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

women-gza
BARCELONA, SPAIN – SEPTEMBER 14: Women show their support for two sailing boats with only female activists on board, before they set off for the Gaza Strip (Photo: The Middle East Monitor – MEMO)

❶ Israeli forces carry out airstrikes on Gaza Strip, target 3 alleged Hamas sites
❷ World Bank: Israeli restrictions ruining Palestinian economy
❸ POETRY by Jehan Bseiso

  • Background from journal Middle East Policy (lengthy excerpt)

` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ ISRAELI FORCES CARRY OUT AIRSTRIKES ON GAZA STRIP, TARGET 3 ALLEGED HAMAS SITES
Ma’an News Agency
Sept. 15, 2016
Israeli forces carried out several airstrikes on the besieged Gaza Strip during predawn hours on Thursday after a rocket was launched from Gaza and exploded near the border with Israel.
___The Israeli army had said the rocket hit an area near the Eshkol.
___According to locals, Israeli forces targeted empty agricultural lands northwest of Beit Lahiya in the northern region, reportedly striking a site used by the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of the Hamas movement. Israeli forces also shelled another site northwest of Beit Lahiya in the area of al-Shayma also allegedly used by Hamas, causing a fire to break out in the area.       MORE . . .
RELATED  Israeli military cleared on Wednesday its occupation forces of war crimes in incidents of killing civilians during Israeli major offensive on the coastal enclave in 2014. RELATED  Photos: ‘The Women’s boats to Gaza’ prepare to set sail

bobm
Israel’s air force hit the Gaza Strip early Thursday (Photo: Sept 15, 2016 (Agence France‑Presse)

❷ WORLD BANK: ISRAELI RESTRICTIONS RUINING PALESTINIAN ECONOMY
The Palestinian Information Center
Sept. 15, 2016
The prolonged period of slow economic growth has resulted in persistently high unemployment and stagnation in the average income of Palestinian citizens, according to the latest World Bank report on the Palestinian economy.
[. . . .]
Donor aid remains key for improving the humanitarian situation in Gaza. Out of the US$3.5 billion pledged at the Cairo Conference for rebuilding Gaza (2014-2017), 46 percent has been disbursed, which means it is US$1.3 billion behind schedule. Critically, only 16 percent of the total Gaza recovery needs outlined in the detailed assessment that was prepared after the 2014 war have been addressed.   MORE . . .

“GAZA,  2009,”  BY  JEHAN  BSEISO

No matter white 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.
Every day, every day Nakba.
Subsidized settlements.

Even more walls.

Children on the ICRC bus, visiting Babas in your prisons ―
Matter.

Food and medicine rotting at every border ―
Matter.
From the shadows, the silent majority watch water go on fire.

Jehan Bseiso is a Palestinian poet, researcher and aid-worker currently based in Cairo. Born in Los Angeles, she grew up in Jordan and studied in Lebanon.
From: I  REMEMBER  MY  NAME:  Poetry  by  Samah  Sabawi,  Ramzy  Baroud,  Jehan  Bseiso. Vacy Vlanzna, ed. London: Novum Publishing, 2016. Available from Barnes and Noble.

  • Zunes, Stephen. “The Gaza war, Congress and international humanitarian law.” Middle East Policy 17.1 (2010): 68+.FULL ARTICLE

[….]
The large-scale killing of civilians during Israel’s three-week assault on the Gaza Strip in 2008-09 received widespread condemnation from human-rights advocates and international legal scholars the world over. In both Europe and North America, public reaction to the grossly disproportionate Israeli response to Hamas rocket attacks was the most negative ever expressed against an Israeli military action. In Israel itself, soldiers who had witnesses some of the atrocities joined Israeli peace activists in exposing war crimes committed by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). However, the U.S. Congress, under the leadership of the Democratic Party, overwhelmingly defended the Israeli offensive, even to the point of attacking leading defenders of international humanitarian law.

