“. . . 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 . . . .

“. . . He renovates a memory demolished like a wall . . .” (Ibrahim Nasrallah)

❶ Israel to Displace Entire Palestinian Communities near Occupied Jerusalem

  • Background: “Bedouins’ Politics of Place and Memory: A Case of Unrecognised Villages in The Negev.” Nomadic Peoples

. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Settlements watchdog warns of accelerated Israeli land seizures
❷ Israel orders Muslim worshipers to pay $37,000 after destroying mosque
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) Israel-Funded App Destroys Al-Aqsa Mosque, Builds Temple in Its Place
❸ Israeli soldiers invade many villages near Jenin, abduct one Palestinian
❹ POETRY by Ibrahim Nasrallah
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
ISRAEL  TO  DISPLACE  ENTIRE  PALESTINIAN  COMMUNITIES  NEAR  OCCUPIED  JERUSALEM 
International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC
Nov. 17, 2017 ― Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has decided to displace and remove dozens of Palestinian Bedouin families living in their communities around occupied East Jerusalem, after deeming their dwellings as “illegal,” to replace them with colonists.     ___His decision was made after meeting with representatives of the so-called “Jerusalem Belt Forum,” which is actively involved in displacing the Palestinians and replacing them with Israeli colonist settlers, in direct violation of International Law.     MORE . . .

  • Hall, Bogumila. “Bedouins’ Politics of Place and Memory: A Case of Unrecognised Villages in The Negev.” Nomadic Peoples 18.2 (2014): 147-164.   Source.
    (Note: This article presents the history of the Bedouin presence in Israel. A longer than usual excerpt is printed at the bottom of this posting.)

. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) SETTLEMENTS  WATCHDOG  WARNS  OF  ACCELERATED  ISRAELI  LAND  SEIZURES  
The Middle East Monitor – MEMO  
Nov. 17, 2017 ― Peace Now has slammed a recently issued legal opinion by Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit permitting the confiscation of private Palestinian land for the benefit of Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt), warning it could accelerate land seizures.
___Mandelblit’s legal opinion was published in the context of Haresha, a settlement outpost near Ramallah, whose residents and supporters are seeking the retroactive legalisation of an access road.
___All Israeli settlements, whether state-sanctioned or unauthorised outposts, are illegal under international law, and are considered to form part of an inherently discriminatory regime.
___According to a statement by the settlements watchdog, “confiscating the land would constitute a severe violation of international humanitarian law and of the Palestinians’ right to own property”.  MORE . . .
❷ ISRAEL  ORDERS  MUSLIM  WORSHIPERS  TO  PAY  $37,000  AFTER  DESTROYING  MOSQUE 
Days of Palestine
Nov. 16, 2017 ― Israeli occupation authorities ordered Muslim worshipers to pay NIS130,000 ($37,000) seven years after destroying their mosque in Rahat, south of Israel.
___Be’er Sheva Magistrate’s Court ruled that the founders and operators of the mosque would pay the fine as a compensation for the state of Israel.
___The lawsuit was filed by the Southern District Public Prosecutor’s Office against eight residents of Rahat, who were members of the mosque committee, and demanded compensation of NIS459,500 ($130,000).   MORE . . .
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ)  ISRAEL-FUNDED  APP  DESTROYS  AL-AQSA  MOSQUE,  BUILDS  TEMPLE  IN  ITS  PLACE 
Palestine Chronicle  
Nov. 16, 2017 ―  An Israeli tourist exhibit has launched an app which allows visitors to Jerusalem to virtually destroy Al-Aqsa Mosque and replace it with a Jewish temple, furthering the government’s stated commitment to dismantle the Muslim holy site.
___The smartphone app is part of a government funded exhibition entitled “The Western Wall Experience”. When the app is pointed towards the mosque compound, it makes the Dome of the Rock disappear and replaces it with  a Jewish temple.   MORE . . .
❸ ISRAELI  SOLDIERS  INVADE  MANY  VILLAGES  NEAR  JENIN,  ABDUCT  ONE  PALESTINIAN  
International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC 
Nov. 17, 2017 ―   Dozens of Israeli soldiers invaded, earlier Friday, several Palestinian communities in the northern West Bank governorate of Jenin, installed roadblocks and searched cars, and abducted a young man.     ___Media sources said the soldiers abducted Jihad Faisal Bazzour, 28, from Burqa town, west of Jenin, after stopping him at Barta’a military roadblock, while heading for work.   MORE . . .

“RENOVATION,” BY IBRAHIM NASRALLAH
He renovates a tin window
to open it for the morning birds.
And renovates some stars that have burned out
in the streets, and a woman massacred in the neighborhood.
He renovates a memory demolished like a wall,
a bird’s scattered ashes,
light reflected off a blade in the dark,
a woman lost in a spacious bed
and a bellow.
He renovates a friend’s face as the sea breaks over it
and the singer who no longer resembles his songs,
the wind when it sleeps forgetting the immensity of an orbit,
the taste of words in conversation,
the taste of air and fruit
and two legs that have never carried a planet
while destruction prevails.
He renovates a womb, subdues horses
and poems that beg for livelihood in the shade
before slipping into a chicken coop or blowing by
like a steaming train.
He renovates pillars, neighs,
guns covered with moss from waiting.
He renovates a promise, roots, clouds,
and in the end he is slain alone like a lighthouse.

