“The messengers of peace here weep for the bitterness and the malice . . . .” Samih Al-Qasim

NEWS OF THE DAY

Netanyahu trial to begin on 17 March, says Israeli court – Prime minister expected to attend initial hearing, where indictment will be read

The Guardian
Oliver Holmes in Jerusalem
Feb 18 2020
Benjamin Netanyahu is expected to appear at a court hearing on 17 March for the start of a corruption trial against him, the Israeli judiciary has announced.
– – – – The first day of the case is scheduled just two weeks after a national election on 2 March in which the prime minister is fighting to remain in power, despite the damning charges levelled against him.
– – – – After a three-year police investigation, the country’s attorney general indicted the 70-year-old leader in November in all three of the major cases against him.   More . . . .

Newspapers review: Plan to build new settlement near Jerusalem focus of dailies

WAFA
Feb 20 2020
The Israeli plan to build thousands of new colonial settlement units on the former Qalandia airport near the Jerusalem neighborhood of Kafr Aqab dominated the front page headlines in the dailies.
– – – – The dailies reported that Israeli occupation authorities have prepared a master plan to build 9,000 new colonial settler units on the former Qalandia airport to the north of Jerusalem.
– – – – Al-Quds quoted observers saying in this regard that this project is second largest settlement construction project following the Maale Adumim settlement, which would undermine the prospects for the creation of the Palestinian state.
– – – – Al-Ayyam added in this regard that this huge settlement project is intended to consolidate the separation of Jerusalem from the West Bank.    More . . . .

In an attempt to prevent education in Area C of the West Bank, soldiers seize a classroom

WAFA
Feb 19 2020 – In their efforts to prevent education in the Palestinian areas classified as C, Israeli forces today seized a caravan used as a school classroom in the village of Susiya, in Masafer Yatta cluster to the south of the occupied southern West Bank city of Hebron, according to a local source.
– – – – Fouad al-Amoor, an activist, said that Israeli soldiers seized the classroom caravan under the pretext of construction without permit.
– – – -Israel never gives Palestinians permits to build in Area C of the occupied West Bank, which is under full Israeli military rule and make over 60 percent of the area of the West Bank.    More . . . .

  • Israeli forces detain seven Palestinians, ransack houses in West Bank raids
    WAFA
    Feb 19 2020
    Israeli forces Wednesday overnight detained seven Palestinians and ransacked a
    number of houses and stores across the West Bank, said the Palestine Prisoners’
    Society (PPS).    More . . . .
  • Israel Shuts Down Bakery Shop, Detains Owner In Jerusalem

    Days of Palestine
    Feb 19 2020
    On Wednesday, the Israeli occupation police shut down a bakery shop and detained the owner in the Old City of Jerusalem. Local sources confirmed that Israeli occupation police shut down a bakery shop in Bab Hutta neighborhood, citing the distribution of ka’ek, a crusty bread with sesame seeds, to Muslim worshipers on last Friday free of charge as a pretext.    More . . . .

In Wake of Trump Peace Plan, EU Countries Pushing for Recognition of State of Palestine

Israel is attempting to squash the initiative, claiming that EU opposition to the Trump Mideast plan would only encourage Palestinian rejectionism
‘Whether they accept it or not, it’s going to happen’ — Netanyahu lays out Palestinian submission to Trump plan
Mondoweiss
Philip Weiss
Feb 18, 2020
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told American Jews that he and the Trump administration are moving ahead with plans to remap the West Bank to give Israel sovereignty over large portions of occupied territory, and Palestinians are going to have to live with that plan “whether they accept it or not.”
– – – – Netanyahu’s discussion of Palestinian submission to the “radical” and “historic” terms of the Trump “peace plan” including annexation of all “Jewish communities” and military control of the West Bank sounded very much like surrender.
– – – – He spoke in Jerusalem two days ago to the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, a rightwing Israel lobby organization.    More . . . .

POEM FOR THE DAY

“PSALM  OF  ISAIAH’S  GRANDCHILDREN,”  BY  SAMIH  AL-QASIM
We are Isaiah’s grandchildren
calling out to him now,
calling out to his kind face,
our dreams trembling, behind crimson tears!
We are Isaiah’s grandchildren―
and we call to him now―crying in anger:
Isaiah who has slept for ages!
How has this village become a whore?
Its silver has been debased.
They’ve treated it with disdain,
mixing the wine of its people with water.
Why don’t you tell them of the widows’ claims?
O Isaiah of the struggle―
Hallelujah!
The messengers of peace here weep
for the bitterness and the malice,
after the pretenders to right,
the enemies of culture,
severed the heads of the peaceful!
O sad Isaiah!
Rise up now, and cry through a village
that’s falling upon the slope of peril:
“May God show you the error of your ways!
Why, after seventy years, have you resorted to trade
with merchants from every kingdom?
Rise now and cry out through Tel Aviv:
“A thousand woes on those
who do not seek the Lord. And go to Egypt
bearing the wooden boards
of the Orient’s cross!”
O beloved Isaiah!
That revelation comes from Tayma,
From the lands of the Arabs: People!
Bring out the water to the refugees,
provide the long-hungry with bread,
bandage the wounds of those who have fled,
escaping the edge of the sword.
O brave Isaiah!
Rise up now so that
Palestine’s children will be able to play
without fearing the vipers’ fangs,
so two lambs might feel safe
in the lions’ jungle.
Hallelujah!
Then justice will reign among the nations
without the annihilation of right,
without silencing any tongue.
O Isaiah of the struggle!
The swords will be turned into plowshares
and the people’s spears be molded
into scythes, and then―
no nation will raise a sword to fight!
Little people know not war,
nor what bloodshed is.
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
God of glory!
Our fight has been long,
and we were slaughtered and slaughtered in turn,
and have shed our blood for ages.
God of glory!
We were tried for long, and rested. . .
Hallelujah! . . . Hallelujah! . . . Hallelujah!

From Al-Qasim, Samih. SADDER  THAN  WATER.  New  and  Selected  Poems. Trans. Nazih Kasis and Adina Hoffman. Jerusalem: Ibis Editions, 2008.
Available from ALIBRIS.

“. . . is it my country or the source of my exile . . .” (Zuhair Abu Shaib)

