“. . . The branches of this land foster me . . .” (Fouzi El Azmar)

[Note from the blogger:  this blog will be published every second day beginning today.]

Selected News of the Day 

EU Slams Israel’s Settlements As “Serious Breach Of International Law”

Days of Palestine
September 18, 2019
Shortly after the Israeli government approved the establishment of a new settlement on the outskirts of Jericho city, the European Union slammed all settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, as a serious breach of international law.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙“The European Union reiterates that all settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, are illegal under international law,” said the EU spokesperson for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Maja Kocijancic in a press release.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙The EU called on Israel to “end all settlement activity and to dismantle the outposts erected since March 2001 in line with prior obligations”, the statement said.   More . . . .

Israeli Forces Destroy Over 100 Olive Trees In Northern West Bank Village

Days of Palestine
September 18, 2019
Israeli soldiers chopped  down on Wednesday scores of Palestinian-owned olive trees in Burqin village, west of the occupied West Bank district of Salfit, according to  Marwan Abdul Rahman, head of Burqin village council.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙He said soldiers chopped more than 100 olive trees in Khirbet Qarqash area located in the northeastern part of the village.  More . . . .

  • Israeli army cuts water supply to Jordan Valley village
    WAFA
    September 19, 2019
    The Israeli army today cut water supply to the village of Bardalla in the northern Jordan Valley after shutting down the water taps supplying the village with its daily water needs, according to member of Bardalla village council Darrar Daraghmeh.
    ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙He said soldiers raided the village and proceeded to shut the pipes supplying the village’s around 2000 population with their daily water needs without giving reason for this action.  More . . . .
  • Israeli Soldiers Bulldoze Palestinian Agricultural Lands Near Qalqilia And Salfit
    IMEMC-International Middle East Media Center
    September 18, 2019
    Israeli soldiers bulldozed and uprooted, Wednesday, large areas of Palestinian agricultural lands in Hijja village, east of the northern West Bank city of Qalqilia, and near Salfit in central West Bank.
    ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙Mohammad Abu Sheikh, a Palestinian Authority official who monitors Israel’s illegal colonialist activities in Qalqilia governorate, said several army bulldozers started uprooted approximately 145 Dunams of farmlands.
    ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙He added that the Israeli violation comes as part of the efforts to expand the Industrial Zone of the illegal Karnei Shomron colony, which was built on privately-owned Palestinian lands.    More . . . .
  • In a large-scale search-and-arrest campaign, Israeli forces round up 22 Palestinians in West Bank
    WAFA
    September 19, 2019  In a large-scale search-and-arrest campaign, Israeli forces detained early this morning 22 Palestinians in various areas of the occupied West Bank, including three 14-year-old minors, according to the Palestinian Prisoner Society (PPS).
    ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙It said soldiers raided the town of Abu Dis, east of Jerusalem, and detained three 14-year-old minors after raiding their family homes.   
    More . . . .

Commentary

Israelis have made their verdict clear: Benjamin Netanyahu’s time is up

The National
Jonathan Cook
September 18, 2019
For most Israelis, the general election on Tuesday was about one thing and one thing only. Not the economy, nor the occupation, nor even corruption scandals. It was about Benjamin Netanyahu. Should he head yet another far-right government, or should his 10-year divisive rule come to an end?
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙Barring a last-minute upset as the final ballot papers are counted, it is clear that Mr Netanyahu does not command a majority and could well be on his way out. . . . The difficulty is that such a coalition would depend on the support of the 13 Joint List legislators representing Israel’s large Palestinian minority. . . .   More . . . .

Poem of the Day

“I  AM  THE  SON  OF  THE  LAND,”  BY  FOUZI  EL ASMAR

You may take my hands
and lock them in your chains
You may also blindfold me.

You bereaved me
from the light
and I marched
You robbed me
of the bread
and I ate.
You plundered the land
from me
and I ploughed.

I am the son of the land
and for that
I find goodness in this earth
anywhere I happen to be:
The ants of this land
feed me
The branches of this land
foster me
The eagles of this land
will shield my open revolt

Yes
You may take my hands
And lock them in your chains
You may also blindfold me
But here I will stand tall
And here I shall remain
until the very end. (April, 1970)

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

Support ‘Palestine Writes’, the first Palestinian Literature festival in North America
Mondoweiss
Nada Elia, September 18, 2019  More . . . .

