“You bereaved me from the light . . .” (Fouzi El-Asmar)

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Entrance to Ofer Prison, between Jerusalem and Ramallah. Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 5, 2015.


SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY
   

ISRAEL  TO  BUILD  650  NEW  SETTLEMENT  UNITS  IN  WEST  BANK
The Israeli government decided on Tuesday to build 650 new settlement units, for the benefit of expanding the illegal Israeli settlement of Beit El, one of the biggest settlements, located in the central occupied West Bank district of Ramallah.   ___A Hebrew-language news outlet reported that the Israeli government decided to build the 650 new settlement units along with another 296 units, which had been previously approved for Beit El.   ___The Israeli government reportedly justified the illegal Israeli settlement expansion as a “compensation” to Israeli settlers who were removed from their settlement outposts of Olbana in 2012 and Darinov in 2015.   More. . .
AFTER  SLAYING,  ARABS  BLAME  APATHETIC  POLICE  IN  ISRAEL
Rasha Abou Jalal
Protests continue in the Arab city of Baqa al-Gharbiyye in northern Israel, with citizens accusing Israeli police of neglecting their duty to protect citizens there. Demonstrations began Aug. 11 when one or more unidentified assailants killed local businessman Ahmad Athamneh, 40, and wounded another man.     ___Since Athamneh’s shooting, residents demonstrated for the third time Aug. 17 in front of a mosque to protest the prevalence of crime in their city. The protesters demanded that the Israeli police do their job: Arrest the perpetrators and fight violence in the Arab community.    More. . .
CAMPAIGN    FORCES    ISRAEL’S    ZIM    TO    HALT    SHIPMENTS    TO    TUNISIA        Ali Abunimah 
Palestinians are hailing a campaign that has led Israel’s Zim shipping line to halt its routes to Tunisia.   ___“Zim was forced to indefinitely suspend its services to the Tunisian port of Radès following a popular and trade union boycott campaign in Tunisia and the Arab world,” the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee (BNC) said on Sunday.   ___The BNC is the steering group for the worldwide boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement that aims to pressure Israel to end its violations of Palestinian rights.   ___The BNC called this “the first victory of its kind in the Arab world.”   More. . .
PALESTINIAN  PRISONER  STATISTICS,  JULY  2018.
Total number of political prisoners – 5820. Administrative detainees – 446.  Child prisoners – 270.  More. . .

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION

SAMIDOUN  SOLIDARITY  STATEMENT  WITH  THE  U.S.  NATIONAL  #PRISONSTRIKE
Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network stands in solidarity with the National Prison Strike launching on 21 August in jails across the United States. This important struggle, involving work stoppages, sit-ins, boycotts and even hunger strikes, is a critical confrontation of racism, capitalism and oppression taking place in the center of the U.S. prison system.   ___The dates of the strike are not accidental; instead, they underline the political legacies that have inspired and continue to push forward the movement. August 21 marks the 47th anniversary of the assassination of imprisoned revolutionary and Black Panther George Jackson.  More. . .

NO  POWER,  NO  SUPPLIES,  NO  WAY  OUT:  A  YEAR  WITHOUT  THE  RIGHT  TO  HEALTH  IN  THE  GAZA  STRIP  (Mar 02, 2018)
Defense for Children International Palestine (DCIP)
[. . . .] Instead of advancing, medical care and access in the Gaza Strip is moving backwards, against time. Ten years of Israel’s air, land and sea blockade on the Gaza Strip has played a strong hand in this de-development, bottlenecking the entering stream of both material and human resources into a weak trickle.   ___Current best practice may not even be in reach in the Gaza Strip, where the blockade has seen shelves wiped clean of some pharmaceutical drugs and supply cupboards sit empty. Even during periods of easement, goals often only reach as high as restocking, replacing parts of worn out equipment, or rebuilding bombed buildings.   More. . .

IT TOOK ME THREE DECADES TO DRIVE ONE HOUR FROM GAZA TO JERUSALEM     Abier Almasri
Earlier this year, the Israeli army gave me a permit to leave the 11-by-40 kilometer Gaza Strip for the first time in my life and travel to the United States for work. Last month, I left again – this time, to see the rest of Palestine and Israel. The one-hour trip from the Israel-Gaza crossing to Jerusalem felt like a journey to a distant world.   ___I have always dreamed of smelling Jerusalem’s air and hearing the call to prayer ring from its mosques. When the prospect of traveling there was still a distant dream, I told a colleague, “I just hope to have the chance to pray in al-Aqsa Mosque before I die.”    More. . .

NOTICES  FROM  ORGANIZATIONS   

EYEWITNESS  PALESTINE:  JOURNEYS  FOR  JUSTICE  WITH  PALESTINIAN  AND  ISRAELI  PEACE-BUILDERS
UPCOMING DELEGATIONS
   There’s only one way to truly understand the realities of Palestine/Israel – through the eyes of those who live there. Palestinians and Israelis welcome us into their homes, offices, and places of worship to learn from them about their lives. Are you ready for an unforgettable journey for justice?   More. . .

“I  AM  THE  SON  OF  THE  LAND,”  BY  FOUZI  EL  ASMAR

You may take my hands
and lock them in your chains
You may also blindfold me.

You bereaved me
from the light
and I marched
You robbed me
of the bread
and I ate.
You plundered the land
from me
and I ploughed.

I am the son of the land
and for that
I find goodness in this earth
anywhere I happen to be:
The ants of this land
feed me
The branches of this land
foster me
The eagles of this land
will shield my open revolt

Yes
You may take my hands
And lock them in your chains
You may also blindfold me
But here I will stand tall
And here I shall remain
until the very end. (April 1970)

–From: El Azmar, Fouzi. POEMS  FROM  AN  ISRAELI  PRISON.  KNOW Books, 1973.

