“. . . 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.

“. . . Our land, my friend, is no barren land. . .” (Mahmoud Darwish)

-1683871648 - Copy
Israeli bulldozers from Leshem settlement razing Palestinian agricultural and grazing lands in Deir Ballut town. (Photo: The Palestinian Information Center, May 11, 2017)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .
   ISRAELI  BULLDOZERS  RAZE  PALESTINIAN  LANDS  IN  TULKAREM
Israeli bulldozers razed lands and uprooted olive trees in Palestinian lands adjacent to the Israeli illegal settlement of Avnei Hefetz in the northern occupied West Bank district of Tulkarem, on Thursday morning.    ___The Avnei Hefetz settlement was built on Palestinian-owned lands of the villages and towns of Shufa, Kafr al-Labad and Kafa.    More . . .
. . . . Related  IOF  DEMOLISH  TWO  RESIDENTIAL  ROOMS  NEAR  HEBRON
. . . . Related  ISRAEL  CONFISCATES  PALESTINIAN-OWNED  TRACTORS  IN  JORDAN  VALLEY
. . . . Related  ISRAELI  ARMY  ORDERS  TO  STOP  CONSTRUCTION  ON  HOUSE,  THREE  BARRACKS NEAR  SALFIT
. . . . Related  ISRAELI  FORCES  WREAK  HAVOC  ON  PALESTINIAN  [vendor]  STALLS  IN  AL-KHALI
. . . . Related  IOF  KIDNAPS  SEVERAL  PALESTINIANS  FROM  W.  BANK  HOMES
|   WEEKLY  REPORT  ON  ISRAELI  HUMAN  RIGHTS  VIOLATIONS  IN  THE  OCCUPIED  PALESTINIAN  TERRITORY  (25  –  31  OCTOBER  2018)
The  Palestinian  Centre  for  Human  Rights  (PCHR) 

  • Israeli forces continued to use excessive force against unarmed civilians and peaceful protestors in the Gaza Strip
  • Israeli warplanes carried out dozens of airstrikes against targets in the Gaza Strip and launched 77 missiles.
  • Israeli forces killed a Palestinian civilian and wounded 16 others, including a child, journalist, and 2 paramedics in the West Bank.    More . . .

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .
|   ISRAEL  EVADES  DEMANDS  TO  END  THE  GAZA  PROTESTS  AND  REACH  A  TRUCE
Israeli occupation is only buying time through its talks with the mediators who want to sort out the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Israel needs only to go ahead in its colonial projects.    More . . .
. . . . Background  ISRAEL  DECIDES  AGAINST  TOPPLING  HAMAS  IN  GAZA,  SEEKS  TO  WEAKEN  IT
. . . . Background  ABBAS  TO  MEET  WITH  EGYPTIAN  PRESIDENT  IN  SHARM  EL-SHEIKH
|    ISRAELI  OCCUPATION  MARRING  THE  JOY  OF  THE  OLIVE  SEASON
Abu Basem stands hopelessly rubbing his hands, as he touches the rest of his olive trees in a valley north of Salfit, looking right and left, and recalling memories when joy was all over his house with the start of the olive harvest, which now turned into tears and pain.   ___This is the story of farmer Ahmad Eshtayeh, 80 years old from the city of Salfit, who inspects the rest of his olive field north of Salfit behind the apartheid wall, which swallowed 90% of Salfit’s land, leaving too little for him to cultivate.    More . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . .

“CONCERNING  HOPES,”  BY  MAHMOUD  DARWISH
Don’t tell me:
I wish I were a baker in Algeria
To sing with a fighter.
Don’t tell me:
I wish I were a shepherd in Yemen
To sing for resurrection.
Don’t tell me:
I wish I were a waiter in Havana
To sing the victories of the oppressed.
Don’t tell me:
I wish I were a young porter in Aswan
To sing for the rocks.
The Nile will never flow into the Volga,
Nor will the Congo or the Jordan flow into the Euphrates.
Each river has its own springs,
Its own course and its own life.
Our land, my friend, is no barren land.
Each land gives birth in due time,
And each fighter will see the dawn.

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 Abe Books.

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

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

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

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

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

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

“CEASEFIRE,”  BY  JEHAN  BSEISO.

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

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

This much is true:
Lost boys become lost men.

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

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

There is a face at the window, sallow.

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

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

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

“. . . an unmistakable signal that [the US] Palestinian views and perspectives will be . . . defined by our relationship with Israel . . .” (Ambassador Daniel Kurtzer )

Donald-Trump-and-Benjamin-Netanyahu-850x567SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .

|    NETANYAHU  TEMPORARILY  DELAYS  FORCIBLE  EVICTION  OF  KHAN  AL-AHMAR
The Israeli government has postponed the evacuation of Khan al-Ahmar until further notice, following weeks of rising tensions in the Bedouin village.     ___Following a meeting with US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the village will soon be “evacuated,” adding that the government plans on implementing the September High Court decision allowing for the demolition of the village.     ___[. . . .] Later Sunday afternoon, the Israeli news website Haaretz that the Israeli security cabinet approved Netanyahu’s plans to temporarily postpone the demolition “in order to exhaust negotiations with the village residents.”   More . . .
Related . . . .  Land  in  the  south  of  the  West  Bank  leveled,  [320  olive  and  almond]  trees  uprooted
|    ISRAEL  MINISTER:  NO  CHOICE  BUT  WAR 
Israel’s war Minister Avigdor Lieberman (Yisrael Beytenu) threatened to wage a bloody war against Gaza at the start of a meeting of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.     ___“Wars are only conducted when there is no choice, and now there is no choice,” the minister claimed on Monday. “Anything less than the toughest response won’t help anymore. We have exhausted the other options.”     ___ “There is no popular uprising,” Lieberman said. “There is violence organized by Hamas.     More . . .
   ISRAELI  FORCES  DETAIN  13  PALESTINIANS  IN  WEST  BANK  RAIDS 
Israeli forces detained at least 13 Palestinians across the occupied West Bank, on predawn Monday.     ___According to Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS), Israeli forces detained one Palestinian in the southern West Bank district of Hebron. . .    In the southern West Bank district of Bethlehem, three Palestinians were detained. . .    In Kafr Aqab town, in the central West Bank district of Jerusalem, one Palestinian was detained by Israeli forces. . .  In the central West Bank district of Ramallah, another three Palestinians were detained by Israeli forces. . .   In the northern West Bank district of Nablus, two Palestinians were detained. . .   In the northern West Bank district of Jenin. . .    More . . .

