“. . . because love and peace are holy and are coming to town. . . .” (Mahmoud Darwish)

“. . .  Elad . . .  seeks to increase Jewish settlement in the Silwan area by purchasing existing homes on behalf of Jewish families. . .  [with funds] from fundraising efforts . . .  possibly also from the donations of wealthy Russian Jewish oligarchs who support the settlement movement in East Jerusalem . . .  archaeologist Israel Finkelstein sees a serious problem here. ‘The official state institutions abandoned the management of the City of David site to a [private] foundation with clear political inclinations,’ he says.”

The Golden Gate, Eastern Wall, constructed during the Umayyad period atop the ancient footings, with Muslim cemetery at its base. (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 7, 2015)

❶ UNESCO Adopts Resolution Reaffirming Israel’s Lack of Sovereignty over Jerusalem
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ)   UNESCO Resolution ‘Sad, Unnecessary, and Pathetic,’ According to Israeli Foreign Ministry
❷ Israel puts its occupation on display in East Jerusalem

Background: “No Saints in Jerusalem.” Archaeology.

❸ Israeli forces reportedly beat, pepper-spray Palestinians in Silwan raids
. . . . . ❸ ― (ᴀ) Arrests in Al-Sowaneh and Esawyehn
❹ POETRY by Mahmoud Darwish
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC 
July 6, 2017.   The World Heritage Committee of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) adopted, on Tuesday, a resolution which confirms Israel’s lack of sovereignty over occupied Jerusalem.
___The organization condemned, in a meeting in Krakov, southern Poland, the excavations carried out by the Israeli Antiquities Department, in Jerusalem.
___According to Al Ray Palestinian Media Agency, the Arab Group of Arab States submitted the wording of the resolution . . .   MORE . . .  
Palestine Chronicle
Jul 5 2017.   The United Nations Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization’s (UNESCO) World Heritage Committee adopted a resolution on Tuesday reaffirming the international body’s non-recognition of Israeli sovereignty in occupied East Jerusalem. . . [. . . .] The Israeli Foreign Ministry slammed the resolution as “sad, unnecessary, and pathetic.”
___“This is another absurd and irrelevant UNESCO decision, which serves only the enemies of history and truth,” the ministry said in a statement. It went on to reiterate the Israeli claim that Jerusalem was “the eternal capital of the Jewish people” and of Israel – a claim not recognized by the international community. . .   MORE . . .  RELATED:  “Israel fears endangered World Heritage status could thwart Hebron takeover.”
The Middle East Monitor – MEMO
July 6, 2017.   Israeli occupation forces projected images from its Judaisation project in East Jerusalem on the walls of Damascus Gate yesterday.
___Part of its annual “Festival of Lights”, the display showed pictures which depicted specific historical periods or which were linked to religious beliefs.
___This year’s event was used as part of the municipality’s efforts to Judaise the city and eradicate its Islamic history replacing it with the Zionist narrative.
___According to Adnan Al- Husayni, minister of Jerusalem affairs, the Umayyad palaces that are targeted by the festival include mostly Islamic Umayyad monuments . . .    MORE . . .

Milstein, Mati. “NO  SAINTS  IN  JERUSALEM.” Archaeology, vol. 63, no. 5, Sep/Oct2010, pp. 18-66.
How religion, politics, and archaeology clash on–and under–the streets of Jerusalem 
In the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan, some of the 50,000 Palestinian residents can hear digging under their homes. Silwan is partially situated atop the popular tourist attraction known to Israelis as the City of David, the oldest part of historic Jerusalem, directly south of the Temple Mount. During the biblical and Roman periods, the Temple Mount was home to the First and Second Jewish temples (which are believed to have stood between 832 and 422 B.C. and 516 B.C. and A.D. 70, respectively), and was the center of Jewish ritual and spiritual life for millennia. Following the Muslim conquest of the city in A.D. 638, the Umayyad rulers erected the Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa mosque, two structures that are focal points for Palestinian and Muslim religious identity. There are few, if any, more valued and contested places on earth.
[. . . .]  Excavations and explorations across Israel and the West Bank, many of them located a stone’s throw from key Jewish and Islamic holy sites, lie at the heart of the struggle between Israelis and Palestinians. And artifacts recovered from Jerusalem’s soil are being used as ammunition in the escalating–and often violent–conflict.  Each nation forges its identity from common mythology, religion, and a sense of shared history. Especially in the Holy Land, where people’s historical identity affects every aspect of their lives, there is an eagerness to back up these histories with physical evidence.
[. . . .]  According to Hamdan Taha, archaeological and cultural heritage expert at the Palestinian Authority’s Tourism Ministry, “The sort of archaeology being carried out in Jerusalem, specifically in East Jerusalem and the Silwan area, is motivated by hidden agendas and has nothing to do with scientific objectives. It is done secretly, without taking into consideration international standards, and casts great doubts on the objectives of these excavations.”    [. .  . .]  ___Mahdi Abdul Hadi, chairman of the Palestinian Academic Society for the Study of International Affairs, agrees. “People are totally ignorant about where they are from, what they are doing, about their identity.” But he warns that empty slogans, rhetoric, and religion, rather than real education, are filling this gap. “Nobody will look at archaeology in good faith today. Everything is exploited now, because the hatred is deepening,” he says . . . .     SOURCE . . .

Ma’an News Agency 
July 6, 2017.   Israeli forces assaulted Palestinian residents during a raid in the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan on Wednesday evening, as two Palestinians were detained.
___The Wadi Hilweh Information Center reported that six Palestinians sustained bruises and suffered from excessive tear gas inhalation during a raid targeting the home of one Muhammad al-Abbasi in the area of Ein al-Luza, during which residents said they were assaulted by Israeli police officers.
___The center added that no reason was given for the raid in the al-Abbasi home, during which Israeli pushed and pepper-sprayed women, children, and elderly Palestinians, pointing their weapons at youth.
[. . . .] Clashes erupted in the neighborhood following the home raid, during which Israeli forces reportedly fired rubber-coated steel bullets and stun grenades in an haphazard fashion, before detaining Muhammad Ibrahim Ruweidi, 20, and Muhammad Imad Taha, 19.   MORE . . . 

