“. . . when I am led all alone to be whipped and humiliated . . . at every police station. . .” (‘Abd Al-Latif ‘Aql)

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Ofer Prison, Occupied Territories. Ofer Prison is run by the Israel Prison Service and used to be operated by the Israel Defense Forces’ Military Police Corps. It holds about 1,100 Palestinian prisoners both those under administrative detention and those who have been tried and sentenced. Among them are children. (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 5, 2015)

❶ Nearly 400 Palestinian children held in Israeli jails
❷ UN submission: Unlawful transfer of protected persons
❸ Pollard Released After 30 Years in Prison
❹ Army Kidnaps Fifteen Palestinians in Hebron
❺ Opinion/Analysis: ‘It Has Become a Prison’: The ghettoization of Hebron
❻ Poetry by ‘Abd Al-Latif ‘Aql
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
NEARLY  400  PALESTINIAN  CHILDREN  HELD  IN  ISRAELI  JAILS
Nov. 20, 2015
RAMALLAH ― A prisoners’ rights group said Friday that nearly 400 Palestinian children between the ages of 11 and 17 are currently being held in Israeli jails.
___The Palestinian Prisoners’ Society said in a statement that 11 of those detained were being held without charge or trial under administration detention orders. . . .
___Some 700 children have been detained since the beginning of October — mainly in the Hebron and Jerusalem districts — many of whom were released under specific conditions including bail or house arrest, the society said.
More . . .
MILITARY COURT WATCH
UN  SUBMISSION:  UNLAWFUL  TRANSFER  OF  PROTECTED  PERSONS
Nov. 12, 2015
MCW lodged a submission with the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention relating to the unlawful transfer and detention of Palestinian minors from the West Bank to prisons located inside Israel in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention and the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.
___According to evidence provided by the Israeli Prison Service (IPS) an average of 88 per cent of Palestinian detainees from the West Bank, including minors, are transferred and detained inside Israel. It is currently estimated that this affects between 7,000 to 8,000 Palestinians each year and is classified under international law as a war crime.
More . . .

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The gate to Ofer Prison. (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 5, 2015)

IMEMC-INTERNATIONAL MIDDLE EAST MEDIA CENTER
POLLARD  RELEASED  AFTER  30  YEARS  IN  PRISON
Nov. 21, 2015
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, on Friday, addressed American spy, Jonathan Pollard, who was released on parole after serving 30 years in prison, after handing over top-secret classified information to Israel.
___“The people of Israel welcome the release of Jonathan Pollard,” the PM said in a video statement. “As someone who has raised his case among successive US presidents many times, I longed for this day,” Netanyahu continued.
___The former intelligence analyst for the US government was arrested in 1985, and pleaded guilty in 1987, to charges in violation of the Espionage Act.
More . . .
IMEMC-INTERNATIONAL MIDDLE EAST MEDIA CENTER
ARMY  KIDNAPS  FIFTEEN  PALESTINIANS  IN  HEBRON
Nov. 21, 2015
Israeli soldiers invaded, on Saturday at dawn, the southern West Bank district of Hebron, searched dozens of homes and kidnapped fifteen Palestinians.
___The soldiers invaded the Joret Bahlas area, north of Hebron city, and various neighborhoods before kidnapping the Palestinians.
___Local sources said the soldiers kidnapped Ismael Taiseer Bader, 44, Luay Faisal al-Hashlamoun, 30, Adel al-Eeda al-Herbawi, 48, Othman Sharif Tamimi, 18, Nader Hamed Natsha, Mohammad Ali al-Qawasma, and Ezzat Sha’ban al-Khatib, after violently storming their homes and searching them, in Hebron city.
___ The army also invaded Deir Samet village, southwest of Hebron, searched homes and kidnapped . . .
More . . .
Opinion/Analysis
MONDOWEISS
‘IT  HAS  BECOME  A  PRISON’:  THE  GHETTOIZATION  OF  HEBRON
Megan Hanna
Nov. 11, 2015
Hebron’s Old City, located in the “H2 area” under full Israeli military control, is subject to dramatic new restrictions introduced last week. Israeli soldiers seized several homes in the Tel Rumedia area and barred the residents from going in or out, declaring the area a military zone and banning access to non-residents, in a move that parallels security restrictions imposed recently upon areas of East Jerusalem.
Since the beginning of last month 22 Palestinians have been killed in Hebron, and nine in the Old City that has been the epicentre of escalating tensions.
___Even for the 50 families who live in Tel Rumeida, who had a mere few days to register their name and ID card to the Israeli authorities, the plans will severely restrict their freedom of movement, as they will have to undergo rigorous security searches every time they wish to leave or enter their homes.
___According to a resident of Tel Rumeida, “They told me I have the number 36 [on the list with who’s allowed to go in and out], it’s just like in prison. They try to make you a number, you’re not a person”.
More . . .

