“. . . The war enters into farce: They bomb a butterfly! . . .” (Mourid Barghouti)

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Saber al-Ashqar, 29, with amputated legs, swinging a slingshot as part of the weekly “Great March of Return” protests (Prize-winning Photo: Mahmoud Hams, via Twitter; in Palestine Chronicle)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .
|  MASSIVE  PROTESTS  SET  OFF  AGAINST  GAZA  CEASEFIRE  IN  TEL  AVIV  (VIDEOS)
Hundreds of Israelis from Israeli communities surrounding the besieged Gaza Strip, participated in a protest in Tel Aviv, in central Israel, on Thursday, against “a weak reaction” on the part of the Israeli government after agreeing to a ceasefire with the Hamas movement.    ___A Ma’an reporter said protesters blocked the Azrieli Junction, in the center of Tel Aviv, holding banners and shouting slogans, such as “the south will not be silent.”   More . . .
. . . . Related  Palestinian  Fisherman  Killed  in  Gaza  despite  Ceasefire  (VIDEO)
. . . . Related  Gaza  farmer  shot,  injured  by  Israeli  gunfire  while  working  in  his  land
. . . . Related  As  Palestinians  plant  trees,  Israeli  soldiers  attack  them
. . . . Related  Nael  al-Barghouti:  39  years  in  Israeli  custody   “. . . based on Guinness World Records, is the longest-serving political prisoner ever. . .”
|  UNGA  VOTES  IN  FAVOR  OF  8  PRO-PALESTINE  RESOLUTIONS   
The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) voted, early Saturday, in favor of eight resolutions on Palestine and a ninth on the Syrian Golan Heights.    ___Palestine’s Permanent Observer to the UN Riyad Mansour said, commenting on the vote, that the votes are proof that the international community stands behind and supports the Palestinian cause despite of efforts by the United States to change that.    ___Mansour told Voice of Palestine radio that UNGA voted in favor of four resolutions related to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) and four more on the practices of the Israeli authorities in the occupied territories.    More . . .
| PALESTINE  BOOK  AWARDS  2018  WINNERS  ANNOUNCED 
The winners of the Palestine Book Awards (PBA) were unveiled at a prestigious event in London tonight, attended by prominent figures from the world of academia, literature and politics . . .   Two books were presented with the Academic Award.  MAHA NASSER  was honoured for her work “Brothers Apart: Palestinian citizens of Israel and the Arab world”, which explores the transnational connections forged between Palestinian intellectuals and the rest of the Arab world, and  COLIN ANDERSON  for“Balfour in the Dock: J.M.N. Jeffries & the Case for the Prosecution”, which examines the 750-page magnum opus on Palestine by outstanding British journalist J M N Jeffries.    ___REJA-E BUSAILAH  was presented with the Memoir Award for his autobiographical work “In the Land of My Birth: A Palestinian Boyhood, which documents his childhood in the lead up to the loss of Palestine in the 1948 Nakba (the Catastrophe).    ___The Lifetime Achievement Award, a prize that honours the author’s many contributions to literature on Palestine, was awarded to  SALIM TAMARI. . .   he has secured his place as one of the Arab world’s most experienced academics on the Israel-Palestine conflict.    More . . .
. . . . Related  Palestinian  Photojournalist  Wins  First  Place  in  French  Photo  Awards   October 18, 2018
. . . . Related  Palestine  to  Host  Arab  Statisticians    “The Union of Arab Statisticians wishes to extend its congratulations and best wishes to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) on the occasion of its achieving first place among the Arab statistical . . .”
. . . . Related  Palestinian  Museum  Revives  Solidarity  Posters  with  New  Workshop,  Exhibit

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

EXCERPT  FROM  “MIDNIGHT,”  BY  MOURID  BARGHOUTI
. . . The soul retains its passion
even on the cross,
the body has its dance,
even on the ropes.
The war enters into farce:
They bomb a butterfly!
It becomes even more farcical:
the butterfly has not died
but, with its fragility still intact,
has grown yet lovelier,
towering above the hubris of the general
and his science of war.
Here is half the triumph:
the butterfly,
armed with nothing but its beauty and the thrust of its wings,
enters the contest, sure of death.
It will die, it knows it will die,
–  from the qualities of the killer and from its own qualities.
Yet,
from the window of a future despair,
it will return,
flapping its wings in the rooms of fancy.
The soul retains its passion even on the cross,
even on the ropes, the body has its dance. . .  (pages 47-48)

From: Barghouti, Mourid.  MIDNIGHT  AND  OTHER  POEMS.  Trans. By Radwa Ashour. Todmorden, Lancashire, UK: Arc Books, 2008. Available from B&N.

“. . . You will be liberated from your own tyranny . . .” (Samah Sabawi)

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“Israel is once again looking to instigate a war on Gaza,” Yousef Munayyer, U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights, wrote on Twitter. (Photo: Ibraheem Abu Mustafa/Reuters)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .
|    VIOLENCE  ESCALATES:  6  PALESTINIANS  KILLED,  20  INJURED  IN  ISRAELI   [ GAZA]  AIRSTRIKES 
Six Palestinians were killed and at least 20 others were injured during a campaign of Israeli airstrikes from overnight Monday until predawn Tuesday across the northern besieged Gaza Strip.    ___Medical sources in Gaza reported that six Palestinians were killed and 20 others were injured during continuous Israeli airstrikes over various parts of Gaza.    More . . .
. . . . Related  PLO  HOLDS  ISRAEL  FULLY  RESPONSIBLE  FOR  ESCALATION  IN  GAZA
. . . . Related  HAMAS  CONDEMN  ISRAEL  DESTRUCTION  OF  AL  AQSA  TV  STATION  (VIDEO)
. . . . Related  [AL-QASSAM  BRIGADES]:  ISRAEL  RESPONSIBLE  FOR  CONSEQUENCES  OF  ITS  AGGRESSION  AGAINST  GAZA
|    POLITICAL  SOURCE:  ISRAEL  SUSPENDS  GAZA  TRUCE  TALKS
A senior Israeli political source said the government had suspended contacts with Egypt and the United Nations regarding a truce with the Gaza Strip.    ___Israeli media, including Channel 10, quoted a senior political source, who it did not identify, as saying that Tel Aviv “has no contacts with Egypt and the United Nations on the ceasefire in Gaza”.    ___The announcement came at the height of the Israeli cabinet meeting on Tuesday morning, chaired by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.    More . . .
|    ISRAELI  FORCES  DETAIN  9  PALESTINIANS  IN  WEST  BANK 
Israeli forces detained at least nine Palestinians across the occupied West Bank during raids, on predawn Tuesday.    ___Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS) confirmed that Israeli forces detained two Palestinians in the southern West Bank district of Hebron . . .   In the southern West Bank district of Bethlehem, two Palestinians were detained . . .   In the central West Bank district of Jerusalem, four Palestinians were detained by Israeli forces. . .    More . . .