Jerusalem: North side of the Tower of David, inside the old city, near Jaffa Gate, built by the Crusaders. (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 7, 2015)

. . . . . ❸ ― (ᴀ) ARRESTS  IN  AL-SOWANEH  AND  ESAWYEHN    
Wadi Hilweh Information Center – Silwan 
July 4, 2017.   The occupation forces arrested seven young Jerusalemite men on Tuesday early morning after raiding their homes in the neighborhood of Al-Sowaneh in Jerusalem.
___Wadi Hilweh Information Center was informed that the occupation forces along with intelligence personnel raided the neighborhood of Al-Sowaneh and stormed into several houses and arrested 7 young men . . . .
___Lawyer Mohammad Mahmoud explained that the arrests were made under the pretext of “participating in the funeral of Ali Abu Gharbieh who was drowned in Tiberius Lake last Friday; the body was found last Sunday.   MORE . . .   BACKGROUND . . .

In Jerusalem, and I mean within the ancient walls,
I walk from one epoch to another without a memory
to guide me. The prophets over there are sharing
the history of the holy . . . ascending to heaven
and returning less discouraged and melancholy, because love
and peace are holy and are coming to town.
I was walking down a slope and thinking to myself: How
do the narrators disagree over what light said about a stone?
Is it from a dimly lit stone that wars flare up?
I walk in my sleep. I stare in my sleep. I see
no one behind me. I see no one ahead of me.
All this light is for me. I walk. I become lighter. I fly
then I become another. Transfigured. Words
sprout like grass from Isaiah’s messenger
mouth: “If you don’t believe you won’t believe.”
I walk as if I were another. And my wound a white
biblical rose. And my hands like two doves
on the cross hovering and carrying the earth.
I don’t walk, I fly, I become another,
transfigured. No place and no time. So who am I?
I am no I in ascension’s presence. But I
think to myself: Alone, the prophet Mohammad
spoke classical Arabic. “And then what?”
Then what? A woman soldier shouted:
Is that you again? Didn’t I kill you?
I said: You killed me . . . and I forgot, like you, to die.
About Mahmoud Darwish
Published by the Academy of American Poets.



“. . . what can I call this rug of soil? is it my country or the source of my exile? . . .” (Zuhair Abu Shaib)

Blockaded street in Hebron, preventing Palestinians from entering area controlled by Israeli illegal settlers, with Israeli soldiers guarding above. (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 15, 2015)

❶ Hebron is the next Israeli-Palestinian fight at UNESCO

Background: “Settler-Colonialism, Memoricide and Indigenous Toponymic Memory: The Appropriation of Palestinian Place Names by the Israeli State.” Journal of Holy Land & Palestine Studies

❷ Palestinian fires at Israeli soldiers during Jenin raid to remove memorial
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) Israeli settlers change name of Damascus Gate-area street to ‘honor Israeli soldiers’
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴃ) Europeans for Jerusalem warns of Israel’s practices in holy city
❸ Knesset begins deliberations on bill to cut funds to PA over ‘martyrs’ social program
❹ POETRY by Zuhair Abu Shaib
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
+972 Blog
Yonathan Mizrachi
June 29, 2017.   In recent years, every time UNESCO convenes to discuss world heritage sites, Israel-Palestine is in the limelight.  Usually, tensions center around the Old City of Jerusalem, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Danger in 1982. Recently, however, the Israeli Foreign Ministry began a campaign against the Palestinian nomination of the city of Hebron as a World Heritage Site. Though Hebron is not Jerusalem, Israel’s claims to the place sound pretty much the same: a national and religious connection to the Cave of the Patriarchs which is based on the city’s status as a sacred site from Biblical times. Names such as Abraham and King David — who made Hebron his first capital for seven years before conquering Jerusalem — are proclaimed in connection to the city with requisite pathos.
___The discussion about recognizing Hebron as a World Heritage Site will take place during the meeting of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee in Krakow, Poland from July 2 to 12. The Palestinians propose recognizing the Tomb of the Patriarchs and Hebron as a World Heritage Site because of the city’s rich 6,000 year-old history. Like the Israelis, the Palestinians also revere the tombs of the Matriarchs and the Patriarchs — Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, Sarah, Rebecca and Leah. They note that the present structure of the Cave of the Patriarchs dates to the time of Herod — a tradition accepted by all sides, but that is yet to be verified by archeologists.   MORE . . .              POSTED HERE    Israel refuses entry to UNESCO group expected to visit Hebron’s Old City    June 26, 2017

Masalha, Nur. “Settler-Colonialism, Memoricide and Indigenous Toponymic Memory: The Appropriation of Palestinian Place Names by the Israeli State.” Journal of Holy Land & Palestine Studies, vol. 14, no. 1, May 2015, pp. 3-57.
Cartography and toponymy – the term derives from the Greek words topos (‘place’) and onoma (‘name’) – were central to European empire building in the nineteenth century. Place names (including human settlements such as villages, towns, cities, streets and countries and natural places such as mountains, hills, valleys, rivers, springs, and wadis) are meant ‘to provide clues as to the historical and cultural heritage of places and regions’. Yet in reality place names are not just spatial references; they are rooted in power relations and struggles over land and resources and the identities of the people that inhabit these places.
[. . . .] Since the rise of the Zionist settler movement in the late nineteenth century, and especially since the establishment of Israel in 1948, the struggle over toponymic memory and the renaming of sites has developed as an integral part of the political conflict in Palestine. The indigenous Palestinians have insisted on their own comprehensive set of Arabic place names through which they see their own social memory and deep-rootedness in the land of Palestine. On the other hand, since the ethnic cleansing of the 1948 Nakba and the creation of the Israeli state, a large number of Palestinian Arabic place names have been Judaised, Hebrewised. Indeed since 1948 the Israeli army and Israeli state have sought to rename systematically Palestinian Arabic place names, claiming priority in chronology and using modern archaeology, map-making, and place names as their proofs of Jewish roots in ‘the land of Israel’. In Israel the significance of place names lies in their potential to legitimize ‘historical claims’ asserted by the Zionist settler-colonial movement.   FULL ARTICLE . . .

