“. . .Do you sanction what’s being done In your names?. . .” (Lahab Assef Al-Jundi)

Selected News of the Day

Al-Malki: All countries can make a further contribution to peace

WAFA
September 20, 2019
Riyad Al-Malki, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates, said [in New York] that each country in the United Nations can make a further contribution to peace by supporting the Palestinian inalienable rights, including to self-determination.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Addressing the Security Council at its session on the situation in the Middle East, including the question of Palestine, al-Malki said the world countries may contribute to peace not recognizing the illegal actions undertaken by Israel, by not rendering aid or assistance to illegal settlement activities, and by distinguishing between the territory of the State of Israel and the territories occupied since 1967.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙  He said, “Impunity is the greatest obstacle to peace as it allows the occupying power to reap benefits from its occupation instead of facing consequences, incentivizing illegal actions instead of ensuring compliance with the law. A state that feels it is above the law will be tempted to continue acting as an outlaw state.”   More . . . .

  • UN: Israeli settler attacks against Palestinian civilians and vandalism of property on the rise
    WAFA
    September 21, 2019
    Israeli settlers carried out eight attacks in the first two weeks of September that resulted in two Palestinian injuries and damage to property, amid preparations for the olive harvest season, bringing the total settler-related incidents so far this year to 233, including 52 that resulted in injuries to Palestinians, according to the latest report by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in the occupied Palestinian territory. In 2018, total settler-related incidents amounted to 280.
    ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙  The report said in three separate incidents, settlers believed to be from Yitzhar settlement and its surrounding outposts raided the nearby villages of Madama, ‘Einabus and ‘Asira al Qibliya . . . .
    According to the report, so far this year, over 4,870 olive trees have been vandalized by settlers . . . .
    ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ In addition to settler vandalism of Palestinian property, the Israeli authorities demolished a total of 23 Palestinian-owned structures in Area C of the West Bank and East Jerusalem on the grounds of a lack of Israeli-issued permits, displacing 29 people, said OCHA in its report, bringing the total of demolished homes so far this year to 393, out of which 244 were in Area C and 148 in occupied Jerusalem and total of displace people 487, of whom 219 were in Jerusalem.  More . . . .
  • Settlers attack farmers near Ramallah, injure one
    WAFA
    September 20, 2019
    At least one farmer was injured today as Israeli settlers attacked several Palestinian farmers working in a farm near the village of Beitin, northeast of Ramallah in the West Bank, local sources said.
    ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Mohammad Abu Samra, a local activist, told WAFA that about 25 Jewish settlers protected by an Israeli army force broke into the farm, physically assaulted some of the farmers and injured one of them in the head.  More . . . .

Israeli Court Approves Use Of Palestinian Bodies As Bargaining Chips

Days of Palestine
September 20, 2019
A Palestinian family in the Jerusalem-area village of al-Eizariya has been unable to bury their 14-year-old son, who was killed by Israeli police last month . . . .
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Israel is holding the remains of more than a dozen Palestinians recently killed during alleged and actual attacks on occupation forces and civilians.  ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ This month, following a petition by several families whose relatives’ remains are being held by Israel, the country’s highest court rubber-stamped its approval of the policy. ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ The court ruled that Israel’s military has “the legal right to hold on to the bodies of slain terrorists  as leverage in future negotiations with Palestinians,” The Times of Israel reported. More . . . .

  • Palestinians preparing for their day in court against Israel
    Al Monitor – Palestine Pulse
    Ahmad Abu Amer
    September 20, 2019
    The Palestinian leadership moved on several fronts this month to implement its threats to redefine and limit relations with Israel. The PLO took steps toward taking Israel to court on a number of commerce- and labor-related issues and amending the Paris Economic Protocol, the agreement governing the economic relationship between the Palestinians and Israelis. The Palestinians have repeatedly accused Israel of violating the provisions of their arrangement.
    ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ In March, Palestinian President and PLO Chairman Mahmoud Abbas had made the decision to resort to international arbitration against Israel. A source at the Palestinian Authority (PA) Ministry of Finance who requested anonymity told Al-Monitor that at the weekly ministerial meeting on Sept. 2, the government had asked Finance Minister Shukri Bishara to prepare cases to submit to the International Court of Arbitration in The Hague. The following day, Bishara announced that the leadership would ask the court to rule on 11 commercial and financial issues involving Israel and inquire separately into amending the Paris agreement. The file is expected to be officially presented to the court at the end of September.   More . . . .

Commentary

The end of the Netanyahu era doesn’t mean the end of the occupation

+972 Magazine
Haggai Matar |
September 18, 2019
As election results started pouring in Tuesday night, one could hear a sigh of relief – and even some cries of joy – among Israelis who identify with the center-left . . . . The Netanyahu era is coming to an end . . . .
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ The occupation, however, is not going anywhere. Israeli military control over the day-to-day lives of millions of Palestinians in the West Bank, the siege on Gaza, and the structural discrimination against hundreds of thousands of Palestinians in East Jerusalem are all here to stay. None of these three aforementioned groups were allowed to vote for the government that decides their fate.   More . . . .

Poem of the Day

“COLLATERAL  SAVAGE,”  BY  LAHAB  ASSEF  AL-JUNDI
Survivors of The Holocaust please
Talk to me. Help me understand―
Do you sanction what’s being done
In your names?

I thought your spirits
grew more gentle
having lived through the unspeakable.

Bombs are not less lethal or evil―
Stop being so deathly afraid of the other.

A thousand eyes for an eye?
Children of the Holocaust
please do not lash out
as if you lost your sight.

From BEFORE  THERE  IS  NOWHERE  TO  STAND:  PALESTINE  ISRAEL  POETS  RESPOND  TO  THE  STRUGGLE.  Ed. By Joan Dobbie and Grace Beeler. Sandpoint ID: Lost Horse Press, 2012. Available from Barnes & Noble.

