“. . . Lay him in the sun; his face caressed By the winds . . .” (Samih Al-Qasim)

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Muhammad Youssef Rabba Nakhleh. Murdered by Israeli Occupation Forces. (Photo: Ma’an News Agency, Dec. 14, 2018)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .      
ISRAELI  FORCES  KILL  YOUTH  IN  AL-BIREH
A Palestinian youth was shot dead by Israeli forces and six others injured in clashes with Israeli forces at the north entrance to Al-Bireh city in the occupied West Bank.  More . . .
~~ ISRAELI  SOLDIERS  KILL  60-YEAR-OLD  PALESTINIAN  BUSINESSMAN,  SMEAR  HIM  AS  TERRORIST 
Israeli forces shot and killed 60-year-old Palestinian business-owner Hamdan Al-Arda yesterday, during a raid of Al-Bireh, in the central West Bank.    ___Al-Arda was driving in his car when soldiers opened fire, killing him.    More . . .

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Hamdan Al-Arda. Killed by the Israeli army on December 13. (Photo: Palestine Chronicle via Twitter)

~~ IN  VIDEO  –  ISRAEL  BLOWS  UP  ABU  HMEID  FAMILY  HOME  IN  RAMALLAH
The Israeli army blew up the home of the Abu Hmeid family, in the al-Amaari refugee camp  south of Ramallah City, in the central occupied West Bank, after surrounding it for more than 5 hours.    ___More than 56 Palestinians were injured during clashes that erupted with Israeli soldiers around the building, as dozens of activists and supporters had gathered for a vigil to prevent the demolition of the family’s building.    ___The Israeli court had given the army the green light to demolish the building as a form of collective punishment, as Israel accuses one of the family’s sons, Islam, of having killed an Israeli soldier during an Israeli raid to the refugee camp.    More . . .
~~ ISRAELI  NAVY  KIDNAPS  TWO  GAZAN  FISHERMEN
The Israeli occupation navy on Saturday morning kidnapped two Palestinian fishermen during their presence off the coast of Gaza City.    ___Chief of the fishermen Nizar Ayyash told Quds Press that the brothers, Mohamed and Atef Abu Riyala, were kidnapped after Israeli naval forces opened machinegun fire near their fishing boat, which was also confiscated.    ___Ayyash added that the fishermen were working within four nautical miles from the shore of Gaza City.    More . . .
| ‘DETENTION  IS  AN  INSTRUMENT  OF  ISRAEL’S  OPPRESSION’
In the dead of night, Israeli forces knocked on the door of Salah Hamouri’s apartment in Jerusalem, he told me. “When I opened the door they told me they were looking for me and began to search the house. . . for something; I don’t know what. Of course, they found nothing, but they took me away anyway.”    ___That was on 22 August 2017. Over a year later – thirteen months to be exact – Hamouri was finally released from administrative detention, a status Israel uses to imprison Palestinians indefinitely with neither charge nor trial.    More . . .
|  ISRAEL  TO  LEGALIZE  2,000  UNAUTHORIZED  SETTLER  HOUSES
Israel is to authorize thousands of settler houses built illegally in the occupied West Bank, according to Haaretz.    ___The Hebrew newspaper said that Israel’s Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit, in coordination with Minister of Justice Ayelet Shaked, had approved the use of a legal tactic that would allow the legalization of about 2,000 illegally-built Israeli houses throughout the West Bank.    ___This move followed an earlier announcement by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu outlining a series of measures he would take in favor of the settlement activity in the West Bank.    More . . .

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .
|  THIS  DOESN’T  END  WELL 
Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man
One of the most depressing things about Israel-Palestine is just how predictable and cyclical the violence can be. The almost-war in Gaza, the new wave of shooting, ramming, and stabbing attacks in the West Bank, the nightly Israeli army raids deep into Palestinian cities, the clashes that will soon become a regular feature of the coming months, the vigilante settler violence — it’s almost identical to the year before and the year before and the year before.    [. . . .] So where do we go from here? There are only two things we can be sure of these days. The first is that, tragically, there will be more violence, from both sides. The second is that change is not going to come from an Israeli government which sees the status quo as an acceptable reality.    More . . .
| ‘ISRAELIS  DON’T  WANT  TO  HEAR  WHAT  I  HAVE  TO  SAY’ 
___Over the past few months, Israeli authorities, along with radical settlers, have turned Guy Hirschfeld into a public enemy of sorts for his activism in the Jordan Valley. In an interview, Hirschfeld talks about building solidarity with Palestinians, why his brash style has turned him into a target, and whether things are getting worse for left-wing activists.    More . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

“THE  MAN  WHO  VISITED  DEATH,”  BY  SAMIH  AL-QASIM
Leave the martyr shrouded in his garments,
Lay him at the foot of the mountain: for it knows his sorrow.
Do not bury him, while his wounds
Proclaim his testament of love and suffering.
Do you hear?

