“. . . You may impose a nightmare of your terror . . .” (Samih Al-Qasim)

❶ Tayseer Khaled: The Declaration of Independence Still The Guiding Standard of Our National Struggle

  • Background: Palestinian Statehood: Trapped between Rhetoric and Realpolitik.” International & Comparative Law Quarterly

❷ FM Malki says Palestine will not accept blackmail on PLO mission in US
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) European medical delegation conducts surgeries in Gaza
❸ Opinion/Analysis: The international community should prioritize Palestine’s security
❹ POETRY by Samih Al-Qasim
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Palestine News Network – PNN
Nov. 18, 2017 ― In commemorating the 29th anniversary of the Palestinian Declaration of Independence, member of the PLO’s Executive Committee, Head of the Palestinian Expatriate Affairs Department , Tayseer Khaled, said that the Declaration adopted by the Palestinian National Council at its 19th session held in Algiers on Nov. 1988, remains a compass for our national struggle as well as the right to self-determination, the right of return and the right to establish a Palestinian State on all the occupied Palestinian territories of the 1967 aggression, on top of which Jerusalem, the eternal capital of the people and State of Palestine.
___Adding, the Palestinian people’s rights as specified in the Declaration of Independence are inalienable and will not be a negotiating issue.
___The American administration shall not waste time in promoting solutions that deny these rights. . .  the administration intends to provide what it named an “Deal of the Century” [which] has nothing to do with the international legitimacy’s resolutions, and it will be rejected by the Palestinians, stressing the need to return to the Palestinian Central Council and the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization’s resolutions, and to rebuild the relationship with Israel being an occupying colonial and apartheid state.   MORE . . .

Eden, Paul.
INTERNATIONAL  &  COMPARATIVE  LAW  QUARTERLY, vol. 62, no. 1, Jan. 2013, pp. 225-239.
[. . . .] On 22 November 1974, UNGA Resolution 3237 (XXIX) granted the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) observer status in its capacity as a national liberation movement. Resolution 3237 included the right of the PLO ‘to participate as an observer in the sessions and the work of all international conferences convened under the auspices of other organs of the United Nations’. . . .  On 15 December 1988, the UNGA adopted Resolution 43/177 that acknowledged the proclamation of the State of Palestine by the Palestine National Council on 15 November 1988, affirmed the sovereignty of the Palestinian people over their territory occupied since 1967, and decided that effective as of 15 November 1988, the designation of ‘Palestine’ should be used in place of the designation ‘Palestine Liberation Organization’ in the United Nations system. . .
[. . . .] On 7 July 1998, the UNGA adopted Resolution 52/250, conferring additional rights and privileges on Palestine regarding participation in the work of the UN that had previously been reserved for Member States. . .  [. . . .] One of the key problems with the assertion that the entity under the control of the Palestinian Authority (PA) is a State for the purposes of international law is the fact that both the 1993 Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements (‘DOP’) and the 1995 Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip (‘Interim Agreement’) clearly indicate that the Palestinian Authority lacks the capacity to conduct foreign relations.
[. . . .] There can be little doubt that the Palestinians have a right of self-determination but the powers currently possessed by the Palestinian Authority fall short of the independence necessary for Palestine (as currently constituted) to be regarded as a sovereign State. The fact that over two-thirds of the Member States of the United Nations currently recognize the existence of the State of Palestine is more indicative of a rhetorical commitment to the realization of Palestinian self-determination than anything else. As James Crawford notes, ‘[s]elf-determination, while it may and often does lead to statehood, is not the same thing as statehood.’ [. . . .]    FULL ARTICLE . . .

Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA 
Nov. 18, 2017 ― The Palestinian leadership will not accept any blackmail or pressure regarding the operation of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) delegation in Washington or negotiations, Foreign Minister Riyad Malki said on Saturday.
___He told Voice of Palestine Radio that his US counterpart, Rex Tillerson, had not yet signed the memorandum that is issued every six months and which allows the PLO mission’s office in Washington to remain open despite the expiration of the previous memorandum two days ago.
___He said that the US Secretary of State signs this memorandum based on his conviction that the PLO has not done anything that would affect the situation that exists on the ground.
___Malki said that failure to sign the memorandum so far may be part of US measures aimed at pressuring the leadership or create confusion in relation to several political topics.   MORE . . .
The Palestinian Information Center 
Nov. 18, 2017 ― A delegation from the Palestinian Doctors Union in Europe, France branch, on Saturday performed a series of qualitative surgeries in a number of hospitals in the Gaza Strip.
___The PIC reporter said that the medical crew conducted surgeries in al-Shifa, Nasser and Indonesian hospitals in Gaza in coordination with the Palestine Children’s Relief Fund.
___Director of the Gaza office of the Palestinian Doctors Union, Dr. Ahmad Abu Nada, said that the delegation, composed of two doctors named Nizar Badran and Raouf Salati, participated in the seventh conference organized by the faculty of medicine at the Islamic University of Gaza under the title “Health Crisis and Disaster Management in the Gaza Strip”.   MORE . . .
The Palestinian Information Center
Nov. 17, 2017  The reconciliation agreement between the Palestinian Authority and Hamas increasingly resembles other political miscalculations which the international community still upholds as significant reference points . . . .
___Upon Hamas returning control of Gaza’s border crossings to the PA, the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Nickolay Mladenov, issued a statement that is flawed on many counts. Not only does it marginalise Hamas’s major political role in Palestine . . .   by completely failing to mention the movement, but it also insinuates that the reconciliation agreement constitutes “positive momentum”. . . .
___“I take this opportunity,” said Mladenov, “to remind all factions in Gaza of the importance of maintaining security and ending militant activities that undermine peace and security for both Palestinians and Israelis alike.” There was no mention of militant Israeli activities which underpin the occupation and siege of the coastal territory.
___According to Hamas, the UN official’s comments provided “cover for more Israeli crimes against the Palestinian people.”  [. . . .] there are elements missing from Hamas’s criticism which would shed more light upon the dismissive attitude of the international community towards Palestinians in Gaza.    MORE . . .

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

“Poems of Resistance: 7 Poems for Palestine.” SCOOP  WORLD  INDEPENDENT  NEWS. January 2011. Web. http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/WO1101/S00522/poems-of-resistance-7-poems-for-palestine.htm
About Samih Al-Qasim


“. . . fed up with humiliation of living there. . .” (Harun Hashim Rasheed)

Monday, Aug. 4, 2014, a Palestinian woman passes by rescuers inspecting the rubble of destroyed houses following Israeli strikes in Rafah refugee camp, southern Gaza Strip. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)

❶ On 10th anniversary of siege, Gaza reaching humanitarian and political breaking point
. . . . . ❶― (ᴀ) Gaza braces itself for ‘collapse’ after Israel approves reduction of electricity supply
. . . . . ❶― (ᴃ) PLO Ashrawi condemns Netanyahu’s call to shut down UNRWA

  • BACKGROUND:  One million Palestinian refugees in 8 Gaza Strip camps

❷ MOH warns of stopping heart catheter in Gaza

  • BACKGROUND: Shalev G. “A Doctor’s Testimony: Medical Neutrality and the Visibility of Palestinian Grievances in Jewish-Israeli Publics.”
  • HISTORICAL NOTE:  Zunes, Stephen. “The Gaza War, Congress and International Humanitarian Law.”

