“. . . She gazes at me like a little child. . .” (Muhammad al-Dhahir)

IMG_3697 - Copy - Copy - Copy
Neighborhood of Jericho (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 15, 2015)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .  
|  PRISONER’S  SOCIETY:  ISRAEL  DETAINED  OVER  900  PALESTINIAN  CHILDREN  SINCE  BEGINNING  OF  YEAR
Israel detained 908 Palestinian children under 18 years of age since the beginning of the year, the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS) said on Tuesday.    ___It said in a statement marking  UNIVERSAL CHILDREN’S DAY, which coincides on Tuesday, that out of the 908 detained since January 2018 until the end of October, 270 are still held in detention in various prisons in Israel.   More . . .
|  THE  RIGHT  TO  EDUCATION  CAMPAIGN  CONDEMNS  ARBITRARY  ARREST  OF  BIRZEIT  UNIVERSITY’S  HEAD  OF  STUDENT  COUNCIL
The Right to Education Campaign expresses its grave concern over the Israeli Occupying forces’ arrest of the head of Birzeit University student council Yehya Rabie’ at dawn on November 19, 2018, from his house in Al- Mazra’a Al Gharbiya near Ramallah. Rabie’ is a third-year student in the Faculty of Business and Economics.    ___ Such outrageous acts are categorical violation of international laws and norms, which all forbid any violation against the basic right of people to the right of education.   More . . .
|  ISRAEL  RAZES  PALESTINIAN  LANDS,  UPROOTS  500  PALM  TREES  IN  JERICHO
Israeli bulldozers razed and leveled Palestinian-owned agricultural lands, and uprooted about 500 palm trees, on Tuesday, in Jericho City, near road 90, in the central occupied West Bank district of Jericho.    ___Ibrahim Ahmad, the tenant of the razed lands, said that Israeli forces along with several bulldozers stormed the area and razed agricultural lands that belong to the ISLAMIC  ENDOWMENT  (WAQF)  DEPARTMENT.    ___No reason was given for the razing and leveling of the lands.  More . . .
. . . . Related  Netanyahu: KHAN AL-AHMAR to Be Demolished Very Soon
. . . . Related  Israeli  bulldozers  raze  lands  in  GAZA
. . . . Related  Israeli  bulldozers  demolish  Palestinian  structures  in  EAST  JERUSALEM 

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .
|  WHY  IS  NETANYAHU  SO  DESPERATE  FOR  A  CEASEFIRE  WITH  HAMAS?
It was supposed to be a routine intelligence undercover operation whereby the Israeli agents would infiltrate into “enemy territory”, carry out the mission, and leave without being detected . . .  But the Israeli intelligence operation on November 11 in Gaza did not go according to plan. . .    [. . . .] Seven Palestinians were killed in the botched operation, including a prominent al-Qassam Brigades commander, Nour Baraka . . .    [. . . .] Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had little space for manoeuvre: he was forced to settle for a ceasefire with Gaza armed groups, which prompted Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman to resign and plunged his government into a major political crisis.    ___This time, provoking a new conflict in Gaza in order to take attention away from the domestic political mess he has made is not an option for Netanyahu. He is cornered by a resurgent Hamas and his own geopolitical game in the Middle East, so he needs to keep Gaza quiet.    More . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

“THE  LITTLE  GIRL,”  BY  MUHAMMAD  AL-DHAHIR

I tell her:

speak to me—she holds her breath
and draws a circle of suffering
a circle of soldiers
a circle of guns

She lets down her ropelike braids
I tell her:
Plough my body
travel in my palm
and give me a sign

She gazes at me like a little child
opens her album
pointing to the map of the big Arab homeland
writing in blood the names of the tribes

I tell her:
Draw a moon for proof
She slams her album shut
and enters me to sleep within my ribs
Out comes a troop of children,
a bouquet of wheatstalks,
And her voice, whispering:
—All others but you are enemies
and every god but you, an intruder.

–Translated by May Jayyusi and Naomi Shihab Nye
From ANTHOLOGY OF MODERN PALESTINIAN LITERATURE. Ed. Salma Khadra Jayyusi. New York: Columbia University Press, 1992. Available from Columbia University Press.

 

 

Noontime call to prayer, Jericho, November 10, 2015.

“. . . Soldiers stalk a pharmacy: big guns, little pills . . .” (Naomi Shihab Nye)

SELECTED  NEWS  OF  THE  DAY. . .

ISRAEL  ORDERS  KHAN  AL-AHMAR  RESIDENTS  TO  EVACUATE  BEFORE  OCTOBER
The Israeli Civil Administration ordered on Sunday the Bedouin residents of Khan al-Ahmar village, east of Jerusalem, to demolish their homes and to evacuate the area before the start of October.  ___According to local sources, staff members of the Israeli Civil Administration under the protection of Israeli forces stormed Khan al-Ahmar and handed evacuation notices to the residents, ordering them to demolish their homes and evacuate the village within the given timeframe.   ___Sources said that Israeli forces threatened the residents in case of non-implementation of the notices, the Israeli army would demolish the village.   More .
Related . . .  ISRAEL  NOTIFIES  TO  DEMOLISH  7  HOMES  NEAR  JERICHO

34  [U.S.]  SENATE  DEMOCRATS  URGE  TRUMP  TO  RESTORE  AID  TO  THE  PALESTINIANS     Lawmakers warn president’s ‘strategy of forcing PA to negotiating table by withholding humanitarian assistance from women and children is misguided and destined to backfire.’
Two-thirds of Democrats in the Senate and a third of the entire body signed a letter to US President Donald Trump urging him to reinstate assistance to the Palestinians. . .   ___“Eliminating funds for programs that provide clean water, food, education, and medical services for Palestinians will exacerbate poverty, fuel extremism, further reduce the chance of a future peace agreement and threaten Israel’s security,” said the letter sent Friday [. . . .] The letter was initiated by Sens. Chris Van Hollen, Diane Feinstein and Chris Coons.  JEWISH  SIGNATORIES  include Feinstein, Sen. Bernie Sanders and Sen. Brian Schatz.   More . . .

IOF  PREVENT  MINISTER  OF  EDUCATION  FROM  PASSING  THROUGH  CHECKPOINT
Israeli occupation authorities on Sunday morning prevented Minister of Education and Higher Education, Dr. Sabri Saidam from entering Beit Iksa checkpoint to inspect the educational process in the town.   ___The Ministry of Education said in a press statement that the minister and his delegation . . . considering that this prohibition comes as part of a deliberate campaign against Minister Siddam and the educational leadership.    More .

COMMENTARY  AND  OPINION. . . .

THE  HOLOCAUST,  VENGEANCE  AND  THE  PALESTINIANS
Philip Weiss
For Jews 50 and older, there is only one collective memory. It was given to me when I was little, when my mother told me about the Jews hiding . . .   It did not matter that the actual memory was not my mother’s or mine. This had happened to us, the Jews. She’d been a girl when the news had broken in the U.S. The memory was fresh, and ours to carry.   [. . . .] I went to Warsaw. Actually seeing the scene of the boots and the scant memorials to its existence was disturbing; and when I got home I began reading Warsaw memoirs. [. . . .] One surprise of these memoirs was a simple one that probably should have been obvious. The remnant of Jews who survived the ghetto liquidation in 1942 and who undertook the noble doomed uprising in 1943 had an overriding motivation: They wanted revenge.   More . . .

