“. . . the light of day will dawn, And, dazzled by it, my jailer will be humbled . . .” (Samih Al-Qasim)

❶ Israel’s collective punishment policy: Entire family in prison, whole village under siege

  • Background: “There Will Not Be a Stable Peace without Justice and Accountability. An interview with human rights lawyer Eitay Mack.” Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture.

❷ Army Offers Conditions for Removal of Hebron Restrictions
❸ 16 Palestinians kidnapped in abduction sweep by Israeli forces
❹ POETRY by Samih Al-Qasim
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Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Ihab Rimawi
August 14, 2017.   The family home of  OMAR EL-ABED in the Ramallah area village of Kobar stood at empty of people and furniture.
___Omar el-Abed is the 19-year-old Palestinian from Kobar who on July 21 sneaked into the illegal settlement of Halamish, not far from his West Bank village, to avenge earlier Israeli police killing of three young Palestinians during pro-Aqsa protests in East Jerusalem and stabbed to death three Israeli settlers. He was shot, wounded and arrested.
[. . . .] Army units raid their village and home almost every day in a way to punish not only the entire el-Abed family, but the whole village of 6000 young and old people.
[. . . .] The mother, Ibtisam, was arrested . . . .  along with her husband, Abdul Jalil, and two of her sons: Khaled, the eldest who works as driver of a company van, who was arrested while waiting for his wife to give birth at Ramallah hospital, and Munir, a senior at Birzeit University studying finance . . . .
___A handicapped brother and sister were the only two members of el-Abed family the army has so far spared. Yet, they were left with no one to take care of them after the arrest of their entire family.    MORE . . .

“THERE  WILL  NOT  BE  A  STABLE  PEACE  WITHOUT  JUSTICE  AND  ACCOUNTABILITY.  An interview with human rights lawyer Eitay Mack.” Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture, vol. 21, no. 3, Jan. 2016, pp. 114-125.
[. . . .]  Are there two types of Israelis in the courts, human rights activists and settlers? What are the chances a settler will be indicted? The way the system operates is that every crime committed against a Palestinian by an Israeli, in Israel and the Occupied Territories, is first considered as a regular, criminal offense unless proven to be a hate or terror crime. When the victim is a Jew, and this applies also in Israel, and the perpetrator is Palestinian, the first option is usually that it was a security offense, a terror offense. If a settler attacks a human rights activist or a Palestinian it depends on the preliminary classification of the complaint. . . . I think they try to minimize the offenses made by Jews against Palestinians . . .
___Do Palestinians immediately have access to lawyers upon arrest or is that also problematic? It’s a big problem. In the criminal situation it’s easier for them to get a lawyer because the family can reach out to a human rights organization. In most cases, people do get a lawyer, whether from the organization, by themselves, or through the court. With victims of Jewish terror or hate crimes, and victims of the violence of the soldiers, with all the NGOs – B ‘Tselem, Yesh Din, etc. – the numbers of victims is so high that there is a large area of the West Bank that is not receiving a proper defense.
___Since last October, there was a big increase in collective punishment and the limitation of freedom of movement.
. .  I realized how many people were being harassed and not filing. . .
___The military has also blocked the entrance to many villages. When Israel left the northwestern part of the West Bank, they left areas without settlements- a bubble of Palestine. Yet, the army enters there . . .  the soldiers just come and go and they continue with their lives. There is no destabilization, thus they see this as the best way for them to survive their situation.   SOURCE . . .

International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC
August 14, 2017.   Israeli forces, on Sunday, informed locals from three Hebron neighborhoods that they would remove the security restrictions if they “behave”, via leaflets distributed in the area.
___Conditions, according to the leaflets, will depend on “the population’s non-interference in terrorist operations and stone and Molotov throwing incidents.”   MORE . . .
The Palestinian Information Center
August 14, 2017.   At least 16 Palestinians were kidnapped by the Israeli occupation forces (IOF) in abduction sweeps rocking West Bank provinces at daybreak Monday.
___The Israeli army claimed that weapons and ammunition were spotted in al-Khalil’s southern town of Yatta and in Beit Sahour, east of Bethlehem.
___The Palestinian young man Khaled Sabah was kidnapped by the Israeli soldiers from his family home in Deir Abu Mishaal village, west of Ramallah, before he was dragged to an unknown destination.
___The IOF also stormed al-Jalazoun refugee camp, north of Ramallah, and ravaged Palestinian homes and shops.  Clashes flared up in the area, where the occupation soldiers attacked Palestinian protesters with live rounds and sound bombs.   MORE . . .

Mother, it grieves me,
That because of me, throughout your night of agony,
You shed silent tears, anxiously awaiting the return
Of my beloved brothers from their chores;
That you are not able to eat
While my seat remains empty, and there is no talk or laughter.
How it pains me, Mother,
That tears rush to your eyes
When friends drop by to ask about me.
But I believe, Mother,
That the splendor of life
Is being born within the walls of my prison,
And I believe that the last of my visitors
Will not be an eyeless bat, coming to me by night.
Surely, the light of day will dawn,
And, dazzled by it, my jailer will be humbled.
He will fall to the ground . . . broken,
Shattered, burnt by daylight.
Translated by A. M. Elmesseri

Samīh al-Qāsim (1939-2014)
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.