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Inhabitants of YITZHAR – a reputation as being among the most extreme Israeli settlers in the West Bank. (The Palestinian Information Center Sunday, December 3, 2017)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY    
|  WEST  BANK  WITNESSES  WORST  ESCALATION  IN  THIS  YEAR,  ISRAELI  FORCES  KILL  4  PALESTINIAN  CIVILIANS  WITHIN  ONLY  48  HOURS;  TWO  OF  THEM  WERE  EXTRA-JUDICIALLY  EXECUTED
The West Bank is witnessing the worst and most violent escalation by the Israeli forces and settlers in this year.  Only within 48 hours, the Israeli forces killed 4 Palestinian civilians, including an elderly and 2 extra-judicially killed, and wounded dozens due to use of armed force against the peaceful demonstrators.  The Palestinian cities have witnessed large-scale incursions; mostly in the cities of Ramallah and al-Bireh, and a strangulating closure on both cities.  Meanwhile, the Israeli settlers have escalated their attacks against the Palestinian civilians and their property in light of the Israeli military and political leaders’ calls for incitement against the Palestinians.  The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) emphasizes that the Israeli forces continue to pursue the policy of Extra-judicial executions that have publicly carried out for the first time in the so-called “Bus 300” operation on 10 April 1984 when 4 Palestinians were killed.  More . . .
ISRAELI  SETTLERS  RAZE  PALESTINIAN  LANDS  TO  EXPAND  [YITZHAR] NABLUS-AREA  SETTLEMENT  
Israeli bulldozers, belonging to settlers from the illegal Israeli settlement of Yitzhar in the northern occupied West Bank district of Nablus, razed Palestinian lands in the Assira al-Qibliya village, on Wednesday morning.    ___Ghassan Daghlas, an official who monitors settlement activity in the northern West Bank, told Ma’an that several Israeli settlers from Yitzhar razed lands in eastern Assira al-Qibliya to expand their settlement.    ___Daghlas confirmed that these lands belong to several Palestinians.    More . . .
~~ ISRAELI  FORCES  UPROOT  200  CACTUS  SEEDLINGS  IN  JORDAN  VALLEY
Israeli forces uprooted hundreds of cactus seedlings belonging to a Palestinian resident in the Bardala village in the northern occupied West Bank, on Tuesday afternoon.    ___A Palestinian official in charge of Jordan Valley’s Israeli settlements file at the Palestinian Authority (PA), Mutaz Bisharat, said that Israeli forces uprooted 200 five-month-old cactus seedlings.    ___Bisharat added that the seedlings belong to local resident Faris Sawafta in Bardala in the Jordan Valley.   More . . .
~~ ISRAELI  SETTLERS  UPROOT  OVER  100  TREES  WEST  OF  HEBRON
Israeli settlers Tuesday evening uprooted over 100 trees belonging to the Palestinian villagers of Tarqumiya, west of Hebron, said a local official.    ___Head of the Agricultural Damage Documentation Section Hashem Badarin told WAFA that settlers from Adora settlement uprooted and destroyed over 100 fruitful trees belonging to the village.  More . . .
| OFFICIAL:  WE  INFORMED  ISRAEL  THAT  WE  ARE  GOING  TO  RECONSIDER  ALL  SIGNED  AGREEMENTS
Hussein al-Sheikh, head of the Civil Affairs Commission, said on Monday that the Palestinian Authority has informed Israel that it is going to reconsider all the agreements signed between them.    ___”We have told the Israeli side a clear message and that was as long as the agreements are being slaughtered and murdered every day on the ground by the behavior of the settlers and the army, we are going to reconsider all the agreements signed between us and them,” he said in an interview.    [. . . .] “We have delivered a very clear message that the current serious escalation is targeting all the occupied territories.    More . . .

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION
| KHAN  AL-AHMAR:  SETTING  THE  RECORD  STRAIGHT
By Angela Godfrey-Goldstein
The story of Khan al-Ahmar has been told countless times in the media in recent months. The way it is being told, however, is chock full of misconceptions. Here’s the real story behind the embattled village.    ___ The village of Khan al-Ahmar, home to 193 Palestinian Bedouins and a school, is under the very real and imminent threat of demolition and forcible displacement by Israeli authorities. Israel wants to remove Khan al-Ahmar to facilitate its “E-1” development plan, which envisions 3,910 housing units for Israelis and over 2,000 hotel rooms, and which would connect the Israeli settlement of Ma’ale Adumim to East Jerusalem. The separation wall would then be built around that bloc, with Greater Jerusalem “Judaized” and the viability of a Palestinian state jeopardized.    More . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY

“NAME  OF  THE  SOIL,”  BY  ZUHAIR  ABU  SHAIB
what is its name?
what is the name of the soil
that falls from my withered body?
what is its name as it drifts and gathers
under my clothes
while, slowly, I build wall after wall?

I picture a sky full of clouds
I see it as I wish it to be

when night falls, I gulp my fill of springs
in darkness I lift my latch
to wise men

I ask my guests
who imprisoned the soul in rock?
who left prophets spread-eagled on doorsteps?

who risks everything to capture the earth?
a man who does not know his own shadow

what can I call this rug of soil?
is it my country or the source of my exile?
is it my miracle or my cross?

what is its name?
――Translated by Tom Pow

From A BIRD IS NOT A STONE: AN ANTHOLOGY OF CONTEMPORARY PALESTINIAN POETRY (Glasgow: Freight Books, 2014) –available from Barnes & Noble.

“. . . Let the oppressor review his account . . .” (Tawfiq Zayyad)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .

|    ISRAEL  APPROVES  20,000  SETTLEMENT  UNITS  IN  MAALE  ADUMIM
The Israeli government has approved the construction of more than 20,000 new housing units in the illegal Israeli settlement of Maale Adumim, east of Jerusalem.    ___Hebrew-language news outlets reported that the approval of the new housing units came after a long period of fear and political confrontation.     ___Sources mentioned the existence of a comprehensive development agreement between the Israeli Ministry of Construction and Housing and the Maale Adumim Municipality to build thousands of housing units in the illegal settlement over the coming years.    More . . .
|    WORLD  BANK  INCREASES  ALLOCATIONS  TO  PALESTINE  TO  $90  MILLION
The World Bank Country Director for West Bank and Gaza, Marina Wes, announced on Saturday that the World Bank has increased this year’s allocation to Palestine to $90 million, up from the previous $55 million.    ___Wes said a new assistance strategy for Palestine has been presented to the World Bank’s board of executive directors that focus on job creation and private sector development.    ___“In December 2017, we at the World Bank presented a new assistance strategy for the West Bank and Gaza at two of our board’s executive directors, and this new assistance strategy has a very strong focus on job creation and private sector development.”    More . . .
|    YOUNG  MAN  SHOT  AT  GAZA  PROTEST  SUCCUMBS  TO  INJURY
Another Palestinian young man has died of a serious injury he sustained during his participation in a March of Return rally staged east of central Gaza last Friday.    ___According to the health ministry, 37-year-old Yehya Hasnat died after he succumbed to a head injury caused by Israeli gunfire.    ___His death has raised the number of Gazans who were killed recently by the Israeli occupation forces during Friday’s protests on the Gaza border to seven.    More . . .
. . . . Related  Israeli  Airstrikes  Damage  Buildings,  Including  Hospital  in  Gaza
. . . . Related  IOF  Open  Fire  On  Gaza  Farmers
. . . . Related  Palestinians  Kidnapped  By  Israel  Army  In  Predawn  Sweep
. . . . Related  IOF  attacks  Palestinian  citizens  in  Azzun  town

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .

|   UN  HUMAN  RIGHTS  EXPERT  URGES  ACTION  TO  STOP  ISRAEL’S  ANNEXATION  IN  WEST  BANK
A UN human rights expert said it was high time the international community takes firm action to stop Israel’s annexation of large parts of the West Bank through settlement expansion and legislative initiatives. . .    ___“During five decades of the occupation, Israel has steadily entrenched its sovereign footprint throughout the West Bank,” the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the occupied Palestinian territory said. Michael Lynk, in a report to the UN General Assembly, highlighted settlement construction and expansion. . .    ____“The Israeli Knesset has adopted a number of laws in the past year that have become a flashing green light for more formal annexation steps,” he said. . .     ___“The  strict  prohibition  against  annexation  in  international  law  applies not only to a formal declaration, but also to those acts of territorial appropriation by Israel that have been a cumulative part of its efforts to stake a future claim of formal sovereignty over the occupied Palestinian territory.”    More . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

“WE  SHALL  REMAIN,”  BY  TAWFIQ  ZAYYAD
It is a thousand times easier
For you
To pass an elephant through the needle’s eye
To catch fried fish in the Milky Way
To plow the sea
To teach an alligator speech,
A thousand times easier
Than smothering with your oppression.
The spark of an idea
Or forcing us to deviate
A single step
From our chosen march.
Like twenty impossibilities
We shall remain in Lydda, Ramlah, and Galilee.

