“. . . 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
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
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 . . .

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 . . .
+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 . . . 


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.

“. . . an intentional policy to exacerbate the chronic shortage of electricity in Gaza . . .” (Aeyal Gross)

Flames engulf the fuel tanks of Gaza’s only power plant, hit by Israeli shelling, on July 29, 2014. (Photo: Mahmud Hams/AFP/Getty Images)

❶ . Health Ministry: Gaza’s fuel shortage puts hospitals at serious risk

  • Background: “We Didn’t Want To Hear The Word ‘Calories'”: Rethinking Food Security, Food Power, And Food Sovereignty–Lessons From The Gaza Closure.” Berkeley Journal of International Law

❷ . Army blocks two roads near Hebron school, movement curtailed
❸ . Arresting 4 Jerusalemite children from Silwan
. . . ❸ ― (a) The Martyrdom of a Palestinian young man at Shu’fat Refugee Camp in Jerusalem
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Ma’an News Agency
Nov. 26, 2016
The spokesperson of Gaza’s health ministry said in a statement on Friday that the health ministry would face a difficult situation if fuel is not provided to hospitals in the few upcoming hours.
___Ashraf al-Qadra called upon all competent authorities to quickly intervene and provide fuel for Gaza’s hospitals, noting that the fuel crisis in Gaza is expected to have severe effects on the besieged enclave’s hospitals.
___The plead came two days after health services in a children’s hospital were suspended due to a lack of fuel to its generators.         More . . .     Related . . .

Gross, Aeyal, and Tamar Feldman. “We Didn’t Want To Hear The Word ‘Calories'”: Rethinking Food Security, Food Power, And Food Sovereignty–Lessons From The Gaza Closure.” Berkeley Journal Of International Law 33.2 (2015): 379-441.    ARTICLE.

[. . . .] . . . the movement of goods and people into and out of the Gaza Strip was restricted to a so-called humanitarian minimum. . .  Although framed at first as “sanctions,” the policy was subsequently referred to as “economic warfare.” In essence, it was designed, according to Israel, to press the residents of the Gaza Strip to pressure Hamas . . .
___ . . .  Since its occupation of Gaza following the 1967 Arab-Israeli War, Israel has controlled the land crossings as well as Gaza’s airspace and territorial waters. . . all border crossing points between Israel and the Gaza Strip have been shut except for the Erez Crossing . . .  and the Kerem Shalom Crossing, which is the sole passageway for consumer goods.
[. . . .]  ___In a September 2007 decision, the Israeli Security Cabinet stated, “The sanctions will be enacted following a legal examination, while taking into account both the humanitarian aspects relevant to the Gaza Strip and the desire to avoid a humanitarian crisis.” Hence, the closure policy was aimed at causing damage to the Gaza economy and bringing the population to the verge of a humanitarian crisis . . .  The underlying principles of this policy were challenged early on, in October 2007, in a petition brought before the Israel Supreme Court . . . which focused on the restrictions on the supply of fuel and electricity to the Gaza Strip, the petitioners argued that the deliberate worsening of the quality of life of the inhabitants of the Gaza Strip to a state of minimal existence for the sole purpose of putting pressure on Hamas constitutes collective punishment which is strictly prohibited under international law . . .  In its response, the state claimed that its closure policy is a legitimate form of “economic warfare,” and it presented a set of calculations it had used to establish the minimum humanitarian fuel needs in the Gaza Strip, including industrial diesel for the power plant. Yet this minimum was knowingly calculated based on figures below the average, but above the minimum need for electricity in the Gaza Strip and, therefore, reflected an intentional policy to exacerbate the chronic shortage of electricity in Gaza.
___The Supreme Court ruled that Israel’s positive obligations towards the Gaza Strip are based on three factors: (1) its control over the land crossings and borders; (2) Gaza’s almost complete dependency on Israel to supply its electricity, which had developed over the course of the prolonged occupation; and (3) the ongoing state of belligerence in Gaza . . .  the Court authorized the electricity and fuel restrictions . . . In so doing, it gave its stamp of approval to the closure policy in its entirety and de facto accepted the “humanitarian-minimum standard” as a legitimate benchmark   [. . . .]  

Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Nov. 26, 2016
The Israeli army Saturday blocked with cement cubes two roads in the vicinity of Tareq Ben Ziad school near the Ibrahimi mosque in the center of Hebron, south of the West Bank, according Rashad Muhtaseb, a local factory owner.
[. . . .]  The army put up cement cubes to close roads in the area, where several shops and factories are located, hampering as a result movement of people, mainly students.     ___Thousands of Israeli settlers are planning to converge on the Ibrahimi mosque and the old city of Hebron in the coming days to mark a Jewish event.      More . . .             Related . . . SETTLERS  TORCH  PALESTINIAN  FAMILY  HOME  IN  HEBRON       Palestine News Network – PNN      Nov. 22, 2016

Children walking past soldiers on their way to school, May 7, 2016 (Photo: International Solidarity Movement)

Wadi Hilweh Information Center – Silwan
Nov. 24, 2016
The occupation forces arrested on Thursday four Jerusalemite children from the village of Silwan.
___Wadi Hilweh Information Center’s lawyer, Saleh Mheisen, explained that the Israeli forces arrested three children while heading home after school on charges of throwing stones. . . .
___Lawyer Mheisen added that the police released the three children after interrogating them for several hours on condition of house-arrest for 5 days and an unpaid bail of 5 thousand NIS for each.
___Lawyer Mheisen added that the forces also arrested 13-year old Jamal Mohammad Qaraeen and interrogated him for several hours on charges of throwing stones . . . .     More . . .
Wadi Hilweh Information Center – Silwan 
November 25, 2016
A young man passed away after being shot at Shu’fat Refugee Camp checkpoint north of Jerusalem.
___ Lawyer Mohammad Mahmoud said that the Martyr is 14-year old Mohammad Nabil Salam.
___Thaer Fasfoos, spokesman of Fateh movement in the Refugee Camp, said that the young men descended from a bus right before the checkpoint for unknown reasons before being shot by the occupation forces which led to his immediate Martyrdom.     More . . .


“. . . He moves in an absolute indistinction of fact and law, of life and juridical rule . . .” (Derek Gregory)

1-stone throwers
New [July 2015] Israeli law only targets Palestinians protesters, but spares Israeli settlers. (Photo: Al Jazeera, July 21, 2015)
❶ Israeli settlers throw rocks at Palestinian vehicles in northern West Bank
Related: Palestinian stone throwers face up to 20 years in jail

  • background from Palestine-Israel Journal Of Politics, Economics & Culture

❷ Using stolen water to irrigate stolen land

  • background from Singapore Journal Of Tropical Geography 

❹ POETRY by Samih al-Qasim
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Ma’an News Agency
July 16, 2016
Israeli settlers Friday evening reportedly threw rocks at Palestinian cars on the Wadi Qana road which runs between the occupied West Bank districts of Qalqilya and Salfit, according to local witnesses.
___Witnesses told Ma’an that Israeli settlers threw rocks at a group of Palestinian cars that were returning from a wedding, causing damage to a bus from the Salfit Bus Company and breaking the windshield of a car belonging to Ali Taha from the village of Bidya in Salfit.
___While Israeli settlers routinely throw stones and harass Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, they are rarely reprimanded for it.
___Palestinian stone-throwers, in stark contrast, face harsh penalties by Israeli authorities. . .     MORE . . .