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .
|    HAMAS  DIDN’T  START  THIS  FIGHT,  BUT  IT  WON’T  WIN  IT  EITHER
Israel’s killing of  Hamas  commander  Nour  Baraka  on Sunday and the predictable response from the Islamist movement have sparked fears of renewed hostilities between the two sides. . . .   observers see parallels with Israel’s 2012 assassination of  Ahmad  Al  Jabari  . . .   That incident set off eight days of fighting in which six Israelis and 167 Palestinians were killed.    ___If the deadly exchange six years ago was about avenging a senior Hamas commander, its casualties, even according to the Israeli military’s official figures, were mostly civilian. . . .  though Netanyahu has demonstrated time and again that he will not hesitate to kill innocents, especially in pursuit of domestic political gain, what options does Hamas have?    [. . . . ] Whether they intended it or not, Israel’s military planners know that Baraka’s killing will bait Hamas. Any sustained response by the Palestinian faction would clearly benefit Netanyahu, who has been lambasted by his political opponents for allowing $15 million in Qatari cash to be transferred to the Strip. . .  Netanyahu has a more pressing political problem — mass resistance to Israel’s ongoing siege and the humanitarian disaster it has created.    More . . .
. . . . Related  ISRAELI  INCURSIONS  INTO  GAZA  ARE  THE  RULE,  NOT  THE  EXCEPTION

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . .

“THE  LIBERATION  ANTHEM”  BY  SAMAH  SABAWI
(June 27, 2011)

To the people of Israel who fear our freedom:  Don’t be afraid,
we will liberate you too.
This is my rendition of an anthem to be sung
That day you and I will stand side by side
Shoulder to shoulder
Watching a new dawn wipe away decades of hate and savagery
The day I rise from the ashes of your oppression
I promise you I will not rise alone
You too will rise with me
You will be liberated from your own tyranny
And my freedom will bring your salvation

This is my rendition of an anthem to be sung
I’ll craft new words of expression
Outside of this suffocating language that has occupied me
Your words are like your walls
They encroach on my humanity
I am more than demography
I’m neither your collaborator
Nor your enemy
I am not your moderate
Not your terrorist
Not your Islamist
Funammentalist
Extremist
Militant
Radical
I am more than adjectives letters and syllables
I will construct my own language
And replace your words of power
With the power of my words

This is my rendition of an anthem to be sung
I don’t want to obliterate nor humiliate you
I refuse to hate you
Don’t care to demonize or proselytize or theorize your intentions
Every breath you draw reminds me you are human
The sound of your beating heart is a rhythm familiar to my ears
You and I are no different
We are made of blood and tears

This is my rendition of an anthem to be be sung
I will resist and soar above your matrix of control
With the power of my will your wall will fall
And the concrete that once segregated us will be used to rebuild homes
Your bulldozers and your tanks will dissolve into the earth
The sap will return to the olive trees
The gates will open wide for the refugees
We will be free
I will be your equal
And only then you will be mine
My other self
My fellow human being

From: I  REMEMBER  MY  NAME:  POETRY  BY  SAMAH  SABAWI,  RAMZY  BAROUD,  JEHAN  BSEISO.  Vacy Vlazna, editor. London: Novum Publishing, 2016. Available from publisher.

“. . the bed of her elder son, made for the final time . .” (Mourid Barghouti)

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Medical personnel examine bodies of three Palestinian children murdered yesterday. (Photo: Ma’an News Agency)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .
|    ISRAELI  AIRSTRIKE  KILLS  3  PALESTINIAN  MINORS  IN  GAZA
Three Palestinian minors were killed during an Israeli airstrike northeast of Khan Younis, in the southern besieged Gaza Strip, on Sunday.    ___The Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza confirmed that three minors were killed after a group of Palestinians were targeted by an Israeli warplane, near the security border fence with Israel northeast of Khan Younis City.    [. . . .] The  Palestinian  Red  Crescent  Society  (PRCS)  reported . . .  that Israeli warplanes targeted and fired a missile towards a group of Palestinian protesters known as the “Night Confusion” unit, who participated in night protests against the nearly 12-year Israeli siege, near the security border fence.    ___The Israeli army announced that it targeted three Palestinians, who allegedly attempted to place a suspicious object near the security border fence with Israel, which led to their killing.    [. . . .] The  World  Health  Organization  (WHO)  issued a issued a special situation report, which showed that 14 Palestinians, including four children, were killed and 1,434 were injured by the Israeli forces in the past two weeks in Gaza.    More . . .
. . . . Related  Israel’s deliberate targeting of children is an ongoing war crime, says PLO official   PLO Executive Committee Member Hanan Ashrawi Monday strongly condemned Israel’s shelling and murder of three Palestinian children to the east of Khan Younes in the southern besieged Gaza Strip.
. . . . Related  Abu Zuhri: Israel’s murder of Gaza children reflects its terrorism    Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri condemned Israel’s killing of three Palestinian children in an eastern border area of the besieged Gaza Strip as “a reflection of its criminal image and terrorism.”
. . . . Related  Israeli  bulldozers  raze,  level  lands  in  Gaza
|
   PRESIDENT  ABBAS:  WE  ARE  FACING  A  HISTORICAL  MOMENT;  EITHER  TO  BE  OR  NOT  TO  BE
President Mahmoud Abbas said on Sunday during the 30th Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Central Council session held in Ramallah that “the phase we are going through may be the most dangerous phase that the Palestinian people have ever experienced,” stressing that “we are facing a historical moment; either to be or not to be.”    More . . .
|    MOROCCAN  COMMISSION:  PALESTINIAN  CAUSE  IS  THE  NATION’S  KEY  CONCERN
The Moroccan Commission to Support the Nation’s Causes said Jerusalem will forever remain Arabs’ and Muslims’ beating heart.    ___The commission said ever since the US President Donald Trump took office, unprecedented schemes and anti-Palestine measures have seen the day.    More . . .
. . . . Related  Hundreds  rally  in  Istanbul  in  support  for  Return  March

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .
|    THE  ISRAELI  MYTH  OF  THE  UNCIVILIZED  PALESTINIAN
Recently, in another shocking incident, Israel’s Culture Minister Miri Regev was outraged by a Palestinian children’s novel written by Walid Dagga, a Palestinian prisoner who spent more than thirty years in jail for resisting the occupation. In her opinion, he is in jail not to write novels but to be punished. This might cause shock to some, but this falls perfectly in line with how Israel’s official discourse stereotypes Palestinians: as mere demons who are able only to kill indiscriminately. Writing novels? Well, this does not fit in this stereotype.    More . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

“HOW  ARE  YOU?”  BY  MOURID  BARGHOUTI
Waiting for the school bus,
watching his breath turn into mist near his nose
in the icy morning,
the schoolboy’s fingers are frozen,
too stiff to make a fist.

On the pillow of regret,
the defeated soldier
lazily tries to get up,
raising his broken toothbrush
to his teeth.

