“. . . these are not equal sides, occupier and occupied / We teach life, Sir . . . “ (Rafeef Ziadah)

IMG_3215 - Copy
Israeli Occupation Forces tower separating Palestinian homes from illegal settlement in Hebron (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 7, 2015)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .
|    IN  VIDEO  –  DOZENS  OF  PALESTINIAN  STUDENTS  SHOT,  INJURED  NEAR  BETHLEHEM
Israeli forces shot and injured several Palestinian students, while dozens of others suffered from tear-gas inhalation, on Sunday, as Israeli forces attacked them in the Tuqu village, in the southern occupied West Bank district of Bethlehem.    ___Local sources confirmed that Israeli forces raided the Tuqu high school and fired tear-gas bombs and rubber-coated steel bullets towards Palestinian students. of Bethlehem.    ___Local sources confirmed that Israeli forces raided the Tuqu high school and fired tear-gas bombs and rubber-coated steel bullets towards Palestinian students.    [. . . .] Israeli forces forced the students and staff members to evacuate the premises, resulting in taking control of the high school and shutting it down.    Sources added that that Israeli forces sealed off the two main entrances to the Tuqu village.     More . . .
. . . . Related  ISRAELI  FORCES  ATTACK,  INJURE  DOZENS  OF  PALESTINIAN  STUDENTS  IN  HEBRON
. . . . Related  ISRAEL  BANS  RENOVATIONS  OF  PALESTINIAN  KINDERGARTEN  IN  HEBRON
. . . . Related  ISRAELI  SOLDIERS  TRY  TO  STEAL  PLAYGROUND  EQUIPMENT  IN  BEIT  TA’MIR  TOWN
|    HEBRON  IS  BRAVING  A  STORM  OF  JUDAISATION   The ongoing and intense settlement activity in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron confirms Israel’s deliberate policy to empty it of its Arab inhabitants and Judaise it. The Palestinian city remains the second most targeted area for illegal Jewish settlements after Jerusalem. The first settlement activity in the West Bank was the establishment of the Kfar Etzion kibbutz in the strategic area bordering Hebron.    ___. . . Israel’s plans for the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron are no less dangerous than its Judaisation plans for Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem. Over the years, the Israeli settlers have turned a major section of the mosque into a synagogue.   [. . . .]  the Israeli government announced recently a new settlement plan targeting the heart of Hebron in order to link the settlements built across the city by means of new illegal blocs.    More . . .
. . . . Related EXTREMIST  ISRAELI  SETTLERS  ATTACK  PALESTINIAN  WORKERS  [HEBRON]
. . . . Related SETTLERS  BAN  ENTRY  OF  TRUCKLOADS  TO  GAZA
|    GREENBLATT:  NEITHER  SIDE  WILL  LIKE  THE  US  “DEAL  OF  THE  CENTURY”
US White House Envoy [Special Representative for International Negotiations] Jason Greenblatt, said in a closed meeting, that the US administration will soon be presenting President Trump’s peace plan in the Middle East that “neither side will like.”    ___According to Israel’s Channel 10, the meeting was held in London, and organized by the UK Association for the Wellbeing of Israel’s Soldiers, in which Greenblatt said that the plan would be a permanent deal instead of temporary agreements, adding that “there will be a need to compromise.”    More . . .

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .
|    PALESTINIAN  EDUCATION  MUST  MOVE  AWAY  FROM  THE  IMPOSED  HUMANITARIAN  AGENDA
Ramona Wadi
As the media hype over Khan Al-Ahmar fades away, mainstream narratives have yet to find another sensationalist violation to exploit . . .   the fate of the Bedouin community it houses will be forgotten . . .  Khan Al-Ahmar’s much-publicized school, built of tires and clay, will also fade into oblivion with the rest of the village and its inhabitants.    [. . . .] a Human Rights Watch (HRW) report dated April 2018 stated that 44 Palestinian schools are risking full or partial demolitions.   [. . . .]  For Israel, the targeting of Palestinian education is a political act designed to reduce drastically any chances of Palestinian emancipation, let alone resistance. Palestinians have a long history of utilizing education to provide the foundations for their legitimate anti-colonial struggle. Yet the incessant deprivation is increasingly contributing to a scenario where education is classified as a right from a western, and therefore, acceptable, perspective. Hence, the humanitarian focus on Palestinians being deprived of an uninterrupted right to education is dissociated from the particular needs of Palestinians who are living the realities of Israel’s colonial violence.    More . . .

NOTICES  FROM  ORGANIZATIONS. . . .
   UNRWA  –  PALESTINIAN  REFUGEES  NEED  YOUR  SOLIDARITY  AND  SUPPORT  NOW  MORE  THAN  EVER  BEFORE.   #DignityIsPriceless Campaign. Donate now.

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

“WE  TEACH  LIFE,  SIR”,  LONDON,  12.11.11, BY  RAFEEF  ZIADAH 

“. . .Call it home for all the living. . .” (Lahab Assef Al-Jundi)

489791CSettlers break into homes in Hebron. Note the wire mesh over the street
installed to catch garbage that illegal Israeli settlers throw at Palestinians.
(Photo: Ma’an News Agency, Oct. 29, 2018)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .
|    PCC  DECIDES  TO  SUSPEND  RECOGNITION  OF  ISRAEL 
The Palestinian Central Council (PCC) decided on Monday, a day after meeting in the central occupied West Bank city of Ramallah, to end all commitments in agreements the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) has signed with Israel, suspend recognition of Israel until it recognizes the State of Palestine, end security coordination and end the Paris Economic Protocols.    ___The PCC said in a statement “In view of Israel’s continued denial of the signed agreements, the PCC, in confirmation of its previous decision and considering that the transitional phase no longer exists. . .     More . . .

The  wording  from  the  Final  Statement:
. . . . In view of Israel’s continued denial of the signed agreements and the ensuing obligations, the Palestinian Central Council reaffirms its previous decision considering the transitional phase no longer exists, decides to end the obligations of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and the Palestinian Authority towards its agreements with the occupation authority (Israel), mainly suspending recognition of the State of Israel until its recognition of the State of Palestine on the 4 June 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital, the cessation of security coordination in all its forms, and economic disengagement on the grounds that the transitional phase, including the Paris Protocols, no longer exist, and on the basis for identifying practical pillars and steps to continue the process of transition from the stage of Authority to the embodiment of the independence of a sovereign an independent state. . . Complete . . .

|    PALESTINIAN  KILLED,  DOZENS  INJURED  DURING  GAZA’S  14TH  NAVAL  MARCH  (VIDEOS)
A 27-year-old Palestinian was shot and killed by Israeli forces, while dozens of others suffered from tear-gas inhalation, on Monday, during the 14th naval march at the northern borders of the besieged Gaza Strip.    ___A Ma’an reporter confirmed that Muhammad Abed Abu Ubada, 27, was killed by Israeli forces during the 14th naval march, which set off from the Gaza seaport, in protest against the 12-year Israeli siege.    More . . .
. . . . Related  JEWISH  SETTLERS  BLOCK  TRUCKS  FROM  ENTERING  GAZA
     IOF  UPROOT  200  OLIVE  TREES,  RAZE  LANDS  NEAR  HEBRON 

Israeli occupation forces (IOF) on Monday uprooted 200 olive trees, and uprooted 13 dunums of agricultural land in the town of Beit Ula, west of Hebron.    ___Head of the Farmers Services Department at the Hebron Agricultural Department Hashim Badarin said that the occupation forces stormed the Khirbet Kharouf area west of the town of Beit Ula, uprooted 200 olive trees planted ten years ago, and destroyed the fence and chains surrounding the targeted land.    ___The farmer and landowner Hijazi al-Tarshan said that the occupation forces are pursuing a policy of uprooting of trees and trying to prevent farmers from working in their lands in this area near the wall of racist expansion in preparation for the seizure.    More . . .
. . . . Related  IN  VIDEO  –  ISRAELI  SETTLERS  SEIZE  PALESTINIAN  HOMES  IN  HEBRON
|    PMA  BUSINESS  CYCLE  INDEX  SHOWS  DECLINE  IN  THE  WEST  BANK  AND  SLIGHT  IMPROVEMENT  IN  GAZA  STRIP
The PMA has released the results of its extended Business Cycle Index (extended PMABCI) for October 2018. The results revealed that the overall index fell during October due to the decline in the West Bank’s index, despite the slight improvement in Gaza Strip’s index. As such, the overall extended PMABCI dropped from -3.2 points in September to around -5.9 points in this October. However, it remained slightly higher than the index of October 2017 (-7.6 points).    More . . .