❸ POETRY by Harun Hashim Rasheed (b. 1927, Gaza)
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Ma’an News Agency
Chloe Benoist
June 15, 2017        As the Gaza Strip marked the ten-year anniversary of Israel’s siege of the small Palestinian enclave on Thursday, the humanitarian situation has continued to alarm rights groups, which have denounced the “inhuman conditions unparalleled in the modern world.”
___Gaza, which has often been compared to an “open air prison” for its 1.9 million inhabitants crowded into 365 square kilometers, has suffered from a decade of isolation and deprivation, made all the worse by three devastating Israeli military operations, and persistent intra-Palestinian political strife.
___The recent decision by the Palestinian Authority (PA) to request that Israel reduce its supply of electricity to the Gaza Strip has made many fear that the situation in Gaza could soon reach a political and humanitarian breaking point with unforetold consequences.     MORE . . .
Ma’an News Agency 
June 12, 2017       The Israeli security cabinet has approved a 40 percent reduction in Israel’s electricity supply to the besieged Gaza Strip, where Palestinians are already coping with a crippling power crisis and daily, hours-long blackouts, according Israeli media reports.
___While Gaza’s electricity company said it had not received an official order regarding the impending power cut, it called upon Palestinians in Gaza to prepare for the worst, while human rights groups urged Israel to reconsider the move — expected to have immediate and disastrous effects on the medical sector in particular.
___The approval came after Israeli authorities announced plans to make the cuts last month, upon request of the Palestinian Authority (PA) in occupied West Bank, which foots Gaza’s monthly electricity bill from Israel, by subtracting from taxes collected by Israel on behalf of the PA.     MORE . . .     
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA  
June 16, 2017         PLO Executive Committee Member Hanan Ashrawi strongly condemned Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s demand to shut down the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).
___”Netanyahu’s call to disband UNRWA is the epitome of arrogance, particularly since Israel itself is responsible for creating the Palestinian refugee problem,” Said Ashrawi in a press statement issued on Thursday.
___The statement said Israeli government bears a moral and legal responsibility for Palestinian refugees and the serious injustices of the past.
___“It should not be permitted to defame or slander UNRWA which still remains a lifeline for millions of Palestinian refugees residing in Occupied Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria, providing them with essential services, assistance and opportunities for work, growth and development.”

  • BACKGROUND:   ONE  MILLION  PALESTINIAN  REFUGEES  IN  8  GAZA  STRIP  CAMPS          May 16, 2013    Alray-Palestinian Media Agency      The Gaza Strip is home to more than 1.1 million registered refugees, of which more than half a million live in the eight refugee camps established by UNRWA.
    ___The refugee camps have one of the highest population densities in the world.  The blockade on Gaza has had a devastating impact on refugees across the Gaza Strip, including those living in camps.  Unemployment continues to be at unprecedented levels particularly affecting young people in Gaza.     MORE . . .

Alray-Palestinian Media Agency    
June 15, 2017       The head of cardiac catheterization at Al-Shifa Medical Compound, Mohammad Habib, warned that the cardiac catheter service will be stopped in the coming weeks if the basic items are not supplied, confirming that the department uses only sterile tools.
___Habib said that many of the basic types were run out, such as pharmacological blockers, pacemaker of various types, and catheterization of the arteries.
[. . . .] He pointed out that the cases are now transferred to treatment abroad, such as catheter therapy for the heart and peripheral arteries, due to stopping the remittances.    [. . . .] the heart catheter section at Al-Shifa carries out 1500 operations every year, an average of 150 operations a month between diagnosis and treatment.       MORE . . .

  • BACKGROUND: Shalev G. “A Doctor’s Testimony: Medical Neutrality and the Visibility of Palestinian Grievances in Jewish-Israeli Publics.” Culture, Medicine & Psychiatry [serial on the Internet]. (2016, June), 40(2): 242-262.     Abstract:   This paper follows the testimony of Izzeldin Abuelaish, a Palestinian physician who bears witness to his experiences working, living, and suffering under Israeli rule. He presents his story as a doctor’s story, drawing on his identity as a medical professional to gain credibility and visibility and to challenge the limited legitimacy of Palestinian grievances. . . .  at once recounts the suffering and loss endured by the Palestinian people and also struggles to negotiate the values associated with being a ‘‘reliable’’ witness. . .   In comparison with most Palestinian narratives, Abuelaish’s testimony achieved an extremely rare degree of visibility and sympathy, a phenomenon that calls out for analysis. I identify the boundaries that typically render Palestinian grievances invisible to Israeli publics and suggest how medicine’s self-proclaimed ethos of neutrality served as a channel for crossing them. . . .   the political possibilities and limitations of medical witnessing to render suffering visible and arouse compassion toward those construed as a dangerous/enemy Other.        SOURCE:     RELATED . . .