“. . . It is my right to behold the sun . . .” (Fouzi El-Asmar)

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Ofer Prison gate. (Photo, a rainy day in November, 2015, Harold Knight)

❶ Palestinian prisoners enter 20th day of mass hunger strike
. . . . . ❶― (ᴀ)   18th day of hunger strike: More prisoners join mass hunger strike

  • Background from journal Public Health Ethics

❷ Solidarity strikes spreading through Europe after Manchester and Edinburgh student hunger strikes launched
❸ Links to related articles
❹ POETRY by Fouzi El-Asmar
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PALESTINIAN  PRISONERS  ENTER  20TH  DAY  OF  MASS  HUNGER  STRIKE
Ma’an News Agency
May 6, 2017
Some 1,600 Palestinian prisoners entered their 20th day of a mass hunger strike demanding humane treatment in Israeli prisons and an end to Israel’s policy of imprisoning Palestinians without charge or trial, as more Palestinian prisoners have joined the strike, while Israel Prison Service (IPS) has continued cracking down on the hunger strikers.
___According to the Media Committee of the Freedom and Dignity Strike — a joint committee formed by the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS) and Palestinian Committee for Prisoners’ Affairs, five more Palestinian prisoners in Israel’s Ofer prison joined the hunger strike on Friday.
[. . . .] ___The committee also added that representative of the prisoners in Ofer prison Akram Hamed said that the hunger strikers’ sections in the prison have been raided daily and subjected to “suppressing procedures,” noting that despite this and the continued deterioration of the healths of some of the hunger strikers, they were determined to continue until their demands are met.    ___Meanwhile, the the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and All the East Gregory III Laham declared a solidarity hunger strike for Saturday in support of the prisoners.     MORE . . .

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Ofer Prison guard tower (Photo, November, 2015. Harold Knight)

. . . . . ❶― (ᴀ)   18TH  DAY  OF  HUNGER  STRIKE:  MORE  PRISONERS  JOIN  MASS  HUNGER  STRIKE
Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association 
May 4, 2017
[. . . .] Over 1500 Palestinian political prisoners and detainees held in Israeli prisons and detention centers began an open hunger strike on 17 April 2017. The call for a hunger strike came as a result of Israeli’s policies and practices towards political prisoners. The hunger striking prisoners’ demands include: an end to the transfer of Palestinian prisoners from the occupied Palestinian territory (OPT) into prisons in Israel; regular family visits; proper medical care; an end to Israel’s practice of detaining Palestinians without charge or trial in so-called administrative detentions; and stopping the use of solitary confinement.
___Punitive measures imposed on hunger strikers have included: the denial of family visits; denial of recreational time; denial of access to the “canteen” (prison store); prohibition from participating in group prayers on Fridays; seizure of salt during the first days of the strike; and. . .
___As a result of the hunger strike, Palestinian prisoners have been subjected to violent and coercive measures and policies by Israeli Prison Service and special units to push prisoners and detainees to end their hunger strikes. Addameer Prisoner Support & Human rights Association visited non-striking prisoners in Remon and Meggido prison on 4 May 2017.        MORE . . .

[. . . .] reflecting on the ethical dilemmas posed to the medical profession by the prisoners’ hunger-strike, Professor Avinoam Reches, chairperson of the Israeli Medical Association (IMA) Ethics’ Committee, called for a joint action of the Ministry of Justice (MOJ), the Ministry of Health (MOH), the IMA and human rights’ organizations. He called on them to work together in order to formulate a treatment policy for hunger-strikers in Israeli prisons, thus avoiding putting all the pressure of difficult decisions on the individual physician. In arguing for his proposal, Reches depicted the main ethical dilemma for the physician as a choice between respecting the rights of his/her patient’s—the hunger striking prisoner—to autonomy, and the sanctity of life. ‘This is a collision between two basic ethical principles: the value of autonomy and the right of the individual to decide on his body, up to the point that he can commit suicide as an expression of his free will; and the value of the sanctity of life, which for its supporters weighs more than the desire to die by any means, including by hunger.’
___In posing the ethical dilemma facing physicians as the tension between the principle of individual autonomy and the sanctity of life, Reches adopts the same liberal perspective that inspires the Malta 2006 declaration, signed by Israel, which broadly placed the question of how physicians should act in cases of hunger-strikes in the context of the tensions between two fundamental bioethical principles: autonomy versus sanctity of life. The declaration gave clear priority to the former, thus disallowing the practice of forced-feeding (World Medical Association). While the tension between these two principles is undoubtedly one of the central dilemmas presented to health practitioners dealing with hunger-strikes, we argue that limiting the ethical question to this tension obstructs and limits the ethical discussion.    FULL ARTICLE . . .

  • Filc, Dani, et al. “Palestinian Prisoners’ Hunger-Strikes in Israeli Prisons: Beyond the Dual-Loyalty Dilemma in Medical Practice and Patient Care.” Public Health Ethics, vol. 7, no. 3, Nov. 2014, pp. 229-238.

SOLIDARITY  STRIKES  SPREADING  THROUGH  EUROPE  AFTER  MANCHESTER  AND  EDINBURGH  STUDENT  HUNGER  STRIKES  LAUNCHED 
Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network   
May 3, 2017
Student groups at the University of Manchester in England and Edinburgh University in Scotland have launched solidarity hunger strikes in support of the Palestinian prisoners’ strike for freedom and dignity that have now extended for days of action in support of the prisoners’ struggle. Their campaign is now spreading across Europe, with activists in Madrid, Turin, Brussels, London and elsewhere joining growing solidarity strikes that highlight the prisoners’ demands and their urgent calls for support.
___After 1500 Palestinian prisoners launched their hunger strike on 17 April for a series of demands, including an end to the denial of family visits, the right to access distance higher education, appropriate medical care and an end to solitary confinement and administrative detention, imprisonment without charge or trial, protests across Palestine and around the world have demanded freedom for Palestinian prisoners and urged the immediate implementation of their demands. Now in their 17th day without food, strikers are facing harsh repression – including denial of legal visits, frequent transfers, and isolation of strike leaders – inside Israeli prisons.
___In Palestine, a number of solidarity hunger strikes and fasts have been organized to support the prisoners, including a large one-day strike in Gaza, a five-day strike by Lina Khattab and fellow Bir Zeit University students who are themselves former prisoners, and ongoing open-ended solidarity strikes in the protest tents in Qalqilya, Jenin, Nablus and elsewhere. A call has been issued from Palestine for a day-long solidarity strike by artists and other cultural workers on 3-4 May, linking with ongoing art actions by Decolonize this Place in support of the strikers.      MORE . . .
RELATED  ARTICLES
“European Hunger Strike Seeks to Strengthen Palestine Prisoners, Expose Israeli Apartheid.” TeleSUR English. May 5, 2017.    MORE . . . .
“Thousands rally to back Palestinian prisoners’ hunger strike.” ABCNews. By Mohammed Draghmeh, Associated Press. May 3, 2017.    MORE . . . .  
“A thousand Palestinian prisoners are on a hunger strike. This woman is fighting for their rights.” Washington Post. By Ruth Eglash. April 27, 2017.     MORE . . . .

“THE WAY,” by Fouzi El-Asmar

I shall not despair;
Whether my way leads to a jail,
under the sun
or in exile
I shall not despair.