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

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

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.

“. . . people to carry the cross for a guilt-ridden West . . .” (Lahab Assef Al-Jundi)

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Shops along main street of Shufat Refugee Camp, Jerusalem (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 5, 2015)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .
 TRUMP’S  PEACE  DEAL  ‘WASTE  OF  TIME,’  ISRAELI  MINISTER  SAYS
Israeli-Palestinian peace plan being prepared by US President Donald Trump is “a waste of time,” extremist Israeli Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked said on Wednesday.    ___Speaking before hundreds of ambassadors and attaches at the Jerusalem Post Diplomats’ Conference in Jerusalem, Shaked added that the differences between Israelis and Palestinians are too great.    ___”I want peace like everyone else,” she said, “but I do not believe an agreement can be reached. I would tell Trump: ‘Do not waste your time.'”   ___Shaked also spoke about the demand made by her party, the Jewish Home, to appoint party leader Naftali Bennett as defence minister – an ultimatum that threatened the stability of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government.    More . . .
. . . . Related  Israel  refuses  to  sign  international  migration  pact (“Israel has to follow a special migration policy specified by its circumstances as a small state which aims to maintain its Jewish nationality.”)
. . . . Related  Ashrawi  of  PLO  urges  Slovenia  to  recognize  state  of  Palestine
|    ISRAELI  DEMOLITION  CAMPAIGN  IN  SHUFAT  REFUGEE  CAMP  COMMENCES
Israeli bulldozers demolished dozens of Palestinian-owned shops in the Shufat refugee camp, in occupied East Jerusalem, on Wednesday.   ___Israeli forces along with the Israeli Civil Administration staff stormed the Shufat refugee camp earlier and delivered demolition notices to more than 20 Palestinian shops, with only 12 hours to evacuate the premises before the demolitions commence.    ___Thaer Fasfous, spokesperson of the Fatah movement in Jerusalem, said that hundreds of Israeli forces and Israeli Civil Administration staff members were deployed across the area, while bulldozers began to demolish the shops.    More . . .
. . . . Related  Israeli  Soldiers  Abduct  Two  Palestinians  In  HEBRON
. . . . Related  Army  Abducts  A  Legislator  In  RAMALLAH
. . . . Related  Israeli  Soldiers  Demolish  A  Residential  Shed,  Retaining  Walls,  Near  NABLUS
. . . . Related  Soldiers  Detonate  Doors  Of  Homes  And  Stores,  Before  Invading  Them,  Near  TULKAREM

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Home demolition by Israelis in Shufat Refugee Camp (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 5, 2015)

|    KRAHENBUHL  APPLAUDS  INTERNATIONAL  EFFORT  FOR  KEEPING  UNRWA  AFLOAT    Addressing the delegates at the Advisory Commission of host governments and leading donors of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), the Commissioner-General of UNRWA, Pierre Krahenbuhl, applauded the resolve and creativity with which the agency and the international community addressed its “greatest financial predicament ever.”    ___Krahenbuhl thanked the many partners who “rose to the occasion” to help, collectively, to reduce the staggering shortfall of $446 million at the start of this year and said, “Today, I am very pleased to announce that, overall since January, donors contributed or pledged an additional $425 million, bringing our shortfall down to $21 million.”     More . . .
. . . . Related  Erekat: ‘Israel should be condemned at UN, not Hamas’