HOW  THE  SPANISH  COURTS  BECAME  A  BATTLEGROUND  FOR  ISRAEL’S  ANTI-BDS  EFFORTS
On 4 September, a Spanish district court annulled a resolution to support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. The resolution had been put forward by the municipal council of Ayamonte, a small town situated on the border with Portugal, and advocated for a ban on any association with Israeli companies or organisations.    [. . . .]   So why the about-turn? One thread tying the above three cases together is ACOM, or Acción y Comunicación sobre Oriente Medio (Action and Communication on the Middle East). ACOM describes itself as a “non-denominational and independent organization that aims to reinforce the political relationship between Spain and Israel by working with governments, political parties, the media and civil society.” . . .  ACOM has been on the front line of Israel’s efforts to quash support for BDS, embroiling the Spanish courts in a tug of war in the process.   [. . . .] links with right-wing NGOs and the Israeli political elite have placed ACOM at the forefront of Israel’s anti-BDS war.   More . . .

NOTICES  FROM  ORGANIZATIONS. . . .

FRIENDS  OF  SABEEL  NORTH  AMERICA    Prophetic  Action:  Christians  Convening  for  Palestine – September 27, 2018 to September 28, 2018
FOSNA
is a nonprofit, tax-exempt Christian ecumenical organization seeking justice and peace in the Holy Land through nonviolent advocacy and education. Sabeel is an international peace movement initiated by Palestinian Christians, who seek a just peace as defined by international law and existing United Nations resolutions. “Join us for Prophetic Action: Christians Convening for Palestine. . . in concert with this year’s US Campaign for Palestinian Rights conference in St. Paul, Minnesota. Prophetic Action will be one of the largest ecumenical gatherings of Christian leaders and activists for Palestinian rights.”  Information . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

“JERUSALEM,”  BY  NAOMI  SHIHAB  NYE

“Let’s be the same wound if we must bleed.
Let’s fight side by side, even if the enemy
is ourselves: I am yours, you are mine.”
—Tommy Olofsson, Sweden

I’m not interested in
who suffered the most.
I’m interested in
people getting over it.

Once when my father was a boy
a stone hit him on the head.
Hair would never grow there.
Our fingers found the tender spot
and its riddle: the boy who has fallen
stands up. A bucket of pears
in his mother’s doorway welcomes him home.
The pears are not crying.
Later his friend who threw the stone
says he was aiming at a bird.
And my father starts growing wings.

Each carries a tender spot:
something our lives forgot to give us.
A man builds a house and says,
“I am native now.”
A woman speaks to a tree in place
of her son. And olives come.
A child’s poem says,
“I don’t like wars,
they end up with monuments.”
He’s painting a bird with wings
wide enough to cover two roofs at once.

Why are we so monumentally slow?
Soldiers stalk a pharmacy:
big guns, little pills.
If you tilt your head just slightly
it’s ridiculous.

There’s a place in my brain
where hate won’t grow.
I touch its riddle: wind, and seeds.
Something pokes us as we sleep.

It’s late but everything comes next.

—From Naomi Shihab Nye,  THE  RED  SUITCASE.  BOA Editions, Ltd. (1994).

 

 

“. . . watched him accept the silent homage of water . . .” (Tawfiq Sayigh)

❶ Arab League aims to nullify Trump’s Jerusalem move
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Egypt [news] hosts ‘told to convince viewers’ over Jerusalem
❷ Arrests, interrogation writs reported in dawn sweep by Israeli army
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) Palestinian injured during clashes in Birzeit
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴃ) Israel accused of using live ammunition against West Bank civilians

  • Background: “Jewish-Muslim Veneration at Pilgrimage Places in the Holy Land.” Religion & the Arts

Custos of the Holy Land marks baptism of Christ at Jordan River
❹ POETRY by Tawfiq Sayigh
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ ARAB  LEAGUE  AIMS  TO  NULLIFY  TRUMP’S  JERUSALEM  MOVE   
Al Jazeera English
Jan. 7, 2018 ― Arab foreign ministers are calling for international recognition of a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital, aiming to nullify a controversial US decision on the holy city’s status.
___Ayman Safadi, the Jordanian foreign minister, hosted a committee of officials from Egypt, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Palestine in Amman on Saturday to discuss the Arab League’s response to US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel last month.
___The committee – created at an emergency meeting of the Arab League in Cairo on December 9, just days after Trump’s declaration – is hoping to reverse the decision and “to assert that it has no legal effect”, Safadi told reporters at the summit.     MORE . . .  
.  .  .  .  .  ❶  ―  (ᴀ)  EGYPT  [NEWS]  HOSTS  ‘TOLD  TO  CONVINCE  VIEWERS’  OVER  JERUSALEM
Al Jazeera English 
Jan. 7, 2018 ― A report by the New York Times has said that while Egypt’s government was publicly condemning a US decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, a state intelligence officer was asking influential TV hosts in the country to persuade their viewers to accept it.
___The newspaper reported on Saturday that it had obtained audio recordings in which Ashraf al-Kholi, the intelligence officer, can be heard telling the hosts that Egypt, like its “Arab brothers, are denouncing this matter”, but that “after that, this thing will become a reality”.
___”Palestinians can’t resist and we don’t want to go to war,” added Kholi, according to the New York Times. “We have enough on our plate as you know.”    MORE . . . 
❷ ARRESTS,  INTERROGATION  WRITS  REPORTED  IN  DAWN  SWEEP  BY  ISRAELI  ARMY  
The Palestinian Information Center
Jan. 7, 2018 ― The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) at daybreak Sunday arrested a number of Palestinians and summoned others to questioning.
___Israeli army troops rolled into al-Arroub refugee camp, north of al-Khalil province, and kidnapped 22-year-old Palestinian youth Safi al-Titi from his family home.
___The occupation forces also ransacked the home of the slain Palestinian protester Khaled Jawabra, in al-Arroub camp, and seized cash from the home of prisoner Nidhal Shahada.  MORE . . . 
.  .  .  .  .  ❷ ―  (ᴀ)  PALESTINIAN  INJURED  DURING  CLASHES  IN  BIRZEIT      Palestine News Network – PNN
Jan. 7, 2018 ― Israeli soldiers on Sunday injured one Palestinian and caused many to suffer the effects of teargas inhalation, near the western entrance of Birzeit University, north of Ramallah, in central West Bank.
___Medical sources said the young man suffered a moderate injury, after the soldiers shot him with a rubber-coated steel bullet in his abdomen, while many others suffered the effects of teargas inhalation.
___The soldiers installed a military roadblock near the western entrance of the university, and attacked many Palestinians, who protested the invasion.    MORE . . .  
.  .  .  .  .  ❷ ―  (ᴃ)  ISRAEL  ACCUSED  OF  USING  LIVE  AMMUNITION  AGAINST  WEST  BANK  CIVILIANS
Palestine News Network – PNN    Jan. 7, 2018 ― The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights has accused the Israeli army of deliberately increasing the use of live ammunition against unarmed civilians through sniper attacks during peaceful demonstrations.
___“The number of casualties, including fatalities, proves that the Israeli forces are deliberately intending to have as many victims as possible from among Palestinian protesters,” the Centre said on Thursday.
___It cited the case of Musab Firas Al-Tamimi, aged just 17, from Deir Netham village north-west of Ramallah. The boy was shot by an Israeli soldier from a distance of 30 metres when he approached a military vehicle in an attempt to help a young man who was arrested earlier.     MORE . . .    ..