It is my right to behold the sun
To demolish the tent and banishment
To eat the fruit of the olive
To water the vineyards
with music
To sing of Love
in Jaffa, in Haifa
To sow the fertile land
with new seeds
It is my right.

Let my way be
The reaching of one hand to another
That a tower of dreams be built.

This is my way
And if the last price to pay
is my sight
my life
I shall
but will not give up
my way.

El Asmar, Fouzi. POEMS FROM AN ISRAELI PRISON. Intro. By Israel Shahak. New York: KNOW Books, 1973.  Available from Amazon.
About Fouzi El Asmar.

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University of Manchester students demonstrate their solidarity with the Palestinian political prisoners (Photo: BDS Campaign – University of Manchester)

“. . . ‘Administrative Detention’ by the Israeli security forces is . . . yet another testimony to Israel’s ossification in a mythic past . . .” (Jean Fisher)

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Hasan Safadi, 24, at his administrative detention order hearing, Jul. 4, 2016. (Photo: Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network)

❶ . Administrative Detention of Addameer Media Coordinator Hasan Safadi Renewed

  • Background:”Negotiating Representation In Israel And Palestine.” Visual Studies

❷ . Palestinian committee: Israel ‘deliberately’ tries to kill Palestinian hunger strikers

  • Background: “Voices In The Singular Plural: ‘Palestine C/O Venice’ And The Intellectual Under Siege.” Third Text

❸ . European legal scholars defend BDS right for freedom of expression
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❶ . ADMINISTRATIVE  DETENTION  OF  ADDAMEER  MEDIA  COORDINATOR  HASAN  SAFADI  RENEWED
Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association
Dec. 8, 2016
The Administrative detention of Palestinian journalist and human rights defender Hasan Safadi, the Media Coordinator for Addameer, has been renewed for an additional 6 months, from 7 December 2016 to 8 June 2017. Administrative detention orders may be renewed indefinitely.
___Safadi’s administrative detention order is scheduled to be confirmed by a judge at a time set in the next 48 hours, making him one of approximately 720 Palestinians held without charge or trial under administrative detention.     More . . .  
Related . . .   Police raid media center in East Jerusalem, detain staff       

  • Wahl, Huw. “Negotiating Representation In Israel And Palestine.” Visual Studies 29.1 (2014): 1-12.  ARTICLE.

In the summer of 2012, I travelled to Israel and Palestine To explore the notion of photographic representation in this heavily documented region and to understand how local visual practitioners negotiated the work of photography in relation to their own identities and opinions on the conflict. ___FIGURE 1.  Ofer Prison, West Bank, June 2012. People demonstrate in support of prisoners participating in one of the longest hunger strikes in Palestinian history. Ofer prison is located near Ramallah in the West Bank and run by the Israeli Prison Services. Israel holds more than 4500 Palestinians in jail on charges that range from stone throwing to deadly attacks on Israeli targets. Hunger strikes in protest at inhumane and abusive conditions, as well as detentions without charge or trial, have been growing over the past years.
__FIGURE 3. Ofer Prison, West Bank, June 2012. Palestinian photojournalists talk with local children during a quiet moment at a demonstration outside Ofer prison in support of prisoners on hunger strike.

❷ . PALESTINIAN  COMMITTEE:  ISRAEL  ‘DELIBERATELY’  TRIES  TO  KILL  PALESTINIAN  HUNGER  STRIKERS
Ma’an News Agency   
Dec. 9, 2016
Head of the Palestinian Committee of Prisoners’ Affairs, Issa Qaraqe accused Israeli authorities of “deliberately” attempting to kill Palestinian hunger strikers, while Israeli authorities have employed several tactics to convince a Palestinian hunger striker to break his strike, according to statements released on Thursday.
___The Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS) said in a statement that Palestinian hunger striker Ammar Ibrahim Hamour, 28, who has been on hunger strike for 18 days in protest of being held in administrative detention — internment without charge or trial, told a PPS lawyer, Khalid Mahajna that Israel Prison Service (IPS) has been attempting to pressure him to end his strike.       More . . . 
Related . . .    Israeli Forces Issue 1586 Administrative Detention Orders Since January 2016   

Fisher, Jean. “Voices In The Singular Plural: ‘Palestine C/O Venice’ And The Intellectual Under Siege.” Third Text 23.6 (2009): 789-801.   ARTICLE.

There is something frankly ugly and undignified, not to say immoral, about these efforts on the part of a nuclear-armed, self-styled liberal democracy and its supporters to justify what must be the most blatant example of systematic cultural genocide since the attempts by colonial America and Australia to eradicate indigenous peoples. . .  What remains to be fought for is basic human rights to homeland, security, freedom of self-expression and self-determination, increasingly translated not in terms of nineteenth-century nationalism but as the biopolitical struggle for diverse ‘forms of life’. . . .  a shift seems to be taking place within the Occupied Palestinian Territories . . . a popular non-violent and non-politically aligned movement of community activism [which] represents the potential to undermine imaginatively the ‘insecurity and endemic uncertainty’ of Israel’s spatiotemporal ruptures. . .  that the organisers of this pacific movement have become the targets of ‘Administrative Detention’ by the Israeli security forces is, by contrast, yet another testimony to Israel’s ossification in a mythic past and failure to imagine a more humane and equitable future.

.  EUROPEAN  LEGAL  SCHOLARS  DEFEND  BDS  RIGHT  FOR  FREEDOM  OF  EXPRESSION
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA    
Dec. 8, 2016
Around 200 European legal scholars and practicing lawyers from 15 countries Thursday issued a statement that stands for Palestinian rights and considers the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement as “a lawful exercise of freedom of expression,” according to a BDS statement.     ___Marking the 10-December UN Human Rights Day, which this year raises the slogan, “Stand up for someone’s rights today,” the legal scholars warned in the statement issued in English, French, Spanish, German, Italian, and Dutch that outlawing BDS undermines basic human rights.       More . . .  

brits-boycott
Jun. 02, 2015, Britain’s National Student Union Joins BDS Movement (Photo: Ha’aretz)

“. . . it is arguably one of the major political mistakes of the twentieth century. . . .” (Tomis Kapitan)

hebronshooting
Israeli soldier shoots tear gas into crowd of Palestinians, Hebron. March 31, 2013 (Ryan Rodrick Beiler/Activestills.org)

❶ Palestinian succumbs to wounds sustained in 2007 Israeli army raid

  • Background: “Violence And Self-Determination In The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.” Peace & Change.