[. . . .]     On November 6, Israel tightened its siege of the Gaza Strip, prompting Human Rights Watch to note, “Israel’s severe limitations on the movement of nonmilitary goods and people into and out of Gaza, including fuel and medical supplies, constitutes collective punishment, also in violation of the laws of war.” Despite this, congressional leaders of both parties continued to defend the sanctions. . . .  Despite the congressional leadership’s support for Israel’s rejection of such efforts to salvage the ceasefire, which could have prevented further rocket attacks into Israel, they subsequently would claim that Israel had “no choice” but to launch its massive assault on the Gaza Strip in retaliation.
[. . . .]     . . . some members of Congress went so far as to simply deny that large-scale attacks against civilian targets were taking place. For example, Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA) . . . insisted that. . . . “The Israeli response has been a series of targeted strikes against Hamas militants, aimed directly at those who are launching the attacks on Israeli civilian population centers” and that “the Israeli military is taking extreme caution to limit civilian casualties.”
[. . . .]     . . .  the goal of Congress appears to be to protect war criminals from prosecution. U.S. support for human rights and international law has always been uneven, but never has Congress gone on record by such an overwhelming margin to discredit these universal principles so categorically. Indeed, it may be a means of preventing the kind of precedent that could serve as a deterrent to subsequent violations of international humanitarian law by the United States in its “global war on terrorism.” By essentially going on record that mass killing of civilians is legitimate as long as you are fighting “terrorists,” this provides a blank check for U.S. forces to commit future atrocities. . . .
[. . . .]
Of greatest concern for the U.S. Congress, however, was the mission organized by the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), headed by the distinguished South African jurist Richard Goldstone. The Goldstone Commission report cited a series of war crimes by both Hamas militia and Israeli forces, called on both Hamas and the Israeli government to bring to justice those responsible, and recommended that, in the absence of credible investigations by their respective governments, the case be referred to the International Criminal Court (ICC) for possible prosecution. . . .
[. . . .] That the report examined violations of international humanitarian law by both sides did not alter these senators’ insistence of bias since, according to the letter, “the vast majority of the report focuses on Israel’s conduct, rather than that of Hamas.”
[. . . .]

“. . . I wonder if my soldier shot her too . . .” (Hanan Ashrawi)

hadeel_rajabi_mom
11- year old Hadeel was summoned to the Qishla police station in the western part of the Old City of Jerusalem. (Photo: Palestine Chronicle, Jan. 6, 2016) SEE #5 BELOW.

❶ Ministry: Killing of 4 teens a ‘dangerous escalation’ by Israel
. . ❶―(ᴀ) IOF declares Seir a closed military zone
❷ UK MPs speak out about Israeli detention of Palestinian children
❸ “How to Lie with Maps” in the Context of the Israeli Occupation
❹ Israeli forces demolish 5 Bedouin dwellings in E1 corridor
❺ Opinion/Analysis: [An eleven-year-old child] Resisting Oblivion in the New Year
❻ Poetry by Hanan Ashrawi
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
MINISTRY:  KILLING  OF  4  TEENS  A  ‘DANGEROUS  ESCALATION’  BY  ISRAEL
Jan. 8, 2016
The Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Friday said the deaths of four Palestinian teens the day before marked a “dangerous escalation” in the current political situation.
___The ministry in a statement condemned the “continuous series of crimes and field executions by Netanyahu’s government against Palestinians,” referring to the killing of four Palestinians on Thursday as a “massacre.”
___“It is enough for an Israeli to shout ‘terrorist’ at a nearby Palestinian for them to be shot without first having to either confirm the claim or attempt to arrest them,” the ministry’s statement said. More . . . .
. . ❶―(ᴀ) PALESTINE NEWS NETWORK
IOF  DECLARES  SEIR  A  CLOSED  MILITARY  ZONE
On Friday morning the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) closed all entrances leading to Seir town, north of Hebron, before declaring it a closed military zone.
___The four Palestinian youths killed on Thursday evening by the IOF after claims that they attempt to stab Israeli soldiers at the Gush Etzion junction were all from Seir city.  More. . . .
Related . . . .
THE MIDDLE EAST MONITOR (MEMO)
UK  MPS  SPEAK  OUT  ABOUT  ISRAELI  DETENTION  OF  PALESTINIAN  CHILDREN
Jehan Alfarra
Jan. 7, 2016
British parliament held a debate on the issue of child prisoners and detainees in the Occupied Palestinian Territories for the second time yesterday, following a debate on the issue in 2010.
___The debate was procured by Sarah Champion MP, who began by addressing the ill-treatment meted out to Palestinian children detained by the Israeli military as documented by two damning reports showing that Israel was in breach of its legal obligations . . . .
___In 2012, a delegation of nine UK lawyers led by the former British Attorney-General, Baroness Scotland, published an independent report funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Children in Military Custody, on the plight of Palestinian children arrested and detained by Israel.  More . . . .
THIS WEEK IN PALESTINE
“HOW  TO  LIE  WITH  MAPS”  IN  THE  CONTEXT  OF  THE  ISRAELI  OCCUPATION
Ahmad El-Atrash
Jan. 2016
Since the early days of occupation, the Israeli authorities have used maps as a tool to dispossess Palestinians, establish de facto sovereignty over the occupied territory, and engineer a fabricated statehood. The socio-spatial consequences of map-making, as a form of authority-making, in present-day Palestine become “stubborn realities” that tend to perpetuate in a state of permanent temporariness due to Israel’s prolonged military occupation of territory. In this article, maps are best understood as discourses that create knowledge, particularly so in sensitive geo-political contexts such as the one in which we live.  More . . . .

