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

SELECTED NEWS OF THE DAY

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

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

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

OPINION

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

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

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

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

POEM OF THE DAY

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

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

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

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

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

“. . . the stars were named by people like us . . .” (Naomi Shihab Nye)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .

WASTEWATER  REUSE  PROJECT  LAUNCHES  IN  RAMALLAH  CITY 
American Near East Refugee Aid (Anera) recently launched a wastewater reuse project to conserve scarce drinking water in the central occupied West Bank city of Ramallah.    ­­­___Anera said in a press release that the project is expected to be completed by May 2020 and that it will protect the water supply by facilitating the reuse of 240,000 cubic meters (63,401,292 gallons) of wastewater annually.   [. . . .] The project, funded by the Jim Pattison Foundation, the Vitol Foundation and the Ramallah Municipality, will also increase the amount of potable water available for human consumption and domestic use in Ramallah City by 300 cubic meters (79,251 gallons) per day.   More . . .

ISRAELI  FORCES  DEMOLISH  HOME  IN  RAMALLAH-DISTRICT  VILLAGE
Israeli forces Thursday demolished a Palestinian home under construction in RANTIS VILLAGE, northwest of the central West Bank city of RAMALLAH, said local sources.    [. . . .]  Meanwhile, Israeli forces delivered a demolition notice to a Palestinian home in AL-WALAJA VILLAGE, northwest of the southern West Bank city of Bethlehem.   [. . . .]  Almost 88 percent of RANTIS and 97 percent of AL-WALAJA, mainly agricultural land, were classified as Area C, which falls under the full Israeli control and where Israel refuses to permit virtually any Palestinian construction, forcing many Palestinians to embark on construction without a permit to shelter their families.   ___Since its occupation in 1967, along with the rest of the West Bank, Israel has seized most of the lands belonging to both villages for the construction of settlements, bypass roads and the apartheid wall . . .   More . . .

TEEN  KILLED,  THREE  INJURED  BY  ISRAELI  GUNFIRE  IN  RAFAH      Israeli soldiers on Wednesday night killed a Palestinian teenager and wounded others as they were rallying in a border area to the east of Rafah in southern Gaza.   ___A reporter for the Palestinian Information Center (PIC) said that the kid was critically injured in the head by Israeli gunfire and succumbed to his injury later.      More . . .

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .

[ISRAEL]  TELLS  HIGH  COURT:  WE  CAN  ANNEX  THE  WEST  BANK,  INTERNATIONAL  LAW  BE  DAMNED      August 7th, the state’s private attorney Harel Arnon submitted a second brief [Hebrew] to the High Court of Justice in defense of the settlement “Regulation Law.” In it he argues that the Knesset is not bound by international law and has the right to apply its own laws outside of its borders and annex land, if it wishes.
Arnon argues:
“The mere application of a certain Israeli norm [law] to an anonymous place outside the state does not necessarily make that anonymous place part of Israel. The Knesset is not restricted from legislating extra-territorially anywhere in the world, including in the region, the Knesset can legislate in Judea and Samaria.”  The brief also argues

NOTICES  FROM  ORGANIZATIONS. . . .

ANERA   American  Near  East  Refugee  Aid    For 50 years, Anera has helped refugees and others hurt by conflicts in the Middle East live with dignity and purpose. Anera, which has no political or religious affiliation, works on the ground with partners in the West Bank, Gaza, Lebanon and Syria. We mobilize resources for immediate emergency relief and for sustainable, long-term health, education, and economic development.  Website . . .    50th Anniversary Dinner

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

“HOW  PALESTINIANS  KEEP  WARM,”  BY  NAOMI  SHIHAB  NYE  (B.  1952)

Choose one word and say it over
and over, till it builds a fire inside your mouth.
Adhafera*, the one who holds out, Alphard*, solitary one,
the stars were named by people like us.
Each night they line up on the long path between worlds.
They nod and blink, no right or wrong
in their yellow eyes. Dirah*, little house,
unfold your walls and take us in.

My well went dry, my grandfather’s grapes
have stopped singing. I stir the coals,
my babies cry. How will I teach them
they belong to the stars?
They build forts of white stone and say, “This is mine.”
How will I teach them to love Mizar*, veil, cloak,
to know that behind it an ancient man
is fanning a flame?
He stirs the dark wind of our breath.
He says the veil will rise
till they see us shining, spreading like embers
on the blessed hills.

Well, I made that up. I’m not so sure about Mizar.
But I know we need to keep warm here on earth
And when your shawl is as thin as mine is, you tell stories.

–From Naomi Shihab Nye, RED SUITCASE,  1994.