Ma’an News Agency       
June 30, 2017.  An armed Palestinian opened fire on Israeli forces carrying out a raid in the northern occupied West Bank city of Jenin on Friday, causing no injuries.
___An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an that a Palestinian shot towards Israeli soldiers during a dawn raid in Jenin, before dropping his weapon and fleeing.
___No Israelis were injured in the incident, the spokesperson said, adding that the army recovered the weapon on the scene.
___The spokesperson added that the soldiers were targeted as they were undertaking an operation to remove a memorial stone commemorating Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) leader Khalid Nazzal.   MORE . . .

IMG_2845 - Copy
Five fully armed Israeli soldiers detaining and searching a lone Palestinian young man, outside Damascus Gate (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 12, 2015)

Ma’an News Agency      
June 23, 2017.  A group of Israeli settlers escorted by Israeli police and border police forces changed the name of the Damascus Gate-area Sultan Suleiman Street in occupied East Jerusalem to Heroines Street, “in commemoration of killed Israeli soldiers.”     ___Hebrew-language media sites reported on Friday that a group of Israeli settlers under the protection of Israeli forces changed the name of the Damascus Gate-area street, in commemoration of two Israeli soldiers who were killed in shooting and stabbing attacks near Damascus Gate — including 23-year old Hadas Malka, an Israeli police officer who, along with three Palestinian assailants, was killed last week at the gate’s entrance.
___Israeli settlers, police and border guards lit candles at the site before putting a sign reading “Heroines Street” in Hebrew, Arabic and English over the original street sign, which read Sultan Suleiman Street.  MORE. . .
Al Hourriah Magazine (Freedom) 
June 21, 2017.   Europeans for Jerusalem foundation has warned against Israel’s persistence in its serious practices in Occupied Jerusalem in general and at the Aqsa Mosque in particular.
___In a statement, Europeans for Jerusalem described the exposure of the holy city in general and the Aqsa Mosque in particular to direct targeting, break-ins, desecration and assaults on worshipers under police protection as “a threat to regional stability.”
___The foundation voiced deep concern about acts of desecration and sabotage which Jerusalem and the Aqsa Mosque are being exposed to . . .    MORE . . .    FOUNDATION . . . 
Ma’an News Agency    
June 29, 2017.   Israel’s parliamentary foreign affairs and defense committee began discussing on Wednesday a bill aimed at slashing tax transfers to the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority (PA) over its controversial “martyrs” compensation program, which provides financial support to Palestinians imprisoned by Israel, their families, and for relatives of those who have been killed by Israeli forces — whether during attacks against Israelis or in situations void of wrongdoing.
___The bill, which would see the Israeli government cut an estimated 1 billion shekels ($280 million) in tax transfers to the PA each year, was approved for a preliminary reading in the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, earlier this month.
___Israel collects an estimated $2.1 billion in taxes yearly on behalf of the PA, according to a 2015 report by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), representing three quarters of the PA’s revenue.
___Israel has regularly withheld transferring taxes to apply pressure on the Palestinian government, despite rights groups saying such punitive measures amount to “collective punishment.”   MORE . . .

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

Zuhair Abu Shaib was born in Deir al-Ghusun, a town near the city of Tulkarm in the northern West Bank and studied at Yarmouk University. He was a teacher and journalist in Yemen, and a book designer. He was also editor of the journal Awraq.
From A BIRD IS NOT A STONE: AN ANTHOLOGY OF CONTEMPORARY PALESTINIAN POETRY (Glasgow: Freight Books, 2014) –available from Barnes & Noble.

“. . . Israeli settler-colonialism has been a set of discursive strategies that have sought to dehumanize Palestinians . . .” (Thomas Abowd)

The Damascus Gate (Photo: Harold Knight, November 5, 2015)

❶ Israeli police execute 3 Palestinian teens
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Israeli forces storm Jenin-area villages, raid Palestinian homes

Background: From Arab Studies Quarterly.    “. . . Crucial to Israeli settler-colonialism has been a set of discursive strategies that have sought to dehumanize Palestinians and other Arabs of the region. Making someone or some group a thing is the first step in destroying them, eliminating them, negating them . . .”