From Nasrallah, Ibrahim. RAIN  INSIDE:  SELECTED  POEMS. Trans. Omnia Amin and Rick London. Willimantic, CT: Curbstone Press, 2009. Available from Amazon.
About Ibrahim Nasrallah

  • From: Hall, Bogumila. “Bedouins’ Politics of Place and Memory: A Case of Unrecognised Villages in The Negev.”
    [. . . .] during the latter stages of British rule, there were between 60,000 and 90,000 Bedouins in the Negev region, occupying 98 per cent of the Negev lands, only 11,000 remained after the creation of Israel. Some of the Bedouins fled . . . while others were expelled to Jordan, the Gaza Strip and Sinai during and after the 1948 Arab-Israeli war. This was followed by the policy of further displacements of the Bedouin community . . .  Using martial law, Israel relocated the Bedouin to a restricted area, in the north-eastern part of Negev, called ‘Siyag’ (whose literal translation refers to fence) . . . which they were not allowed to leave without official permission. The policy did not aim to settle the Bedouins, as they had already been sedentarised, but rather to remove them from their lands and concentrate the maximum number of people on the smallest possible space. This led to the situation in which the Bedouins were concentrated on ten per cent of the land they used to occupy, and kept under control and military rule until 1966.  [. . . .] In the mid-1960s, by the end of the military rule, the policy of land expropriation was followed by a new strategy. In 1965 the ‘Planning and Building Law’ . . .  denied the existence of Bedouin villages and defined them as agricultural territories, which meant that the villages were to be omitted from all master plans and no building permits could be granted. As a result, any construction on Bedouin land was by definition illegal . . .  The same law also provided for the demolition of unlicensed buildings and deemed necessary the confiscation of land if it was needed for public purposes. The consequences of the ‘Planning and Building Law’ were therefore twofold: firstly, by not recognising the Bedouin villages it condemned their inhabitants to marginalisation; secondly it transformed the dwellers of these grey zones into ‘lawbreakers’, ‘trespassers’ and ‘squatters on the state lands’. . .  the only way for Bedouins to escape this ‘illegality’ was to leave their ancestors’ land. In 1969, Israel enacted the Land Rights Settlement Ordinance, which declared that ‘lands, which at the time of the enactment of this law were classified as mawat, will be registered in the name of the State’. . .      ___Rendering historical Bedouin villages illegal and turning their land into state property was accompanied by a policy of transferring the rural community to government townships, where ‘they would modernise, develop new habits, and become accustomed to life in permanent houses’.  [. . . .] Since Bedouin localities do not exist, according to official records, the Bedouins are denied building permits and all basic services, such as electricity, running water, public transportation and sewage systems. According to Nūra, one of the female activists from al-Sirra, this systematic exclusion can be compared to a ‘slow execution of the villages and their residents.’ Yet, the Bedouins refuse to leave these spaces of denial and instead, relying on their own efforts and creativity, domesticate the landscape of unrecognised villages and transform them into self-governed entities with their own institutions and rules. [. . . .]

 

“. . . I confronted my oppressors, carrying my blood in my palms . . .” (Tawfiq Zayyad)

Mohammed Alawna, 21, Jenin, announced dead after he was shot by Israeli occupation forces
Mohammed Alawna, 21, Jenin, announced dead after he was shot by Israeli occupation forces

❶ From MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
ISRAELI FORCES WOUND 8 AT FUNERAL OF 53-YEAR-OLD KILLED THURSDAY
July 23, 2015
HEBRON (Ma’an) — Israeli forces injured eight Palestinians in the occupied West Bank town of Beit Ummar Thursday as clashes erupted after the funeral of Falah Abu Maria, who was shot dead in his home at dawn during an Israeli arrest raid, witnesses said.
____Spokesman for a popular committee in the Hebron-area town, Mohammad Ayyad Awad, said that Israeli forces fired rubber-coated steel bullets and tear gas at funeral attendees.
____The mourners received light to medium injuries, and three were transferred to hospitals in Hebron for treatment, he said.
(More. . .)
(Background) ISRAELI FORCES KILL 53-YEAR-OLD PALESTINIAN NEAR HEBRON, INJURE SONS. July 23, 2015.
(More. . .) PALESTINIAN FACTIONS DECRY STRING OF KILLINGS BY ISRAELI FORCES
(More. . .) MARTYR ABU MARIA, SUMMED UP THE SUFFERING OF HIS PEOPLE

❷ From PALESTINE NEWS & INFORMATION AGENCY – WAFA
ISRAEL ARRESTS 20 PALESTINIANS IN WEST BANK, JERUSALEM
July 24, 2015
HEBRON, July 23, 2015 (WAFA) – At least 20 Palestinians were arrested on Thursday by the Israeli army during predawn and night raids across the West Bank districts and in Jerusalem, according to local and security sources.
____In Hebron district, Israeli forces stormed the town of Dahiriya at night and arrested three Palestinians, identified as Khalil Jabarin, 30, Mujahed Jabarin, 45, and Ayesh Awaysah, 42.
____Israeli soldiers also raided the village of al-Majd, west of Hebron, and arrested Majed Amr, a local Palestinian, and his two sons, Amjad and Ashraf.
(More. . .)