Early or late,
The stranger awakens in his exile, his homeland.
Their clothes, their car number pates, their trees,
their quarrels, their love, their land, their sea
belong to them.
His memories are like rats gathering on his doormat,
new and warm
in front of his closed door.

On a lonely pillow,
the mother throws a quick glance
at the bed of her elder son,
made for the final time
and empty, forever.

A voice from the neighbouring window is heard:
“Hello, good morning, how are you?”
“Hello, good morning, we’re fine,
we’re fine!”

From: Barghouti, Mourid.  MIDNIGHT  AND  OTHER  POEMS.  Trans. By Radwa Ashour. Todmorden, Lancashire, UK: Arc Books, 2008. Available from B&N.

 

“. . . no legacy under the rubble, no pride in long fires . . .” (Jehan Bseiso)

Bedouin_woman_Al_Araqib-1A Bedouin woman after authorities demolished her village of Al Araqeeb,
January 16, 2011 (Keren Manor/Activestills.org)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .
|    5  PALESTINIANS  KILLED,  HUNDREDS  INJURED  DURING  GAZA  PROTESTS
The total number of those killed during the 31st Friday of “The Great March of Return” rose to five Palestinians killed and more than 232 injured alongside the eastern borders of the besieged Gaza Strip.    ____According to the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza, Israeli forces fired live bullets and rubber-coated steel bullets, as well as tear-gas bombs at Palestinian protesters, who gathered along the Gaza border, killing five protesters and injuring hundreds.    [. . . .] Since the start of the protests on March 30th, more than 205 Palestinians have been killed and over 22,000 others were injured along the Gaza border by Israeli forces.    More . . .
. . . . Related  Israel  targets  Gaza’s  children,  say  witnesse
. . . . Related  Schools  suspended  in  parts  of  Gaza  as  Israeli  warplanes  intensify  airstrikes
. . . . Related  Gaza  Is  At  The  Forefront  Of  Palestine’s  Pain
. . . . Related  Hamas  warns  against  [Mahmoud  Abbas]  undermining  reconciliation  and  ceasefire,  Great  Return  March  to  continue
|    ISRAEL  DEMOLISHES  AL-ARAQEEB  FOR  135TH  TIME,  ARRESTS  RESIDENTS
Israeli forces have demolished the village of Al-Araqeeb in the occupied Negev desert for the 135th time, local sources reported yesterday.    ___Al-Araqeeb’s residents told Arab48 that Israeli bulldozers, reinforced and protected by the occupation forces, stormed the village and proceeded to demolish all the Palestinian houses and tents there, displacing women and children despite the “cold weather and rain”.    More . . .
|    HOME  DEMOLITIONS  IN  THE  NEGEV  AND  TEL  AVIV  SHOW  THE  REAL  FACE  OF  GOVERNMENT  CORRUPTION       Orly Noy     Corruption does not begin with Netanyahu’s cigars or pink champagne. It begins with an ideological system that sees entire segments of the population as undesirable and unnecessary, and as temporary residents in their own homes.    More . . .

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .
|    WHY  ISRAEL  SEES  BDS  AS  A  ‘STRATEGIC  THREAT’    As leaders of a state that is totally alien to the region and its indigenous peoples, Israeli political and military planners are obsessed with what they term “strategic threats”.    ___Such “threats” have varied over the years. The prime targets have included former Egyptian President Gamal Abdul Nasser, the Palestine Liberation Organisation and, since 1988, Hamas, Palestine’s Islamic liberation movement.    ___The PLO, “the Hamas” (or “the Khamas” as Israeli leaders constantly – and wholly incorrectly – insist on naming it) have been joined in the last decade or so by “the BDS” – the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement.    More . . .
    ISRAEL’S  $72M  WAR  CHEST  TO  FIGHT  BDS  COMES  TO  BRUSSELS     In its ongoing battle against the  international  Boycott,  Divestment  and  Sanctions  (BDS)  campaign  Israel is pushing for European political parties to declare the movement “fundamentally anti-Semitic”.    ___The latest drive saw Israel’s Minister of Jerusalem Affairs, Ze’ev Elkin, attending a conference in Brussels backed by the Israeli government which proposed a text for prospective MEPs and political parties to sign up to before European elections in May next year.    More . . .

NOTICES  FROM  ORGANIZATIONS. . . .
|    BDS  CAMPAIGN   The Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement works to end international support for Israel’s oppression of Palestinians and pressure Israel to comply with international law.    Get Involved . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

“CEASEFIRE,”  BY  JEHAN  BSEISO.

Little men, cross legged, trade war stories like boys trade baseball cards.

These are times ripe and full with want and promise never fulfilled.

This much is true:
Lost boys become lost men.

Too much water, too much blood dilutes history and
We always end up with less than what we started.

In Gaza,
There is no legacy under the rubble, no pride in long fires
Burning.

There is a face at the window, sallow.

One woman sighing, her body bears the marks of all their trudging,
thighs transformed to gallows and trenches.

Her hair shrouds the dead from both sides and her lap
cradles aporias generations can’t understand.

—from I  REMEMBER  MY  NAME.  Novum Pro Publishers. 2016.

“. . . when Mother Earth runs out of room for you and me . . .” (Ramzy Baroud)

PALESTINIAN-ISRAEL-CONFLICT-GAZA
Illustrative: Smoke from Gaza City after Israeli aircraft bombed it on November 30, 2017. (Mahmud Hams/AFP)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .
|     ISRAEL  CARRIES  OUT  CAMPAIGN  OF  AIRSTRIKES  ACROSS  GAZA
Israeli warplanes carried out an airstrikes’ campaign across the besieged Gaza Strip, on predawn Thursday.   ___Local sources said Israeli warplanes fired two missiles towards a military site belonging to Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of the Hamas movement, in Rafah district, in southern Gaza.    ___Sources confirmed that Israeli warplanes targeted a site in Khan Younis district, also in southern Gaza.    ___Israeli warplanes also targeted a site in al-Shiekh Zayid City, in northern Gaza.    ___No injuries were reported, however, the airstrikes led to extensive material damages in the targeted areas.    More . . .
. . . . Related   Israeli forces shoot, injure 8 Palestinians in Gaza
|   WEEKLY  REPORT  ON  ISRAELI  HUMAN  RIGHTS  VIOLATIONS  IN  THE  OCCUPIED  PALESTINIAN  TERRITORY  (18–24  OCTOBER  2018)     Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR)
Israeli forces continued to use excessive force against unarmed civilians and peaceful protestors in the Gaza Strip:   ___A Palestinian youngster was killed in eastern Deir al-Balah in the central Gaza Strip.   342 civilians, including 60 children, 4 women, 6 journalists and 3 paramedics, were wounded; 14 of them sustained serious wounds.    ___Israeli forces killed a Palestinian civilian and wounded 6 others in the West Bank.    ___Israeli warplanes launched 2 missiles at the protestors and wounded two of them.   More . . .
|    ISRAEL  TO  CONFISCATE  THOUSANDS  OF  DUNUMNS  THROUGH  EXPANDING  BYPASS  ROAD
Israeli Occupation Authorities (IOA) on Wednesday approved the expansion of bypass road 60, which runs between Jerusalem and Hebron.    ___Head of the Wall and Settlement Resistance Committee in Bethlehem, Hassan Breijiya told WAFA news agency that Israeli Minister of Communications Yisrael Katz gave orders to start expanding the street according to a plan to surround Al-Arroub refugee camp. . .     More . . .
. . . . Related  IOF  seize  house  after  forcing  Palestinian  owners  to  leave  at  gunpoint

