee is not allowed to engage in any contact whatever without the full authority and supervision of the interrogator or another related person in authority. The interrogators act based on state law. One idea behind such spatial isolation is the prevention of ‘contamination’ by contact with others. ‘Usable information’ should be best extracted from a detainee before the interrogation process is ‘contaminated’ by his contact with others who may provide him with advice on how to answer (or not answer) questions or explain certain legal rights. Hence, interrogators seek a court order to prevent any contact between the detainee and his lawyer. In addition, they may request the court to place a gagging order on the case for a certain period of time. Building on a rationale of isolation and an assumption of ‘naiveté’ in a detainee (where s/he is not familiar with the imprisonment procedure), the interrogators seek to extract maximum usable information in a minimum amount of time before the spatial capsule they have created for the detainee is ‘pierced’ or ‘contaminated’. So the quality of usable information in this architectonics becomes a direct function of the degree of spatial isolation.

Ghazi-Walid Falah is a Bedouin Israeli-Canadian geographer, who is a tenured professor at the University of Akron, Ohio. He is an expert on political, social and urban geography of the Middle East and the Arab World, with special emphasis on Israel. Falah is a founder of the journal The Arab World Geographer and is Editor-in-Chief. The AWG has become the major journal published in English for research on the geography of the Arab, Muslim, and Middle-Eastern worlds.
___He was held for over three weeks in an Israeli jail after he was arrested on suspicion of espionage on July 8, 2006, while touring near the Lebanon border. He was denied access to a lawyer for the first 18 days of his detention.
___On July 30, 2006, the Israeli Shin Bet security service and the Israeli police released Dr. Falah without filing charges against him.

“. . . It is my right to behold the sun . . .” (Fouzi el-Asmar)

bilal❶ 10 Palestinian prisoners join mass hunger strike in solidarity with Bilal Kayid
❷ The terror of the children
❸ POETRY by Fouzi el-Asmar

Background from New Zealand International Review

Background from Public Health Ethics

` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Ma’an News Agency
July 31, 2016
Ten new Palestinian prisoners on Sunday joined a mass open hunger strike in solidarity with prisoner Bilal Kayid, according to Issa Qaraqe, head of the Palestinian Committee of Prisoners’ Affair, a day after reports emerged that Kayid’s health had deteriorated sharply after almost 50 days without food.
___Qaraqe told the Palestinian Wafa News Agency that ten prisoners from Israel’s Ramon prison joined the open strike, including Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) leader Ahmad Saadat, who was reportedly moved to solitary confinement after joining the strike, according to the Palestinian Prisoners’ Society.
___Kayid, a member of the PFLP, Palestine’s most popular left-wing political faction, has been on hunger strike for 47 days in protest of being placed in administrative detention — Israel’s controversial policy of internment without charge or trial under undisclosed evidence — on the day he was scheduled to be released after completing a 14-and-a-half-year prison sentence.      MORE . . .    

Military Court Watch (monitoring the treatment of children in detention)
Reprinted from El Pais (English)
Mario Vargas Llosa
July 25, 2016
[. . . .] The operations designed to induce panic are generally carried out at night by masked soldiers who first throw grenades into homes accompanied by shouting, with the aim of frightening families – above all, the children. These raids come out of the blue and are carefully orchestrated. The teenager or child who has been betrayed by an informer is blindfolded and handcuffed. The young suspects are then taken away in a truck, usually on the floor of the truck with the soldiers’ feet on top of them and the odd kick to keep them scared.
___In the interrogation room, they are left tied up on the floor for five to 10 hours. This helps to lower their morale and frighten them further. The subsequent interrogation follows a pattern; they are advised to admit to throwing stones, which will get them no more than two or three months behind bars. Otherwise, they will have to wait seven or eight months for their case to go to trial, which could means a worse sentence.       MORE . . .    

From New Zealand International Review
On 17 April 2012, Palestine Prisoners Day, more than 1000 Palestinian prisoners began an open-ended hunger strike to protest against unjust arrest procedures, arbitrary detention and bad prison conditions. Reported Richard Falk, ‘I am appalled by the continuing human rights violations in Israeli prisons and I urge the Government of Israel to respect its international human rights obligations towards all Palestinian prisoners.’
[. . . .]
___Since the 1967 war, an estimated 40 per cent of the Palestinian male population in the occupied territory has been in detention in Israeli jails. Israel makes widespread use of arbitrary detention; no charges, no trials. Some prisoners are held this way for years, just by renewing the arbitrary detention.
___Twenty-seven Palestinian parliamentarians and two ministers are being held. Human rights activists, taking part in nonviolent protests against the wall as it is expanded, are targeted.
___Political prisoners are held in Israel jails, against the Geneva Convention. Dostoevsky said you should judge a country by examining its prisons.  Griffiths, Lois, and Martin Griffiths. “The Palestine Story: To Exist Is To Resist.” New Zealand International Review 37.5 (2012): 4-9.   SOURCE 

From Public Health Ethics
The present article focuses on the case of the 2012 hunger-strike of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails. We analyze the ethical dilemma involved in the way the Israeli medical community reacted to these hunger-strikes and the question of force feeding within the context of the fundamental dual-loyalty structure inherent in the Israeli Prison Services—system. We argue that the liberal perspective that focuses the discussion on the dilemma between the principle of individual autonomy and the sanctity of life tends to be oblivious to the asymmetrical relation of power that characterizes the prison system and to the socio-political context in which hunger-strikes take place. Emphasizing hunger-strikes as political acts implies that health practitioners’ conducts cannot be analyzed only through the prism of clinical medical ethics. It requires a public health ethics’ approach, an approach that understands health in the context of the complex relationship between society, state, organizations, communities and individuals. The authors are both academics and volunteers in Physicians for Human Rights—Israel thus our analysis is based both on sociological and public health ethics principles and on the continuous work and advocacy for the right to health of prisoners. Filc, Dani, et al. “Palestinian Prisoners’ Hunger-Strikes In Israeli Prisons: Beyond The Dual-Loyalty Dilemma In Medical Practice And Patient Care.” Public Health Ethics 7.3 (2014): 229-238.     SOURCE 

“THE WAY,” by Fouzi El-Asmar

I shall not despair;
Whether my way leads to a jail,
under the sun
or in exile
I shall not despair.