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .

  THE  TRUMP  ADMINISTRATION’S  LATEST  BLOW  TO  THE  CHANCES  FOR  MIDEAST  PEACE
Daniel  Kurtzer,  US  Ambassador  to  Israel,  2001-2005
[. . . .] the Trump administration has decided on yet another step that accelerates the burial of an already moribund peace process: closing  the  American  Consulate  General  in  Jerusalem  and  transforming  it  into  a  “Palestinian  Affairs  Unit”  with  the  U.S.  Embassy. The strangest part of all this is that the administration believes it can still achieve what President Trump has called the “ultimate deal.”   ____The American Consulate General in Jerusalem has been an independent diplomatic mission since its establishment in 1844. Since 1948, and in particular since 1967, the Consulate has served a critical purpose of engaging with Palestinians in an effort to advance the prospects of peace with Israel. The Consulate reported directly to Washington, commenting on what its officers saw and heard, and offered recommendations on how to resolve problems both small and large.   More . . .
|    NETANYAHU,  THE  ARMED  PROPHET  OF  THE  CLASH  OF  CIVILISATIONS 
Dr. Mohammad Makram Balawi, president of ASIA  MIDDLE  EAST  FORUM
. . . . Netanyahu is the prophet out to save the modern Israelites in a hostile environment. His message is to cast the clash of civilisations  theories of Bernard Lewis and Samuel Huntington into a religious mould. The battle is against evil, which is embodied, he believes, in Islam. . . . I suspect that even Lewis and Huntingdon would be shocked if they could see where Netanyahu has taken their idea.     ___ [. . . .] Netanyahu’s words did not reflect gratitude to the US President as much as implicate and entangle him in a messy situation in an area were historical feuds are rarely forgotten. The Israeli-US alliance. . .  is “an eternal bond that can never, ever be broken,” said Netanyahu. His message was clear: you cannot leave us alone, because we share both the responsibility and the consequences for. . .  occupying the Holy City and land of our existential enemy, Islam.    More . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

“SAND  KINGDOM,”  BY  MOURID  BARGHOUTI

With small shovels
and plastic buckets,
the children,
in their joyful clothes,
are building sturdy sand castles.

They throw balls in a game without rules,
they shout, call each other names, laugh,
get scratched in short inevitable clashes.
Complaints are also inevitable:
“Why did you leave me alone?”
“Why don’t you leave me alone?”

They squat on the seat, in a flash,
to make the swing fly higher and higher.

They invent their sudden demands:
a glass of water,
a cry for help, soon forgotten,
a napkin,
a look at the miracle about to take place:
“Watch what I am going to do now!”
“Watch how I jump.”

In the half circle of benches in the part,
on wooden seats
that have almost lost their cumin-colored paint,
mothers and grandmothers in their drab clothes
turn up the collars
to avoid a gust of cold wind,
or silently finger their wrinkled worries.

And from time to time,
trying to overcome their boredom,
they exchange the latest news
in low voices.

They send their children a caring smile,
an encouraging look,
or an instructive gesture.

A big-bellied cat with heavy steps
moves around, as if lost, looking for something.
A string of birds, silent, turns slowly,
like a column of prisoners of war.

Dark clouds pile up above the scene;
a small sun keeps on trying.

From the sand kingdom
a shriek of grief,
a child yells at everyone:
“The castle has fallen.”

—From MIDNIGHT  AND  OTHER  POEMS, by Mourid Barghouti, translated by Radwa Ashour. London: ARC Publications, 2008.  Available from Barnes and Noble.

“. . . blindfold me But here I will stand tall . . .” (Fouzi el Asmar)

❶ Israel demolishes 2 Palestinian homes in occupied East Jerusalem
❷ Hamas and Fatah meet in Cairo to continue reconciliation talks

  • Background: “Indispensible but Elusive: Palestinian National Reunification.” Middle East Policy.

❸ Israel arrests 19 Palestinians including 6 Fatah activists taken for interrogation
❹ Save the Children: rights of Palestinian children being eroded in West Bank
❺ POETRY by Fouzi el Asmar
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ ISRAEL  DEMOLISHES  2  PALESTINIAN  HOMES  IN  OCCUPIED  EAST  JERUSALEM    
Ma’an News Agency
Nov. 22, 2017 ― Israeli forces reportedly demolished two Palestinian homes on Wednesday in occupied East Jerusalem, according to local sources.
___Locals told Ma’an that staff from Israel’s Jerusalem Municipality, under the protection of police forces, raided the neighborhoods of al-Issawiya and Shufat and demolished two homes, under the pretext that they were built without difficult-to-obtain Israeli building permits.
___Israeli forces first demolished the home of Sharif Muhsein in al-Issawiya, which according to local activist Muhammad Abu al-Hummus, was still under construction. The demolition reportedly caused damages to the house next door.   MORE . . .
❷  HAMAS  AND  FATAH  MEET  IN  CAIRO  TO  CONTINUE  RECONCILIATION  TALKS
Ma’an News Agency 
Nov. 21, 2017 ― Palestinian political factions are set to meet on Tuesday in Cairo, Egypt, in the newest round of national reconciliation talks, following the reconciliation agreement signed by feuding factions Hamas and Fatah in October.
___Official Palestinian Authority (PA)-owned Wafa news agency reported that the “national dialogue” is to last for three days, and will review what has been achieved so far from the October agreement, and review elements from the failed 2011 agreement.  MORE . . .