  • HISTORICAL NOTE:  Zunes, Stephen. “The Gaza War [2008-2009], Congress and International Humanitarian Law.”  Middle East Policy, vol. 17, no. 1, Spring2010, pp. 68-81.       Support for the impending war began months earlier, in June 2008, when 77 senators — including future Secretary of State Hillary Clinton — signed a letter . . .  to President George W. Bush defending Israeli air strikes on the heavily populated Gaza Strip. The letter also urged the Bush administration to block any UN Security Council resolution critical of Israel, claiming that UN opposition to Israeli attacks against crowded urban areas constituted a refusal to “acknowledge Israel’s right to self-defense.”      ___An almost identical letter in the House, drafted by House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD). . .  received 268 signatures. Americans for Peace Now (APN), a liberal Zionist group, warned that these letters were designed to build “a defense, in advance, for a large Israeli military offensive in Gaza.” APN, among others, also noted that such an Israeli offensive against the Gaza Strip would likely result in large-scale civilian casualties.
    ___In apparent anticipation of such a scenario, the House of Representatives had passed a resolution that March, during an upsurge of fighting between Hamas militiamen and Israeli forces, which claimed, “Those responsible for launching rocket attacks against Israel routinely embed their production facilities and launch sites amongst the Palestinian civilian population, utilizing them as human shields.” . . . .   However, human-rights groups monitoring the situation at that time noted that, while Hamas had failed to take all feasible precautions to protect civilians in the densely populated Gaza Strip, they found no instances of the use of human shields by Hamas. (Footnote: Interview, Joe Stork, Middle East division, Human Rights Watch, June 18, 2008.)       ARTICLE . . .

Government ministry buildings destroyed by an Israeli airstrike on December 30, 2008 in Gaza City, Gaza Strip. (Photo Credit: Abid Katib/Getty Images)

Let it be known:
there will be no peace.
because the lodgers in the tents
have become fed up with humiliation of
living there,
become tired of suffering, misery and illness,
bored with the death creeping in their bones,
sick of life itself,
because they are homeless,
walking in darkness.



“. . . We squeeze the rock to quench our thirst/And if we starve . . .” (Tawfiq Zayyad)

Palestinian farmers work in turning household garbage and the remains of plants into compost for farming instead of chemical fertilizers and pesticides (Photo: Abed Rahim Khatib/Apaimages)

❶ Beyond the Binary: Two States, One State, Failed State, No State
❷ UN denounces Israeli occupation’s impact on Palestinian humanitarian situation
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) Elderly Palestinians recall ‘good old days’ of Palestinian food security
❸ New crisis in Gaza as ‘our eyes wide open,’ UN envoy says
. . . . . ❸ ― (ᴀ) Surgeries cut by one-third in Gaza’s main hospital
❹ POETRY by Tawfiq Zayyad
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Al-Shabaka: The Palestinian Policy Network
Amal Ahmad
May 30, 2017
Though the international community has hailed the two-state solution since the early 1990s, it has become clear that Israel’s fragmentation of Palestinian people and territory over the past 50 years aims to make a sovereign Palestinian state impossible. While politicians explain this as a result of misunderstandings or missed opportunities between the two parties, the accurate explanation is that Israel does not, in fact, desire two states. This outcome would undermine its goal of conserving preferential rights for Israeli Jews in the territory under its control. Numerous progressives now argue that one state with equal rights for all is the logical alternative. While such a binational state may be just, it is highly unlikely, especially in the short to medium term.      MORE . . . .  
Ma’an News Agency  
May 31, 2017
In its 2016 annual report released on Wednesday, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) denounced Israeli policies for remaining “the key driver of humanitarian need” in the occupied Palestinian territory (OPT).
___OCHA estimated that some 4.8 million Palestinians were affected by the occupation, two million of whom were “in need of humanitarian assistance and protection” and exposed to conflict, violence, forced displacement, and restricted access to essential infrastructure and services.
___“The prolonged occupation, with no end in sight, cultivates a sense of hopelessness and frustration that drives continued conflict and impacts both Palestinians and Israelis,” the report deplored, days ahead of the 50-year anniversary of the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem.       MORE . . . 
RELATED . . . .
RELATED . . . .
Ma’an News Agency    
Abdul-Hakim Salah
May 31, 2017
“God bless the good old days, when we all had abundant, healthy food from our own production without the need for cash,” 84-year-old Khadijah Balboul . . .  told me with a deep sigh.
___It was my repeated complaints about the high cost of living and my irregular salary payments that aroused my mother’s old memories . . .      I was not asking . . .  to define food security or sustainability, but [she] unknowingly struck a chord.
___The United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization identifies food security as a state when “all people, at all times, have physical, social, and economic access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food that meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life.”
___ . . . Palestinian households spend approximately 38.6 percent of their monthly income on food and beverages. . . .     MORE . . .