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .
   HOW  ISRAEL  WEAPONISES  ANTI-SEMITISM  TO  BLOCK  MIDDLE  EAST  PEACE
By Ray Hanania
One of Israel’s most powerful weapons against the voices of Palestinian rights has been the exploitation of Jewish history — the Holocaust included — to justify its own atrocities against non-Jews. The Holocaust is undeniably one of the worst human tragedies in human history, an evil horror in which Nazis sought to cleanse the world of Jews and their religion.    ___The hatred that fuelled Nazi atrocities before and during World War Two were undoubtedly driven by anti-Semitism. Since then, though, anti-Semitism has been weaponised by Israel, not just to confront the Holocaust deniers, the neo-Nazis and the hate filled anti-Semites, but also to undermine the righteous movement of justice to restore the inalienable rights of Christians and Muslims in Palestine.    ___Any criticism of Israel is now being denounced as “anti-Semitism”.    More . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

“ANY  REFUGEES  IN  THE  WORLD,”  BY  LAHAB  ASSEF  AL-JUNDI

what is the first thing that comes to mind
when you hear of refugees?
what terror trove them out of their homes?
are they getting help?
what is being done for their safe return?

are Palestinians any different from any other refugees?
is it not their simple right
to return to the land they were driven from?

why are they being asked to settle
for money?
who designated the Palestinians as the chosen people
to carry the cross for a guilt-ridden West?
why do politicians tell them
too much time has passed
when their grievance
is with people who went back after 2000 years?

between continued warfare and annihilation
coexistence beckons
as the only
honorable
demographic.

time for peace
now.

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

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Shufat neighbors explaining home demolition to members of Sabeel, Jerusalem, delegation (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 5, 2015)

“. . . they come from the ends of the winds . . .” (Yousef Al-Mahmoud)

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Wednesday, May 18, 2016 photo, Jewish settler youths while their father barbecues in Amona, Israeli outpost in the West Bank (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)

❶ Israel advances plans for new settlement for Amona outpost evacuees
. . . ❶ ― (a) West Bank outpost’s impending evacuation a test for Israel

  • Background from Forced Migration Review

❷ Israeli plan to build new settlement neighborhood in Jerusalem
. . . ❷ ― (a) Related: Jerusalem demolishes Palestinian homes beyond the wall for first time [2010, Walaja]
❸ Genocide advocate Ayelet Shaked revives Peres plan for West Bank
❹ POETRY by Yousef Al-Mahmoud
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
ISRAEL  ADVANCES  PLANS  FOR  NEW  SETTLEMENT  FOR  AMONA  OUTPOST  EVACUEES
Ma’an News Agency
Oct. 2, 2016
The Israeli Civil Administration has advanced plans to construct a new illegal Israeli settlement in the northern occupied West Bank, likely to be used to relocate settlers residing in the Amona outpost, according to Israeli settlement watchdog Peace Now, following an Israeli Supreme Court decision to demolish the outpost by the end of this year.
___Peace Now said in a press release on Saturday that two plans were promoted by the Higher Planning Committee (HPC) of the Civil Administration on Wednesday, including the new settlement for the Amona evacuees, as well as for a new industrial zone west of Ramallah in the central occupied West Bank.      MORE . . .
. . . ❶ ― (A) WEST  BANK  OUTPOST’S  IMPENDING  EVACUATION  A  TEST  FOR  ISRAEL
Daily Mail      
Associated Press
May 27, 2016
The fate of 50 white caravans perched atop a West Bank hill in the Amona settler outpost is emerging as a key test for Benjamin Netanyahu’s newly-expanded hard-line government.
___Under a Supreme Court order, the government must tear down the outpost by the end of the year — a move expected to face staunch opposition from within the coalition and pit security forces against the wishes of leading members of the Cabinet.
___Amona is the largest of about 100 unauthorized outposts — built without permission but generally tolerated by the government — that dot the West Bank.    More . . .

  • Khalil, Karim. “Attempts To Prevent Displacement In The Occupied Palestinian Territories.” Forced Migration Review 41 (2012): 36-37.  Full article.

