“. . . The gates of my heart Are wide open to misery . . .” (Abdul Karim Sabawi)

Nasser_Sept_28Israeli forces killed Nasser Musbeh with live ammunition on September 28, 2018.
(Photo: From Defense for Children Palestine, Courtesy of Musbeh family)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .

|  QATARI  FUNDED  FUEL  PUMPED  TO  ONLY  POWER  PLANT  IN  GAZA
Fuel trucks funded by the Qatari government on Tuesday morning began entering the Gaza strip through Kerem Shalom commercial crossing, southeast of the Strip.    ___Six fuel trucks funded by Qatar are scheduled to enter the strip today, pumping fuel for the only power plant in the Gaza Strip.    [. . . .] The agreement came within the framework of the donor conference held recently in New York and with Israeli approval,  under which Qatar was allowed to finance part of the Gaza Strip’s electricity by providing the necessary fuel, which is expected to double the electricity hours, ie eight hours.   More . . .
| NETANYAHU  SAYS  ARMY  PREPPING  FOR  POSSIBLE  MILITARY  CAMPAIGN  AGAINST  GAZA 
The Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has reportedly informed his cabinet that the army is preparing for a possible military campaign against the blockaded Gaza Strip in case the situation was not improved, according to Israeli media.    ___“If the reality of civil distress in Gaza is diminished, that is desirable, but that is not certain to happen, and so we are preparing militarily — that is not an empty statement,” Netanyahu said.    More . . .
|  12  PALESTINIANS,  INCLUDING  WOMEN,  KIDNAPPED  IN  W.  BANK  IOF  CAMPAIGNS
The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) on Tuesday morning kidnapped 12 West Bankers, including relatives of Ashraf Abu Sheikha, who recently carried out a deadly shooting attack in the Barkan industrial zone near the illegal settlement of Ariel.    ___Local sources told the Palestinian Information Center (PIC) that the IOF stormed at dawn Shuweika suburb in Tulkarem and raided homes belonging to Abu Sheikha’s family.    ___Israeli soldiers maltreated and rounded up the mother of Abu Sheikha and his two sisters, and said they would remain in detention until Abu Sheikha turned himself in, according to the sources.   More . . .
. . . .Related  Israeli  Forces  Detain  Palestinian  Family  In  Aida  Camp
. . . .Related  Israeli forces detain Palestinian siblings in East Jerusalem
. . . .Related  Israel  Court  Sentences  Anti-Occupation  Protester  To  7  Years  In  Jail

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .

|  THAT  SINGLE  LINE  OF  BLOOD:  NASSER  MUSBEH  AND  MUHAMMAD  AL-DURRAH 
By Ramzy Baroud
As the frail body of 12-year-old Nasser Musbeh fell to the ground [in Gaza] on Friday, September 28, history was repeating itself in a most tragic way.  [. . . .] Almost 18-years to the day separates Nasser’s recent murder and the Israeli army killing of Muhammad Al-Durrah, also 12, on September 30, 2000. Between these dates, hundreds of Palestinian children have perished [in Gaza] in similar ways.    ___. . . 954 Palestinian children were killed between the Second Intifada in 2000 and Israel’s war on Gaza, the so-called Operation Cast Lead in 2008. In the latter war alone, 345 child were reportedly killed, in addition to another 367 child fatalities reported in Israel’s latest war, ‘Protective Edge’ of 2014.    ___But Muhammad and Nasser . . .  have more in common than simply being the ill-fated victims of trigger-happy Israeli soldiers.    __In that single line of blood that links Nasser Musbeh and Muhammad al-Durrah, there is a narrative so compelling, yet often neglected. The two 12-year-old boys . . . whose families were driven from villages that were destroyed in 1948 to make room for today’s Israel.   More . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . .

