“. . . Whether my way leads to a jail . . .” (Fouzi El-Asmar)

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Wafaa Mahdawi, (Photo: Asra Media, from Samidoun: Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY  
| ISRAELI  COURT  REJECTS  APPEAL  TO  RELEASE  NAALWA’S  MOTHER,  BROTHER
The Israeli military court of Salem rejected, on Wednesday, an appeal to release the mother and brother of Ashraf Naalwa on a bail.    ___Ashraf Naalwa was shot and killed by Israeli forces on December 13th, 2 months after carrying out a shooting attack in the Israeli Barkan industrial zone, killing two Israelis.    ___The Palestinian Authority’s Committee for Prisoners and Former Prisoner’s said that the appeal was presented by the lawyer representing Naalwa’s mother and brother.    ___The Israeli judge of the Salem military court rejected the release of Wafaa Mihdawi and Amjad Naalwa.    ___Naalwa’s mother and brother were detained during the week after the shooting carried he had carried out, in an attempt by Israel to pressure him to turn himself in.    ___The two are still being held without any real charges.   More . . .
~~ Mother of Palestinian slain by Israeli forces imprisoned for posting on Facebook   More . . .
~~ Palestinian women prisoners escalate struggle against repression    More . . .
| ISRAELI  SETTLERS  RAZE  PALESTINIAN-OWNED  LANDS  IN  BATTIR
Israeli settlers razed Palestinian-owned lands in the Battir village, in the southern occupied West Bank district of Bethlehem, on Thursday morning.    ___Local activist, Hassan Breijieh, representative of the Wall and Settlement Resistance Committee, said that Israeli settlers razed lands northwest of Battir, west of Bethlehem City, to create or open a settlement road.    __Breijieh added that opening the settlement road comes as an attempt by Israeli settlers to build a new settlement outpost on seize Palestinian lands.
More . . .
~~ IOF Goes ahead with Oppression Campaign in West Bank    More . . .
~~ Israeli Knesset votes to expel families of anti-occupation activists     More . . .
| AQSA  TV  [GAZA]  TO  GO  OFF  AIR  OVER  LACK  OF  FUNDS    More . . .
~~ Israeli army creeps into Gaza border    More . . .
~~ Gaza: Hamas delegation leaves for Cairo    More . . .

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION
| Beneath the illusion of a temporary occupation lies apartheid
By Fady Khoury
The so-called temporary nature of Israel’s control over the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza has for too long served as a justification for not extending them full political and civil rights.    ___The Oslo peace process entailed a Palestinian acceptance of “the right of the State of Israel to exist in peace and security,” while in return Israel only recognized the Palestinian Liberation Organization as “the representative of the Palestinian people.” Israel has never recognized Palestine or the Palestinians’ right to an independent state in the occupied territories. To this day, Israel has never formally recognized the Palestinian people’s right to independence in any internationally binding document.    More . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY

“THE  WAY,”  BY  FOUZI  EL-ASMAR
I shall not despair;
Whether my way leads to a jail,
under the sun
or in exile
I shall not despair.

It is my right to behold the sun
To demolish the tent and banishment
To eat the fruit of the olive
To water the vineyards
with music
To sing of Love
in Jaffa, in Haifa
To sow the fertile land
with new seeds
It is my right.

Let my way be
The reaching of one hand to another
That a tower of dreams be built.

This is my way
And if the last price to pay
is my sight
my life
I shall
but will not give up
my way.

El Asmar, Fouzi. POEMS FROM AN ISRAELI PRISON. Intro. By Israel Shahak. New York: KNOW Books, 1973. Available from Abe Books.

“. . . I loved life, from the bottom of my heart . . .” (Samih Al-Qasim)

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Israeli Field executions: Ashraf Na’alwa, Saleh Barghouthi, Majd Mteir. (Photo: Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network, by Quds News, Dec. 13, 2018)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .    
PLO:  TIME  FOR  INTERNATIONAL  COMMUNITY  TO  PROVIDE  PROTECTION  TO  PALESTINIANS
Azzam al-Ahmad, member of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) Executive Committee, said that the leadership has reached several regional and international stakeholders “to put an end to the escalated violence by Israeli forces and settlers in the West Bank,” on Thursday.     ___Al-Ahmad spoke to Voice of Palestine radio and stressed, “The time has come for the international community to shoulder its responsibility to provide protection to our people from the (Israeli) violations, which include field executions of Palestinian citizens and incitement (by Israeli settlers) to kill President Mahmoud Abbas.”    ___He added “this incitement was met with international condemnation,” noting that the Palestinian people “will not stand idly, but will confront the Israeli occupation until they fulfill their rights.”    More . . .
. . . . Related  IOF  Assassinate  Three  Palestinians  They  Claim  Were  Involved  In  Anti-Israeli  Attacks
. . . . Related  Settlers attack in Nablus and Hebron
. . . . Related  2 Palestinians injured by Israeli  Forces in al-Mughayyar
. . . . Related  Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations In The Occupied Palestinian Territory (06– 12 December 2018)
| UPDATE  |  ISRAELI  FORCES  DETAIN  100  PALESTINIANS  IN  WEST  BANK
Israeli forces arrested more than 100 Palestinians, including lawmakers and former prisoners, during large-scale raids that targeted many areas across the occupied West Bank throughout the past two days, according to the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS).    ___Last night alone, the forces detained at least 46 Palestinians, including two lawmakers and a journalist, during a large-scale detention campaign across the West Bank.    ___Israeli forces conducted multiple overnight raids in Hebron city in addition to the nearby towns of Idhna, Beit Kahel, Yatta and Adh-Dhahiriyya, ransacking civilian houses and interrogating families.    More . . .
. . . . Related  Ramallah City Sealed Off For Second Consecutive Day
. . . . Related  Entrance to Al-Arroub Refugee Camp Sealed by Israeli Forces
. . . . Related  Israeli army raids headquarters of Palestine Olympic Committee in Al-Bireh