(Note: While this article is four years old and is about the previous agreements which failed, it offers valuable information for understanding the current work toward reconciliation between the two entities. We will continue with more articles written in the intervening years.)

Ibish, Hussein.
“INDISPENSIBLE  BUT  ELUSIVE:  PALESTINIAN  NATIONAL  REUNIFICATION.”
MIDDLE EAST POLICY,
vol. 21, no. 3, Fall2014, pp. 31-46.
[. . . .] Egypt has always regarded the Gaza border area and the Rafah crossing as more of a domestic and national-security issue than a foreign-policy challenge. . .  [but] Egypt moved to shut down smuggling tunnels, make it much harder for anything or anyone to pass between Egypt and Gaza, and close the crossing except for humanitarian purposes or other special exceptions. Gaza had never in its history been this cut off. The Egyptian blockade was, if anything, tighter than the Israeli blockade. And Egypt was in no way constrained, as Israel is, by the responsibilities accruing to the officially designated (by the UN Security Council) occupying power in Gaza.  Egypt’s lawful prerogatives are much more elastic [than srael’s]. Hamas soon found itself politically isolated, diplomatically squeezed and economically strangled at a whole new level, even considering that the blockade had existed since the 2007 split with the PA in the West Bank.
[. . . .] As Hamas was facing an unprecedented meltdown in Gaza during 2013-14, the Ramallah leadership was also in a severe, albeit less extreme, crisis of its own. Like Hamas, its leaders lacked a popular mandate. . . .  Its policy of negotiating with Israel had not produced any tangible benefits in years, but had occasioned significant frustration. Its controversial policy of security coordination with Israel helped to secure law and order and stability . . . was painted as simply providing calm for the occupier. The sense of patriotic duty and national purpose was being weakened . . .
[. . . .] The calculations of all parties regarding the unity agreement [2011] were reshaped by the hostilities in Gaza, the subject of an uneasy truce and uncertain negotiations. Indeed, the Hamas-Israel war appeared to breathe new life into an arrangement . . .
[. . . .]  Israel will have to change its implicit, and perhaps even explicit, position towards the unity agreement. It could well be argued that Israel has already done so, by signaling a willingness to go along with such an arrangement if it is coupled with a “demilitarization” regime . . .  If Israel does not adapt its policies towards the Ramallah leadership, it can virtually guarantee that Hamas will eventually and plausibly insist that the 2014 war with Israel constituted a “victory” for the Islamist organization and its policy of armed struggle. . .  If Israel does decide to adapt its policies in order to deny Hamas that opportunity, this will require a new approach to the PA and, if there is an explicit understanding on a lasting ceasefire or reconstruction, perhaps also to the Palestinian national-unity agreement.    SOURCE . . .    ..

❸ ISRAEL  ARRESTS  19  PALESTINIANS  INCLUDING  6  FATAH  ACTIVISTS  TAKEN  FOR  INTERROGATION    
Palestine News Network – PNN 
Nov. 20,2017 ― The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) launched a large-scale arrest campaign at dawn on Tuesday arresting 19 people most of them in Jerusalem and targeted girls and leaders from Jerusalem.
___The Palestinian Prisoners Society (PPS) said that the occupation arrested 13 Palestinians from Jerusalem.
___According to an attorney with the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society, Mufeed al-Haj, Israeli police is also interrogating six Fatah activists, including one woman, from East Jerusalem detained in earlier raids at their homes for their alleged activity in the occupied city.
___He said that the six detained include Hatem Abdul Qadder, one of the top Fatah officials . . . .   MORE . . .
❹ SAVE  THE  CHILDREN:  RIGHTS  OF  PALESTINIAN  CHILDREN  BEING  ERODED  IN  WEST  BANK   
Ma’an News Agency     Nov. 20, 2017 (Updated Nov. 21, 2017) ― On the anniversary of Universal Children’s Day, international NGO Save the Children released a statement highlighting ongoing the rights violations of Palestinian children in the occupied territory by Israel.
___Jennifer Moorehead, the country director of Save the Children in the occupied Palestinian territory called for greater protection of schools and children’s right to education, saying that “children’s most fundamental right to education is being eroded” in the territory.
___Moorehead highlighted the cases of 55 Palestinian schools in Area C, the more than 60 percent of the West Bank under full Israeli civilian and security control, that are under threat of demolition by Israeli forces.
___“Distance, risky roads, the presence of settlers or of military checkpoints had presented insurmountable challenges for many children to reach the nearest schools,” Moorhead said.   MORE . . .

“I  AM  THE  SON  OF  THE  LAND,”  BY  FOUZI  EL  ASMAR
You may take my hands
and lock them in your chains
You may also blindfold me.

You bereaved me
from the light
and I marched
You robbed me
of the bread
and I ate.
You plundered the land
from me
and I ploughed.

I am the son of the land
and for that
I find goodness in this earth
anywhere I happen to be:
The ants of this land
feed me
The branches of this land
foster me
The eagles of this land
will shield my open revolt

Yes
You may take my hands
And lock them in your chains
You may also blindfold me
But here I will stand tall
And here I shall remain
until the very end. (April, 1970)

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

“. . . Each river has its own springs . . .” (Mahmoud Darwish)

❶ Palestinian  officials  begin  transferring  control  of  Gaza  borders  from  Hamas  to  Fatah
❷ Fatah official: Cairo reconciliation accords a bridge to end the split

  • Background: “Palestinian Unity and Everyday State Formation: Subaltern ‘Ungovernmentality’ Versus Elite Interests.” Third World Quarterly