A Palestinian shepherd tends her flock alongside Israel’s separation barrier on the outskirts of east Jerusalem, Dec. 28, 2016. (Photo: Oded Balilty/AP)

Days of Palestine 
May 27, 2017
UN Envoy to Middle East Nicholay Mladenov told UN Security Council “in Gaza we are walking into another crisis with our eyes wide open.”
___In a statement issued on Friday, Mladenov said: “I am today warning the Security Council that unless urgent measures are taken to de-escalate, the crisis risks spiralling out of control with devastating consequences for Palestinians and Israelis alike.”
___. . . . Mladenov speaks about the reality on the ground in Gaza. “Hospitals are now forced to postpone elective surgeries and have already reduced 80 per cent of cleaning, catering and sterilization services.
___“Since mid-April desalination plants are functioning at 15% of their capacity and drinking water is supplied for a few hours every 2-4 days.
____“As we speak 100,000 cubic meters of raw sewage are discharged into the Mediterranean Sea on a daily basis.
___. . . . “Food prices are soaring as the price of water for irrigation has gone up by 65per cent. The manufacturing sector is grinding to a halt and over half of private industry workers have been suspended.”     MORE . . .
. . . . . ❸ ― (ᴀ)  SURGERIES  CUT  BY  ONE-THIRD  IN  GAZA’S  MAIN  HOSPITAL       The Electronic Intifada 
Ahmad Kabariti
May 29, 2017     Fayez Ahmed’s operation was supposed to last six hours.
___With Gaza beset by power cuts, his medical team could not guarantee an uninterrupted electricity supply for that length of time. After weeks of delays, Ahmed decided to discharge himself from the hospital without having the surgery he needed to remove an abscess from his lung.
___ . . . . Ahmed has been seeing doctors in al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City, Gaza’s largest hospital. Many others with lung and respiratory complaints have struggled to cope with regular power cuts.
___. . . . Walid Daoud, a doctor at al-Shifa, described the operations required by some patients with respiratory complaints as “sensitive and extremely dangerous.”
___“We have to ensure that there is a continuous flow of oxygen into the patient’s lungs,” he said. “It’s not like a procedure for toothache or something else that can be done without electricity.”        MORE . . .     

It is a thousand times easier
For you
To pass an elephant through the needle’s eye
To catch fried fish in the Milky Way
To plow the sea
To teach an alligator speech,
A thousand times easier
Than smothering with your oppression.
The spark of an idea
Or forcing us to deviate
A single step
From our chosen march.
Like twenty impossibilities
We shall remain in Lydda, Ramlah, and Galilee.

Here upon your chests
We shall remain
Like the glass and the cactus
In your throats
A fiery whirlwind in your eyes.

Here, we shall remain
A wall on your chests.
We wash the dishes in the hotels
And serve drinks to the masters.
We mop the floors in the dark kitchens
To extract a piece of bread
From your blue teeth
For the little ones.

Here, we shall remain
A wall on your chests.
We starve,
Go naked,
Sing songs
And fill the streets
With demonstrations
And the jails with pride.
We breed rebellions
One after another.
Like twenty impossibles we remain
In Lydda, Ramlah, and Galilee.

Here, we shall remain.
You may drink the sea;
We shall guard the shade
Of the olive tree and the fig,
Planting ideas
Like the yeast in the dough.
The coldness of ice is in our nerves
And a burning hell in our hearts.
We squeeze the rock to quench our thirst
And if we starve
We eat the dirt
And never depart
Or grudge our blood.

Here – we have a past
……a present
………..and a future.
Our roots are entrenched
Deep in the earth
Like twenty impossibles
We shall remain.
Let the oppressor review his account
Before the turn of the wheel.
For every action there is a reaction:
Read what is written in the Book.
Like twenty impossibles
We shall remain – in Lydda, Ramlah and Galilee.

Tawfiq Zayyad, poet, scholar, politician (1929-1994)
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.