Berger, Pamela.
“JEWISH-MUSLIM  VENERATION  AT  PILGRIMAGE  PLACES  IN  THE  HOLY  LAND.”
RELIGION  &  THE  ARTS, vol. 15, no. 1/2, Mar. 2011, pp. 1-60.  

[. . . .] We do not know when the tradition of compiling un-illustrated accounts or “lists” of these holy sites began. Among Christians we have the fourth-century travel writings of an anonymous pilgrim from Bordeaux, France. . . Among Muslims, one of the earliest is surely Al-Muqaddasi (c. 945–1000), who provides a good deal of valuable information about the places he visits. Starting in the twelfth century, Jewish travelers from the Arab lands write about numerous sacred tombs in their ziyara, “visits, or travelogues” in Arabic. These Jews, writing and speaking Arabic, were familiar with the local Arab residents’ mentality, since they spoke the same language. Un-illustrated “ziyara” lists of holy places, drawn up by Arabic-speaking Jews, are known from the thirteenth century; texts of western Jewish travelers have come down to us from the first half of the twelfth century. . .  Muslim illustrated itineraries, which are not the subject of this essay, have survived from around the same time.
___It is a normal human need to hope that a holy figure or sage can help one in times of trouble. The material gathered in this essay demonstrates how Muslims and Jews shared that hope, and indeed how, until the middle of the twentieth century, Jews and Muslims shared a reverence for so many of the same Biblical and Quranic figures, and must have felt comfortable venerating those figures at the same holy sites. Since for the most part the Muslims living on the land were in charge of the sites, we will see that many Jewish travelers comment on how the Arabs guarding the holy places treated the Jewish pilgrims with respect, allowing them to pray there without harassment. . . .
  SOURCE . . .

❸  CUSTOS  OF  THE  HOLY  LAND  MARKS  BAPTISM  OF  CHRIST  AT  JORDAN  RIVER 
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Jan. 7, 2018 ― The Custos of Holy Land  Francesco Patton of the Latin Church, Sunday led the procession that commemorated what the denomination refers to as the baptism of Jesus Christ at the Jordan River, on the Palestine-Jordan border.
___The procession was received by local government figures, including Governor of Jericho Mjaed al-Fetyani, Mayor of Jericho Salem Ghrouf, head of the Jericho intelligence department Belal Hloub, as well as representatives of police and security services and Muslim clerks.    MORE . . .    ..

“THE  SERMON  ON  THE  MOUNT,”  BY  TAWFIQ  SAYIGH
I followed him,
married my frailty to his virtue, and
helped him reveal himself.

On the lisping hill, long waited for
by the dull arms of drowsy Kinnereth
(like a couple of tears the cheeks expect,
that cling to feeble eyes), I shared the meal
of the thick-necked multitude. Well-fed,
they hailed him Lord and rolled down after him.
Alone I lay upon the hill, watched him
accept the silent homage of water
amid the crow-like shrieks of his elect.
Alone I lay, waiting for his return.

I knew he would return.
Cold crumbs and fish (though by a mother’s hands
wrapped and with a mother’s blessings salted)
left me starved. Water-turned-to-wine
tasted water to my lips. The mud,
that cleared Bartimeus’ eyes of mud, made mine
unsatisfied with what they feasted on.
The call that once restored to life the lad
of Nain, left my mother in black. Upon
the fertile hill, and the candle-like
corn, by the lake, wherein the sleepless fish
make weary passes at the blushing corn
I starved.
I too was tempted, in no wilderness.

And he came.
Divinities of love spring out of sea.
He came and talked (some say he prayed, and some
he sang). Did others hear? I thought he talked
only to me. He called me not, and I
came forth. He broke no loaves, and touched no jars,
baskets were full again; the wedding guests,
unconscious, conscious sipped the better wine.

Tawfiq Sayigh 
From AN ANTHOLOGY OF MODERN ARABIC POETRY. Selected, Edited, and Translate by Mounah A. Khouri and Hamid Algar. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1974.   Available from Amazon.

 

“. . . Alas! My sad and silent city . . .” (Fadwa Tuqan)

❶ Israeli municipality demolishes residential structure in al-Issawiya
❶ Israeli municipality demolishes building in Jerusalem despite pending permit application

  • Background: “Crows on the Cradles: Palestinian Mothers At a Frontline Vortex: Reflections on the Psychology of Occupation.” International Journal of Applied Psychoanalytic Studies.

❶ Two More EU-Funded Palestinian Schools under Threat of Destruction by Israeli Army
❶ 9 Palestinian homes demolished by IOF
❷ Elkin: Start planning for one million settlers in W. Bank & J’lem
❸ POETRY by Fadwa Tuqan
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ ISRAELI  MUNICIPALITY  DEMOLISHES  RESIDENTIAL  STRUCTURE  IN  AL-ISSAWIYA 
Palestine News and Information Agency
Nov. 15, 2017 ― Israeli municipality of Jerusalem on Wednesday demolished a residential structure in the neighborhood of al-Issawiya in occupied East Jerusalem, under the pretext of lacking an Israeli construction permit, according to local sources.
___The municipality demolished a residential structure, made of metals, that was installed by Omar Dari, a local citizen, who said he was forced to build without a permit in order to shelter his family, after he was unable to obtain a permit from the Israeli municipality.   MORE . . .
❶ ISRAELI  MUNICIPALITY  DEMOLISHES  BUILDING  IN  JERUSALEM  DESPITE  PENDING  PERMIT  APPLICATION
Palestine News and Information Agency
Nov. 15, 2017 ― Israeli municipality of Jerusalem demolished on Wednesday morning a two-storey building under construction in the neighborhood of al-Issawiya, in occupied East Jerusalem, according to local sources.
___Locals told WAFA that staff from the Israeli municipality of Jerusalem accompanied by an Israeli police escort raided the neighborhood and demolished the building, under the pretext of lacking an Israeli permit of construction.
___Mohammad Abu Rayala, a local rights activist, said the owners of the building had earlier received a notification to stop the construction of the building. He said though the owners stopped the construction upon notification and started the process of obtaining a construction permit, they were astonished that the building was demolished without a warning.    MORE . . .   ..