❸ Israeli  settlers  steal  olive  harvest,  attack  Palestinian  farmers  in  West  Bank
❹ The pedagogy of apartheid
❺ POETRY by Mahmoud Darwish
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
PALESTINIAN  OFFICIALS  BEGIN  TRANSFERRING  CONTROL  OF  GAZA  BORDERS  FROM  HAMAS  TO  FATAH
Ma’an News Agency  
Oct. 17, 2017   Head of the Palestinian Authority (PA) borders and crossing committee Nathmi Muhanna arrived in the Gaza Strip on Monday in order “to carry out the first article of the reconciliation agreement signed in Cairo regarding taking over the crossings,” Muhanna told Ma’an.
___Muhanna entered Gaza through the Israeli-controlled Erez crossing, and was welcomed by the Palestinian Minister of Public Work Housing Mufid al-Hasayna.
___Upon his arrival in Gaza, Muhanna told Ma’an that a committee to oversee the takeover of Gaza border crossings by the Fatah-led PA was formed upon instructions by President Mahmoud Abbas.
___In the reconciliation agreement signed last week by Hamas and Fatah, it was agreed that the Rafah border crossing between Egypt and Gaza would be operated by PA presidential guards by November 1.     MORE . . .
FATAH   OFFICIAL:   CAIRO   RECONCILIATION   ACCORDS   A   BRIDGE   TO   END   THE   SPLIT
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Oct. 17, 2017   Fatah Central Committee member Hussein al-Sheikh said the agreement signed between Fatah and Hamas in Cairo under Egyptian auspices is the bridge that will lead to an end to the division and to achieve reconciliation.
___Sheikh said in an interview on Palestine TV aired on Monday night that the real test for the success in ending the division is found in the full empowerment of the government of national reconciliation, which was not given an opportunity in the past to function in the Gaza Strip as in the West Bank, expressing hope that this time it will succeed in its mission.   MORE . . .

(NOTE: While being two years old, this article presents historical information of value in understanding the current situation.)

Pogodda, Sandra, and Oliver P. Richmond.
“Palestinian Unity and Everyday State Formation: Subaltern ‘Ungovernmentality’ Versus Elite Interests.”
Third World Quarterly 36.5 (2015): 890-907.
The outburst of inter-factional violence between Fatah and Hamas in 2007 came as a shock to a society that sees itself as the victim, not the perpetrator of violence. Between October 2006 and August 2010 more than 470 Palestinians were killed in inter-factional fighting, while torture in Palestinian prisons became pervasive. In addition, inter-factional structural violence perpetuates the repressive and discriminatory conduct of the occupation: campaigns of political arrests, the obstruction of political participation, crackdowns on political rights and civil liberties, and discrimination in public sector employment. Structural violence is thus disruptive of civil society, political life and socioeconomic development in the occupied Palestinian territories. After eight years of bitter rivalry and three failed attempts at creating a unity government, Fatah and Hamas signed another unity agreement on 23 April 2014. Accordingly, a technocratic government under the leadership of Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah was sworn in in June 2014 and is supposed to rule the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, while overseeing new elections in 2015. Given the continuing tensions between the two parties, doubts remain with regard to the durability of the unity government. Elections have again been indefinitely postponed, while Fatah and Hamas are competing over the control of the pledged reconstruction assistance.   SOURCE.

ISRAELI  SETTLERS  STEAL  OLIVE  HARVEST,  ATTACK  PALESTINIAN  FARMERS  IN  WEST  BANK
Ma’an News Agency 
Oct. 16, 2017   Israeli settlers on Sunday stole olive pickings from dozens of trees belonging to Palestinian farmers from the occupied West Bank districts of Ramallah and Nablus.
___Gassan Daghlas, an official who monitors settlements activity in the northern West Bank, told Ma’an that dozens of Israeli settlers raided Palestinian lands in Ramallah and Nablus under protection of armed Israeli forces, and stole olives from dozens of Palestinian trees.
___Daghlas told Ma’an that Israeli settlers stole the pickings of more than 65 olive trees in the Nablus-area village of al-Sawiyeh and the Ramallah-area village of al-Janiyeh.
___Meanwhile, NGO Rabbis For Human Rights (RHR) released a statement saying that the settlers, from the illegal Zayit Raanan outpost, were arrested by Israeli security forces “following the swift intervention of the head of the field department of Rabbis for Human Rights, Zakaria Sadah, who informed the security forces.”    MORE . . .
THE  PEDAGOGY  OF  APARTHEID
Mondoweiss 
Jonathan Ofir
Oct. 15, 2017   Two months ago, Israel’s education ministry introduced a compulsory four-part question in civics matriculation exams. Students are asked to give their opinion on a “controversial public issue”, including for example “allowing different population groups to live in separate neighborhoods”. In the circulation to teachers, it was stated that since teachers “sometimes encounter inflammatory or racist statements against groups or individuals” on the exam, “It’s important to make clear to the students that racist or inflammatory statements in any part of the question will disqualify the entire answer” (which is worth 11 points out of a total of 100).
___But last week, the head of the ministry’s pedagogical secretariat, Moshe Weinstock, overruled the ministry’s civics supervisor and rescinded the rule. An update was sent to teachers, wherein the ban on racist statements was dropped, and the fourth part of the question was eliminated, in which students had to defend their position in light of their own values.   MORE . . . 

“CONCERNING HOPES,” BY MAHMOUD DARWISH
Don’t tell me:
I wish I were a baker in Algeria
To sing with a fighter.
Don’t tell me:
I wish I were a shepherd in Yemen
To sing for resurrection.
Don’t tell me:
I wish I were a waiter in Havana
To sing the victories of the oppressed.
Don’t tell me:
I wish I were a young porter in Aswan
To sing for the rocks.
The Nile will never flow into the Volga,
Nor will the Congo or the Jordan flow into the Euphrates.
Each river has its own springs,
Its own course and its own life.
Our land, my friend, is no barren land.
Each land gives birth in due time,
And each fighter will see the dawn.

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 Amazon.
About Mahmoud Darwish.  