❷ Israeli forces kill Palestinian woman at Nablus checkpoint after alleged stabbing attempt
❸ Army Injures One Palestinian In Nablus, Invades Homes In Qaryout
❹ Committee: ‘Overwhelming majority’ of Palestinian minors in Israeli custody are ‘tortured’
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PALESTINIAN  SUCCUMBS  TO  WOUNDS  SUSTAINED  IN  2007  ISRAELI  ARMY  RAID
Ma’an News Agency
Oct. 20, 2016     A Palestinian man died on Thursday after suffering for nearly ten years of wounds sustained during an Israeli army raid.
___The Makassed hospital announced the death of Mahmoud Jawda, who had been treated at the occupied East Jerusalem medical center ever since he was shot multiple times by Israeli forces during a military raid in Ramallah in 2007.
___Jawda’s family requested that competent authorities to help transfer the Palestinian man’s body from Jerusalem to Ramallah for burial.
___While Israeli army regulations only permit the use of live fire on Palestinians when Israeli soldiers are considered to be in imminent danger, they often open fire on Palestinians indiscriminately as a “crowd control” tactic during military raids.   More . . .  

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

[. . . .]    By controlling movement between the areas governed by the Palestinian Authority, Israel was able to restrict the movement of goods—in violation of the Oslo accords—with the result that Palestinians’ freedom of movement, access to markets, and overall economy diminished significantly. . .  In effect, the Oslo Accords gave Palestinians in the territories limited control over their internal affairs while allowing the Israelis to consolidate their hold on the West Bank, expand their settlements, and stifle the Palestinian economy. . . .   It is significant that the Oslo Accords did not mention a right of self-determination for Palestinians.
[. . . .]   Aside from speculations about Israel’s ultimate intent, the net effect of the Zionist project has been to create a sovereign state for Israeli Jews while systematically denying the prerogative of self-determination to Palestinian Arabs. As predicted by Arabs, Jews, and British over ninety years ago, the process has been inseparable from frustration, anger, and violence.
[. . . .]   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. While some see the creation of Israel as a political success story, 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.
[. . . .]   No state, institution, or law is legitimate unless it can be anchored within the consent of the people it governs. No solution to a political conflict within a territory is either just or secure unless it is responsive to the wishes of the legitimate residents of that territory.
[. . . .]   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.

ISRAELI  FORCES  KILL  PALESTINIAN  WOMAN  AT  NABLUS  CHECKPOINT  AFTER  ALLEGED  STABBING  ATTEMPT
Ma’an News Agency
Oct. 19, 2016
Israeli forces Wednesday shot and killed a Palestinian woman at the Zaatara (Tappuah) military checkpoint south of the occupied West Bank district of Nablus after an alleged stabbing attempt on Israeli border police.      ___The slain woman has not yet been identified.     ___An Israeli police spokeswoman Luba al-Samri said in a statement that according to initial reports, a young Palestinian woman approached Israeli border guards stationed at the Tappuah junction, and after “ignoring their directives and their calls for her to stop,” pulled out a knife. Israeli forces then opened live fire on the young woman and “neutralized” her.       More . . .
ARMY  INJURES  ONE  PALESTINIAN  IN  NABLUS,  INVADES  HOMES  IN  QARYOUT
International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC
October 20, 2016
Israeli soldiers shot and injured, on Thursday at dawn, a young Palestinian man, during clashes that took place after dozens of soldiers and settlers invaded Nablus, in the northern part of the occupied West Bank. The army also invaded homes in Qaryout village, south of Nablus.
___Local sources said clashes took place near Qabr Yousef (Joseph Tomb) area, east of Nablus, after five Israeli buses, filled with settlers, and many Israeli army vehicles, invaded the area.
___They added that a young man, identified as Hamed Yahya Edrees, 23, from the Old Askar refugee camp, was shot with a rubber-coated steel bullet in his head, and was moved to the Rafidia governmental hospital.
___In addition, several army vehicles invaded Qaryout village, south of Nablus, before breaking into many homes and violently searching them.         More . . .
COMMITTEE:  ‘OVERWHELMING  MAJORITY’  OF  PALESTINIAN  MINORS  IN  ISRAELI  CUSTODY  ARE  ‘TORTURED’
Ma’an News Agency
Oct. 18, 2016
The “overwhelming majority” of Palestinian minors held in Israel’s Megiddo and Ofer prisons have been tortured during their detention and interrogation, the Palestinian Committee of Prisoners’ Affairs said Tuesday, amid a marked increase in the incarceration and mistreatment of Palestinian children by Israel.
___Lawyer for the committee Luay Ukka said in a statement that, after a visit to Ofer prison, he had noticed that the number of juvenile prisoners there had noticeably increased over the past month.
___As of mid-October, he said, the number of Palestinian prisoners in Ofer under 18 years old reached 28, 14 of whom were under 14 years old.        More . . .   
Related . . .     PALESTINIAN  FAMILY  TO  SUE  IOF  FOR  BRUTALLY  ATTACKING  THEIR  SON

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Mahmoud Salem. Feb. 11, 2016 (Photo: The Palestinian Information Center)

“. . . The stranger awakens in his exile, his homeland . . .” (Mourid Barghouti)

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Palestinian couple at the debris of their house after it was demolished on February 5, 2014 in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Jabel Mukaber. (Photo: AFP – Ahmad Gharabli)

❶ Death in numbers: A year of violence in the occupied Palestinian territory and Israel

  • Background from Journal Of Applied Philosophy

❷ September 2016 report: 436 Palestinians arrested, nearly 8000 since October 2015
❸ Consultations to begin in New York over draft resolution on settlements
❹ IOF forces Jerusalemite to demolish his house
❺ Poetry by Mourid Barghouti
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DEATH  IN  NUMBERS:  A  YEAR  OF  VIOLENCE  IN  THE  OCCUPIED  PALESTINIAN  TERRITORY  AND  ISRAEL
Ma’an News Agency  
Oct. 4, 2016
In October 2015 began what has been in turn called a wave of unrest, a Palestinian upheaval, or even the “Jerusalem Intifada.” Whatever the name, the past year has seen an intensification of deadly violence in the occupied Palestinian territory and Israel.    ___Over the course of the year, Ma’an has collected data regarding every person who has died as part of this latest chapter in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.    ___In total, Ma’an has recorded the death of 274 individuals from Oct. 1, 2015, to Sept. 30, 2016. Of these dead, 235 were Palestinians (85.8 percent of deaths), 34 were Israeli (12.4 percent), and five (1.8 percent) were foreign nationals — two Americans, one Eritrean, one Sudanese, and one Jordanian.       More . . .  