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .
|   EMBRACING  THE  RIGHT  TO  EDUCATION:  A  STORY  OF  HOPE,  DETERMINATION,  AND  SUCCESS
Paula Malan
It all started 25 years ago when  Mr.  Heikki  Kokkala,  a  senior  education  specialist  from  Finland,  and the late Mr. Khalil Mahshi, then director general of external relations at the Ministry of Education in Palestine, met at a UNESCO conference on education. This was a time when educationists globally had started to pay more attention to the effectiveness of education systems and to the assessment of learning outcomes.    ___In Palestine, work had already started on developing the first-ever unified national curriculum which would replace the Jordanian and Egyptian curricula used in the West Bank and Gaza, respectively.  [. . . .] At the same time, the Finnish government was looking for ways to support the newly established Palestinian Authority and decided to direct its support to the education sector.    ___Thus, Mr. Kokkala and Mr. Mahshi, with their many colleagues, began to design the  first  cooperation  project  between  Finland  and  Palestine.    More . . .

EDUCATION  IN  EAST  JERUSALEM
– There are 87,277 students enrolled in schools, including basic education (grades 1 to 10) and secondary education (grades 11 and 12).
– Approximately 4,300 children are not enrolled in any educational institution.
– Thirty-three percent of children in East Jerusalem fail to complete a full 12 years of schooling.
– Provision of education is fragmented across five different providers: the Palestinian Ministry of Education operating under the Jordanian Islamic Awqaf umbrella, the private sector, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), the Israeli Jerusalem Municipality, and the contractor’s schools that are financed by the Israeli Authorities.
– There is a chronic shortage of classrooms, estimated at around 2,200, with an anticipated annual growth rate of 3 to 4 percent.
– The area available in class for every student is approximately 0.5 square meters, less than the international standards that recommend at least 1.25 square meters.
– Twenty percent of students and teachers and 40 percent of school staff cross a checkpoint on a daily basis to access their schools.
Source: 2016 Jerusalem Directorate of Education Statistics/Geo-mapping Data

. . . . Related    ‘A  cruel  choice’:  Why  Israel  targets  Palestinian  schools

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

“LULLABY,”  BY  RAMZY  BAROUD
I’ll etch your name
on a secret star
we’ll both go there
on frightful nights

when Mother Earth
runs out of room
for you and me

I’ll hold you tight
and sing you songs
of a distant land
beyond the stars

and watch you grow
between my heart
and the highest high

I’ll draw your face
on a single seed
and hold your palm
to face the sun

when you’re awake
and call out my name
don’t moan or cry

I’ll return
to raise your hand
at a shooting star
and with for you

another day
another sun
another world

where Palestine
is a mountain top
of soil and air
and a purple sky

For (Miriam), a refugee child from Palestine

From: I  REMEMBER  MY  NAME:  Poetry  by  Samah  Sabawi,  Ramzy  Baroud,  Jehan  Bseiso. Vacy Vlanzna, ed. London: Novum Publishing, 2016. Available from Barnes and Noble.

“. . . an impossible burden weighs down on eyelids and chest . . .” (Majid Abu Ghoush)

❶ Major initiative launched to support human rights in Palestine
❷ Israeli Violations’ Activities in the oPt

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

❸ Analysis: Pessoptimistic reflections from besieged Gaza
❹ POETRY by Majid Abu Ghoush
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ MAJOR  INITIATIVE  LAUNCHED  TO  SUPPORT  HUMAN  RIGHTS  IN  PALESTINE   
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA 
Oct. 21, 2017 – The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates, together with the European Union (EU) and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), launched on Thursday a project which aims at making the rights contained in the human rights treaties acceded by the State of Palestine in 2014 a reality for all Palestinians, according to a joint statement by the three groups.
___The commitments under these treaties complement and enhance the Government’s political obligations within the National Policy Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals.
___The project will provide capacity building to assist the Palestinian government in promoting and protecting all human rights for all Palestinians. The project will also work with the Independent Commission for Human Rights and selected civil society organizations to strengthen their ability to promote accountable governance through national dialogue and advocacy. It will empower Palestinians as rights-holders to better understand and claim their rights.     MORE . . .
❷ ISRAELI  VIOLATIONS’  ACTIVITIES  IN  THE  OPT 
POICA – Monitoring Israeli Colonization Activities in the Palestinian Territories 
Oct. 17, 2017   (NOTE: these daily reports become available as they are translated.)
The daily report highlights the violations behind Israeli home demolitions and demolition threats in the occupied Palestinian territory, the confiscation and razing of lands, the uprooting and destruction of fruit trees, the expansion of settlements and erection of outposts, the brutality of the Israeli Occupation Army, the Israeli settlers violence against  Palestinian  civilians  and  properties, the erection of checkpoints, the construction of the Israeli segregation wall and the issuance of military orders for the various Israeli purposes.    MORE . . .

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.
[. . . .] 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 . . .  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.
[. . . .] The social and cultural importance of toponymic memory and geographical rendering of sites and terms in historical writing is evident in many histories from antiquity, medieval and modern Palestine. One classical example of listing place-nations of ancient Palestine in ‘Histories’ (or The History, 1987) of Herodotus, written from the 450s to the 420s BC. Herodotus is believed to have visited Palestine in the fifth decade of the fifth century B.C. The ‘Father of History’ refers to ‘Palaistine’, Syria, or simply ‘Palaistine’ five times, an area comprising the region between Phoenicia and Egypt. . . .  Although Herodotus’s Histories is now considered a founding work of history in Western literature, and serve as a key record of the ancient traditions, politics, geography, and clashes of various powers that were known in Greece, Western Asia and North Africa, when it comes to Palestine and toponymic memory Western Christian writing relies not on Herodotus’ Histories but on the myth-narratives of the Bible. Interestingly however the Greek toponym for Palestine and Ascalan were preserved in indigenous Palestinian Arab tradition and by medieval Arab historians and travellers . . . .    SOURCE.   (Available through libraries with EBSCO databases.)