 

“. . . towards what remained of the heart . . .” (Majid Abu Ghoush)

❶ Worshippers clash with Israeli police outside Al-Aqsa Mosque following noon prayer
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Military wings in Gaza warn Israel Al-Aqsa policies will ‘explode in the region’

  • Background: “Between Religion and Nationalism in the Palestinian Diaspora.” Nations & Nationalism

❷ Activist imprisoned for defending Palestinian children
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) Israeli parliament advances law to keep fight against BDS secret from public
❸ Israeli forces shoot young Palestinian in East Jerusalem, raid hospital where he is treated
❹ POETRY by Majid Abu Ghoush
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
WORSHIPERS  CLASH  WITH  ISRAELI  POLICE  OUTSIDE  AL-AQSA  MOSQUE  FOLLOWING  NOON  PRAYER 
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA  
July 19, 2017.   Dozens of Palestinian worshipers Wednesday clashed with Israeli police outside Al-Aqsa Mosque following the noon prayer, according to witnesses.
___They said police attacked the worshipers at the end of the prayer held outside Lions’ Gate where people have been holding prayers five times a day, as required by Islam.
___Police used clubs and tear gas to disperse the worshipers. A number of people suffered from gas inhalation and beating and were treated on location. Police arrested two Palestinians.
___Worshipers have been holding the prayers outside Al-Aqsa Mosque compound since Sunday after Israel erected metal detectors at the gates to the compound and demanded that people had to go through them first before entering the compound. Muslim leaders have rejected this new measure and vowed to fight it. They also called on people not to enter Al-Aqsa going through the metal detectors.   MORE . . .
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) MILITARY  WINGS  IN  GAZA  WARN  ISRAEL  AL-AQSA  POLICIES  WILL  ‘EXPLODE  IN  THE  REGION’   
Ma’an News Agency  
July 18, 2017.   Military wings of various political factions in the besieged Gaza Strip warned Israel against continuing its restrictive policies at Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in occupied East Jerusalem during a press conference on Tuesday, saying that Israel’s “offensive” on Al-Aqsa represents a “spark that will explode in the region.”
___“We will have our strong and supreme word if Zionist plans against Al-Aqsa continue,” the groups warned in the press conference. “We will not allow our enemy to invade our Al-Aqsa, our holy sites, and our people in Jerusalem.”
___The military wings then saluted the people of Jerusalem and called upon all Palestinians to support Al-Aqsa.   MORE . . .

Vicente Pèrez, Michael. “BETWEEN  RELIGION  AND  NATIONALISM  IN  THE  PALESTINIAN  DIASPORA.”
Nations & Nationalism,
vol. 20, no. 4, Oct. 2014, pp. 801-820.
[. . . .] Since its founding, Hamas has proved to be a flexible and dynamic organization.  At times reformist, at others militant, its essential character as a sociopolitical movement has been difficult to define in any certain terms. Perhaps the movement’s shifting positions on the question of religion and nationalism. While some scholars have prioritized Hamas’s religious dimensions and thus located it within broader trends of what has been called ‘political Islam’ or ‘Islamism’, I believe there are several factors that suggest the organization’s religious hue is insufficient for fully negating its nationalist character. First, while Hamas employs a discourse saturated with religious references to the Quran, hadith and the concept of jihad, the target audience of this discourse is nonetheless confined to the Palestinian people. Put simply, Hamas is not speaking to the Muslim umma; rather, it is speaking particularly to Palestinian Muslims and more generally to the Palestinian nation. It wants to put Muslim Palestinians at the forefront of the national movement. Palestinian Muslims thus represent a vanguard of the nation who, in virtue of their invented religious tradition and identification, have a critical role to play in the liberation of Palestine from Israel. In pragmatic terms, Hamas has also confined its efforts to the geography of the national context.
[. . . .] Hamas’s reformist and military approach to the struggle against Israel has also been defined within the limits of the Palestinian territories. It does not work for a transnational reformation of the Muslim world in preparation for a global jihad against Israel and its allies. Rather, it works through a diverse network of charitable institutions in Palestine to support all Palestinians while promoting an Islamic reformation within Palestinian society. . . .   Hamas locates the Islamic reformation of Palestinian society within a greater program of national liberation. Thus turning Palestinian Muslims toward a more pious (Islamic) lifestyle is inextricably linked to the struggle against Israeli occupation and the Palestinian nationalist cause. . . .  In this sense, religious reformation is understood as an essential step toward succeeding in the national struggle where secular organizations have failed. Finally, even the very distinction between what is definitively Islamic and what is definitively national about Hamas remains unclear. An analysis of Hamas’s discourse suggests that it is appropriating religious concepts in Islam for nationalist purposes.
[. . . .]  To the extent that religious ideology can be distinguished from nationalism in Hamas’s discourse and practice, it is clear that neither is sufficient for trumping the other [ . . . .]    SOURCE . . .