bediouin home destruction
Israeli forces on Wednesday morning demolished five dwellings housing Palestinian Bedouin families in the Abu Nuwwar community east of Jerusalem — part of the wider E1 corridor — leaving 25 people homeless. (Photo: Ma’an News Agency, Jan. 6, 2016) SEE# 4 BELOW.

MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
ISRAELI  FORCES  DEMOLISH  5  BEDOUIN  DWELLINGS  IN  E1  CORRIDOR
Jan. 6, 2016
Israeli forces on Wednesday morning demolished five dwellings housing Palestinian Bedouin families in the Abu Nuwwar community east of Jerusalem — part of the wider E1 corridor — leaving 25 people homeless.
___Dawood al-Jahalin, a spokesperson for the Abu Nuwwar Bedouin community, told Ma’an that Israeli military and police vehicles surrounded the area at around 8:30 a.m., before bulldozers demolished five dwellings and an agricultural structure.
___The families were not given any time to remove their belongings before the dwellings — made of steel, wood, and canvas — were torn down, he said.  More . . .
Opinion/Analysis
PALESTINE CHRONICLE
RESISTING  OBLIVION  IN  THE  NEW  YEAR
Mahmoud Zidan
Jan 6 2016
At the beginning of the New Year, I cannot help but remember Hadeel Rajabi, an eleven-year-old child. Do I need to say that she’s like all children at this age, full of a combination of innocence, ambition, stubbornness, and perhaps mischievousness? Yes, I do, as she’s a Palestinian . . . .
___On Wednesday the 18th of January last year, Hadeel was not given a gift nor was she expecting one. She wasn’t rewarded for being a high-achieving student, either. She was reminded that she’s a Palestinian, as she was summoned to the Qishla police station in the western part of the Old City of Jerusalem. . . .
___ . . . despite the injuries that an Israeli soldier has inflicted on her and that she still remembers. Etched in the mind of this child is immunity against oblivion. 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.

How-to-Lie-with-Maps-2
An Israeli Official Map Showing the West Bank as part of Israel.

“. . . Rub salt into every wound old wounds new wounds . . .” (Fouzi El Asmar)

A masked Palestinian youth throws stones towards Israeli security forces during clashes at the Shuafat refugee camp in East Jerusalem on Sept. 18, 2015. (AFP/File Ahmad Gharabli)
A masked Palestinian youth throws stones towards Israeli security forces during clashes at the Shuafat refugee camp in East Jerusalem on Sept. 18, 2015. (AFP/File Ahmad Gharabli)

❶ Israel broadens rules on use of live fire against stone-throwers
❷ Palestinian shot by Israeli fire dies of wounds
❸ Palestinian detainee in critical condition despite ongoing PA concerns
❹ Taybeh Golden Hotel Opens Its Doors for Oktoberfest
❺ Opinion/Analysis: What’s behind Netanyahu’s war on stone throwers
❻ Poetry by Fouzi El Asmar

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

◊  ◊  ◊  ◊  ◊  ◊

MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
ISRAEL  BROADENS  RULES  ON  USE  OF  LIVE  FIRE  AGAINST  STONE-THROWERS
Sept. 24, 2015
JERUSALEM (AFP) — Israel’s security cabinet on Thursday broadened the rules under which stone-throwers can be targeted by live fire, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said.
____”The security cabinet has decided to authorize police to use live ammunition against people throwing stones and Molotov cocktails when the life of a third person is threatened and no longer only when the police officer is threatened,” a statement said. [. . . . .]
____The use of .22 caliber bullets — long used as a crowd control method in the occupied West Bank — will be allowed in occupied East Jerusalem in circumstances that Israeli forces determine are life-threatening.
More . . .