It is my right to behold the sun
To demolish the tent and banishment
To eat the fruit of the olive
To water the vineyards
with music
To sing of Love
in Jaffa, in Haifa
To sow the fertile land
with new seeds
It is my right.

Let my way be
The reaching of one hand to another
That a tower of dreams be built.

This is my way
And if the last price to pay
is my sight
my life
I shall
but will not give up
my way.

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

“. . . Filling the dungeons with pride . . .” (Tawfiq Zayyad)

Arrest of Jerusalem child, February 9, 2015 (Photo: Silwan, Jerusalem, SILWANIC)

❶ The occupation forces arrest two children from Shu’fat and renew the administrative arrest of a young man
. . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Arrest and abuse by Israeli police part of life for children in Silwan
❷ Palestinian youth shot, injured in head with live fire during Israeli raid on Ramallah-area village
❸ Israeli Soldiers Kidnap Three Palestinians In Bethlehem
❺ POETRY by Tawfiq Zayyad
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Wadi Hilweh Information Center – Silwan
July 24, 2016
The occupation forces arrested two children from the neighborhood of Shu’fat north of Jerusalem.
___Lawyer Mohammad Mahmoud explained that the Israeli forces arrested Adam Abu Khdeir and Mahmoud Mohammad Abu Khdeir from Shu’fat and transferred them for interrogation.
___On the other hand, the occupation authorities renewed the administrative arrest imposed on Ahmad Abu Mayaleh for 3 more months as explained by lawyer Mahmoud.
MORE . . .  
Defense for Children International Palestine (DCIP)
Elisa Tappeiner
Feb 22, 2014
[. . . .] ___The consequences of child arrests in Silwan, and other Palestinian neighborhoods of Jerusalem, extend beyond the detention period. The traumatic experience of arrest and interrogation alongside the constant fear of arrest, disruption of education and the financial burden of posting bail and paying fines have taken their toll on the children, their families and the Silwan community as a whole.    MORE . . .   

Ma’an News Agency
July 24, 2016
A Palestinian youth was seriously injured Sunday at dawn during clashes with Israeli forces who raided the village of Silwad in the Ramallah district of the occupied West Bank.
___According to the Palestinian news agency Wafa, the youth was injured in the head with live fire and was taken to Palestine Medical Complex in Ramallah in a serious condition.
___Israeli forces reportedly fired live bullets, stun grenades, and tear gas as it raided the village in the pre-dawn hours of Sunday, while youths responded with throwing rocks and molotov cocktails.     MORE . . .  

Thirteen-year-old Ahmad Sharaka, shot dead by Israeli forces in Ramallah, October 11, 2015 (Photo: Al Jazeera)

International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC
July 24, 2016
Many Israeli military jeeps invaded, on Sunday at dawn, Bethlehem city and the nearby towns of al-Khader and Beit Sahour, searched homes and property before kidnapping three Palestinians, and confiscated surveillance tapes.
___Ahmad Salah, the coordinator of the Popular Committee against the Wall and Colonies in al-Khader town, south of Bethlehem, said the soldiers violently searched a number of homes and kidnapped two Palestinians.
___Salah added that the two kidnapped Palestinians, identified as Khaled Jamil Abu Samra, 50, and Mohammad Adeeb Mousa, 33, are former political prisoners.     MORE . . .

The Middle East Monitor – MEMO
July 21, 2016
The UK Parliament can have a positive impact on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict; Scottish National Party MP Paul Monaghan told a cross-party reception and seminar in London on Tuesday.
___The event, entitled “Palestine: Key for stability and peace in the Middle East”, was organised by the EuroPal Forum in an effort to build bridges between Palestinian, Arab and European decision makers and to exchange ideas to reach a just solution for the Palestinian cause.
[. . . .]
EuroPal Forum chairman, Zaher Birawi, said the Palestinian issue is an international issue that “has an impact on every single society in the world, in one way or another.” MORE . . .

It is much easier for you
To pass an elephant through a needle’s eye,
Or catch fried fish in a galaxy,
Plough the sea,
Force a crocodile to speak
Than to destroy by persecution
The shimmering glow of a belief,
Or check our march,
One single step.

As if we were a thousand prodigies
Spreading everywhere
In Lidda, in Ramallah, in the Galilee. . .
Here we shall stay,
A wall upon your breast,
And in your throat we shall stay,
A piece of glass, a cactus thorn,
And in your eyes,
A blazing fire.

Here we shall stay,
A wall upon your breast,
Cleaning dishes in taverns,
Filling cups for the masters,
Sweeping sooty kitchens
To snatch a bite from your blue fangs
For our children.
Here we shall stay.
A wall upon your breast,
Facing starvation,
Struggling with rags, defying,
Singing our songs,
Swarming the angry streets with our demonstrations,
Filling the dungeons with pride,
Rearing vengeance in new generations.
Like a thousand prodigies,
We roam along
In Lidda, in Ramallah, in the Galilee.