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .
| 
   THE  PALESTINIAN  ECONOMY  IS  A  RESISTING  ECONOMY
By Palestinian Prime Minister Dr. Rami Al-Hamdallah
The State of Palestine constantly confronts critical economic and social obstacles due to the policies the Israeli occupation limitlessly imposes on the Palestinian people and their land.  Speaking unconditionally, these policies target all factors of production including land, resources, and labor. Nonetheless, this noble nation has always strived to live and coexist. The creative Palestinian citizen fulfilled significant achievements and left fingerprints on all disciplines and sectors.  In this context, I will present, with numbers and statistics, a series of changes in the economic reality in Palestine.    More . . .

NOTICES  FROM  ORGANIZATIONS. . . .
|    BRIGHT  STARS  OF  BETHLEHEM  –  DAR  AL-KALIMA  UNIVERSITY2019 Leadership Program in the Holy Land.  March 25-April 8, 2019.
This program offers new and creative ways to understand and respond to the context of the Israel/Palestine conflict. It raises the possibility of different strategies for resisting the power of empire and supporting those who both struggle against it and suffer its daily injustices and violence. This is an in-depth program during which new insights, experiences and strategies will be explored.  Information and Registration.

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

“HOLY  LANDERS,”  BY  LAHAB  ASSEF  AL-JUNDI
Listen!
You are fighting over a land that can fit,
with wilderness to spare,
in the Panhandle of Texas.

You are building walls to segregate,
splitting wholes till little is left,
killing and dying for pieces of sky
in the same window.

The olive trees are dying
of embarrassment.
They have enough fruits
and pits for all of you.
All they want is for you to stop
uprooting them.
Sending your children to die
in their names.

Listen!
Your land is no holier than my backyard.
None of you is any more chosen
than the homeless veteran panhandling
with a God Bless cardboard sign
at the light of Mecca
and San Pedro.
Draw a borderline around the place.
Call it home for all the living,
all the dead
all the tired exiles with its dust
gummed on their tongues.

There are no heroes left.

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.

“. . . they come to burn the love in our hearts . . .” (Yousef al-Mahmoud)

-721118555
Maale Adumim settlement, part of “E1 Corridor” threatening Khan al-Ahmar (Photo: Palestine Information Center, October 28, 2017)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .

|   KHAN  AL-AHMAR  FLOODED  WITH  WASTEWATER  FOR  2ND  TIME    Israeli settlers stormed the Bedouin village of Khan al-Ahmar, east of Jerusalem, on Monday, and flooded the area with wastewater for a second time.    __Locals said that Israeli settlers from the nearby illegal Israeli settlement of Kfar Adummim stormed the village and flooded Khan al-Ahmar with wastewater, causing serious environmental and health hazard for residents.   ___Sources added that the wastewater from the Kfar Adummim settlement flooded large areas of the village, as Israeli settlers attempt to assist the Israeli government force the residents to leave the area.    More . . .
. . . . . . . Resource: What  is  the  E1  area,  and  why  is  it  so  important?
. . . . Related   Israeli  soldiers,  settlers  uproot  trees  in  East  Jerusalem  neighborhood
|   ISRAELI  [HEBRON]  SETTLEMENT  PLANS  ‘DECLARATION  OF  NEW  WAR  AGAINST  PALESTINIANS’          The Palestinian government slammed, on Monday, the Israeli government’s approval of 22 million shekels ($6.1 million) in government funding to expand an illegal Israeli settlement inside the southern occupied West Bank city of Hebron.   ___The Palestinian government’s spokesperson, Youssef al-Mahmoud, said in a statement that the approval is a “literal translation of the occupation’s plans that is based on what became known as the ‘Deal of the Century.'”   ___He called it expansion of an Israeli settlement in the center of Hebron City is “a declaration of a new war against the Palestinian people, a blatant targeting of their existence, and an attack on international laws and resolutions.”   More . . .
|   EURO-MED  RIGHTS  GROUP  CALLS  FOR  PRESSURE  ON  ISRAEL  TO  END  TARGETING  PALESTINIAN  DEMONSTRATORS      The Geneva-based  EURO-MEDITERRANEAN  HUMAN  RIGHTS  MONITOR  (Euro-Med)  Monday said that Israeli forces caused injuries to one in every 100 Palestinians as Gaza protests conclude 200 days and called on the international community to exert serious pressure on Israel to end  its targeting of Palestinian demonstrators.   ___“The Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor calls on the international community to exert serious pressure to put an end to the targeting of Palestinian demonstrators in the Gaza Strip and to protect their right to peaceful assembly,” said Euro-Med in a statement.   ___It also called on “all parties concerned to exert pressure on Israel to lift its blockade affecting every aspect of Gaza’s largely civilian population.”   More . . .
|   AFTER  A  DAY  OF  PROTEST,  ISRAELI  ARMY  BACKS  DOWN  ON  DECISION  TO  CLOSE  WEST  BANK  SCHOOL     After a day of protest against an Israeli army order to close al-Lubban/al-Sawiyeh school in the north of the West Bank, the Israeli army backed down on its decision on Monday and allowed the school to reopen, according to Nablus Governor Akram Rajoub.    ___He told WAFA that the protest by the families and officials earlier today against the closure order seem to have forced the army to back down on its earlier decision.    More . . .
. . . . Related  Palestinians  arrested,  homes  ransacked  in  dawn  sweep  by  Israel  army
. . . . Related  Israeli  forces  arrest  Khan  Ahmar  activists

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .

|   A  PALESTINIAN  BEDOUIN  VILLAGE  BRACES  FOR  FORCIBLE  TRANSFER  AS  ISRAEL  SEEKS  TO  SPLIT  THE  WEST  BANK  IN  HALF    RAYYAH HAS LIVED in Khan al-Ahmar all of her 47 years. . .  Her family and neighbors, members of a Bedouin community known as the Jahalin, found refuge on this scorched patch of rocks and dust in the 1950s, after they were expelled from the land they had inhabited for generations, in the Negev desert, following the establishment of the Israeli state. The land Khan al-Ahmar stands on was under Jordanian control when the Jahalin arrived. Today, this smatter of tin roofs and tarps sits on the side of a highway in the occupied West Bank, surrounded by a fast-growing ring of Israeli settlements . . .    ___The village, which is home to less than 200 people and where the only building with walls is a school made of mud and old tires, has become the latest front line in a conflict over land that for decades has determined the fates of Palestinians . . .    More . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

“ENEMY,”  BY  YOUSEF  AL-MAHMOUD
They come from all the ends of the earth to sit among us
they come from the ends of the winds
they bring sickness and a hissing like snakes
they come from the ends of the snows
they come smelling of death
they come with blood-dipping knives
they bring panic and terror
they are utterly not-to-be-trusted
they are utterly murderous
they are proud of their murders, they are drinkers of blood
proud of tooth and nail
even more proud of guns and treachery
they come to burn the love in our hearts
and turn it to torture and bitterness
they bring sorrow, terror, sickness. . .
How have they come to sit among us?
—Translated by DM Black

Yousef Al-Mahmoud is a prominent broadcaster and poet, and former head of the Ministry of Culture in his native Jenin.
From A  BIRD  IS  NOT  A  STONE:  AN  ANTHOLOGY  OF  CONTEMPORARY  PALESTINIAN  POETRY (Glasgow: Freight Books, 2014) –available from Barnes and Noble.

“. . . We continue to strengthen the Jewish settlement in the West Bank with actions, not words . . .” (Avigdor Lieberman)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .

LIEBERMAN  TO  APPROVE  31  SETTLEMENT  HOUSING  UNITS  IN  HEBRON  CITY
The Israeli Defense Minister, Avigdor Lieberman, announced on Thursday that he expects the Israeli government to approve the construction of 31 new illegal settlement housing units in the southern occupied West Bank city of Hebron.    ___Lieberman announced his intention to have the Israeli government approve the construction of 31 news illegal settlement housing units, in Hebron City, on Sunday.     ___He posted a tweet on his official Twitter account that the illegal settlement plan includes new housing units, kindergartens and public parks.     ___”We continue to strengthen the Jewish settlement in the West Bank with actions, not words.”   More . . .
|  ISRAEL  DECLARES  TUBAS-AREA  VILLAGE  CLOSED  MILITARY  ZONE
Israeli forces declared the village of Khirbet al-Hadidiyeh in the northern Jordan Valley a closed military zone and sealed off several roads leading to the village, on Friday.    ___Local activist, Aaref Daraghmeh, said that Israeli forces sealed off entrance roads to Khirbet al-Hadidiyeh and prevented activists from reaching the area, where Israeli forces demolished Palestinian housing structures and steel structures used for housing sheep on Thursday.    ___Israeli forces declared the village a closed military zone . . .    More . . .
. . . . Related   Clashes  break  out  as  IOF  storms  Nablus  villages
. . . . Related   Illegal  Settlers  Attack  Palestinian  Cars  and  High  School  [Nablus  area]
|  283,000  UNEMPLOYED  INDIVIDUALS  IN  GAZA  STRIP 
Gaza unemployment has doubled since Israel imposed a land, sea and air blockade on the Gaza Strip 12 years ago, the General Federation of Palestinian Labor Unions said on Thursday.     ___It said that while unemployment rate has reached 27.2% before the blockade, it has now reached 50%, including 283,000 workers considered unemployed in 2018, which it described as “unprecedented.”     ___The poverty rate has reached 80%, which indicates critical deterioration in the standard of living and economic performance in the Gaza Strip, said the Federation, explaining that Gaza’s two million people have been living difficult and catastrophic conditions for over 12 years.    More . . .
. . . . Related  Thousands  of  Chronically  Ill  Gazans  Deprived  of  Medicine
. . . . Related   Weekly  Report  On  Israeli  Human  Rights  Violations  in  the  Occupied  Palestinian  Territory  (04  –  10  October  2018)

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .

|  THE  AUDACITY  OF  UNCHECKED  POWER  IN  KHAN  AL-AHMAR 
An entire Palestinian village is facing destruction. What follows will dictate the fate of Palestinian communities all over the West Bank.
Hagai El-Ad
Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman’s recent op-ed in the Jerusalem Post – designed to whitewash the war crime of the destruction of an entire Palestinian community in the occupied West Bank – is riddled with lies and distortions.    ___ The very premise he posits in his opening sentence is untrue. Lieberman writes of “a judicial ruling for the relocation of a small group of squatters from Khan al-Ahmar.” The High Court of Justice’s ruling, however, actually addressed demolition orders, not “relocation.”     More . . .
AS  THE  OLIVE  HARVEST  BEGINS,  SO  DO  THE  SETTLER  ATTACKS
Yumna Patel
The time had finally come: the residents of Turmusayya, a lush Palestinian village nestled in a valley between Ramallah and Nablus in the central occupied West Bank, had gotten permission from Israeli authorities to go harvest their olive trees.   [. . . .]  When they arrived, they were devastated to find dozens of trees chopped down, uprooted, and rotting.   ___The 40 olive trees belonged to 78-year-old Palestinian Mahmoud al-Araj, who had been tending to the trees since he was a boy.    [. . . .]  “I have been cultivating these trees, this land, since I was a boy. We helped our families and tired ourselves on this land so we could provide for our children and the future generations,” he said. “We give everything we have to our land and to these trees, and then the settlers come and destroy it all.”    More . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

“NAME  OF  THE  SOIL,”  BY  ZUHAIR  ABU  SHAIB

what is its name?
what is the name of the soil
that falls from my withered body?
what is its name as it drifts and gathers
under my clothes
while, slowly, I build wall after wall?

I picture a sky full of clouds
I see it as I wish it to be

when night falls, I gulp my fill of springs
in darkness I lift my latch
to wise men

I ask my guests
who imprisoned the soul in rock?
who left prophets spread-eagled on doorsteps?

who risks everything to capture the earth?
a man who does not know his own shadow

what can I call this rug of soil?
is it my country or the source of my exile?
is it my miracle or my cross?

what is its name?

Zuhair Abu Shaib was born in Deir al-Ghusun and studied at Yarmouk University. She has been a teacher and journalist in Yemen, and a book designer. She has also been editor of the journal Awarq.
From 
A BIRD IS NOT A STONE: AN ANTHOLOGY OF CONTEMPORARY PALESTINIAN POETRY. Glasgow: Freight Books, 2014.
House of Poetry in Mafraq launches its fourth meeting in Amman
Under the patronage of the Minister of Culture, the House of Poetry – Mafraq – was opened four years ago on the initiative of the ruler of Sharjah, Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi. In the presence of the chairman of the cultural authority in Sharjah Abdullah Al Owais with creative contributions by the poet Zuhair Abu Shaib. . .  
More . . .

“. . . Salaam upon you the day you were killed in the land of peace . . .” (Mahmoud Darwish)

IMG_3219 - CopyHEBRON: Mother and sons climb into back window of their home
because Israel has closed their street 
to protect illegal settlers.
(Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 7, 2015)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .

THE  PALESTINIAN  ECONOMY  IN  LIGHT  OF  THE  AMERICAN  SANCTIONS
Several reports will be on the table of the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee (AHCL) for coordinating international aid to the Palestinian People, which is chaired by Norway, when it meets in New York on the sidelines of United Nations General Assembly meetings later this month.   ___The reports, from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank and the Palestinian government, agree that 2018 is the worst for the Palestinian economy since Israel has re-occupied the Palestinian cities in the West Bank 16 years ago.   ___By the beginning of 2018, domestic and international forecasts estimated that growth in the Palestinian economy would range from 2.5% to 3%, reflecting a continuation of the slowdown in the Palestinian economy over the past five years . . .    More . . .
Related . . .   13,000  UNRWA  EMPLOYEES  IN  GAZA  PROTEST  AGAINST  CUTS

PLO  CONDEMNS  ISRAEL’S  MURDER  OF  SIX  PALESTINIANS  IN  THE  LAST  24  HOURS
The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) strongly condemned on Wednesday Israel’s murder of six Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, the West Bank and East Jerusalem in the last 24 hours, accusing Israeli forces of deliberately targeting the Palestinians.   ___“The deliberate murder of six Palestinians by Israeli forces in the last twenty-four hours is yet another escalation in the Israeli occupation’s brutality and inhumanity,” said PLO Executive Committee member Hanan Ashrawi.   More . . .
Related . . .  PALESTINIANS  BID  LAST  FAREWELL  TO  2  YOUTHS  MURDERED  BY  ISRAEL  ARMY

ISRAELI  FORCES  INJURE  DOZENS  OF  PALESTINIAN  STUDENTS  IN  HEBRON
Dozens of Palestinian school students suffered injuries, on Wednesday, during clashes with Israeli forces in the southern occupied West Bank city of Hebron.   ___Local sources said that Israeli forces provoked Palestinian students as they were on their way to school in Hebron City, resulting in violent clashes between students and Israeli forces. . . .  Israeli forces fired tear-gas bombs at the Palestinian students, causing dozens of students to suffer from tear-gas inhalation.    ___Palestinian students are regularly harassed by Israeli forces and settlers in Hebron City.   More . . .
Related . . .    15,000  JEWS  VISIT  HEBRON’S  IBRAHIMI  MOSQUE  AHEAD  OF  YOM  KIPPUR

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .

‘OSLO  SOLD  US  OUT’:  YOUNG  PALESTINIANS  ON  THE  MOMENT  THAT  SHAPED  THEIR  GENERATION
In September 1993 the world celebrated what it thought was the beginning of the end of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.   ___The Oslo Accords was supposed to lead to a “comprehensive peace agreement” by 1999, and eventually, a Palestinian state . . .  ___Twenty-five years after Oslo. . .  a fair and just peace agreement for the Palestinians remains far out of reach. The dream of an independent Palestinian state even further.   [. . . .] “What does Oslo mean to me? For me, Oslo means that the Palestinian people did not get to decide their fate as a whole.” The words of Yasmin Abu Shakdim, a 22-year-old Sociology student from the city of Hebron, are expressive of a sentiment held by many Palestinian youth.   More . . .