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .
| ISRAEL’S  EXECUTIONS  CAN’T  KILL  PALESTINIAN  RESISTANCE:  REMEMBERING  ASHRAF  NA’ALWA,  SALEH  BARGHOUTHI,  MAJD  MTEIR  AND  HASAN  ARDA
On 13 December 2018, Israeli occupation forces shot down four Palestinians, including several resistance fighters who had evaded their pursuit for months.    [. . . .]  These killings were carried out in a coordinated fashion, alongside the arrest of dozens of Palestinians on the same night. Clearly, these were intended to be a deadly blow not only against these strugglers, but also the Palestinian resistance as a whole.    ___Nevertheless, ensuing events made clear that the military power of the occupation and its extrajudicial executions would only inflame Palestinian resistance further.    More . . .
|  PALESTINIAN  SOLIDARITY:  IS  SOUTH  AFRICA  IN  THE  DRIVER’S  SEAT?   Recent events in South Africa have had a profoundly positive impact on Palestine.    ___It may not be music for this country’s [UNITED STATES] pro-Israel lobby but certainly welcomed by the broad spectrum of solidarity movements active in pursuit of freedom and justice for the Palestinian cause.    ___These milestone events have provided Palestinian Resistance Movements, particularly Hamas, as well as solidarity activists, renewed hope that the pendulum is slowly but surely swinging away from the colonial settler regime Israel.    More . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

“HE  WHISPERED  BEFORE  HE  TOOK  HIS  FINAL  BREATHS,”
BY  SAMIH  AL-QASIM

Don’t honor me with a monument
and song!
Of all the sad songs,
I prefer my mother’s sadness.

Do not pay your last respects
with laurel and a royal display!
Of all the tender wreaths
I prefer my mother’s palm.

Don’t glorify me by giving my name
to a city square
or a street and public garden!
I’d rather a grapevine be planted
(in my name)
and grow into a vineyard and farm!

Do not preserve my memory
by giving a speech each year in my honor!
I’d rather a fine machine
pounding away in a factory
speak in my name.

Tell my mother―
tell her what you plant in my name,
tell the factory’s machine
that I loved life, from the bottom of my heart,
and therefore took my final breaths
at peace and happy.

From: Al-Qasim, Samih. SADDER  THAN  WATER.  New  and  Selected  Poems. Trans. Nazih Kasis and Adina Hoffman. Jerusalem: Ibis Editions, 2008. Available from Barnes and Noble.

 

“. . . and struggle ardently for my liberty My liberty My liberty . . .” (Fadwa Tuqan)

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Jerusalem: Dr. Naim Ateek of Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center
leads a group on the Via Dolorosa
(Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 4, 2015)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . . 
| PALESTINIAN  GOVERNOR  OF  JERUSALEM  RELEASED  TO  HOUSE  ARREST    A court in Israel has released the Palestinian governor of Jerusalem from detention to house arrest for three days as part of an investigation related to a land sale.    ___Adnan Gheith, who was arrested on November 25, was released on Sunday from prison, but will remain under house arrest until Tuesday, Jerusalem magistrate court justice Chavi Toker ruled.    __Police have been investigating Gheith over suspicions he was involved in the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) arrest in October of US citizen Issam Akel, who is accused of involvement in selling an occupied East Jerusalem building to Jewish buyers. . . More . . .
. . . . Related  Report: Israel Abducts Dozens of Palestinians in Crackdown on Palestinian Authority
. . . . Related  Top court gives Israel even broader powers to use torture
. . . . Related  Israel committed 355 violations against Palestinians in November
. . . . Related  Israel demolished 19 Palestinian facilities in November
| PRESIDENT  ABBAS  ARRIVES  IN  ROME  ON  AN  OFFICIAL  VISIT    President Mahmoud Abbas Sunday arrived in the Italian capital, Rome, on an official visit where he is scheduled to meet with his Italian counterpart, Sergio Mattarella.    ___President Abbas will meet with Italian President Sergio Mattarella, Italy’s Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, and Pope Francis during his official visit to Rome, to discuss the latest political developments in the region as well as bilateral relations between the two countries and ways to develop them.    More . . .
. . . . Related  Hamas hails Fatah’s criticism to US’ draft resolution condemning resistance at UN
. . . . Related  President Abbas meets Pope Francis at the Vatican
. . . . Related  Islamic Jihad delegation from Gaza heads to Lebanon through Egypt
|  TURKEY’S  RED  CRESCENT  DONATES  8.5  TONS  OF  MEDICAL  AID  TO  GAZA   The Palestinian Ministry of Health dispatched from its warehouses in the northern occupied West Bank city of Nablus, about 8.5 tons of medical aid donated by the Turkish Red Crescent to the besieged Gaza Strip, on Monday.    ___According to the Palestinian Health Minister, Jawad Awwad, the ministry dispatched two truckloads of medical supplies worth $274,000, which included medicines to treat chronic diseases such as cancer and kidney diseases.    ___Awwad praised Turkey’s continued support to Gaza, pointing to the many vital projects that have been provided by Turkey to Palestine in all fields.   More . . .
. . . . Related  WHO: ‘Israel approved only 15% of medical permits for injured Gazans’
. . . . Related  Sharp rise in number of people with disabilities in Gaza Strip in last 10 years – statistics
. . . . Related  Israel undercover forces [in Gaza] posed as medical workers, used ID cards of real Palestinians

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . . GAZA  –  TWENTY  YEARS  LATER     By Mkhaimar Abusada     The Gaza Strip. . .  is no more than 365 square kilometers with two million people. Population pressure has been critical in an area with limited water and arable land, weak infrastructure. . .  and many internal and external barriers that have resulted from the Israeli siege and blockade, which has turned it into the largest open-air prison in the world.    ___The . . .  golden days of Gaza [were about] 1998. At that time, Gaza was the center of Palestinian politics after the signing of the Oslo Agreement in September 1993, and the establishment of the Palestinian Authority (PA) in 1994. Gaza was promised by the international community to be the Singapore of the Middle East. . .  [. . . .] The outbreak of the second Palestinian Intifada in September 2000, and the ensuing violence and armed resistance against the Israeli army and settlers in Gaza triggered massive Israeli retaliation against infrastructure and the economy, and . . .  restricted the movement within and in and out of Gaza.    More . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