“. . . All that I love of my absent country. . .” (Samih Al-Qasim)

Selected News of the Day

Israeli military uproot trees, raze wells in northeastern West Bank

WAFA
September 12, 2019
Israeli military today uprooted scores of olive trees and destroyed water wells in Um Kbeish area near Tammun town, south of Tubas, in the northeastern West Bank, said human rights activist.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Aref Daraghmeh confirmed that Israeli military arrived to Um Kbeish, where they uprooted scores of olive trees and destroyed four water wells used for irrigation by local Palestinian farmers. . . .
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ . . . . under the pretext that the land constituted “State land.” The family filed a complaint and had a court hearing set for June 24. Ignoring this, Israel’s demolition took place on June 11. . . .
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Designating an area as a nature reserve may convey the impression that Israel wishes to protest the environment. In practice, however, Israeli has been using such designations for advancing the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians.  More . . . .

Netanyahu tells voters: If you don’t vote Likud, Arabs will ‘annihilate us all’

Mondoweiss
Yumna Patel
September 11, 2019
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is coming under fire again for anti-Arab comments made by his campaign, this time for a message on his official Facebook page telling voters “Arabs want to annihilate us all – women, children and men.”
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Israeli media reported that upon accessing Netanyahu’s official page, viewers are greeted with an automated popup message in Hebrew with a message to voters, imploring them to “make sure” their friends and family vote Likud.   More . . . . 

Abbas: If Israel takes Palestinian land, all deals off

Al-Hourriah
September 11, 2019
If Israel annexes parts of the occupied West Bank, all agreements signed with Israel will end, warned the Palestinian president on Tuesday, reports the Agency.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ “All agreements and their resulting obligations would end if the Israeli side annexes the Jordan Valley, the northern Dead Sea, and any part of the Palestinian territories occupied in 1967,” Mahmoud Abbas said in a statement, according to Palestine’s WAFA news agency.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Abbas’ remarks came in response to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s announcement that he would annex the Jordan Valley and a number of settlements if he wins next week’s election.   More . . . .

Israeli Army Launches Renewed Aerial Attack On Gaza

Days of Palestine
September 12, 2019
An Israeli warplane last night bombed a resistance site belonging to the Palestinian resistance in the north of the Gaza Strip.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙A reporter for the Palestinian Information Center (PIC) that a warplane fired at least three missiles at a resistance post in Beit Lahia in northern Gaza, with no reported casualties.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ A spokesman for the Israeli occupation army claimed the air raid was in response to the launch of projectiles towards Israeli communities around the border with Gaza.   More . . . .

Poem of the Day

I  DEFY,”  BY  SAMIH  AL-QASIM

Talk about exile―I defy
silence my argument with chains
and a foolish prison cell
I defy

Turn plague and sadness against me
I remain defying

cut my wrist
with my bloody chest I defy
cut my leg
I mount the wound and walk
and with my violence I defy
with my forehead I defy
and with my teeth
and the teeth of songs―I defy

and kill me―I defy
I kill death
and come to you a defying God

All that I own of my father’s and grandfather’s
inheritance is to defy!

All that I understand from the
wind and the secrets of erased villages
and the songs of springs
on dying grass

a concealed sob
the roots of the tree
memorize it for me
a sob: To defy

All the eyes of children living within me
in bloody exile
All that I love of my absent country
in name and deed
a scream bruising me―to defy!
My anger drips oil and honey
my pain bears almonds, flouts and roses
so jail my piece of bread

I defy

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 Goodreads

‘. . . Call it home for all the living. . .” (Lahab Assef Al-Jundi)

SELECTED NEWS OF THE DAY

Mosque, house demolished in south of West Bank

WAFA
September 2, 2019
The Israeli military authorities demolished today a mosque and a house in the southern West Bank city of Hebron, according to local sources.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Israeli army units used a bulldozer to destroy al-Ummah mosque in Jabal Jouhar south of Hebron city. The demolition included a water well used by the mosque, reported the head of the Hebron Waqf department Jamal Abu Arram, who said that the demolition came as a surprise to them and without a prior warning.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Waqf officials described the demolition of the mosque as an aggression against Muslim holy places ˙ and a provocation, as well as a crime against the right of Muslims to worship.   More . . . .

MoE: School demolition threats will never break the will of resistance & education

Palestine News Network
September 2, 2019
The Ministry of Education (MoE) in a statement on Monday said that the ongoing Occupation violations against Palestinian educational institutions will not break the will of resistance education, pointing out that the policy of notifying schools of demolition and stopping schools’ construction and confiscating their properties will not discourage our determination from educating generations and raising children with national and humanitarian values.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ This comes as IOF handed a demolition threat to Ibzeeq School “Tahaddi 10,” in Tubas, ordering the School to remove the fence surrounding it. This step comes in the context of systematic and continuous attacks against the school, which was previously demolished under false military pretexts. More . . . .

IOF arrest university lecturer from Ramallah

Palestine News Network
September 1, 2019
Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) on Sunday morning launched a raid and arrest campaign in the West Bank, where they arrested four Palestinians including a university lecturer.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ The detainees included a media lecturer at Birzeit University, Widad Barghouti (mother of the two prisoners Qassam and Carmel Barghouti) from Kobar village north of Ramallah.  More . . . .  

Palestinians slam Netanyahu pledge to annex West Bank settlements

Aljazeera
September 2, 2019
Palestinian officials denounce Israel PM’s reiterated pledge to annex occupied West Bank settlements as ‘unacceptable’.
Palestinian officials have denounced Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s reiteration of a pledge to annex all illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank, warning such a move would not lead to “any peace”.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Nabil Abu Rudeineh, a spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, said Netanyahu’s announcement on Sunday was a “continuation of attempts to create an unacceptable fait accompli”.   More . . .

