“. . . And your children will play again . . .” (Nizar Qabbani)

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Children of Rawdat El-Zuhur School (Photo: Global Ministries of the United Church of Christ, Nov. 2014)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY    
|  GAZA  –  4  PALESTINIANS  KILLED,  DOZENS  INJURED  INCLUDING  JOURNALISTS,  PARAMEDICS
Four Palestinians were shot and killed by Israeli forces during weekly protests across the eastern borders of the besieged Gaza Strip since Friday afternoon.    [. . . .] The ministry pointed out that two journalists and four paramedic were among those injured.    ___At least 47 others were injured with live bullets and rubber-coated steel bullets, while dozens suffered tear-gas inhalation as Israeli forces suppressed the 39th Friday of the return marches.    More . . .
~~ Photojournalist  among  4  injured  in  Kafr  Qaddum  weekly  march    More . . .
~~ Factions  call  protest  at  Australia’s  representative  office  in  Ramallah  against  Jerusalem  decision   More . . .
|  UN  ADOPTS  RESOLUTION  ON  PALESTINIAN  SOVEREIGNTY  OVER  NATURAL  RESOURCES
The United Nations General Assembly adopted, by an overwhelming majority, a resolution that affirms the right of the Palestinian people to sovereignty over their natural resources.    ___The resolution was adopted by a recorded vote of 159 in favour to 7 against (Canada, Israel, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, United States), with 13 abstentions.    ___The resolution stresses permanent sovereignty of the Palestinian people in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, and of the Arab population in occupied Syrian Golan over their natural resources.    More . . .
| [THE  ORGANIZATION  OF  ISLAMIC  COOPERATION]  OIC  INTENDS  TO  SET  UP  FUND  FOR  SUPPORT  OF  PALESTINIAN  REFUGEES
The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has announced its intention to establish a fund to support the Palestinian refugees.    ___According to a press release issued by the organization, a committee of experts from the OIC member states held a meeting on Wednesday to discuss the draft statute of the waqf fund for support of the Palestinian Refugees at the OIC headquarters in Jeddah.    ___OIC secretary-general Yousef al-Othaimeen stated that the meeting came in light of the worsening financial crisis of UNRWA and its impact on the humanitarian, social, and economic situation of the Palestinian refugees, especially after the US suspended its contributions.    More . . .      
~~ Health  ministry,  with  support  from  WHO,  UNICEF,  succeeds  in  bringing  in  children  vaccines  More . . .
~~ EU  increases  financial  support  for  UNRWA      More . . .
~~ Distribution  of  Palestinian  refugees  registered  by  UNRWA     More . . .

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION

| HUMANITARIAN  AID  IS  OVERTLY  POLITICIZED,  JUST  NOT  IN  FAVOR  OF  THE  PALESTINIANS
By Ramona Wadi
The 2019 humanitarian plan for Palestinians in the occupied territories will allocate $350 million for aid intervention, according to Ramallah’s Minister of Social Development Ibrahim Al-Shaer and UN envoy Jamie McGoldrick. The people of Palestine remain divested of their legitimate human and civil rights in order to retain the imposed status of near-total aid dependency.    ___Despite decades of humanitarian aid sent their way since 1948, the Palestinians have still not recovered from the immediate deprivation of basic necessities created by the Nakba. This paradox could have been resolved if their rights had been fulfilled with equal enthusiasm.     [. . . .] Human rights, it seems, are official opportunities for personal advancement at the UN. Is that not a means of the politicization of humanitarian aid? According to Ma’an news agency, Al-Shaer “reaffirmed the danger of politicizing humanitarian aid because that would undermine and threaten human rights.”   More . . .

NOTICES  FROM  ORGANIZATIONS
RAWDAT EL ZUHUR SCHOOL
Rawdat El-Zuhur
is a Palestinian non governmental non-profit women’s organization in East Jerusalem. It supervises  Rawdat  El-Zuhur  elementary  coeducational  school  and  kindergarten  which serves mainly the lower income community.   December Newsletter. . .           Donate . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY

“JERUSALEM,”  BY  NIZAR  QABBANI
Oh Jerusalem, the luminous city of prophets
The shortest path between earth and sky

Oh Jerusalem, the citadel of laws
A beautiful child with fingers charred
and downcast eyes
You are the shady oasis passed by the Prophet
Your streets are melancholy
Your minarets are mourning
You, the young maiden dressed in black
Who rings the bells in the Nativity
On Saturday morning?
Who brings toys for the children
On Christmas eve?
The city of sorrow
A huge tear trembling on your eyelid
Who will halt the aggression
On you, the pearl of religions?
Who will wash your bloody walls?
Who will safeguard the Bible?
Who will rescue the Quran?
Who will save Christ?
Who will save man?
Oh Jerusalem my town
Oh Jerusalem my love
Tomorrow the lemon trees will blossom
And the olive trees will rejoice
Your eyes will dance
The migrant pigeons will return
To your sacred roofs
And your children will play again
And fathers and sons will meet
On your rosy hills
My city, city of peace and olives.
—Translated by Sharif Elmusa and Naomi Shihab Nye

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.