(Palestinian poets frequently use the image of “lover” for Palestine.)

“LOVE  PALESTINIAN-STYLE,”  BY  ‘ABD AL-LATIF ‘AQL

In times of drought you are my figs and olives,
Your barrenness is my fragrant gown.

Of the rubble that was your eyes I erect my home,
I love you alive, I love you in death.
When hungry, I feed on thyme.

I feel your hair against my face and I pine,
My weary face turns red.

I am born in the palms of your hands, and embryo,
I grow and grow, and I reach maturity.

I drink the meaning of my life from your gaze,
Then my being is awakened and is intoxicated.

I journey across frontiers, you are my suitcase,
You are my forged passport.

I boast that I can smuggle your eyes
Across borders;
I boast and boast and pride surges within me.

And when soldiers confiscate you,
Even before hashish,
And gouge the pupils of my eyes,

I feel I have been cleansed of the shame;
I have become purer
And more immaculate.

When they fear what may be under my armpits,
They confine me in small cells;
I sign your name
At the end of police reports.

And when I am led all alone
To be whipped and humiliated,
And lashed at every police station,
I feel we’re lovers, who died from ecstasy,
A dark-skinned man and his woman.

You become me and I become you―
Luscious figs and shelled almonds.
And when soldiers smash my head
And force me to sip the cold of prison
To forget you―I love you even more.

‘Abd Al-Latif ‘Aql was born in 1942 in Deir Istiya, a village near Nablus. His family was exiled in 1948, and he lived in Amman and studied in Damasus and the U.S. where earned a PhD in social psychology. He worked as a school teacher in the West Bank for many years. He has published many volumes of poetry. His two plays incurred the wrath of the Israelis, and were forced to end performance at Bir Zeit University.
___From: A  LOVER  FROM  PALESTINE  AND  OTHER  POEMS:  AN  ANTHOLOGY  OF  PALESTINIAN  POETRY. Ed. Abdul Wahab Al-Messiri. Washington, DC: Free Palestine Press, 1970.
Available from Abe Books. 

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Employee parking, Ofer Prison. (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 5, 2015)

 

“. . . my tongue has not been silenced yet . . .” (Mourid Barghouti)