While strategies for the prevention of forced displacement gain value in the humanitarian community in addressing displacement situations, Israeli actions and policies in the occupied Palestinian territories (oPt) continue to directly and indirectly lead to the forced displacement of Palestinians. . . .
___Although there are no comprehensive figures available on displaced in the oPt, figures compiled from local and international NGOs and the UN indicate that since 1967, more than 270,000 people have been displaced across the oPt, including those temporarily displaced, with more than half of all displacements occurring in the last five years [2007-20012].
[. . . .] Palestinian communities and individual households have sought to prevent or mitigate the effects of Israeli policies that lead to displacement. The tenacity of people who remain – reflected in the concept of sumud, or steadfastness – is explained by the desire to retain one’s home, one’s land, and equally not replicate the fate of Palestinian refugees whose current situation is a stark reminder of the consequences of displacement and dispossession.
[. . . .] Throughout the West Bank and East Jerusalem protests are held by Palestinian communities, as well as by Palestinian, Israeli and international activists, against Israeli policies. Thousands of Palestinian households have contested demolition orders, appropriation of land, the revocation of residency or denial of family reunification through the Israeli courts, at great expense and over protracted periods of time. It is not uncommon for such litigation to last for years and in some cases close to a decade, often at great personal expense.
[. . . .] The impact – social, financial and psychological – on the well-being of individuals, families and their children is cumulative. They experience vulnerability, trauma and anxiety, balancing the risks they face against the need to retain their properties and their possessions.
[. . . . ] The response of the humanitarian community should not detract from the need for the international community to ensure international humanitarian and human rights law is upheld and further displacements prevented.

ISRAELI  PLAN  TO  BUILD  NEW  SETTLEMENT  NEIGHBORHOOD  IN  JERUSALEM
Alray-Palestinian Media Agency
Sep. 28, 2016
The committees of planning and construction in the Israeli municipality in Jerusalem officially announced a plan to build a new settlement neighborhood southwest of the city called the slopes of the torch, overlooking and adjacent to the territories of the Palestinian village of Walaja, and close to the town of Beit Jala.
___According to documents and maps seen by the Media Centre for Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa affairs “Ciobrs”, the municipality approved and published the details of building a new neighborhood in the hills of the southern West Jerusalem, an area of about 170 dunums.
___The construction scheme includes the establishment of 493 housing units, as well as a Jewish synagogue and its facilities, the center explained.        More . . .
. . . ❷ ― (a) BACKGROUND . . .     JERUSALEM  DEMOLISHES  PALESTINIAN  HOMES  BEYOND  THE  WALL  FOR  FIRST  TIME  [WALAJA, 2010]
The Electronic Intifada     
Aviv Tatarsky
April 14, 2016
Israeli authorities demolished three homes in the Palestinian village of al-Walaja on Tuesday. Bulldozers accompanied by Israeli soldiers raided the village at approximately 4 a.m. and began demolishing a home with two units that have yet to be occupied, a family home of five, and a home of Mahmoud, a young man who just got engaged.     More . . .  

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The Wall under construction in al-Walaja, Dec. 7, 2010. It now completely surrounds the village. (Photo: Anne Paq/Activestills.org)

GENOCIDE  ADVOCATE  AYELET  SHAKED  REVIVES  PERES  PLAN  FOR  WEST  BANK
The Electronic Intifada
Nora Barrows-Friedman
Oct. 1, 2016
Ayelet Shaked, Israel’s justice minister, faced protests as she spoke to law students and professors at Columbia University’s law school on 19 September.
___In a secret audio recording taken during the closed event, Shaked can be heard seeking to revive a discredited idea long championed by Shimon Peres, the leading Israeli politician who died this week.
___The idea is that a deal could be struck with Jordan to push Palestinians under its jurisdiction as Israel maintains effective control over the occupied West Bank.     ___A key objective behind Peres’ plan – the so-called Jordanian option – was to sideline the Palestine Liberation Organization and neuter Palestinian resistance to Israel. Palestinians saw it as an affront to their right of self-determination. Shaked denies Israel is an occupier, claiming that the West Bank is merely “territory under dispute.”  More . . . 

   “ENEMY,”   BY   YOUSEF   AL-MAHMOUD

They come from all the ends of the earth to sit among us
they come from the ends of the winds
they bring sickness and a hissing like snakes
they come from the ends of the snows
they come smelling of death
they come with blood-dipping knives
they bring panic and terror
they are utterly not-to-be-trusted
they are utterly murderous
they are proud of their murders, they are drinkers of blood
proud of tooth and nail
even more proud of guns and treachery
they come to burn the love in our hearts
and turn it to torture and bitterness
they bring sorrow, terror, sickness. . .
How have they come to sit among us?
—Translated by DM Black

Yousef Al-Mahmoud is a prominent broadcaster and poet, and former head of the Ministry of Culture in his native Jenin.
From A  BIRD  IS  NOT  A  STONE:  AN  ANTHOLOGY  OF  CONTEMPORARY  PALESTINIAN  POETRY (Glasgow: Freight Books, 2014) –available From Amazon.com.