*Adhafera, a third-magnitude star in the constellation of Leo, the lion
*Alphard, Heart of the Snake in constellation Hydra
*Dirah, Star–Seed or Branch. Symbolically called the Abused or Beaten One
*Mizar, With its fainter companion star Alcor a double star

“. . . our days of sacrifice have arrived; they shine, radiant. . .” (‘Abd Al-Raheem Mahmoud)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . . .  

IN  VIDEO  –  ISRAEL  DEMOLISHES  PALESTINIAN  HOMES  IN  [JERUSALEM]
Israeli bulldozers demolished two Palestinian homes in the Anata village in northeastern the central occupied West Bank district of Jerusalem, on Tuesday evening.    ___Local witnesses told Ma’an that a large number of Israeli forces stormed the village escorting staff members from the Jerusalem Municipality and several bulldozers, and surrounded the neighborhood in which the two homes are located. [. . . .] . . .both of the demolished homes were built long before the Israeli occupation of Jerusalem.  [. . . .] More . . .
IN  VIDEO  –  ISRAELI  FORCES  BEGIN  DEMOLITION  CAMPAIGN  IN  AL-WALAJA  [between  Jerusalem and Bethlehem]    More . . .
ISRAEL  TO  DEMOLISH  189  PALESTINIAN  HOMES  IN  [Bethlehem]   More . . .

ISRAELI  HIGH  COURT  RULES  TO  DEMOLISH  KHAN  AL-AHMAR  COMMUNITY        The Israeli High Court gave on Wednesday the green light to the Israeli military to demolish the Palestinian village of Khan al-Ahmar, located east of Jerusalem, paving the way for removing it, displacing its 180 residents and replacing it by a Jewish settlement.    ___According to Walid Assaf, head of the anti-wall, anti-settlement commission in the Palestinian Authority, the court gave the army one week to remove the village and said that its residents will not be allowed to return to it and live there again.   More . . .

US  AMBASSADOR:  JERUSALEM  MADE  ISRAEL’S  CAPITAL  ‘UNDER  GOD’S  DIRECTION’  3,000  YEARS  AGO
US Ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, has praised President Donald Trump’s administration for putting US-Israeli relations on “more solid [ground] than ever before”, reported the Jerusalem Post.   ___Speaking at a pre-Rosh Hashanah reception in his Herzliya residence, Friedman singled out for praise the US decision to relocate its embassy to Jerusalem.   ___“Now, the United States did not make Jerusalem the capital of Israel. That was done by King David some 3,000 years ago under God’s direction,” Friedman declared.    More . . .

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .

WHEN  IDEOLOGY  LEADS  TO  DESTRUCTION:  HOME  DEMOLITIONS  IN  EAST  JERUSALEM
Home demolitions that target the Arab population of East Jerusalem is an issue that deserves attention and further exposure, as it is often overlooked in Israeli-Palestinian peace talks and ignored by the international community. While several key organizations within Israel are working hard to expose the unjust policies behind many of the demolitions of Arab homes, there is very little that civil society is actually able to achieve. In fact, driven by an ideological motive, the Israeli authorities have developed strategies to preserve the Jewish population’s demographic and geographic advantage over the Palestinians, thus protecting the interests and stability of the Jewish state. There is much to consider when analyzing this topic: the motivations and mechanisms used by the Israeli authorities to carry out home demolitions, the effects of such policies on the Palestinian population and the international community’s response.
Dimova, Nicoletta. “When Ideology Leads to Destruction: Home Demolitions in East Jerusalem.” Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture, vol. 15, no. 3, Sept. 2008, pp. 92-98.  (NOTE: this article is not yet available online but may be accessed through any EBSCO database.)

NOTICES  FROM  ORGANIZATIONS. . . .

BRIGHT  STARS  OF  BETHLEHEM  PRESENTS  THE  JERUSALEM  CONFERENCE,  HOUSTON,  TX    Featuring Rev. Jim Winkler, President of National Council of Churches, Rev. Dr. Mae Cannon of Churches for Middle East Peace, Sojourners’ Founder and President Jim Wallis, and Bright Stars of Bethlehem President, Rev. Dr. Mitri Raheb.  As part of the Room for Hope festival, The Jerusalem Conference is a one-day conference on THURSDAY, OCTOBER 11 that brings together scholars, ecumenical theologians, and peace-doers around the topic    Register . . .

PLAYGROUNDS  FOR  PALESTINE  ANNUAL  GALA          SATURDAY,  SEPTEMBER  22,  2018  |  5PM  –  9PM  | Bodek  Lounge  |  Houston  Hall  |  University  of  Pennsylvania  |  PHILADELPHIA      Tickets  .  .  .

