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

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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)

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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

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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.”
[. . . .]

“. . . It is my right to behold the sun . . .” (Fouzi El-Asmar)

The Gaza Music School is the only institution in the territory dedicated to the study of the art. Photo: Mousa Tawfiq. https://electronicintifada.net/content/making-music-under-siege/14946
“. . . to water the vineyards with music. . .” The Gaza Music School is the only institution in the territory dedicated to the study of the art. Photo: Mousa Tawfiq. https://electronicintifada.net/content/making-music-under-siege/14946

68 Palestinians, Including 13 Children and A Pregnant Woman, Killed This Month; 921 Wounded
❷ Israelis only understand force — and it makes them angrier, polls show
❸ 2 Palestinians shot at Nablus checkpoint after alleged attack
❹ Group: Israeli settlers lock family out of their home in Silwan
❺ Opinion/Analysis: The Palestinians Are Living in a Tragedy of Eternal Struggle
❻ Poetry by Fouzi el-Asmar
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
IMEMC-INTERNATIONAL MIDDLE EAST MEDIA CENTER
68  PALESTINIANS,  INCLUDING  13  CHILDREN  AND  A  PREGNANT  WOMAN,  KILLED  THIS  MONTH;  921  WOUNDED
October 30, 2015
The Health Minister has reported that 68 Palestinians have been killed, and 921 Palestinians have been shot and injured with live Israeli army rounds, since the beginning of this month, in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, while 855 were shot with rubber-coated steel bullets, and 208 suffered fractures and bruises after being assaulted and beaten by soldiers and fanatic settlers.
More . . .
Related . . .
+972 MAGAZINE
ISRAELIS  ONLY  UNDERSTAND  FORCE —  AND  IT  MAKES  THEM  ANGRIER,  POLLS  SHOW
New polls find that a majority of Jewish Israelis support the ‘voluntary transfer’ of West Bank Palestinians, a majority want to strip East Jerusalem Palestinians of Israeli residency.
Dahlia Scheindlin
Oct. 29, 2015
The latest crisis of violence has become a successful campaign of terror: Israelis are profoundly shaken. Many have reverted to the Second Intifada mentality of personal risk calculations based on self-selected danger factors and fingers in the wind.
More . . .
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
2  PALESTINIANS  SHOT  AT  NABLUS  CHECKPOINT  AFTER  ALLEGED  ATTACK
Oct. 30, 2015
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Two Palestinians were shot in the Nablus district on Friday after allegedly attempting to stab an Israeli border policeman, Israel’s army said.
___An Israeli army spokesperson said two Palestinians tried to stab an Israeli border policeman at the Tappuah, or Zatara, military checkpoint south of Nablus.
____Both alleged attackers were shot, he added.
More . . .
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
GROUP:  ISRAELI  SETTLERS  LOCK  FAMILY  OUT  OF  THEIR  HOME  IN  SILWAN
Oct. 29, 2015
JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — Israeli settlers on Thursday prevented a Palestinian family from entering their home in the Batan al-Hawa area of Silwan in occupied East Jerusalem, a local organization said.
____Wadi Hilweh Information Center said that Israeli settlers who live in the area prevented Rania Abu Nab and her four children, aged 4 to 14-years-old, from entering the home, before Israeli police arrived at the scene reportedly in support of the settlers [. . . . .].
____Abu Nab said she had left her home to meet with UNRWA employees, who were prevented from visiting her at home by Israeli settlers in the area.
____When Abu Nab tried to come home, the main gate of the compound where her home is was reportedly locked and the Israeli settlers did not allow her back into the house. She added that they did not provide any reason and mockingly told her “keep having meetings and interviews.”
More . . .
❺ Opinion/Analysis
PALESTINE CHRONICLE
THE  PALESTINIANS  ARE  LIVING  IN  A  TRAGEDY  OF  ETERNAL  STRUGGLE
Hasan Afif El-Hasan
Oct 28 2015
The third explosion in the Palestinian struggle for freedom from occupation finally came in October of this year, sparked by the Israeli minister of defense banning the Palestinian Murabitun from entering Al-Aqsa mosque, either for tutorials or maintenance and protection roles, something they have been doing for decades. The Israeli action spread like wildfire across the West Bank and Gaza, as though the Palestinians were shaking off the decades of accumulated humiliation under the occupation.
____The future of the Arab –populated Jerusalem where Al-Aqsa mosque is located was decided by Israel as soon as the guns fell silent after the 1967 war and Israel was triumphant and drunk with a heady sense of power. On 18 June of 1967, the government of Israel annexed East Jerusalem and the surrounding area, and extended the Israeli laws to it. This action was supported by all Israeli political and civil society factions, secular and religious, and across party lines.
More . . .

“THE  WAY,” BY  FOUZI  E-ASMAR
I shall not despair:
Whether my way leads to a jail,
Under the sun
Or in exile
I shall not despair.

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

From: El-Asmar, Fouzi. THE  WIND-DRIVEN  REED  AND  OTHER  POEMS.  Washington, D.C.: Three Continents Press, 1979.
Available from Amazon.
About Fouzi el-Asmar

Video: For the second consecutive day, storming into Al-Maqased hospital looking for the medical file of a detained child October 30, 2015 Wadi Hilweh Information Center - Silwan http://silwanic.net/?p=64660
Video: For the second consecutive day, storming into Al-Maqased hospital looking for the medical file of a detained child
October 30, 2015
Wadi Hilweh Information Center – Silwan
http://silwanic.net/?p=64660