 

“. . . for my city’s sake, raped and abused . . .” (Harun Hashim Rasheed)

PLEASE NOTE: The content of this blog is slightly 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. 

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Inside Al-Aqsa Mosque (Photo: November 13, 2015, Harold Knight)

❶ Israeli calls for collective break-ins into al-Aqsa
❷ Israeli Justice Minister: West Bank settlements will continue
❸ Retracing Jaffa’s erased Palestinian history (Photo essay)
❹ Opinion/Analysis: IT  JUST  AIN’T  CRICKET:  HOW  ISRAEL  ‘TRANSFERS’  LAND  FROM  PALESTINIANS  TO  SETTLERS
❺ POETRY by Harun Hashim Rasheed
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ ISRAELI  CALLS  FOR  COLLECTIVE  BREAK-INS  INTO  AL-AQSA
The Palestinian Information Center
May 26, 2016
Israeli extremist groups have called on Thursday for collective break-ins into al-Aqsa Mosque on the 5th of June that coincides with the occupation of the eastern part of Jerusalem. According to Quds Press, the extremist groups called through social media for massive participation in collective break-ins into the Islamic holy shrine and Talmudic rituals in its plazas to celebrate what they called “the anniversary of Jerusalem’s reunification.” Israeli police will provide security protection for the plan, the groups pointed out.      MORE . . . 

Jerusalem is an arena of conflicting and competing visions of both the past and the future. While Israeli political and military control over both halves of the city has not been disputed since its occupation of East Jerusalem in 1967, there is no sense in which the Zionist imaginary of a Jewish city has been achieved or is irreversible. This has meant that alternative visions of the city, both ethno-national and eschatological in nature, continue to vie for dominance and act as mobilizing forces for dissident groups.
___This battle for the sacred is most famously played out on Jerusalem’s ancient fault­ line: the Jewish “Temple Mount” [ Har haBayit] or the Muslim “Noble Sanctuary” [al­ Haram al-Sharif] , the site of the Western (Wailing) Wall and the only visible remainder of the second Jewish Temple and the al-Aqsa Mosque, the place of Muhammad’s legendary night journey to Heaven. While scholars have extensively charted the historic conquests and religious imaginings that imbue this revered 66 square acre compound, our interest is in its contemporary politicization as a dynamic symbol and site of Israeli­ Zionist domination and Palestinian-Muslim resistance.

  • Larkin, Craig, and Michael Dumper. “In Defense Of Al-Aqsa: The Islamic Movement Inside Israel And The Battle For Jerusalem.” Middle East Journal 66.1 (2012): 31-52.

❷ ISRAELI JUSTICE MINISTER: WEST BANK SETTLEMENTS WILL CONTINUE
Palestine News Network
May 26, 2016
The Israeli Justice Minister, Ayelet Shaked on Tuesday night promised that her government will continue settlement expansion in the occupied West Bank.
___Shaked’s statement came during the opening of a new school in Itamar illegal settlement.  MORE . . .

Since 1967, Israeli policy in the West Bank (referred as Judea and Samaria by Israel since 1967) have been to create facts on the ground by annexing land without its people, by constructing enclaves within and a round the Palestinian built-up areas.
___Since 1967, Israel has been attempting to create facts on the ground that would forever link East Jerusalem to West Jerusalem and Israel. Israel has been trying to limit Palestinian natural growth as much as possible. . .
___According to many Israeli criticisms, settlement polices considers as a problematic issue for both Palestinian and Israeli communities, this is due to many reasons such as the way the settlements damage the Arab-Jewish relations, the negative influence of the settlements on the Israelis security, the role of settlements in deepen the social disparities, and the way the settlements generate a massive waste of resources. In spite of that, Israel continue constructing settlements as a part of its national strategy. . .

  • Thawaba, Salem A. “Jerusalem Walls: Transforming and Segregating Urban Fabric.” African & Asian Studies 10.2/3 (2011): 121-142. EBSCO.