❸ ANALYSIS:  PESSOPTIMISTIC  REFLECTIONS  FROM  BESIEGED  GAZA     Mondoweiss
Haidar Eid
Oct. 20, 2017    One cannot understand the deadly, medieval siege imposed on Gaza apart from Israel’s settler-colonialism in Palestine. The horror inflicted on Gaza is, in fact, rooted in the political fragmentation caused by Apartheid Israel, reinforced by the Oslo authority, and sparked by factional struggles over access to power in a Bantustan turned into a concentration camp.
___The rationale behind this genocidal blockade imposed by Apartheid Israel, and supported by a complicit ME Quartet is that we, 2 million Gazans, are expected to recognize Israel’s right to exist on our ethnically cleansed villages from where we were expelled in 1948 and renounce our resistance as a form of violence. This is how this Crime of Collective Punishment is justified! The international community is basically telling us that we must collaborate with the occupiers in order to be accepted, that we must normalize apartheid and settler colonialism. If we don’t do that, we are doomed then and must pay a heavy price with the lives of our children.  MORE . . .   .

OCCUPATION,”  BY  MAJID  ABU  GHOUSH
Occupied Ramallah 17/11/06

Strange days cast dour shadows
Dusk. The fragrance of death
on a windowsill.
In the lingering heat
an impossible burden weighs
down on eyelids and chest;
the throat aches, the spine throbs.

Rose petals all tarnished with foul dust
from the poisoned world.
Black limousines sail past, flying
the skull and crossbones.
The grave yawns open early,
nightmares never leave.
Death squads. Detention camps.

Somewhere, an oud
pronounces its sad chords.
The invaders smile; tap their feet.
―Translated by John Glenday

Majid Abu Ghoush is a prolific poet, a member of the secretariat of the General Union of Palestinian Writers, and a founding member of Poets Without Borders, Palestine.
From A BIRD IS NOT A STONE: AN  ANTHOLOGY  OF  CONTEMPORARY  PALESTINIAN  POETRY. Ed. by Henry Bell and Sarah Irving. (Glasgow: Freight Books, 2014). Available from Barnes and Noble.

“. . . I will rise from the land that feeds our furious storm . . .” (Mu’in Bseiso, b. Gaza, 1927)

❶ As Gaza’s sole power plant shuts down, groups warn of devastating consequences

  • Background: “Isolation through Humanitarianism: Subaltern Geopolitics of the Siege on Gaza.” Antipode

❷ PFLP slams Hamas, Fatah for putting politics over lives of Palestinians in Gaza
❸ ‘Gaza will be unlivable next year, not 2020 as the UN says’
❹ POETRY by Mu’in Bseiso
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
AS  GAZA’S  SOLE  POWER  PLANT  SHUTS  DOWN,  GROUPS  WARN  OF  DEVASTATING  CONSEQUENCES
Ma’an News Agency 
July 13, 2017.   Gaza’s months-long power crisis once again took a turn for the worst on Wednesday night, when the besieged territory’s sole power plant shut down, further straining the dire humanitarian situation for Gaza’s two million residents.
___Israeli NGO Gisha released a statement on Thursday, stating that the power plant had shut down owing to lack of fuel and that the lives of residents have been “disrupted, entire hospital wards are shut down, untreated sewage is spilling to the sea in heretofore-unseen quantities and beaches are becoming more dangerous for swimming.”
___Head of Public Relations for Gaza’s electricity company Muhammad Thabet also released a statement warning of the devastating consequences that would affect every aspect of life in the Gaza Strip if the electricity supply continued to dwindle.
___The besieged Gaza Strip only has a supply of 70 megawatts of electricity available, after Israel reduced electricity supply to the besieged territory from 120 megawatts upon request of the Palestinian Authority (PA) three weeks ago, he pointed out.    MORE . . .

Smith, Ron J. “ISOLATION  THROUGH  HUMANITARIANISM:  SUBALTERN  GEOPOLITICS  OF  THE  SIEGE  ON  GAZA.” Antipode, vol. 48, no. 3, June 2016, pp. 750-769.
[. . . .] The process of maintaining control over territory and populations while dispossessing inhabitants through violence, immiseration and dispossession makes clear that, at its core, occupation is a colonial process.
___Gaza represents a peculiar form of occupation, wherein an occupying military need not be permanently present on the ground to impose its will and control on the local population. . .  Gazan lives are permanently circumscribed by occupation from afar—what Gazans and international agencies refer to as “Al Hissar”—the siege. Siege is a geopolitical phenomenon that functions through the removal of societies from the global networks of trade and movement. . . . The siege of Gaza represents a distinct form of political control based on a subset of occupation practices carried out to their extreme. Within this comprehensive program of isolation, the population is cut off completely from the surrounding territory. The local populace is deprived of basic goods needed for survival and freedom of movement is completely curtailed. . . .    While Israel’s regulation of everyday life is common to both Gaza and the West Bank . . .   Gaza thus far represents an extreme of isolation and deprivation, punctuated by large-scale military invasions.
[. . . .] This article therefore insists on the importance of considering siege as a particular geopolitical phenomenon that is related to but distinct from other forms of violence and control . . .   siege must be understood as a highly developed form of collective punishment against a population deemed surplus. Siege uses the tactic of isolating ordinary people from their ability to engage in the exchange of goods, services, people, and ideas as a means of imposing political pressure. The violence of the siege is visible in the ways in which it denies basic needs for the targeted population, and through its enforcement through policies like shoot to kill. Conventional wars, the types that punctuate the ongoing siege in Gaza, work in concert with siege as a means of injuring the population as a whole.
___The siege makes the injuries of war fester: there are no resources to repair the destruction and rebuild homes; it prevents victims from receiving appropriate medical care; it prevents families from returning to the territory to mourn the dead and to support the survivors; and is in itself a form of violence and deprivation. The supposed expectation of any siege is that the inhabitants will put the necessary pressure on their governments to exact the kinds of political changes desired by those imposing the siege. In the case of Gaza, this is complicated by the fact that Israel does not acknowledge its system of control as siege, and has presented no demands as requisite for the lifting of the siege. Indeed, it is unclear that there is any course of activity Gazans can follow that would bring the siege to an end . . .   1.7 million Gazans (the vast majority of whom are refugees from earlier programs of Zionist and Israeli displacement) are a body of civilians that serves no purpose to the Israeli government, and the territory of Gaza itself appears to be a sacrifice zone. Indeed, if we take seriously the notion of Avodat Ivrit, or “Hebrew Labor,” as an organizing principle of Israeli policy, then the siege is a result of the brutal logic of Israel’s categorization of Gaza as a population considered hostile and surplus [. . . .]     SOURCE . . .