  • Knesset speaker: Netanyahu’s West Bank vow not merely election rhetoric
    The Middle East Monitor
    September 2, 2019
    Knesset speaker Yuli Edelstein said yesterday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s vow to annex West Bank settlements is not merely an election campaign promise, but a real plan.
    ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Speaking to right-wing news outlet Arutz Sheva, Edelstein – a member of Netanyahu’s Likud party – claimed that the movement to annex West Bank territory has made significant gains in recent years.
    ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ “For about a decade we have longed for sovereignty,” Edelstein said, using the language preferred by the Israeli right for annexation, “and have made significant progress”.
    ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ “From a situation in which a minister who referred to the idea of sovereignty in Judea and Samaria [the occupied West Bank] was considered delusional, we have reached a position where Netanyahu’s statement is taken for granted and legitimate,” the long-time Likud lawmaker added.  More . . . .

POEM OF THE DAY

“HOLY LANDERS,” by Lahab Assef Al-Jundi

Listen!
You are fighting over a land that can fit,
with wilderness to spare,
in the Panhandle of Texas [USA]

You are building walls to segregate,
splitting wholes till little is left,
killing and dying for pieces of sky
in the same window.

The olive trees are dying
of embarrassment.

They have enough fruits
and pits for all of you.
All they want is for you to stop
uprooting them.
Sending your children to die
in their names.

Listen!

Your land is no holier than my backyard.
None of you is any more chosen
than the homeless veteran panhandling
with a God Bless cardboard sign
at the light of Mecca
and San Pedro.

Draw a borderline around the place.
Call it home for all the living,
all the dead,
all the tired exiles with its dust
gummed on their tongues.

There are no heroes left.

From Before There Is Nowhere to Stand. Ed. Joan Dobbie and Grace Beeler. Lost Horse Press, 2012.

“. . . in the street there’s nothing but a beggar . . .” (Samih al-Qasim)

SELECTED NEWS OF THE DAY

Merkel, Abbas Meet for Talks in Berlin

Asharq Al-Awsat Newspaper
August 29, 2019
Chancellor Angela Merkel says Germany continues to believe a two-state solution for Israelis and Palestinian is the only way for both peoples “to live in peace and security.”
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Merkel stressed her support for a two-state solution ahead of talks Thursday with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas at the Chancellery in Berlin.   More . . . .

Israeli Forces Close Hebron’s Ibrahimi Mosque to Muslim Worshippers

The Middle East Monitor
 August 29, 2019
Israeli forces today closed the Ibrahimi Mosque to Muslim worshippers for 24 hours, in preparation for a Jewish settlers raid to mark a Jewish holiday, said a Waqf official.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Director of the Hebron Waqf Directorate’s Public Relations Department Raed Maswadeh told WAFA that Israeli soldiers closed the mosque to Muslim worshipers, while they allowed Jewish settlers to access it. Maswadeh added that the settlers also set up tents just outside the mosque.    More . . . .

  • In Hebron, Tlaib and Omar would have seen Israel’s apartheid city

    +972 Magazine
    By Avner Gvaryahu
    August 28, 2019
    Had Reps. Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar been allowed to visit Hebron, they would have seen Israel’s official policy of discrimination and segregation for the city’s 215,000 Palestinian residents.
    Outside the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron lies a beautiful leafy garden. In it stands a large stone with the names of the donors – Chicago Friends of Hebron. Even if U.S. Congresswomen Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib had not been barred from visiting the occupied territories earlier this month, Breaking the Silence, an Israeli organization comprised of former IDF soldiers working to expose the realities of military occupation, would not have been able to take them there. Since Omar and Tlaib are both Muslim, they not only would have been unwelcome — Israeli Border Police soldiers stationed around the park would have stopped them from entering.
    ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Discrimination and segregation are unpalatable wherever they exist, but in Hebron’s city center, they have been the official policy for the 215,000 Palestinian residents – especially since the Tomb of the Patriarchs massacre in 1994, in which a Jewish nationalist fanatic shot dead 29 Palestinians while praying at the holy site.   More . . . .     

Israeli Colonists Invade Archaeological Site Near Nablus

IMEMC-International Middle East Media Center
August 29, 2019
A group of illegal Israeli colonialist settlers, accompanied by many soldiers invaded, on Wednesday evening, the archeological area in al-Mas’udiyya, north of Nablus, in northern West Bank, and prevented the Palestinians from entering it.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Ghassan Daghlas, a Palestinian official who monitors Israel’s illegal colonialist activities in northern West Bank, said dozens of colonists and soldiers invaded the archeological area, and its park, in al- Mas’udiyya.   More. . . .

Israeli Troops Abduct Two Married Couples, Journalist in Early Morning Raids

IMEMC-International Middle East Media Center
August 29, 2019
Early Thursday morning before dawn, Israeli troops invaded several parts of the West Bank and abducted five Palestinians — two married couples from Jerusalem, and a photojournalist from the village of Ni’lin.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ According to the Palestinian Wafa News Agency, Israeli forces abducted on Thursday two Palestinian citizens and their wives from the town of Silwan, south of Al-Aqsa Mosque in East Jerusalem. More . . . .

POEM OF 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 tree 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 street there’s nothing but a beggar, holding a hat,
And the song of autumn is heard!
Blow, East winds!
Our roots are still alive!

From A LOVER FROM PALESTINE AND OTHER POEMS, An Anthology of Palestinian Poetry. ed. Abdul Wahab al-Messiri, Free Palestine Press, Washington D.C. 1970.