Here we shall stay,
Go then and jump into the lake.
We will guard even the shadow of our fig and olive trees,
And ferment our cause as yeast does dough.
Here we shall stay with steel-cold nerves,
And red hell in our hearts.
We squeeze the rock to quench our thirst
And lull starvation with dust,
But we shall not depart.
Here we shall spill our dearest blood,
Here we have a past,
A present,
A future.
Stay we will, like a thousand prodigies,
In Lidda, Ramallah, the Galilee.
Strike deep in the earth
Our living roots.

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 Tawfiq Zayyad

“. . . Any more leeway in regards to targeting civilians would suspend a fundamental cornerstone of our moral thinking.” (Eva Küblbeck)

Fares Khader al-Rishq, 20, critically injured extra-judicial shootings by Israeli soldiers, July 13, 2016, Al-Ram Town in the occupied West Bank (Photo: Ma’an News Agency)

❶ Israeli forces kill 1 Palestinian youth, injure 1, and detain 1 other

  • background from Journal of International Humanitarian Legal Studies

❷ Israel issues 34 admin detention orders

  • background from Third World Quarterly

❸ Opinion/Analysis:  THE ANGELS I LOST IN GAZA
❹ POETRY by Mourid Barghouti
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Ma’an News Agency
July 13, 2016
A Palestinian youth was killed and another injured by Israeli forces while a third was detained early on Wednesday, as soldiers opened fire at the youths’ vehicle in the town of al-Ram in the occupied West Bank’s Jerusalem district.
___The youth who was killed was identified as Anwar al-Salaymeh, 22, and the two survivors were identified as Fares Khader al-Rishq, 20, who remains critically injured, and Muhammad Nassar, 20, who was detained by Israeli forces after the incident.
___Locals told Ma’an that Israeli forces opened fire at three Palestinians youths, all residents of al-Ram, in a vehicle inside the town around dawn, as the three were seemingly unaware that Israeli forces were deployed in the town and conducting raids.      MORE . . .

From Journal of International Humanitarian Legal Studies
[. . . .] The human rights of many Palestinians are violated through discrimination, denial of freedom of movement, collective punishment, and economic sanctions resulting in widespread poverty. Combined, all these factors have devastating impacts on the social and economic situation in the Occupied Territories, and it can be argued that they constitute an “imminent and grave peril” to the Palestinian people’s interests.
[. . . .]
___The laws of war have failed to protect many Palestinian civilians, and doubt exists whether international law actually possesses the power to protect civilians or offers “no more than a reminder of the ideal. . . .“ Israel’s governments continue to fail to comply with the several international obligations and deny the applicability of the Fourth Geneva Convention to the Occupied Territories, the Fourth Hague Convention, and the Bill of Rights. This, however, does not mean that they lose their validity or cease to exist.
___The laws of war have been developed in order to regulate warfare and offer a certain amount protection in times of warfare. Even though civilian immunity is not absolute, it allows only for very few circumstances in which civilians can be targeted. Introducing more exemptions, or extending the existing ones further, bears the danger of seriously undermining the system and may have far-reaching negative consequences.
___. . . Humanitarian law, like human rights, has high standards and countries will not always be able or willing to live up to them. Nevertheless, their existence is crucial as a moral and legal obligation. The protection of non-combatants, including children, the elderly, and disabled is too important to be made part of military calculations. The fact that civilians can legitimately be killed in the form of “collateral damage” is concerning enough. While potentially unavoidable, it remains a dangerous act of balance between the accidental and the intentional. Any more leeway in regards to targeting civilians would suspend a fundamental cornerstone of our moral thinking.

  • Küblbeck, Eva. “The Immunity of Civilians – A Moral and Legal Study Of Attacks on the Civilian Population.” Journal of International Humanitarian Legal Studies 4.2 (2013): 262-295.    SOURCE.
Palestinian prisoners in an Israeli military prison, December 24, 2015. (Photo: ChameleonsEye / Shutterstock.com)

Days of Palestine
July 13, 2016
Israeli occupation issued on Tuesday 34 administrative detention orders ranging between three to six renewable months against Palestinians.
___Lawyer of the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society Mahmoud al-Halabi said that 24 of the orders were issued against prisoners, who had already spent months or years inside Israeli jails under administrative detention.
___Israeli uses administrative detention to keep Palestinians, including politicians and MPS inside prison for an unlimited period without any reasons.      MORE . . .   

From Third World Quarterly
[. . . .] It was clear to Arendt that Israel was crafting a new ‘regime of truth’. . . .  This rhetoric has become a real presence in the West. It has metastasised into a global truth and it controls much of the narrative on Muslims. Western foreign policy is substantially based on this ‘truth’. Muslims/Arabs are compelled to accept it. The disdain for Palestinians flows from it as well. Any opposition to it is labelled antiSemitic (as in hating Jews); resistance in Occupied Palestine is quelled by F16s and military invasions. The West sells this as stability and peace. To reject it is to rebuff human rights, freedom and democracy.
___The corollary of this logic is the sibling regime of anti-Semitism. Hating Arabs is normal and calling Palestinians the new Nazis obligatory. Loving Israel is a sign of tolerance, opposing its policies is ‘terrorism’. So is being Muslim, since Islam is deemed violent by nature. Critics of the Jewish/Israel lobby are branded ‘hateful’. Arendt understood that the Zionist settlers in Palestine had pioneered this logic: ‘they did not even to stop to think of the very existence of Arabs’, an attitude she condemned as ‘plain racist chauvinism’. Such arrogance would only make them unsafe and insecure. Arendt’s fear has been realised—although she was not above this sort of prejudice. She called Africans ‘savages’ continually.
___Since 1945 the ‘never again’ chant has become canonical. Yet the West did not oppose genocide in places like the Congo and Rwanda.