PFLP  SLAMS  HAMAS,  FATAH  FOR  PUTTING  POLITICS  OVER  LIVES  OF  PALESTINIANS  IN  GAZA     
Ma’an News Agency 
July 13, 2017.  The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) a left-wing Palestinian political faction, released statements on Thursday, criticizing both the Hamas and Fatah movements for the ongoing punitive measures that the two factions have taken  against each other in recent weeks amidst a deepening political crisis.
___The PFLP rejected the move by Hamas to prevent members of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and Fatah Central Committee from leaving the Gaza Strip, where Hamas was elected to power in 2006, to travel to the occupied West Bank.
___“The ban and the obstruction of movement from Gaza to the West bank is a policy that Hamas follows, violating all rights and personal freedom, and damages national relations,” the PFLP said, demanding that Hamas and its security forces “immediately stop this policy and create the suitable atmosphere for better national relations and avoid any tensions that deepen the national conflict and violate rights and freedom guaranteed for all Palestinians in West bank and in Gaza Strip.”
___The group went on to criticize the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority (PA) of “collective punishment” on Palestinians living in the Hamas-led Gaza Strip, which has been embroiled in a dire electricity crisis, worsened by increasing punitive measures by Israel and the PA.        MORE . . .
‘GAZA  WILL  BE  UNLIVABLE  NEXT  YEAR,  NOT  2020  AS  THE  UN  SAYS’ 
+972 Magazine 
Edo Konrad
July 11, 2017.   Things have gotten acutely worse in the Gaza Strip over the past month, since Israel and the Pale1stinian Authority cut the besieged strip’s already inadequate supply of power. But an entire generation of Gazans have grown up without ever experiencing electricity that is available around the clock. Crisis is nothing new.
___In addition to sewage that flows into the sea untreated, and hospital ICUs that must rely on gasoline-powered generators, the power shortage also has dire consequences on everyday life in regular households. Without electricity, the pumps that deliver tap water to apartments in high-rise residential buildings stop working. “Water used to reach these houses between two-to-three hours every few days,” Khalil Shaheen says. “And this is in the summer. Yesterday, my building only had one hour of water.”
___Israel pulled its troops out of the Gaza Strip a little over a decade ago, but its military retains effective control over many aspects of life in the coastal enclave. The Israeli army still controls the Strip’s land and maritime borders, decides who and what may enter and exit, blocks basic technologies like 3G cellular broadband from being installed, and has launched three military operations that left thousands of Gazans dead. Israel also sells Gaza the majority of its inadequate supply of electricity.
___Shaheen, who is the director of the Economic and Social Rights Unit at the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR), one of Palestine’s most prominent rights groups, monitors the impact of Israeli, Palestinian Authority, and Hamas policies on life in the Gaza Strip. “I’m afraid that with the ongoing situation, Gaza will be unlivable by the end of 2018,” he said in a telephone interview earlier this week.   MORE . . . 

FOOTSTEPS,”  BY  MU’IN  BSEISO

Brother! If they should sharpen the sword on my neck,
I would not kneel, even if their whips lashed
my bloodied mouth
If dawn is so close to coming
I shall not retreat.
I will rise from the land that feeds our furious storm!

Brother! If the executioner should drag me to the slaughterhouse
before your eyes to make you kneel,
so you might beg him to relent,
I’d call again, Brother! Raise your proud head
and watch as they murder me!
Witness my executioner, sword dripping with my blood!
What shall expose the murderer, but our innocent bleeding?

At night their guns kidnapped him from his trench.
The hero was flung into the cells’ darkness
where, like a banner flutter above chains, he stayed.
The chains became flaming torches,
burning the ashes which coat our shining future.
Now the hero lives, his footsteps ringing triumphantly
within the closed walls of every prison.
—Trans. by May Jayyusi and Naomi Shihab Nye

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

“. . . the [British] government blamed the unrest on excitable elements within the native population, at odds with its best own interests. . .”

balfour_declaration-2❶ Palestinians prepare to mark 100 years for Balfour Declaration

  • Background: “Tracing Concrete.” Virginia Quarterly Review 

❷ Israeli air forces shell alleged Hamas military post in northern Gaza Strip
. . . ― (a) UNRWA disburses $1.7 million to 242 Gaza families to rebuild war damaged homes
❸ Israeli settlers establish new ‘outpost’ in the Jordan Valley
. . . ❸― (a) Palestinians Security forces freed four Palestinian men after settlement visit
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
PALESTINIANS PREPARE TO MARK 100 YEARS FOR BALFOUR DECLARATION     Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA      
Oct. 24, 2016
Palestinian officials and activists decided Monday to hold year-long activities in Palestine and around the world marking 100 years for the Balfour Declaration.
___The campaign will be launched on November 2, the date marking 100 years since then British foreign secretary, Arthur Balfour, had promised in a letter to Zionist leaders a homeland for the Jews in Palestine. The letter triggered the century-long Palestinian-Israeli conflict and many wars in the Middle East.
___“The Balfour Declaration is in its essence a colonialist project,” Taysir Khalid, member of the executive committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), told the meeting held at the PLO’s Ramallah headquarters.      More . . .     

  • Lagerquist, Peter. “Tracing Concrete.” Virginia Quarterly Review 85.3 (2009): 54-71.  Full article . . . 

[. . . .] Long after the spring of 1936, when news of a general strike and unrest in Palestine began to creep into the London headlines, government correspondences would speak interminably of events forever on the brink—of growing disturbances, ambushes on colonial troops, a complete absence of rule of law—yet hesitate to put a name to what was happening. General Bernard Montgomery, who was sent to suppress the “riots” . . .  famously dismissed the main protagonists as “bandits.” Throughout, the government blamed the unrest on excitable elements within the native population, at odds with its best own interests. At home as well as abroad, newspapers absorbed interchangeable tales of rampant criminality, religious fanaticism, and still more nefarious influences. “Italian Propaganda Campaign Renewed—Thought to Blame for Most Trouble,” declared a New York Times headline in 1937, divining a new fascism at work in the East. But while the Axis powers were happy to publicize Britain’s troubles in the region, the Times, not for the last had it wrong.
___In 1917, the British government had published a document known as the Balfour Declaration, which promised the distant land of Palestine as a national home for the Zionist movement. Its adherents, a mélange of European Utopians, ideologues, and refugees from the pale of settlement, had been arriving over the preceding decades—at first establishing plantation-model estates with land acquired from semi-feudal landholders, later buying smaller parcels of land, or appropriating communal village and urban lands with governmental connivance, and, with growing frequency, evicting those peasants who worked it.
___By the end of the 1930s, an estimated 120,000 Palestinians had been made landless.. . .  As the term “revolt” began creeping into press coverage, the government acknowledged that it had lost control of much of the country.
[. . . .] 

ISRAELI AIR FORCES SHELL ALLEGED HAMAS MILITARY POST IN NORTHERN GAZA STRIP  
Ma’an News Agency
Oct. 24, 2016
Israeli air forces shelled a military post allegedly belonging to the Hamas movement in the northern Gaza Strip on Monday morning, according to Israeli army and local Palestinian sources.
___Palestinian security sources and eyewitnesses told Ma’an that at least one Israeli artillery shell hit a military post belonging to what they called the “Palestinian resistance,” east of Beit Hanoun in northern Gaza, next to the border with Israel.     ___The shelling caused material damages, though no human injuries or casualties were reported.
___An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an that early Monday morning, sirens went off in the Shaar Hanegev area of southern Israel — which borders the northeastern Gaza Strip — alerting the residents of the area that a rocket had been fired in their direction.
___No rockets hit Israeli territory . . .        More . . . 

gaza-destruction-400x266
(Image Source: Global Research)

. . . ― (A) UNRWA DISBURSES $1.7 MILLION TO 242 GAZA FAMILIES TO REBUILD WAR DAMAGED HOMES  
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA      
Oct. 24, 2016
The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) said Monday that it was able to disburse over $1.7 million for reconstruction and repair work of Gaza homes damaged from Israel’s last war on the coastal enclave.
___The funds reached a total of 242 refugee families across Gaza, it said in a statement.     ___Over $951,000 will go for homes that need reconstruction and over $759,000 to severe repair works.
___ UNRWA’s assessment confirmed 142,071 Palestine refugee houses as impacted during the 2014 war; 9,117 of them are considered totally destroyed.      More . . .  