Roth, Judy, and Salwa Duaibis.
“CROWS  ON  THE  CRADLES:  PALESTINIAN  MOTHERS  AT  A  FRONTLINE  VORTEX:  REFLECTIONS  ON  THE  PSYCHOLOGY  OF  OCCUPATION.”
International Journal Of Applied Psychoanalytic Studies 12.1 (2015): 5-20.
[. . . .] Last June marked 46 [49] years since the start of Israel’s military occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip. International law is clear that territory can never be acquired as a result of aggression, even if exercised in self-defense. That is why military occupations are meant to be temporary and cannot be legally maintained indefinitely. On the conclusion of the 1967 war, the Israeli authorities imposed military law in the occupied Palestinian territory which still remains in force in the west bank to this day. During this time, East Jerusalem has been annexed, in violation of international law; more than half a million Israelis now live in illegal settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem; and at least 750,000 men, women and children have been prosecuted in military courts and imprisoned. In other words, one in four Palestinian men have been through the military system at one point in their lives. . . .
___Women living in the West Bank and East Jerusalem face many, differing challenges, which include home demolitions . . .   But the issue that stands out above all other issues is that of the settlements built in clear violation of international law on Palestinian land. These settlements are not only illegal, but they are also at the epicenter of a host of human rights violations that occur on a daily basis and affect 2.5 million Palestinians.
[. . . .] Nur is a mother of extraordinary light . . .  Her home, slated for demolition, sits on a small path that Israeli soldiers use to move from one side of the neighborhood to the next. The path is right outside her door. She uses the word “Ro`ub”, absolute terror, to describe her children’s experience of the soldiers. Nur, herself, is worried that her nine-year-old son will be arrested soon. She hears how he talks about the Israeli soldiers and settlers, the revenge that he is brewing in response to their provocations. While she is pretty certain that she will lose him, she retains some hope for a different outcome – although she is unable to create a realistic alternative. Perhaps, none exist.
[. . . .]  Our psychoanalytic understanding of how militarism is inculcated, how rage incubates, and how societies sanction violence and racism is critical to defining a nuanced and sober stance from which to approach this relentless conflict that reverberates both near and far. Finding this stance that humanizes all players – victims, oppressors, and bystanders – and that can then better inform modes of action, prioritizing the urgency of Palestinian suffering, while holding accountable all who are complicit, is now more crucial than ever.    Source . . .

❶ TWO  MORE  EU-FUNDED  PALESTINIAN  SCHOOLS  UNDER  THREAT  OF  DESTRUCTION  BY  ISRAELI  ARMY 
Palestine Chronicle
Nov. 15, 2017 ― Two new Palestinian schools in the occupied West Bank, funded by European governments, are under threat of destruction and seizure, according to the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC). An Israeli court has already ordered students not to attend class in one of them, the NGO says.
___Built over the last year with European funding, the schools in Wadi as-Seeq and Al Muntar serve Palestinian Bedouin communities who have long suffered neglect and discrimination at the hands of the Israeli occupation authorities.
___Many of the families served by the schools have “already suffered destruction of their property over many years”, NRC states.    MORE . . .
❶  9  PALESTINIAN  HOMES  DEMOLISHED  BY  IOF   
The Palestinian Information Center
Nov. 15, 2017 ― The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) on Wednesday knocked down nine Palestinian homes in the West Bank governorate of Jericho.
The demolition was carried out under the pretext of unlicensed construction.  At the same time, the Israeli authorities seized a Palestinian agricultural vehicle in the northern Jordan Valley on claims that it was spotted inside a natural reserve.   MORE . . .   ..
❷ ELKIN:  START  PLANNING  FOR  ONE  MILLION  SETTLERS  IN  W.  BANK  &  J’LEM  
Al Hourriah Magazine (Freedom)
Nov. 15, 2017 ― Israeli Jerusalem affairs minister Ze’ev Elkin has urged his government to start planning for one million settlers in Area C of the West Bank and Jerusalem.     ___“This will happen; it is only a question of when,” Elkin said, adding that it could be anywhere between the next 10 to 20 years, depending on the pace of construction.     ___According to the Israeli central bureau of statistics, 400,000 settlers lived in West Bank settlements in 2016.     ___Using a word of Arabic slang, Elkin dismissed the idea of a Palestinian state in the West Bank. “Halas (enough) with the story of two states. There is no other option but the state of Israel, certainly between the Jordan [River] to the sea there will be one state.”  MORE . . .

“MY SAD CITY,” BY FADWA TUQAN
(The day of Zionist Occupation, June 27, 1967)
The day we saw death and betrayal,
The tide ebbed.
The windows of the sky closed,
And the city held its breath.
The day the waves were vanquished, the day
The ugliness of the abyss revealed its true face,
Hope turned to ashes,
And gagging on disaster,
My sad city choked.

Gone were the children and the songs,
There was no shadow, no echo.
Sorrow crawled naked in my city,
With bloodied footsteps,
Silence reigned in the city,
Silence like crouching mountains,
Mysterious like the night, tragic silence,
Burdened,
Weighed down with death and defeat.
Alas! My sad and silent city.
Can it be true that in the season of harvest,
Grain and fruit have turned to ashes?
Alas! That this should be the fruit of all the journeying!
―Translated by A.M. Elmesseri

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.
Obituary for Fadwa Tuqan, 2003.

“. . . a new archaeological monument, one which is situated within an archaeological park . . .” (Donald Whitcomb)

mosaic
HISHAM’S PALACE mosaics. Early Islamic archaeological site north of Jericho, AT KHIRBAT AL-MAFJAR.

❶ The anguish and anger on Gaza’s walls
. . . ― (a) Cultural initiatives in Gaza are short on cash
❷ Nablus high school awarded $1 million in Dubai
. . . ― (A) Gaza University to launch first film major in Palestine

Background: “Khirbet Al-Mafjar” [Hisham’s Palace] Near Eastern Archaeology

❸ Jericho: World’s Largest Floor Mosaic Opened for Public Display
. . . ― (a) Israeli Ministry of Antiquities demolishes two graves in Jerusalem
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
THE ANGUISH AND ANGER ON GAZA’S WALLS
The Electronic Intifada
Sarah Algherbawi
Oct. 18, 2016
Twenty meters high and 15 meters wide, the mural on a wall of a 12-floor building in Gaza City is unmissable.
___The artwork, “Besieged Childhood,” has garnered renown for its creators. It depicts a child wearing a keffiyeh scarf, a melancholy expression on her face, her hands wrapped around two bars, like those of a prison cell.
___Its location, on the Zafir 9 Tower in an upmarket area of Gaza City, is deliberate. During Israel’s 2014 assault, fighter jets destroyed one of Zafir 9’s sister towers, Zafir 4, in a bombing denounced as a war crime by Amnesty International.
__No one was killed, though more than a dozen were injured and the homes of more than 40 families were destroyed. More than 200 residents were left homeless in what Amnesty described as an operation with “no military justification.”          More . . .   
. . . ❶― (a) CULTURAL  INITIATIVES  IN  GAZA  ARE  SHORT  ON  CASH
Al-Monitor (Palestine Pulse)
Oct. 23, 2016
The Palestinian Cultural Palace, a cultural center created by a youth group in the Gaza Strip, organized its first artistic and cultural activity funded by the Rachel Corrie Foundation and in cooperation with the local Women’s Programs Center on Aug. 22 in Al-Mishal Theater in Gaza City.
__ The center’s first artistic group, made up of children ages 12-16, organized a national folkloric play titled “Operetta: Time for Peace,” which targets all social categories of all ages.
___The Palestinian Cultural Palace has limited finances in light of the lack of government and international financing.     More . . .