  • Dossa, Shiraz. “Auschwitz’s Finale: Racism and Holocausts.” Third World Quarterly 33.9 (2012): 1575-1593.   SOURCE.

❸ Opinion/Analysis: THE  ANGELS  I  LOST  IN  GAZA
The Electronic Intifada
Doa’a Abu Amer
July 8, 2016
It has taken me a long time to gather the strength to write about a period of my life that has reshaped me completely: the night I lost 14 members of my family.
___It was a night I had barely escaped myself. I had been transported to safety in far away Australia not two weeks before.
___The evening of 17 July 2014 was to be my last in Gaza. I was due to be evacuated to Jordan and then Australia, to which I had a visa. It would be the last I would spend with my beloved family.
___The night before, the eighth night of Israel’s “Protective Edge” military assault on Gaza, we — along with 1.8 million other Palestinians besieged on a strip of land of 365 square kilometers — weren’t able to sleep. Tanks shelled civilian houses seemingly at random, drones filled the skies and the cries of ambulance sirens penetrated every home.   MORE . . .


I have not seen any horrors,
I have not seen a dragon in the land,
I have not seen the Kraken* in the sea,
nor a witch or a policeman
at the outset of my day.
Pirates have not overtaken mu desires,
thieves have not broken down the door of my life,
my absence has not been long,
it only took me one lifetime.

How come you saw scars
on my face, sorrow in my eyes,
and bruises in my bones and in my heart?
These are only illusions.
I have not seen any horrors,
everything was extremely normal.
Don’t worry,
your son is still in his grave, murdered,
and he’s fine.

*a legendary sea monster of large proportions

Interview with Mourid Barghouti  
From Barghouti, Mourid. MIDNIGHT AND OTHER POEMS. Trans. Radwa Ashour. Todmorden, UK: Arc Publications, 2008. Available from Amazon.  

“. . . living with extreme traumatization as it ripples across family life . . .”


1-home invasion
A Palestinian woman inspects the damage to her house after it was stormed by the Israeli army in the West Bank city of Nablus, 27 June 2014. (Nedal Eshtayah APA images)

❶ Israeli forces injure Palestinian youth with live fire during detentions raids in Bethlehem

  • From International Journal of Applied Psychoanalytic Studies

❷ Israeli soldiers kidnap a Palestinian Teen near Ramallah
❸ Israeli settlers set fire to Palestinian agricultural lands near Nablus

  • From Berkeley Journal of International Law

❹ PCHR Report on Israeli Human Rights Violations in the oPt (16 – 22 June 2016)
❺ POETRY by Fadwa Tuqan
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Ma’an News Agency
June 24, 2016
Israeli forces Friday injured a young Palestinian in Dheisheh refugee camp with live fire during predawn raids carried out across the occupied West Bank city of Bethlehem, locals told Ma’an.
___The Palestinian youth was reportedly struck with live fire in the leg after clashes broke out between Palestinian youths and Israeli soldiers [. . . .]
___Israeli forces also raided the cities of Beit Jala and Doha in Bethlehem overnight, as locals reported Israeli forces, including bulldozers, entered the areas and confiscated footage from surveillance cameras outside several stores.     MORE . . .

From International Journal Of Applied Psychoanalytic Studies
[. . . .] We come together on these questions: What is it like to be a mother on this particular frontline living with a form of political violence that targets family life and is, at once ongoing and relentless and also abrupt and shattering? Might these mothers’ stories teach us something about what it takes to mobilize psychically, to transcend the penetrating oppression induced by the exposure to continuous trauma?
___These mothers are caught between two powerfully dehumanizing forces: a military occupation that challenges daily living – driving communities into poverty, breaking non-violent resistance and using harsh and brutal measures to intimidate – and a restrictive, patrilineal household, organized to control movement, development, and the expression of their sexuality and placing the highest value on male honor. Under these twinned forces, the very act of parenting – providing safety and protection, rendering discipline and vision, and educating both formally and informally – become monumental. These forces not only stress the “everydayness” of family life, but also fray the very fibers of communities, inverting values and norms and, perhaps, altering meaning itself.
___These mothers are thus giving us a close reading of living with extreme traumatization as it ripples across family life.

  • Roth, Judy, and Salwa Duaibis. “Crows On The Cradles: Palestinian Mothers At A Frontline Vortex: Reflections On The Psychology Of Occupation.” International Journal Of Applied Psychoanalytic Studies 12.1 (2015): 5-20.  ARTICLE.

International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC
June 24, 2016
Israeli soldiers kidnapped, On Friday at dawn, a Palestinian teenager in the al-Am’ari refugee camp, in the central West Bank district of Ramallah.
___The Palestinian Prisoners Society (PPS) has reported that the soldiers invaded and searched several homes in the refugee camp, and kidnapped Qussai Nidal M’alla, 17.
___The PPS said more than 15 army vehicles invaded the camp, after surrounding it, and that the soldiers also invaded the al-Masyoun and Um ash-Sharayet areas, in Ramallah and al-Biereh.    MORE . . .  

Israeli soldiers arrest a Palestinian youth during an incursion in the West bank town of Nablus, 25 February 2007. (Getty Images)

Ma’an News Agency
June 23, 2016
Israeli settlers set fire to dozens of dunams of Palestinian agricultural lands on Thursday afternoon near the Qablan junction south of Nablus in the northern occupied West Bank.
___Abd al-Khaliq Salih, a resident of the nearby al-Sawiya village told Ma’an that several settlers from the illegal Israeli settlement of Rachalim near the village set fire to dozens of dunams of farmlands in the al-Tulma area which is owned by people from al-Sawiya, and is located near Qablan junction.
___Salih said large parts of the surrounding area quickly caught fire due to the heat, causing dozens more olive and other trees to burn.
___He added that Palestinian firefighters were prevented from getting to the area by settlers.      MORE . . . 