❷ ACTIVIST  IMPRISONED  FOR  DEFENDING  PALESTINIAN  CHILDREN  
Palestine News Network – PNN 
July 19, 2017.   The Ofer military court has sentenced the activist of the Popular Resistance Movement and human rights defender Ahmad Odeh to six months in prison with a fee of NIS 6,000 due to accusations of throwing rocks. He was arrested at the northern entrance to Bethlehem during his attempt to defend a group of children who were barbaric beaten by Israeli special units.
___Munther Amira, head of the High Coordination Committee for the Resistance against the Wall and Settlements in the West Bank, said that the ruling was unjust and unfair to a Popular Resistance activist who is also considered a human rights defender. Amira said that it is part of the occupation campaign to put popular resistance activists who have been able to expose the practices of the occupation for trial.
___“It is barbarism against our people on more than one level” Amira stated.   MORE . . .
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) ISRAELI  PARLIAMENT  ADVANCES  LAW  TO  KEEP  FIGHT  AGAINST  BDS  SECRET  FROM  PUBLIC  
Ma’an News Agency     
July 18, 2017.
An Israeli bill aimed at exempting Israel’s attempts at combating the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement and efforts to “delegitimize Israel” from Israel’s Freedom of Information Law, which allows Israeli citizens to obtain information from the government, passed its first reading in the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, on Monday.     ___According to a statement released by the Knesset, 25 Members of the Knesset (MKs) supported the bill, while 12 MKs voted against it and one abstained from the vote.     ___Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan from the right-wing Likud party, who is in charge of combating the boycott movement, said that the “boycott organizations are spread out geographically and act in different areas. The organizations built a network of activity and act in coordination with the Palestinian Authority,” he said.   MORE . . .
❸ ISRAELI  FORCES  SHOOT  YOUNG  PALESTINIAN  IN  EAST  JERUSALEM,  RAID  HOSPITAL  WHERE  HE  IS  TREATED   
Ma’an News Agency
July 18, 2017.   Israeli forces shot and injured a young Palestinian man on Monday evening in the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan, a local watchdog organization reported, before raiding the hospital where the wounded Palestinian was being treated.
___The Wadi Hilweh Information Center said that Israeli troops stormed the area of Ein al-Luza and fired stun grenades and live fire haphazardly, while young residents threw Molotov cocktails and fireworks in response.
___One Palestinian was seriously injured during the raid, according to the information center, and taken to a hospital, where he underwent surgery.
___The center added that Israeli police raided the al-Makassed Hospital east of the Old City of Jerusalem, seeking to detain the injured Palestinian.    MORE . .

“RETURNING,”  BY  AMJID  ABU  GHOUSH

the woman was dragging her feet
and what remained of her children
towards what remained of her home
towards what remained
of the sea
towards what remained
of the heart
towards what remained of the heart

she raised her hand softly
wiped a tear which rolled down her cheek
and smiled when the beautiful one
she met on the way asked her:
why are you going back?

to water the jasmine tree
to shade the names of the martyrs

—translated by Magi Gibson

MAJID ABU GHOUSH was born in Amwas. He 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  (Glasgow: Freight Books, 2014) –available from Amazon.com.

“. . . fed up with humiliation of living there. . .” (Harun Hashim Rasheed)

Mideast-Gaza-Trapped-_sham-1-512x349
Monday, Aug. 4, 2014, a Palestinian woman passes by rescuers inspecting the rubble of destroyed houses following Israeli strikes in Rafah refugee camp, southern Gaza Strip. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)

❶ On 10th anniversary of siege, Gaza reaching humanitarian and political breaking point
. . . . . ❶― (ᴀ) Gaza braces itself for ‘collapse’ after Israel approves reduction of electricity supply
. . . . . ❶― (ᴃ) PLO Ashrawi condemns Netanyahu’s call to shut down UNRWA

  • BACKGROUND:  One million Palestinian refugees in 8 Gaza Strip camps

❷ MOH warns of stopping heart catheter in Gaza

  • BACKGROUND: Shalev G. “A Doctor’s Testimony: Medical Neutrality and the Visibility of Palestinian Grievances in Jewish-Israeli Publics.”
  • HISTORICAL NOTE:  Zunes, Stephen. “The Gaza War, Congress and International Humanitarian Law.”

❸ POETRY by Harun Hashim Rasheed (b. 1927, Gaza)
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ ON  10TH  ANNIVERSARY  OF  SIEGE,  GAZA  REACHING  HUMANITARIAN  AND  POLITICAL  BREAKING  POINT  
Ma’an News Agency
Chloe Benoist
June 15, 2017        As the Gaza Strip marked the ten-year anniversary of Israel’s siege of the small Palestinian enclave on Thursday, the humanitarian situation has continued to alarm rights groups, which have denounced the “inhuman conditions unparalleled in the modern world.”
___Gaza, which has often been compared to an “open air prison” for its 1.9 million inhabitants crowded into 365 square kilometers, has suffered from a decade of isolation and deprivation, made all the worse by three devastating Israeli military operations, and persistent intra-Palestinian political strife.
___The recent decision by the Palestinian Authority (PA) to request that Israel reduce its supply of electricity to the Gaza Strip has made many fear that the situation in Gaza could soon reach a political and humanitarian breaking point with unforetold consequences.     MORE . . .
. . . . . ❶― (ᴀ) GAZA  BRACES  ITSELF  FOR  ‘COLLAPSE’  AFTER  ISRAEL  APPROVES  REDUCTION  OF  ELECTRICITY  SUPPLY
Ma’an News Agency 
June 12, 2017       The Israeli security cabinet has approved a 40 percent reduction in Israel’s electricity supply to the besieged Gaza Strip, where Palestinians are already coping with a crippling power crisis and daily, hours-long blackouts, according Israeli media reports.
___While Gaza’s electricity company said it had not received an official order regarding the impending power cut, it called upon Palestinians in Gaza to prepare for the worst, while human rights groups urged Israel to reconsider the move — expected to have immediate and disastrous effects on the medical sector in particular.
___The approval came after Israeli authorities announced plans to make the cuts last month, upon request of the Palestinian Authority (PA) in occupied West Bank, which foots Gaza’s monthly electricity bill from Israel, by subtracting from taxes collected by Israel on behalf of the PA.     MORE . . .     
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴃ) PLO  ASHRAWI  CONDEMNS  NETANYAHU’S  CALL  TO  SHUT  DOWN  UNRWA         
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA  
June 16, 2017         PLO Executive Committee Member Hanan Ashrawi strongly condemned Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s demand to shut down the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).
___”Netanyahu’s call to disband UNRWA is the epitome of arrogance, particularly since Israel itself is responsible for creating the Palestinian refugee problem,” Said Ashrawi in a press statement issued on Thursday.
___The statement said Israeli government bears a moral and legal responsibility for Palestinian refugees and the serious injustices of the past.
___“It should not be permitted to defame or slander UNRWA which still remains a lifeline for millions of Palestinian refugees residing in Occupied Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria, providing them with essential services, assistance and opportunities for work, growth and development.”