From Palestine-Israel Journal Of Politics, Economics & Culture
[. . . .] For years the Israeli human rights community has been trying to defy Israeli demolitions of Palestinian houses and other structures in the West Bank. Their opposition is based on individual human rights arguments and international humanitarian law, focusing attention on the unlawful policies of the [Israelis] in the West Bank and their devastating humanitarian consequences on the protected civilian Palestinian population. These included . . . the obligation of the occupying power to ensure public order for the occupied population, according to the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949.
[. . . .]
No frameworks of legal analysis fully explain the dual system in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
[. . . .] moving beyond the national conflict, the main problem in the comparison to the Apartheid framework is that although it is based on similarly applied practices of racial segregation and discrimination as the International Convention On the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid states, it does not emphasize what seems to be the main motivation behind the legal segregation and discrimination: the Israeli spatial expansionist interests [emphasis in original] to advance and reinforce the settlement project until the full conversion of the Israelis in the West Bank from settlers to indigenous peoples.

  • Amar-Shiff, Netta. “Planning Apartheid And Human Rights In The Occupied Palestinian Territories.” Palestine-Israel Journal Of Politics, Economics & Culture 21.3 (2016): 65-68.
wall water
A segment of the Israeli separation wall near Beit Hanina, Jerusalem, 2012 (Photo: Tanya Habjouqa)

+972 Blog
Dror Etkes
July 16, 2016
The recent reports on water crisis in Palestinian areas of the West Bank were accompanied by a story of another water shortage: this time in Israeli settlements. Let’s get one thing straight — there has never been a “water shortage” in the settlements. When settlers open up the tap at home or in their garden, the amount and quality of the water is identical to that which comes out in most homes to the west of the Green Line. Yes, there were several recent instances in which the water supply was cut off temporarily in a number of settlements (generally for a few hours), during which the authorities provided settlers water from water tanks. One can safely say that not a single settler was left thirsty.      MORE . . .

From Singapore Journal Of Tropical Geography
Palestinian towns and cities . . . have been smashed by Israeli missiles and bombs, by tanks and armoured bulldozers. . . .  The “main purpose is to deny the Palestinian people their collective, individual and cultural rights to the city-based modernity long enjoyed by Israelis” . . .   Palestinian “facts on the ground” were erased with almost machine-like efficiency: coolly, dispassionately and ruthlessly.
___But since the spring of 2002, the legal fictions that permitted these erasures have increasingly been dispensed with. . . .  the IDF’s spasm of destruction had created a landscape of devastation from Bethlehem to Jenin. “There is no way to assess the full extent of the latest damage to the cities and towns . . .  but it is safe to say that the infrastructure of life itself and of any future Palestinian state – roads, schools, electricity pylons, water pipes, telephone lines – has been devastated.” Taken together, these are collective assaults in city and in countryside . . .  [not only] on the integrity of Palestinian civil society and on the formation of a Palestinian state, but on what he calls “bare life” itself.
___As Mahmoud Darwish (2002) declared, “the occupation does not content itself with depriving us of the primary conditions of freedom, but goes on to deprive us of the bare essentials of a dignified human life, by declaring constant war on our bodies, and our dreams, on the people and the homes and the trees, and by committing crimes of war.”  The hideous objective . . .  is to reduce homo sacer to the abject despair of der Muselman. . .  a figure from the Nazi concentration camps – it means, with deeply depressing significance, “The Muslim” . . . .  der Muselman no longer belongs to the world of men in any way; he does not even belong to the threatened and precarious world of the camp inhabitants… Mute and absolutely alone, he has passed into another world without memory and without grief.

  • Gregory, Derek. “Defiled Cities.” Singapore Journal Of Tropical Geography 24.3 (2003): 307.

❸  Opinion/Analysis:  LIFE  TURNED  UPSIDE  DOWN  IN  GAZA
The Electronic Intifada
Sarah Algherbawi
July 15, 2016
Inas Abu Muhadi cannot understand that she will never see her dad again [. . . .]
___The young girl’s father passed away from natural causes in July 2013.
___“Our life turned upside down after that day,” said her mother, Rajaa Abu Khalil. “Now, I have to be their father and mother at the same time. The burden is too heavy and I am tired.”
___On top of Rajaa’s loss of her husband, the home where the couple lived with their six children in the central Gaza town of Deir al-Balah was bombed and destroyed during Israel’s 51-day onslaught in the summer of 2014.     MORE . . .