“MY  LIBERTY,”  BY  FADWA  TUQAN

My liberty―my liberty―my liberty,
a sound I repeat
with angry lips
under the exchange of fire
and flames
I run after it
despite my chains
and follow its tracks
despite the night
and struggle ardently
for my liberty
My liberty
My liberty

And the Holy River
and Bridge repeat:
my liberty
and the two banks reiterate:
my liberty
and the raging wind and thunder,
tornadoes and rain
echo the sound:
my liberty

I shall carve its name
while I resist
on the land
by the walls and the doors
in the Temple of the Virgin
in the altar
and in the field,
on every hill
and every valley
and every curve
and road
in prison
in the torture rooms
and on the gallows
Despite the chains
and the house demolition
I shall carve its name
until I see it again
extending to my Homeland
and flourish
and flourish
until every inch of the land is covered
until every door is opened
by red liberty.
And the night vanishes
and the day breaks
My liberty―my liberty―my liberty

From: Aruri, Naseer and Edmund Ghareeb, eds. ENEMY  OF  THE  SUN:  POETRY  OF  THE  PALESTINIAN  RESISTANCE. Washington, DC: Drum and Spear Press, 1970.   Available from abebooks.com

“. . . made of two threads from the sacks of relief flour . . .” (Khaled Abdallah)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .
| OCHA:  ‘ISRAELI  FORCES,  SETTLERS’  RAIDS  INTO  PALESTINIAN  SCHOOLS  INCREASED’ 
The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in the Occupied Palestinian Territory confirmed, that since the beginning of 2018 there has been a significant increase in incidents involving the entry of Israeli forces and settlers into Palestinian schools.    ___In OCHA’s biweekly Protection of Civilians Report covering the period from 6th to 19th of November, it said that in the West Bank, 63 Palestinian children and nine adults were injured by Israeli forces during four separate raids into schools, one of which also involved Israeli settlers.   More . . .
. . . . Background  [. . . .] ISRAEL signed the Geneva Conventions on 6 July 1951, and the Additional Protocol III (relating to the Adoption of an Additional Distinctive Emblem, 2005) on 22 November 2007. Moreover, it became SIGNATORY  TO  THE  CONVENTION  FOR  THE  RIGHTS  OF  THE  CHILD  (CRC) on 3 October 1991, and signed the Optional Protocol to the CRC on 18 July 2005. All 8 fundamental ILO conventions have been ratified by Israel.
. . . . Related  Over 700 road obstacles control Palestinian movement within the West Bank: OCHA
| WEEKLY  REPORT  ON  ISRAELI  HUMAN  RIGHTS  VIOLATIONS  IN  THE  OCCUPIED  PALESTINIAN  TERRITORY  (14  –  21  NOVEMBER  2018) 

  • Israeli forces continue systematic crimes in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) (14 – 21 November 2018)
  • Israeli Forces Killed a Fisherman in the Northern Gaza Strip
  • Israeli forces continued to use excessive force against unarmed civilians and peaceful protestors in the Gaza Strip
  • 113 civilians, including 25 children, 3 women, 3 journalists, and 6 paramedics were wounded. More . . .

. . . . Related  Israeli Soldiers Abduct Two Palestinians In Hebron
. . . . Related  Four Protesters Injured at Kafr Qaddoum
. . . . Related  Israeli Soldiers Injure Fourteen Palestinians In Gaza
. . . . Related  Israeli settlers vandalize mosque, spray racist slogans in Beit Iksa
| HAMAS  PUBLISHES  IMAGES  OF  ‘ISRAELIS  INVOLVED  IN  GAZA  COVERT  UNIT’  
The armed wing of the Hamas group has published photos of what it says are members of an Israeli covert operations unit that infiltrated the Gaza Strip on November 11.    ___The Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades posted pictures of eight alleged members of the Israeli force, including two women, on its official website, as well as pictures of two vehicles used by the force during the botched operation.    ___In a statement, the group called on Palestinians to communicate to them any information they might have regarding the persons but provided no further details on the identities of those pictured.    ___Israel’s army censor issued a statement shortly afterwards calling on the public and news media not to distribute the photos or information relating to them.  “Hamas is attempting to understand and analyse the incident. . .    More . . .
. . . . Related  How  Hamas’  rocket  barrage  affects  Israeli  defense  policy
. . . . Related  Is  Russia  full-on  supporting  Hamas?
. . . . Related  Unease  and  apprehension  lie  over  Gaza  following  Israeli  truce

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .
GAZA  (YASSER  ARAFAT)  INTERNATIONAL  AIRPORT:  20  YEARS  LATER  
By Zakaria al-Madhoun
On this day, 20 years ago, the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat inaugurated Gaza International Airport in Rafah, the most southern point in the Gaza Strip.     ___That day was not like any other day, recalled Mohammad el-Baz, who covered the event live for Palestine TV. “Inaugurating the airport was not a normal development for the Palestinian people and leadership represented by Yasser Arafat.”    ___Gaza International Airport, also called Yasser Arafat Airport, had one runway 3080 meters long and 60 meters wide. Construction on the airport started in January 1996 when Arafat laid the foundation stone for the airport.    More . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . .

“MINT,”  BY  KHALED  ABDALLAH
I walk barefoot into my mother’s talk,
the dusty square, the garden chair, the dancer’s kerchief, the wind,
eyes from windows opposite, a moon dangled between two palm
fronds and another moon at the window.
The dancer has a bird’s fluttering heart that no chest can contain.
A jug sprinkles water to settle the dust.
The flute’s lip is wet with its player’s saliva. Like children’s saliva
on the throat of a balloon. This time your heart’s demons will keep it
like the color of your first school uniform. But if the accordion went mad
the women who believe in luck will say this boy is jinxed.
They would prepare a necklace for him made of two threads from the sacks
of relief flour and the bones of extinct animals and yellow
fangs. I return barefoot to mother’s talk. “Another moon at the window”
“Build some corners in your heart, my love, and hide your mint
plants among them.”