❷ NABLUS  HIGH  SCHOOL  AWARDED  $1  MILLION  IN  DUBAI
Ma’an News Agency
Oct. 24, 2016
Palestinian high school Talai al-Amal (“Vanguards of Hope” in Arabic), located in the city of Nablus in the northern occupied West Bank, was awarded $1 million in Dubai on Monday for having the best reading initiatives in the Arab world.
___The announcement was made at the closing ceremony of the Arab Reading Challenge, launched in 2015 by United Arab Emirates Prime Minister and ruler of Dubai Sheikh Muhammad bin Rashid al-Maktoum. The ceremony took place at the Dubai Opera House, where al-Maktoum presented the awards.     More . . .     
. . . ❷― (A)  GAZA  UNIVERSITY  TO  LAUNCH  FIRST  FILM  MAJOR  IN  PALESTINE
Al-Monitor (Palestine Pulse)
Oct. 23, 2016
Gaza is getting ready to launch its first film studies major in the Palestinian territories in January 2017. The university program will be implemented in universities, as hundreds of students wishing to major in cinematography and film studies are unable to travel abroad to pursue their studies given the closure of crossings in the Gaza Strip, namely the Rafah crossing.
___ Although launching the program could be a bumpy ride given the lack of the necessary equipment, such as school curricula and other work equipment, the program organizers, a group of people who hold university degrees from art faculties in Egypt, are seeking to bring in some material from abroad or tap into the available modest tools in Gaza after having obtained preliminary approval by the Ministry of Culture in early October.     More . . .   

[Note: The follwing article is an introduction to the important archeology of the site of which Hisham’s Palace is a part. It is somewhat technical, but accessible to the lay reader.]

Whitcomb, Donald, et al. “Khirbet Al-Mafjar.” Near Eastern Archaeology 79.2 (2016): 78-87.   Source.

The Umayyad palace at Khirbet al-Mafjar, also known as QASR HISHAM, has been known and appreciated as the most beautifully decorated o f the Umayyad qusur (socalled desert castles). Its fabulous mosaic carpets, human and animal figures, extensive stucco wall decorations, and frescoes have made this monumental complex, located just north of the city o f Jericho, an extraordinary archaeological site. Excavated by Dimitri Baramki for some 13 seasons, in the 1930s and 1940s, the site has been assumed to be completely revealed.
___A new research project for the past five years has proved this assessment completely unfounded. At the instigation of Dr. Hamdan Taha, director of the Palestinian Department of Antiquities, the Jericho Mafjar Project was conceived as a joint venture of the Palestinian antiquities department and the University of Chicago. This was a truly joint project, with equal Palestinian and foreign archaeologists and specialists working, living, and eventually writing reports together. The result is a new archaeological monument, one which is situated within an archaeological park; well-marked paths with bilingual signage guides the visitors after they have seen an introductory film and visited a modern museum, displaying both older and very recent discoveries from the excavations.

JERICHO:  WORLD’S  LARGEST  FLOOR  MOSAIC  OPENED  FOR  PUBLIC  DISPLAY
International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC
Oct. 21, 2016
The Palestinian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities has unveiled the world’s largest floor mosaic for public display, in the West Bank district of Jericho.
___The mosaic covers the floor of the reception hall and the large bath of Hisham’s Palace, an Islamic archaeological site in the north of Jericho, and has been described as one of the largest and most beautiful mosaic floors in the world.    More . . .  

. . . ❸― (A)
ISRAELI  MINISTRY  OF  ANTIQUITIES  DEMOLISHES  TWO GRAVES  IN  JERUSALEM
Alray-Palestinian Media Agency
Oct. 23, 2016
Employees of “Israeli nature authority” demolished on Sunday two graves in the cemetery near Bab Al-Rahma east of Al-Aqsa mosque entrance and detained the responsible of cemetery staff as he tried to confront the attacks.
___The staff of Israeli Antiquities accompanied by Israeli soldiers destroyed two graves and tombstones in the hill near the cemetery, where the land belongs to the family of al-Husseini, the director of Al-Aqsa mosque Omar Al-Kisswani explained.     More . . .
th

LAND DAY, MARCH 30 “. . . there’s still some hope, behind that nearby dune. . .” (Samih al-Qasim)

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Palestinian Land between Jericho and Jerusalem (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 14, 2015)

❶ Israeli Army Quells Rally Marking LAND DAY [see note below]
. . . . . ❶―(ᴀ) Israeli Authorities Control Over 85 Percent of Historical Palestine, Says Statistics Bureau
❷ Is Israel reviving this 50-year-old land plan?
❸ Israeli Forces Storm House of Palestinian who Captured Hebron Killing Footage
. . . . . ❸― (ᴀ) US congressmen seek investigation of Israel’s ‘extrajudicial killings’
❹ New Prison Bill for Minors Targets Palestinian Children
❺ Opinion/Analysis: THE  DUALITY  OF  ISRAEL’S  OCCUPATION,  AT  HOME  AND  ABROAD
❻ Poetry by Samih al-Qasim
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
ISRAELI  ARMY  QUELLS  RALLY  MARKING  LAND  DAY  [see note below]
PALESTINE NEWS AND INFORMATION AGENCY – WAFA
March 30, 2016
Israeli armed forces Wednesday violently quelled a peaceful rally organized in commemoration of Land Day.
___. . .  a rally that took off from Jenin city to plant trees in an area situated between Silat al-Dhahr and Barqa, two towns in the West Bank districts of Jenin and Nablus, respectively, on the occasion of Land Day, was violently suppressed by Israeli forces.    MORE . . . 
. . . . . ❶― (ᴀ) ISRAELI  AUTHORITIES  CONTROL  OVER  85  PERCENT  OF  HISTORICAL  PALESTINE,  SAYS  STATISTICS  BUREAU
PALESTINE NEWS AND INFORMATION AGENCY – WAFA
March 30, 2016
On the occasion of Land Day, the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) revealed that, ‘Israeli occupation authorities laid hand over more than 85% of the total area of historical land of Palestine, which totals about 27,000 km2.
___Every year, the Palestinian people mark the confiscation of 21 thousand dunums of land in Al-Jalil, AlMuthalth and Al-Naqab on 30 March 1976. . . .      MORE . . .

❷ IS  ISRAEL  REVIVING  THIS  50-YEAR-OLD  LAND  PLAN?
AL-MONITOR (PALESTINE PULSE)
March 29, 2016
In a March 18 statement, the Land Defense Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) reintroduced to political discussion terminology no longer often heard. In the statement, the PLO accused right-wing Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu of reviving the Allon Plan. . . .
___The Allon Plan . . .  proposed that Israel relinquish the main Palestinian population centers in the West Bank to Jordan while retaining land along the Jordan River under Israeli military control. . . .      MORE . . . 

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Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Yigal Allon (L) meets with US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger (C) and Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir before dinner at the prime minister’s residence, Jerusalem, Feb. 27, 1974. (photo by Facebook/The Prime Minister of Israel)

ISRAELI  FORCES  STORM  HOUSE  OF  PALESTINIAN  WHO  CAPTURED  HEBRON  KILLING  FOOTAGE
PALESTINE NEWS AND INFORMATION AGENCY – WAFA
March 30, 2016
Israeli forces overnight stormed the family house of Palestinian human rights worker who captured a video footage of an Israeli soldier killing a Palestinian in the Hebron neighborhood of Tal Rumeida.
___Imad Abu Shamsiyyeh said that forces stormed his house in the H2 block of Hebron’s city center, where they inspected identity cards and passports of Palestinian and international activists . . . .
___Abu Shamsiyyeh, a human rights volunteer with Israeli group B’Tselem, captured a video footage of the moment an Israeli soldier stepped forward and shot in the head at point-blank range . . . a Palestinian who had already been shot and left motionless on the ground.       MORE . . .   
. . . . . ❸― (ᴀ) US  CONGRESSMEN  SEEK  INVESTIGATION  OF  ISRAEL’S  ‘EXTRAJUDICIAL  KILLINGS’  
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
March 30, 2016
US Senator Patrick Leahy . . .  called on the US to investigate the possibility of “gross violations of human rights” by Israel’s and Egypt’s security forces, including “extrajudicial killings.”
___Leahy. . .  made the request in a joint letter sent to US Secretary of State John Kerry on Feb. 17, suggesting that if the reports of rights violations should be proven, US military assistance should be cut off.     MORE . . .
MORE (American coverage) . . .