ISRAELI SETTLERS ESTABLISH NEW ‘OUTPOST’ IN THE JORDAN VALLEY       Al-Hourriah
Oct. 24, 2016
Israeli settlers are establishing a new outpost in the northern Jordan Valley on privately owned Palestinian land.
___According to the Haaretz report, although Israeli authorities have not authorized its construction, and are aware of its existence, construction is currently continuing unimpeded.
___The outpost is close to another unauthorized outpost, Givat Salit, established in 2001.
___Israeli occupation authorities claimed that a stop-work order had been issued at the outpost. However, a visit by Haaretz showed that the settlers have continued regardless.     More . . .
. . . ― (A) PALESTINIANS SECURITY FORCES FREED FOUR PALESTINIAN MEN AFTER SETTLEMENT VISIT    
Al-Hourriah

Oct. 24, 2016
Security forces in the West Bank have released four Palestinian men detained last week after visiting a Jewish settlement during a religious festival, a security official said Monday.
___The men were among about 30 Palestinians who visited the West Bank settlement of Efrat on Wednesday during the annual Jewish festival of Sukkot, Oded Revivi of the Yesha council for settlements.
___Palestinians are forbidden from “normalizing” relations with Israeli settlements in the West Bank     More . . .   

 

“. . . Is there a difference to tell between a soul and a wound to the body? . . .” (Ibrahim Nasrallah)

child
Yousef al-Shawamrah, 14, was shot and killed by Israeli forces in the southern West Bank, July 11, 2016. (Photo: Defense for Children International, Palestine)

❶ Israeli forces raid ‘mourning tent’ dedicated to slain Palestinian Misbah Abu Sbeih
. . . ❶― (a) Palestinians petition Israeli court to retrieve decades-held corpses
❷ PCHR Weekly Report: 2 civilians killed, 6 wounded by Israeli forces this week
. . . ❷― (a) PLO: Israel killed 248 Palestinians since September 2015, 74% under 26
❸ Palestinian authority welcomes passing of UNESCO resolution sharply criticizing Israeli policies
❹ POETRY by Ibrahim Nasrallah
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
ISRAELI  FORCES  RAID  ‘MOURNING  TENT’  DEDICATED  TO  SLAIN  PALESTINIAN  MISBAH  ABU  SBEIH
Ma’an News Agency  
Oct. 14, 2016
Israeli soldiers Thursday evening raided a “mourning tent” dedicated to Misbah Abu Sbeih, who was killed by Israeli forces Sunday after carrying out a deadly shooting attack in occupied East Jerusalem, in the the occupied West Bank city of Hebron.
___Witnesses told Ma’an that Israeli soldiers ripped down pictures of Abu Sbeih and placards decorated with political slogans before leaving the area.      More . . .
. . . ❶― (a)  PALESTINIANS  PETITION  ISRAELI  COURT  TO  RETRIEVE  DECADES-HELD  CORPSES
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Oct. 14, 2016
Palestinians Thursday petitioned the Israeli High Court to retrieve bodies of Palestinians that Israel had been holding for decades.
___The Jerusalem Legal Aid and Human Rights Center (JLAC) petitioned the court on behalf of the National Campaign for Retrieving the Bodies of Martyrs (NCRBM) demanding that Israeli military hand over the bodies of 52 Palestinians buried in what is known as “numbers cemetery” for decades.
___The campaign said in a press statement that it would submit a petition to the court within the coming days demanding that the military releases 70 bodies, including the bodies of 19 Palestinians killed in the occupied Palestinian territories and Israel since April.      More . . .

PCHR  WEEKLY  REPORT:  2  CIVILIANS  KILLED,  6  WOUNDED  BY  ISRAELI  FORCES  THIS  WEEK
IMEMC-International Middle East Media Center
Oct. 14, 2016
In its Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territories for the week of 06 – 12 October 2016, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) found that Israeli forces continued systematic crimes in the occupied Palestinian territories. 2 Palestinian civilians were killed in occupied Jerusalem. 6 civilians were wounded in the Gaza Strip and West Bank.
___Israeli attacks in the West Bank:
Israeli forces have continued to commit crimes, inflicting civilian casualties. They have also continued to use excessive force against Palestinian civilians participating in peaceful protests in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, the majority of whom were youngsters. During the reporting period, Israeli forces killed 2 Palestinian civilians in Jerusalem and wounded 6 others in the Gaza Strip and West Bank.     More . . .  

dead
20-year-old Ali Atef Shuyukhi Killed by Israeli Forces, Oct. 12, 2016 (Photo: Wadi Hilweh Information Center)

. . . ❷― (a) PLO:  ISRAEL  KILLED  248  PALESTINIANS  SINCE  SEPTEMBER  2015,  74%  UNDER  26
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Oct. 13, 2016
Since September 2015, Israel killed 248 Palestinians, 74% of them were 25 years old or younger, a report prepared by the Palestine Liberation Organization’s (PLO) Negotiations Affairs Department said on Thursday.
___The report said Israel killed a total of 248 Palestinians in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem, injured 18,062, raided 6,536 homes, detained 6,911 Palestinians, temporarily detained 2,877, carried out 5,335 gunfire attacks, demolished 282 homes, destroyed or confiscated 1,290 property and allowed 795 terrorist attacks by Israeli settlers.
___It covered Israel’s violations, committed by its army forces and armed settlers, against Palestinians in the West Bank and Jerusalem for over a year: between September 13, 2015 and September 30, 2016.     More . . .

PALESTINIAN  AUTHORITY  WELCOMES  PASSING  OF  UNESCO  RESOLUTION  SHARPLY  CRITICIZING  ISRAELI  POLICIES
Ma’an News Agency
Oct. 14, 2016
Following a controversial UNESCO vote that saw the adoption of a draft resolution that sharply criticized Israeli policies around the Al-Aqsa Mosque, while supposedly rejecting Jewish ties to the holy site — referred to by Jews as the Temple Mount — was received warmly by the Palestinian Authority (PA)’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a statement released Thursday.
___Meanwhile, the resolution also criticized Israeli policies at the Ibrahimi Mosque in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron, the Bilal ibn Rabah Mosque/Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem, and strongly condemned Israeli military campaigns in the besieged Gaza Strip, while urging an end to the near decade-long Israeli blockade on the Palestinian enclave. More . . . 