❷ UN last hurdle before Israel can rid itself of the Palestinians
❸ The Inside Story On Our UN Report Calling Israel An Apartheid State
❹ POETRY by Samih Al-Qasim
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Days of Palestine   
Jun 17, 2017    Israeli police opened fire on Saturday night at three Palestinian teens at Damascus Gate of Al-Aqsa Mosque in the holy city of Jerusalem, leaving them dead.
___All of the three Palestinians from the West Bank, aged 17 and 18. Sources said that two of them from Ramallah villages of Deir abu-Mashal and Shuqba in the central occupied West Bank.
___The Palestinian security sources said that the third one was a resident of the southern West Bank city of Al-Khalil.     ___Israeli occupation police claimed that the Palestinians, who were killed, opened fire and stabbed Israelis, citing the death of a border policewoman in the incident.
[. . . .] Following the attack, the Israeli occupation authorities revoked more than 250,000 entry permits for Palestinians from West Bank that allow them to visit Al-Aqsa Mosque and the lands occupied in 1948 (Israel).        MORE . . .          RELATED . . .
Ma’an News Agency 
June 17, 2017        Israeli forces raided a number of Palestinian villages in the northern occupied West Bank district of Jenin on Friday evening, declaring the areas “closed military zones,” according to locals.
___Local sources told Ma’an that sirens had sounded from Israel’s Salem military base near Jenin, before Israeli forces stormed the villages of Rummana, Zububa, and al-Taybeh in western Jenin and declared the areas “closed military zones.”
___Israeli forces ransacked several Palestinian homes and questioned residents of the village on the streets, according to locals.
[. . . .] It was unclear if the military operations were connected to a deadly attack carried out in occupied East Jerusalem Friday evening by three Palestinians from the Hebron area, as Israeli authorities implemented heightened security measures across the occupied West Bank following the incident.     MORE . . .

Abowd, Thomas. “RESPONSE  TO  ELIA  ZUREIK’S  ISRAEL’S  COLONIAL  PROJECT  IN  PALESTINE.” Arab Studies Quarterly, vol. 38, no. 4, Fall2016, pp. 694-699.
[. . . .] Israel’s Colonial Project in Palestine: Crucial to Israeli settler-colonialism have been essentialist assertions of racial and cultural differences between Israeli Jews and the Palestinians. Zionism has generated new meanings about Jews and Arabs and imputed notions of superiority and inferiority onto colonizer and colonized alike. As well, there have been assumptions about where and how Palestinians and Israelis should live in relation to one another—who belongs where and who is “out of place.”  . .  . . Questions of race, racism, and racist violence [have been ignored as a frame of analysis for studying Palestine/Israel].
___It might be said that the Jewish state’s ideological architecture of essential differences between Israeli Jews and Palestinian Arabs enables nearly every one of its principle aims. Once racist notions are inculcated into (and imbibed by) a dominant population, an array of distancing policies, technologies of surveillance, methods of exclusion, and “racialised forms of monitoring … ” can be created and sustained more easily.
___Israeli settler-colonialism has relied on sustaining apartness or distance through notions of racial, cultural, and religious difference . . . .     And it is this colonial imperative that has enabled and been enabled by the notion that Palestinians are . . .  “matter out of place”: that is, non-Jewish populations who can be tolerated “over there,” provided they do not pollute the Israeli body politic.
___Crucial to Israeli settler-colonialism has been a set of discursive strategies that have sought to dehumanize Palestinians and other Arabs of the region. Making someone or some group a thing is the first step in destroying them, eliminating them, negating them. The process of reification, therefore, is one not easily ignored in analyzing Palestine/Israel . . .    Reification is that practice in which something that is not a thing is turned into a thing . . .  reification might be understood as the “thingification” of human beings. . . .
___The logic—and practice—of elimination seems untenable without racial notions and efforts at racialization. In their absence, colonialism does not make sense and cannot function. Without the belief that certain bodies are violable, the aims of elimination become more difficult to achieve.     SOURCE . . .

Jonathan Cook
June 16, 2017         Israeli and US officials are in the process of jointly pre-empting Donald Trump’s supposed “ultimate deal” to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict . . .       The conspiracy – a real one – was much in evidence last week during a visit to the region by Nikki Haley, Washington’s envoy to the United Nations.
[. . . .] But worse is to come. Now the framework of international laws and institutions established after the Second World War is at risk of being dismembered.
___That danger was highlighted on Sunday, when it emerged that Netanyahu had urged Haley to dismantle another UN agency much loathed by Israel. UNRWA cares for more than five million Palestinian refugees across the region.       MORE . . .

School boys playing football during a break at the UNRWA Khan Younis Preparatory Boys C School in southern Gaza. (UNRWA Photo 2016 by Tamer Hamam)

The Nation
Richard Falk
March 22, 2017         Six months ago, the UN’s Economic and Social Commission for West Asia (ESCWA) asked Virginia Tilley and me to write a study examining the applicability of the international criminal law concept of apartheid to Israel’s policies and practices toward the Palestinian people . . .  as a result of an uncontested motion adopted by its 18 Arab member governments.
___Almost within hours of its release on March 15, our report was greeted by what can only be described as hysteria. The US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, denounced it and demanded that the UN repudiate it. The newly elected secretary general, António Guterres, quickly and publicly called for ESCWA to withdraw the report from its website, and when Rima Khalaf, the head of the commission, resisted, Guterres insisted. Rather than comply, Khalaf resigned. Soon thereafter, the report was withdrawn from the commission’s website. . . .
___What is striking about this response, which resembles in many respects the US government response to the Goldstone Report (the UN Fact-Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict of 2008-9), is the degree to which Israel’s supporters, in response to criticism, have sought to discredit the messenger rather than address the message.  MORE . . .