NEW  PRISON  BILL  FOR  MINORS  TARGETS  PALESTINIAN  CHILDREN
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
Chloe Benoist
March 30, 2016
The Israeli Knesset, on Tuesday, approved the first reading of a bill which would allow Israeli courts to hand down prison sentences to minors under the age of 14 — legislation critics say is targeted at Palestinian children.      MORE . . .

Opinion/Analysis: THE DUALITY OF ISRAEL’S OCCUPATION, AT HOME AND ABROAD
+972 BLOG
Tomer Persico
March 29, 2016
Slowly but surely, the process of shedding democratic characteristics in favor of ‘ethnocratic’ ones is becoming clearer and clearer for all to see.      MORE . . .

“OASIS,”  BY  SAMIH  AL-QASIM

Behind this dune we have an oasis. Leave me alone.
Leave me to rinse myself off in a bit
of its mirage. I’m tired of running after myself
to catch myself before I die.
Take―old friends and my companions―my body,
the shadow of it body’s shadow,
and hold it for a while, so I can reach my time in time.
Behind this dune we have an oasis.
Sustain your longing with dates and water,
without despair.
Listen with me to the songs of the girls
beneath the palms, but do not follow
the voice of my silence.
We have, friends, the right to die as we desire.
But there’s still some hope, behind that nearby dune.
And we have the right to make the stranger
a stranger’s friend, and we have an oasis―
and a bit of rest in the house
of the loved one who left us.
He will come from behind this dune.

From Al-Qasim, Samih. SADDER   THAN   WATER.   NEW   AND   SELECTED   POEMS.  Trans. Nazih Kasis and Adina Hoffman. Jerusalem: Ibis Editions, 2008. Available from
Samih al-Qasim Obituary,
August 20, 2014

LAND  DAY  (ARABIC: يوم الأرض‎, YOM AL-ARD),  MARCH  30, is an annual day of commemoration for Palestinians of the events of that date in 1976. In response to the Israeli government’s announcement of a plan to expropriate thousands of dunams of land for security and settlement purposes, a general strike and marches were organized in Arab towns from the Galilee to the Negev. In the ensuing confrontations with the Israeli army and police, six unarmed Arab citizens were killed, about one hundred were wounded, and hundreds of others arrested. Scholarship on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict recognizes Land Day as a pivotal event in the struggle over land and in the relationship of Arab citizens to the Israeli state and body politic.

“. . . A night without light where our voices are lost . . .” (Fadwa Tuqan)

A Palestinian man holds a placard in front of an Israeli soldier on December 27, 2014 on land near the West Bank village of Beit Fajjar, at the entrance of the illegal Israeli settlement of Efrat, during a protest. (Photo: Agence France‑Presse /Hazem Bader)
A Palestinian man holds a placard in front of an Israeli soldier on December 27, 2014 on land near the West Bank village of Beit Fajjar, at the entrance of the illegal Israeli settlement of Efrat, during a protest. (Photo: Agence France‑Presse /Hazem Bader)

❶ Israeli troops raid West Bank village day after funeral of slain Palestinians
. . . . . ❶―(ᴀ) Israeli forces raze prisoner’s brother’s construction site in Jerusalem
❷ Israel Razes Waqf-Owned Land near Jericho
. . . . . ❷―(ᴀ) Explanatory note regarding the Islamic Waqf tradition
❸ Israel to confiscate 1,200 dunams of land in Nablus governorate
❹ US Congress blocks $159 million in aid to PA
❺ Opinion/Analysis: ISRAEL’S LEGAL WARFARE ON BDS FOSTERS REPRESSION AND MCCARTHYISM ACROSS THE WORLD
❻ Poetry by Fadwa Tuqan
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
ISRAELI  TROOPS  RAID  WEST  BANK  VILLAGE  DAY  AFTER  FUNERAL  OF  SLAIN  PALESTINIANS
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
21 Mar. 2016
Israeli troops raided the village of Beit Fajjar east of Bethlehem early on Monday, storming several houses and detaining two Palestinians.
___The raid took place a day after the funerals of Ali Abd al-Rahman al-Kar Thawabta, 20, and Ali Jamal Muhammad Taqatqa, 19, who were killed by Israeli forces on Thursday . . .
___Local sources said that Israeli troops raided Thawabta’s house and detained his brother Muhammad, 24.      MORE . . .
. . . . . ❶―(ᴀ) ISRAELI  FORCES  RAZE  PRISONER’S  BROTHER’S  CONSTRUCTION  SITE  IN  JERUSALEM
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
21 Mar. 2016
Israeli forces demolished a building under construction in occupied East Jerusalem on Monday for not having a construction permit.
___Muna Jaabis told Ma’an that Israeli troops raided her house in the Jabal al-Mukkabir neighborhood of the Old City early Monday, and demolished the foundations of a building belonging to her brother Suhaib Jaabis.      MORE . . .

Israeli soldiers throw a flash grenade during clashes with Palestinian demonstrators in the West Bank village of Beit Fajjar, on October 31, 2015 (Agence France‑Presse Photo/Musa Al-Shaer)
Israeli soldiers throw a flash grenade during clashes with Palestinian demonstrators in the West Bank village of Beit Fajjar, on October 31, 2015 (Agence France‑Presse Photo/Musa Al-Shaer)

ISRAEL  RAZES  WAQF-OWNED  LAND  NEAR  JERICHO
PALESTINE NEWS AND INFORMATION AGENCY – WAFA
21 Mar. 2016
Israeli troops on Monday embarked on razing an Islamic Waqf-owned land near Jericho in the West Bank, according to local sources.
___Moayad al-Helou, director of Jericho Islamic Waqf Department, said Israeli army broke into al-Musaqara, an outskirt of Jericho, and embarked on razing some 650 dunums of land owned by the Islamic Waqf Department.      MORE . . . 
. . . . . ❷― (ᴀ) EXPLANATORY  NOTE  REGARDING  THE  ISLAMIC  WAQF  TRADITION
A Waqf, or mortmain property, is an inalienable religious endowment in Islamic law, typically donating a building or plot of land or even cash for Muslim religious or charitable purposes. The donated assets may be held by a charitable trust. (Wikipedia)
MORE . . . 
MORE . . . 

ISRAEL  TO  CONFISCATE  1,200  DUNAMS  OF  LAND  IN  NABLUS  GOVERNORATE
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
21 Mar. 2016
The Israeli civil administration on Monday has announced it would confiscate 1,200 dunams (296.5 acres) of land from Palestinian villages in the northern occupied West Bank district of Nablus, a Palestinian Authority official said.
___Ghassan Dhaglas, a PA official who monitors settlement activities in the northern West Bank, told Ma’an that Israeli authorities gave Palestinian residents of the villages of al-Lubban al-Sharqiya, al-Sawiya, and Qaryut an official notice to confiscate 1,200 dunams of land. MORE . . .