From Berkeley Journal Of International Law
Thus, the law that vested the occupant with the power to ensure the welfare of the occupied population has been used by the former to advance its own interests to the detriment of the latter.
___Indeed, while different phenomena are associated with the settlements—such as unequal allocation of water resources coupled with acute water shortage in the Palestinians villages and acts of violence committed by settlers against the Palestinian population which receive no proper response from the Israeli security forces—it is the legal terrain wrought by the occupation which is of special relevance to our analysis. There are separate legal systems operating concurrently in the West Bank, effectively dividing the population along ethnic lines.
___Jewish settlers are extraterritorially subject to Israeli civilian law, whereas the Palestinians are subject to the Israeli military law and to local law.

  • Ben-Naftali, Orna, Aeyal M. Gross, and Keren Michaeli. “Illegal Occupation: Framing The Occupied Palestinian Territory.” Berkeley Journal Of International Law 23.3 (2005): 551-614.  ARTICLE.

International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC
June 23, 2016
Israeli violations of international law and international humanitarian law in the occupied Palestinian territories continued during the reporting period (16 – 22 June 2016).
___Shootings . . . Incursions . . . Collective punishments . . . .      MORE . . .      

“A salute to our sons and daughters, the fighters that have been swallowed up by Israeli prisons.”

  1. From “Hiba’s” Diary
    My mother’s phantom hovers here
    her forehead shines in my eyes
    like the light of stars
    She might be thinking of me now,

(Before my arrest
I drew letters on a book
new and old
I painted roses
reared with blood
and my mother was near me
blessing my painting)

I see her
on her face silence and loneliness now
and in the house
silence and loneliness
My book case there on the book shelf
and my school’s uniform on the hanger
I see her hand extending
removing the dust from it
I follow my mother’s steps
and listen to her thoughts
yearn to hug her and the face of the day

About Fadwa Tuqan
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 Amazon.

“Palestinian boy ‘mistakenly’ killed by Israeli forces”

15-year-old Mahmoud Raafat Badran, shot dead by Israeli forces on June 21, 2016 (Photo: Ma’an News Agency)

❶ Palestinian boy ‘mistakenly’ killed by Israeli forces while driving near stone-throwing incident
❷ Prisoner leaders thrown in solitary confinement; 120 Palestinians striking in Megiddo prison
❹ POETRY by Yusuf Hamdan
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Ma’an News Agency
June 21, 2016
Israeli forces shot and killed a 15-year-old Palestinian bystander and seriously injured four other Palestinian teens early Tuesday morning west of Ramallah in the central occupied West Bank, after Palestinian youth nearby threw stones and Molotov cocktails at Israeli settlers, lightly injuring them.
___The Palestinian Ministry of Health confirmed the death of Mahmoud Raafat Badran, 15, from the village of Beit Ur al-Tahta.     MORE . . .

  • From European Journal Of International Law 

[. . . .]
The crucial principle that underlies jus in bello is that civilians must be shielded from the violence of the battle. That means that they cannot be directly targeted; terrorism is ruled out from the beginning (this is what the terrorists complain about). It also means that injuries inflicted on civilians indirectly, incidentally, in the course of the fighting – what is called ‘collateral damage’ – must be limited. The standard understanding of the limits is that the injury to civilians must not be ‘disproportionate’ to the value of the military target. The point is to permit the attack so long as the target is really important and the risk to innocent people falls within a reasonable range. ‘Innocent’ here is a term of art; it means ‘disengaged from the business of war’. It says nothing about the moral standing of disengaged men and women, but it does say something, and it is meant to say something, about the moral standing of anyone who deliberately sets out to kill them.
[. . . .]
If we want to protect innocent lives in war, we have to work through the responsibility arguments and we have to get the proportionality calculations right. And these arguments and calculations require us to bracket – not forever but for a reflective moment – our political sympathies and antipathies and to focus narrowly on what happens on the battlefield or in the course of the asymmetric struggle. How should insurgents and soldiers aim their weapons, with what intentions, in what circumstances, with what degree of care? There are right answers to these questions, and the right answers will not deny victory to the men and women who adopt them as their military code.

  • Walzer, Michael. “Coda: Can The Good Guys Win?.” European Journal Of International Law 24.1 (2013): 433-444.  ARTICLE. 

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network
June 21, 2016
120 Palestinian prisoners are currently on hunger strike in Megiddo prison in solidarity with Bilal Kayed, the Palestinian prisoner who was ordered to six months administrative detention without charge or trial upon the expiration of his 14.5 year sentence in Israeli prison on Monday, 13 June. Two of the leaders of the prisoners’ movement – Wael Jaghoub and Kamil Abu Hanish – have been thrown into solitary confinement,  said early reports from the prisons on 21 June.
___Kayed has been on hunger strike since 14 June demanding his freedom and the cancellation of the administrative detention order.     MORE . . .

  • From Journal Of International Human Rights

Israeli security authorities see these non-violent demonstrations as a security threat, and, in many cases, have used excessive crowd control measures to disperse them, causing increasing numbers of deaths and injuries to civilians. The IDF regularly declares protest venues as closed military zones to try to prevent the protests from taking place. When they do, the military arrests protesters (Palestinians, Israelis, and foreigners) and in some cases uses tear gas, rubber coated bullets, and other violent measures against non-violent protesters. Nevertheless, the Palestinians are undeterred and continue fighting for their rights in these demonstrations, hoping this will eventually bring a change to their reality.
[. . . .]
___I do not make these observations on the non-violent resistance to paint a skewed picture of reality in the region. Israel remains constantly challenged by real and dangerous security threats to its citizens and troops. However, it is the complexity of this situation, the decades of occupation and oppression, and the high toll the conflict takes on both the Israeli and Palestinian societies that all justify continuous attempts to offer legal, political, and social solutions that will improve it. Furthermore, the rise in the non-violent resistance justifies taking a closer look, particularly at the possibility of increased human rights protections.
___International relations scholar Adam Roberts claims there is no need to try to prove that any of Israel’s commitments pass an applicability test in a given situation. He argues that the burden of proof to show that Israel’s IHL obligations do not apply to the occupied territories is on Israel, and until the burden is met, the assumption is that Israel must conform to the terms of this legal framework.