  • BACKGROUND:   ONE  MILLION  PALESTINIAN  REFUGEES  IN  8  GAZA  STRIP  CAMPS          May 16, 2013    Alray-Palestinian Media Agency      The Gaza Strip is home to more than 1.1 million registered refugees, of which more than half a million live in the eight refugee camps established by UNRWA.
    ___The refugee camps have one of the highest population densities in the world.  The blockade on Gaza has had a devastating impact on refugees across the Gaza Strip, including those living in camps.  Unemployment continues to be at unprecedented levels particularly affecting young people in Gaza.     MORE . . .

gaza map❷ MOH  WARNS  OF  STOPPING  HEART  CATHETER  IN  GAZA
Alray-Palestinian Media Agency    
June 15, 2017       The head of cardiac catheterization at Al-Shifa Medical Compound, Mohammad Habib, warned that the cardiac catheter service will be stopped in the coming weeks if the basic items are not supplied, confirming that the department uses only sterile tools.
___Habib said that many of the basic types were run out, such as pharmacological blockers, pacemaker of various types, and catheterization of the arteries.
[. . . .] He pointed out that the cases are now transferred to treatment abroad, such as catheter therapy for the heart and peripheral arteries, due to stopping the remittances.    [. . . .] the heart catheter section at Al-Shifa carries out 1500 operations every year, an average of 150 operations a month between diagnosis and treatment.       MORE . . .

  • BACKGROUND: Shalev G. “A Doctor’s Testimony: Medical Neutrality and the Visibility of Palestinian Grievances in Jewish-Israeli Publics.” Culture, Medicine & Psychiatry [serial on the Internet]. (2016, June), 40(2): 242-262.     Abstract:   This paper follows the testimony of Izzeldin Abuelaish, a Palestinian physician who bears witness to his experiences working, living, and suffering under Israeli rule. He presents his story as a doctor’s story, drawing on his identity as a medical professional to gain credibility and visibility and to challenge the limited legitimacy of Palestinian grievances. . . .  at once recounts the suffering and loss endured by the Palestinian people and also struggles to negotiate the values associated with being a ‘‘reliable’’ witness. . .   In comparison with most Palestinian narratives, Abuelaish’s testimony achieved an extremely rare degree of visibility and sympathy, a phenomenon that calls out for analysis. I identify the boundaries that typically render Palestinian grievances invisible to Israeli publics and suggest how medicine’s self-proclaimed ethos of neutrality served as a channel for crossing them. . . .   the political possibilities and limitations of medical witnessing to render suffering visible and arouse compassion toward those construed as a dangerous/enemy Other.        SOURCE:     RELATED . . .

  • HISTORICAL NOTE:  Zunes, Stephen. “The Gaza War [2008-2009], Congress and International Humanitarian Law.”  Middle East Policy, vol. 17, no. 1, Spring2010, pp. 68-81.       Support for the impending war began months earlier, in June 2008, when 77 senators — including future Secretary of State Hillary Clinton — signed a letter . . .  to President George W. Bush defending Israeli air strikes on the heavily populated Gaza Strip. The letter also urged the Bush administration to block any UN Security Council resolution critical of Israel, claiming that UN opposition to Israeli attacks against crowded urban areas constituted a refusal to “acknowledge Israel’s right to self-defense.”      ___An almost identical letter in the House, drafted by House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD). . .  received 268 signatures. Americans for Peace Now (APN), a liberal Zionist group, warned that these letters were designed to build “a defense, in advance, for a large Israeli military offensive in Gaza.” APN, among others, also noted that such an Israeli offensive against the Gaza Strip would likely result in large-scale civilian casualties.
    ___In apparent anticipation of such a scenario, the House of Representatives had passed a resolution that March, during an upsurge of fighting between Hamas militiamen and Israeli forces, which claimed, “Those responsible for launching rocket attacks against Israel routinely embed their production facilities and launch sites amongst the Palestinian civilian population, utilizing them as human shields.” . . . .   However, human-rights groups monitoring the situation at that time noted that, while Hamas had failed to take all feasible precautions to protect civilians in the densely populated Gaza Strip, they found no instances of the use of human shields by Hamas. (Footnote: Interview, Joe Stork, Middle East division, Human Rights Watch, June 18, 2008.)       ARTICLE . . .

gaza2008
Government ministry buildings destroyed by an Israeli airstrike on December 30, 2008 in Gaza City, Gaza Strip. (Photo Credit: Abid Katib/Getty Images)

“LET  IT  BE  KNOWN,”  BY  HARUN  HASHIM  AL RASHID (b. 1927, Gaza)
Let it be known:
there will be no peace.
because the lodgers in the tents
have become fed up with humiliation of
living there,
become tired of suffering, misery and illness,
bored with the death creeping in their bones,
sick of life itself,
because they are homeless,
walking in darkness.
–Source
 About HARUN HASHIM AL RASHID

 

 

“. . . and the hell you trust does not exclude making shrines . . .” (Yousef El-Qedra)

shifa-hospital
Al-Shifa Hospital, Gaza (Photo: BBC)

❶ Israeli forces shoot, kill Palestinian in Gaza Strip, injure 8 others
❷ Help ‘We Are Not Numbers’ break the isolation of Gaza
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) ICRC: Still no news on Palestinians missing since 2014 Gaza war

  • Background: “The Vicious Cycle of Building and Destroying: The 2014 War on Gaza.” Mediterranean Politics

❸ Mushtaha: Gaza’s Hospitals Lack 30% of Laboratory Materials
❹ POETRY by Yousef El-Qedra
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ ISRAELI  FORCES  SHOOT,  KILL  PALESTINIAN  IN  GAZA  STRIP,  INJURE  8  OTHERS      
Ma’an News Agency
June 9, 2017      Israeli forces shot dead a Palestinian and injured at least six others in the besieged Gaza Strip on Friday after clashes broke out near the border between northern Gaza and Israel, while Israeli forces also injured two more Palestinians with live ammunition during clashes in central Gaza.
___Clashes broke out between Israeli forces and Palestinians to the east of Jabaliya refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip, when Israeli forces killed Aed Khamis Jumaa, 35, after shooting him in the head with live ammunition, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health.
___Six other Palestinians were also injured with live ammunition fired by Israeli forces and were rushed to Gaza’s Indonesian hospital to receive medical care, the ministry added.    MORE . . .