7AMLEH:  GOOGLE  MAPS  ENDANGERING  PALESTINIAN  HUMAN  RIGHTS
The Arab Center for the Advancement of Social Media released a new report entitled, “Mapping Segregation – Google Maps and the Human Rights of Palestinians”.   ___The report reveals new insights about how  Google Maps’ mapping process in the occupied Palestinian territories serves the interests of the Israeli government and contradicts Google’s commitment to international human rights frameworks.   More . . .

REMEMBERING  THE  SABRA  AND  SHATILA  MASSACRE
Between September 16 and 18, 1982, Palestinian refugees in Beirut’s Sabra and Shatila refugee camps were massacred. Estimates vary, but about 3,000 Palestinian refugees, mostly women, children, and the elderly were killed. The attack took place during Lebanon’s civil war, a few months after Israel’s invasion of the country.   More . . .

NOTICES  FROM  ORGANIZATIONS. . . . 

CHRISTIAN  PEACEMAKER  TEAMS  PALESTINE
Christian Peacemaker Teams Palestine is a faith-based organization that supports Palestinian-led, non-violent, grassroots resistance to the Israeli occupation and the unjust structures that uphold it. By collaborating with local Palestinian and Israeli peacemakers and educating people in our home communities we strive to help create a space for justice and peace.   More . . .    Donate . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

“I  DIDN’T  APOLOGIZE  TO  THE  WELL,”  MAHMOUD  DARWISH

I didn’t apologize to the well when I passed the well,
I borrowed from the ancient pine tree a cloud
and squeezed it like an orange, then waited for a gazelle
white and legendary. And I ordered my heart to be patient:
Be neutral as if you were not of me! Right here
the kind shepherds stood on air and evolved
their flutes, then persuaded the mountain quail toward
the snare. And right here I saddled a horse for flying toward
my planets, then flew. And right here the priestess
told me: Beware of the asphalt road and the cars
and walk upon your exhalation. Right here
I slackened my shadow and waited, I picked the tiniest
rock and stayed up late. I broke the myth and I broke.
And I circled the well until I flew from myself
to what isn’t of it. A deep voice shouted at me:
This grave isn’t your grave. So I apologized.
I read verses from the wise holy book, and said
to the unknown one in the well: Salaam upon you the day
you were killed in the land of peace, and the day you rise
from the darkness of the well alive!

—From THE  BUTTERFLY’S  BURDEN, by Mahmoud Darwish, Trans. Fady Joudah. Port Townsend, WA: Copper Canyon Press. 2007.

“. . . I plant my dreams in the streets . . .” (Majid Abu Ghoush)

❶ Erekat : we will put on hold all our communications with this American administration
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Arab league approaches US over PLO’s Washington office closure
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴃ) Dr. Ashrawi: U.S. is disqualifying itself as a peace broker in the region

  • Background: “The Concept of Palestine: The Conception of Palestine from the Late Bronze Age to the Modern Period.” Journal of Holy Land & Palestine Studies.

❷ Israel to demolish residential structures near Hebron
❸ Dozens of Jewish settlers defile Aqsa Mosque
❹ POETRY by Majid Abu Ghoush

Special notice: Museum of the Palestinian People  (Please make a contribution. Thanks to a generous donor, any gift you make will be matched up to $25,000 by the end of November. This amount will count toward our 2018 budget of $168,000.)
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
EREKAT  :  WE  WILL  PUT  ON  HOLD  ALL  OUR  COMMUNICATIONS  WITH  THIS  AMERICAN  ADMINISTRATION       
Palestine News Network – PNN 
Nov. 19, 2017 ― Saeb Erekat , secretary general of the Palestine Liberation Organization’s (PLO) Executive Committee, said that if the American administrations close PLO offices in Washington, D.C., we will put on hold all our communications with this American administration.”
___Erekat added that “the US State Department notified us with an official letter that they cannot certify the continuance opening of the PLO office in Washington D.C. due to the fact that we are pursuing and encouraging the ICC (International Criminal Court).”
___“This is very unfortunate and unacceptable. This is the pressure being exerted on this administration from the Netanyahu government.    MORE . . .
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) ARAB  LEAGUE  APPROACHES  US  OVER  PLO’S  WASHINGTON  OFFICE  CLOSURE
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA 
Nov. 19, 2017 ―The Arab League Sunday announced that its Secretary General Ahmed Aboul Gheit has approached the US administration after the latter announced it will close the Palestine Liberation Organization’s (PLO) office in Washington.
___The league said in a press statement that Aboul Gheit and Minister of foreign affairs Riyad al-Malki met and discussed the latest developments on the ground and possible means to resume the peace process between the Palestinian and Israeli sides.
___Al-Malki briefed Aboul Gheit on the official position of the Palestinian Authority regarding the closure of the PLO’s Washington office, saying it will harm the peace process and the role of the US as peace broker.
___Aboul Gheit’s spokesman said the league is working to maintain official communication channels between the Palestinian Authority and the US administration. . .   MORE . . .
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴃ) DR.  ASHRAWI:  U.S.  IS  DISQUALIFYING  ITSELF  AS  A  PEACE  BROKER  IN  THE  REGION    
Palestine News Network – PNN    
Nov. 19, 2017 ― In response to media inquiries concerning the U.S. administration’s refusal to extend the waiver of statutory restrictions on the General Delegation of the PLO to the United States in Washington D.C., PLO Executive Committee Member Dr. Hanan Ashrawi condemned such a move and said:
___“Instead of holding Israel liable for its persistent violations of international law and conventions, the U.S. administration and Congress are threatening to punish the Palestinian people because of statements made by President Mahmoud Abbas at the United Nations and other leaders pertaining to ICC accountability for Israel and for its war crimes in Palestine.   MORE . . .

Masalha, Nur. “THE  CONCEPT  OF  PALESTINE:  THE  CONCEPTION  OF  PALESTINE  FROM  THE  LATE  BRONZE  AGE  TO  THE  MODERN  PERIOD.”
Journal  of  Holy  Land  &  Palestine  Studies
, vol. 15, no. 2, Nov. 2016, pp. 143-202.
The celebrated English historian Edward Gibbon, writing in 1776, noted that ‘Phoenicia and Palestine will forever live in the [collective] memory of mankind’. . . Palestine is the collective watan (homeland) of the Palestinian people —the indigenous people of historic Palestine. The Palestinian people have a multi-religious and multicultural ancient heritage and a multi-layered identity deeply rooted in ancient history. Palestinians often speak of Biladuna Filastin: ‘Our Country, Palestine’ (colloquially: Bladna Falastin). The country of Palestine as a distinct political geography-with its own distinct and diverse traditions and a mélange of styles —is deeply rooted in the indigenous psyche and consciousness; the toponym (place-name) of Palestine is deeply rooted in the ancient past from the Late Bronze Age onwards. . . . For a millennium and a half of Classical Antiquity and Byzantine Christianity as well as under Islam in the Middle Ages the term Palestine also acquired official administrative status.
[. . . .] For over 1200 years the name Palestine was used most commonly, consistently and continuously throughout Classical Antiquity, from the highlight of classical Athenian civilisation . . . [until] the occupation of Palestine by the Muslim armies in 637 AD.
___To substitute the vague and semi-mythical term Cana’an for the real historical and official toponym Palaestina for a spectacular classical period lasting over one millennium would be tantamount to the elimination of the actual history of this important region . . . [and] eliminate the possibility of any real historical knowledge of one of the most important periods in the ancient history of the region, namely: early Christianity and Byzantine greater Palaestina. Greek-speaking Byzantine Christianity in Palestine began in the reign of the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great (306—337 AD) and lasted until the beginning of Islamic rule in Palestine in 637 AD.
[. . . .] Furthermore, when referring to the ancient history of this region modern European scholarship (and even early Zionist scholarly societies such as the ‘Jewish Palestine Exploration Society’, founded in 1914) universally and unanimously talk about ‘Palestine’, even when referring to Jewish history. [. . . .]  SOURCE . . .

