“. . . debris clattered down the outside stairway and fell towards the marble pavement. . . .” (Yousef Al-Mahmoud)

❶ Israel halts construction of school in Bethlehem, despite residents receiving permit
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Settler Caravans Erected Near Bethlehem

  • “The Future of Israel and Palestine: Expanding the Debate.” Middle East Policy.

❷ Israeli forces blow up home of slain Palestinian in Ramallah-area village
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) Israeli forces demolish homes in Bedouin villages in southern Israel
❸ Hebron: Israeli Occupation Forces Confiscate 47 Dunums of Land
. . . . . ❸ ― (ᴀ) Hebron: ‘We’re living in the heart of a prison’
❹ POETRY by Yousef Al-Mahmoud
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Ma’an News Agency
Aug. 18, 2017.   Israeli authorities forcibly halted the construction of a school in Jubbet Al-Dhib village in the eastern part of Bethlehem in the southern occupied West Bank on Thursday, despite Palestinians receiving an Israeli-issued building permit for the project.
___A representative of a popular resistance committee in Bethlehem Hadan Brejiyeh told Ma’an that Israeli forces, escorted by employees of the Israeli civil administration had “raided the village,” and shut down the construction at the school.
___Israeli forces had put a stop to the construction, which consisted of eight mobile structures, and confiscated vehicles belonging to an Italian NGO. The residents said they had received a difficult-to-obtain Israeli-issued building permit for the project.   MORE . . .
International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC 
August 17, 2017.   Israeli settlers, on Wednesday, installed caravans near the village of Nahalin, to the west of Bethlehem, according to local sources.
___Sobhi Zeidan, head of Nahalin village council, told WAFA that settlers from the nearby illegal settlement of Beitar Elit installed 10 caravans near the fence separating the settlement from Nahalin.   MORE . . .

Walt, Stephen M., et al.
Middle East Policy,
vol. 20, no. 2, Summer2013, pp. 1-24.
[. . . .] The second scene is in a small village that I visited near the Hebron Hills in Area C in the West Bank. There are Palestinian herdsmen there who have a couple of small houses and sheds for livestock. The day I visited this hamlet — Sadat a Thaale, I think it was called — the Israelis had come in a few days before and, using a bulldozer, had destroyed the cistern. It is an ancient practice, throughout the Middle East and many parts of the world, of storing water in cisterns — in this case a limestone cistern carved out of the hill. The Israelis had destroyed it. The source of water was destroyed and five sheep were killed. This kind of wanton destruction is happening on a regular basis in the West Bank, with the aim of pushing people off the land, off Area C and into cities, where they can be gathered together. Israel has always wanted as much land as possible with as few Palestinians on it. That has been part of the program from the start.
[. . . .] Because Israel has so permeated the West Bank and East Jerusalem and has encircled East Jerusalem, I believe the two-state solution is over. It’s not going to happen. There are 600,000-650,000 Israelis east of the Green Line. They’re not going to move. So this historic conflict, which has been called two irreconcilable claims to the same land, is over. One side has won. That has always been the case; one side was winning. We’re now at a point where one side controls all the land with the exception of Area A, in which the Palestinian Authority is exercising some type of authority.    FULL ARTICLE . . .

Ma’an News Agency
Aug. 17, 2017.   In a raid Thursday morning on the Ramallah-area village of Deir Abu Mashaal in the central occupied West Bank, Israeli forces blew up the home of slain Palestinian Adel Hassan Ahmad Ankoush, who was killed by Israeli forces in June along with two other Palestinians after the three carried out a deadly shooting and stabbing attack in occupied East Jerusalem that left an Israeli border police officer dead.
___Locals told Ma’an that the Israeli army raided Ankoush’s family home and set up explosives around the house, as other forces surrounded Deir Abu Mashaal and deployed across all entrances to the village, while drones hovered overhead.   MORE . . .
Ma’an News Agency
Aug. 17, 2017.   Israeli authorities demolished three Palestinian homes on Thursday morning in several Bedouin villages in the Negev of southern Israel for allegedly being built without Israeli-issued building permits, locals told Ma’an.
___According to locals, Israeli authorities demolished a house belonging to Salman Abu Sabileh in the Umm Qabu village, while two other homes were demolished in the al-Atrash and al-Sayyid villages.
___Meanwhile, locals in the Umm al-Hiran village in the Negev told Ma’an that clashes had erupted between Palestinian residents and Israeli police forces after they raided the village to carry out demolitions. However, there were no reports of demolitions being carried out.   MORE . . .
Aug. 17, 2017.  Israeli authorities confiscated at least 47 dunams (12 acres) of lands in al-Thahiryeh village, south of Hebron city, in the southern occupied West Bank for alleged military purposes, locals told Ma’an on Wednesday.
___Al-Thahiryeh mayor Ratib al-Sabber told Ma’an that locals were surprised last Sunday when an Israeli confiscation order was put up on the entrance of the Mitar checkpoint in the southern part of al-Thahiryeh, close to the lands that were confiscated. The order stated that the land would be used for Israeli army purposes.   MORE . . .
. . . . . ❸ ― (ᴀ) HEBRON:  ‘WE’RE  LIVING  IN  THE  HEART  OF  A  PRISON’   
Al Jazeera English 
August  16, 2017.   (Amid heightened restrictions and harassment, Palestinians struggle to keep their homes in Hebron’s historic Old City.)     
For weeks, members of the Abu Rajab family have been confined to their home in the heart of Hebron’s historic Old City.
___They cannot leave for fear that settlers will occupy the house. When absolutely necessary, one family member takes a short trip to buy food or other necessities, before hurrying back inside.     “We’re always careful about going out and coming back in, and we make sure not to leave the house alone,” Hazem Abu Rajab, 28, told Al Jazeera as he sat outside on their porch.
___On July 25, a group of 15 settler families broke into apartments belonging to the Abu Rajabs’ ancestral family home and moved in. The same evening, the settlers physically attacked members of the Abu Rajab family while attempting to invade their primary residence. Yet when Israeli authorities arrived on the scene, they attempted to arrest the Abu Rajabs, they said.
___For six days, the Abu Rajab family could not leave their home at all, due to a military order that forbade anyone from exiting or entering, Abu Rajab said. The Palestinian Civil Administration tried to deliver food on the fourth day but was turned away.   MORE . . .