  • Greenblatt, Keren. “Gate Of The Sun”: Applying Human Rights Law In The Occupied Palestinian Territories In Light Of Non-Violent Resistance And Normalization.” Journal Of International Human Rights 12.2 (2014): 152-190.  ARTICLE.
Bilal Kayed ordered to administrative detention when he was scheduled to be released on June 13 after nearly 15 years in Israeli prisons (Photo: Gaza.Scoop.ps – Real Time News From Gaza, June 16, 2016)

+972 Magazine
Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man
June 20, 2016
A new anti-terrorism bill passed by Israel’s Knesset last week may have actually perpetuated the single, looming problem its writers set out to solve — ending Israel’s 67-year state of emergency.
___The bill is one of many pushed through the Knesset in recent years as part of an effort to eventually revoke the country’s declared state of emergency, initially declared by the British Mandate government in the 1940s and renewed every year since by Israel’s legislative body.
___The emergency regulations have been abused by Israeli state bodies to draw authorities outside the framework of the law for years, from the regulation of taxi meters to health care procedures to administrative detention, the practice of imprisoning somebody — indefinitely — without charge or trial.      MORE . . . 


I say that I hate occupation
you get angry
wake the mountain from its sleep
and chide the fox for forgetting
and you draw the arrest order

I say that I hate war and fighting
you get angry
send an armed messenger
to tell me: Come!
and when I smile
you drown in insults and coughs

I say that I hate oppression
and that all I have
of progressive papers is Al-Itthad
you get angry
and from the sky
you pour Jerusalem and the News
al-Subh and al-Masa
and New Outlook
and other names

I say that I hate rape
you get angry
and honor me in a prison cell
and inflict punishment upon me
and guard me from my friends

I say that I love Justice
you hate it!

I say that I hate injustice
you love it
and if you get angry
there is the ocean drink it!

My anger drips oil and honey
my pain bears almonds, flouts, and roses
so jail my piece of bread
I defy

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.
Yusuf Hamdan was born in 1942 in the Triangle area of Palestine. He lived in Haifa in the early ‘60s and taught in a nearby Arabic school. He published his poems in al-Jadid, al-Ittihad, and al-Ghad, and lost his teaching position because of his poetry. In 1970 he left Israel for the US, where he presently lives and works.
Al-Ittihad (The Union) is an Israeli Arabic-language daily newspaper based in Haifa. Once considered the most important Arab media outlet in Israel, it is owned by Maki, the Israeli Communist Party. It is currently edited by Aida Touma-Suleiman.

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

Israeli prosecutors have charged seven young Jews in connection with a wave of so-called “price tag” attacks targeting Palestinians and Arab Israelis and their property, the justice ministry said. (Photo: News of Bahrain, Posted on 25-Apr-2016)

❶ Israeli Authorities Issue Administrative Detention Orders Against 39 Palestinian Detainees
❷ Settler violence aims to dispossess, and it work
❸ Army Kills A Palestinian Woman Near Tulkarem
❺ POETRY by Mourid Barghouti
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Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
June 2, 2016
Israeli occupation authorities Thursday issued administrative detention orders against 39 Palestinian Detainees, according to the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS).
___PPS lawyer, Mahmoud al-Halabi, said 30 orders were issued against detainees who have spent months and years in Israeli jails, without charge or trial.
___Administrative detention is implemented solely on the basis of an administrative order, without either indictment or trial. . . . international law stipulates that it may be exercised only in very exceptional cases. . . said B’Tselem, an Israeli human rights information center [. . . .]
___“Israel’s use of administrative detention blatantly violates the restrictions of international law.”   MORE . . .  

Two of the most interesting and surprising findings previously discussed are the increasing number of petitions to the Court, despite the high withdrawal rate and the fact that the Court has not released one individual in the past ten years. The interviews shed some light on these findings and suggest possible explanations that link both these issues together.
___The combination of secret evidence, administrative detentions, and security crisis creates a unique challenge to judicial proceedings and to due process. The inquisitorial judicial management model has emerged to confront this challenge and to provide strong judicial guarantees against arbitrary and unjustified detentions. The Israeli model of judicial management-widely discussed as a model to be emulated-has been praised for achieving the desired balance between individual liberty and national security. It was commended for its robust scrutiny of secret evidence and for safeguarding individual liberty at times of national emergencies.
___Nonetheless, as this research reveals, the actual practice is much more complex and much less optimistic. The Court systematically avoids issuing release orders, and demonstrates minimal intervention with regard to the assessment of the secret evidence.

  • Krebs, Shiri. “Lifting The Veil Of Secrecy: Judicial Review Of Administrative Detentions In The Israel Supreme Court.” Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law 45.3 (2012): 639-703.    ARTICLE . . .         More about Administrative detention

+972 Blog
Yossi Gurvitz from Yesh Din
May 31, 2016
(A, a farmer) is a resident of the village Faratha in the West Bank. He declined to have his name published, as he has become a regular target for attacks by Israeli civilians. He owns two plots of land; the illegal settlement outpost of Havat Gilad is built next to one of them. The establishment of the outpost led to the familiar pattern of dispossession in the West Bank [. . . .]
___And so, seven dunams of land were taken from A.’s possession and practically turned over to Israeli squatters as a reward. Once settlers seize land, it is almost impossible to liberate it.       MORE . . .  

