“. . . I will rise from the land that feeds our furious storm . . .” (Mu’in Bseiso, b. Gaza, 1927)

❶ As Gaza’s sole power plant shuts down, groups warn of devastating consequences

  • Background: “Isolation through Humanitarianism: Subaltern Geopolitics of the Siege on Gaza.” Antipode

❷ PFLP slams Hamas, Fatah for putting politics over lives of Palestinians in Gaza
❸ ‘Gaza will be unlivable next year, not 2020 as the UN says’
❹ POETRY by Mu’in Bseiso
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
AS  GAZA’S  SOLE  POWER  PLANT  SHUTS  DOWN,  GROUPS  WARN  OF  DEVASTATING  CONSEQUENCES
Ma’an News Agency 
July 13, 2017.   Gaza’s months-long power crisis once again took a turn for the worst on Wednesday night, when the besieged territory’s sole power plant shut down, further straining the dire humanitarian situation for Gaza’s two million residents.
___Israeli NGO Gisha released a statement on Thursday, stating that the power plant had shut down owing to lack of fuel and that the lives of residents have been “disrupted, entire hospital wards are shut down, untreated sewage is spilling to the sea in heretofore-unseen quantities and beaches are becoming more dangerous for swimming.”
___Head of Public Relations for Gaza’s electricity company Muhammad Thabet also released a statement warning of the devastating consequences that would affect every aspect of life in the Gaza Strip if the electricity supply continued to dwindle.
___The besieged Gaza Strip only has a supply of 70 megawatts of electricity available, after Israel reduced electricity supply to the besieged territory from 120 megawatts upon request of the Palestinian Authority (PA) three weeks ago, he pointed out.    MORE . . .

Smith, Ron J. “ISOLATION  THROUGH  HUMANITARIANISM:  SUBALTERN  GEOPOLITICS  OF  THE  SIEGE  ON  GAZA.” Antipode, vol. 48, no. 3, June 2016, pp. 750-769.
[. . . .] The process of maintaining control over territory and populations while dispossessing inhabitants through violence, immiseration and dispossession makes clear that, at its core, occupation is a colonial process.
___Gaza represents a peculiar form of occupation, wherein an occupying military need not be permanently present on the ground to impose its will and control on the local population. . .  Gazan lives are permanently circumscribed by occupation from afar—what Gazans and international agencies refer to as “Al Hissar”—the siege. Siege is a geopolitical phenomenon that functions through the removal of societies from the global networks of trade and movement. . . . The siege of Gaza represents a distinct form of political control based on a subset of occupation practices carried out to their extreme. Within this comprehensive program of isolation, the population is cut off completely from the surrounding territory. The local populace is deprived of basic goods needed for survival and freedom of movement is completely curtailed. . . .    While Israel’s regulation of everyday life is common to both Gaza and the West Bank . . .   Gaza thus far represents an extreme of isolation and deprivation, punctuated by large-scale military invasions.
[. . . .] This article therefore insists on the importance of considering siege as a particular geopolitical phenomenon that is related to but distinct from other forms of violence and control . . .   siege must be understood as a highly developed form of collective punishment against a population deemed surplus. Siege uses the tactic of isolating ordinary people from their ability to engage in the exchange of goods, services, people, and ideas as a means of imposing political pressure. The violence of the siege is visible in the ways in which it denies basic needs for the targeted population, and through its enforcement through policies like shoot to kill. Conventional wars, the types that punctuate the ongoing siege in Gaza, work in concert with siege as a means of injuring the population as a whole.
___The siege makes the injuries of war fester: there are no resources to repair the destruction and rebuild homes; it prevents victims from receiving appropriate medical care; it prevents families from returning to the territory to mourn the dead and to support the survivors; and is in itself a form of violence and deprivation. The supposed expectation of any siege is that the inhabitants will put the necessary pressure on their governments to exact the kinds of political changes desired by those imposing the siege. In the case of Gaza, this is complicated by the fact that Israel does not acknowledge its system of control as siege, and has presented no demands as requisite for the lifting of the siege. Indeed, it is unclear that there is any course of activity Gazans can follow that would bring the siege to an end . . .   1.7 million Gazans (the vast majority of whom are refugees from earlier programs of Zionist and Israeli displacement) are a body of civilians that serves no purpose to the Israeli government, and the territory of Gaza itself appears to be a sacrifice zone. Indeed, if we take seriously the notion of Avodat Ivrit, or “Hebrew Labor,” as an organizing principle of Israeli policy, then the siege is a result of the brutal logic of Israel’s categorization of Gaza as a population considered hostile and surplus [. . . .]     SOURCE . . .