“They’ve grown to become trees plunging deep roots. . .” (Fadwa Tuqan)

SELECTED NEWS OF THE DAY

Israeli army detains three youths from villages near Ramallah, seizes surveillance cameras

WAFA
August 24, 2019
The Israeli army detained early this morning three Palestinian youths from villages near Ramallah and seized street surveillance cameras in these villages, according to local sources. . . .
· · · · The sources said the soldiers seized tapes from the street surveillance cameras installed by shop and homeowners in these villages.
· · · · The arrests and seizure of the cameras are believed related to the Israeli army investigation into the explosion from yesterday near the village of Ein Arik that killed one Israeli settler and injured two others.   More . . . .   

Israeli settlers attack Palestinian citizens in West Bank cities

Groups of Israeli settlers on Friday rioted and attacked Palestinian citizens in al-Khalil and Nablus districts in the West Bank.
· · · Local sources reported that hordes of Israeli settlers gathered near Road 60 east of al-Khalil City and hurled rocks at Palestinian vehicles. More . . . .

In one East Jerusalem neighborhood, summer vacation has become a war zone

For children in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Issawiya, summer vacation means dodging rubber bullets and watching their fathers and brothers arrested and humiliated every day.
+972 Magazine
August 22, 2019
At the entrance to Issawiya in East Jerusalem, eight children are laughing as they chase one another in circles. I take out a camera and a few of them begin to gather around me. The oldest of the group is 13 years old, and tells me that they are playing “Jews and Arabs.” Do you know it? She asks. There are two teams: the Jews shoot at the Arabs and the Arabs throw rocks. The game ends when one of the teams wins.
I look on as they play but cannot really seem to make out the rules. It’s a bit like tag, only that instead of tagging one another, they pretend chase, detain, and shoot each other. The children’s home is just across the road. . . .   More . . . .

OPINION and BACKGROUND

The Future of the Two-State Solution and the Alternatives — A View from Gaza

Palestine-Israel Journal
Vol. 24 No. 1, 2019
By Husam Dajni
. . . . This article will address the following questions: What are the indicators of the erosion of the two-state solution? What are the chances the Palestinian leadership and the international community can keep this solution viable? What are possible alternatives to the two-state solution? And what is Hamas’s vision for the two-state solution and its alternatives, given the new reality?  More . . . .
(The Palestine-Israel Journal is a non-profit organization, founded in 1994 by Ziad AbuZayyad and Victor Cygielman, two prominent Palestinian and Israeli journalists, and was established concurrently with the first phases of the Oslo peace process to encourage dialogue between civil societies on both sides and broaden the base of support for the peace process.)

The East Jerusalem Municipality (Amanat al-Quds): History and Horizons

This Week In Palestine
Issue: 256, Aug 2019
By Walid Salem
The Jerusalem municipality was established by the Ottomans in 1863. At that time, it was composed of five members: three Muslims, one Christian, and one Jew. The British Mandatory Period began in 1917. . . . The Israeli occupying authorities dissolved this council on June 21, 1967, and began to enforce Israeli law in East Jerusalem whilst extending the responsibilities of the Israeli municipality to include East Jerusalem. Nevertheless, the 1963 elected city council continued operating and still represents East Jerusalem in Arab, Islamic, and international federations of capitals and cities today. . . .
· · · During President Mahmoud Abbas’s term, an amended Law No. 10 of 2005 was passed regarding the election of local authorities. Article 69 of the law stipulates that “members of the Municipal Council shall be selected in accordance with the Law of the Municipality of the Capital (Amanat al-Quds Law).”
· · · In January 2012, President Mahmoud Abbas issued a second decree appointing a new municipality for Jerusalem.    More . . . .
(In December 1998, Turbo Design put out the first issue of an English-language magazine called This Week in Palestine (TWiP). Twenty-one years later, the magazine is now considered to be a major Palestinian success story and, unfortunately, remains the only English-language magazine in Palestine. TWiP essentially promotes and documents Palestine. . . .)

POEM OF THE DAY

“SONG  OF  BECOMING,”  BY  FADWA  TUQAN

They’re only boys
who used to frolic and play
launching rainbowed kites
on the western wind,
their blue-and-green kites
whistling, leaping,
trading easy laughter and jokes
dueling with branches, pretending to be
great heroes in history.

Suddenly now they’ve grown,
grown more than the years of a normal life,
merged with secret and passionate words,
carried love’s messages like the Bible or the Quran,
to be read in whispers.
They’ve grown to become trees
plunging deep roots into the earth,
stretching high towards the sun.
Now their voices are ones that reject,
that knock down and build anew.
Anger smouldering on the fringes of a blocked horizon,
invading classrooms, streets, city quarters,
centering on squares,
facing sullen tanks with streams of stones.

Now they shake the gallows of dawn
assailing the night and its flood.
They’ve grown more than the years of a life
to become the worshipped and the worshippers.

When their torn limbs merged with the stuff of our earth
they became legends,
they grew into vaulting bridges,
they grew and grew, becoming
larger than all poetry.
――
Translated by Naomi Shihab Nye

From ANTHOLOGY OF MODERN PALESTINIAN LITERATURE. Ed. Salma Khadra Jayyusi. New York: Columbia University Press, 1992. Available from Columbia University Press.