1593714504
Smoke and fire from the explosion of an Israeli strike rise over Gaza City, Tuesday, July 22, 2014. (Photo: Haaretz/AP)

❷ HELP  ‘WE  ARE  NOT  NUMBERS’  BREAK  THE  ISOLATION  OF  GAZA
Mondoweiss
Pam Bailey
June 5, 2017    Today is the 50th anniversary of the Israeli occupation of what now is called the Palestinian territories. This shameful milestone is being marked with a plethora of pundit commentary about Trump’s potential role, the continuing division among the Palestinian leadership and—in the background—the ever-expanding Israeli settlements. But in addition to almost no mention of Gaza, there are two basic, alarming truths that are missing: 1) Despite the defiant face they typically show the world, a collective depression is becoming so pervasive in Gaza that the spirit of resistance is struggling to survive, and 2) it’s not war and the threat of it that should bring us out onto the streets but the daily structural violence.            MORE . . .
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) ICRC:  STILL  NO  NEWS  ON  PALESTINIANS  MISSING  SINCE  2014  GAZA  WAR
Ma’an News Agency 
June 10, 2017    The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has not received any answers from Israel regarding Palestinians who have been missing since the Israeli offensive on the besieged Gaza Strip in 2014, a Gaza-based spokeswoman for the group said on Saturday.
___The 51-day offensive in 2014 left more than 2,000 Palestinians dead, including at least 1,462 civilians, a third of whom were children, according to the United Nations. Human rights groups reported that numerous Palestinians went missing during the war. Some were later found, either alive or dead, although the fate of 19 others has remained unknown.
___Spokesperson for the ICRC in Gaza Suhair Zakkout said in a statement that the ICRC had made efforts since 2014 to try and find the location of the missing Palestinians; however, the organization has not received any responses from Israel.        MORE . . .  

Bouris, Dimitris. “The Vicious Cycle of Building and Destroying: The 2014 War on Gaza.” Mediterranean Politics, vol. 20, no. 1, Mar. 2015, pp. 111-117.
[. . . .] While Palestinians in the West Bank were given some hope that building their institutions would lead to the establishment of a state, the same was not the case with the Palestinians living under Hamas’ rule in Gaza. Since 2008 Gaza has witnessed three wars; Operation Cast Lead (December 2008–January 2009), Operation Pillar of Defence (November 2012) and more recently Operation Protective Edge (July–August 2014). The reasons and proclaimed goals of all three wars were the same: on the one hand Israel wanted to ‘teach Hamas a lesson’ and to stop rocket fire into its territory. On the other hand, Hamas was seeking to achieve through violence what it could not obtain through negotiations – namely the lifting of Gaza’s blockade. The mistakes made by the international community were also the same: (a) exclusion of Hamas and local groups from the reconstruction process; (b) money and pledges for the reconstruction were channelled through the PA and an unelected government in the West Bank without any strong control and transparency mechanisms (due to the absence of a functioning PLC); (c) pouring vast amounts of money, hoping that by this they would cover their inability to stop the war before it started; (d) no meaningful pressure on Israel to ease its blockade of Gaza or willingness to hold Israel accountable for its destruction.      SOURCE . . .

❸ MUSHTAHA:  GAZA’S  HOSPITALS  LACK  30%  OF  LABORATORY  MATERIALS
The Palestine Chronicle
June 9, 2017      Director of the Department of Laboratories and Blood Banks in the General Administration of Gaza hospitals, Amid Mushtaha, said the Gaza hospitals suffer from a shortage of laboratory testing materials up to 30%, a percentage that is likely to increase.
___Mushtaha explained, “The large hospitals in particular suffer from a lack of sodium blood tests, which are conducted only for urgent cases in the vital sections such as intensive care, burns, surgeries, and nurseries.”
___He added that the crisis affected all laboratories and blood banks in hospitals . . .      MORE . . .

“ON  THE  MARGIN  OF  A  WHIRLWIND,”  BY  YOUSEF  EL-QEDRA    
(January 29, 2009**)
Resurrection is crawling . . .
The beginning is all about horses of cloud
circling God’s sky over Gaza City.
These clouds descend on the ancient shores of the people
while a woman of a volcano erupts
in song on the waterline of the lazy blue beach.
Windmills of butterflies are making the whole world
dance to the dream lost behind dieletric walls.
The wind embraces twilight on an igniting sea.
My cytoplasms formed from blood and misbegotten
human beings are arrayed on a rose-colored glass plate.
She alone holds the book of love and combs the trees’ hair.
Anxiety is sailing on the margin of a whirlwind
leading to a window inside the book.
The topic is war . . .

Resurrection is rising to its feet . . .
Horses of fire and steel kneaded the flesh of a youngster
fleeing Gaza.
His terrified brother stole his broken arm and planted it
under a tree,
whose tears bewail the destruction. This tree as the boy understands it
is a dedicated guard, whereas the cemetery is far away
and the hell you trust does not exclude making shrines.

Resurrection is scaling the ladders of dissonance,
enters the room of a young woman to burn an album;
the woman was hiding smiles for her children
who would emerge from hope and a love story
never completed.
For fire broke out inside her lover’s heart.
And he could not defeat two fires, so he surrendered to oblivion.
Except that he told how the fire coming from her window
merged with the fire coming from his balcony
where he was waiting for her.
—Trans. By Yasmin Snounu and Edward Morin
(** The Gaza War, also known as Operation Cast Lead, also known as the Gaza Massacre was a three-week armed conflict between Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and Israel that began on December 27, 2008 and ended on January 18, 2009.)
About Yousef el-Qedra 
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 Barnes and Noble.