US  CONGRESS  BLOCKS  $159  MILLION  IN  AID  TO  PA
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
20 Mar. 2016
Members of the United States Congress are delaying a payment of $159 million in aid allocated for the Palestinian Authority in effort to pressure the PA to relaunch negotiations with Israel, the PLO ambassador to Washington said Saturday.
___Maen Erekat confirmed earlier reports that the US Congress was blocking the payment at the request of House Republican Kay Granger, the Chairwoman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on State-Foreign Operations, under the pretext that the PA supports “terrorism.”        MORE . . . 

❺ OPINION/ANALYSIS: ISRAEL’S   LEGAL   WARFARE   ON   BDS   FOSTERS   REPRESSION   AND   MCCARTHYISM   ACROSS   THE   WORLD
MONDOWEISS
Palestinian BDS National Committee
18 Mar. 2016
The global movement supporting the Palestinian people’s right to freedom, justice and equality has taken impressive steps into the political mainstream in recent years. Efforts by the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement . . . are more widely supported and impactful than ever before.
___Israel’s current government, its most racist ever, has dropped all pretences of “enlightenment” and “democracy”. This has helped to expose Israel’s regime of occupation, settler-colonialism and apartheid to world public opinion . . .      MORE . . . 

From the Diary of “―”

  1. (There in Israel, our prisoners
    whom we know nothing about.)

From the ravine pours silent angry darkness
and night spreads its large sails here
the light of the stars and the dawn
cannot sneak in
A night without light
where our voices are lost
and the echo dies
and time cannot move

Time has lost its shoes here
it stood still
turning around the axis of stillness and boredom
confusing days and seasons
Is it the season for planting?
Is it the season for harvest?
Is it―who can say?
No news and the jailer stands, his face a stone
his eye a stone
robbing from us the sun, robbing the moon

About Fadwa Tuqan   
From: Aruri, Naseer and Edmund Ghareeb, eds. ENEMY  OF  THE  SUN:  POETRY  OF  THE  PALESTINIAN  RESISTANCE.  Washington, DC: Drum and Spear Press, 1970. Available from Amazon.
BDS FINAL LOGO_v5WEB_URL_side

 

“. . . even more proud of guns and treachery. . .” (Yousef Al-Mahmoud)

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Street of shops in Arab Quarter, East Jerusalem, in danger of losing all customers and becoming a ghost town (Photo: Harold Knight, November 9, 2015)

❶ Israel to confiscate vast tract of land in Jericho
❷ Israeli forces detain 25 Palestinians across West Bank
❸ Home demolitions in Jerusalem
❹ Analysis: Hebron: land, settlements and settlers
❺ Opinion/Analysis: Israeli restrictions and escalating violence threaten to turn Jerusalem’s Muslim Quarter into a ghost town
❻ Poetry by Yousef Al-Mahmoud
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
ISRAEL  TO  CONFISCATE  VAST  TRACT  OF  LAND  IN  JERICHO
Jan. 20, 2016
Israel is set to declare 1,500 dunams (370 acres) of land in the occupied West Bank district of Jericho as “state land,” Israel’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) announced Wednesday.
___The plans were revealed earlier in the day by Israeli Army Radio, which said the land was located north of the illegal Israeli settlement of Almog and had been used by settlers over the past 20 years.
___COGAT confirmed the plans were in their “final stages,” and said they were in accordance with a political ratification.
___Israeli Army Radio reportedly said: “This is a very sensitive issue which will likely garner harsh critique from Europe and the United States, and of course from the Palestinian Authority.”    More . . .
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
ISRAELI  FORCES  DETAIN  25  PALESTINIANS  ACROSS  WEST  BANK
Jan. 20, 2016
Israeli forces detained at least 25 Palestinians in predawn raids in occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank on Wednesday, Palestinian and Israeli sources said.
____In Tulkarem in the northern West Bank, Israeli forces detained seven Palestinians from the city’s Thinaba neighborhood, Palestinian security sources said. . . .
___The Palestinian Prisoner’s Society said in a statement that Israeli forces detained five teenagers from East Jerusalem. . . .    More . . .
ALTERNATIVE INFORMATION CENTER (AIC)
HOME  DEMOLITIONS  IN  JERUSALEM
Jan. 21, 2016
Dozens of Israeli soldiers raided Jabal al Baba, situated east of the Jerusalem-area village of Al Ezarriya . . . Three families, those of Hajja Hamda Abu Kateba, Ali Abu Kateba and Ghassan al Jahaleen, were forced out of their homes, which were then demolished under the pretext of construction without Israeli-issued permits. . . .
___Just yesterday Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah slammed the displacement of Palestinian Bedouin communities. In a statement the prime minister said . . . “Israel’s systematic violation of international laws is no longer acceptable by the international community.”   More . . .

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Israeli guard tower and Apartheid wall, center of Hebron (Photo: Harold Knight, November 7, 2015)

Analysis
ALTERNATIVE INFORMATION CENTER (AIC)
HEBRON:  LAND,  SETTLEMENTS  AND  SETTLERS
Sergio Yahni
Jan. 19,2016
For the last two weeks Palestinian and international activists have staged a sit-in at the entrance of Hebron’s Shuhada Street to protest new policies implemented in the city that oblige residents of Shuhada Street and the nearby Tel Rumeida neighbourhood to register with Israeli military authorities. . . .
___The checkpoint leads into the Tel Rumeida neighbourhood, which Israeli authorities declared a closed military zone on November 1, 2015. This closure forced all local residents to register and be assigned numbers in order to travel to their homes. . . .
___Those measures allegedly come to protect a few hundred Israeli settlers living near Shuhada Street and in the Tel Rumeida area.
___Settlements are the most immediate problem faced by Palestinians in the West Bank. More . . .
Opinion/Analysis
MONDOWEISS
ISRAELI  RESTRICTIONS  AND  ESCALATING  VIOLENCE  THREATEN  TO  TURN  JERUSALEM’S  MUSLIM  QUARTER  INTO  A  GHOST  TOWN
Allison Deger
Jan. 20, 2016
Green metal panels shutter recently out of business storefronts along al-Wad Street, a narrow stone road inside of Jerusalem’s Old City walls that links Damascus Gate to the holy sites of the Western Wall and the al-Aqsa mosque . . . . six stores on al-Wad Street alone have closed since October . . . .
___The famed “best hummus joint in Jerusalem,” Abu Shukri’s, has taken to half-days. . . . after the loss of Jewish-Israeli customers who no longer venture into Palestinian sections of the Old City. Even more business may shut their doors in the coming weeks, threatening to turn the Jerusalem’s Muslim Quarter into a ghost town.
___“Palestinians are afraid to come and the tourists, if they come they don’t stop and they don’t talk to us,” said Jihad Rajabi who owns a t-shirt and souvenir store on al-Wad street. When Israeli police set up more than a dozen new checkpoints inside of East Jerusalem neighborhoods last October, Rajabi lost many customers. More . . .

“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 sakes
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 Amazon.com.