So what,
When in my homeland
The sparrow dies of starvation,
In exile, without a shroud,
While the earthworm is satiated, devouring God’s food!

So what,
When the yellow fields
Yield no more to their tillers
Than memories of weariness,
While their rich harvest pours
Into the granaries of the usurper!

So what,
If the cement has diverted
The ancient springs
Causing them to forget their natural course,
When their owner calls,
They cry in his face: “Who are you?”

So what,
When the almond and the olive have turned to timber
Adorning tavern doorways,
And monuments
Whose nude loveliness beautifies halls and bars,
And is carried by tourists
To the farthest corners of the earth,
While noting remains before my eyes
But dry leaves and tinder!

So what,
When my people’s tragedy
Has turned to farce in others’ eyes,
And my face is a poor bargain
That even the slave-trader gleefully disdains!

So what,
When in barren space the satellites spin,
And in the streets walks a beggar, holding a hat,
And the song of autumn is heard!

Blow, East winds!
Our roots are still alive.

Samih Al-Qasim
From THE  PALESTINIAN  WEDDING:  A  BILINGUAL  ANTHOLOGY  OF  CONTEMPORARY  PALESTINIAN  RESISTANCE  POETRY. Ed. and Trans. A. M. Elmessiri. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2011. Reprint from Three Continents Press, Inc., 1982. Available from Palestine Online Store.




“. . . how can we assign to oblivion years of hatred. . .” (Samih Al-Qasim)

A Palestinian takes a burnt carpet out of Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem's Old City during clashes at the compound on September 13, 2015. (Photo: AFP/Ahmad Gharabli)
A Palestinian takes a burnt carpet out of Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem’s Old City during clashes at the compound on September 13, 2015. (Photo: AFP/Ahmad Gharabli)

(Please read “purpose” above. Thank you.)

❶ Israel has ‘taken over’ Aqsa compound, says official
❷ Attacks against Al-Aqsa Continue; Many Palestinians Kidnapped and Injured
❸ Army Kidnaps a Palestinian in Hebron, Searches Homes
❹ Business as usual for children arrested by the IDF
❺ Opinion/Analysis― If Gaza Becomes Uninhabitable, it Is Israel’s Responsibility
❻ Poetry by Samih Al-Qasim

◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊

Sept. 13, 2015
JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — The director of the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, Sheikh Omar al-Kiswani, said Sunday that Israel had effectively taken over the holy site, after a day of violent clashes between Palestinian worshipers and Israeli police took place there.
____Kiswani told Ma’an that having brought the compound under occupation in 1967, “today, the (Israeli) occupation authorities have imposed their sovereignty over it by power of force.”
____He pointed to Israeli control over who enters and leaves, and their use of force against Palestinians that challenge them, including the assault of Islamic Endowment employees.
____The director made his comments after a day of violent clashes at the holy site, during which witnesses said Israeli police entered the AL-AQSA  MOSQUE  ITSELF,  ISLAM’S  THIRD-HOLIEST  SITE,  and caused damage.
More. . .
Related . . .

Sept. 14, 2015
Groups of Israeli extremists, accompanied by dozens of soldiers and police officers, continued their invasions into the Al-Aqsa Mosque, in occupied East Jerusalem, through the al-Magharba Gate, after the army forcibly removed most of the Palestinian worshipers, and assaulted dozens.
____The soldiers attacked dozens of Palestinians, including women, near the Chain Gate of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, while a young man, identified as Tamer Khalaf, 29, suffered various cuts and bruises after the soldiers repeatedly beat and struck him, and sprayed his face with pepper-spray before kidnapping him.
More . . .
Related . . .