Here upon your chests
We shall remain
Like the glass and the cactus
In your throats
A fiery whirlwind in your eyes.

Here, we shall remain
A wall on your chests.
We wash the dishes in the hotels
And serve drinks to the masters.
We mop the floors in the dark kitchens
To extract a piece of bread
From your blue teeth
For the little ones.

Here, we shall remain
A wall on your chests.
We starve,
Go naked,
Sing songs
And fill the streets
With demonstrations
And the jails with pride.
We breed rebellions
One after another.
Like twenty impossibles we remain
In Lydda, Ramlah, and Galilee.

Here, we shall remain.
You may drink the sea;
We shall guard the shade
Of the olive tree and the fig,
Planting ideas
Like the yeast in the dough.
The coldness of ice is in our nerves
And a burning hell in our hearts.
We squeeze the rock to quench our thirst
And if we starve
We eat the dirt
And never depart
Or grudge our blood.

Here – we have a past
……a present
………..and a future.
Our roots are entrenched
Deep in the earth
Like twenty impossibles
We shall remain.
Let the oppressor review his account
Before the turn of the wheel.
For every action there is a reaction:
Read what is written in the Book.
Like twenty impossibles
We shall remain – in Lydda, Ramlah and Galilee.

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

“. . . they come to burn the love in our hearts . . .” (Yousef al-Mahmoud)

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Maale Adumim settlement, part of “E1 Corridor” threatening Khan al-Ahmar (Photo: Palestine Information Center, October 28, 2017)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .

|   KHAN  AL-AHMAR  FLOODED  WITH  WASTEWATER  FOR  2ND  TIME    Israeli settlers stormed the Bedouin village of Khan al-Ahmar, east of Jerusalem, on Monday, and flooded the area with wastewater for a second time.    __Locals said that Israeli settlers from the nearby illegal Israeli settlement of Kfar Adummim stormed the village and flooded Khan al-Ahmar with wastewater, causing serious environmental and health hazard for residents.   ___Sources added that the wastewater from the Kfar Adummim settlement flooded large areas of the village, as Israeli settlers attempt to assist the Israeli government force the residents to leave the area.    More . . .
. . . . . . . Resource: What  is  the  E1  area,  and  why  is  it  so  important?
. . . . Related   Israeli  soldiers,  settlers  uproot  trees  in  East  Jerusalem  neighborhood
|   ISRAELI  [HEBRON]  SETTLEMENT  PLANS  ‘DECLARATION  OF  NEW  WAR  AGAINST  PALESTINIANS’          The Palestinian government slammed, on Monday, the Israeli government’s approval of 22 million shekels ($6.1 million) in government funding to expand an illegal Israeli settlement inside the southern occupied West Bank city of Hebron.   ___The Palestinian government’s spokesperson, Youssef al-Mahmoud, said in a statement that the approval is a “literal translation of the occupation’s plans that is based on what became known as the ‘Deal of the Century.'”   ___He called it expansion of an Israeli settlement in the center of Hebron City is “a declaration of a new war against the Palestinian people, a blatant targeting of their existence, and an attack on international laws and resolutions.”   More . . .
|   EURO-MED  RIGHTS  GROUP  CALLS  FOR  PRESSURE  ON  ISRAEL  TO  END  TARGETING  PALESTINIAN  DEMONSTRATORS      The Geneva-based  EURO-MEDITERRANEAN  HUMAN  RIGHTS  MONITOR  (Euro-Med)  Monday said that Israeli forces caused injuries to one in every 100 Palestinians as Gaza protests conclude 200 days and called on the international community to exert serious pressure on Israel to end  its targeting of Palestinian demonstrators.   ___“The Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor calls on the international community to exert serious pressure to put an end to the targeting of Palestinian demonstrators in the Gaza Strip and to protect their right to peaceful assembly,” said Euro-Med in a statement.   ___It also called on “all parties concerned to exert pressure on Israel to lift its blockade affecting every aspect of Gaza’s largely civilian population.”   More . . .
|   AFTER  A  DAY  OF  PROTEST,  ISRAELI  ARMY  BACKS  DOWN  ON  DECISION  TO  CLOSE  WEST  BANK  SCHOOL     After a day of protest against an Israeli army order to close al-Lubban/al-Sawiyeh school in the north of the West Bank, the Israeli army backed down on its decision on Monday and allowed the school to reopen, according to Nablus Governor Akram Rajoub.    ___He told WAFA that the protest by the families and officials earlier today against the closure order seem to have forced the army to back down on its earlier decision.    More . . .
. . . . Related  Palestinians  arrested,  homes  ransacked  in  dawn  sweep  by  Israel  army
. . . . Related  Israeli  forces  arrest  Khan  Ahmar  activists

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .

|   A  PALESTINIAN  BEDOUIN  VILLAGE  BRACES  FOR  FORCIBLE  TRANSFER  AS  ISRAEL  SEEKS  TO  SPLIT  THE  WEST  BANK  IN  HALF    RAYYAH HAS LIVED in Khan al-Ahmar all of her 47 years. . .  Her family and neighbors, members of a Bedouin community known as the Jahalin, found refuge on this scorched patch of rocks and dust in the 1950s, after they were expelled from the land they had inhabited for generations, in the Negev desert, following the establishment of the Israeli state. The land Khan al-Ahmar stands on was under Jordanian control when the Jahalin arrived. Today, this smatter of tin roofs and tarps sits on the side of a highway in the occupied West Bank, surrounded by a fast-growing ring of Israeli settlements . . .    ___The village, which is home to less than 200 people and where the only building with walls is a school made of mud and old tires, has become the latest front line in a conflict over land that for decades has determined the fates of Palestinians . . .    More . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

“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 snakes
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 Barnes and Noble.

“. . . Boundless fear binds our hands . . . and our beating hearts . . .” (Ibrahim Nasrallah)

❶ Israel to vote on annexing illegal West Bank settlements to Jerusalem

  • Background: “State Authority in the Balance: The Israeli State and the Messianic Settler Movement.” International Studies Review.

❷ Israel demolishes Palestinian Bedouin village for 120th time
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) UK parliamentarians urge Israeli compensation for demolished Palestinian homes
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴃ) Israel’s military informs Qabatiya family of plans to demolish its home
❸ POETRY by Ibrahim Nasralla
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ ISRAEL  TO  VOTE  ON  ANNEXING  ILLEGAL  WEST  BANK  SETTLEMENTS  TO  JERUSALEM
Ma’an News Agency
Oct. 25, 2017 ― Israeli ministers are expected vote next week on the so-called “Greater Jerusalem Bill,” which would annex 19 illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank to Israel’s municipal boundaries for Jerusalem, according to Israeli news daily Haaretz.
___Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu threw his support behind the bill earlier this month, which would reportedly allow the settlers to retain their autonomy but afford them voting rights in the city’s mayoral race.
___It would meanwhile create “independent municipalities” for some 100,000 Palestinian citizens or residents of Israel who live within Israel’s Jerusalem municipality borders, but are located on the other side of Israel’s illegal separation wall.
[. . . .] According to the bill, the settlements of Maale Adumim — which itself is home to between 125,000 and 150,000 Israeli settlers — Gush Etzion, Efrat, Beitar Illit and Givat Zeev will be included under Jerusalem’s municipal jurisdiction, but not officially annexed to Israel, Haaretz said.     MORE . . .