PFLP  SLAMS  HAMAS,  FATAH  FOR  PUTTING  POLITICS  OVER  LIVES  OF  PALESTINIANS  IN  GAZA     
Ma’an News Agency 
July 13, 2017.  The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) a left-wing Palestinian political faction, released statements on Thursday, criticizing both the Hamas and Fatah movements for the ongoing punitive measures that the two factions have taken  against each other in recent weeks amidst a deepening political crisis.
___The PFLP rejected the move by Hamas to prevent members of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and Fatah Central Committee from leaving the Gaza Strip, where Hamas was elected to power in 2006, to travel to the occupied West Bank.
___“The ban and the obstruction of movement from Gaza to the West bank is a policy that Hamas follows, violating all rights and personal freedom, and damages national relations,” the PFLP said, demanding that Hamas and its security forces “immediately stop this policy and create the suitable atmosphere for better national relations and avoid any tensions that deepen the national conflict and violate rights and freedom guaranteed for all Palestinians in West bank and in Gaza Strip.”
___The group went on to criticize the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority (PA) of “collective punishment” on Palestinians living in the Hamas-led Gaza Strip, which has been embroiled in a dire electricity crisis, worsened by increasing punitive measures by Israel and the PA.        MORE . . .
‘GAZA  WILL  BE  UNLIVABLE  NEXT  YEAR,  NOT  2020  AS  THE  UN  SAYS’ 
+972 Magazine 
Edo Konrad
July 11, 2017.   Things have gotten acutely worse in the Gaza Strip over the past month, since Israel and the Pale1stinian Authority cut the besieged strip’s already inadequate supply of power. But an entire generation of Gazans have grown up without ever experiencing electricity that is available around the clock. Crisis is nothing new.
___In addition to sewage that flows into the sea untreated, and hospital ICUs that must rely on gasoline-powered generators, the power shortage also has dire consequences on everyday life in regular households. Without electricity, the pumps that deliver tap water to apartments in high-rise residential buildings stop working. “Water used to reach these houses between two-to-three hours every few days,” Khalil Shaheen says. “And this is in the summer. Yesterday, my building only had one hour of water.”
___Israel pulled its troops out of the Gaza Strip a little over a decade ago, but its military retains effective control over many aspects of life in the coastal enclave. The Israeli army still controls the Strip’s land and maritime borders, decides who and what may enter and exit, blocks basic technologies like 3G cellular broadband from being installed, and has launched three military operations that left thousands of Gazans dead. Israel also sells Gaza the majority of its inadequate supply of electricity.
___Shaheen, who is the director of the Economic and Social Rights Unit at the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR), one of Palestine’s most prominent rights groups, monitors the impact of Israeli, Palestinian Authority, and Hamas policies on life in the Gaza Strip. “I’m afraid that with the ongoing situation, Gaza will be unlivable by the end of 2018,” he said in a telephone interview earlier this week.   MORE . . . 

FOOTSTEPS,”  BY  MU’IN  BSEISO

Brother! If they should sharpen the sword on my neck,
I would not kneel, even if their whips lashed
my bloodied mouth
If dawn is so close to coming
I shall not retreat.
I will rise from the land that feeds our furious storm!

Brother! If the executioner should drag me to the slaughterhouse
before your eyes to make you kneel,
so you might beg him to relent,
I’d call again, Brother! Raise your proud head
and watch as they murder me!
Witness my executioner, sword dripping with my blood!
What shall expose the murderer, but our innocent bleeding?

At night their guns kidnapped him from his trench.
The hero was flung into the cells’ darkness
where, like a banner flutter above chains, he stayed.
The chains became flaming torches,
burning the ashes which coat our shining future.
Now the hero lives, his footsteps ringing triumphantly
within the closed walls of every prison.
—Trans. by May Jayyusi and Naomi Shihab Nye

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

“. . . What shall expose the murderer, but our innocent bleeding.” (Mu’in Bseiso)

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Palestinians gather in front of the Rafah crossing between the southern Gaza Strip and Egypt, Jan. 16, 2015. (AFP/Said Khatib, File)