THE PALESTINIAN INFORMATION CENTER
PALESTINIAN  SHOT  BY  ISRAELI  FIRE  DIES  OF  WOUNDS
Sept. 25, 2015
NABLUS, (PIC)– A Palestinian young man has died of wounds he sustained after being shot and critically injured by Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) at a military checkpoint in the West Bank city of Nablus last week.
____Palestinian medical sources said Ahmad Khatatbeh, 25, succumbed to his injuries after being shot at Beit Furik checkpoint in eastern Nablus last Friday.
____Israeli sources claimed that Ahmed Khatabteh allegedly threw a Molotov cocktail at an Israeli car. . .
____However, family sources affirmed that Israeli soldiers stationed at the checkpoint suddenly opened fire at Khatatbeh while driving along with his two friends on their way back home.
____Khatatbeh did not understand what happened as he was born deaf and mute, the family stressed.
More . . .

MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
PALESTINIAN  DETAINEE  IN  CRITICAL  CONDITION  DESPITE  ONGOING  PA  CONCERNS
Sept. 24, 2015
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — The health condition of Palestinian prisoner Sami Abu Diak, 33, has reached a critical stage despite repeated calls by the Palestinian Authority for the Israeli Prison Service to address his medical needs.
____PA Minister of Health Jawad Awad sent a medical delegation, headed by the general director of primary health Kamal al-Shakhra, to visit Abu Diak at the Assaf HaRofeh Hospital where the detainee is currently being held.
____Al-Shakhra said Abu Diak is suffering from renal and pulmonary failure, adding that doctors expect his body to respond to treatment in a week, but any lack of response would result in further deterioration of his health.
More . . .

Taybeh Golden Hotel is in the center of Taybeh Village, roughly 25 minutes away from Ramallah. Within close distance to the hotel is the St. George Byzantine Church, the Taybeh Brewing Company, Old City of Taybeh and the Taybeh Winery. (Photo: Taybeh Golden Hotel)
Taybeh Golden Hotel in Taybeh Village, 25 minutes away from Ramallah. Within close distance to the hotel is the St. George Byzantine Church, the Taybeh Brewing Company, Old City of Taybeh and the Taybeh Winery. (Photo: Taybeh Golden Hotel)

THIS WEEK IN PALESTINE
TAYBEH  GOLDEN  HOTEL  OPENS  ITS  DOORS  FOR  OKTOBERFEST
Sept. 2015
Maria Khoury
(Dr. Maria C. Khoury, author of Christina Goes to the Holy Land, has organized the annual Taybeh Oktoberfest since 2005.)
All of a sudden it seems like I have a house with eighty rooms. This is exactly what working at the new Taybeh Golden Hotel feels like to me since we are still at the setting up stages and taking reservations, especially for Taybeh Oktoberfest that will be back in Taybeh this September.
More . . .

❺ Opinion/Analysis
MONDOWEISS
WHAT’S  BEHIND  NETANYAHU’S  WAR  ON  STONE  THROWERS
Dan Cohen
Sept. 24, 2015
Last Wednesday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stood at the site in occupied East Jerusalem where a 64-year-old Israeli driver was injured after his car hit a pole and later died.
____“We are declaring war on those who throw stones and bottles and rioters,” he declared. [. . . . .]
____Now that thwarting the Iran deal is out of reach, Netanyahu’s political calculus demands a new threat – and stone throwers have replaced the nuclear duck.
More . . .
Background . . .

“DETERMINATION  II,”  FOUZI  EL ASMAR
Whip me
Fetch more whips
more executioners
By the thousands
Render my skin
to shoe soles
Rub salt into every wound
old wounds
new wounds
Search my mind
for every thread of a new image
to a new poem
Take away the pen and the pencil.
With my blood
I shall write
every day
a million songs.

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

THE NECESSARY PROTECTION AGAINST A BOY THROWING A STONE. The Israeli army is using live ammunition against unarmed Palestinian stone-throwers in the Occupied West Bank. (Photo: Middle East Monitor)
THE  NECESSARY  PROTECTION  AGAINST  A BOY  THROWING  A  STONE. The Israeli army is using live ammunition against unarmed Palestinian stone-throwers in the Occupied West Bank. (Photo: Middle East Monitor)