Mendelsohn, Barak.
“STATE AUTHORITY IN THE BALANCE: THE ISRAELI STATE AND THE MESSIANIC SETTLER MOVEMENT.”
International Studies Review, vol. 16, no. 4, Dec. 2014, pp. 499-521.
(Barak Mendelsohn: M.A. in Security Studies, Tel Aviv University, 1999; Ph.D. in Government, Cornell University, 2006; Professor, Haverford College, 2007-present) For four decades now, the Israeli state has tolerated and even utilized the Jewish messianic movement in the context of its conflict with the Palestinians, even as the messianic movement has challenged and undermined the authority of the state.
[. . . .] The [Jewish messianic right] movement, only informally linked to the state’s institutions, is challenging state authority. Its actions regarding the territories Israel captured in 1967—primarily in the West Bank—have undermined the state and complicated policies to resolve the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. Yet, successive Israeli governments since the 1970s have declined to exercise state authority when facing radical messianic groups in the West Bank. Moreover, both right- and left-wing Israeli governments have pandered to religious extremists and even supported them despite the fact that these extremists have operated outside Israel’s political system, violated the law, used unauthorized violence, and subverted state authority. Israel’s policy has not offered significant strategic benefits. In fact, it has backfired: Rather than ameliorating the Palestinian problem, it has intensified the conflict while reducing the state’s ability to reach a peace agreement. In addition, its settlement policies have weakened Israel’s international standing. Compromising state authority has had detrimental consequences, undermining Israel’s ability to change course even when its view of the settlements’ strategic value shifted. At the same time, it has deepened domestic divisions that threaten the state’s internal unity.   SOURCE.

❷ ISRAEL  DEMOLISHES  PALESTINIAN  BEDOUIN  VILLAGE  FOR  120TH  TIME
Ma’an News Agency
Oct. 25, 2017 ― Israeli authorities on Wednesday demolished the Bedouin village of al-Araqib in the Negev desert in southern Israel for 120th time, according to official Palestinian Authority (PA)-owned WAFA news agency.      ___WAFA reported that staff from the Israel Land Authority (ILA) accompanied by Israeli police and bulldozers raided the village and demolished the makeshift homes made out of tin that the residents build every time the village is demolished.     ___An Israeli court ruled last month that six residents of al-Araqib must pay 262,000 shekels (more than $72,000) for previous demolition costs, in addition to 100,000 shekels ($27,693) to cover the costs of the state’s lawyer. It was only the latest payment in which the village has had to compensate Israel for its routine demolitions in the village.    MORE . . .
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) UK  PARLIAMENTARIANS  URGE  ISRAELI  COMPENSATION  FOR  DEMOLISHED  PALESTINIAN  HOMES
The  Middle East Monitor – MEMO 
Oct. 26, 2017 ― A group of UK parliamentarians have urged Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson to seek Israeli compensation of Palestinian structures demolished in the occupied West Bank.
___Writing in a letter to Johnson, the parliamentarians ask whether the British government will join “eight other European countries in demanding compensation from Israeli authorities” for the demolition or damage of Palestinian structures funded directly or indirectly by the UK.
[. . . .] “You will be aware of the huge parliamentary concern about the impending demolitions of the communities of Khan al-Ahmar and Susiya”, the letter notes, “where structures have been built with EU funding”.
___“We continue to urge you to do everything within your power to prevent the demolitions of these communities and many others in Area C of the West Bank”.     MORE . . .  
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴃ) ISRAEL’S  MILITARY  INFORMS  QABATIYA  FAMILY  OF  PLANS  TO  DEMOLISH  ITS  HOME
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Oct. 26, 2017 ― The Israeli occupation forces Thursday informed the family of Mohammad Abu al-Rub of its intention to demolish its home in Qabatiya, south of Jenin, as a punishment for its son’s act, according to the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society.
___Abu al-Rub is currently in Israeli detention after he was accused to killing an Israeli in the town of Kufr Qassem inside Israel few weeks ago.
___The army informed the family that its home will be demolished in four days.
___Abu al-Rub was arrested along with fellow town member Yousef Kmeil and charged with killing an Israeli in Kufr Qassem.
___The Kmeil family was not informed that its house will be demolished yet.   SOURCE . . .  

“THE  SURVIVORS,”  BY  IBRAHIM  NASRALLAH
They were for a year at our doorstep,
sleepless with their brown flesh-and-blood complexions,
knocking against our ribs to make us see them.
At the end of the night they depart.
They circle around the city seven time
like the revolving sun,
like a reverberating echo.
They kill the silence      with their flutes
and light and birds hover around them
as they swim in the shadows
of tall wheat spikes and white stags.
As night falls the wind shakes the streets
and the darkness breathes out crazed spears among trees
jostling toward the windows and balconies.
We heard the hooves of their horses,
so we hid in the corners,
under beds, between ribs.
We hid like a storm among branches.
Their olives sill eventually grow tired . . .  we said:
It might snow . . .     soldiers might come by this evening and immediately kill them,
or like a sun’s fading light they might grow tired    
and kill themselves
.
Night falls once more . . . the wind blows.
We hold our breath and retreat.
Boundless fear binds our hands . . . and our beating hearts.
The most recent among us said . . . Let us all rise up and ask them:
You who have been sleepless at our doorstep for a year and two nights:
What do you want?

Storms of corpses rushed to the corners.
The smell of death rose from the roofs of the mirrors,
from the colors of the eyes.
Let us all rise . . . the most recent among us said.
And when we reached the door, they shouted at us:
You. . .O dead ones . . . don’t open the door!

Ibrahim Nasrallah
From Nasrallah, Ibrahim. RAIN INSIDE: SELECTED POEMS. Trans. Omnia Amin and Rick London. Willimantic, CT: Curbstone Press, 2009. Available from Barnes and Noble.

“. . . ‘The answer to the international battle over Jerusalem is to impose sovereignty over Ma’aleh Adumim’. . .” (Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely)

ma-ale-adumim-illegal-settlement2
Illegal Israeli settlement Maale Adumim (Photo: Helen Crump, Building Design Magazine May 25, 2007)

❶ Israeli forces demolish residential buildings in occupied East Jerusalem neighborhoods

  • Background:  “Jerusalem In The Courts And On The Ground.” Florida Journal Of International Law

❷ Israeli forces shut down wedding hall in al-Eizariya (Bethany)
❸ Opinion/Analysis:  Israel increasingly defiant as the world loses interest in Palestine

  • Background: “Planning Apartheid And Human Rights In The Occupied Palestinian Territories.” Palestine-Israel Journal Of Politics, Economics & Culture

` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
ISRAELI  FORCES  DEMOLISH  RESIDENTIAL  BUILDINGS  IN  OCCUPIED  EAST  JERUSALEM  NEIGHBORHOODS
Ma’an News Agency
Nov. 8, 2016
Israeli authorities Tuesday morning demolished two residential buildings in the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhoods of Wadi al-Jouz and al-Issawiya for building without Israeli-issued licenses.
___Locals told Ma’an that Israeli forces escorted two excavators to the Wadi al-Jouz neighborhood at 4 am. Israeli soldiers were also deployed throughout the alleys of the neighborhood, before surrounding a three-story building as Israeli excavators tore it down.
___According to locals, the building consisted of stores on the ground floor, apartments on the second, while the third floor was still under construction.
___Local sources highlighted that the stores on the first floor contained food supplies belonging to Palestinian families, adding that Israeli forces demolished the stores without allowing families to remove their supplies.        More . . .  