“. . . is it my country or the source of my exile . . .” (Zuhair Abu Shaib)

1666520508
Inhabitants of YITZHAR – a reputation as being among the most extreme Israeli settlers in the West Bank. (The Palestinian Information Center Sunday, December 3, 2017)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY    
|  WEST  BANK  WITNESSES  WORST  ESCALATION  IN  THIS  YEAR,  ISRAELI  FORCES  KILL  4  PALESTINIAN  CIVILIANS  WITHIN  ONLY  48  HOURS;  TWO  OF  THEM  WERE  EXTRA-JUDICIALLY  EXECUTED
The West Bank is witnessing the worst and most violent escalation by the Israeli forces and settlers in this year.  Only within 48 hours, the Israeli forces killed 4 Palestinian civilians, including an elderly and 2 extra-judicially killed, and wounded dozens due to use of armed force against the peaceful demonstrators.  The Palestinian cities have witnessed large-scale incursions; mostly in the cities of Ramallah and al-Bireh, and a strangulating closure on both cities.  Meanwhile, the Israeli settlers have escalated their attacks against the Palestinian civilians and their property in light of the Israeli military and political leaders’ calls for incitement against the Palestinians.  The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) emphasizes that the Israeli forces continue to pursue the policy of Extra-judicial executions that have publicly carried out for the first time in the so-called “Bus 300” operation on 10 April 1984 when 4 Palestinians were killed.  More . . .
ISRAELI  SETTLERS  RAZE  PALESTINIAN  LANDS  TO  EXPAND  [YITZHAR] NABLUS-AREA  SETTLEMENT  
Israeli bulldozers, belonging to settlers from the illegal Israeli settlement of Yitzhar in the northern occupied West Bank district of Nablus, razed Palestinian lands in the Assira al-Qibliya village, on Wednesday morning.    ___Ghassan Daghlas, an official who monitors settlement activity in the northern West Bank, told Ma’an that several Israeli settlers from Yitzhar razed lands in eastern Assira al-Qibliya to expand their settlement.    ___Daghlas confirmed that these lands belong to several Palestinians.    More . . .
~~ ISRAELI  FORCES  UPROOT  200  CACTUS  SEEDLINGS  IN  JORDAN  VALLEY
Israeli forces uprooted hundreds of cactus seedlings belonging to a Palestinian resident in the Bardala village in the northern occupied West Bank, on Tuesday afternoon.    ___A Palestinian official in charge of Jordan Valley’s Israeli settlements file at the Palestinian Authority (PA), Mutaz Bisharat, said that Israeli forces uprooted 200 five-month-old cactus seedlings.    ___Bisharat added that the seedlings belong to local resident Faris Sawafta in Bardala in the Jordan Valley.   More . . .
~~ ISRAELI  SETTLERS  UPROOT  OVER  100  TREES  WEST  OF  HEBRON
Israeli settlers Tuesday evening uprooted over 100 trees belonging to the Palestinian villagers of Tarqumiya, west of Hebron, said a local official.    ___Head of the Agricultural Damage Documentation Section Hashem Badarin told WAFA that settlers from Adora settlement uprooted and destroyed over 100 fruitful trees belonging to the village.  More . . .
| OFFICIAL:  WE  INFORMED  ISRAEL  THAT  WE  ARE  GOING  TO  RECONSIDER  ALL  SIGNED  AGREEMENTS
Hussein al-Sheikh, head of the Civil Affairs Commission, said on Monday that the Palestinian Authority has informed Israel that it is going to reconsider all the agreements signed between them.    ___”We have told the Israeli side a clear message and that was as long as the agreements are being slaughtered and murdered every day on the ground by the behavior of the settlers and the army, we are going to reconsider all the agreements signed between us and them,” he said in an interview.    [. . . .] “We have delivered a very clear message that the current serious escalation is targeting all the occupied territories.    More . . .

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION
| KHAN  AL-AHMAR:  SETTING  THE  RECORD  STRAIGHT
By Angela Godfrey-Goldstein
The story of Khan al-Ahmar has been told countless times in the media in recent months. The way it is being told, however, is chock full of misconceptions. Here’s the real story behind the embattled village.    ___ The village of Khan al-Ahmar, home to 193 Palestinian Bedouins and a school, is under the very real and imminent threat of demolition and forcible displacement by Israeli authorities. Israel wants to remove Khan al-Ahmar to facilitate its “E-1” development plan, which envisions 3,910 housing units for Israelis and over 2,000 hotel rooms, and which would connect the Israeli settlement of Ma’ale Adumim to East Jerusalem. The separation wall would then be built around that bloc, with Greater Jerusalem “Judaized” and the viability of a Palestinian state jeopardized.    More . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY

“NAME  OF  THE  SOIL,”  BY  ZUHAIR  ABU  SHAIB
what is its name?
what is the name of the soil
that falls from my withered body?
what is its name as it drifts and gathers
under my clothes
while, slowly, I build wall after wall?

I picture a sky full of clouds
I see it as I wish it to be

when night falls, I gulp my fill of springs
in darkness I lift my latch
to wise men

I ask my guests
who imprisoned the soul in rock?
who left prophets spread-eagled on doorsteps?

who risks everything to capture the earth?
a man who does not know his own shadow

what can I call this rug of soil?
is it my country or the source of my exile?
is it my miracle or my cross?

what is its name?
――Translated by Tom Pow

From A BIRD IS NOT A STONE: AN ANTHOLOGY OF CONTEMPORARY PALESTINIAN POETRY (Glasgow: Freight Books, 2014) –available from Barnes & Noble.