 

“. . . the day is impudent and selfish. . .” (Mourid Barghouti)

Gaza4
Palestinian children at the Great Return March, near  Gaza City, April 10, 2018. (Photo: Mohammed Zaanoun/Activestills.org)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY 
ILLEGAL  SETTLEMENT  EXPANSION  UNDERWAY  AT  COST  OF  A  NORTHERN  WEST  BANK  VILLAGE
The Israeli army razed land in Dhar al-Maleh village, southwest of Jenin in the north of the occupied West Bank, in order to expand an illegal Jewish settlement, the village’s head of council Ahmad Khatib said on Tuesday.    ___He told WAFA that bulldozers started to work on 120 dunums of the village land and in the process destroyed a paved road as the military was working on expanding the illegal settlement of Shaked, built on expropriated village land.     More . . .
~~  Israel  plans  new  settlement  units  in  Bethlehem    More . . .
~~  Israeli  settlements  threaten  to  engulf  West  Bank  communities    More . . .
QATAR  DEAL  EXPECTED  TO  BOOST  PALESTINIAN  TRADE
Qatar and Palestine are working to boost their bilateral trade, taking steps that one expert says will double their exchange over five years.    ___The Qatar Chamber of Commerce and Industry recently signed a cooperation agreement with the Palestine Trade Center (PalTrade) to increase partnership efforts between the two countries. During a Dec. 12 meeting in Doha that was also attended by Palestinian Ambassador to Qatar Amir Ghannam as well as Qatari and Palestinian businesspeople, the two sides agreed to allow nine Palestinian food and agriculture companies to export their products to the Qatari market.    More . . .
~~  Palestinian  Poverty  Level  Almost  Double  Israel  Average    More . . .
|   EIGHT  PALESTINIANS  KIDNAPPED  BY  IOF  IN  W.  BANK
The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) at dawn Tuesday kidnapped at least eight Palestinian citizens during campaigns in the West Bank.    ___The Israeli army claimed in a statement that its forces arrested eight wanted Palestinians overnight in the West Bank.    ___According to local sources, the IOF kidnapped a number of citizens in Beit Ummar town. . .    More . . .
~~  Israeli  navy  kidnaps  two  fishermen  in  Gaza  waters    More . . .
~~  Israeli  army  opens  fire  at  Palestinians  south  of  besieged  Gaza    More . . .

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION
|  THE  GRASSROOTS  MOVEMENTS  IN  ISRAEL-PALESTINE  THAT  WON  2018
Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man
+972 Magazine’s story of the year for 2018 is the protest movements that managed to beat the odds by forcing governments to revisit and even change their policies. The story of African refugees stopping their deportation from Israel, and Gazans using popular protests to make sure the world doesn’t forget about them.   ___The global rise of nationalist and right-wing governments has not been particularly good for progressive movements over the past year. But two grassroots movements in Israel and Palestine, respectively, managed to push back against oppressive policies and, at least temporarily, achieve real victories on the ground. These stories are not only impressive, against-the-odds wins — they are also a reminder that the work of organizers and activists on the ground does stand a chance facing down governments, armies, and immensely powerful economic interests.   More . . .
|  THE  UN’S  VISION  OF  ‘PEACE’  FOR  PALESTINE  EXCLUDES  ORDINARY  PALESTINIANS
Ramona Wadi
The UN is now adamant that the Palestinian Authority should return to govern the Gaza Strip. In the aftermath of Israel’s 2014 Operation Protective Edge, this hypothesis was raised by the US and has seldom been questioned, ostensibly due to other pressing factors such as delivering the necessary humanitarian aid to displaced and injured Palestinians in the besieged enclave.    ___Since the Palestinian cause has become fragmented into separate issues to prevent national unity, the PA — through decisions taken by its leader Mahmoud Abbas — has slowly imposed its own sanctions on Gaza, bizarrely in the name of unity. Ths facade was dropped swiftly, though, to reveal the real reason for the sanctions; the Fatah-led PA wants to force Hamas to relinquish its political power in the enclave. Hamas, remember, won the last Palestinian elections in 2006, but has never been allowed to govern both the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.     More . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY

Excerpt from “MIDNIGHT,”  BY  MOURID  BARGHOUTI

The new day does not ask your permission to enter,
it does not ask if you are ready to receive it.
The day is impudent and selfish,
it insists on arriving every day.
You hear dawn climbing the stairs
before it breaks into your house,
the same way you hear them coming to arrest you
before they break down the door,
before you rub your eyes,
before you’re asked to have a cup of coffee
with the hyena
with the gold tooth
and heavy makeup.

As for the birds,
don’t they know that this is not the time for singing?
Here they are, singing
as usual,
twittering melodies you do not understand.
May be they echo the refrain:
nothing equals
one more hour with you.

From: Barghouti, Mourid. MIDNIGHT  AND  OTHER  POEMS. Trans. By Radwa Ashour. Todmorden, Lancashire, UK: Arc Books, 2008. Available from B&N.

“. . . I loved life, from the bottom of my heart . . .” (Samih Al-Qasim)

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Israeli Field executions: Ashraf Na’alwa, Saleh Barghouthi, Majd Mteir. (Photo: Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network, by Quds News, Dec. 13, 2018)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .    
PLO:  TIME  FOR  INTERNATIONAL  COMMUNITY  TO  PROVIDE  PROTECTION  TO  PALESTINIANS
Azzam al-Ahmad, member of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) Executive Committee, said that the leadership has reached several regional and international stakeholders “to put an end to the escalated violence by Israeli forces and settlers in the West Bank,” on Thursday.     ___Al-Ahmad spoke to Voice of Palestine radio and stressed, “The time has come for the international community to shoulder its responsibility to provide protection to our people from the (Israeli) violations, which include field executions of Palestinian citizens and incitement (by Israeli settlers) to kill President Mahmoud Abbas.”    ___He added “this incitement was met with international condemnation,” noting that the Palestinian people “will not stand idly, but will confront the Israeli occupation until they fulfill their rights.”    More . . .
. . . . Related  IOF  Assassinate  Three  Palestinians  They  Claim  Were  Involved  In  Anti-Israeli  Attacks
. . . . Related  Settlers attack in Nablus and Hebron
. . . . Related  2 Palestinians injured by Israeli  Forces in al-Mughayyar
. . . . Related  Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations In The Occupied Palestinian Territory (06– 12 December 2018)
| UPDATE  |  ISRAELI  FORCES  DETAIN  100  PALESTINIANS  IN  WEST  BANK
Israeli forces arrested more than 100 Palestinians, including lawmakers and former prisoners, during large-scale raids that targeted many areas across the occupied West Bank throughout the past two days, according to the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS).    ___Last night alone, the forces detained at least 46 Palestinians, including two lawmakers and a journalist, during a large-scale detention campaign across the West Bank.    ___Israeli forces conducted multiple overnight raids in Hebron city in addition to the nearby towns of Idhna, Beit Kahel, Yatta and Adh-Dhahiriyya, ransacking civilian houses and interrogating families.    More . . .
. . . . Related  Ramallah City Sealed Off For Second Consecutive Day
. . . . Related  Entrance to Al-Arroub Refugee Camp Sealed by Israeli Forces
. . . . Related  Israeli army raids headquarters of Palestine Olympic Committee in Al-Bireh