  • Halabi, Sam F. “Jerusalem In The Courts And On The Ground.” Florida Journal Of International Law 26.2 (2014): 223-270.  Full article.  

[. . . .] . . .by examining certain “interpretation catalysts”—presidential speeches from Clinton to Obama and the U.S. Government’s pleadings in its lawsuit with the Zivotofskys (and, by extension, Congress), it is possible to see a growing flexibility toward adopting a foreign policy position that accommodates a Palestinian self-determination movement that sounds more like civil rights in Israel rather than sovereignty under international law. [This] Article does not argue that there has been a fundamental abandonment of the two-state solution in U.S. foreign policy. Indeed, President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry have explicitly adopted it as their current platform in the predictable second-term push for Arab-Israeli peace. However, given the realities on the ground, firstly and most importantly with respect to Jerusalem, it is possible to see a U.S. acceptance that the time for the two-state solution may have already passed.

ISRAELI  FORCES  SHUT  DOWN  WEDDING  HALL  IN  AL-EIZARIYA  (Bethany)    Ma’an News Agency  
Nov. 7, 2016
Israeli forces shut down a wedding hall in the village al-Eizariya in the occupied West Bank district of Jerusalem, claiming that Palestinians  shoot  firearms in the air during wedding celebrations in the hall.
___Israeli security sources said in a statement, received by Ma’an, that Israeli forces closed the al-Awda wedding hall in order to prevent the “very dangerous phenomenon and bad tradition” of shooting in the air during weddings and special occasions.
___The statement added that the closure of the wedding hall came as part of the Israeli fight against unlicensed weapon ownership among Palestinians.      More . . .  

bethany
Overhead map of Bethany. Bethany is present-day West Bank city of al-Eizariya (meaning “Place of Lazarus”), site of the reputed Tomb of Lazarus, located about 1.5 miles to the east of Jerusalem on the south-eastern slope of the Mount of Olives. (From Pinterest, Danette Dailor; source, Jesus-story.net)

Opinion/Analysis:  ISRAEL  INCREASINGLY  DEFIANT  AS  THE  WORLD  LOSES  INTEREST  IN  PALESTINE
+972 Magazine 
Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man
Nov. 2, 2016
Israel’s leadership wants you to think it is worried about some bold move by President Barack Obama during his lame duck period . . .  After all, there’s a compelling argument to be made that it would be bad for Israel if Washington threw its support behind a UN Security Council resolution reaffirming that Israeli settlements are illegal, or one that codifies a framework for an eventual peace deal.
___An Israeli prime minister worried about international condemnation of his country’s illegal settlements probably wouldn’t declare that, “[t]here is no government that supports, or will support, settlement more than my government.”
___An Israeli government concerned with the world’s perception of its intransigence wouldn’t send the deputy foreign minister . . . . to demand the annexation of Israel’s third-largest settlement.
___Yet the Israeli government doesn’t seem to be worried at all.     “The answer to the international battle over Jerusalem is to impose sovereignty over Ma’aleh Adumim,” Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely said Monday.      More . . .  

  • Amar-Shiff, Netta. “Planning Apartheid And Human Rights In The Occupied Palestinian Territories.” Palestine-Israel Journal Of Politics, Economics & Culture 21.3 (2016): 65-68.   Source.  

For years the Israeli human rights community has been trying to defy Israeli demolitions of Palestinian houses and other structures in the West Bank. Their opposition is based on individual human rights arguments and international humanitarian law, focusing attention on the unlawful policies of the Israeli Civil Administration (1CA) in the West Bank and their devastating humanitarian consequences on the protected civilian Palestinian population. These included primarily the rights of Palestinians to property and adequate housing and other economic, social and cultural rights, as well as the obligation of the occupying power to ensure public order for the occupied population, according to the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949. While legal arguments mentioned the illegality of the settlements, they were cautious not to compare settlers and Palestinians.
[. . . .]   The use of the Apartheid paradigm in the context of the West Bank raises the obvious question of the basis for comparison between the Israelis and Palestinians living in the occupied West Bank, especially considering the fact that settlements are illegal under the law of occupation and should not be there in the first place. While Apartheid presumes the equal citizenship status shared by blacks and whites in one state, South Africa, the national conflict in the context of the Israeli-Palestinian state seems to negate the use of the conceptual framework of Apartheid, which seems to unfairly marginalize the existence of the national conflict. But moving beyond the national conflict, the main problem in the comparison to the Apartheid framework is that although it is based on similarly applied practices of racial segregation and discrimination as the International Convention On the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid states, it does not emphasize what seems to be the main motivation behind the legal segregation and discrimination: the Israeli spatial expansionist interests to advance and reinforce the settlement project until the full conversion of the Israelis in the West Bank from settlers to indigenous peoples.  [. . . .]

“. . . measures are intended to perpetuate the control and the superiority of Jewish over Arab Jerusalem. . .” (Menachem Klein)

.
Outpost situated near the Israeli settlement of Shiloh, outside of Jerusalem. March 2014. (Photo: Mendy Hechtman/FLASH90)

❶ The ‘NYT‘ finally realizes: Netanyahu doesn’t care what Obama thinks

  • Background: “Jerusalem Walls: Transforming and Segregating Urban Fabric.” African & Asian Studies

❷ PLO says criticism of Israel’s settlements not enough

  • Background: “Conflict’s Tools. Borders, Boundaries and Mobility in Jerusalem’s Spatial Structures.” Mobilities 

❸ EU joins the US in condemning Israel’s new settlement plans in Palestinian territory
❹ Israel confiscates tent used as classroom by Bedouin community after school demolition
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
The  ‘NYT‘  FINALLY  REALIZES:  NETANYAHU  DOESN’T  CARE  WHAT  OBAMA  THINKS
+972 Online Magazine
Lisa Goldman
Oct. 7, 2016
The New York Times editorial board has realized, about a decade too late, that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu does not care what the Obama administration — or any U.S. administration, for that matter — thinks about his policies regarding the Palestinians.    ___ According to the editorial published Friday, October 7, headlined “At the Boiling Point With Israel,” the catalyst for this realization was Netanyahu’s decision to approve the building of a new settlement deep in the West Bank, only three weeks after the U.S. finalized a package of military aid for Israel to the tune of an unprecedented $38 billion. . .       More . . .     

  • Thawaba, Salem A. “Jerusalem Walls: Transforming and Segregating Urban Fabric.” African & Asian Studies 10.2/3 (2011): 121-142.   Source . . .

The rightist Israeli government was not satisfied with this and strives for exclusive Israeli control over all the area annexed in 1967. This demands the destruction of the demographic, urban and metropolitan reality which developed since 1967 in Arab Jerusalem:

“The East Jerusalem metropolis must be destroyed both by damaging its periphery
and by weakening of the center itself, as well as cutting it off from its natural
hinterland. All these measures are intended to perpetuate the control and the
superiority of Jewish over Arab Jerusalem”
(Klein, Menachem. Jerusalem: The Contested City. London and New York:
C. Hurst and New York University Press, 2001).