—Translated by Khaled Mattawa
From BEFORE THERE IS NOWHERE TO STAND: PALESTINE ISREL POETS RESPOND TO THE STRUGGLE. Ed. By Joan Dobbie and Grace Beeler. Sandpoint ID: Lost Horse Press, 2012.  Available from B&N.

 

 

“. . . 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.

“. . . what else can the light of heaven be . . .” (Reja-e Busailah)

Lydda_mosque_ii

Lydda (birthplace of Reja-e Busailah) mosque
after Operation Danny, July 1948
(Photo: Palmach archive Yiftach 3rd Battalion vol. 2 album).

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .
|   EGYPTIAN  SECURITY  DELEGATION  ARRIVES  IN  GAZA  STRIP  TO  ESTABLISH  THE  TRUCE
The Israeli Public Radio said, on Wednesday, that an Egyptian security delegation will arrive in the Gaza Strip on Thursday for talks aimed at stabilizing the ceasefire and discussing ways to improve the living conditions in the Gaza Strip.    ___The radio added that the delegation would be headed by the official of the Palestinian file in the intelligence service, Ahmed Abdelkhaliq, and expected that some Hamas leaders would go to Egypt in the next few days.    ___Egyptian mediation between the Palestinian Resistance and the Israeli occupation succeeded in reestablishing the cease-fire in Gaza after an unprecedented round of escalation that began on Sunday and lasted about 48 hours.     More . . .
|   ISRAELI  FORCES  OPEN  FIRE  AT  PALESTINIAN  FARMERS
Israeli forces opened fire, on Friday, at Palestinian farmers working in their lands, east of the al-Qarrara town in the southern besieged Gaza Strip.    ___Locals told Ma’an that Israeli forces stationed at the Kissufim military site opened fire at Palestinian farmers for unknown reasons.    ___The farmers left their lands in fear for their lives. . .   More . . .
. . . . Related  SUFFOCATION  CASES  AMONG  PROTESTERS  NEAR  RAMALLAH  [RAS  KARKAR  VILLAGE]
. . . . Related  GAZA  FISHERMAN  SHOT,  KILLED  BY  ISRAELI  NAVY
|
  UN  SPECIAL  RAPPORTEURS  GIVE  ISRAEL  60  DAYS  TO  RESPOND  TO  ‘DEEP  CONCERNS’  REGARDING  JEWISH  NATION-STATE  LAW
Following a special request for action issued by  ADALAH – THE  LEGAL  CENTER  FOR  ARAB  MINORITY  RIGHTS  IN  ISRAEL, four United Nations special rapporteurs have given Israel a 60-day deadline to respond to their grave concerns regarding the Jewish Nation-State Law, adopted by the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, on July 19.    ___The 60-day period began on November 2 when [the four UN officials] sent a communiqué to Israeli authorities expressing deep concerns regarding the impact of the new law.    ___In their letter, special rapporteurs expressed “deep concern” that Israeli Basic Law appears “to be discriminatory in nature and in practice against non-Jewish citizens” . . .   More . . .
. . . . Related  KUWAIT  TRANSFERS  $42  MILLION  TO  UNRWA
. . . . Related  WORLD  BANK  WILL  CONTINUE  TO  PROVIDE  BUDGET  SUPPORT  TO  PA
. . . . Related  DIRECTOR  OF  GENEVA  CENTER  CALLS  FOR  ENDORSEMENT  OF  2018  WORLD  CONFERENCE  DECLARATION
. . . . Related  CZECH  REPUBLIC  TO  CONTRIBUTE  OVER  €200,000  TO  UNRWA

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .
|   SUSTAINING  CYCLES  OF  ISRAELI  AGGRESSION  IN  GAZA 
Ramona Wadi
It is time, once again, for the hyphenated “Israel-Gaza” paradigm – an invention that suits mainstream narratives. As the media mulls the possibilities of another Israeli military aggression against Palestinians in Gaza . . .   since “Operation Protective Edge”, Israel regularly hinted at another, definite round of violence to eliminate Hamas . . .  inflicting a high percentage of collateral damage.    ___As speculation mounts amid reports of airstrikes and rocket fire; the latter enhanced through numbers that purposely render Israeli violence a purported retaliation, Israel is assured of an audience that is ready to absorb whatever trajectory it decides upon . . .    [. . . .] Yet, in terms of media depiction, there is already a premeditated slant . . .  Rocket fire is the subject of statistics while airstrikes imparted as an acceptable method of containment. The concept of involvement and, as a result, violence, is shifted upon Hamas, as opposed to the Israeli incursion in Gaza which the resistance had every right to disrupt.    More . . .

NOTICES  FROM  ORGANIZATIONS. . . .
|   AWARDS  SEASON  LAUNCHED  AT  MEMO’S  PALESTINIAN  LITERARY  EVENT
A packed audience hall gathered in London this evening [November 15, 2018] to listen to some of the  PALESTINE  BOOK  AWARD’S  shortlisted authors discuss their works ahead of the winners’ announcement tomorrow evening.    ___Tonight three of the shortlisted authors: Tareq Baconi, author of “Hamas Contained: The Rise and Pacification of Palestinian Resistance”; Maha Nassar, author of “Brothers Apart: Palestinian Citizens of Israel and the Arab World”; and  REJA-E  BUSAILAH,  author of “In the Land of My Birth: A Palestinian Boyhood.    ___The evening was chaired by Victoria Brittain and Ibrahim Darwish, two trustees of the Palestine Book Awards. Brittain opened the evening by reflecting on how the Awards are now in their seventh year, adding that when the event started back in 2011 she could not have expected the level of support there has been from publishers, authors and the general public.    More . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

“IN  THE  SHADOW  OF  THE  HOLY  HEIGHTS”  BY  REJA-E  BUSAILAH 

  •                 for Haniya Suleiman Zarawneh, killed by the Israelis
    at the age of 25, near Jerusalem, January 4, 1988

The sun came out that day from the depth of winter
like the rare orphan of good luck —
what else can the light of heaven be
on a day rising from the dead of winter?