Her house is above the carnations
on the path to the wind-swept hills. . .
At evening we sought refuge there
watching out for the guns and the aeroplanes.

The crack of bullets followed our coffee
and smashed into our conversation.
The crack of bullets and the bark of artillery
came near to the flowers inside the windows
came near to the warmth and the water jug
debris clattered down the outside stairway
and fell towards the marble pavement.

Her house is above the carnations
there we were in it
we had sought refuge there
and so we moved to where the Jewish soldiers could no longer see 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.

“. . . our eyes full of dust That never clears in our ceaseless wandering . . .” (Jabra Ibrahim Jabra)

The Apartheid Wall, Bethlehem (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 12, 2015)

❶ Israeli authorities destroy 60 solar panels in remote Bethlehem-area village
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Opportunities and Challenges of Palestinian Development actions in Area C

Background: “Beyond Analogy: Bare Life in the West Bank” Postcolonial Studies

❷ 7 Palestinians detained, 8 hospitalized in violent Israeli military raids [In Bethlehem District]
. . . . .  ❷ ― (ᴀ) In describing the situation and its causes
❸ Israeli Soldiers Confiscate Surveillance Tapes In Deheishe Refugee Camp
❹ POETRY by Bethlehem Poet Jabra Ibrahim Jabra
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Ma’an News Agency      
June 28, 2017.  Israeli forces took down and destroyed some 60 solar panels in the isolated village of Jubbet al-Dhib east of Bethlehem . . .
___Head of the village council Rateb Abu Mahamid told Ma’an that Israeli army forces and members of the Israeli Civil Administration raided the village early Wednesday to seize the solar panels, highlighting that they were installed last year by human rights organizations to provide electricity to the remote village, which has “no necessities of life to survive,” according to the Applied Research Institute – Jerusalem (ARJI).
___The village, located in Area C . . .   is surrounded by illegal Israeli settlements, and as a result, Israel bars Palestinians from building and being connected to basic infrastructure, Mahamid told Ma’an.
[. . . .] Some 150 Palestinians reside in Jubbet al-Dhib, which is neighbored by the illegal Noqedim settlement — home to Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, as well as the illegal El David settlement.
[. . . .] However, Israeli authorities have continued to refuse to grant a license for the project, forcing residents and NGOs to carry on with the solar panel installation without Israeli permission.     ___“The Israeli civil administration’s decision not to grant a license . . .  means depriving the Palestinian residents of their most simple human rights of access to the most basic rights such as: education, health, the right to work, and the sense of humanity,” the report said.   MORE . . . 
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) “OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES OF PALESTINIAN DEVELOPMENT ACTIONS IN AREA C.” Applied Research Institute – Jerusalem (ARJI). Posted in “Special Reports 2017.”   FULL REPORT . . .