PLO  SAYS  CRITICISM  OF  ISRAEL’S  SETTLEMENTS  NOT  ENOUGH
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Oct. 8, 2016
The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) demanded that action be taken against Israel’s settlement policy instead of only criticizing it.
___The United States, the United Nations and other world powers have issued strongly worded statements criticizing Israeli plans to build hundreds of new settlement units in the occupied West Bank.    
___PLO Secretary General Saeb Erekat said . . .  “Although we welcome the [US] State Department’s criticism of Israel’s plans to construct a new settlement in the occupied State of Palestine, we expect the United States to translate its statements into real action,” he said.       More . . .     

  • Pullan, Wendy. “Conflict’S Tools. Borders, Boundaries and Mobility in Jerusalem’s Spatial Structures.” Mobilities 8.1 (2013): 125-147.   Source . . .  

The primary route east from Jerusalem has been replaced by a motorway that addresses Israeli needs and uses, connecting West Jerusalem to Maale Adumim and other settlements.  [. . . .]  
___Other smaller centres have been detached from their long-standing places in the Jerusalem orbit. For example, to the north of Jerusalem the wall has been built to encircle a group of Palestinian villages in what is referred to as the Bir Nabala enclave.
___As another example of bounding the border, beyond the wall is an outer circle of Israeli settlements. Historically, the Palestinian centres were known as ‘Jerusalem villages’ in a system where familial connections, market outlets, religious sites and reciprocal courtesies and protection gave structure to the continuity of rural and urban space. In modern times, these villages continued to be linked symbiotically to Jerusalem [by] institutional support such as hospitals and the main al-Aqsa mosque. . . . A recent study notes the importance of these reciprocities and the widespread social and economic deterioration of the villages since they were severed from Jerusalem by the wall. The villages have been wrapped together by the separation barrier and transformed into an enclave, with one exit by tunnel under a bypass road to Ramallah. They have been unilaterally reoriented northwards to a different city (Ramallah) where the concurrence of socio-economic factors with spatial realities is no longer present: the socially primed economic connections have gone dead, houses lie empty, the Ramallah hospitals cannot cope and villagers cannot get to al-Aqsa mosque.
___The spatial realities of the closure policy are embedded in a complex system of ethnic identification measures that feed the very roots of the occupation.

EU  JOINS  THE  US  IN  CONDEMNING  ISRAEL’S  NEW  SETTLEMENT  PLANS  IN  PALESTINIAN  TERRITORY
Ma’an News Agency        
Oct. 7, 2016
The spokesperson for the European Union Friday strongly condemned Israel’s plans to construct 98 new housing units in occupied Palestinian territory in the northern West Bank for the establishment of a new Israeli settlement. The condemnation came two days following notably harsh criticisms by the United States over Israel’s illegal settlement enterprise.
___Last month, the Higher Planning Committee (HPC) of Israel’s Civil Administration approved for “depositing” — the planning phase prior to final approval — a plan for 98 housing units for a new settlement to be located east of the already established settlement of Shiloh, on lands of the Palestinian village of Jalud in the northern West Bank district of Nablus. It is part of a larger plan for 300 units yet to be promoted.       More . . .

maale-adumim-001
West Bank Jewish settlement of Maale Adumim near Jerusalem (Photo: Reuters/Ammar Awad)

ISRAEL CONFISCATES TENT USED AS CLASSROOM BY BEDOUIN COMMUNITY AFTER SCHOOL DEMOLITION
Ma’an News Agency
Oct. 6, 2016
Israeli forces reportedly confiscated a tent used as a classroom in the Bedouin community of Abu Nuwwar on Tuesday, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) told Ma’an on Thursday.
___OCHA Communications and Information Analyst Ofir Feuerstein told Ma’an that “Israeli authorities confiscated a tent in Abu Nuwwar” . . .  one of several Bedouin villages facing forced relocation due to plans by Israeli authorities to build thousands of homes for Jewish-only settlements in the E1 corridor.
___The “E1 corridor,” a contentious zone set up by the Israeli government to link annexed East Jerusalem with the mega settlement of Maale Adumim, would virtually cut the occupied West Bank in half, making the creation of a contiguous Palestinian state impossible.        More . . .

“. . . For the tragedy I live Is but my share in your larger tragedy. . .” (Tawfiq Ziad)

Khan-Al-Ahmar-810x608
Khan Al Ahmar Primary School, West Bank (Photo: James Mollison, 2015)

❶ UN: 46 areas in West Bank ‘at risk of forcible transfer’
❷ Israel opens construction tenders for the expansion of illegal Maale Adumim settlement
❸ PCHR Weekly Report: One civilian killed, 33 wounded, 73 abducted by Israeli forces this week

  • Background:“Israel’s Palestinian Minority in the Two-State Solution: The Missing Dimension.” Middle East Policy 

❹ POETRY by Tawfiq Ziad
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ UN: 46 AREAS IN WEST BANK ‘AT RISK OF FORCIBLE TRANSFER’
Days of Palestine
Aug. 20, 2016
United Nations warned that 46 Palestinian residential areas in Central West Bank are “at risk of forcible transfer” due to increasing Israeli settlements.
___David Carden, Head OCHA oPt, delivered a speech on the occasion of the opening the school year in Khan al-Ahmar, one of the ‎Palestinian community at risk of forcible transfer in Central West Bank, and launched his warning.
___Carden delivered the speech on behalf of the UN Coordinator for Humanitarian Aid and Development Activities Robert Piper.
___“We come here today to express our solidarity with the people of Khan al-Ahmar, long identified as a community at risk of forcible transfer and with whom the international community has worked closely for many years,” he said.
___”As we know, Khan al-Ahmar is one of 46 residential areas in the Central West Bank identified as being at risk of forcible transfer due to Israeli relocation (settlement) plans,” he said.    MORE . . .

❷ ISRAEL OPENS CONSTRUCTION TENDERS FOR THE EXPANSION OF ILLEGAL MAALE ADUMIM SETTLEMENT
Ma’an News Agency
Aug. 20, 2016
The Israeli Land Authority (ILA) and the Maale Adumim Economic Development Company Saturday opened four tenders for leasing land, establishing a hotel, and constructing a park in the illegal Israeli settlement of Maale Adumim, according to Israeli media.
___Two tenders were published to lease land for renewable 49 year contracts, while the others were for building a hotel and park near the industrial zone of the settlement, according the Israeli newspaper Kol Hair.
___The six-story hotel will reportedly be the first in the settlement, and is planned to be built over 2,300 square meters. It will also be located near the mall.     MORE . . .

maale adumin
Apartments in Maale Adumim near Jerusalem, in this June 7, 2012 file picture. Picture taken June 7, 2012. (Reuters)

❸ PCHR WEEKLY REPORT: ONE CIVILIAN KILLED, 33 WOUNDED, 73 ABDUCTED BY ISRAELI FORCES THIS WEEK
International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC
August 20, 2016
In its Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territories for the week of 11– 17 August 2016, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) found that Israeli forces continued systematic crimes in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
___A Palestinian civilian was killed while 32 others were wounded in al-Fawar refugee camp, south of Hebron. A Palestinian civilian was wounded in the eastern side of al-Bureij in the Central Gaza Strip.      MORE . . .

BACKGROUND: Waxman, Dov. “Israel’s Palestinian Minority in the Two-State Solution: The Missing Dimension.” Middle East Policy 18.4 (2011): 68-82.  FULL ARTICLE.