  • Gross, Michael L. “Assassination And Targeted Killing: Law Enforcement, Execution Or Self-Defence?.” Journal Of Applied Philosophy 23.3 (2006): 323-335. (Michael L. Gross, Department of International Relations, The University of Haifa, Mount Carmel, Haifa.)

[NOTE: Gross is writing about planned targeted assassinations, not attacks on soldiers, i.e. alleged knifings at checkpoints. However, substituting “immediate killings” for “targeted killings” the question remains the same: Are targeted killings (or immediate killings) acts of self-defense or extra-judicial execution?]

___Paradoxically, targeting terrorists, that is, those who egregiously violate humanitarian law and wantonly murder civilians, complicates the conceptual framework that justifies killing during war and distinguishes it from murder. As observers evaluate the merits of targeted killing and assassination, they find it difficult to categorize the actors and their actions clearly. Are targets of assassination ordinary soldiers, war criminals or illegal combatants? Do perpetrators of assassination seek retribution, deterrence, interdiction or pre-emption? Are targeted killings acts of self-defense or extra-judicial execution?
[. . . .]
The criminal behaviour of terrorists may then lead officials to invoke the law enforcement paradigm. This demands that states treat terrorists just as they would any heinous criminal, whether an ordinary lawbreaker or war criminal. Law enforcement entails arrest, trial and sentencing, and only permits law enforcement officers to use lethal force when either their lives or the lives of bystanders are in immediate danger. . . . Without due process, named killings are nothing but extrajudicial execution and murder. . . .
___. . . soldiers may kill during armed conflict when it is necessary, proportionate and consistent with the demands of utility. These are the common principles of just war and the conventional laws of armed conflict. Necessity allows nations to exercise armed force only when no other means are feasible to stave off armed aggression. Utility demands that belligerents do not cause more harm than the good they hope to achieve while proportionality limits excessive harm so that even important or necessary goals may not be secured at any cost. . . . Unless nations face a ‘supreme emergency’ that is, an otherwise unavoidable genocidal threat, there are no grounds for violating the laws of armed conflict.

SEPTEMBER  2016  REPORT:  436  PALESTINIANS  ARRESTED,  NEARLY  8000  SINCE  OCTOBER  2015
Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network  
Oct. 3, 2016
Israeli occupation forces arrested 436 Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza in September 2016, including 73 children and 11 women (including 3 minor girls.)
___151 of those arrests took place in the Jerusalem Governorate, 81 in Al-Khalil, 40 in Bethlehem, 40 in Nablus, 35 in Jenin, 32 in Ramallah and El-Bireh, 23 in Tulkarem, eight in Qalqilya, six in Tubas, six in Salfit, five from Jericho and nine from the Gaza Strip.      ___There are approximately 7,000 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails, including 59 women, 12 of them minor girls. There are a total of approximately 350 children in Megiddo and Ofer prisons. There are 700 Palestinians held in administrative detention without charge or trial. 122 administrative detention orders were issued in September, including 44 new orders.       More . . .    

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Israeli forces stand guard near the Zaatara military checkpoint where a Palestinian was shot dead stabbing a border police officer in August 2015. (AFP/Jaafar Ashtiyeh, File)

CONSULTATIONS  TO  BEGIN  IN  NEW YORK  OVER  DRAFT  RESOLUTION  ON  SETTLEMENTS   
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA  
Oct. 4, 2016
Foreign Minister Riyad Malki Tuesday stated that the Arab Ministerial Quartet has decided to start consultations in New York to push for a United Nations Security Council resolution on Israeli settlements.
___Speaking to WAFA before leaving Cairo where he attended the Arab meeting, Malki said that consultations will start in New York on submitting a draft resolution to the UN Security Council condemning and calling for a halt to Israeli settlement construction in the occupied Palestinian territories.          More . . .

IOF  FORCES  JERUSALEMITE  TO  DEMOLISH  HIS  HOUSE
Alray-Palestinian Media Agency     
Oct. 4, 2016
Israeli occupation authorities forced on Monday the Jerusalemite Samer Dkaik to demolish part of his house in Assadeiah neighborhood in Old Jerusalem under the pretext of unlicensed building.
___Dkaik said that Israeli authorities forced him to demolish a 30-m2 room in his house that he built a year ago.
___He explained that he along with his wife and his daughter and sons live in just one room, so that he built the other room for his sons, “No words can express the pain when you are forced to demolish your own house,” he said.     More . . .  

“HOW ARE YOU?” BY MOURID BARGHOUTI
Waiting for the school bus,
watching his breath turn into mist near his nose
in the icy morning,
the schoolboy’s fingers are frozen,
too stiff to make a fist.

On the pillow of regret,
the defeated soldier
lazily tries to get up,
raising his broken toothbrush
to his teeth.

Early or late,
The stranger awakens in his exile, his homeland.
Their clothes, their car number pates, their trees,
their quarrels, their love, their land, their sea
belong to them.
His memories are like rats gathering on his doormat,
new and warm
in front of his closed door.

On a lonely pillow,
the mother throws a quick glance
at the bed of her elder son,
made for the final time
and empty, forever.

A voice from the neighbouring window is heard:
“Hello, good morning, how are you?”
“Hello, good morning, we’re fine,
we’re fine!”

From: Barghouti, Mourid. Midnight and other Poems. Trans. By Radwa Ashour. Todmorden, Lancashire, UK: Arc Books, 2008. Available from B&N.
Mourid Barghouti (born July 8, 1944, in Deir Ghassana, near Ramallah, on the West Bank)

 

 

“. . . Tell the usurper of our land that childbirth is a force unknown to him . . .” (Fadwa Tuqan)

1-rubble-AFPGETTY
These kids built a see-saw out of the rubble and refused to have their childhood taken away. (Photo: MAHMUD HAMS/AFP/Getty Images)

❶ Follow up U.N. submission on night-raids – June 2016

  • Background from: Counselling Psychology Quarterly

❷ Israeli forces detain at least 10 Palestinians in overnight West Bank raids

  • Background from: Biography: An Interdisciplinary Quarterly

❸ Opinion/Analysis:  PALESTINE’S  FORGOTTEN  CHILDREN
❹ POETRY by Fadwa Tuqan
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ FOLLOW  UP  U.N.  SUBMISSION  ON  NIGHT-RAIDS  – JUNE  2016
The Women‘s Centre for Legal Aid and Counselling (WCLAC)
June 30, 2016
Today, WCLAC lodged a follow-up submission with the UN concerning the devastating impact that Israeli military night raids are having on Palestinian women and families in the West Bank. The latest submission includes 50 testimonies from women who have first-hand experience of a night raid between January and May 2016 . . . .
___According to research conducted by WCLAC, it is estimated that since June 1967, the Israeli military has conducted at least 66,000 night arrest raids on Palestinian homes, or an average of four night raids every night. This figure does not include the more common night raids in which no arrests are made or day-time incursions into Palestinian town and villages, which if included are estimated to bring the likely total number of raids to around 150,000 since 1967.
[. . . .]   The issue of military night raids on civilian centres of population was recently raised by the US Department of State in its most recent annual report on human rights.  MORE . . .