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‘My political party is my poem.’ Mourid Barghouti feels that the Arabic language is under attack [Credit: Ahmed Alaidy, 2010. AlJazeera]
❶ Report: Israel killed 23 Palestinian children since the start of 2015
❷ Israeli forces raid Bethlehem-area refugee camp, injure 2
❸ Gaza man shocked after being wrongly identified as Paris attacker
❹ What’s the difference between habbeh and intifada?
❺ Opinion/Analysis: Israel tries to reap propaganda benefits from Paris bombings
❻ Poetry by Mourid Barghouti
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ THE PALESTINIAN INFORMATION CENTER
REPORT:  ISRAEL  KILLED  23  PALESTINIAN  CHILDREN  SINCE  THE  START  OF  2015
Nov. 19, 2015
RAMALLAH, (PIC)– The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) have killed 23 Palestinian children since the beginning of the current year, according to Palestinian official statistics released on the occasion of the Universal Children’s Day.
___20 November marks the Universal Children’s Day on which the UN General Assembly adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child in 1959 and the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1989.
___A report issued by the Palestinian central bureau of statistics on Wednesday stated that 18 Palestinian children had been killed by the IOF since the start of al-Quds intifada in early October.
___The IOF also kidnapped and detained more than 3,700 children between 2010 and 2014, the report said.
More . . .
Related . . . IN  PICTURES:  THE  OCCUPATION  ARRESTS  10  JERUSALEMITE  CHILDREN
MAAN NEWS AGENCY
ISRAELI  FORCES  RAID  BETHLEHEM-AREA  REFUGEE  CAMP,  INJURE  2
Nov. 19, 2015
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) – Israeli forces on Thursday shot and injured two young Palestinian men in Duheisha refugee camp south of Bethlehem during a dawn arrest raid, locals said.
___Locals told Ma’an that large numbers of Israeli soldiers stormed the southern West Bank camp ransacking more than 20 homes before detaining 22-year-old Muhammad Nidal Abu Akar.
___In response to the incursion, young men and teenagers living in the camp hurled stones and improvised explosive devices at the soldiers who deployed heavily in the streets and on rooftops of buildings.
___Israeli soldiers showered the camp and the main street leading to Bethlehem with tear gas and fired live ammunition at the protesters, hitting two in the feet, according to locals.
___Witnesses told Ma’an that Israeli soldiers also fired gunshots at security guards of an UNRWA-affiliated school near the main road.
More . . .

sami abu ras
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
GAZA  MAN  SHOCKED  AFTER  BEING  WRONGLY  IDENTIFIED  AS  PARIS  ATTACKER
Nov. 18, 2015
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — A young man from the Gaza Strip has spoken of his shock after being falsely accused of being one of theIS militants involved in the Paris attacks on Friday, which killed over 130 people.
___Sami Abu Rus, a journalism student at Al-Aqsa University, told Ma’an that he was shocked after seeing his image posted online by Islamic State media groups praising him as one of the “lions” who attacked Paris.
___Abu Rus, who resides in al-Nuseirat refugee camp, said he has never left the Gaza Strip and only found out that his photo had been used after being told by friends.
___He initially dismissed it as a joke, before his photo was also published by a site affiliated with IS.
More . . . 
AL-MONITOR (PALESTINE PULSE)
WHAT’S  THE  DIFFERENCE  BETWEEN  HABBEH  AND  INTIFADA?
Daoud Kuttab
Nov. 18, 2015
Palestinians and Arabs are still unsure about what to call the protest activities that began on the eve of the Jewish New Year on Sept. 13, 2015. Since then, 89 Palestinians and 12 Israeli soldiers and Jewish settlers have been killed and many more injured.
___After the 1987 first intifada and the 2000 second intifada, it has taken pundits and politicians some time to decide whether what we are witnessing today is a full-blown uprising, or intifada in Palestinian terminology, or simply short, popular outbursts of protests, what Palestinians call “habbeh jamaherieh” in Arabic.
___The differences have followed the split within the Palestinian movement with pro-Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas media and politicians calling it habbeh, while pro-Hamas leaders and media are calling it an Al-Quds intifada or Al-Aqsa intifada.
More . . .
Opinion/Analysis
THE PALESTINIAN INFORMATION CENTER
ISRAEL  TRIES  TO  REAP  PROPAGANDA  BENEFITS  FROM  PARIS  BOMBINGS
Khalid Amayreh
As usual in these circumstances, Israel is trying to exploit the Paris bombings for its propaganda purposes.
___Israeli and Zionist officials have been insinuating that the widely condemned terrorist bombings in Paris, for which the ISIS took responsibility, justified Israel’s crackdown on Palestinian resistance against Jewish colonialism, especially Israel’s lebensraum policies in the West Bank.
___Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has been quoted as saying that the Paris bombings should make France and other countries understand Israel’s war on Palestinian terror.
___Netanyahu’s opportunistic remarks seem to have been motivated by two main considerations.
More . . .
Related . . . THIS  WEEK  IN  PALESTINE:  JOURNALIST/AUTHOR  KHALID  AMAYREH

(A poem about Barghouti’s life as an exile almost continuously since the 1967 war.)