[. . . .]
Thus, if Palestinians in the territories abandon their demand for an independent state and instead demand equal rights within Israel, Palestinians in Israel could easily join them in demanding a single bi-national state within the whole territory of Israel/Palestine. As long as the occupation continues and the Palestinian minority in Israel is completely marginalized; the chance of this happening — a “nightmare scenario” for Israel — steadily increase. There are already signs of growing support for the one-state solution among Palestinians in the territories, and, although most Palestinian citizens of Israel are currently opposed to this, some prominent individuals have voiced support for it. One thing is certain: there is absolutely no way Israeli Jews will accept a one-state solution. They will staunchly resist it, even at the cost of war.
[. . . .]
Respecting the rights of all parties to the conflict — Jewish citizens of Israel, Palestinian citizens of Israel, Palestinians in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem, and Palestinian refugees in the Diaspora — is the only way to eventually achieve peace and reconciliation.

[Note: In this blogger’s opinion some of the conclusions the above article are faulty, but they are based in sound reasoning and are, therefore, ideas worth considering.]

“I  CLASP  YOUR  HANDS,”  BY  TAWFIQ  ZAYYAD
I call upon you
And clasp your hands.
I kiss the dust under your shoe
And say: I’ll lay down my life for you,
Grant you the gift of eyesight in my eyes.
The warm love in my heart I give to you,
For the tragedy I live
Is but my share in your larger tragedy.

I call upon you
And clasp your hands.
I never stooped in my country
Nor will I ever be humbled.
Orphaned, naked and barefoot
I confronted my oppressors,
Carrying my blood in my palms.
I have never lowered my flags,
And have always tended the grass over my ancestors’ graves.
I call upon you, and clasp your hands!

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.
Tawfik Zayyad (Tawfiq Ziad) was a Palestinian poet, writer, scholar and politician. He was born in Nazareth in 1929 and died on July 5, 1994.   (More. . .)

“. . . occupation to the occupied resembled daily suffocation. . . .” (Samuel Hazo)

Mideast Gaza Rush to Normalcy
In this Saturday, Sept. 13, 2014 photo, a Palestinian family shelters amid the rubble of their destroyed house in the town of Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)

❶ Israeli siege on Gaza illegal, UN says
❷ Israel to destroy West Bank village’s only water source
❸ Palestinians decry rabbi call to poison West Bank water
❹ Opinion/Analysis: Israeli calls for ethnic cleansing grow louder
❺ POETRY by Samuel Hazo
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ ISRAELI  SIEGE  ON  GAZA  ILLEGAL,  UN  SAYS
Days of Palestine
Jun 18, 2016
A new UN report has reiterated that the Israeli, internationally backed siege on Gaza is illegal and violates humanitarian law.
___The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) confirmed the severe deterioration in various aspects of life in Gaza as a result of the continued Israeli siege imposed on the Strip over the last 10 year.
___In the report, the UNRWA listed the negative impact of the siege on the health and education sectors, as well as the freedom of movement and travel, and the living conditions of Gazans.      MORE . . .     

According to former Attorney General of Israel, Michael Ben Yair:
___“The intifada is the Palestinian people’s war of national liberation. Historical processes teach us that no nation is prepared to live under another’s domination and that a suppressed people’s war of national liberation will inevitably succeed. We understand this point but choose to ignore it. We are prepared to engage in confrontation to prevent an historical process, although we are well aware that this process is anchored in the moral justification behind every people’s war of national liberation and behind its right to self-determination” (“The War’s Seventh Day,’’ Ha’aretz 3 March 2002).
___The continued violence is the product of a systematic denial of self-determination to the Palestinian people and the consequent violation of their human rights. . .  it is arguably one of the major political mistakes of the twentieth century, for the decision to create a Jewish state in the Near East, against the will of the vast majority of people who live in that region, has not only fueled a six-decade long conflict between Israeli Jews and Palestinian Arabs but has contributed to tensions between the Western and Islamic worlds that continue to threaten global stability [. . . .]
___Israel is currently not a legitimate state. The reason is not because its establishment violated the principle of self determination, nor because Israel is an ethnocracy. Instead, its current illegitimacy is based on its continued refusal to allow exercise of the right of self-determination by the legitimate residents of the territory it governs. To deny this conclusion is to deny either that the principle of self-determination places a constraint on state legitimacy or that Palestinians are legitimate residents of region under dispute.

  • Kapitan, Tomis. “Violence And Self-Determination In The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.” Peace & Change 36.4 (2011): 494-526.     SOURCE.  

❷ ISRAEL  TO  DESTROY  WEST  BANK  VILLAGE’S  ONLY  WATER  SOURCE
The New Arab
June 19, 2016
Israel is planning to destroy a West Bank village’s only water holding tank, cutting off a vital supply to the homes of 20 Palestinian shepherd families in the northern Jordan Valley.
___According to Haaretz, Israel intend to carry out the move despite the territories’ coordinator of government promising to international agencies that demolitions would pause in Ramadan. The Civil Administration, however, says that the shepherds’ water tank was built illegally.
___The structure in question collects water from a natural spring, which is then guided into a plastic trough by a rubber hose that is several metres long.
___By destroying the facility, Israeli authorities will deprive the shepherds of Umm al-Jimal of a vital resource used to sustain themselves and their herd of around 700 sheep and goats, 300 cows and several horses.      MORE . . .   

The issue of Israel and the occupied territories is not religion. . .  The issue is colonialism; it is the Zionist agenda of ‘maximum geography with minimum demography’. It is ownership and control of land and water. The issue is humanitarian laws, Geneva Conventions, the International Rights of the Child, and International Court of Justice rulings. . . .
___The [Separation, or ‘Apartheid’] wall is not for security; it is for oppression. It is separating Palestinians from Palestinians. [The Wall] in 2004 was declared illegal by the International Court of Justice and [is] expanding to this day, sealing off villagers from their farmlands and water sources. Villagers protest non-violently and are always met with extreme violence: tear gas, tear gas canisters, rubber-coated bullets, water cannons and something vile that the Israelis call skunk water.
__[In] Ma’ale Adumim, one of many settlements in the occupied West Bank. Settlements are for Jews only. They receive subsidised housing, water, electricity, rubbish collection, and security. Settlements are illegal under international law. Under the fourth Geneva Convention, an occupying power cannot transfer its population into occupied territory.
___ . . . Settlers are allowed plentiful amounts of water, which comes from mountain aquifers. By international law, mountain aquifer water should be a Palestinian resource, but Israel controls all water resources. Palestinians are forced to try to survive with less than minimum WHO requirements. Someone has coined the phrase hydro- logical apartheid.

  • Griffiths, Lois, and Martin Griffiths. “The Palestine Story: To Exist Is To Resist.” New Zealand International Review 37.5 (2012): 4-9.      SOURCE.

❸ PALESTINIANS  DECRY  RABBI  CALL  TO  POISON  WEST  BANK  WATER
The Middle East Monitor – MEMO
June 19, 2016
The Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) has denounced a Jewish rabbi’s permission for settlers to poison water sources in Palestinian areas in the occupied West Bank as “an order to kill”.
___Rabbi Shlomo Mlma, chairman of the Council of Rabbis in the West Bank settlements, has issued an advisory opinion in which he allowed Jewish settlers to poison water in Palestinian villages and cities in the West Bank.
___According to Israeli anti-occupation organisation “Breaking the Silence”, the call for poisoning Palestinian water aim to push the Palestinians to leave their villages and pave the way for settlers to take over their lands.         MORE . . .     