Call to prayer, early afternoon, Jericho (Video: Harold Knight, November 8, 2016)

“. . . But have you pondered the cause behind my tears . . .” (Ahmad Hussein)

Israeli soldiers on the Israeli side of the border with the Gaza Strip. (Agence France‑Presse /File Menahem Kahana)
Israeli soldiers on the Israeli side of the border with the Gaza Strip. (Agence France‑Presse /File Menahem Kahana)

❶ 2 killed, 19 injured as Israeli forces open fire at Gaza demo
❷ Israeli settlers assault PA minister of communications
❸ Two Palestinians Shot, While Dozens Suffocate during Jericho Clashes
❹ Analysis: The Dogs Not Barking: Netanyahu and Harper Muzzled
❺ Opinion/Analysis: The next Intifada should be a Palestinian revolution until the occupation ends
❻ Poetry by Ahmad Hussein
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
(Please read “Purpose” above. Thank you for clicking on “follow.”)

❶ MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
2  KILLED,  19  INJURED  AS  ISRAELI  FORCES  OPEN  FIRE  AT  GAZA  DEMO
Oct. 9, 2015
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Two Palestinians were killed and 19 others injured as Israeli military forces opened fire at a demonstration by the border fence east of Gaza City, medics said.
____Medical sources told Ma’an that Ahmad al-Harbawi and Hussam Dawla were shot and killed during the clashes east of the al-Shujaiyeh neighborhood east of Gaza City.
____At least 19 Palestinians were injured.
More . . .
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
ISRAELI  SETTLERS  ASSAULT  PA  MINISTER  OF  COMMUNICATIONS
Oct. 8, 2015
NABLUS (Ma’an) — Israeli settlers assaulted the Palestinian Authority Minister of Communications and Information Technology, Alam Moussa, in the northern occupied West Bank district of Nablus on Thursday, smashing his car windows during the attack, PA officials said.
____Palestinian officials condemned the attack, noting that the assault against the PA minister is evidence of settlers indiscriminately targeting Palestinians.
____Government officials called upon institutions of the international community, particularly the United Nations Security Council, to intervene in Israeli violations against Palestinians.
More . . .
PALESTINE NEWS & INFORMATION AGENCY – WAFA
TWO  PALESTINIANS  SHOT,  WHILE  DOZENS  SUFFOCATE  DURING  JERICHO  CLASHES
Oct. 7, 2015
JERICHO – Two Palestinian youth were shot while dozens others suffocated on Wednesday during clashes with Israeli army forces at the southern entrance of Jericho.
____Israeli forces stationed at the military checkpoint at the southern entrance of Jericho opened fire on Palestinians who marched to express their solidarity with Al-Aqsa Mosque and denunciation of settlers’ attacks against Palestinians.
____Israeli soldiers fired rubber-coated steel bullets at demonstrators, hitting and injuring Rami Abu Qamar and Mohammad Barahma. Forces also fired tear gas canisters at demonstrators, causing dozens of them to suffocate from excessive tear gas inhalation.
More . . .

It may be entirely coincidental, but why are they so silent now? (Palestine Chronicle Photo)
It may be entirely coincidental, but why are they so silent now? (Palestine Chronicle Photo)

❹ Opinion/Analysis
PALESTINE CHRONICLE
THE  DOGS  NOT  BARKING:  NETANYAHU  AND  HARPER  MUZZLED
Jim Miles
Oct 8 2015
Most people know the now cliché passage from Sherlock Holmes:

Holmes: “To the curious incident of the dog in the night-time.”
Gregory: “The dog did nothing in the night-time.”
Holmes: “That was the curious incident.”

____Two days after Putin made his historic speech at the UN indicating that the new world order was not necessarily that of the U.S., Russia has vigorously entered into the war against the terrorists in Syria/Iraq. Caught off guard and unawares, the U.S. and its allies, notably the U.K., pounced on Russia’s actions.
____It would appear that Putin and his advisors have the upper hand. [. . . . .]
____The western mainstream media has made a significant outcry from this [. . . . .]
____ Where there has been a deafening silence is from two surprising sources, Canada and Israel.
More . . .
❺ Opinion/Analysis
THE MIDDLE EAST MONITOR (MEM)
THE  NEXT  INTIFADA  SHOULD  BE  A  PALESTINIAN  REVOLUTION  UNTIL  THE  OCCUPATION  ENDS
Samah Jabr
Oct. 8, 2015
President Mahmoud Abbas’s speech at the UN, which had been preceded by inflated propaganda claiming that it would be a “bombshell”, turned out to be no more than a litany of well-worn complaints and appeals to the international community. The speech certainly failed to raise any new challenges, offer new strategies or inspire hope among the Palestinians burning under Israeli occupation. . . .
____Palestinian youths had hoped that the announcement would mean that the PA would stop acting like Israel’s subcontractor in the effort to crush Palestinian resistance. They then stood up to fight the Israeli appropriation of the Noble Sanctuary of Al-Aqsa in Jerusalem, to resist the closing of the city to its own people and to oppose the relentless attacks by settlers on villagers in the West Bank. . . .
____ . . . they are blamed in accordance with the typical dynamics of abuse: “They brought all that suffering upon themselves and their families!” We have heard similar comments about women who have been raped: “She asked for it; she provoked it; she is the one to blame for it.” Israel has ordered the shooting of any Palestinian child who is seen throwing stones.
More . . .

“THE  WAILING  SONG,”  BY  AHMAD  HUSSEIN
I found you in grief
Which was ever present,
Whence the promises,
The clouds,
And the rain,
And whence the dust that turned into tears
In my eyes.
Say, where did you hide the trees?

I found you in grief,
And long was our meeting!
Thirty partings,
Thirty captivities
Thirty dishonors.
I found you between what I left behind me and what I must face.
Waiting is ahead of me,
Waiting is behind me.

Looking at you I became hooked, coiled
Around an almond twig like a woman’s hair.
Should you release me, I’ll still be part of you.
Praised be your face,
Your bosom,
Praised be your lap so warm!

You read me! How time rolled by,
I became the etching, you the stone;
And, as you know, I was the singer,
And I was . . .
But have you pondered the cause behind my tears
A long, long time ago?
Can words precede images?
Then, listen to me, hear me
A song, a bower, over the lands,
Whenever you recall the sound of my voice, it pours.
I am love, and you will never lose me
So long as the soil in you lives,
And Jericho is surrounded by trees.

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.
____Born in 1939 in Haifa, Ahmad Hussein received his education in the local Arab schools of Haifa, Umm al-Fahm, and Nazareth. He has published short stories and poems in the local daily al-Yawn, in the bi-weekly al-Ittihad, and in the periodicals al-Mujtama, al-Jahid, and al-Fajr. His first collection of poems, Zaman al-Khawf (Time of Fear) was published in 1977 after the tragic death of his celebrated  brother,  Rashid  Hussein.  His poetry often uses romantic love as imagery for love of Palestine.

"Settlers and Soldiers at Iraq Burin" originally posted to Flickr as Settlers and Soldiers attacking demonstrators in Iraq Burin, 2009. (International Solidarity Movement photo)
“Settlers and Soldiers at Iraq Burin” originally posted to Flickr as Settlers and Soldiers attacking demonstrators in Iraq Burin, 2009. (International Solidarity Movement photo)