ISRAEL  TO  DEMOLISH  RESIDENTIAL  STRUCTURES  NEAR  HEBRON 
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA 
Nov. 19, 2017 ― Israeli authorities notified Palestinians about a decision to demolish residential structures and animal barns in Masafer Yatta area, to the south of Hebron in the occupied West Bank, according to local sources.
___Rateb Jabour, who monitors settlement activities in the area, said Israeli forces handed a written notice to locals informing them about their intention to demolish a number of residential structures and a barn used for raising livestock in Kherbet Shaab al-Butum, a village in Masafer Yatta area. The barn was built with funding from the European Union.   MORE . . .
DOZENS  OF  JEWISH  SETTLERS  DEFILE  AQSA  MOSQUE  
The Palestinian Information Center
Nov. 19, 2017 ― Dozens of Jewish settlers broke into the Aqsa Mosque in Occupied Jerusalem on Sunday morning under Israeli security protection provided by special police forces.     ___The PIC reporter said that 86 settlers entered the holy Islamic site via the Maghareba Gate in six separate groups and roamed its plazas.     ___He added that 35 Israeli students toured the Aqsa Mosque compound along with guides, who explained to the students the history of the alleged Jewish Temple.     MORE . . .

“RESISTANCE,”  MAJID  ABU  GHOUSH
I plant my poetry
in the streets,
in every quarter
and every alley,
a poem…resisting the conquerors!
I plant my fingers
in the streets,
in every hole,
in every flower pot:
a finger…resisting the conquerors!
I plant my blood
in the streets,
on every sidewalk,
on every roadsign:
a drop of blood…resisting the conquerors!
I plant my dreams
in the streets,
in the heads of passers-by:
an infant dream…resisting the conquerors!
I plant the names of my loved ones
in the streets,
on every tree, on every wall:
the name of a martyr resisting the conquerors!
I plant the colors of the flag
in the streets,
on every house,
and every window and door:
a color…resisting the conquerors!
I plant my children’s luggage
in the streets
at every roadblock,
at every checkpoint:
a suitcase…resisting the conquerors!
I plant my hands
in the streets,
on every corner:
a firm hand resisting the conquerors!

Majid Abu Ghoush (b. Amwas) is a prolific poet, a member of the Secretariat of the General Union of Palestinian Writers, and a founding member of Poets Without Borders Palestine. Abu Ghoush reading one of his own poems.  See also. 
From: University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, Middle East Affairs
Special Programs,
Commemorating the Intifada’s Tenth Year, April 10, 1998
Prof. Naseer Aruri

“. . . I’m old enough, almost four, I’ve seen enough . . .” (Hanan Ashrawi)

❶ IOF arrests seven Jerusalemite minors
CONTEXT: Military Court Watch (monitoring the treatment of children in detention)
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Israeli settler attacks Palestinian child in Hebron
CONTEXT: Space to play: West Bank refugee camps are facing a crisis of safety and square feet
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴃ) A life worth living?

  • Background: “The Right to Home: Domicide as a Violation of Child and Family Rights in the Context of Political Violence.” Children & Society

❷ Palestinian demolishes own home in Jerusalem to avoid Israeli fines
❸ POETRY by Hanan Ashrawi
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ IOF  ARRESTS  SEVEN  JERUSALEMITE  MINORS
Alray-Palestinian Media Agency
Nov. 12, 2017 ― Israeli occupation forces (IOF) arrested on Sunday morning, five Jerusalemite minors after storming their houses in the town of Silwan, south of Al Aqsa Mosque.
___The IOF arrested from Silwan. Abdulrahman Shweky, 14, Qosay Zaiton 13, Imran Mansour ,15, Mehdi Mansour, 12, and Khaled Mayala, 20, and were transferred to investigate at Maskobeya police station in the occupied Jerusalem, confirmed the lawyer Mohammed Mahmoud.
___Wadi Hilweh Information Center said that the intelligence and occupation forces stormed Silwan neighborhoods and arrested five children after storming their houses.   MORE . . .
CONTEXT:    MILITARY  COURT  WATCH  (MONITORING  THE  TREATMENT  OF  CHILDREN  IN  DETENTION).   Briefing Note, October 2017 ― This Briefing Note reviews developments in the Israeli military detention system for children and covers the period up to October 2017.
. . . . . ❶― (ᴀ) ISRAELI  SETTLER  ATTACKS  PALESTINIAN  CHILD  IN  HEBRON 
Alray-Palestinian Media Agency 
Nov. 12, 2017 ― Ahmed Hadeeb, 15, was injured by bruises on Saturday after an Israeli settler beat and injured him in the center of Hebron.
__According to local sources, the settler hit Habeed with the butt of his rifle; he was injured and then transferred to the hospital.   MORE . . .
CONTEXT:  SPACE  TO  PLAY:  WEST  BANK  REFUGEE  CAMPS  ARE  FACING  A  CRISIS  OF  SAFETY  AND  SQUARE  FEET 
Defense for Children International Palestine (DCIP)       
Oct. 5, 2017   ― [. . . .] Overcrowding and fifty years of Israeli military occupation, as well as the now-frequent Palestinian security forces’ raids, have negatively impacted the available spaces for play. When schools let out for the summer, children spend their time between camp spaces that are either too cramped or too dangerous for play [. . . .]
. . . . . ― (ᴃ) A  LIFE  WORTH  LIVING?
The Electronic Intifada      
Hamza Abu Eltarabesh
Nov. 9, 2017 ― Young people in Gaza are finding few prospects for a better life.
___On Tuesday, 29 August, Mohannad Younis swallowed a bottle of sleeping pills and ended his life.
___He was only 22 and seemed to have much going for him. A budding author, he had recently completed a series of short stories and just put the finishing touches on a stage play – Escape.   MORE . . .

Akesson, Bree, et al.
“THE  RIGHT  TO  HOME:  DOMICIDE  AS  A  VIOLATION  OF  CHILD  AND  FAMILY  RIGHTS  IN  THE  CONTEXT  OF  POLITICAL  VIOLENCE.”
Children & Society, vol. 30, no. 5, Sept. 2016, pp. 369-383.
[. . . .] The term domicide was coined by Porteous and Smith to describe the ‘deliberate destruction of home against the will of the home dweller’.
[. . . .] Home is a symbolic place that often embodies togetherness, individual and family growth, accomplishments, memories, and deeply personal and familial connections with land and territory. Scholars have pointed out how places of origin, such as the home, are closely connected to cultural practices, symbolic meanings, memories and rituals that shape individual identity.
[. . . .] One study examining the effects of home demolitions on Palestinian children . . .   compared to children of similar demographics living in the same location, found that children who had their homes intentionally destroyed fared significantly worse on a range of mental health indicators including withdrawal, somatic complaints, depression, anxiety, social difficulties, higher rates of delusional, obsessive compulsive and psychotic thoughts, attention difficulties, delinquency, and violent behaviour. Not surprisingly, the study found that children’s mental health was closely tied to their caregivers’ mental and physical health. Similarly, [a] case study of home demolitions for children in Palestine found that children who were forced from their homes reported feeling anxious, sad and angry after experiencing repeated displacement. Losing their homes and becoming refugees within their own neighbourhoods was reported as the most painful incident that had happened to them and ultimately an experience of ‘living in the hyphen’.   FULL ARTICLE . . .

❷ PALESTINIAN  DEMOLISHES  OWN  HOME  IN  JERUSALEM  TO  AVOID  ISRAELI  FINES    
Ma’an News Agency  
Nov. 12, 2017 ― A Palestinian from the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan was forced to destroy his own home on Saturday in order to avoid incurring a demolition fee from Israel’s Jerusalem Municipality, which was set to carry out the demolition.
___According to the Wadi Hilweh Information Center, Abd al-Ghani Dweik, a resident of the al-Bustan area of Silwan, said that the Israeli municipality issued a demolition order against his house, along with a demolition fee of 80,000 shekels ($22,741).
___Four people were residing in the home, which was built two years ago.
___A spokesman of a Silwan-based committee formed to fight demolitions, Fakhri Abu Diab, previously told Ma’an that all 100 residential structures in the al-Bustan area are slated for demolition, and that the 1,570 residents of the area have exhausted all legal options.   MORE . . .