❸ From PALESTINE NEWS NETWORK (PNN)
YOUTH DIES OF WOUNDS AFTER SHOT BY ISRAELI SOLDIERS
July 22, 2015
Mohammed Alawna, 21, this morning was announced dead after he was shot by Israeli occupation forces (IOF) during clashes in Burqin village near Jenin.
____According to security sources, Mohammed was shot in the chest. He was rushed to the Khalil Suleiman Governmental Hospital for treatment, underwent surgery, and was later announced dead of his wounds.
(More. . .)

Mourners carry the body of Palestinian Falah Abu Maria, 53, who was shot dead by Israeli forces
Mourners carry the body of Palestinian Falah Abu Maria, 53, who was shot dead by Israeli forces

❹ From MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
ISRAEL ADVANCES 1,065 SETTLEMENT HOUSING UNITS
July 24, 2015
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israel’s Civil Administration advanced plans for the development of 1,065 housing units in eight different settlements throughout occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank, a settlement watchdog announced Thursday.
____The civil administration — Israel’s governing body for the occupied West Bank — approved 15 plans for various planning stages in the settlements at hand, Peace Now said.
____Approved plans included legalizing 228 already existing housing units that have been completed in settlements, as well as 541 new housing units yet to be constructed.
(More. . .)

❺ From +972 MAGAZINE
COURT DENIES EQUAL RIGHTS TO PALESTINIAN WORKERS IN ISRAELI INDUSTRIAL ZONE
Haggai Matar
July 23, 2015
Israel’s National Labor Court rejected an appeal by Palestinian workers from the Nitzanei Shalom Industrial Zone this past Sunday, ruling that they will continue to be subject to the Jordanian labor laws of 1967, rather than Israeli laws.
____The three appellants — Abdel Hamid Yahiye, Ahmed Shayib and Mujhad Harsha — sued their former employers in Tel Aviv’s Regional Labor Court in 2010 after they were fired for demanding retroactive payment from their employer.
(More. . .)

❻ Opinion
From JADALIYYA (ARAB STUDIES INSTITUTE)
PLANNING UNDER OCCUPATION: ELASTIC GEOGRAPHIES AND ‘AREA C’
Lamya Hussain
July 16, 2015
In recent years there has been growing concern about Israel’s planning regime and its operations across the West Bank. In particular, organizations have expressed their apprehension towards the growing number of demolitions, eviction orders, and restrictions in Area C. According to the 1995 Oslo Accords, Area C of the occupied Palestinian territories (oPt) amounts to an estimated sixty-two percent of the West Bank. It is rich in land and water, and critical to the sustainable long-term development of a future viable Palestinian state. Israeli restrictions on planning and development in Area C have created systemic poverty and instability across local Palestinian communities, undermining developmental possibilities. Additionally, Israel has tightened its military control of Area C of late, and increased restrictions on the delivery of international aid and humanitarian assistance. This process has produced new threats for an already vulnerable population, and brings into question both the legitimacy and responsibility of Israel as an occupying power.
(More. . .)

“I CLASP YOUR HANDS,” BY TAWFIQ ZAYYAD
I call upon you
And clasp your hands.
I kiss the dust under your shoe
And say: I’ll lay down my life for you,
Grant you the gift of eyesight in my eyes.
The warm love in my heart I give to you,
For the tragedy I live
Is but mu share in your larger tragedy.

I call upon you
And clasp your hands.
I never stooped in my country
Nor will I ever be humbled.
Orphaned, naked and barefoot
I confronted my oppressors,
Carrying my blood in my palms.
I have never lowered my flags,
And have always tended the grass over my ancestors’ graves.
I call upon you, and clasp your hands!

From THE PALSESTINIAN 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.
Tawfik Zayyad (Tawfiq Ziad) was a Palestinian poet, writer, scholar and politician. He was born in Nazareth in 1929 and died on July 5, 1994 in a dreadful car crash while on his way to meet Yasser Arafat in Jericho after the Oslo agreements. He participated in Palestinian political life in occupied Palestine, was elected mayor of Nazareth, and served as a member of the Israeli Knesset.
(More. . .)

A view of the Beit El settlement with Ramallah in the background. Photo by Michael Omer-Man.
A view of the Beit El settlement with Ramallah in the background. Photo by Michael Omer-Man.