“CALL  OF  THE  MOTHERLAND,”  BY  ‘ABD  AL-RAHEEM  MAHMOUD  (1913-1948)
The slain motherland called for our struggle
and my heart leapt with joy.
I raced the winds, but did not boast.
Isn’t it my simple duty to redeem my country?
I carried my soul in my hands asking
any who feared death: do you hesitate
before the enemy?
Would you sit still when your country begs for your help?
Would you back away from facing the enemy?
If so, then go hide in your mother’s bedroom!
May your hesitation humiliate you!
The motherland needs mighty defenders
who meet aggression
but never complain;
true lions on the battlefield.

People of my country, our days of sacrifice have arrived;
they shine, radiant, across the hills of this holy land.
Redeemed by our young men too proud
to endure oppression,
what can we do but fight bravely
when the fire’s kindled?
March on, to the field! Pour fire
on the heads of the enemy everywhere.
Nothing’s humbler that a people who shun the fight
when their country calls for it.

Neighbors, brethren, arise from your sleep!
How can you sleep through this oppression?
Never stop even if the sky should grow dark.
Never retreat even if the sandstorms flare up behind you!
Don’t give up even if the world should face you
with weapons from every direction
unite, unite everywhere!
If Palestine should be lost while you still live,
I’ll say: our people have
abandoned the path.
――Translated by Sharif Elmusa and Naomi Shihab Nye. From 
ANTHOLOGY OF MODERN PALESTINIAN LITERATURE. Ed. Salma Khadra Jayyusi.  1992. 

 

“. . . The hanged human is an Arab Like me. . .” (Salem Jubran)

❶ Israeli MKs seek executing Palestinian prisoners

  • Background: “Separate and Unequal: Israel’s Dual Criminal Justice System in the West Bank.” Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture.

❷ Israeli forces detain 15 more Palestinians for involvement in Al-Aqsa protests
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) 4 minors among 30 Palestinians detained by Israeli forces in overnight raids
❸ Villagers urge action against Israeli orders to demolish 14 homes in Al-Walaja village
. . . . . ❸ ― (ᴀ) Israeli army places Yatta village under complete lockdown following attack
❹ POETRY by Salem Jubran
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ ISRAELI  MKS  SEEK  EXECUTING  PALESTINIAN  PRISONERS
Days of Palestine
August 3, 2017.   A number of Israeli MKs are planning to present proposal to introduce death penalty against Palestinian prisoners, Israeli TV revealed on Wednesday.
___The proposal aims to amend the Israeli Penal Code and Counterterrorism Law, stating that Palestinians who carry out operations against Israeli occupation forces are the subject of this amendment.
[. . . .] The second amendment stipulates issuing the death penalty against anyone who assists those carrying out operations or organisations working against Israel.
___In addition, two amendments will be made to Article 39 of the Counterterrorism Law, which states that the punishment for an act of mass terrorism, which causes severe bodily harm to a large population, and for an act of terrorism committed using unconventional weapons, even where these acts do not result in death, would be life imprisonment.   MORE . . .

Omer-Man, Emily Schaeffer.
“SEPARATE AND UNEQUAL: ISRAEL’S DUAL CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM IN THE WEST BANK.”
Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture, vol. 21, no. 3, Jan. 2016, pp. 16-21.
[. . . .] The Knesset passed a law granting Israeli courts and authorities jurisdiction over any Israeli national accused of committing a crime that violates Israeli law, even if the alleged crime was committed within the OPT. The law was passed as an emergency regulation, but it is periodically renewed and in force to this day. Technically speaking, Israeli military and civilian courts hold concurrent jurisdiction to try Israelis for offenses related to security. The policy for the last four decades, however, has been to refrain from prosecuting Israeli civilians in the military system, despite critiques that doing so constitutes partial annexation of occupied territory. Various attempts by Israeli officials to advocate for the exercise of military court jurisdiction over Israeli settlers have been obstructed by the military or political echelons.
[. . . .] In addition to these structural discrepancies, which have significant bearing on the relative due process protections afforded under each system, the two systems are also distinguished by severe substantive disparities. As such, an Israeli citizen and a Palestinian — both of whom are accused of manslaughter, the Israeli residing in the settlement of Ma’on and the Palestinian in the adjacent village of Al-Tuwani — will be tried before different legal systems. The settler will be processed according to the Israeli Penal Code, which requires he be brought before a judge within 24 hours of arrest, and whose arrest may be extended for a maximum of 30 days. The Palestinian will be processed according to military order, which allows a suspect to be detained for up to four days after arrest before being brought before a judge, followed by 30-day extensions for up to three months. They will be tried before different courts: the Israeli by fellow Israeli judges and prosecutors; the Palestinian by uniformed prosecutors and judges, commissioned by the occupying army. If convicted of manslaughter, the Israeli may be sentenced to up to 20 years’ imprisonment; the Palestinian may be sentenced to up to life imprisonment.
[. . . .] Israel is under strict obligation to protect Palestinians and their property from harm and to uphold their basic due process rights. Instead, it has established and maintained for nearly a half-century a dual criminal system under which the West Bank Palestinian population is unequal under the law, while the settler population is granted virtual carte blanche to carry out acts that directly translate into dispossessing Palestinians of their land, making way for the constant expansion of the settlement enterprise.   FULL ARTICLE . . .