Monday September 14, 2015
Israeli soldiers invaded, on Monday morning, the town of Doura, south of the southern West Bank city of Hebron, searched several homes and kidnapped one Palestinians. Palestine TV reporter injured in Jerusalem.
____Media sources in Hebron said the soldiers broke into many homes in the town, and violently searched them, before kidnapping a university student, identified as Mohammad Walid ‘Amro, 19.
____In addition, soldiers installed roadblocks on the main entrances of Sa’ir, Halhoul and Yatta town, and several neighborhoods in Hebron city, before stopping and searching dozens of cars, and examined the ID cards of scores of residents.
More . . .
Related. . .

Israeli Soldiers Invade Doura, Wednesday Evening, April 30, 2014. (Photo: Al-Qassam)
Israeli Soldiers Invade Doura, Wednesday Evening, April 30, 2014. (Photo: Al-Qassam)

Gerard Horton
Sept. 13, 2015
The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced in March 2013 that it would study the conclusions of a UNICEF report on children held in military detention which found that ill-treatment appeared to be “widespread, systematic and institutionalized” and work to implement them through “ongoing cooperation” with the UN agency. Two-and-a-half years on and around 2,250 arrests later, there is new evidence as to how this “cooperation” is progressing.
To begin with, the number of children arrested at night appears to have jumped from 51 percent in 2013 to 65 percent today. . . the army breaking down doors in the middle of the night rather than parents bringing their children for questioning during the day.
More . . .

❺ Opinion/Analysis
Khalid Amayreh
The Gaza Strip, ravaged by devastating wars of aggression by Israel, could become uninhabitable for residents within just five years, a United Nations development agency warned this week. [. . . .]
____Israel, whether we like it or not, is the number-1 villain because it is still the occupying power in the Gaza Strip according to international law. The key to the rehabilitation of Gaza is decidedly in Israel’s hands. Hence, it is imperative that the international community exert a meaningful pressure, not just words, on Israel now in order to make the Israeli government responsive to the urgent needs of some 2 million Gazans who have chosen life over death and are opting to cling to their ancestral homeland rather than embark on a precarious journey to the shores of Europe.
More. . .

I mounted your stubborn horse,
Heading to the bare deserts, searching for the ever-distant horizon;
Alone in this bustling world
Only you words were with me.
I crossed the deserts,
Without audacity,
Without fear.
How then, in God’s name, can I return, my heartless beloved?
For you are a spur and a whip for my horse,
A cloak that wraps me;
You are all my provisions
And the promise of the final meeting.
― “There is Paris.”
― “There is Beirut.”
― “There is Moscow.”
And I spur the neck of your proud horse,
And despite my hunger and thirst,
I urge it to run to you, my heartless beloved.
My Lord and Master,
You who make our thorns Jasmine,
I vow that I will never sell my wounds,
No matter how the daggers bargain;
And that our sister
Will not stay forever in bondage.
― “There is Amman.”
― “There is Rome.”
― “There is Baghdad.”
How then, in God’s name, can I ever escape from my roots and origins?
And how can we assign to oblivion years of hatred?
Our rage will never subside
So long as the heaven is within sight.
Our wounded head will never heal
Without your merciful bandages, melody of our words,
Visions of things to be,
Our plundered history,
Our beloved murderer,
Our heartless loving country,
The valiant knight of sorrow
Will serve your proud horse unto death.

From:  A  LOVER  FROM  PALESTINE  AND  OTHER  POEMS:  AN  ANTHOLOGY  OF  PALESTINIAN  POETRY.  Ed. Abdul Wahab Al-Messiri. Washington, DC: Free Palestine Press, 1970.
Available from Amazon.
About Samih Al-Qasim

Gaza has received only a quarter of the funds pledged by the international community for its reconstruction following last year’s 50-day war between Israel and Hamas. (Photograph: Mohammed Abed/AFP/Getty Images)
Gaza has received only a quarter of the funds pledged by the international community for its reconstruction following last year’s 50-day war between Israel and Hamas. (Photograph: Mohammed Abed/AFP/Getty Images)