What should I do with the narcissus?
The apricot?
The crowns of rugged trees?
What should I do with the finest
of my wildflowers? What?
What should I do with the strongest, fiercest,
and cruelest wild flowers and thorns?
What should I do with the strongest
of English words?
The fiercest of French traits:
The cruelest of German blows:
The ugliest of Hebrew terms:
The most horrible sound in Arabic:
What should I do with my pain
over my ignorance of Sanskrit
and Esperanza?
My fondness for wildflowers
runs deep.
What should I do
with the fence of fire
and with my being caught―
between the ugliest and the finest?
What should I do?
What should I do?
–From: Al-Qasim, Samih. Sadder than Water: New & Selected Poems. Nazih Kassis, Trans. (Jerusalem: Ibis Editions, 2006.)
Available from Barnes and Noble
 About Samih Al-Qasim

“. . . There’s a place in my brain where hate won’t grow . . .” (Naomi Shihab Nye)

A pediatric dialysis patient proudly displays the coloring she has done as part of the psycho-social care facilitated for children at Augusta Victoria Hospital’s Specialized Child Care Center. (Photo by K. Brown)

❶ Israeli police kill 16-year old Palestinian girl in Jerusalem
❷ PA says crisis resolved after East Jerusalem hospital turned patients away over debt
❸ April 2017: 2758 settlers break into Al-Aqsa Mosque (East Jerusalem)
❹ Opinion/Analysis:  Open Letter to UN Ambassador Nikki Haley on Our Report on Apartheid in Israel
. . . . .  ❹ ― (ᴀ) How Israel’s violent birth destroyed Palestine
❺ POETRY by Naomi Shihab Nye
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC  
May 8, 2017
On Sunday afternoon, Israeli police shot and killed a 16-year old Palestinian girl near the Damascus gate in Jerusalem.
___Although the Israeli police spokesperson claimed that the teen attempted to stab a security officer, that account has been disputed.
___The child has been identified as Fatima Afeef Abdul-Rahman Hajiji, 16, from Qarawat Bani Zeid village,  northwest of Ramallah, in the central part of the West Bank.   ___Eyewitnesses said Fatima was standing near the entrance of Bab al-‘Amoud (Damascus Gate), and was at least ten meters away from the near soldier or officer, and that one of the soldiers started shouting “knife, knife,” before five soldiers fired a barrage of bullets at the child.      MORE . . .

At least three soldiers with AK47s are needed to murder one teenage girl (Photo, Ma’an News, May 8, 2017)

Ma’an News Agency  
May 8, 2017
The Palestinian Authority (PA) Minister of Health Jawad Awwad announced on Sunday afternoon that an agreement had been reached with a hospital in occupied East Jerusalem after the medical facility had said earlier in the day that it would no longer accept new patients, owing to a “crisis level” financial situation due to excessive delays in payments from the Palestinian Authority (PA) amounting to some $41.78 million.
___After a meeting with Augusta Victor Hospital General Manager Walid Nammur and Director of Operations Atif Rimawi, Awwad said that the situation “had been resolved,” and that the hospital would resume accepting patients referred to by the ministry.
___The minister added in a statement that an agreement was reached on “all unresolved issues” in coordination with Palestinian Minister of Finance Shukri Bishara, and that “we will do our best to end the crises facing Jerusalem hospitals.”       MORE . . .  

Wadi Hilweh Information Center – Silwan   
May 3, 2017
Wadi Hilweh Information Center issued its monthly report for April 2017 in which it monitored the Israeli violations in the city of Jerusalem as well as settlers’ assaults on Al-Aqsa Mosque concurrently with the execution of multiple arrests, isolations and deportations from Al-Aqsa and the Old City of Jerusalem.
___The center said the number of settlers who broke into Al-Aqsa Mosque and the number of Jerusalemites isolated from Al-Aqsa and deported from the Old City of Jerusalem as well as arrests were the highest since the beginning of the years. MORE . .

The Nation
Richard Falk and Virginia Tilley
April 25, 2017
Republished in The Jerusalem Fund
Dear Madam Ambassador:
We were deeply disappointed by your response to our report, Israeli Practices Toward the Palestinian People and the Question of Apartheid, and particularly your dismissal of it as “anti-Israeli propaganda” within hours of its release. The UN Economic and Social Commission for West Asia (ESCWA) invited us to undertake a fully researched scholarly study. Its principal purpose was to ascertain whether Israeli policies and practices imposed on the Palestinian people fall within the scope of the international-law definition of apartheid. We did our best to conduct the study with the care and rigor that is morally incumbent in such an important undertaking, and of course we welcome constructive criticism of the report’s method or analysis (which we also sought from several eminent scholars before its release). So far we have not received any information identifying the flaws you have found in the report or how it may have failed to comply with scholarly standards of rigor.        MORE . . .
Al Jazeera English
Ramzy Baroud
May 1, 2017       Related article


“Let’s be the same wound if we must bleed.
Let’s fight side by side, even if the enemy
is ourselves: I am yours, you are mine.”
—Tommy Olofsson, Sweden

I’m not interested in
who suffered the most.
I’m interested in
people getting over it.

Once when my father was a boy
a stone hit him on the head.
Hair would never grow there.
Our fingers found the tender spot
and its riddle: the boy who has fallen
stands up. A bucket of pears
in his mother’s doorway welcomes him home.

The pears are not crying.
Later his friend who threw the stone
says he was aiming at a bird.
And my father starts growing wings.

Each carries a tender spot:
something our lives forgot to give us.
A man builds a house and says,
“I am native now.”
A woman speaks to a tree in place
of her son. And olives come.
A child’s poem says,
“I don’t like wars,
they end up with monuments.”
He’s painting a bird with wings
wide enough to cover two roofs at once.

Why are we so monumentally slow?
Soldiers stalk a pharmacy:
big guns, little pills.
If you tilt your head just slightly
it’s ridiculous.

There’s a place in my brain
where hate won’t grow.
I touch its riddle: wind, and seeds.
Something pokes us as we sleep.

It’s late but everything comes next.