“THE STRANGER,” BY IBRAHIM NASRALLAH

Child,
so many hands broke the bird’s wings inside you,
so many bullets are scattered inside you,
so many friends saw wisdom in the sadness of your letters.
So they made up an excuse to leave.
Everything that resembles the soul resembles us.
Is there a difference to tell
between a soul and a wound to the body?
At an early age you were singed with gray hair
and you learned that the world is a conversation
and you put up your tent at the earth’s end,
among more and more blood.
So how long will the sea amaze you when it arrives?
How long will songs amaze you, or the butterfly,
or women’s expensive perfumes, or their beautiful dresses,
or the rose that leans seductively against the wall
as a bird or a boy plucks it?
And with the countless deadly bayonets,
how will you number your wounds
so we may sing a little?

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

“. . . No matter your sanctions, no matter your rhetoric and foreign policy . . .” (Jehan Bseiso)

women-gza
BARCELONA, SPAIN – SEPTEMBER 14: Women show their support for two sailing boats with only female activists on board, before they set off for the Gaza Strip (Photo: The Middle East Monitor – MEMO)

❶ Israeli forces carry out airstrikes on Gaza Strip, target 3 alleged Hamas sites
❷ World Bank: Israeli restrictions ruining Palestinian economy
❸ POETRY by Jehan Bseiso

  • Background from journal Middle East Policy (lengthy excerpt)

` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ ISRAELI FORCES CARRY OUT AIRSTRIKES ON GAZA STRIP, TARGET 3 ALLEGED HAMAS SITES
Ma’an News Agency
Sept. 15, 2016
Israeli forces carried out several airstrikes on the besieged Gaza Strip during predawn hours on Thursday after a rocket was launched from Gaza and exploded near the border with Israel.
___The Israeli army had said the rocket hit an area near the Eshkol.
___According to locals, Israeli forces targeted empty agricultural lands northwest of Beit Lahiya in the northern region, reportedly striking a site used by the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of the Hamas movement. Israeli forces also shelled another site northwest of Beit Lahiya in the area of al-Shayma also allegedly used by Hamas, causing a fire to break out in the area.       MORE . . .
RELATED  Israeli military cleared on Wednesday its occupation forces of war crimes in incidents of killing civilians during Israeli major offensive on the coastal enclave in 2014. RELATED  Photos: ‘The Women’s boats to Gaza’ prepare to set sail

bobm
Israel’s air force hit the Gaza Strip early Thursday (Photo: Sept 15, 2016 (Agence France‑Presse)

❷ WORLD BANK: ISRAELI RESTRICTIONS RUINING PALESTINIAN ECONOMY
The Palestinian Information Center
Sept. 15, 2016
The prolonged period of slow economic growth has resulted in persistently high unemployment and stagnation in the average income of Palestinian citizens, according to the latest World Bank report on the Palestinian economy.
[. . . .]
Donor aid remains key for improving the humanitarian situation in Gaza. Out of the US$3.5 billion pledged at the Cairo Conference for rebuilding Gaza (2014-2017), 46 percent has been disbursed, which means it is US$1.3 billion behind schedule. Critically, only 16 percent of the total Gaza recovery needs outlined in the detailed assessment that was prepared after the 2014 war have been addressed.   MORE . . .

“GAZA,  2009,”  BY  JEHAN  BSEISO

No matter white flag.

No matter medicine.
No matter civilian.

No matter international community.

No matter your international waters.

No matter your sanctions, no matter your rhetoric and foreign policy.

Only 62 years’ status quo.
Every day, every day Nakba.
Subsidized settlements.

Even more walls.

Children on the ICRC bus, visiting Babas in your prisons ―
Matter.

Food and medicine rotting at every border ―
Matter.
From the shadows, the silent majority watch water go on fire.

Jehan Bseiso is a Palestinian poet, researcher and aid-worker currently based in Cairo. Born in Los Angeles, she grew up in Jordan and studied in Lebanon.
From: I  REMEMBER  MY  NAME:  Poetry  by  Samah  Sabawi,  Ramzy  Baroud,  Jehan  Bseiso. Vacy Vlanzna, ed. London: Novum Publishing, 2016. Available from Barnes and Noble.

  • Zunes, Stephen. “The Gaza war, Congress and international humanitarian law.” Middle East Policy 17.1 (2010): 68+.FULL ARTICLE

[….]
The large-scale killing of civilians during Israel’s three-week assault on the Gaza Strip in 2008-09 received widespread condemnation from human-rights advocates and international legal scholars the world over. In both Europe and North America, public reaction to the grossly disproportionate Israeli response to Hamas rocket attacks was the most negative ever expressed against an Israeli military action. In Israel itself, soldiers who had witnesses some of the atrocities joined Israeli peace activists in exposing war crimes committed by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). However, the U.S. Congress, under the leadership of the Democratic Party, overwhelmingly defended the Israeli offensive, even to the point of attacking leading defenders of international humanitarian law.

[. . . .]     On November 6, Israel tightened its siege of the Gaza Strip, prompting Human Rights Watch to note, “Israel’s severe limitations on the movement of nonmilitary goods and people into and out of Gaza, including fuel and medical supplies, constitutes collective punishment, also in violation of the laws of war.” Despite this, congressional leaders of both parties continued to defend the sanctions. . . .  Despite the congressional leadership’s support for Israel’s rejection of such efforts to salvage the ceasefire, which could have prevented further rocket attacks into Israel, they subsequently would claim that Israel had “no choice” but to launch its massive assault on the Gaza Strip in retaliation.
[. . . .]     . . . some members of Congress went so far as to simply deny that large-scale attacks against civilian targets were taking place. For example, Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA) . . . insisted that. . . . “The Israeli response has been a series of targeted strikes against Hamas militants, aimed directly at those who are launching the attacks on Israeli civilian population centers” and that “the Israeli military is taking extreme caution to limit civilian casualties.”
[. . . .]     . . .  the goal of Congress appears to be to protect war criminals from prosecution. U.S. support for human rights and international law has always been uneven, but never has Congress gone on record by such an overwhelming margin to discredit these universal principles so categorically. Indeed, it may be a means of preventing the kind of precedent that could serve as a deterrent to subsequent violations of international humanitarian law by the United States in its “global war on terrorism.” By essentially going on record that mass killing of civilians is legitimate as long as you are fighting “terrorists,” this provides a blank check for U.S. forces to commit future atrocities. . . .
[. . . .]
Of greatest concern for the U.S. Congress, however, was the mission organized by the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), headed by the distinguished South African jurist Richard Goldstone. The Goldstone Commission report cited a series of war crimes by both Hamas militia and Israeli forces, called on both Hamas and the Israeli government to bring to justice those responsible, and recommended that, in the absence of credible investigations by their respective governments, the case be referred to the International Criminal Court (ICC) for possible prosecution. . . .
[. . . .] That the report examined violations of international humanitarian law by both sides did not alter these senators’ insistence of bias since, according to the letter, “the vast majority of the report focuses on Israel’s conduct, rather than that of Hamas.”
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