And she had risen before the sun that day
and like her mother and grandmother before her
she washed by hand and wrung by hand
the linen for spouse and child,

and like mother and grandmother
she walked up the wooden ladder
with the pail onto the roof
into the shadow of the Holy Heights —
so clear was the sky
it almost recalled the sight and the scent of the sea down west.

Faithfully she hung her labors on the rope
article by article
that the good sun might dry them for her,
she clasped each with a wooden pin
as safeguard against the prankish wind —

it was no senseless nature that did it when she was done
just about to come down for other chores,
it was no fiendish Nazi,
it was one of the 
Chosen
selected her heart for his anointed lead
so that limp went the spring in the covenant
which joined soul and limb —

and the good sun shines
and the sheets and the skirts and the nightgowns
and the small socks
and the outfit for the wooden doll
they toss in the wind
and smell like linen hand-washed and sun-dried
they swing lighthearted on the rope
waiting for mother to collect them

Reja-e Busailah has been blind since infancy. At age 7, he and his family were forced marched by Zionist forces from their home in Lydda into exile. He was educated in Cairo and earned a PhD in English from New York University. He is the author of a collection of poetry, “We Are Human,” (1985). He taught at Indiana University for 30 years and is now retired. He recently published his memoir “In the Land of My Birth: A Palestinian Boyhood.”

From BEFORE THERE IS NOWHERE TO STAND: PALESTINE ISRAEL POETS RESPOND TO THE STRUGGLE. Ed. By Joan Dobbie and Grace Beeler. Sandpoint ID: Lost Horse Press, 2012.  Available from B&N.

“. . . Do you remember your panic― at the reign of death . . .” (Samih Al-Qasim)

IMG_2853 - Copy - Copy
Israelis escorted through Al Aqsa Mosque courtyard, Jerusalem, by IOF soldiers (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 5, 2015)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .
   DEFENSE  MINISTER  AVIGDOR  LIBERMAN  RESIGNS  OVER  HAMAS  CEASEFIRE
Claiming that the government has capitulated to terrorism, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman announced his resignation on Wednesday, one day after Israel agreed to an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire with Hamas in the Gaza Strip.    ___“I have tried to remain a faithful member of the cabinet and to make heard another view, even at a great electoral and political price,” Liberman said at a news briefing immediately following the faction meeting. However, Tuesday’s ceasefire with Hamas “cannot be interpreted in any way other than a capitulation to terrorism,” he added. “This will severely harm our security in the long run. The response that we gave to the 500 rockets shot from Gaza was not enough, to say the least. The South should come first. Our weakness is being broadcast to other fronts.”    More . . .
|    PLO:  30  YEARS  AFTER  DECLARATION  OF  INDEPENDENCE,  OCCUPATION  STILL  LINGERING
Thirty years after the historic declaration of Palestine’s independence, the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian land is still lingering, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) said on Thursday marking Palestine’s Declaration of Independence Day.    ___The Palestinian National Council issued the Palestinian Declaration of Independence on November 15, 1988 in Algiers, declaring an independent Palestinian state on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.    [. . . .] PLO Executive Committee member Hanan Ashrawi said in a statement on this occasion. . .   “Thirty years later, following this historic and painful compromise, the longest occupation in modern history still continues and holds an entire people captive, willfully stealing their land, resources, freedom, and rights with full impunity. . .     More . . .
. . . . Related  A  FAMILIAR  INVASION:  SETTLERS  TAKE  ANOTHER  MOUNTAIN  TOP,  SOLDIERS  FOLLOW,  AND  PALESTINIANS  DEMONSTRATE  FOR  THEIR  RIGHTS
|    ISRAEL  BANS  JERUSALEMITES  ENTRY  AS  SETTLERS  STORM  AL-AQSA     Israeli authorities banned six Jerusalemites, on Thursday, from entry to the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, in the Old City of occupied East Jerusalem, for one consecutive month. . .   [. . . .]  two days prior to the ban, the six Jerusalemites were detained by Israeli forces during predawn raids of their homes in East Jerusalem.     ___Meanwhile, about 35 Israeli settlers stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound through the Moroccan Gate and “provocatively” toured the compound, according to local sources.     More . . .
. . . . Related  GAZA  IN  PHOTOS:  CEASEFIRE,  MOURNING  AND  PROTESTS  OF  THE  DESTRUCTION  OF  A  TELEVISION  STATION

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .
|    ISRAEL’S  NEXT  ELECTIONS  WILL  BE  ABOUT  WHO  IS  MORE  VIOLENT  TO  PALESTINIANS 
Israel appears to be going to early elections. Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman on Wednesday announced that he is resigning from his post, and that his party, Yisrael Beytenu, will leave the ruling coalition over what he called Netanyahu’s “surrender to terrorism.” The surprise resignation came just a day after Israel and Hamas agreed to a cease-fire, ending the most violent flare-up the Gaza border has seen since the 2014 war.    ___Immediately following his announcement, the right-wing Jewish Home party . . .  released a statement that it too would leave the coalition unless party leader Naftali Bennett replaces Liberman as defense minister. It is unlikely Netanyahu will agree to such conditions, which means that his coalition will probably fall apart, ushering in early elections in the spring of 2019, instead of their original date in November 2019.    ___Liberman’s move makes perfect sense, if one considers that his party, which holds only five of 120 seats in the Knesset, might not make it past the election threshold, as several polls have indicated . . .  Liberman also used his podium to attack Netanyahu for backing down on the demolition of Khan Al-Ahmar, allowing Qatari cash and fuel into Gaza, and the latest cease-fire.    More . . .
. . . . Related POLL:  64%  OF  ISRAELIS  SEEK  TO  ESCALATE  AGGRESSIONS  ON  GAZA
. . . . Related  WHAT  NETANYAHU’S  IDEA  OF  PEACE  LOOKS  LIKE
. . . . Related   IN  BREACH  OF  HUMAN  RIGHTS,  NETANYAHU  SUPPORTS  THE  DEATH  PENALTY  FOR  PALESTINIANS