“. . . he laughs, his Uzi sputters―they are nothing. . . [Sabra/Shatilla, Sept. 16, 1982]” (Sam Hamod)

Massacre of Palestinian People at Sabra and Shatilla Camps. By Katsikoviannis. (Photo: Arabic Literature in English, Sept. 17, 2010)

❶ The Appointment of General Yaron: Continuing Impunity for the Sabra and Shatilla Massacres
❷ Palestinian shot dead, another injured in Hebron after car ramming attack
. . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) Israeli forces shoot and kill Jordanian in East Jerusalem after alleged stab attack
❸ Opinion/Analysis: The Logic of Murder in Israel: A Culture of Impunity in Full View of the Entire World
❹ POETRY by Sam Hamod
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ Malone, Linda A. “The Appointment of General Yaron: Continuing Impunity for the Sabra and Shatilla Massacres.” Case Western Reserve Journal of International Law 32.3 (2000): 287.     FULL ARTICLE  

According to Yaron’s [1985] testimony. . . “one of the Phalangists had asked the commander what to do with 45 people, and the reply had been to do with them what God orders you to do.”
[. . . .]
Lieutenant Grabowsky, who had witnessed the Phalangists’ treatment of civilians from the earth embankment outside the camps, continued his own inquiry that afternoon. One of his soldiers, at his request, asked Phalangist soldiers in Arabic why they were killing civilians. He was told, “The pregnant women will give birth to terrorists and children will grow up to be terrorists.” Throughout the afternoon, the l.D.F. soldiers saw the Phalangists’ treatment of men, women and children and heard complaints and stories of the massacre. One soldier said he heard a report to the battalion commander, describing the Phalangists as “running wild.” Lieutenant Grabowsky left the area at 4:00 p.m., and later that afternoon related what he had seen to his commander and other officers. They referred him to his brigade commander, to whom he reported at 8:00 p.m., again conveying what he had seen earlier in the day. The battalion commander, in his testimony, denied receiving any report of killings or mistreatment of civilians other than the report that 300 were killed on Thursday night. The Report says there was no need to resolve these testimonial conflicts beyond the soldiers’ attempts to report the acts to their superiors, and that these soldiers’ reports did not reach Yaron or Drori. The Commission sent no 15(a) notice to the battalion commander, leaving any further investigation of his conduct to the I.D.F.
[. . . .]  The Chief of Staff did not ask the Phalangists any questions or debrief them about activities in the camps. Eitan said he refused to permit them to send in more forces, but Yaron testified that there were no restrictions placed on the Phalangists’ use of additional forces. The killing continued beyond 5:00 a.m. the following day [Saturday], until 8:00 a.m.
[. . . .]  The Phalangists removed truckloads of bodies. Other bodies are believed to remain under the ruins or in mass graves the Phalangists dug. The I.D.F. itself estimates 700 to 800 were killed. Other estimates place the death toll at approximately a thousand, with more than 900 people driven away in trucks. One Israeli source suggested the total number civilians killed was 3,000.

Ma’an News Agency
Sept. 16, 2016
Israeli forces shot and killed a Palestinian man at the entrance of the Kiryat Arba settlement in the occupied West Bank district of Hebron and critically wounded a woman who was also in the vehicle after the two allegedly carried out a car ramming attack on Friday that left three Israeli civilians injured.
___The slain Palestinian was later identified by locals as Moussa Muhammad Khaddour, 18, while the wounded Palestinian woman was identified as  Moussa’s fiance, 18-year-old Raghad Abdullah Abdullah Khaddour, the sister of Majd Khaddour who was killed by Israeli forces at the same junction in June after attempting a car ramming attack.     MORE . . . 

Ma’an News Agency
Sept. 16, 2016
Israeli forces Friday shot and killed a Jordanian youth in occupied East Jerusalem after an alleged stab attack at Damascus Gate in the Old City.      ___Israeli police spokeswoman for Arabic media Luba al-Samri said in a statement that a “terrorist” attempted a stabbing attack on an Israeli border policeman outside Damascus Gate and was “neutralized” by Israeli forces. . . .      MORE . . .

1982, the massacre of Israeli-allied Christian Phalange militiamen in west Beirut’s Sabra and Shatila refugee camps (Photo: Associated Press, Sep 14, 2015, found on Madison.com)

❸ Opinion/Analysis  (REPOSTED):  The  Logic  of  Murder  in  Israel:  A  Culture  of  Impunity  in  Full  View  of  the  Entire  World
Palestine Chronicle
Ramzy Baroud
Apr. 13, 2016
“Whether he made a mistake or not, is a trivial question,” said an Israeli Jewish man who joined large protests throughout Israel in support of a soldier who calmly, and with precision, killed a wounded Palestinian man in al-Khalil (Hebron). The protesting Jewish man described Palestinians as ‘barbaric’, ‘bestial’, who should not be perceived as people.
___This is hardly a fringe view in Israel. The vast majority of Israelis, 68%, support the killing of Abdel Fatah Yusri al-Sharif, 21, by the solider who had reportedly announced before firing at the wounded Palestinian that the “terrorist had to die.”
[. . . .]    ___The incident, once more, highlights a culture of impunity that exists in the Israeli army, which is not a new phenomenon.      MORE . . .    (paste URL into browser)


It is nothing, the blood
red    into stony ground,    nothing,    we can say
nothing, the flares red and white, blue, nothin
against black sky, faces blur, nothing
sharp rope cuts into wrists, it is
nothing, slash of knife on throat, gurgling, knowing
nothing, phalangist, israeli, we hear phalange, not
spoken, it is in the face, frangüyah’, gemeyal, it is
nothing, mustache moves,
nothing, these words
nothing, thunk, thunk of bazookas,     crunch
of bone, nothing, it is nothing, the
children run hiding under the bed
like play, a man comes in
they say nothing, he laughs, tells them
they’ll be safe, nothing, no sound, he
shouts, “Come out!” nothing
he lifts the bed,
their big eyes open,
he laughs,
his Uzi sputters―
they are nothing
their flesh nothing
oh, it is nothing
do not worry, they are
nothing, it is
nothing, do not worry, nothing
has happened,
nothing, it is nothing, say it is nothing―
so be peaceful brothers and sisters    do not run away
we are all Arabs     we will do nothing     it is nothing
we do nothing    it is nothing    it didn’t happen     if it did
it is nothing     oh, it is nothing
nothing at all
and now say it and believe it, it is nothing
nothing      nothing
oh God       nothing.