“. . . and it’s enough that the situation appears to be a war incident, even without serious risk . . .” (Eitay Mack)

Soldiers watching footage of Palestinian crushed in gate heard laughing at him. (Still from viral video)

❶ . Israel issues 25 administrative detention orders in just 2 weeks

  • Background: “There Will Not Be a Stable Peace without Justice and Accountability.” Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture

❷ . Israeli court sentences Palestinian teen girl to 13-and-a-half years in prison
❸ . Video: Israeli soldiers crush Palestinian worker in gate
❹ . Israeli forces detain 16 Palestinians over suspicions of starting fires in Israel, West Bank
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The Middle East Monitor – MEMO
November 25, 2016
The Israeli authorities have issued 25 administrative detention orders against Palestinians over the past two weeks, the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society said on Wednesday.
___The orders are for periods ranging from 3 to 6 months and cover three new prisoners.
[. . . .] Under administrative detention, prisoners are held without charge nor given a trial for up to six months on the basis of secret evidence.     More . . .

  • “There Will Not Be a Stable Peace without Justice and Accountability.” Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture 21.3 (2016): 114-125.     SOURCE.   An interview with Eitay Mack, an independent Jerusalem-based human rights lawyer.

[. . . . ] there are actually four systems, there is the Israeli civil law, there is the military law, there is the Jordanian law, and there is also Palestinian law?
. . .  now there is an Israeli law for Palestinians in the West Bank . . . .  that [the Knesset] established protection for the State from war-related damages. What’s unique with the Israeli occupation is . . . [t]he jobs of most IDF soldiers are to police – it’s not a warzone. Until the end of the 1990s, even Palestinians from Gaza still filed civil lawsuits and won in the Israeli courts. The shift manifested when the judicial system widened the definition of “war activity”, which gives them impunity from civil lawsuits. Almost every situation in which a Palestinian was injured by the Israeli security services, the IDF . . .  they were all acting within the definition of war activity according to the Israeli legal interpretation.
___Not only is there a lack of accountability on the criminal level, there is also none at the civil level . . .  In the past, the state had to prove the soldiers were under objective and subjective risk for their life and their body. In the new definition of war activity, they removed the risk, and it’s enough that the situation appears to be a war incident, even without serious risk. In this way, they received impunity in many cases when they are policing . . .  the state is allowed to give this argument . . . and the court usually accepts the state’s position. . . .
So, there’s a sense of the blurring of the border between a settler who is living in the West Bank and an average Israeli living in Israel proper?
Not only that, in the past you can say that there was a hierarchy between the way Israeli courts and law enforcement treated the Palestinian in the West Bank and inside Israel. Jewish citizens were on another level. Since the Second Intifada, you see that despite the so-called united Jerusalem, the Israeli authority treats the East Jerusalem neighborhoods as Palestinian Territory. You can see it in the way they use  force in ways they would never imagine to use in other parts of Israel . . . .
But they’re not allowing the Palestinian Authority to have responsibility in East Jerusalem either, so who’s left?
Nobody, it’s like a twilight zone. There has been an increase in Palestinian body and property damage, and the Israeli authority doesn’t take responsibility for that – they don’t pay compensation for innocent Palestinians who are hurt. Also, if you go to Issawiyah, it looks like the West Bank. Soldiers are going in with their guns held high, effectively militarizing the East Jerusalem neighborhoods, but continuing to ask the residents to pay their debt to the courts, the authorities and the Jerusalem municipality. They’re saying you live in a war zone, and still you have to pay for this lifestyle.

Ma’an News Agency
Nov. 23, 2016
An Israeli magistrate court in Jerusalem Wednesday sentenced a teenage Palestinian girl to 13-and-a-half years in prison for a stabbing attack.
[. . . .] Exactly one year ago, when [Nurhan] Awwad was 16-years-old, she carried out a stabbing attack  with her 14-year-old cousin Hadil Wajih Awwad, who was shot dead by an Israeli security guard during the incident.
[. . . .] Video footage showed both girls running at the security officer waving scissors, before the security guard and another Israeli managed to knock the girls to the ground.    ___Once on the ground, the security guard ran forward and shot each of them several times.     More . . . 
Days of Palestine  
Nov. 24, 2016
Footage has emerged of Israeli soldiers laughing as they crush Palestinian worker in a gate in occupied Jerusalem [at the Atarot Industrial Zone].
___A video of the event . . . which went viral on social media, shows a Palestinian worker walking through a small gap in the gate only for it to be closed on him.
___After he was crushed, the Israeli soldiers opened the gate and the man falls onto the ground as he has lost consciousness.
___Soldiers watching the incident on a screen of a CCTV camera can be heard laughing at the Palestinian worker.     More . . .

People run past flames several stories high in Haifa. (Photo: Ariel Schalit/AP)

Ma’an News Agency 
Nov. 25, 2016
Israeli forces detained at least 16 Palestinians across Israel and the occupied West Bank on Thursday and Friday over suspicions of starting fires that erupted in Haifa and have continued to spread for the fourth consecutive day.
___Israeli media reported on Friday that three Palestinian workers were detained in the Haifa district over suspicions of arson. . . .  Another 11 Palestinians were detained by Israeli forces in Israel and the Jerusalem area. . . .  Israeli forces detained a Palestinian for allegedly attempting to start a fire near the illegal Israeli settlement of Kochav Yaakov.       More . . .
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