❹ Opinion/Analysis:  ISRAELI  CALLS  FOR  ETHNIC  CLEANSING  GROW  LOUDER
The Middle East Monitor – MEMO
June 19, 2016
Israel is a state that owes its very existence to ethnic cleansing, massacres and seemingly perpetual wars.
___The events of 1947-48 when the state was founded are known as the Catastrophe (Nakba) by Arabs [. . . .]
___Palestine was literally wiped off the map, and the refugees were sent into exile in the surrounding countries. They and their decedents have still not been allowed to return until this day.
___ . . . extreme voices in Israel are growing louder all the time, declaring that a slow process is not good enough. They call for swift expulsion. These voices, once on the extreme fringes of Zionism, are now centre stage – even in government . . .     MORE . . .

INTIFADA,” BY SAMUEL HAZO

Singly at first, then doubly
then slowly by the tens or twenties,
then steadily on . . .

Interviewed
about the deathcount in Ramallah,
one sergeant said, “We’ll kill
them all, but we’ll never
forgive them for making us do it.”

Later he aimed his Uzi at a boy
armed with a stone and a slingshot,
One general claimed his soldiers
fired only rubber-coated bullets.
When asked about the difference
to the dead, he frowned and shouted,
“Their leaders and parents use
these children as human shields.”
Despite the contradicting photographs
pundits and lobbyists concurred.
After all, who could deny
that boys with all their lives
ahead of them would happily
seek execution, that mothers loved
to see their sons in open
coffins, that choosing a brave
death instead of a lifelong one
was an option for fools?

No one
would claim that occupation
to the occupied resembled daily
suffocation.
No one would add
that suffocation or the fear of it
begot a courage born
of desperation.
No one compared it
to the fate of being locked
in darkness in a stalled elevator
underground.
Like someone buried
upright and alive, anyone
trapped there would stop at nothing.

from We  Begin  Here:  Poems  for  Palestine  and  Lebanon . Ed. Kamal Boullata. Northampton, MA: Interlink Pub Group Inc (March 30, 2007).
Samuel Hazo was born in Pittsburgh, July 19, 1928. The son of Lebanese and Syrian immigrants, Hazo tackles themes of faith, family, and war in his poems, which are often elegiac in tone. Poet Naomi Shihab Nye noted Hazo’s poems of “immense intelligence, lyricism, and humanity” on awarding his book Just Once: New and Previous Poems (2002) the Maurice English Award for Poetry.

“. . . hear my child’s approaching footsteps at the threshold of your soul . . .” (Rashid Hussein)

Palestinians boys sit on the rubble of their family home. It was one of three houses destroyed by Israeli occupation forces in Qabatiya village in the occupied West Bank on 4 April, as part of a policy of punishing relatives of Palestinians accused of attacks. (Photo: APA Images/Nedal Eshtayah)
Palestinians boys sit on the rubble of their family home, destroyed by Israeli forces in Qabatiya village in the occupied West Bank on 4 April, punishing relatives of Palestinians accused of attacks. (Photo: APA Images/Nedal Eshtayah)

❶ UNRWA condemns Israel’s large scale home demolitions in the West Bank
❷ PA drafts new UN resolution against Israel’s illegal settlements
❸ The occupation burns 47 olive seedlings carrying the names and pictures of Jerusalemite Martyrs
❹ Struggle for Jerusalem takes on new form
❺ Opinion/Analysis: ISRAEL  AIMS  TO  “SAVE  SOULS”  BY  MAKING  PALESTINIANS  HOMELESS
❻ POETRY by Rashid Hussein
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
UNRWA  CONDEMNS  ISRAEL’S  LARGE  SCALE  HOME  DEMOLITIONS  IN  THE  WEST  BANK
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
April 7, 2016
UNRWA [United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees] condemned Thursday’s large scale home demolitions by the Israeli Authorities in the Bedouin refugee community of Um al Khayr in the South Hebron Hills. . .  31 Palestine refugees, including 16 children, were made homeless as a result to the demolitions.
___It confirmed that the affected community has endured several rounds of demolitions and often faced harassment from the nearby illegal settlement of Karmel.     MORE . . .  

PA  DRAFTS  NEW  UN  RESOLUTION  AGAINST  ISRAEL’S  ILLEGAL  SETTLEMENTS
Ma’an News Agency
April 8, 2016
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is expected to present a draft resolution condemning Israeli settlements to the UN Security Council in two weeks in a move likely to spark fury among Israel’s supporters.
___The resolution will be the first to directly condemn Israeli settlements as illegal under international law since the United States vetoed a similar resolution in 2011, the official said.     MORE . . . 

Palestinian children play near the illegal Israeli settlement of Maaleh Adumim, on the outskirts of Jerusalem. (Photo: Agence France‑Presse/Ahman Gharabl, File)
Palestinian children play near the illegal Israeli settlement of Maaleh Adumim, on the outskirts of Jerusalem. (Photo: Agence France‑Presse/Ahman Gharabl, File)

THE  OCCUPATION  BURNS  47  OLIVE  SEEDLINGS  CARRYING  THE  NAMES  AND  PICTURES  OF  JERUSALEMITE  MARTYRS
Wadi Hilweh Information Center – Silwan
April 5, 2016
The occupation police and Intelligence removed and burned on Tuesday olive seedlings carrying the names of Jerusalemite Martyrs. The seedlings were planted in the village of Silwan on the anniversary of Earth Day.      MORE . . .

STRUGGLE  FOR  JERUSALEM  TAKES  ON  NEW  FORM
Al-Monitor (Palestine Pulse)
Daoud Kuttab
April 7, 2016
Israel’s constant attempts to turn the city of Jerusalem into an exclusively Jewish city have taken an unusual turn with an attempt to politicize tourism.
___A map of the Old City of Jerusalem issued by the Israeli Ministry of Tourism in March attempts to reinforce this twisted narrative by trying to deny the physical reality of Jerusalem. . . .
___Of the 57 sites on the map, only one Muslim site and five Christian sites are identified. . . . no less than 25 of the Jewish sites named such buildings — along with synagogues and yeshivas — that have never been heard of, even by experienced tour guides.”     MORE . . .  

Opinion/Analysis:  ISRAEL  AIMS  TO  “SAVE  SOULS”  BY  MAKING  PALESTINIANS  HOMELESS
The Electronic Intifada
Charlotte Silver
April 7, 2016
Less than two weeks after Israel’s high court lifted an injunction on punitive house demolitions, Israeli bulldozers arrived in Qabatiya in the occupied West Bank on Monday morning and razed three homes.
___The houses belonged to the relatives of the young men accused of an attack at Damascus Gate in occupied East Jerusalem in early February that left an Israeli border police officer dead.
___All three youths were shot to death at the scene of the incident.
___By the end of Monday, 20 people were left homeless in Qabatiya.      MORE . . .

“TO  A  CLOUD,”  BY  RASHID  HUSSEIN

I am the land,
I am the land . . . do not deny me rain,
I am all that remains of it,
If you plant my brow with trees
And turn my poetry into vineyards
And wheat
And roses
That you may know me.
So let the rain pour down.

I, cloud of my life, am the hills of Galilee,
I am the bosom of Haifa
And the forehead of Jaffa.
So do not whisper: it is impossible.
Can you not hear my child’s approaching footsteps
At the threshold of your soul?
Can you not see the veins of my brow
Striving to kiss your lips?

Waiting for you, my poetry turned to earth,
Has become fields,
Has turned into wheat
And trees.
I am all that remains of our earth,
I am all that remains of what you love,
So pour . . . pour with bounty.
Pour down the rain.

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.  
About Rashid Hussein