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

“BUCHENWALD,”  BY  SAMIH  AL-QASIM

Have you forgotten your shame at Buchenwald?
Do you remember your flames at Buchenwald?
Have you forgotten your love in the lexicon
of silence? Do you remember your panic―
at the reign of death, in the nightmare of time―
that the whole world
would become a Buchenwald?
Whether you’ve forgotten or not,
the dead’s images linger
among the wreaths of flowers,
and from the dismembered corpses
a hand emerges,
a nail in the palm and tattoo on the wrist―
a sign for the planet.
Do you remember? Or not?
Buchenwald― whether or not you’ve forgotten,
the images of the murdered
remain among the wreaths of flowers . . .

From Al-Qasim, Samih. SADDER  THAN  WATER.  New  and  Selected  Poems.  Trans. Nazih Kasis and Adina Hoffman. Jerusalem: Ibis Editions, 2008.  Available from Barnes and Noble

“. . . when we are strong about our suffering, you call it ‘Resilience’ . . .” (Jehan Bseiso)

Palestinians gather around the remains of a building that was destroyed by an Israeli air strike, in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip
Palestinians gather at the ruins of a building destroyed by an Israeli air attack in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip. (Photo: SUHAIB SALEM/REUTERS)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . . 
|   7  AL-QASSAM  FIGHTERS  KILLED,  INCLUDING  SENIOR  MEMBER,  IN  ISRAELI  AIRSTRIKES     Seven members of the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of the Hamas movement, were killed late Sunday evening, including a senior member during a campaign of Israeli airstrikes over Khuzaa town, in the southern besieged Gaza Strip.    ___Local sources said that Israeli warplanes carried out airstrikes targeting southern Gaza, attacking Palestinians, who exposed an Israeli undercover unit that entered Gaza in an apparent attempt to abduct al-Qassam fighters.    ___Hebrew-language news outlets reported that violent armed clashes broke out between the Israeli unit and the al-Qassam fighters, which resulted in killing one Israeli soldier and critically injuring another.    ___Israeli warplanes intervened by launching airstrikes over the area, immediately killing seven Palestinians and variously injuring more than seven others, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza.    More . . .
. . . . Related  PALESTINIAN  RESISTANCE  UNDERMINES  ‘COMPLICATED’  ISRAELI  MILITARY  OPERATION  IN  GAZA
. . . . Related  GAZA  PROTESTS:  ALL  THE  LATEST  UPDATES    Since protests began on March 30, Israeli forces have killed at least 214 Palestinians and wounded more than 18,000.
. . . . Related  IOF  KIDNAPS  PALESTINIANS  FROM  HOMES  IN  W.  BANK
   OFFICIAL:  ISRAEL,  US  BLOCKING  ATTEMPTS  BY  FRANCE,  RUSSIA  TO  MOVE  PROCESS  FORWARD          The United States and Israel are blocking attempts by France and Russia to move forward the Middle East political process, a senior Palestinian official said on Monday.    ___Nabil Shaath, advisor to President Mahmoud Abbas on Foreign and International Affairs, told the official Voice of Palestine radio that there are attempts by France and Russia to move the political process forward through a multilateral international framework in accordance with the initiative the President had presented to the United Nations . . .   [. . . .] He said that Israel is seeking to establish a state in Gaza that will be under continuous Israeli siege, threats and extortion, while it plans to keep the West Bank and Jerusalem under its control and prevent any attempt at establishing a Palestinian state.     More . . .
. . . . Related  PRIME  MINISTER’S  VISIT  TO  FRANCE  IMPORTANT,  SAYS  OFFICIAL
|    BIRZEIT  UNIVERSITY  RECEIVES  PRESTIGIOUS  YASSER  ARAFAT  ACHIEVEMENT  AWARD      Birzeit University has won the prestigious Yasser Arafat Achievement Award for 2018 in a special ceremony commemorating the fourteenth anniversary of the passing of the late Palestinian President Yasser Arafat.    ___The award honors institutions and personalities who are distinguished by their exceptional work and recognizes real achievements in national, cultural, social, economic, scientific, or academic work.   More . . .

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .
|    ISRAELI  TARGETED  KILLINGS  IN  GAZA  AND  BEYOND:  A  TIMELINE    The latest Israeli killing fits a pattern of targeted assassinations of Hamas commanders and affiliates.    ___Israeli forces killed at least seven Palestinians, including a high-ranking Hamas official, in the besieged Gaza Strip late on Sunday in a ground operation that is expected to significantly boost tensions.  [. . . .]  An Israeli soldier was killed when an exchange of fire erupted during the operation, the Israeli army said.    [. . . .] The latest killing fits a pattern of targeted assassinations of individual Hamas commanders and members of affiliated groups. . . .  Here is a timeline of key assassinations targeting Palestinian military commanders and individuals with ties to Hamas, the group that governs the Gaza Strip.    More . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . .

“HASHTAG  GAZA,”  BY  JEHAN  BSEISO

To the children who lost their lives, and the parents who had to bury them**

Bring your camera.
Bring your candles and spotlights to highlight.
Bring your focus to hashtag anniversary.

Everyday Gaza.

Bring your reporters, your journalists, your moving infographics.

Write:

“Abu Muhammad sits on the balcony, cradling the head of Muhammad.”
Sorry.
“The photo of the head of head of Muhammad.”

Talk about bomb shelters and war sirens in Siderot and Tel Aviv.
Call it, “Neutrality.”

Talk about your 5 dead and your iron dome.
Call it “Objective Reality.”