“I  HAVE  NO  PROBLEM,”  BY  MOURID  BARGHOUTI
I look at myself:
I have no problem.
I look all right
and, to some girls,
my grey hair might even be attractive;
my eyeglasses are well made,
my body temperature is precisely thirty seven,
my shirt is ironed and my shoes do not hurt.
I have no problem.
My hands are not cuffed,
my tongue has not been silenced yet,
I have not, so far, been sentenced
and I have not been fired from my work;
I am allowed to visit my relatives in jail,
I’m allowed to visit some of their graves in some countries.
I have no problem.
I am not shocked that my friend
has grown a horn on his head.
I like his cleverness in hiding the obvious tail
under his clothes, I like his calm paws.
He might kill me, but I shall forgive him
for he is my friend;
he can hurt me every now and then.
I have no problem.
The smile of the TV anchor
does not make me ill any more
and I’ve got used to the Khaki stopping my colours
night and day.
That is why
I keep my identification papers on me, even at
the swimming pool.
I have no problem.
Yesterday, my dreams took the night train
and I did not know how to say goodbye to them.
I heard the train had crashed
in a barren valley
(only the driver survived).
I thanked God, and took it easy
for I have small nightmares
that I hope will develop into great dreams.
I have no problem.
I look at myself, from the day I was born till now.
In my despair I remember
that there is life after death;
there is life after death
and I have no problem.
But I ask:
Oh my God,
is there life before death?
――Translated by Radwa Ashour

From poem hunter.com
Interview with Mourid Barghouti 

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Israeli forces enter a Palestinian home in Duheisha refugee camp in the occupied West Bank town of Bethlehem. (MaanImages)

 

“. . . Who are these songs when they . . . hide them from the eyes of soldiers . . .” (Ibrahim Nasrallah)

One of a series of photos taken in Nabi Saleh on Friday, Aug. 28 that has subsequently gone viral.
One of a series of photos taken in Nabi Saleh on Friday, Aug. 28 that has subsequently gone viral.

MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
PHOTOS  OF  FAMILY  FORCING  SOLDIER  TO  RELEASE  12-YEAR-OLD  BOY  GO  VIRAL
August 29, 2015
BETHLEHEM―Images of two Palestinian women and a young girl scuffling with an Israeli soldier after he tackled a Palestinian boy with a broken arm went viral Friday evening, as the images became widely circulated on social media networks and mainstream media outlets.
____The incident took place in the central occupied West Bank village of Nabi Saleh near Ramallah, where local, international and Israeli activists gather for weekly Friday rallies in protest against Israel’s separation wall, a well as settlement expansion and illegal policies.
More. . . 

MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
NEW  SCHOOL  YEAR  IN  DOUBT  AT  PALESTINIAN  CHRISTIAN  SCHOOLS  IN  ISRAEL
August 29, 2015
JERUSALEM ―Israel’s academic year starts Tuesday, but if tough financing talks with the government bear no fruit, the doors of the country’s 47 Christian schools will remain closed, a church official said.
____Some 33,000 children, mostly Muslim Palestinians, attend the schools, which have a history predating Israel’s foundation in 1948 and are run primarily by the Roman Catholic church.
____Traditionally, the schools received 65 percent of their budgets from the state, with parents paying the balance. But that figure was cut to 34 percent two years ago, doubling the amount parents had to come up with.
More. . .

+972 MAGAZINE
PHOTOS: THE GAZA FAMILIES OBLITERATED IN JUST 51 DAYS
Photography: Anne Paq / Activestills.org
August 26, 2015
Out of the 2,200 Palestinians killed in last summer’s assault on the Gaza Strip, over 80 percent were civilians. Nearly 150 families lost three or more relatives, with some families disappearing entirely. Activestills’ Anne Paq returns to Gaza to tell the story behind the numbers.
More. . .