Lee, Christopher J. “BEYOND  ANALOGY:  BARE  LIFE  IN  THE  WEST  BANK.”  Postcolonial Studies, vol. 16, no. 4, Dec. 2013, pp. 374-387.
(Jamal Juma’ is a key organizer of the Palestinian Grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign, also known as the Stop the Wall Campaign a movement founded in 2002 that has focused on bringing attention to the situation in the West Bank.)
[. . . .] JJ: Another thing, and this is why we call the wall an apartheid wall—that it is creating an apartheid system—is because for the first time, perhaps in all history, an occupier has created a situation of separate roads for the indigenous community and for settlers. They have created forty-eight tunnels and bridges to control movement in this network. They have a system of control for the Palestinian people, limiting their future expansion on their land, confiscating their water, while giving the colonizers all the possibilities to expand. All the land behind the wall is for the expansion of [Israeli] settlements. You also have two laws. There is a law controlling Palestinians, which is a restrictive military law. If you built your house without permission, they will destroy your house. But a settler can go and build a house anywhere. They will provide him with all facilities: highways, very cheap loans, very cheap places to encourage them to come and live, kindergartens, transportation, and security forces to guard them. This is to give them all the possibilities and facilities to have a decent life, quote unquote, on Palestinian land. On the other side, there is heavy military control over the Palestinian communities around them. A settler can kill any Palestinian in the street, and he will go home sleeping well. A Palestinian throws a stone, and he will be taken to jail for six months.
CJL: So there is an imbalance of law and power.
JJ: It is institutionalizing racism in a kind of apartheid system     SOURCE . . .

Ma’an News Agency     
June 27, 2017.
Israeli forces detained at least seven Palestinians in predawn raids in the occupied West Bank on Tuesday, with three aggressive raids sparking clashes, as Israeli forces targeted local youth with live fire and launched tear gas canisters at homes.
___During a violent raid into al-Duheisha refugee camp in the southern occupied West Bank district of Bethlehem, at least eight Palestinians were injured, including six who were shot with live fire in the legs — one of whom was an on-duty paramedic whose brother was detained, and a youth who was run over by an Israeli military vehicle.
___Locals said that several Israeli military vehicles raided the refugee camp around dawn time, surrounded it from multiple areas, as snipers deployed on the rooftops of houses.   MORE . . . 

A Panel from The Wall Museum, Bethlehem (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 16, 2015)

. . . . .  ❷ ― (ᴀ)  IN  DESCRIBING  THE  SITUATION  AND  ITS  CAUSES      
Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (Group 194)  
Fahed Suleiman   (Deputy Secretary General of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine.)   
June 27, 2017.   The crisis of the Palestinian national movement is complex, it is a crisis of national action strategy that is officially adopted, and it is a crisis of the existing political system, with the reciprocal relationship between them.
___The strategy that is adopted by the Palestinian official decision center, is still based on two tracks: Palestinian-Israeli bilateral negotiations on the one hand, and building institutions of the «State» on the other; and the two tracks have been unsettled for years, but even for nearly two decades.   MORE . . .
International Middle East Media Center (IMEMC) 
June 28, 2017.   Israeli soldiers invaded, on Wednesday at dawn, the Deheishe refugee camp, south of Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank, invaded several shops, after breaking their doors, and confiscated surveillance tapes.
___Media sources in the refugee camp said the soldiers broke into many stores, along the main Bethlehem-Hebron road, in addition to Doha Local Council building, across the road, violently searched them and confiscated surveillance tapes.
___They added that clashes took place between the invading soldiers and dozens of local youngsters, and that the army fired many gas bombs.     MORE . . .

Spring after spring, in the deserts of exile,
What are we doing with our love,
When our eyes are full of frost and dust?

Our Palestine, green land of ours;
Its flowers as if embroidered of women’s gowns;
March adorns its hills
With the jewel-like peony and narcissus;
April bursts open in its plains
With flowers and bride-like blossoms;
May is our rustic song
Which we sing at noon, in the blue shadows,
Among the olive trees in our valleys,
And in the ripeness of the fields we wait for the promise of July
And the joyous dance amidst the harvest.

O land of ours where our childhood passed
Like dreams in the shade of the orange grove,
Among the almond trees in the valleys―
Remember us now wandering
Among the thorns of the desert,
Wandering in rocky mountains;
Remember us now
In the tumult of cities beyond deserts and seas;
Remember us with our eyes full of dust
That never clears in our ceaseless wandering.
They crushed the flowers on the hills around us,
Destroyed the houses over our heads,
Scattered our torn remains
Then unfolded the desert before us,
With valleys writhing in hunger
And blue shadows
Scattered into red thorns
Bent over corpses left as prey for falcon and crow.

Is it from your hills that the angels sang to the shepherds
Of peace on earth and goodwill among men?
Only death laughed when it saw
Among the entrails of beasts
The ribs of men,
And through the guffaw of bullets
It went dancing a joyous dance
On the heads of weeping women.
Our land is an emerald,
But in the deserts of exile,
Spring after spring,
Only the dust hisses in our face.
What then, what are we doing with our love,
When our eyes and our mouth are full of frost and dust?

About  Jabra Ibrahim Jabra      Related
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.

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The Apartheid Wall, Bethlehem (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 15, 2015)