“WRITTEN  ON  THE  FIRST  MORNING  WHEN  ABDUL  KARIM  SABAWI
WOKE  UP  TO  FIND  HIMSELF A  REFUGEE  IN  EXILE,”
BY  ABDUL  KARIM  SABAWI

When you were parched
We quenched your thirst with our blood
Now…
We carry your burden
Disgraced we cry in shame when asked
Where do you come from?
Dishonored we die
If only the stray bullets
From the occupier’s guns
Were merciful
And pierced through our legs
If only they tore through our knees
If only we sunk into your fields
Deep to our necks
If only we got stuck
And became the salt of your earth
The nutrients in your fertile soil
If only we didn’t leave
The gates of my heart
Are wide open to misery
Don’t ask me where this wind is blowing
Don’t ask me about a house
Or windows
Or trees
The Bulldozers were here
And the houses in our village
Fell like a row of decayed teeth
They haven’t colonized Mars yet
And the moon is barren
Uninhabitable
So carry your children
Your memories
And follow me
We can live in the books of history
They’ll write about us,
“The wicked Bedouins
Landed in Baghdad
The wicked Bedouins landed in Yafa
They landed in Grenada
Then moved on
They packed their belongings
And rode their camels
Leaving no trace on the red clay
All their artifacts
Faded
With the passing of the years.”
What does it really mean to this world?
What does it really mean?
To be Arabs
Native Americans
Or Dinosaurs
(Refugee Camp, Jordan 1968)

Abdul Karim Sabawi was born in 1942 in the Toffah District in Gaza city. He has been a refugee in Australia most of his life.   –From BLOOD  FOR  FREEDOM:  POETRY  FROM  PALESTINE,  BY  ABDUL  KARIM  SABAWI.   Editor: Biblioteca de las Grandes Naciones. Library of the Great Nations. Oiartzun, Basque Country: August, 2014. PDF online.
The poet reads.

“. . . when we can run in the streets without anyone pronouncing us crazy . . .” (Ibrahim Nasrallah)

❶ UN expresses ‘deep concern’ over ever-worsening humanitarian crisis in Gaza
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Debunking Israel’s UN-bias claims
❷ Greek Orthodox patriarch says Israeli court ruling on church property politically motivated

  • Background: “Surviving Jerusalem: Fifty Years of Neglect and Daily Suffering Just to Remain.” Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture.

. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) EU calls on Israel to reconsider eviction of Shamasneh family in Sheikh Jarrah
❸ POETRY by Ibrahim Nasrallah
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ UN  EXPRESSES  ‘DEEP  CONCERN’  OVER  EVER-WORSENING  HUMANITARIAN  CRISIS  IN  GAZA  
Ma’an News Agency
Aug. 12, 2017.   The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights office (OHCHR) expressed “deep concern” on Friday over the ever-deteriorating situation in the besieged Gaza Strip, three months after the electricity supply was severely cut by Israel at the behest of the PA.
___In May, the Fatah-led PA decided to slash funding for Israeli fuel to the coastal enclave, as Israeli authorities acceded to PA demands to dramatically reduce its electricity supply to Gaza, which was already reeling from lack of adequate access to electricity and fuel.
___The PA was accused of carrying out “collective punishment” on Palestinians living in the Hamas-led Gaza Strip, which had already been embroiled in a dire electricity crisis that was only worsened by increasing punitive measures by Israel and the PA.
[. . . .] “This has a grave impact on the provision of essential health, water and sanitation services,” Shamdasani said, adding that the large-scale power cuts were a life-threatening risk for vulnerable residents of the coastal enclave. “Israel, the State of Palestine, and the authorities in Gaza are not meeting their obligations to promote and protect the rights of the residents of Gaza.”    MORE . . .
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) DEBUNKING  ISRAEL’S  UN-BIAS  CLAIMS
Al Jazeera English 
August 13, 2017.   Nikki Haley, the US envoy to the United Nations, made headlines in June when she denounced what she claimed was a pattern of “anti-Israel” behaviour at the UN.
[. . . .] . . .analysts say there is little substance to her allegations that, in the words of Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, Israel has been “the UN’s punching bag”.
[. . . .] While issues concerning Namibia, South Africa, Cape Verde, Vietnam, Laos and others have in one way or another been resolved, Erakat told Al Jazeera, “the only one that hasn’t is Palestine”.
___ In 2016, the UN Security Council’s activity [saw] just one resolution dealt with Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories. It was the first in almost eight years.
[. . . .]  It is a different story, however, elsewhere within the UN, where Israel faces frequent condemnation for its actions through bodies such as the UN Human Rights Council and the General Assembly.
[. . . .] “But this must be viewed in the context of the UN political organs as a whole,” [John Dugard, the UN’s former special rapporteur for human rights in the occupied Palestinian territories] added. “The Security Council and Quartet on the Middle East [UN, European Union, United States and Russia] are notoriously pro-Israel and refuse to pay adequate attention to Palestinian issues.”     MORE . . .
❷ GREEK  ORTHODOX  PATRIARCH  SAYS  ISRAELI  COURT  RULING  ON  CHURCH  PROPERTY  POLITICALLY  MOTIVATED  
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA 
August 13, 2017.   Greek Orthodox Patriarch Theophilos III said Sunday that a two-week old Israeli District Court ruling upholding a 99-year lease of church property in Jerusalem’s Old City to Jewish settler organizations is politically motivated.
___Theophilos said at a press conference in the Jordanian capital Amman that this legal battle, which has been going on for a decade, has resulted in an unjust decision that has ignored very clear legal evidence presented by the church, which made it clear that it was done in “bad faith, bribery and conspiracy” for the benefit of the group of settlers from Ateret Cohanim.
[. . . .] The Greek Orthodox patriarch said his church is going to appeal the District Court’s ruling, which he said will have a grave negative impact on Christian presence in the Holy Land, at the Israeli Supreme Court.   MORE . . .

Abu Ghoush, Amaal.
“SURVIVING  JERUSALEM:  FIFTY  YEARS  OF  NEGLECT  AND  DAILY  SUFFERING  JUST  TO  REMAIN.”
Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture
, vol. 21, no. 4, Mar. 2016, pp. 6-11.
No one can imagine when first looking at Jerusalem, with the light rail, the clean paved roads, the old and new buildings, that just a few blocks away from the European-like main streets, there are Palestinian neighborhoods that look like slums, and not because the buildings are poorly constructed, on the contrary. More than 37% of Jerusalem s population are Palestinian residents who are living in East Jerusalem neighborhoods that lack basic services, adequate roads and safe sidewalks — when and if they exist.
___East Jerusalem, which is 70 square kilometers, compromises 56% of all Jerusalem, including the Old City. Palestinian Jerusalemites, or “Arabs,” according to the 2106 Jerusalem Institute for Policy Research statistical yearbook, make up 37.2% of Jerusalem residents. They live on just 13% of the land that was annexed in 1967. One-third of the annexed land, or about 34% of it, has been turned into Israeli settlements, while the rest is land Palestinian East Jerusalemites cannot develop because it is designated as an open space or a green area.
[. . . .]  East Jerusalemites see that Israeli settlements are built on their lands. The settlers receive better services and infrastructure by far, while it takes the Palestinians ages to get a permit to build one house to live in with their family or for their married children on land they own. And many times they try to get a permit and do not succeed. At the same time, huge settlements are built quickly. Infrastructure, roads and other services are provided — with long-time residents’ tax money — quickly and smoothly for settlers who just immigrated from outside.
[. . . .] Fifty years of neglect and no-planning has turned our Palestinian neighborhoods in East Jerusalem into places we do not approve of, but it has also turned us into people who are so worried about our survival and well-being that we no longer work together. We complain to one another about the situation, and we demand services and better conditions, but not in the right places nor in the right ways for our demands to be heard. We wait for the Jerusalem Municipality to solve our problems, knowing that it will not do anything unless it is forced to. . . .  Recently, with the support of Palestinian and international organizations, some neighborhoods have started working collectively to prepare plans which will eventually legalize their homes. But more importantly, they are beginning to understand that through pursuing the collective interest, individual interests are achieved as well and the impact will be stronger.   FULL ARTICLE . . .

. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) EU  CALLS  ON  ISRAEL  TO  RECONSIDER  EVICTION  OF  SHAMASNEH  FAMILY  IN  SHEIKH  JARRAH  
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
August 13, 2017.   The European Union missions in Jerusalem and Ramallah expressed concern at the imminent threat of eviction by Israeli authorities of the Shamasneh family from their home in the neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah in East Jerusalem.
___In a statement Sunday, EU missions called on the Israeli authorities to reconsider the decision, saying, “The eviction, of carried out, would be the first in the area since 2009. Further settlement plans including evictions are being moved forward in Sheikh Jarrah.”
___The Shamasneh family is one of at least 180 households in East-Jerusalem, mainly in Sheikh Jarrah, Silwan, the Old City and Beit Safafa, facing the threat of eviction from their homes.   MORE . . .

“BEGINNINGS,” BY IBRAHIM NASRALLAH
When all the bids in the world flap their wings in unison
as one  body, when the waters of springs and mountain streams
gather in a dusty palm,
when a human being runs
and trees and the hidden future follow him,
when the world become simple
and I can climb onto a table in the office of the daily news
and speak of your love to the elegant shuttered windows,
to the good and bad paintings on the walls,
when I am able to freely place a gentle kiss
on your cheek in public,
when I am able to return with you after midnight
without a police patrol desecrating our bodies
in search of a confession,
when we can run in the streets
without anyone pronouncing us crazy,
when I am able to sing
and share a stranger’s umbrella
and when she in turn may share my loaf of bread,
when you are able to say I love you
without fear of death or imprisonment
and I can open a window in the morning
without being silenced by a bullet,
when I am able to grow older
and the trees are added to your attire
and we can count the drops of rain on each other’s faces
and sing and love free of weapons,
raids. Chronic fear, and disappearances –
another world will begin,
a new homeland will have been readied.
But for now we announce a new beginning with our death,
a new beginning of love.

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

“. . . nightmares never leave . . .” (Majid Abu Ghoush)

.A Palestinian family eats dinner by candlelight at their makeshift home in the Rafah refugee camp, in the southern Gaza Strip, during a power outage on June 12, 2017. (Abed Rahim Khatib/ Flash90, from +972 Magazine)
A Palestinian family eats dinner by candlelight at their makeshift home in the Rafah refugee camp, in the southern Gaza Strip, during a power outage on June 12, 2017. Photo by Abed Rahim Khatib/ Flash90

“. . . Palestinians should not be counted simply because they are not citizens anyway, and they cannot be citizens because they are not Jews . . . this has become the fault line between the two major political camps in Israel; their basic disagreement is about how not to count, or be accountable for the colonized Palestinians. . . “ (Adi Ophir)

❶ On world refugee day, estimates show 66% of Palestinians became refugees in 1948

Background: “On the Structural Role and Coming End of ‘The Occupation’.” Arab Studies Quarterly

❷ Israel begins work on first settlement in 25 years as Jared Kushner flies in
❸ Hamas calls for mobilization at Gaza border on Friday
. . . . . ❸― (ᴀ) Gaza crisis: Israel slashes electricity supplies for 3rd day as Egypt provides fuel
❹ POETRY by Majid Abu Ghoush
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ ON  WORLD  REFUGEE  DAY,  ESTIMATES  SHOW  66%  OF  PALESTINIANS  BECAME  REFUGEES  IN  1948
Ma’an News Agency      
June 20, 2017.  On the anniversary of World Refugee Day, and one month after the 69th anniversary of the Palestinian Nakba, or “catastrophe,” it is estimated that 66 percent of Palestinians who were living in British-Mandate Palestine in 1948 were expelled from historic Palestine and displaced, according to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS).
___“The human plight and tragedy that has befallen on the Palestinian people” resulted in approximately 957,000 Palestinian refugees — 66 percent of the total population of Palestinian who were living in historic Palestine on the eve of the war in 1948, PCBS said in a statement Tuesday.   MORE . . .        RELATED . . . 