Bring your billion dollar pledges and your aid caravans
Your exel sheets, monitoring reports and donor requirements.
Call it “Accountability.”

Write:

“Abu Muhmmad sits on the balcony hopelessly, smokes a hope-
less cigarette talks about lack of hope.”

This one is a human interest story.

And when we invite you into our rubble homes for tea and bread
you call it “Generosity.”

And when we are strong about our suffering, you call it “Resilience.”

Write:

51 days.
2,000 dead.
10,000 wounded.

Abu Muhammad says:

My boys took a ball to the beach.
Came back bodies.

How can we remember what we can’t forget?

**Four Gazan cousins were killed on the beach by Israeli rocket fire, July 16, 2014. The poem imagines the father of one of the boys, Ismail Mohammed Bakr, age 9.
From: I  REMEMBER  MY  NAME:  POETRY  BY  SAMAH  SABAWI,  RAMZY  BAROUD,  JEHAN  BSEISO.  Vacy Vlazna, editor. London: Novum Publishing, 2016. Available from publisher.

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

gazans-are-bending-israel-and-hamas-to-their-will-all-the-way-toward-a-deal
A demonstrator holding the Palestinian flag along the Gaza border, November 2, 2018. (Photo: AFP)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .
|    PALESTINIAN  FAMILIES  LEFT  HOMELESS  AFTER  EAST  JERUSALEM  DEMOLITION
Israeli bulldozers . . .  stormed the Silwan Palestinian neighborhood in occupied East Jerusalem, and demolished a building, on Tuesday.    ___The Wadi Hilweh Information Center said that Israeli forces stormed Silwan and surrounded one of the neighborhood’s buildings, which belonged to the Odeh family, and demolished it shortly after.    ___The building was demolished under the pretext that it was built without the difficult-to-obtain Israeli permit.    [. . . .] According to . . .  the NGO Terrestrial Jerusalem, “since 1967, the Government of Israel has directly engaged in the construction of 55,000 units for Israelis in East Jerusalem; in contrast, fewer than 600 units have been built for Palestinians in East Jerusalem, the last of which were built 40 years ago.    More . . .
|    ISRAELI  SOLDIERS  ABDUCT  EIGHTEEN  PALESTINIANS  IN  THE  WEST  BANK
The Palestinian Prisoners’ Society (PPS) has reported that Israeli soldiers abducted, overnight until morning hours Tuesday, at least eighteen Palestinians, including a wounded young man, in several parts of the occupied West Bank.    ___The PPS office in Hebron, in the southern part of the occupied West Bank, said the soldiers invaded and ransacked many homes, before abducting seven Palestinians.    More . . .
. . . . Related  PALESTINIAN  WITH  SPECIAL  NEEDS  DIES  OF  INJURIES
. . . . Related  ‘WORST  FEAR  CAME  TRUE’:  ISRAEL  DETAINS  YOUNG  PALESTINIAN  MAN  FOR  20  MONTHS  IN  EFFORT  TO  EXPEL  HIM  TO  BRAZIL
|    OFFICIAL  DENIES  REPORTS  OF  TRUCE  IN  RETURN  FOR  MONEY  GOING  INTO  GAZA  THROUGH  ISRAEL
A senior Palestinian official denied on Tuesday Israeli reports that the Palestinian leadership has agreed to support truce between Hamas and Israel in return for the entry of funds into Gaza through Israel.    ___Azzam al-Ahmad, member of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and of Fatah Central Committee, said these reports were unfounded.    ___Ahmad also denied in statements to Voice of Palestine radio that the issue of paying Israel to supply the Gaza Strip with some needs has been discussed by President Mahmoud Abbas and his Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.    More . . .
. . . . Related    JOINT  HAMAS,  ISLAMIC  JIHAD  PRESS  RELEASE  ON  CURRENT  DEVELOPMENTS
. . . . Related    ASHRAWI:  ‘GAZA  WILL  REMAIN  AN  INSEPARABLE  PART  OF  PALESTINE’

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .
|    ANALYSIS:  GAZANS  ARE  BENDING  ISRAEL  AND  HAMAS  TO  THEIR  WILL  –  ALL  THE  WAY  TOWARD  A  DEAL 
Gazas’s residents have become a strategic force that managed to cultivate a political relationship between Israel and Hamas, even forging an unofficial security coordination. Now, both sides can’t keep ignoring them.  [. . . .] BUT  THE  PUBLIC  IN  GAZA  TURNED  INTO  A  STRATEGIC  FORCE  that led even the IDF to speak up about the severe living conditions in the Strip, and in the end forced Hamas to pursue an arrangement that is still being negotiated. For six months, tens of thousands of people were enlisted in a show of force called the March of Return. Some 20,000 to 30,000 people, young and old, women and children, take their lives in their hands, and they don’t come to the confrontation line just because Hamas orders them to. THEY  ARE  THE  FORCE  THAT  REPRESENTS  TWO  MILLION  PEOPLE  WHO  HAVE  NOTHING  TO  LOSE.  More . . .

NOTICES  FROM  ORGANIZATIONS. . . .
|    MUSEUM  OF  THE  PALESTINIAN  PEOPLE 
The Museum of the Palestinian People shares the rich history, vibrant arts and culture, and spirit of the Palestinian people. It is a space where we dissolve the artificial distinctions that separate us, a space where people can open their hearts to discover what unites us all. Together, we can create a world without borders.    ___We are looking for PALESTINIAN  ARTISTS  TO  SUBMIT  THEIR  PROPOSALS  &  BE  FEATURED  IN  AN  UPCOMING  EXHIBIT. All mediums are welcome – music, dramatic production, film, photography, painting, or other. We will sponsor selected artists to travel to DC and see their work featured at Museum of the Palestinian People. Submit your proposal to us before January 1st 2019.   Submit proposal . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . .

“GAZA,  2009,”  BY  JEHAN  BSEISO
No matter 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,
Everyday Nakba,
Subsidized settlements,
Even more walls-
Matter.
Children on the ICRC bus, visiting their Baba’s in your prisons―
Matter.
Food and medicine rotting at every border―
Matter
From the shadows, the silent majority watch water go on fire.