“. . . made of two threads from the sacks of relief flour . . .” (Khaled Abdallah)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .
| OCHA:  ‘ISRAELI  FORCES,  SETTLERS’  RAIDS  INTO  PALESTINIAN  SCHOOLS  INCREASED’ 
The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in the Occupied Palestinian Territory confirmed, that since the beginning of 2018 there has been a significant increase in incidents involving the entry of Israeli forces and settlers into Palestinian schools.    ___In OCHA’s biweekly Protection of Civilians Report covering the period from 6th to 19th of November, it said that in the West Bank, 63 Palestinian children and nine adults were injured by Israeli forces during four separate raids into schools, one of which also involved Israeli settlers.   More . . .
. . . . Background  [. . . .] ISRAEL signed the Geneva Conventions on 6 July 1951, and the Additional Protocol III (relating to the Adoption of an Additional Distinctive Emblem, 2005) on 22 November 2007. Moreover, it became SIGNATORY  TO  THE  CONVENTION  FOR  THE  RIGHTS  OF  THE  CHILD  (CRC) on 3 October 1991, and signed the Optional Protocol to the CRC on 18 July 2005. All 8 fundamental ILO conventions have been ratified by Israel.
. . . . Related  Over 700 road obstacles control Palestinian movement within the West Bank: OCHA
| WEEKLY  REPORT  ON  ISRAELI  HUMAN  RIGHTS  VIOLATIONS  IN  THE  OCCUPIED  PALESTINIAN  TERRITORY  (14  –  21  NOVEMBER  2018) 

  • Israeli forces continue systematic crimes in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) (14 – 21 November 2018)
  • Israeli Forces Killed a Fisherman in the Northern Gaza Strip
  • Israeli forces continued to use excessive force against unarmed civilians and peaceful protestors in the Gaza Strip
  • 113 civilians, including 25 children, 3 women, 3 journalists, and 6 paramedics were wounded. More . . .

. . . . Related  Israeli Soldiers Abduct Two Palestinians In Hebron
. . . . Related  Four Protesters Injured at Kafr Qaddoum
. . . . Related  Israeli Soldiers Injure Fourteen Palestinians In Gaza
. . . . Related  Israeli settlers vandalize mosque, spray racist slogans in Beit Iksa
| HAMAS  PUBLISHES  IMAGES  OF  ‘ISRAELIS  INVOLVED  IN  GAZA  COVERT  UNIT’  
The armed wing of the Hamas group has published photos of what it says are members of an Israeli covert operations unit that infiltrated the Gaza Strip on November 11.    ___The Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades posted pictures of eight alleged members of the Israeli force, including two women, on its official website, as well as pictures of two vehicles used by the force during the botched operation.    ___In a statement, the group called on Palestinians to communicate to them any information they might have regarding the persons but provided no further details on the identities of those pictured.    ___Israel’s army censor issued a statement shortly afterwards calling on the public and news media not to distribute the photos or information relating to them.  “Hamas is attempting to understand and analyse the incident. . .    More . . .
. . . . Related  How  Hamas’  rocket  barrage  affects  Israeli  defense  policy
. . . . Related  Is  Russia  full-on  supporting  Hamas?
. . . . Related  Unease  and  apprehension  lie  over  Gaza  following  Israeli  truce

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .
GAZA  (YASSER  ARAFAT)  INTERNATIONAL  AIRPORT:  20  YEARS  LATER  
By Zakaria al-Madhoun
On this day, 20 years ago, the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat inaugurated Gaza International Airport in Rafah, the most southern point in the Gaza Strip.     ___That day was not like any other day, recalled Mohammad el-Baz, who covered the event live for Palestine TV. “Inaugurating the airport was not a normal development for the Palestinian people and leadership represented by Yasser Arafat.”    ___Gaza International Airport, also called Yasser Arafat Airport, had one runway 3080 meters long and 60 meters wide. Construction on the airport started in January 1996 when Arafat laid the foundation stone for the airport.    More . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . .

“MINT,”  BY  KHALED  ABDALLAH
I walk barefoot into my mother’s talk,
the dusty square, the garden chair, the dancer’s kerchief, the wind,
eyes from windows opposite, a moon dangled between two palm
fronds and another moon at the window.
The dancer has a bird’s fluttering heart that no chest can contain.
A jug sprinkles water to settle the dust.
The flute’s lip is wet with its player’s saliva. Like children’s saliva
on the throat of a balloon. This time your heart’s demons will keep it
like the color of your first school uniform. But if the accordion went mad
the women who believe in luck will say this boy is jinxed.
They would prepare a necklace for him made of two threads from the sacks
of relief flour and the bones of extinct animals and yellow
fangs. I return barefoot to mother’s talk. “Another moon at the window”
“Build some corners in your heart, my love, and hide your mint
plants among them.”

—Translated by Khaled Mattawa
From BEFORE THERE IS NOWHERE TO STAND: PALESTINE ISREL POETS RESPOND TO THE STRUGGLE. Ed. By Joan Dobbie and Grace Beeler. Sandpoint ID: Lost Horse Press, 2012.  Available from B&N.

 

 

“. . . When the almond and the olive have turned to timber . . .” (Samih Al-Qasim)

20180213_burin - Copy
THE VILLAGE OF BURIN. PHOTO BY SALMA A-DEB’I. B’Tselem Website, March 27,2018.

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .

|  IN  VIDEO  –  ISRAELI  SETTLERS  ATTACK  PALESTINIAN  FARMERS  IN  NABLUS       Video footage showed how several Israeli settlers attacked Palestinian farmers, on Saturday, while they were harvesting olive harvest on Palestinians lands belonging to the residents of the Burin village, south of the northern occupied West Bank district of Nablus.    ___According to local sources, Israeli settlers from the illegal Givat Ronin settlement attacked two Palestinian farmers by throwing rocks at them and chased them out of their own lands.    ___The Israeli human rights group B’Tselem reported that “Settler violence and vandalism takes place with full backing by the Israeli authorities. Sometimes soldiers take part in the assault; at other times, they stand idly by.    More . . .
|  VIDEO:  AS  THE  OLIVE  HARVEST  BEGINS,  SO  DO  THE  SETTLER  ATTACKS     The time had finally come: the residents of Turmusayya, a lush Palestinian village nestled in a valley between Ramallah and Nablus in the central occupied West Bank, had gotten permission from Israeli authorities to go harvest their olive trees. This chance only came twice a year: two days in the spring to cultivate their land, and two days in the fall to harvest the olives.     ___When they arrived, they were devastated to find dozens of trees chopped down, uprooted, and rotting.     More . . .
. . . . Related  Israeli forces chase Palestinian herders out of grazing land
. . . . Related  Settlers chop off olive, grape trees near Bethlehem
. . . . Related  Settlers attack civilians in Hebron
. . . . Related  Israeli army destroys water pipeline in Kafr Qaddoum
. . . . Related  Israeli Soldiers And Settlers Uproot Trees In Silwan
. . . . Related  PHOTOS: Israeli bulldozers demolish homes in West Bank villages
. . . . Related  Israeli fanatics break into Aqsa Mosque
|  ISRAEL ORDERS IMMEDIATE HALT OF FUEL DELIVERIES TO GAZA    Israel’s Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman has ordered an immediate halt to fuel deliveries headed to besieged Gaza in response to what he claimed attacks against Israeli soldiers and civilians.    ___The announcement on Friday follows the killing  of  seven  Palestinians  by  Israeli  forces  during the ongoing March of Return protests.   ___”Israel will not tolerate a situation in which fuel tankers are allowed to enter Gaza on the one hand, while terror and violence are used against [Israeli] soldiers and Israeli citizens on the other,” the statement from Lieberman’s office read.    More . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

“A  HOMELAND,”  BY  SAMIH  AL-QASIM
So what,
When in my homeland
The sparrow dies of starvation,
In exile, without a shroud,
While the earthworm is satiated, devouring God’s food!

So what,
When the yellow fields
Yield no more to their tillers
Than memories of weariness,
While their rich harvest pours
Into the granaries of the usurper!

So what,
If the cement has diverted
The ancient springs
Causing them to forget their natural course,
When their owner calls,
They cry in his face: “Who are you?”

So what,
When the almond and the olive have turned to timber
Adorning tavern doorways,
And monuments
Whose nude loveliness beautifies halls and bars,
And is carried by tourists
To the farthest corners of the earth,
While nothing remains before my eyes
But dry leaves and tinder!

So what,
When my people’s tragedy
Has turned to farce in others’ eyes,
And my face is a poor bargain
That even the slave-trader gleefully disdains!

So what,
When in barren space the satellites spin,
And in the streets walks a beggar, holding a hat,
And the song of autumn is heard!
Blow, East winds!
Our roots are still alive.

Samih Al-Qasim 
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.