From: Counselling Psychology Quarterly
The consequences of military and political violence on children have been widely documented . . . Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Acute Stress Disorder, Traumatic Depression, somatization and so on. The disorders that affect Palestinian children are typical of daily exposure to relentless and extreme traumatic events. Experts in the field . . . . reported that in the year 2000, 42% OF PALESTINIAN CHILDREN SUFFERED FROM PSYCHOPATHOLOGICAL PROBLEMS. . . .  In 1993 during the First Intifada, 232 children were killed . . . By the end of . . . the recent war in Gaza [2008] approximately 1100 children were reported killed . . .
___In such traumatized contexts, family relationships are put under huge pressure, since family members feel unable to cope with the hardships they have to face day after day. . . . Social support, emotional bonds with relatives and confidence in family resources are considered key to regulating resilience to traumatic stress . . . .
___ . . . [However] no satisfactory answer has yet been found to the clinical question of how to treat children traumatized by war.

  • Veronese, Guido, Marco Castiglioni, and Mahmud Said. “The Use Of Narrative-Experiential Instruments In Contexts Of Military Violence: The Case Of Palestinian Children In The West Bank.” Counselling Psychology Quarterly 23.4 (2010): 411-423.   SOURCE. 

❷ ISRAELI  FORCES  DETAIN  AT  LEAST  10  PALESTINIANS  IN  OVERNIGHT  WEST  BANK  RAIDS
Ma’an News Agency
July 1, 2016
Israeli forces carried out search and detention raids across the occupied West Bank overnight Thursday detaining at least 10 Palestinians, Palestinian and Israeli sources said.
___Locals told Ma’an that Israeli forces detained four Palestinians from the village of Beni Naim . . . . An Israeli army spokesperson confirmed three detentions were made in Beni Naim, adding that they were detained under suspicions of being Hamas operatives . . . . ___In Hebron City, Israeli forces detained four Palestinians after raiding and searching their houses.      MORE . . .  

From: Biography: An Interdisciplinary Quarterly
When I was little, I always thought that the stars were singing. I would lie in bed at night watching the sky from my window and see the stars twinkle and wink at me; I heard them singing especially for me. It took me years to realize (to my disappointment) that the singing actually was coming from crickets. Stars were dead things I was told, they do not sing, they don’t wink at you, they merely reflect light. Years later, as I lay in my bunk in prison trying to listen to the sounds of the night, the stars (which I couldn’t see from my cell window) were singing, it wasn’t my imagination, they really were singing. I felt that we, the stars and I, had found our secret bond again and we had both reclaimed our magic voice.

  • NIMR, SONIA. “Dreaming Of Never Land.” Biography: An Interdisciplinary Quarterly 37.2 (2014): 540-555.   ARTICLE.  (Special online edition)
1-child arrest
Children’s Day, 5th April 2012 (Photo: International Solidarity Movement, Occupied Palestine)

❸ Opinion/Analysis: PALESTINE’S  FORGOTTEN  CHILDREN
Military Court Watch
(reprinted from openDemocracy.com)
Lord Norman Warner
June 3, 2016
Next year will mark the centenary of the Balfour Declaration as well as the 50th anniversary of Israel’s occupation of the West Bank. With no sign of an active peace process between the parties, here in Britain we have a historic responsibility to seriously challenge the Israeli government’s conduct in the West Bank and Gaza. On a recent visit to the West Bank, I saw powerfully for myself the need for better legal protection for young Palestinians. Without this I fear that we will engender an entire lost generation of forgotten Palestinian children. . . .
___ Earlier this year I understood better [this reality] when I found myself sitting in disbelief whilst watching proceedings unfold in Ofer Israeli military court in the occupied West Bank.       MORE . . . 

“LABOR  PAINS,”  BY  FADWA  TUQAN

The wind blows the pollen in the night
through ruins of fields and homes.
Earth shivers with love,
with the pain of giving birth,
but the conqueror wants us to believe
stories of submission and surrender.

O Arab Aurora!
Tell the usurper of our land
that childbirth is a force unknown to him,
the pain of a mother’s body,
that the scarred land
inaugurates life
at the moment of dawn
when the rose of blood
blooms on the wound.

From The Hypertexts   
About Fadwa Tuqan

“. . .causes of the chronic vulnerability of young Palestinians to political violence. . .” (Lord Norman Warner)

soldier child
Israeli soldier “arresting” a Palestinian child. (Photo published WAFA, June 5, 2016; no attribution)

❶ Israeli Military Courts Issue Actual Imprisonment Sentences against Palestinian Minor Detainees
. . . ― (ᴀ) Military Court Watch progress report
. . . ― (ᴃ) Palestine’s forgotten children
. . . ― (c) Palestinian families appeal for release of bodies of 8 slain sons
❷ 3 Israelis evacuated from Aqsa as thousands celebrate ‘Jerusalem Day’ in Old City
❸ Palestinians rally in Gaza to mark 49 years of occupation
❹ Opinion/Analysis:  KHIRBET  TANA:  THE  PROCESS  OF  DESTROYING  PALESTINE
❺ POETRY by Hanan Ashrawi
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
ISRAELI  MILITARY  COURTS  ISSUE  ACTUAL  IMPRISONMENT  SENTENCES  AGAINST  PALESTINIAN  MINOR  DETAINEES
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
June 5, 2016
Israeli military courts Monday issued actual imprisonment sentences and imposed fines against a number of Palestinian minor detainees incarcerated in the Israeli jail of Ofer, during the month of May, 2016, according to the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS).
___A PPS lawyer reported on Detainees representatives in Ofer prison, Abdel-Fatah Dawleh, as saying that the number of minor detainees who received actual imprisonment sentences, varying between three and 30 months, reached 48 in May alone.      MORE . . .
. . . ― (ᴀ) MILITARY  COURT  WATCH PROGRESS REPORT (with link to statistics)
. . . ― (ᴃ) PALESTINE’S  FORGOTTEN  CHILDREN
Open Democracy
Lord Norman Warner
June 3, 2016
Next year will mark the centenary of the Balfour Declaration as well as the 50th anniversary of Israel’s occupation of the West Bank. With no sign of an active peace process between the parties, here in Britain we have a historic responsibility to seriously challenge the Israeli government’s conduct in the West Bank and Gaza. On a recent visit to the West Bank, I saw powerfully for myself the need for better legal protection for young Palestinians. Without this I fear that we will engender an entire lost generation of forgotten Palestinian children.      MORE . . .  
. . . ― (c) PALESTINIAN  FAMILIES  APPEAL  FOR  RELEASE  OF  BODIES  OF  8  SLAIN  SONS
The Palestinian Information Center
June 5, 2016
An appeal was filed to the Israeli Supreme Court to push for the release of the bodies of eight slain Palestinian youths, lawyer Muhammad Alyan said Sunday. The Israeli court is expected to set a time limit for the police to release the bodies of the eight Palestinians.  MORE . . .  