Photos (from left to right) of the killed siblings Mohammed (12), Yara (8) and Nadeen (16) Mahmoud Al Farra, held by their mother in their home in Khan Younis, February 22, 2015. 9 members of the Al Farra family were killed in the street by an Israeli missile while they were fleeing their home after it was attacked on August 1st, 2014.
Photos (from left to right) of the killed siblings Mohammed (12), Yara (8) and Nadeen (16) Mahmoud Al Farra, held by their mother in their home in Khan Younis, February 22, 2015. 9 members of the Al Farra family were killed in the street by an Israeli missile while they were fleeing their home after it was attacked on August 1st, 2014. (Anne Paq/Activestills.org)

MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
ISRAELI  FORCES  INJURE  5  IN  NORTHERN  WEST  BANK  CLASHES
August 29, 2015
NABLUS ―Israeli forces shot four young Palestinian men with rubber-coated steel bullets and an elderly man suffered from tear gas inhalation during clashes early Saturday morning in the northern West Bank village of Tell, south of Nablus, Palestinian security sources told Ma’an.
____Palestinian security sources said that several Israeli military vehicles stormed the village of Tell at 1 a.m. on Saturday morning before local youths responded to their presence and clashes broke out.
____The security sources, as well as locals, said young Palestinian men threw stone and empty bottles at the intruding soldiers, who then fired stun grenades, tear-gas canisters and rubber-coated steel bullets at the young men.
[. . . .]
____Israeli forces have injured 1,307 Palestinians in the occupied Palestinian Territory since the start of the year. . . .
More. . .

❺ Opinion
THE MIDDLE EAST MONITOR (MEM)
NGOS  CALL  ON  ISRAEL  TO  LIFT  GAZA  BLOCKADE
August 27, 2015
Aid, faith, development and human rights organisations have launched an unprecedented joint call urging world leaders to put pressure on Israel to lift the siege imposed on the Gaza Strip. The group of thirty-five NGOs blame the siege for the lack of reconstruction in the enclave a year after the 2014 Israeli offensive.
____“It’s outrageous that a year on from the last Gaza war, not one home has been totally rebuilt and the world has left families to live in rubble,” said senior Avaaz campaigner Fadi Quran. “Governments are allowing Israel to violate the most basic humanitarian laws. Since the start of the blockade there have been three wars with hundreds of children killed.”
____The campaign has attracted the support of renowned international organisations, including Oxfam, Action Against Hunger and Avaaz, to become the largest ever global public push to end the blockade of the Palestinian territory.
More. . . 
***  SIGN THE PETITION
Oxfam
Action Against Hunger | ACF International

“OUR  SONGS,”  BY  IBRAHIM  NASRALLAH
Who are these songs for?
When they break the silence of the night
spreading warmth and life over the snow,
when they fall on the amine and carry it to water,
when they pass by a dim window, secretly embracing a lover,
when the spread over the grass, wrapped in clouds?
Who are these songs for
when they free the flowers
and the hidden flame of passion in women,
when they come to you with their flowers,
when they come to me with their secrets,
when they embrace the sun or a bouquet of flowers
or anything abandoned on the road?
When they send a pulse into the ground
and the pulse blossoms into a flower
in the space between two deaths,
or in a cloud, or in fire?
Who are these songs for
when they laugh,
who are these songs for when they rise?
And who are these songs for
when they open the doors to our houses
and embrace us one by one,
returning us to our lore?
When they carry our bodies in weddings
and cushion us with a lovely homeland
and then pick the most delicious fruit
and the farthest star
and hide them from the eyes of soldiers
to carry them―like our mother―home to us?

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

Israeli soldiers firing rubber-coated bullets and tear gas. Ma'an Images.
Israeli soldiers firing rubber-coated bullets and tear gas. Ma’an Images.