“FROM  THE  DIARY  OF  AN  ALMOST-FOUR-YEAR-OLD,”  BY  HANAN  ASHRAWI
Tomorrow, the bandages
will come off. I wonder
will I see half an orange,
half an apple, half my
mother’s face
with my one remaining eye?
I did not see the bullet
but felt its pain
exploding in my head.
His image did not
vanish, the soldier
with a big gun, unsteady
hands, and a look in
his eyes
I could not understand.

If I can see him so clearly
with my eyes closed,
it could be that inside our heads
we each have one spare set
of eyes
to make up for the ones we lose.

Next month, on my birthday,
I’ll have a brand new glass eye,
maybe things will look round
and fat in the middle —
I’ve gazed through all my marbles,
they made the world look strange.

I hear a nine-month-old
has also lost an eye,
I wonder if my soldier
shot her too—a soldier
looking for little girls who
look him in the eye—
I’m old enough, almost four,
I’ve seen enough of life,
but she’s just a baby
who didn’t know any better.

Interview with Hanan Ashrawi
From ANTHOLOGY  OF  MODERN  PALESTINIAN  LITERATURE.  Ed. Salma Khadra Jayyusi. New York: Columbia University Press, 1992. Available from Columbia University Press.

 

“. . . my people’s tragedy Has turned to farce . . .” (Samih Al-Qasim)

❶ Japan deplores Israel’s approval of 3000 settlement units in West Bank

  • Background: “The Last Colonialist: Israel In The Occupied Territories Since 1967.” Independent Review

. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Germany Warns of ‘One-state Reality’, Slams Israel Settlement Expansion
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴃ) Grants to Israeli settlements could breach UK law, Charity Commission warns
❷ Extremist settlers attack residents in Hebron’s Tel Rumeida, threaten to close [YOUTH AGAINST SETTLEMENTS] office
❸ Israel to demolish homes in Jerusalem’s Silwan neighborhood
❹ POETRY by Samih Al-Qasim
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
JAPAN  DEPLORES  ISRAEL’S  APPROVAL  OF  3000  SETTLEMENT  UNITS  IN  WEST  BANK  NEIGHBORHOOD
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA    
Oct. 22, 2017   The Government of Japan deeply deplored Israel’s approval of plans for the construction of about 3,000 housing units in settlements in the West Bank despite repeated calls from the international community including Japan for freezing such activities, foreign Press Secretary Norio Maruyama said in a press release.
___The release was issued following reports that Israel has stepped up plans to build almost 3000 new housing units in settlements in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.   MORE . . .

Reuveny, Rafael.
“The Last Colonialist: Israel In The Occupied Territories Since 1967.”
Independent Review 12.3 (2008): 325-374.
During the past five hundred years, three primary types of colonies have been established: colonies of exploitation, colonies of settlement, and colonies of contested settlement. Colonies of exploitation, the large majority, overworked natives in labor intensive sectors and did not include many settlers. In colonies of settlement, the settlers became the majority and gained full control. In Spanish America, for example, settlers intermarried with the local elites, killed many natives, and enslaved others, and in British North America and Australia, settlers ousted the natives and decimated them demographically, turning them into a small minority in the land they had previously inhabited. Some of these settler societies also imported slaves from Africa. In colonies of contested settlement in Africa and Asia, many settlers went to live in the colonized lands, but they remained a minority rejected by the natives.
[. . . .] Recent settler actions in the West Bank city of Hebron and the former settlement of Homesh provide additional insight. Seeking to gain control over Hebron’s old city, settlers have attacked Palestinians since 2001, playing a key role in driving out 15,000 to 20,000 Palestinian residents and 1,500 to 1,700 Palestinian businesses from the city. Settlers also have often attacked verbally and physically the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) personnel sent to enforce order. In early 2007, settlers took over a large Palestinian house in Hebron and returned to Homesh, from which the government had removed them during 2005.
[. . . .]  In line with historical colonial examples, Israeli settlers have often built settlements, so-called outposts, without state approval. By 2007, some two thousand settlers lived in about one hundred outposts, seizing 75 percent of their lands from Palestinians. Some Israeli governments have promised to remove outposts and have even removed a few, but all the governments have essentially accepted them after the fact.  FULL ARTICLE.

. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ)  GERMANY  WARNS  OF  ‘ONE-STATE  REALITY’,  SLAMS  ISRAEL  SETTLEMENT  EXPANSION
The Palestine Chronicle
Oct 20 2017   The German government has condemned the latest steps taken by Israeli authorities to expand settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory.
___In a statement released by the German Foreign Office yesterday, Berlin noted how “plans to construct almost 3,000 additional housing units in the West Bank were adopted this week”.
___The German government stated it “would like to take this opportunity to reiterate the fact that it will not recognize any changes to the June 4, 1967 lines, including with regard to Jerusalem, other than those agreed by the parties through negotiations”.   MORE . . .
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴃ) GRANTS  TO  ISRAELI  SETTLEMENTS  COULD  BREACH  UK  LAW,  CHARITY  COMMISSION  WARNS 
Al Hourriah Magazine (Freedom) 
Ben White
Oct. 22, 2017   The Charity Commission has warned that making grants to Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) could potentially constitute a breach of the Geneva Conventions Act of 1957, in a significant hardening of the Commission’s approach to the issue.
___It is understood to be the first time that the Charity Commission has specifically cited the 1957 Act in communication with a charity regarding Israel and oPt.
___The new statement from the Commission comes in response to questions about UK Toremet, a charity which, as revealed by Middle East Monitor in September 2015, is acting as a conduit for donations to Israeli settlements in the oPt.
___Settlements are considered a serious violation of international law, a position held by the United Nations Security Council, the International Court of Justice in The Hague, the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention, and the British government, among others.   MORE . . .
❷ EXTREMIST  SETTLERS  ATTACK  RESIDENTS  IN  HEBRON’S  TEL  RUMEIDA,  THREATEN  TO  CLOSE  YAS  OFFICE  

Palestine News Network – PNN
Oct. 22, 2017   Israeli settlers on Sunday attacked the neighbourhood of Tel Rumeida in the old city of Hebron, where they raided Palestinian’s properties under claims that an Israeli settler was injured last night by a stone.
___The settlers attacked residents of the neighborhood, destroyed the property of the citizens and their homes, where they threw rocks, broke the windows, threatened residents and were cussing them.
___The settlers renewed demands to close the YOUTH AGAINST SETTLEMENTS HEADQUARTERS in the area, accusing the movement of being the main instigator of the attacks on settlers [. . . .] Israeli soldiers prevented Palestinian journalists from the Palestinian and international media from covering settler attacks. A group of Israeli soldiers prevented journalists and threatened them to make them leave the area.   MORE . . .
❸ ISRAEL  TO  DEMOLISH  HOMES  IN  JERUSALEM’S  SILWAN  NEIGHBORHOOD      Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Oct. 22, 2017 Israeli forces on Sunday notified a number of Palestinians from Silwan neighborhood, in occupied East Jerusalem, about their intention to demolish their homes, according to local sources.
___WAFA correspondent said staff from the Israeli municipality of West Jerusalem backed by a police escort broke into Silwan and handed over notices to a number of local citizens informing them about the municipality’s intent to demolish their homes, under the pretext of construction without a permit.
___Over the years, the Israeli municipality of Jerusalem has demolished hundreds of Palestinian-owned homes in the city for lack of a construction permit. The municipality claims that compared to the Jewish population, it receives a disproportionately low number of permit applications from Palestinian communities.   MORE . . .

“A  HOMELAND,”  BY  SAMIH  AL-QASIM
So what,
When in my homeland
The sparrow dies of starvation,
In exile, without a shroud,
While the earthworm is satiated, devouring God’s food!

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

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

So what,
When the almond and the olive have turned to timber
Adorning tavern doorways,
And monuments
Whose nude loveliness beautifies halls and bars,
And is carried by tourists
To the farthest corners of the earth,
While nothing remains before my eyes
But dry leaves and tinder!

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

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

Blow, East winds!
Our roots are still alive.

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

“. . . debris clattered down the outside stairway and fell towards the marble pavement. . . .” (Yousef Al-Mahmoud)

❶ Israel halts construction of school in Bethlehem, despite residents receiving permit
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Settler Caravans Erected Near Bethlehem

  • “The Future of Israel and Palestine: Expanding the Debate.” Middle East Policy.