❶ Hundreds of Palestinians return to Gaza through Egypt’s Rafah crossing
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Israeli forces open fire on Palestinian fishing boats, level lands in Gaza
❷ Hamas launches its new Political Document
❸ Christians Speak to Archbishop of Canterbury about Life in Gaza
❹ Opinion/Analysis:  What the West gets wrong on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
“. . . The Palestinians are not struggling for peace; they are struggling for freedom . . .”
❺ POETRY by Mu’in Bseiso (b. Gaza, 1930)
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
HUNDREDS  OF  PALESTINIANS  RETURN  TO  GAZA  THROUGH  EGYPT’S  RAFAH  CROSSING
Ma’an News Agency   
May 7, 2017
GAZA (Ma’an) — Egyptian authorities opened the Rafah border crossing in one direction for the second consecutive day on Sunday, to allow Palestinians stranded on the Egyptian side to return to the besieged Gaza Strip.
___Head of the media office at the Rafah crossing Wael Abu Omar said that 832 Palestinians were able to arrive to the Palestinian hall of the terminal during the first day of opening that lasted from 10 a.m. Saturday until 3 a.m. Sunday.
___Abu Omar said that among the passengers was the body of a dead Palestinian that was allowed to return to Gaza to be buried.
___He added that Egyptian authorities also permitted the entry of trucks loaded with cement, paint, and cheese.      MORE . . .

. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) ISRAELI  FORCES  OPEN  FIRE  ON  PALESTINIAN  FISHING  BOATS,  LEVEL  LANDS  IN  GAZA
Ma’an News Agency
May 7, 2017 
Israeli military vehicles staged a limited incursion into Palestinian lands east of Deir al-Balah in the central Gaza Strip on Sunday morning, while Israeli naval forces also opened fire on Palestinian fishing boats off the coast of northern Gaza, causing no injuries.
___Eyewitnesses told Ma’an that five Israeli military bulldozers set off from Israel’s Kissufim military base and passed tens of meters beyond the border area, and proceeded to level lands.
___Separately, Israeli naval forces opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats off the coat of Beit Lahiya in the northern Gaza Strip.       MORE . . .

❷ HAMAS  LAUNCHES  ITS  NEW  POLITICAL  DOCUMENT
Gaza.Scoop.ps – Real Time News From Gaza    
May 2, 2017      PRESS RELEASE – HAMAS
The Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, launched its Political Document “General Principles and Policies” on Monday at a press conference in the Qatari capital of Doha.      ___The document was announced at a press conference held by Hamas politburo chief, Khaled Mashaal, with a number of leaders of the movement, in the presence of elite writers, media outlets and researchers.
___The 42 article document carries the essence of the Movement’s thought and political legacy for 30 years now.
___Hamas said in its document that it is an Islamic Palestinian national liberation movement aimed at liberating Palestine and confronting the Zionist project, indicating that Islam is a reference in its principles, objectives and means.     MORE . . .

❸ CHRISTIANS  SPEAK  TO  ARCHBISHOP  OF  CANTERBURY  ABOUT  LIFE  IN  GAZA     
International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC    
May 6, 2017
Christian residents of the Gaza Strip recently spoke about their daily life to Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, during a surprise visit to the coastal enclave.
___During his visit to the Gaza Strip, the Archbishop sat with leaders of the Christian community in Gaza, and listened to their life experience under the rule of the Islamic Palestinian movement Hamas.
___Philip Tarazi, one of the Gaza Christians who were selected to meet with the Archbishop Justin Welby, described the life in Gaza as “smooth.”     MORE . . .  

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Archbishop Justin Welby and Bishop Suheil Dawani with members of Gaza’s Christian community at Ahli Arab Hospital, Gaza City

❹ Opinion/Analysis: WHAT  THE  WEST  GETS  WRONG  ON  THE  ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN  CONFLICT
+972 Blog  
Mitchell Plitnick
“. . . The Palestinians are not struggling for peace; they are struggling for freedom . . .”
May 5, 2017
On April 21, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the Palestinians must prove that they want peace. “I think the first test of peace is to say to them, ‘Hey, you want peace? Prove it,” Netanyahu told Fox News’ Sean Hannity.
___This is very typical of Netanyahu’s statements on peace over the years. But perhaps it’s time to consider the issue too rarely discussed by those of us who work for peace between Israel and the Palestinians. The government’s actions aside, most Israelis do very much want peace. But on the Palestinian side, again setting aside the statements of Palestinian Authority leaders, peace is not at the top of the agenda.
___This is one of the biggest, most fundamental disconnects in the Western approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. THE PALESTINIANS ARE NOT STRUGGLING FOR PEACE; THEY ARE STRUGGLING FOR FREEDOM. That struggle may be against second-class citizenship for Palestinian citizens of Israel, the expansion of settlements and land confiscation in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, or the strangling siege in Gaza. But in all cases, it comes down to a struggle for freedom and a future where today’s Palestinians and future generations can forge their own future outside the yoke of Israel.     MORE . . .