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .
| ISRAEL’S  EXECUTIONS  CAN’T  KILL  PALESTINIAN  RESISTANCE:  REMEMBERING  ASHRAF  NA’ALWA,  SALEH  BARGHOUTHI,  MAJD  MTEIR  AND  HASAN  ARDA
On 13 December 2018, Israeli occupation forces shot down four Palestinians, including several resistance fighters who had evaded their pursuit for months.    [. . . .]  These killings were carried out in a coordinated fashion, alongside the arrest of dozens of Palestinians on the same night. Clearly, these were intended to be a deadly blow not only against these strugglers, but also the Palestinian resistance as a whole.    ___Nevertheless, ensuing events made clear that the military power of the occupation and its extrajudicial executions would only inflame Palestinian resistance further.    More . . .
|  PALESTINIAN  SOLIDARITY:  IS  SOUTH  AFRICA  IN  THE  DRIVER’S  SEAT?   Recent events in South Africa have had a profoundly positive impact on Palestine.    ___It may not be music for this country’s [UNITED STATES] pro-Israel lobby but certainly welcomed by the broad spectrum of solidarity movements active in pursuit of freedom and justice for the Palestinian cause.    ___These milestone events have provided Palestinian Resistance Movements, particularly Hamas, as well as solidarity activists, renewed hope that the pendulum is slowly but surely swinging away from the colonial settler regime Israel.    More . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

“HE  WHISPERED  BEFORE  HE  TOOK  HIS  FINAL  BREATHS,”
BY  SAMIH  AL-QASIM

Don’t honor me with a monument
and song!
Of all the sad songs,
I prefer my mother’s sadness.

Do not pay your last respects
with laurel and a royal display!
Of all the tender wreaths
I prefer my mother’s palm.

Don’t glorify me by giving my name
to a city square
or a street and public garden!
I’d rather a grapevine be planted
(in my name)
and grow into a vineyard and farm!

Do not preserve my memory
by giving a speech each year in my honor!
I’d rather a fine machine
pounding away in a factory
speak in my name.

Tell my mother―
tell her what you plant in my name,
tell the factory’s machine
that I loved life, from the bottom of my heart,
and therefore took my final breaths
at peace and happy.

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

 

“. . . A spacious house, Without guards . . .” (Yusuf Hamdan)

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Contestants disabled by Israeli fire participate in the 5th annual Rachel Corrie Gaza Sport Initiative (Photo: Palestine Chronicle, Dec. 12, 2018)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .       
|  PALESTINE  TO  SUBMIT  PROTEST  NOTE  [TO  UN  SECURITY  COUNCIL]  OVER  SETTLERS’  INCITEMENT  AGAINST  PRESIDENT  ABBAS
Palestine is about to finalize a protest note to be submitted to the United Nations Security Council over Israeli settlers’ incitement against President Mahmoud Abbas, announced Palestine’s permanent representative to the United Nations Riyad Masnour. . . .   a protest note to be submitted to the UNSC over Israeli settlers’ threats to assassinate Abbas in addition to recent intrusion into the Dome of the Rock and raids into official institutions, particularly the Palestine News and Information Agency (WAFA), was nearing completion.    ___The note, he explained, would be delivered to the President of the UNSC and through him to both the UN Secretary-General António Guterres and President of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) María Fernanda Espinosa in order to call on the international community to shoulder its responsibility in this regard.     More . . .
  ISRAELI  FORCES  RAID  AL-QUDS  UNIVERSITY 
Israeli forces raided the al-Quds University, on Wednesday, in Abu Dis village, southeast of the central occupied West Bank district of Jerusalem.    ___Local sources confirmed that a large number of heavily armed Israeli forces raided the campus, ransacking several faculties and offices, causing material damages.    ___Israeli forces searched student bloc offices, damaged the students’ personal belongings, and seized surveillance camera recordings.    ___Sources added that prior to the raid, violent clashes erupted among Palestinian youths and Israeli forces.    ___Al-Quds University, along with other Palestinian universities, has been subjected to numerous Israeli military raids in the past.    More . . .
. . . . Related  Israeli forces detain Palestinian student in Nablus-area village
. . . . Related  20 Palestinians injured, four arrested in IOF campaign in Ramallah
DISABLED  ATHLETES  COMPETE  IN  GAZA  SPORTS  CONTEST
The Rachel Corrie Gaza Sport Initiative was held for the fifth time this year for Palestinians with special needs in the besieged Gaza Strip.    ___The table tennis tournament held today was attended by nearly 50 players – both male and female – from a range of clubs.   The majority of the players had been injured by Israeli forces.    ___The Rachel Corrie Gaza Sports Initiative is an annual project, consisting of the Rachel Corrie Ramadan Football Tournaments and the Rachel Corrie Tournament for Athletes with Disabilities.     More . . .