❷ ISRAELI  FORCES  DETAIN  15  MORE  PALESTINIANS  FOR  INVOLVEMENT  IN  AL-AQSA  PROTESTS
Ma’an News Agency
Aug. 3, 2017.   Israeli forces detained 15 Palestinians in several neighborhoods of occupied East Jerusalem during overnight raids between Wednesday and Thursday, as Israeli forces continued to crack down on Palestinians in the wake of large-scale protests over Israeli restrictions at Al-Aqsa Mosque, bringing the number of Palestinians detained this week over Al-Aqsa protests to almost 50.
[. . . .] Israeli police spokesperson Luba al-Samri confirmed the detentions, and said that the Palestinians were detained over “violence and disturbing the order in Jerusalem,” which she said included rock-throwing, and blocking and closing roads — which was done during each Muslim prayer during the protests, as thousands of Palestinian performed prayers on the streets of Jerusalem in an act of mass civil disobedience against Israeli policies.   MORE . . .
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) 4 MINORS  AMONG  30  PALESTINIANS  DETAINED  BY  ISRAELI  FORCES  IN  OVERNIGHT  RAIDS 
Ma’an News Agency
Aug. 3, 2017.    Israeli forces detained 30 Palestinians, including four minors, across the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, during overnight raids between Wednesday and Thursday, according to Palestinian and Israeli sources.
___Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS) said in a statement that Israeli forces detained Mousa Bulbul, Mutlaq al-Sadi, and Alaa Abahra from the Jenin district in the northern West Bank. An Israeli army spokesperson confirmed that two Palestinians were detained from Jenin city.     Israeli forces also detained . . . .    MORE . . .
❸ VILLAGERS  URGE  ACTION  AGAINST  ISRAELI  ORDERS  TO  DEMOLISH  14  HOMES  IN  AL-WALAJA  VILLAGE
Palestine News Network – PNN   
August 3, 2017.   Last week, Israeli Occupation Authorities handed out demolition threats for 14 Palestinian homes in AL-Walaja village, under the pretext of having no building permit, and refuses to give them any permits at the same time.
___The families, whose homes would be demolished by 9 August, live in an ongoing state of fear and anxiety for their future, especially that they have built these houses themselves and over the years.
___Ahmed al-Atrash said that the Israeli authorities handed over the decision to demolish his house, which he built on top of his parent’s home.  MORE . . .
. . . . . ❸ ― (ᴀ) ISRAELI  ARMY  PLACES  YATTA  VILLAGE  UNDER  COMPLETE  LOCKDOWN  FOLLOWING  ATTACK    
Ma’an News Agency
Aug. 3, 2017.   Israeli forces implemented a closure on the village of Yatta in the southern occupied West Bank district of Hebron on Wednesday, and raided the village again early Thursday after a 19-year-old resident allegedly carried out a stabbing attack at a supermarket in the Israeli city of Yavne, leaving an Israeli man seriously injured.
___On Wednesday, a Palestinian teenager, identified as Ismail Ibrahim Abu Aram was detained by Israeli forces after allegedly stabbing a 42-year-old Israeli man at the Shufersal supermarket in Yavne, where the Palestinian teenager and Israeli reportedly worked. On Thursday, Israeli media reported that the injured Israeli was in stable condition after sustaining multiple stab wounds during the attack.  MORE . . .

“A  HANGING  HUMAN  1964,”  BY  SALEM  JUBRAN
One of the toys that appeared on the Israeli market was that of a “hanged Arab.

A hanging human body
The prettiest of toys
The sweetest recreation for children
Displayed on the market!
No, it is not there anymore
It has been sold out for days
Don’t search for it, tell your child
It’s sold out for days!

Oh, souls of those
Dead in Nazi concentration camps―
The hanged human
Is not a Jew in Berlin.
The hanged human is an Arab
Like me, of my people
Hanged by your brothers―
Forgive me, hanged by the crypto Nazis
In Zion!

Souls of the victims
Of Nazi camps―
If only you knew!
If only you knew!

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 Second Story Books.
About Salem Jubran