❸ RETRACING  JAFFA’S  ERASED  PALESTINIAN  HISTORY  (PHOTO  ESSAY)
The Electronic Intifada
Silvia Boarini
24 May 2016
In mid-May, when Israeli Jews celebrate Independence Day, Palestinians commemorate the Nakba — the ethnic cleansing of hundreds of thousands of people from cities and villages across Palestine that began in December 1947 and intensified throughout 1948, both before and after the declaration of the State of Israel.
___This process of removing Palestinians from their land continues in various forms to this very day.
___Palestinian refugees as a whole have never been allowed to exercise their right to return to their homeland.      MORE . . .  

In Jaffa, 4,000 Palestinians–a mixture of original inhabitants and refugees from surrounding villages–were gathered in the southern Ajami neighborhood while their houses in other parts of the city, or the surrounding villages, were occupied or destroyed. In June 1948 Israeli Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion wrote in his diary: “Jaffa will be a Jewish city. War is war.” Less than a year later he reported to the Israeli parliament that 45,000 new Jewish immigrants had been settled in the city’s “abandoned” homes.
[. . . .]
___A look at the Judaization of Jaffa’s Old City illustrates something of what Israeli policymakers have in mind for the Ajami neighborhood. The heart of the Old City today has been totally renovated, with Palestinian residents long gone. Spotless pedestrian walkways weave between buildings that once served as Palestinian homes, shops and factories and now have been transformed into expensive restaurants, galleries and gift shops for foreign and Israeli tourists. The simple fact that the asking price is beyond the range of the average Jaffa Palestinian would prevent them from even attempting to move into the area.

  • Humphries, Isabelle. “The Nakba Continues: The Ethnic Cleansing Of Jaffa’s Ajami Neighborhood.” Washington Report on Middle East Affairs 27.5 (2008): 14-15.
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Evidence of Israeli “transfer” of land, Hebron. (Photo: Harold Knight, November 18, 2015)

❹ Opinion/Analysis:  IT  JUST  AIN’T  CRICKET:  HOW  ISRAEL  ‘TRANSFERS’  LAND  FROM  PALESTINIANS  TO  SETTLERS
The Palestinian Information Center
Kamel Hawwash
May 22, 2016
The cricket season is in full swing in England and this was possibly playing on my mind when I read this headline in Haaretz: “Israel seized Palestinian family’s East Jerusalem land behind its back, gave it to settler NGO.”
___My immediate reaction was this is simply not cricket, a British term used to describe an act that is unfair, not honest, or immoral. . . .  Israel expropriated the land from the Abu Ta’ah family in East Jerusalem without a tender and against the rules, then handed it over to Amana, an organisation that works to establish settlements and outposts for Jews.
MORE . . .  

“POEM TO JERUSALEM,” Harun Hashim Rasheed (b. 1927)

For the sake of a city that’s imprisoned,
for its Dome and Aqsa Mosque,
for the annihilated sanctuary
where Muhammad’s feet once stood,
for all this city has endured,
and for all it has preserved,
for Mary and Jesus,
for all the beings she has known,
for my city’s sake,
raped and abused,
on its wounded brow
God’s words are effaced.

I call on all our dead
and all our living
with verses from the Bible
if only they could hear
with verses from the Quran
in the name of God
calling the young among them and the very old
calling them from my depths
to every brave fighter
I tell them the struggle is for Jerusalem
I call on them to resolve and have faith
tell them how Jerusalem’s sanctity is wounded
I call upon them all to help Jerusalem
She cannot wait any longer,
she overflows with grief.

From the Atlantic to the Arabian Gulf
I call upon you in the name of God
with the purity of anger I beseech you
for the city with the humiliated eyes
I call you in your name,
I call my Arab people.
―translated by Sharif Elmusa and Naomi Shihab Nye

Harun Hashim Rasheed (b. 1927)
Born in Gaza, poet Harun Hashim Rasheed witnessed, as a child, British soldiers demolishing his and his neighbors’ home in reprisal against Palestinian rebels, an incident which left a deep mark on him as a poet. After obtaining a Higher Teacher Training Diploma from Gaza College, he worked as a teacher until 1954. He then became director of the Sawt Al-Arab broadcasting station in Gaza. After the fall of Gaza to the Israelis in 1967, he was harassed by the Israeli occupation forces and was eventually compelled to leave. He has had a long and illustrious career as a Palestinian poet and literary figure in exile.

From: ANTHOLOGY  OF  MODERN  PALESTINIAN  LITERATURE. Ed. Salma Khadra Jayyusi. New York: Columbia University Press, 1992. Available from Columbia University Press.