Those who try to challenge the state’s limits on construction of new settlements are mostly young activists living in outposts, who oppose not only state restrictions, but also the compromises made by the mainstream settlement movement. Their frustrations are often expressed through vandalism and violence — infamously known as “price tag” attacks, symbolizing that this is the “cost” the Israeli government and Palestinians must pay for actions against settlements and outposts. In such attacks they target the holy sites and private property of their Palestinian neighbors . . . .
___The ideological core of the national-religious have reacted to setbacks in recent years by accumulating power within the Likud party in order to affect national decision making from within. They have also launched assertive campaigns to win the hearts and minds of the public in favor of maintaining Israeli control over the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Some of their prominent leaders . . .  have begun calling more explicitly and systematically than ever to annex the West Bank/Judea and Samaria (in parts or in its entirety), and to naturalize its Arab-Palestinian residents.

  • Zalzberg, Ofer. “Israel’s National-Religious Jews and the Quest for Peace.” Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture 20/21.4/1 (2015): 60-66.      Article. . .

International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC
June 2, 2016
___Israeli soldiers killed, on Thursday afternoon, a Palestinian woman, at the Ennab military roadblock, east of Tulkarem city, in the northern part of the occupied West Bank.
___The Israeli military claimed that the slain woman “attempted to stab a soldier,” before she was shot and seriously wounded.
___An eyewitness told the al-Fajr Palestinian TV that an army officer opened fire on the woman while she was more than three meters (approximately 10 feet) away from the soldiers. The Israeli army said there were no injuries among its soldiers.
___ The Palestinian Health Ministry said the slain woman has been identified as Ansar Husam Harsha, 25, from Qaffin town, northeast of the northern West Bank city of Tulkarem. She is a married mother of two children.      MORE . . .

Ma’an News Agency
Ramzy Baroud
June 1, 2016
Israeli society is constantly swerving to the right and, by doing so, the country’s entire political paradigm is redefined regularly. That Israel is now ruled by “the most extreme right-wing government in its history” has grown from being an informed assessment to a dull cliché over the course of only a few years.
___. . . . The same sentiment, with almost the exact wording, is being infused again, as Netanyahu has expanded his coalition by bringing to the fold the ultranationalist Avigdor Lieberman [. . . .]
___ . . . former defense minister, Yaalon, was regarded by some as an example of professionalism and morality. He is “well-regarded,” wrote William Booth in the Washington Post, compared to the “polarizing maverick” Lieberman. But ‘well-regarded’ by whom? By Israeli society, the majority of whom support the cold-blooded murder of Palestinians?          MORE . . .

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.
Murīd al-Barghūti (born July 8, 1944, in Deir Ghassana, near Ramallah, on the West Bank) is a Palestinian poet and writer. While Barghouti was studying at the University of Cairo in 1967, the 6-Day War broke out, and he was unable to return to the West Bank until 1996. He was expelled from Egypt in 1977 and was exiled in Budapest separated from his wife, the Egyptian novelist Radwa Ashour. They have been together in the West Bank since they were allowed to return together in 1996. Their son, Tamim Al Barghouti, born in Egypt in 1977, is himself an important Palestinian poet.
Other poems by Mourid Barghouti here, and here.

“. . . Where’s my father now? So we might join hands . . .” (Waleed al-Halees)

PLEASE NOTE: The content of this blog is changed: it presents fewer news items and gives more background for those items. This will provide deeper understanding of the issues shaping the news. All articles without direct links can be found through an EBSCO search in any library with online databases.

A still from July 2013 video footage taken by Israeli human rights watchdog group B’Tselem – The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories – shows five-year-old Wadi Maswadeh and his younger sister with an unknown adult surrounded by soldiers before Wadi’s arrest

❶ Israeli forces detain alleged ‘Hamas cell’ behind Jerusalem bus explosion
❷ Switzerland gets active on Palestinian reconciliation
❸ Report: “Israel Issued 729 Administrative Detention Orders This Year”
❺ POETRY by Waleed al-Halees
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Ma’an News Agency
May 29, 2016
The Israeli army announced on Sunday that Israel’s internal security service agency had apprehended six Palestinians belonging to a “Hamas terror cell” allegedly behind a Jerusalem bus explosion in April.
___An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an that the Shin Bet agency had detained Palestinians in the occupied West Bank district of Bethlehem in past weeks, over their alleged involvement in a group which planned an explosion on a bus in southern Jerusalem on April 18 [. . . .]
___The Hamas movement claimed responsibility for the explosion . . .    MORE . . .   

Why and how young men choose to join violent terrorist/military organisations – often using their bodies as deadly weapons – is a matter that continues to puzzle social scientists and the policy world, as well as society at large. This enduring question, which is ultimately about humanity and the allure of violence, has become particularly salient given the changing nature of the global landscape concerning security development. [. . . .]
___Hamas is particularly interesting because of its unique positioning as a legal, democratic, legitimate political actor, as a terrorist organisation, as a paramilitary force, and as a social association. Hamas has used both suicide bombings and rocket attacks as part of its political struggle against Israelis, and has been classified as a terrorist organisation by the EU and the US, as well as by Russia, Israel, Japan and Canada. However, the Arabic “Islamist” party democratically won the 2006 Palestinian Legislative Council elections, with a political platform that underlines Shari’a as the basis of the law. Thereafter Hamas has reduced their “terrorist” activity.