“FOOTSTEPS,”  BY  MU’IN BSEISO

Brother! If they should sharpen the sword on my neck,
I would not kneel, even if their whips lashed
my bloodied mouth
If dawn is so close to coming
I shall not retreat.
I will rise from the land that feeds our furious storm!

Brother! If the executioner should drag me to the slaughterhouse
before your eyes to make you kneel,
so you might beg him to relent,
I’d call again, Brother! Raise your proud head
and watch as they murder me!
Witness my executioner, sword dripping with my blood!
What shall expose the murderer, but our innocent bleeding?

At night their guns kidnapped him from his trench.
The hero was flung into the cells’ darkness
where, like a banner fluttering above chains, he stayed.
The chains became flaming torches,
burning the ashes which coat our shining future.
Now the hero lives, his footsteps ringing triumphantly
within the closed walls of every prison.
–– Translated by May Jayyusi and Naomi Shihab Nye

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

“. . . when the sea gazelle was stabbed, And the moon became an eye of glass. . .” (Mu’in Bseiso)

A picture taken on March 19, 2013 shows workers at the archaeological site of the Saint Hilarion Monastery, one of the largest Christian monasteries in the Middle East, in Tel Umm al-Amr close to Deir al-Balah, in the central Gaza Strip. AFP photo. More. . .
A picture taken on March 19, 2013 shows workers at the archaeological site of the Saint Hilarion Monastery, one of the largest Christian monasteries in the Middle East, in Tel Umm al-Amr close to Deir al-Balah, in the central Gaza Strip. AFP photo.  More. . .  

❶ From: PALESTINE NEWS NETWORK
IOF  TO  BAN  MUSLIMS,  ALLOW  SETTLERS  INTO  IBRAHIMI  MOSQUE  ON  THURSDAY
August 12, 2015
Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) Tuesday night announced will to close the Ibrahimi mosque (Haram) in the old city of Hebron, southern West Bank, for the Muslim worshipers under the pretext of “Jewish occasions. “Local sources said that IOF announced the mosque will be closed in the face of Muslims Thursday early morning, until the evening, but will be opened for Israeli Jewish settlers.
____The mosque is regularly closed down by Israeli forces under the same pretext, but Jewish settlers are given full privilege to break into the mosque whenever desired.
[. . . .]
____IOF have often prevented the call for prayers (Adan) from the mosque, violating the religious freedom of Muslims.
____The Israeli minister of army, Moshe Ya’alon on Tuesday morning broke into the mosque “to carry out Jewish prayers” in midst of tight security guardianship.
More. . .

❷ From: PALESTINE NEWS AND INFORMATION AGENCY – WAFA
GRAND  MUFTI  CONDEMNS  ISRAEL’S  DECISION  TO  BUILD  SYNAGOGUE  IN  OLD  JERUSALEM
August 12, 2015
JERUSALEM, (WAFA) – The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Sheikh Mohammad Hussein, condemned on Wednesday the ongoing construction of a Jewish synagogue upon the ruins of an Islamic site in the Old City of Jerusalem.
____He said the construction of the synagogue comes as part of a “Judaization” plan which aims to transfer the holy city and areas surrounding al-Aqsa Mosque into a completely Jewish area.
____The Jordan-run Islamic Waqf, which has administrative jurisdiction over the compound, has accused Israel of attempting to “Judaize” the holy site and the city of Jerusalem.
More. . .

A view of Jerusalem’s Old City Hurva (The Ruin) synagogue, left, the Dome of the Rock mosque, center, and an Armenian church on January 24, 2011. Getty Images.
A view of Jerusalem’s Old City Hurva (The Ruin) synagogue, left, the Dome of the Rock mosque, center, and an Armenian church on January 24, 2011. Getty Images.

❸ From: AL-MONITOR (PALESTINE PULSE)
PERPETUAL  NEGLECT  JEOPARDIZES  GAZA’S  ARCHAEOLOGICAL  SITES
Rasha Abou Jalal
August 11, 2015
GAZA CITY — Some of the Gaza Strip’s most precious historical sites, dating back thousands of years, are being devastated not only by the targeted bombardments of repeated wars, but also from long-term government neglect.
____ “In addition to the Israeli attacks, cultural heritage, as well as Islamic and Christian archaeological sites, suffer from significant violations due to the neglect of successive governments,” [said] Nasser al-Yafawi, an expert on history and heritage in the Gaza Strip. . .
____He added, “These governments failed to preserve the Palestinian heritage in Gaza. They left heritage sites exposed to looting, pillaging and effacement without providing the minimal level of care that is worthy of the civilization that these sites and old buildings represent.”
More. . .