❷ Israeli forces blow up home of slain Palestinian in Ramallah-area village
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) Israeli forces demolish homes in Bedouin villages in southern Israel
❸ Hebron: Israeli Occupation Forces Confiscate 47 Dunums of Land
. . . . . ❸ ― (ᴀ) Hebron: ‘We’re living in the heart of a prison’
❹ POETRY by Yousef Al-Mahmoud
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ ISRAEL  HALTS  CONSTRUCTION  OF  SCHOOL  IN  BETHLEHEM,  DESPITE  RESIDENTS  RECEIVING  PERMIT
Ma’an News Agency
Aug. 18, 2017.   Israeli authorities forcibly halted the construction of a school in Jubbet Al-Dhib village in the eastern part of Bethlehem in the southern occupied West Bank on Thursday, despite Palestinians receiving an Israeli-issued building permit for the project.
___A representative of a popular resistance committee in Bethlehem Hadan Brejiyeh told Ma’an that Israeli forces, escorted by employees of the Israeli civil administration had “raided the village,” and shut down the construction at the school.
___Israeli forces had put a stop to the construction, which consisted of eight mobile structures, and confiscated vehicles belonging to an Italian NGO. The residents said they had received a difficult-to-obtain Israeli-issued building permit for the project.   MORE . . .
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) SETTLER CARAVANS ERECTED NEAR BETHLEHEM
International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC 
August 17, 2017.   Israeli settlers, on Wednesday, installed caravans near the village of Nahalin, to the west of Bethlehem, according to local sources.
___Sobhi Zeidan, head of Nahalin village council, told WAFA that settlers from the nearby illegal settlement of Beitar Elit installed 10 caravans near the fence separating the settlement from Nahalin.   MORE . . .

Walt, Stephen M., et al.
“THE  FUTURE  OF  ISRAEL  AND  PALESTINE:  EXPANDING  THE  DEBATE.”
Middle East Policy,
vol. 20, no. 2, Summer2013, pp. 1-24.
[. . . .] The second scene is in a small village that I visited near the Hebron Hills in Area C in the West Bank. There are Palestinian herdsmen there who have a couple of small houses and sheds for livestock. The day I visited this hamlet — Sadat a Thaale, I think it was called — the Israelis had come in a few days before and, using a bulldozer, had destroyed the cistern. It is an ancient practice, throughout the Middle East and many parts of the world, of storing water in cisterns — in this case a limestone cistern carved out of the hill. The Israelis had destroyed it. The source of water was destroyed and five sheep were killed. This kind of wanton destruction is happening on a regular basis in the West Bank, with the aim of pushing people off the land, off Area C and into cities, where they can be gathered together. Israel has always wanted as much land as possible with as few Palestinians on it. That has been part of the program from the start.
[. . . .] Because Israel has so permeated the West Bank and East Jerusalem and has encircled East Jerusalem, I believe the two-state solution is over. It’s not going to happen. There are 600,000-650,000 Israelis east of the Green Line. They’re not going to move. So this historic conflict, which has been called two irreconcilable claims to the same land, is over. One side has won. That has always been the case; one side was winning. We’re now at a point where one side controls all the land with the exception of Area A, in which the Palestinian Authority is exercising some type of authority.    FULL ARTICLE . . .

❷ ISRAELI  FORCES  BLOW  UP  HOME  OF  SLAIN  PALESTINIAN  IN  RAMALLAH-AREA  VILLAGE     
Ma’an News Agency
Aug. 17, 2017.   In a raid Thursday morning on the Ramallah-area village of Deir Abu Mashaal in the central occupied West Bank, Israeli forces blew up the home of slain Palestinian Adel Hassan Ahmad Ankoush, who was killed by Israeli forces in June along with two other Palestinians after the three carried out a deadly shooting and stabbing attack in occupied East Jerusalem that left an Israeli border police officer dead.
___Locals told Ma’an that the Israeli army raided Ankoush’s family home and set up explosives around the house, as other forces surrounded Deir Abu Mashaal and deployed across all entrances to the village, while drones hovered overhead.   MORE . . .
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) ISRAELI  FORCES  DEMOLISH  HOMES  IN  BEDOUIN  VILLAGES  IN  SOUTHERN  ISRAEL 
Ma’an News Agency
Aug. 17, 2017.   Israeli authorities demolished three Palestinian homes on Thursday morning in several Bedouin villages in the Negev of southern Israel for allegedly being built without Israeli-issued building permits, locals told Ma’an.
___According to locals, Israeli authorities demolished a house belonging to Salman Abu Sabileh in the Umm Qabu village, while two other homes were demolished in the al-Atrash and al-Sayyid villages.
___Meanwhile, locals in the Umm al-Hiran village in the Negev told Ma’an that clashes had erupted between Palestinian residents and Israeli police forces after they raided the village to carry out demolitions. However, there were no reports of demolitions being carried out.   MORE . . .
❸ HEBRON:  ISRAELI  OCCUPATION  FORCES  CONFISCATE  47  DUNUMS  OF  LAND
PalestineChronicle
Aug. 17, 2017.  Israeli authorities confiscated at least 47 dunams (12 acres) of lands in al-Thahiryeh village, south of Hebron city, in the southern occupied West Bank for alleged military purposes, locals told Ma’an on Wednesday.
___Al-Thahiryeh mayor Ratib al-Sabber told Ma’an that locals were surprised last Sunday when an Israeli confiscation order was put up on the entrance of the Mitar checkpoint in the southern part of al-Thahiryeh, close to the lands that were confiscated. The order stated that the land would be used for Israeli army purposes.   MORE . . .
. . . . . ❸ ― (ᴀ) HEBRON:  ‘WE’RE  LIVING  IN  THE  HEART  OF  A  PRISON’   
Al Jazeera English 
August  16, 2017.   (Amid heightened restrictions and harassment, Palestinians struggle to keep their homes in Hebron’s historic Old City.)     
For weeks, members of the Abu Rajab family have been confined to their home in the heart of Hebron’s historic Old City.
___They cannot leave for fear that settlers will occupy the house. When absolutely necessary, one family member takes a short trip to buy food or other necessities, before hurrying back inside.     “We’re always careful about going out and coming back in, and we make sure not to leave the house alone,” Hazem Abu Rajab, 28, told Al Jazeera as he sat outside on their porch.
___On July 25, a group of 15 settler families broke into apartments belonging to the Abu Rajabs’ ancestral family home and moved in. The same evening, the settlers physically attacked members of the Abu Rajab family while attempting to invade their primary residence. Yet when Israeli authorities arrived on the scene, they attempted to arrest the Abu Rajabs, they said.
___For six days, the Abu Rajab family could not leave their home at all, due to a military order that forbade anyone from exiting or entering, Abu Rajab said. The Palestinian Civil Administration tried to deliver food on the fourth day but was turned away.   MORE . . .

“ABOVE  THE  CARNATIONS,”  BY  YOUSEF  AL-MAHMOUD
Her house is above the carnations
on the path to the wind-swept hills. . .
At evening we sought refuge there
watching out for the guns and the aeroplanes.

The crack of bullets followed our coffee
and smashed into our conversation.
The crack of bullets and the bark of artillery
came near to the flowers inside the windows
came near to the warmth and the water jug
debris clattered down the outside stairway
and fell towards the marble pavement.

Her house is above the carnations
there we were in it
we had sought refuge there
and so we moved to where the Jewish soldiers could no longer see us.

Translated by DM Black
Yousef Al-Mahmoud is a prominent broadcaster and poet, and former head of the Ministry of Culture in his native Jenin.
From A  BIRD  IS  NOT  A  STONE:  AN  ANTHOLOGY  OF  CONTEMPORARY  PALESTINIAN  POETRY.   (Glasgow: Freight Books, 2014) –available from Amazon.com.