  • Malmström, Maria Frederika. “Porous Masculinities: Agential Political Bodies Among Male Hamas Youth.” Etnográfica: Revista Do Centro De Estudos De Antropologia Social 19.2 (2015): 301-322.   ARTICLE . . .   

Al-Monitor (Palestine Pulse)
Ahmad Melhem
May 27, 2016
Paul Garnier, the Swiss ambassador to Palestine, visited the Gaza Strip through the Beit Hanoun (Erez) crossing, which is controlled by Israel, twice in a short period. The first visit was on April 6, and the second on May 9. These visits attest to the Swiss’ intensified action regarding reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah, hoping to overcome the division that has plagued the Palestinian scene since 2007.      MORE . . .  

Oslo is history. Twenty years have passed since the last significant peace accord between the Israelis and the Palestinians. The intervening years have been marked by an intifada and three military interventions in Gaza by the Israel Defense Forces that have left around seven thousand Palestinians and one thousand Israelis dead. The so-called “Peace Process” is in tatters and there seems to be no way of re-stitching it.
___But the West still can’t let go of the nostalgic image of Bill Clinton inviting the late Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin to shake hands with Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat in September 1993. The handshake was real, but the accord itself was illusory.

  • Casertano, Stefano. “Broken Peaces.” World Affairs 177.5 (2015): 69-74.     ARTICLE . . .    
Rally celebrating the surprise 2006 Hamas election victory in the West Bank (Photo: BBC News, July 11, 2014)

International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC
May 28, 2016
Riyad al-Ashqar, the media spokesperson of The Palestinian Prisoners’ Center for Studies, has reported that the Israeli occupation authorities issued 729 arbitrary Administrative Detention orders, since the beginning of this year, and that most of the orders were renewals of previous ones.
___Al-Ashqar stated that these numbers are a %35 increase of the same period of last years, when Israel issued 493 orders.        MORE . . .  

Thus, if the authorities could guarantee better conditions to detainees by holding them in Israel, rather than in the OT as required under Article 76 of the Convention, they were conforming with ‘the substantive provisions of the Geneva Convention relating to conditions of detention’. The rhetoric in this judgment would seem to imply that, by holding that the Convention should be interpreted for the benefit of the protected persons, the Court was departing from the approach described above that prefers state interests to the rights of individuals, and was holding that the Convention should be interpreted for the benefit of the protected persons. However, the rhetoric was employed in the concrete case so as to justify the authorities’ refusal to comply with the strict requirements of the Fourth Geneva Convention. The decision therefore appears to be consistent with the general approach of the Court mentioned above, which favors the interpretation that supports the government’s position.

  • Kretzmer, David. “The Law of Belligerent Occupation in the Supreme Court of Israel.” International Review of the Red Cross 94.885 (2012): 207-236. ARTICLE . . .  

The Middle East Monitor – MEMO
Asa Winstanley
May 28, 2016
B’Tselem is probably the most influential Israeli human rights group there is.  The group was founded during the first Palestinian intifada, and thus has been working on compiling evidence of violations of Palestinian human rights in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip for more the 25 years.   [. . . .]
___A turning point in the group’s history came this week, as it published a new report titled “The Occupation’s Figleaf”. In it, B’Tselem announced that it would no longer refer complaints of abuses to Israel’s military law enforcement system in the West Bank. [. . . .]
___ The B’Tselem report explains the group’s reasons for this seminal decision: “There is no longer any point in pursuing justice and defending human rights by working with a system whose real function is measured by its ability to continue to successfully cover up unlawful acts and protect perpetrators.”      MORE . . .   

Colonialism is not just about a seminal moment of conquest but rather the implementation of various designs that over decades actively and radically alter laws, land use policies, property rights, and that also reconfigure urban spaces with new city planning strategies.
___Race and new racist logics are crucial to these violent transformations — and they are usually quite violent in one way or another. Israeli governance, I assert in the book**, is consistent with settler-colonialism, a specific form of colonial rule that seeks to replace one group of people with another.  [. . . .]
___What I witnessed in Jerusalem and other places was a Palestinian population increasingly “warehoused” in deeply circumscribed and policed areas — almost completely under Israeli control. These towns, villages, neighborhoods, and refugee camps are often surrounded by Israel’s destructive (and illegal) separation barrier. At the same time, those who resist Israeli military rule (even children as young as 10) are routinely detained and most of these detainees, Israeli and other human rights organizations tell us, are badly beaten or tortured.Interview withThomas Abowd. “Jerusalem: Colonized City.”

  • Against The Current 31.181 (2016): 25-28.     ARTICLE . . .
  • ** Colonial Jerusalem. The Spatial Construction of Identity and Difference in a City of Myth, 1948-2012 (Syracuse University Press, 2014).


[. . . .]
Where’s my father so I might tell him
his seed is not content merely with life,
a faint hope for life?
that a warm womb
is equal to all kinds of life.
Where’s my father now?
So we might join hands
and laugh, spitting, gripping life with force
(no life can be had but by force)
―I swear I’ve lied to God just now
for life taken by force only equals
all the warm wombs of women.
Forgive me, Mother,
Slowly I became the wise child of this life!
[. . . .]
Translated by Lena Jayyusi and Naomi Shihab Nye

from ANTHOLOGY  OF  MODERN  PALESTINIAN  LITERATURE. Ed. Salma Khadra Jayyusi. New York: Columbia University Press, 1992. Available from Columbia University Press. Waleed al-Halees (b. 1952), a contemporary Palestinian poet from Gaza who currently lives in a compulsory exile, composed a poem entitled, “A Poem on a Closed Summer” in which ‘ among other things ‘ he mentions the hardships and agonies he encounters, but he never despairs.