Ophir, Adi. “ON  THE  STRUCTURAL  ROLE  AND  COMING  END  OF  ‘THE  OCCUPATION’.”  Arab Studies Quarterly, vol. 38, no. 4, Fall2016, pp. 688-693.
[. . . .] Some of them, like Netanyahu think that it is enough to proclaim the temporariness of the occupation while dragging any form of negotiation; others, like Harel, think that even this is not necessary, and that Palestinians should not be counted simply because they are not citizens anyway, and they cannot be citizens because they are not Jews. With the Jewish public in Israel moving further to the right in the last decade, this has become the fault line between the two major political camps in Israel; their basic disagreement is about how not to count, or be accountable for the colonized Palestinians.   SOURCE . . .

❷ ISRAEL  BEGINS  WORK  ON  FIRST  SETTLEMENT  IN  25  YEARS  AS  JARED  KUSHNER  FLIES  IN  
Alray-Palestinian Media Agency (from The Guardian)
June 21, 2017.  Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has announced the beginning of building work on the first new Jewish settlement in the occupied West Bank in 25 years, a day before a visit by Donald Trump’s son-in-law and envoy, Jared Kushner, aimed at reinvigorating the stalled peace process.
___The new settlement, known as Amichai, is being built to house about 300 hardline residents of the illegal West Bank Jewish outpost of Amona who were evicted by police in February after a court ruled their houses were on privately owned Palestinian land.
___The timing of the announcement was condemned by a Palestinian official who suggested it was designed to undermine peace efforts.
___Announcing the beginning of ground-breaking work at the new settlement, Netanyahu wrote on his Twitter feed: “Work began today on-site, as I promised, to establish the new settlement,” with a photograph of a mechanical digger working at the site north of Ramallah.   MORE . . .

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Israel breaks ground on new illegal settlement (Source: The Israeli prime minister’s official Twitter page, June 20, 2017)

❸ HAMAS  CALLS  FOR  MOBILIZATION  AT  GAZA  BORDER  ON  FRIDAY
The Palestinian Information Center  
June 20, 2017.   Hamas Movement called for mobilization next Friday on the Gaza border to mark the occasion of International Quds Day in protest at Israeli aggression on the Palestinian people and holy places.
___In a press statement on Tuesday, Hamas asked Arabs and Muslims to support Occupied Jerusalem and al-Aqsa Mosque as well as the Palestinian besieged people on International Quds Day which coincides on Friday.   MORE . . .
. . . . . ❸― (ᴀ) GAZA  CRISIS:  ISRAEL  SLASHES  ELECTRICITY  SUPPLIES  FOR  3RD  DAY  AS  EGYPT  PROVIDES  FUEL
Ma’an News Agency
June 21, 2017.   Israeli authorities implemented a third round of electricity supply cuts to the Gaza Strip on Wednesday — honoring a request from the Palestinian Authority (PA) that announced last month it would drastically reduce its payments to fund the Hamas-run territory’s electricity bill — as the Egypt government started to deliver diesel fuel to operate Gaza’s only power plant.
[. . . .] The 12-megawatt cuts came after output was reduced by 6 megawatts on Monday and 12 additional megawatts on Tuesday, meaning that the total output of Israeli electricity grids feeding the small Palestinian territory has been reduced from 120 to 88 megawatts in the last three days.
___According to Thabet, Gaza’s some 2 million residents face just two to three hours of electricity every 24 hours as a result of the cuts.   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 (b. Amwas) 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

.
Palestinian men seen in front of a fire raging at the Gaza’s main power plant following an overnight Israeli airstrike, south of Gaza City, July 29, 2014. (Emad Nassar/Flash90, from +972 Magazine)