Sam Hamod, Palestinian-American Pulitzer Prize-Nominated poet.
From BEFORE THERE IS NOWHERE TO STAND: PALESTINE ISRAEL POETS RESPOND TO THE STRUGGLE.  Ed. By Joan Dobbie and Grace Beeler. Sandpoint ID: Lost Horse Press, 2012.  Available from Barnes and Noble.


“Why I Had to Leave Israel’s Foreign Ministry” (Ilan Baruch)

A Palestinian child stands in front of his destroyed home in the Tuffah neighboorhood of Gaza city, Gaza Strip, February 9, 2015. Six months after the Israeli military offensive, tens of thousands of Palestinians are still displaced. (Photo: Anne Paq/Activestills.org) SEE #3 BELOW.
A Palestinian child stands in front of his destroyed home in the Tuffah neighboorhood of Gaza city, Gaza Strip, February 9, 2015. Six months after the Israeli military offensive, tens of thousands of Palestinians are still displaced. (Photo: Anne Paq/Activestills.org) SEE #3 BELOW.

❶ Israeli forces detain 33 Palestinians in overnight raids
❷ Welcome Peace, Farewell Fear
❸ Israelis can only ignore Gaza for so long
❹ In Photos: Palestinians face daily humiliation at Damascus Gate
❻ Poetry by Muin Bseiso
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Feb. 25, 2016
Israeli forces detained at least 33 Palestinians overnight Wednesday during raids across the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, an Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an.
___Locals were able to identify at least 25 of those detained.
___In the southern occupied West Bank district of Hebron, Israeli forces detained six Palestinians identified by locals . . . .
___In Hebron’s al-Majd village, Israeli forces raided the home of Mamdouh Amr and took measurements for a future punitive home demolition.      More . . .
Samar Al Dreamli
Feb. 1, 2016
Peace brings about serenity, security – and complacency.
___THE TINY GAZA STRIP HAS MUCH TO TELL. It teems with contradictions and uncertainties. Here we live in perpetual fear and insecurity. Serenity, peace, and security are synonyms that fail to describe the prevailing conditions in Gaza. Here every living thing that pulsates with life also trembles with fear and anguish over death. How we long for peace of mind, for tranquility, for a calm outlook on life! How we long for security when we deal with each other! For more than a decade Gaza has been a land forsaken by God and humanity. Malaise, fear, and constant vigilance pervade the atmosphere.     More . . .
Mairav Zonszein
Feb. 24, 2016
This week marks exactly one and a half years since the last Gaza war, although most of the time the tiny strip of land barely exists in the Israeli public consciousness. Now that the possibility of another round of fighting has emerged, Gaza is back in the headlines.
___Recent weeks have seen multiple reports by the Israeli military on Hamas’s attempts to re-build its tunnel infrastructure, with some tunnels already projected to have been dug into Israeli territory. Israeli satirical comedy show Eretz Nehederet recently poked fun at the situation.     More . . .

Israeli Soldiers stop and search young Palestinian man while a member of a Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology delegation looks on. (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 12, 2015)
Israeli Soldiers stop and search young Palestinian man while a member of a Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology delegation looks on. (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 12, 2015)

Feb. 24, 2016
Palestinians have described undergoing daily humiliation during Israeli police searches at Damascus Gate in Jerusalem’s Old City, following a spate of deadly encounters at the landmark site.
___”Israeli forces force me to take off my shoes and almost take off my pants and t-shirt as a daily procedure,” 17-year-old Muhannad told Ma’an. “They threaten to detain and beat us if we do not obey them” . . . .
___ He said the searches demonstrated that Israel was “delusional.”     More . . .
❺ Opinion/Analysis
Ilan Baruch
Feb. 24, 2016
It has been five years since I . . . left Israel’s Foreign Ministry building. No more would I represent the Netanyahu government’s hasbara as a diplomat and attorney. In my farewell letter to the Ministry I wrote: “The government leaders have endorsed policies that outrage me… I have a hard time explaining them honestly.” I did not expect that after five years. . . Israel’s situation would deteriorate beyond recognition.
___Not only did the prime minister ridicule his constituents and the world in his famous Bar Ilan speech: the vision of “two states for two people” was never really on his agenda. Netanyahu is pushing Israeli democracy to the brink.     More . . .

“TO  A  LADY  TOURIST,”  BY  MUIN  BSEISO  (Mu’in  Basisu)

Sorry, my lay, you came to us on a day
when the hands of the poets are being cut off.
What is for sale in the East?
We’ve sold to an old lady tourist before you
Sala al-Din’s tomb **
and the City of Hittin; ***
we’ve sold the gardens of Babel, bud and flower
in markets all over the world.
We’ve sold the fingers and the rings.
Nothing remains but the pyramids,
and consider how heavy their stones are!
Abu al-Hawl is stabbed; ****
it will kill him to leave this land―
to have the knife pulled from his forehead.
Sorry, my lady, we’ve sold the last coffin,
thrown the last inkwell into the river
and slain the last rooster that crowed.
Nothing remains now but God,
who runs like a green deer chased by hounds
and galloping lies.
Yes, we’ll pursue, we’ll hunt God for you!
Those who sell out the poet, my lady,
will sell Him too.