A lack of political will in the oPt clearly was the single most important reason for the failure of child protection organisations to take more concerted and consistent action to deal with the causes of systematic harm to Palestinian children. . . . Governmental and intergovernmental donors, UN agencies, INGOs, and even, to varying degrees, local NGOs act in a manner that contradicts their own understanding of the real causes of the chronic vulnerability of young Palestinians to political violence. As the following quote from a Palestinian academic suggests, this understanding rarely is shared publicly but is readily voiced informally:
It’s a political protection. I mean everyone knows this, even donors. I never met a donor who doesn’t know this. But they are constrained. All of them would talk off the record. They all are constrained. They all understand the imbalance of power that is the source of all the problems . . . but they have their jobs, they work within their mandates.
[. . . . ]
While discussions about child protection continue at the global level, a fresh approach is urgently needed in the oPt. . . .  these children would demand greater consistency between global norms and the reality of action on the ground. However, if agencies are inherently incapable of responding to such aspirations then serious discussion about their continued role is needed. It is clear from the statistics on, inter alia, arrest, death, detention . . . . that the approach pursued by UN and international organisations has failed to accord proper protection to Palestinian children, in spite of the huge resources expended on meeting that stated aim over decades.

  • Hart, Jason, and Claudia Lo Forte. “Mandated To Fail? Humanitarian Agencies and the Protection of Palestinian Children.” Disasters 37.4 (2013): 627-645. [Available Online – or through EBSCO]
yooungest-prisoner
Youngest Palestinian child prisoner, Shadi Farah, 12. (Photo: Palestine Chronicle; Khabirni)

3  ISRAELIS  EVACUATED  FROM  AQSA  AS  THOUSANDS  CELEBRATE  ‘JERUSALEM  DAY’  IN  OLD  CITY
Ma’an News Agency
June 5, 2016
An Israeli court denied on Sunday a petition to bar the “Jerusalem Day” march from passing through the Muslim Quarter in occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, just as 208 right-wing Israelis entered the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound and thousands more gathered around the Western Wall to begin celebrations.
___The director of the Al-Aqsa Mosque Sheikh Omar al-Kiswani told Ma’an that 208 settlers entered Al-Aqsa through the Moroccan gate under heavy protection by Israeli police and special forces.     MORE . . .            RELATED . . .

❸ PALESTINIANS RALLY IN GAZA TO MARK 49 YEARS OF OCCUPATION
Ma’an News Agency
June 4, 2016
Palestinians in the Gaza Strip commemorated on Saturday the anniversary of the 1967 Israeli invasion and occupation of the West Bank, Gaza, Sinai, and the Golan Heights that began on June 5, a day that Palestinians refer to as the Naksa, meaning setback.
___Demonstrators at the Naksa Day rally waved Palestinian flags as they marched from the Unknown Soldier square in central Gaza City to the UNRWA headquarters, condemning Israel for its continued crimes against Palestinians.
___Hamas leader Ismail Radwan called for achieving national reconciliation in accordance with the Cairo agreement     MORE . . .  

❹ Opinion/Analysis:  KHIRBET  TANA:  THE  PROCESS  OF  DESTROYING  PALESTINE
The Jerusalem Fund
Lucian Dieterman
June 5, 2016
Incidents of Israeli settler violence are provided in the daily reports published by the Palestine Liberation Organization’s Negotiations Affairs Department. Among the nearly constant settler violations against the Palestinian Muslims worshipping at Al Aqsa mosque, on May 18, there was an entry of Israeli settlers raiding a Palestinian village named Khirbet Tana [. . . .]
___HERE  IN  LIES  THE  CORE  ISSUE  AT  STAKE:  PALESTINIAN  EXISTENCE [emphasis added]. Through the destruction of small Palestinian communities throughout the West Bank, and continued illegal settlement construction, Israel continues the goals of the Nakba: to deny Palestinian existence and erase an entire people. This is clearly ethnic cleansing.      MORE . . .   

“FROM THE DIARY OF AN ALMOST-FOUR-YEAR-OLD,” BY HANAN ASHRAWI

Tomorrow, the bandages
will come off. I wonder
will I see half an orange,
half an apple, half my
mother’s face
with my one remaining eye?
I did not see the bullet
but felt its pain
exploding in my head.
His image did not
vanish, the soldier
with a big gun, unsteady
hands, and a look in
his eyes
I could not understand.

If I can see him so clearly
with my eyes closed,
it could be that inside our heads
we each have one spare set
of eyes
to make up for the ones we lose.

Next month, on my birthday,
I’ll have a brand new glass eye,
maybe things will look round
and fat in the middle —
I’ve gazed through all my marbles,
they made the world look strange.

I hear a nine-month-old
has also lost an eye,
I wonder if my soldier
shot her too—a soldier
looking for little girls who
look him in the eye—
I’m old enough, almost four,
I’ve seen enough of life,
but she’s just a baby
who didn’t know any better.