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

“. . . settlers sucking the breath from your lungs . . .” (Susan Abulhawa)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .
|    ISRAEL,  GAZA  CLOSE  TO  CEASEFIRE:  ISRAELI  SOURCE
Israel and Palestinians in the Gaza Strip are close to an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire, a report said Saturday, citing a high-level Israeli source.    ___According to the Israeli Public Broadcasting Corporation, an unnamed senior political figure leaked that a deal was in the making between Israel and the Gazan administration to allow Qatar to provide the enclave with funds to pay its civil servants as well as fuel.    ___The source added that the Israeli side would audit the funds to ensure they were not being used for “terror activities”.    More . . .
. . . . Related  ISRAEL-HAMAS  GAZA  DEAL  REPORTEDLY  INCLUDES  PARTIAL  LIFTING  OF  SIEGE,  END  OF  VIOLENCE  BY  YEAR’S  END
|   TEENAGE  GAZAN  DIES  OF  INJURIES  SUSTAINED  IN  2014  ISRAELI  AIRSTRIKE
A Palestinian 14-year-old boy died, on Saturday morning, of wounds he had sustained in an Israeli airstrike that targeted his family home in the besieged Gaza Strip in 2014.    ___The al-Wafaa Hospital for Rehabilitation and Specialized Surgery announced that Muhammad al-Rifi, 14, died of his injuries on Saturday morning.    ___The hospital pointed out that al-Rifi had sustained a critical injury in his cervical vertebrae, which left Muhammad Quadriplegic and on ventilators for four years.    More . . .
|    ISRAELI  MILITARY  INTENSIFIES  CRACKDOWN  ON  TULKARM
Israeli forces on Saturday evening raided many homes and terrorized their residents in the city of Tulkarm, northern West Bank, in a step seen as a collective punishment measure against the city’s population, according to witnesses.    [. . . .] For almost a month, the city has been a target of almost daily raids and searches by the Israeli army under the pretext of pursuing Ashraf Na’alweh, 23, the main suspect in killing two Israeli settlers in the illegal Israel settlement of Barkan on October 7.    More . . .
|    RESEARCHER:  AL-AQSA  MOSQUE  THREATENED  WITH  COLLAPSE
Fakhri Abu Diab, a Palestinian expert in Jerusalem affairs, on Thursday said that al-Aqsa Mosque and all of its facilities and walls are on the verge of collapse.    ___Abu Diab said that the Israeli authorities have prevented the restoration of al-Aqsa Mosque’s eastern wall after damage and change in the colors of its stones appeared lately.   More . . .

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .
|    THIS  IS  JUST  THE  BEGINNING’:  PALESTINIAN  REFUGEES  IN  JERUSALEM  FEAR  MUNICIPALITY  TAKEOVER  OF  UNRWA
It was a typical Tuesday morning in the Shufat Refugee Camp in occupied East Jerusalem. . .    The camp’s residents were surprised to find 15 sanitation workers from Israel’s Jerusalem Municipality, escorted by Israeli border police and garbage trucks, picking up trash in the streets. Among them was Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat.    [. . . . ] The cleanup, largely regarded by locals as a power play by Barkat, was publicized by the right-wing Mayor as the first step in his plans to “end the refugee lie” and shut down UNRWA operations in Jerusalem — plans which he announced earlier this month.    More . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 
(Susan Abulhawa is deported from Israel for second time in three years.   More . . .)

“WALA,”  BY  SUSAN  ABULHAWA     

It’s 3 am
In the cattle cage
The line is long
A jibneh sandwich
With cucumber
In a plastic bag
Clutched in your callused laborer’s hand
Your wife prepared your breakfast and lunch
She was up before you
And together you prayed a predawn salat
She kissed your face and said
Allah ma’ak ya habibi
Allah be with you, my love
You kiss the faces of your sleeping babies
You haven’t seen them awake in months
And you wonder
Has Walid’s voice begun to crack yet?
Have Wijdad’s hips begun to flare?
How big was Suraya’s smile when she came home
with her report card?
It’s 4 am
In the cattle cage
Still, you wait
The line before you is so long
And behind you now, it is longer
Few speak
You’re packed so damn tight
That you hold one another upright
You see your own fatigue
Reflected in the weariness etched on
The faces all around you
You look away
Pine for a smoke
But who the hell can afford that?
You stare at the graffiti beyond the
Iron bars holding you in
Written just for you
Written
By zionist settlers sucking the breath from your lungs
You understand the meaning
Of their English words
“Die Sand Niggers”
Sometimes
You pine for that, too.
It’s 5 am
In the cattle cage
The soldiers arrive
The line loosens
You take one step forward
Propelled by the weight of bodies
Behind you
Your jibneh sandwich
With cucumber
In a plastic bag
Is crushed.
It never survives
It’s 7 am
In the cattle cage
Now is your turn
You produce your papers
Unfold and refold
Eyes down
Heart dow
Your shoes are down on their luck
But
You’re out of the line
Fifteen men before you were pulled aside
And you tried not to look
Not to hear the one begging
Don’t hit me
It’s 7:30 am
On the cattle busYou ride
The country they stole from you
Seeds outside your window
And you imagine
The man you would have been
The man you should have been
Out there
Riding the family steed
The thoroughbred mares your grandfather
Raised and nurtured and love
In a Palestine
Un-raped
Un-stolen
It’s 8 am
You get off the cattle bus
Your crushed jibneh sandwich
With cucumberIn a plastic bag
In one hand
Your eyes down
Heart down
You put your toolbox down to knock
On the zionist settler’s back door
Where the help goes
But
The zionist settler boss-man yells
Wala
Mish hon el yom!
Not there today
Boy!
And all you can do is thank Allah that your
Wife and your babies are not
There to hear them call you

From  MY  VOICE  SOUGHT  THE  WIND.   Available from Barnes and Noble.