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .
| PALESTINICIDE(S)
By Denijal Jegić
While apartheid, military occupation, and even ethnic cleansing, have at times surfaced in mainstream discussions, these phenomena are not Israel’s ultimate crimes. They are means to control Palestinian lives and, as such, symptoms of the ongoing Nakba. But they are effectively part of a structure that is rarely verbalized: Israel’s genocide of the Palestinian population.    ___Genocidal intent has been present in Zionist thought and practice. Like Jabotinsky’s fantasy of the iron wall, the early Zionists’ dreams of removing Palestinians physically and discursively have realized to a certain extent and continue to threaten Palestinian survival.    ___As the fulfillment of Zionism and the survival of Israeli ethnocracy necessitate the removal of the indigenous population, Palestinians are experiencing a confluence of settler-colonial inscription and indigenous erasure.  More . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

“TO  JERUSALEM,”  BY  YUSUF  HAMDAN

You came to me, chained,
Carried forcibly.
You came
Flowing, like the tears of a wounded heart.
And yet, I will not meet you.
Forgive me,
For today, you are occupied!

Have you indeed come to me?
In my passion, I prayed often
Without a “Rock,”
And when I found no water,
I simulated the ritual ablution;
And when you finally came to me, I vowed:
I will not accept you occupied!

I want you to be a Kaaba for the people of the earth,
A spacious house,
Without guards;
I love you . . . a voice from a minaret,
The sound of horns
Mingled with church bells.
I love you, a jasmine in the open air,
But I have sworn, yes I have,
I will not accept you occupied!

—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. 
___Yusuf Hamdan was born in 1942 in the Triangle area of Palestine. He lived in Haifa in the early ‘60s and taught in a nearby Arabic school. He published his poems in al-Jadid, al-Ittihad, and al-Ghad, and lost his teaching position because of his poetry. In 1970 he left Israel for the US, where he presently lives and works.

“The earth is closing in on us . . .” (Mahmoud Darwish)

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SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY
. . .

| ISRAELI  SETTLERS  HANG  POSTERS  CALLING  FOR  KILLING  PALESTINIAN  PRESIDENT   
Israeli extreme Jewish groups hung posters of the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas at the Huwwara crossroads in southern Nablus, in the northern occupied West Bank, on Tuesday, calling for his assassination.    [. . . .] The posters read “supporter of terrorists” and called for killing (assassinating) the Palestinian President.    ___The incident comes as member of the Likud party at the Israeli Knesset, Oren Hazan, had called for imposing closure on the Ramallah and al-Bireh district until the suspect of an attack carried out in the Ofra illegal Israeli settlement, two days ago, is detained.    [. . . .] Israeli forces raided several institutions in Ramallah, including the Palestinian Authority (PA)-owned Wafa News and Information Agency, allegedly searching for the suspect.    More. . .
. . . . Related  Palestinian journalists, officials protest Israeli army raid of WAFA news agency office  
. . . . Related  Palestinians kidnapped, civilian homes ransacked by Israeli forces
. . . . Related  Israel shoots dozens of Palestinians in the 19th maritime march in Gaza
. . . . Related  Palestinian shot, killed by Israeli forces in Hebron
RAMALAWI:  THE  OCCUPATION  HAS  ISSUED  A  DECISION  RESTRICTING  VACCINE  IMPORTS  TO  PALESTINE
The Israeli occupation authorities issued a decree banning the Palestinian Ministry of Health from importing vaccines, starting from the beginning of the year 2019, said Undersecretary of the Ministry of Health Dr. Asaad Ramlawi.    ___In an interview with the official Voice of Palestine radio station, Dr. Ramlawi said that the Israeli decree put the supply of vaccinations at risk; the Ministry of Health has resources for just two months of vaccine provision, after which there will be a serious problem if the issue is not resolved.    More . . .
. . . . Related  Mizan Center: Eight patients died due to Israeli travel restriction
| OMAN  ALLOWS  ISRAELI  PLANES  TO  USE  ITS  AIRSPACE    More . . .
. . . . Related  Qatari envoy says Gaza airport was proposed, Israel unresponsive
. . . . Related  Britain’s unreported military alliance with Israel
. . . . Related  World Zionist Organization Used Israeli Public Funds to Finance Illegal Outpost
. . . . Related  [American] Evangelical Christian Groups Invested $65 Million to Jewish Settlements

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .
|  WHY  IS  ISRAEL  FORGING  SECRET  TIES  WITH  SUDAN?
The past two months saw Israeli official visits to several Arab countries. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited Qatar Oct. 26 and met with Sultan Qaboos bin Said to discuss the situation in the region. On the same day, Israeli Sports Minister Miri Regev touched down in Abu Dhabi as part of the Israeli judo team participating in international competitions there. Israeli Minister of Transportation Yisrael Katz arrived Nov. 4 in Muscat for an international conference on global transportation.    ___Moreover, Bahrain invited Nov. 25 Israeli Minister of Economy Eli Cohen for a visit in April to attend a technology conference. On the same day, Chadian President Idriss Debby visited Israel, in a bid to strengthen ties between the two countries, while Chad is hoping to obtain Israeli-made weapons and security assistance as well as benefit from Israeli technologies.    ____Amid these Arab-Israeli developments, Israel’s Channel 2 reported Nov. 25 that Netanyahu’s next Arab visit will be Sudan, without specifying a date. The visit comes within the framework of efforts to create short air routes from Israel to South America via Sudan.    More . . .    