** Sala Dalin – First Sultan of Egypt who conquered Palestine. Modern spelling: Saladin.
*** Hittin—Palestinian town where Sala Dalin conquered Palestine
**** Abu al-Hawl—Arabic for “Sphinx”

MUIN BSEISO (1926 – January 23, 1984) was a Palestinian poet who lived in Egypt, having fled Palestine during the Nakba . . . He finished his primary and secondary education in Gaza in 1948. He started publishing his work in the Jaffa-based magazin Al-Hurriya (“Liberty”), where he published his first poems in 1946. In 1948, he enrolled in the American University in Cairo and subsequently graduated in 1952. On January 27, 1952 he published his first work titled Al-Ma’raka (“The Battle”). Imprisoned in Egyptian jails twice: 1955 to 1957 and 1959 to 1963, he died in London in 1984.
From: WHEN  THE  WORDS  BURN:  AN  ANTHOLOGY  OF  MODERN  ARABIC  POETRY:  1945-1987.  Translated and edited by John Mikhail Asfour. Dunvegan, Ontario, Canada. Cormorant Books, 1988.

“. . . The reckless playfulness of childhood . . .” (Ibrahim Nasrallah)

Fassuta is an Arab town on the northwestern slopes of Mount Meron in the Northern District of Israel, south of the Lebanese border. In 2005, the population of Fassuta was 2,900. Photo Shiham Abu Ayoub (Shayoub). Photo by Shiham Abu Ayoub.) See no. 4 below.
Fassuta is an Arab town on the northwestern slopes of Mount Meron in the Northern District of Israel, south of the Lebanese border. In 2005, the population of Fassuta was 2,900. Photo Shiham Abu Ayoub (Shayoub). Photo by Shiham Abu Ayoub.) See no. 4 below.

❶ Israeli forces shoot, kill teen in Jerusalem after 2nd alleged attack
❷ Israeli authorities issue 48-hour ban on Palestinian entry to Old City
❸ WATCH: Settlers hurl burning tires, boulders at Palestinians
❹ One Border, Two Worlds
❺ Opinion/Analysis: Searching for hope on days of unconscionable tragedy
❻ Poetry by Ibrahim Nasrallah
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Oct. 4, 2015
JERUSALEM (Ma’an) – Israeli police officers shot dead a Palestinian teen near the Damascus gate of Jerusalem’s Old City early Sunday morning after he allegedly attempted to stab a 16-year-old Israeli boy, an Israeli police spokesperson said.
____An Israeli police spokesperson said Israeli forces “identified the suspect who still had knife in his hand, and Israeli forces then neutralized and shot” the man.
[. . . . .]
____Alloun is the second Palestinian to be shot dead after allegedly stabbing Israelis in the Jerusalem’s Old City in the past 24 hours. [. . . . .]
____However, Alloun’s father has denied claims that his son tried to stab anyone before he was shot dead in the street, citing a video of the incident that has been circulating the internet.
More . . . (including video of event)
Corresponding Israeli reporting . . .
Continuing . . .
Oct. 4, 2015
JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — Israeli authorities have issued a 48 hour ban on Palestinians from entering the Old City in occupied East Jerusalem, following two stabbing attacks in which two Israelis were killed, and three injured at the site, an Israeli police spokesperson said.
____The two Palestinians who allegedly committed the stabbing attacks were shot dead on the scene during separate incidents, hours apart.
____Micky Rosenfeld told Ma’an that the ban on Palestinians entering the Old City was put in place in order to “prevent any further incidents or attacks.”
More . . .
Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man
Oct. 4, 2015
Hundreds of settlers launch dozens of attacks against Palestinians across the West Bank, in the wake of two Palestinian attacks that left four Israelis dead. Rights groups demand the army intervene to protect Palestinians from settler violence.
More . . .
More news . . .
Fida Jiryis
Oct. 2015
I stand in the long line of cars waiting to leave Qalandia Checkpoint, my anger and frustration still boiling over, even after six years. I’ve never been able to get used to it, and I don’t think anyone does, really. We just grit our teeth and go through the motions.
[. . . . .]
____It’s one of the most depressing spaces I’ve ever had the misfortune to frequent. . . The road is battered, the passengers weary, the Israeli soldiers smug and insolent. We hope and pray that the line will move forward uneventfully and that the teenagers imprisoning us will see nothing wrong in our ID cards and let us through.
____I cross, and within a few minutes, the entire reality changes. About two kilometers is all it takes to be transported to a different world. Suddenly, dust and dirt are replaced by green and cleanliness.
More . . .
❺ Opinion/Analysis
Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man
Oct. 4, 2015
The only thing that can stop the killing, that can turn desperate people from violence, that can stop the creation of new orphans, is hope. Unfortunately, it’s nowhere to be found.
____The most tragic part about the violence that strikes civilians in Israel and Palestine is that it is largely preventable. That is not to say that the victims are in any way to blame for their own murders — of course not. But political violence is a direct result of the political conflict, of the occupation, incitement on both sides, and an utter lack of vision being offered to both Israelis and Palestinians.
More . . .

He bequeathed his soul…to horses’ foreheads
His feet…to a dance that makes the earth want to
Be green
His voice…to the cockerels of morning
His little ensnaring toys… to the old men
His hands, with the cold dignity of wisdom, …to
The reckless playfulness of childhood
His heart…to a woman who stopped him in his
Tracks when she loved him
She said: don’t be domestic, like pots and; pans
And departed
And so
When we walked in his funeral procession
The coffin was empty

From PoemHunter.com. Web. http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/funeral-31/
About Ibrahim Nasrallah 

Israeli soldiers accompany Israeli settlers as settlers carry out vigilante attacks against local Palestinians and their land in the West Bank village of Bur’in, October 3, 2015. (Ahmad Al-Bazz/Activestills.org)
Israeli soldiers accompany Israeli settlers as settlers carry out vigilante attacks against local Palestinians and their land in the West Bank village of Bur’in, October 3, 2015. (Ahmad Al-Bazz/Activestills.org)