“. . . as, on his way, God passes me by . . .” (Abdel Rahim Al-Sheikh)

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Main pulpit of Al-Aqsa restored after 1969 fire. American group touring upon invitation. (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 4, 2015)

❶ Right-wing Israelis tour Al-Aqsa, Palestinians denied entry
❷ Will Israel’s ban on the Islamic Movement lead to further restrictions?
❸ Israeli forces kill Palestinian teen in Duheisha camp
❹ Gazans’ dark secret? They’ve become chocoholics
❺ Opinion/Analysis: Israel  and  Judaism:  Will  a  Freed  Pollard  Become  a  Hero  and  Role  Model  for  Israel  and  its  American  Friends?
❻ Poetry by Abdel Rahim Al-Sheikh
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
RIGHT-WING  ISRAELIS  TOUR  AL-AQSA,  PALESTINIANS  DENIED  ENTRY
Dec. 8, 2015
JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — More than 40 right-wing Israelis toured the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound on Tuesday morning, while Israeli police denied entry to a large number of blacklisted Palestinians, Palestinian officials said.
___The Palestinian Authority Ministry of Endowment said that the group of Jewish worshipers toured the compound from 7:30 to 10 a.m. under heavy police escort.
___Meanwhile, around 60 Palestinian men and women were denied entry to the holy site. They were reportedly blacklisted by Israeli police as “trouble makers.”
More . . .
AL-MONITOR (PALESTINE PULSE)
WILL  ISRAEL’S  BAN  ON  THE  ISLAMIC  MOVEMENT  LEAD  TO  FURTHER  RESTRICTIONS?
Aziza Nofal
Dec. 1, 2015
EAST JERUSALEM — Supporters of the Islamic Movement’s northern branch in Israel are trying to counter the country’s recent ban on the group — a ban one former Arab Knesset member called “a preamble for racist resolutions to come.”
More . . .

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Israeli forces shot dead a 19-year-old Palestinian, Malik Akram Shahin, during a predawn detention raid into Duheisha refugee camp to the south of Bethlehem on Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2015. (Ma’an Photo)

MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
ISRAELI  FORCES  KILL  PALESTINIAN  TEEN  IN  DUHEISHA  CAMP
Dec. 8, 2015
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israeli forces shot dead a 19-year-old Palestinian during a predawn detention raid into Duheisha refugee camp to the south of Bethlehem on Tuesday.
___Medics identified the Palestinian as Malik Akram Shahin and said he had been shot in the forehead, where the bullet remained lodged.
___Witnesses said he was “left bleeding for long before he was evacuated to the public hospital in Beit Jala, where medics pronounced him dead.”
___He was killed when large numbers of Israeli forces stormed Duheisha camp in the early hours of Tuesday, detaining a number of local residents and delivering summons to others
More . . .
AL-MONITOR (PALESTINE PULSE)
GAZANS’  DARK  SECRET?  THEY’VE  BECOME  CHOCOHOLICS
Hana Salah
Dec. 6, 2015
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — In 2008, when Samia was a college student, she could not find chocolate in the Gaza Strip’s shops because chocolate was placed on the Israeli list of banned items after the imposition of the blockade in 2007.
___But when the tunnel smuggling via the border with Egypt started in late 2007, chocolate, food and many products such as fuel and construction material found their way to the stores, albeit at high prices. When the number of tunnels increased, reaching into the hundreds, the price of chocolate dropped. But not all types of chocolate were available.
___In 2010, chocolate was removed from the Israeli list of banned items, and the Gaza market almost drowned in chocolate.
More . . .
❺ Opinion/Analysis
WASHINGTON REPORT ON MIDDLE EAST AFFAIRS
ISRAEL  AND  JUDAISM:  WILL  A  FREED  POLLARD  BECOME  A  HERO  AND  ROLE  MODEL  FOR  ISRAEL  AND  ITS  AMERICAN  FRIENDS?
Allan C. Brownfeld
November/December 2015
Jonathan Pollard, the convicted American spy for Israel who has served 30 years of his life sentence, is scheduled to be released from prison on Nov. 21. It seems likely that, upon his release, he will be hailed as a hero in Israel as well as by many of Israel’s friends in the U.S., particularly those who have worked actively for his release and argued that, despite his own guilty plea. . . he was the victim of religious discrimination.
___What Pollard did is not open to question.
[. . . . ]
___Shortly after Pollard’s sentencing, a strange campaign was launched calling for his immediate release, suggesting that he was a “political prisoner,” and a victim of anti-Semitism.
More . . .

“SINGLE  ADDRESS  FOR  THE  POST,”  BY  ABDEL  RAHIM  AL-SHEIKH

On my way to them, I pass Him by,
(as, on his way, God passes me by)
for as we go our separate ways
we see no one but those on high.

The beds are allotted before the violet dawn.
The black and endless night is spent alone
and then the cataclysm comes

that will seed them from the borders of Palestine
the Great Thorn.
They are the only roses that grow.

From where they stalk the edge of paradise
the first paradise.

From where the children use thorns
to draw maps of this paradise.

From this spot.

We raise in the sky a glorying arc
the first milestone to Mecca
and we leave a kiss for those who left
with neither luggage nor papers for their passage.

This is the way the journey will always be.
They leave their bags for the postman to deliver

He takes them from the hands
of those who follow

And those who follow leave their packages
as the first ones do.

It’s hard for the post to make it to paradise.
There is no address
neither here nor there.
――Translated by Rachel McCrum

Abdel Rahim al-Sheikh from Jerusalem, teaches philosophy, history, and creative writing at Bir Zeit University and the Qattan Centre in Ramallah, and is the author of many literary and academic books.
He has won an advanced Fulbright Fellowship for this academic year.
From A  BIRD  IS  NOT  A  STONE:  AN  ANTHOLOGY  OF  CONTEMPORARY  PALESTINIAN  POETRY  (Glasgow: Freight Books, 2014) –available From Amazon.com.

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Not Gaza, but a sweet shop in Bethlehem. A Palestinian and an American wait impatiently to be served. (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 7, 2015)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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