❹ From: MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
US  INTERVENES  IN  CASE  AGAINST  PALESTINIANS  OVER  ISRAEL  ATTACKS
Aug. 12, 2015
WASHINGTON ―The United States said on Tuesday it has intervened in a lawsuit against Palestinian authorities over attacks in Israel that killed and injured Americans, arguing that a high bond could compromise the Palestinians’ financial stability.
____A US jury in February found the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) liable for six attacks between 2002 and 2004, which killed 33 people . . .
____The families were awarded more than $218 million in damages, which was automatically tripled to about $650 million. . . .
____The US State Department said it had filed a Statement of Interest . . . to express concerns over the possible bond amount that could be issued in the case. . . for the PA to appeal the decision.
____The filing cited “US concerns about the harms that could arise if the ability of the Palestinian Authority to operate as a governmental authority is severely compromised.”
More. . .

❺ Opinion
From: MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
ISRAEL  STRUGGLES  WITH  RACIST  UNDERGROUND
August 11, 2015
James Dorsey
Israel is struggling with how to deal with groups . . . that are linked to a banned nationalist political party that has emerged at the core of recent racist, anti-Palestinian incidents and include a militant soccer fan group that was responsible for last month’s violent clashes during a Europa League qualifier in Belgium between Israeli club Beitar Jerusalem and Charleloi SC.
____Two government investigations of Beitar and La Familia, its notorious fan group that openly supports Kach, the banned party founded by Meir Kahane, an extremist rabbi who was assassinated in 1990, took on added significance. . . .
____ . . . the investigations have moved center stage amid recent racist and discriminatory attacks such as the firebombing of a Palestinian home that killed an 18-month-old baby . . . as well as the stabbing of participants in a gay parade by an ultra-religious repeat offender as well as allegations . . . .
[. . . .]
____Israeli leaders have condemned the firebombing as an act of terrorism and are keen to stop elements of the underground from threatening the fabric of Israeli society by escalating Israeli-Palestinian tensions.
____Israel also wants to ensure that racist incidents don’t pour grist on the mill of the growing boycott, divestment and sanctions movement that seeks to isolate Israel internationally or revive efforts by the Palestine Football Association (PFA) to get world soccer body FIFA to suspend Israel’s membership in part on the grounds of racism.
More. . .

“ALEXANDER  AND  THE  SUN  FLOWER,”  BY  MUEEN  BESSISSOU  (Mu’in  Bseiso)
The auction began,
And she was carried on a litter to Alexander’s tent.
They brought her the milk of a deer and a lioness.
And so she washed.
She was perfumed with incense;
And when they blew the horn,
A bed was fetched.
And Alexander entered.
Joys of Alexander!
He slept with her
Until the cock crowed,
Then discarded her,
To be bestowed on a king
Who abandoned her after two nights.
She was carried on a camel
And bestowed on a prince.
The incense garden burned down.
Then she was bestowed on a minister,
And down to the fifty-first man in his entourage.
And when the sea gazelle was stabbed,
And the moon became an eye of glass,
Her navel became a wine pot.
Kings and rebels drank to her health,
She learned how to lie with them.
Rainbow! Stay this winter from our skies.
Your red and blue and green
Stain our face, like mud and glue.

From: A LOVER FROM PALESTINE AND OTHER POEMS: AN ANTHOLOGY OF PALESTINIAN POETRY. Ed. Abdul Wahab Al-Messiri. Washington, DC: Free Palestine Press, 1970.
Available from Amazon.
Mu’in Bseiso (1926 – January 23, 1984)

Fans of the Beitar Jerusalem soccer team hold up a sign saying "beitar pure for ever" and chanted against owner Arcadi Gayadamak during Saturday evening's game against Bnei Yehuda of Tel Aviv over Gaydamak's announced intention to make two Russians the first Muslims in the teams history. Jan 26 2013. Photo by Flash90
Fans of the Beitar Jerusalem soccer team hold up a sign saying “beitar pure for ever” and chanted against owner Arcadi Gayadamak during Saturday evening’s game against Bnei Yehuda of Tel Aviv over Gaydamak’s announced intention to make two Russians the first Muslims in the teams history. Jan 26 2013. Photo by Flash90