“. . . what can I call this rug of soil? is it my country or the source of my exile? . . .” (Zuhair Abu Shaib)

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Blockaded street in Hebron, preventing Palestinians from entering area controlled by Israeli illegal settlers, with Israeli soldiers guarding above. (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 15, 2015)

❶ Hebron is the next Israeli-Palestinian fight at UNESCO

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

❷ Palestinian fires at Israeli soldiers during Jenin raid to remove memorial
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) Israeli settlers change name of Damascus Gate-area street to ‘honor Israeli soldiers’
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴃ) Europeans for Jerusalem warns of Israel’s practices in holy city
❸ Knesset begins deliberations on bill to cut funds to PA over ‘martyrs’ social program
❹ POETRY by Zuhair Abu Shaib
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ HEBRON  IS  THE  NEXT  ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN  FIGHT  AT  UNESCO   
+972 Blog
Yonathan Mizrachi
June 29, 2017.   In recent years, every time UNESCO convenes to discuss world heritage sites, Israel-Palestine is in the limelight.  Usually, tensions center around the Old City of Jerusalem, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Danger in 1982. Recently, however, the Israeli Foreign Ministry began a campaign against the Palestinian nomination of the city of Hebron as a World Heritage Site. Though Hebron is not Jerusalem, Israel’s claims to the place sound pretty much the same: a national and religious connection to the Cave of the Patriarchs which is based on the city’s status as a sacred site from Biblical times. Names such as Abraham and King David — who made Hebron his first capital for seven years before conquering Jerusalem — are proclaimed in connection to the city with requisite pathos.
___The discussion about recognizing Hebron as a World Heritage Site will take place during the meeting of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee in Krakow, Poland from July 2 to 12. The Palestinians propose recognizing the Tomb of the Patriarchs and Hebron as a World Heritage Site because of the city’s rich 6,000 year-old history. Like the Israelis, the Palestinians also revere the tombs of the Matriarchs and the Patriarchs — Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, Sarah, Rebecca and Leah. They note that the present structure of the Cave of the Patriarchs dates to the time of Herod — a tradition accepted by all sides, but that is yet to be verified by archeologists.   MORE . . .              POSTED HERE    Israel refuses entry to UNESCO group expected to visit Hebron’s Old City    June 26, 2017

Masalha, Nur. “Settler-Colonialism, Memoricide and Indigenous Toponymic Memory: The Appropriation of Palestinian Place Names by the Israeli State.” Journal of Holy Land & Palestine Studies, vol. 14, no. 1, May 2015, pp. 3-57.
Cartography and toponymy – the term derives from the Greek words topos (‘place’) and onoma (‘name’) – were central to European empire building in the nineteenth century. Place names (including human settlements such as villages, towns, cities, streets and countries and natural places such as mountains, hills, valleys, rivers, springs, and wadis) are meant ‘to provide clues as to the historical and cultural heritage of places and regions’. Yet in reality place names are not just spatial references; they are rooted in power relations and struggles over land and resources and the identities of the people that inhabit these places.
[. . . .] Since the rise of the Zionist settler movement in the late nineteenth century, and especially since the establishment of Israel in 1948, the struggle over toponymic memory and the renaming of sites has developed as an integral part of the political conflict in Palestine. The indigenous Palestinians have insisted on their own comprehensive set of Arabic place names through which they see their own social memory and deep-rootedness in the land of Palestine. On the other hand, since the ethnic cleansing of the 1948 Nakba and the creation of the Israeli state, a large number of Palestinian Arabic place names have been Judaised, Hebrewised. Indeed since 1948 the Israeli army and Israeli state have sought to rename systematically Palestinian Arabic place names, claiming priority in chronology and using modern archaeology, map-making, and place names as their proofs of Jewish roots in ‘the land of Israel’. In Israel the significance of place names lies in their potential to legitimize ‘historical claims’ asserted by the Zionist settler-colonial movement.   FULL ARTICLE . . .

❷ PALESTINIAN  FIRES  AT  ISRAELI  SOLDIERS  DURING  JENIN  RAID  TO  REMOVE  MEMORIAL       
Ma’an News Agency       
June 30, 2017.  An armed Palestinian opened fire on Israeli forces carrying out a raid in the northern occupied West Bank city of Jenin on Friday, causing no injuries.
___An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an that a Palestinian shot towards Israeli soldiers during a dawn raid in Jenin, before dropping his weapon and fleeing.
___No Israelis were injured in the incident, the spokesperson said, adding that the army recovered the weapon on the scene.
___The spokesperson added that the soldiers were targeted as they were undertaking an operation to remove a memorial stone commemorating Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) leader Khalid Nazzal.   MORE . . .

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Five fully armed Israeli soldiers detaining and searching a lone Palestinian young man, outside Damascus Gate (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 12, 2015)

. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) ISRAELI  SETTLERS  CHANGE  NAME  OF  DAMASCUS  GATE-AREA  STREET  TO  ‘HONOR  ISRAELI  SOLDIERS’ 
Ma’an News Agency      
June 23, 2017.  A group of Israeli settlers escorted by Israeli police and border police forces changed the name of the Damascus Gate-area Sultan Suleiman Street in occupied East Jerusalem to Heroines Street, “in commemoration of killed Israeli soldiers.”     ___Hebrew-language media sites reported on Friday that a group of Israeli settlers under the protection of Israeli forces changed the name of the Damascus Gate-area street, in commemoration of two Israeli soldiers who were killed in shooting and stabbing attacks near Damascus Gate — including 23-year old Hadas Malka, an Israeli police officer who, along with three Palestinian assailants, was killed last week at the gate’s entrance.
___Israeli settlers, police and border guards lit candles at the site before putting a sign reading “Heroines Street” in Hebrew, Arabic and English over the original street sign, which read Sultan Suleiman Street.  MORE. . .
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴃ) EUROPEANS  FOR  JERUSALEM  WARNS  OF  ISRAEL’S  PRACTICES  IN  HOLY  CITY    
Al Hourriah Magazine (Freedom) 
June 21, 2017.   Europeans for Jerusalem foundation has warned against Israel’s persistence in its serious practices in Occupied Jerusalem in general and at the Aqsa Mosque in particular.
___In a statement, Europeans for Jerusalem described the exposure of the holy city in general and the Aqsa Mosque in particular to direct targeting, break-ins, desecration and assaults on worshipers under police protection as “a threat to regional stability.”
___The foundation voiced deep concern about acts of desecration and sabotage which Jerusalem and the Aqsa Mosque are being exposed to . . .    MORE . . .    FOUNDATION . . . 
❸ KNESSET  BEGINS  DELIBERATIONS  ON  BILL  TO  CUT  FUNDS  TO  PA  OVER  ‘MARTYRS’  SOCIAL  PROGRAM 
Ma’an News Agency    
June 29, 2017.   Israel’s parliamentary foreign affairs and defense committee began discussing on Wednesday a bill aimed at slashing tax transfers to the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority (PA) over its controversial “martyrs” compensation program, which provides financial support to Palestinians imprisoned by Israel, their families, and for relatives of those who have been killed by Israeli forces — whether during attacks against Israelis or in situations void of wrongdoing.
___The bill, which would see the Israeli government cut an estimated 1 billion shekels ($280 million) in tax transfers to the PA each year, was approved for a preliminary reading in the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, earlier this month.
___Israel collects an estimated $2.1 billion in taxes yearly on behalf of the PA, according to a 2015 report by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), representing three quarters of the PA’s revenue.
___Israel has regularly withheld transferring taxes to apply pressure on the Palestinian government, despite rights groups saying such punitive measures amount to “collective punishment.”   MORE . . .

“NAME OF THE SOIL,” BY ZUHAIR ABU SHAIB
what is its name?
what is the name of the soil
that falls from my withered body?
what is its name as it drifts and gathers
under my clothes
while, slowly, I build wall after wall?

I picture a sky full of clouds
I see it as I wish it to be

when night falls, I gulp my fill of springs
in darkness I lift my latch
to wise men

I ask my guests
who imprisoned the soul in rock?
who left prophets spread-eagled on doorsteps?

who risks everything to capture the earth?
a man who does not know his own shadow

what can I call this rug of soil?
is it my country or the source of my exile?
is it my miracle or my cross?

what is its name?
――Translated by Tom Pow

Zuhair Abu Shaib was born in Deir al-Ghusun, a town near the city of Tulkarm in the northern West Bank and studied at Yarmouk University. He was a teacher and journalist in Yemen, and a book designer. He was also editor of the journal Awraq.
From A BIRD IS NOT A STONE: AN ANTHOLOGY OF CONTEMPORARY PALESTINIAN POETRY (Glasgow: Freight Books, 2014) –available from Barnes & Noble.