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

“THE  EARTH  IS  CLOSING  IN  ON  US,”  BY  MAHMOUD  DARWISH

The earth is closing in on us, pushing us through the last passage, and
. . . . we tear off our limbs to pass through.
The earth is squeezing us. I wish we were its wheat so we could die
. . . . and live again. I wish the earth was our mother
So she’d be kind to us. I wish we were pictures on the rocks for our
. . . . dreams to carry
As mirrors. We saw the faces of those to be killed by the last of us
. . . . in the last defense of the soul.
We cried over their children’s feast. We saw the faces of those who’ll
. . . . throw our children
Out of the windows of this last space. Our star will hang up mirrors.
Where should we go after the last frontiers? Where should the birds
. . . .fly after the last sky?
Where should the plants sleep after the last breath of air? We will
. . . . write our names with scarlet steam.
We will cut off the hand of the song to be finished by our flesh.
We will die here, here in the last passage. Here and here our blood
. . . . will plant its olive tree.

–From Adonis; Mahmud Darwish; and Samih al-Qasim. VICTIMS OF A MAP: A BILINGUAL ANTHOLOGY OF ARABIC POETRY.  Trans. Abdullah al-Udhari. London: Saqi Books, 2008. Available from Barnes and Noble.

“. . . and struggle ardently for my liberty My liberty My liberty . . .” (Fadwa Tuqan)

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Jerusalem: Dr. Naim Ateek of Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center
leads a group on the Via Dolorosa
(Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 4, 2015)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . . 
| PALESTINIAN  GOVERNOR  OF  JERUSALEM  RELEASED  TO  HOUSE  ARREST    A court in Israel has released the Palestinian governor of Jerusalem from detention to house arrest for three days as part of an investigation related to a land sale.    ___Adnan Gheith, who was arrested on November 25, was released on Sunday from prison, but will remain under house arrest until Tuesday, Jerusalem magistrate court justice Chavi Toker ruled.    __Police have been investigating Gheith over suspicions he was involved in the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) arrest in October of US citizen Issam Akel, who is accused of involvement in selling an occupied East Jerusalem building to Jewish buyers. . . More . . .
. . . . Related  Report: Israel Abducts Dozens of Palestinians in Crackdown on Palestinian Authority
. . . . Related  Top court gives Israel even broader powers to use torture
. . . . Related  Israel committed 355 violations against Palestinians in November
. . . . Related  Israel demolished 19 Palestinian facilities in November
| PRESIDENT  ABBAS  ARRIVES  IN  ROME  ON  AN  OFFICIAL  VISIT    President Mahmoud Abbas Sunday arrived in the Italian capital, Rome, on an official visit where he is scheduled to meet with his Italian counterpart, Sergio Mattarella.    ___President Abbas will meet with Italian President Sergio Mattarella, Italy’s Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, and Pope Francis during his official visit to Rome, to discuss the latest political developments in the region as well as bilateral relations between the two countries and ways to develop them.    More . . .
. . . . Related  Hamas hails Fatah’s criticism to US’ draft resolution condemning resistance at UN
. . . . Related  President Abbas meets Pope Francis at the Vatican
. . . . Related  Islamic Jihad delegation from Gaza heads to Lebanon through Egypt
|  TURKEY’S  RED  CRESCENT  DONATES  8.5  TONS  OF  MEDICAL  AID  TO  GAZA   The Palestinian Ministry of Health dispatched from its warehouses in the northern occupied West Bank city of Nablus, about 8.5 tons of medical aid donated by the Turkish Red Crescent to the besieged Gaza Strip, on Monday.    ___According to the Palestinian Health Minister, Jawad Awwad, the ministry dispatched two truckloads of medical supplies worth $274,000, which included medicines to treat chronic diseases such as cancer and kidney diseases.    ___Awwad praised Turkey’s continued support to Gaza, pointing to the many vital projects that have been provided by Turkey to Palestine in all fields.   More . . .
. . . . Related  WHO: ‘Israel approved only 15% of medical permits for injured Gazans’
. . . . Related  Sharp rise in number of people with disabilities in Gaza Strip in last 10 years – statistics
. . . . Related  Israel undercover forces [in Gaza] posed as medical workers, used ID cards of real Palestinians

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . . GAZA  –  TWENTY  YEARS  LATER     By Mkhaimar Abusada     The Gaza Strip. . .  is no more than 365 square kilometers with two million people. Population pressure has been critical in an area with limited water and arable land, weak infrastructure. . .  and many internal and external barriers that have resulted from the Israeli siege and blockade, which has turned it into the largest open-air prison in the world.    ___The . . .  golden days of Gaza [were about] 1998. At that time, Gaza was the center of Palestinian politics after the signing of the Oslo Agreement in September 1993, and the establishment of the Palestinian Authority (PA) in 1994. Gaza was promised by the international community to be the Singapore of the Middle East. . .  [. . . .] The outbreak of the second Palestinian Intifada in September 2000, and the ensuing violence and armed resistance against the Israeli army and settlers in Gaza triggered massive Israeli retaliation against infrastructure and the economy, and . . .  restricted the movement within and in and out of Gaza.    More . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

“MY  LIBERTY,”  BY  FADWA  TUQAN

My liberty―my liberty―my liberty,
a sound I repeat
with angry lips
under the exchange of fire
and flames
I run after it
despite my chains
and follow its tracks
despite the night
and struggle ardently
for my liberty
My liberty
My liberty

And the Holy River
and Bridge repeat:
my liberty
and the two banks reiterate:
my liberty
and the raging wind and thunder,
tornadoes and rain
echo the sound:
my liberty

I shall carve its name
while I resist
on the land
by the walls and the doors
in the Temple of the Virgin
in the altar
and in the field,
on every hill
and every valley
and every curve
and road
in prison
in the torture rooms
and on the gallows
Despite the chains
and the house demolition
I shall carve its name
until I see it again
extending to my Homeland
and flourish
and flourish
until every inch of the land is covered
until every door is opened
by red liberty.
And the night vanishes
and the day breaks
My liberty―my liberty―my liberty

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 abebooks.com