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

“. . . A skylark sings its morning song in Tulkarim . . .” (Salem Jubran)

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Palestinians show their dogs during a dog show organized by local breeders in Gaza City, Feb. 5, 2016. (photo by REUTERS/Suhaib Salem)

❶ Gazans organize the first-ever dog show
❷ Bedouin Communities: steadfastness and struggle in defiance of displacement and ethnic cleansing
❸ PMO: Al-Qiq’s detention without trial highlights Israel’s draconian measures against Palestinians
❹ Coping with Insecurity
❺ Opinion/Analysis: EXCLUDE  AND  OBSERVE —  THE  VIOLENCE  OF  SETTLER  SOVEREIGNTY  IN  PALESTINE
❻ Poetry by Salem Jubran
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
AL-MONITOR (PALESTINE PULSE)
GAZANS  ORGANIZE  THE  FIRST-EVER  DOG  SHOW
Ahmad Abu Amer
Feb. 21, 2016
More than 100 dog breeders gathered in the Gaza Strip on Feb. 5 for a dog show. This event was the first of its kind in Gaza.
___Hundreds of Palestinian citizens attended the event for dogs and their breeders, which was held in al-Kuteiba Park, west of Gaza City, and was promoted through the Facebook group “German Shepherd Dogs in Gaza.” The group includes more than 25,000 dog breeders and dog lovers in the Gaza Strip.
___Maher Jaber, one of the organizers of the event, told Al-Monitor, “We came up with the idea after thousands of people joined the group. . . ”      More . . .
PALESTINE NEWS NETWORK
BEDOUIN  COMMUNITIES:  STEADFASTNESS  AND  STRUGGLE  IN  DEFIANCE  OF  DISPLACEMENT  AND  ETHNIC  CLEANSING
For the purpose of expanding its settler-colonial enterprise and emptying Jerusalem of its indigenous population, the Israeli government has stepped up its systematic onslaught against Palestinian Bedouin communities.
___This enterprise is labeled “E1” and targets especially occupied East Jerusalem. The construction of this area . . . started in 1999 and was built within the municipality boundaries of the illegal Israeli settlement of Ma’ale Adumim.     More . . .

1-Masuot-Yitzchak-025
Tower and stockade at Kibbutz Negba in the Negev. Built originally in 1939, tower and stockade were restored in 2009 with help from the Jewish National Fund, USA (Photo: Mondoweiss)

PALESTINE NEWS NETWORK
PMO:  AL-QIQ’S  DETENTION  WITHOUT  TRIAL  HIGHLIGHTS  ISRAEL’S  DRACONIAN  MEASURES  AGAINST  PALESTINIANS
Feb. 22, 2016
Ninety days have passed since journalist Mohammed al-Qiq went on a hunger strike to protest his arrest and administrative detention in Israeli prisons for six months without any charges filed against him.
___Al-Qiq is one of 6,800 Palestinian political prisoners held by Israel, including 660 administrative detainees and 18 journalists; many of them have been subjected to torture.  More . . .
THIS WEEK IN PALESTINE
COPING  WITH  INSECURITY
Salwa Duaibis
Feb. 2016
I always look forward with apprehension to accompanying visiting delegations to Ofer military court, where they can witness injustice in “concentrated doses.” The visits are always stark reminders of what life is like for ordinary Palestinian men, women, and children who live in the shadow of settlements, along bypass roads, or behind the wall. This time, however, I was a bit relaxed because I knew I didn’t have to convince anyone of anything or to explain the obvious, as I was accompanying two Palestinian women: my sister and a lawyer friend of mine.     More . . .
Opinion/Analysis
MONDOWEISS
EXCLUDE  AND  OBSERVE —  THE  VIOLENCE  OF  SETTLER  SOVEREIGNTY  IN  PALESTINE
Jimmy Johnson
Feb. 19, 2016
Israel is a settler colony. It is premised on the dislocation of Palestine. Israeli geographic existence and expansion is contingent upon Palestinian geographic contraction. Every five dunams of Israel is five less dunams of Palestine, what Patrick Wolfe calls a relationship of “negative articulation”. . . . When someone from Senegal buys a house in India the space does not become part of Senegal’s sovereignty, it remains India. When settlers obtain Palestinian land they remove it from Palestine and transfer it to Israel. The entire history of Zionism and Israel is this history of anti-Palestine-ing . . . .      More . . .

“THE  EXILE,”  BY  SALEM  JUBRAN
The sun seeps through barbed borders
Unheeded by the watchful squads,
And
A skylark sings its morning song in Tulkarim.
As evening comes
It sups and sleeps
Peacefully
With the birds of the kibbutzim.
A lost donkey strolls
Across the barbed borders;
It grazes peacefully,
Unheeded by the watchful squads.
But as for me, your ousted son,
My native land,
Between my eyes and your skies
Walls of the border stand.

About Salem Jubran
From: 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.
About Tulkarim

“. . . The street collapsed The clock was still on the wall . . .” (Samih Al-Qasim)

Manara_clocktower
Ottoman Clock Tower, Nablus (Photo by Tiamat). See #4 below.

❶ Analysis: The missing data on the Palestinian revolt
❷ More Than One Third of Syria’s Palestinians Have Been Displaced
❸ Military Court Watch Newsletter – January 2016: Detention figures
❹ The Ottoman legacy in Palestine
❺ Opinion/Analysis: COPING  WITH  INSECURITY
. . . . . ❺―(ᴀ)  THE  SECURITY  FORCES  OPERATING  IN  PALESTINE:  AN  OVERVIEW
❻ Poetry by Samih Al-Qasim
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Analysis
MIDDLE EAST MONITOR (MEMO)
THE  MISSING  DATA  ON  THE  PALESTINIAN  REVOLT
Ben White
Feb. 5, 2016
On Wednesday, Palestinian youths . . . attacked Israeli Border Police officers outside Damascus Gate, in Occupied East Jerusalem, killing one and wounding another. The three assailants were killed on the spot.
___With nearly daily bloodshed, most news agencies have been using ‘copy and paste’-style paragraphs to provide context for . . . .
___ . . . they all share some troubling similarities, evidence of how – even unthinkingly – coverage of an anti-colonial revolt is being distorted by a narrative that is shaped and promoted by the Israeli government and its allies.
___Israel’s assertions about Palestinian assailants are repeated . . . despite the fact that in many cases, the circumstances in which Palestinians have been killed are disputed. . . .
___Israeli forces’ use of lethal violence to suppress anti-occupation protests is barely mentioned.    More . . .
PALESTINE CHRONICLE
MORE  THAN  ONE  THIRD  OF  SYRIA’S  PALESTINIANS  HAVE  BEEN  DISPLACED
Feb 5 2016
More than one third of the 500,000 Palestinian refugees in Syria have been displaced by the ongoing conflict, a new report has revealed.
___The Action Group for Palestinian Refugees in Syria said the refugees were displaced after their camps were either subjected to air raids or caught up in clashes.
___The semi-annual report said that more than 71,200 Palestinian refugees have reached Europe after Syria’s neighbouring countries prevented them from entering their lands formally.    More . . .

yarmouk_aid_unrwa
Refugees waiting to be allowed to proceed across the front line in Yarmouk to join queue at the distribution area. (UNRWA/file)

MILITARY COURT WATCH
NEWSLETTER  –  JANUARY  2016:  DETENTION  FIGURES
According to the Israeli Prison Service (IPS), as of 31 December 2015, there were 6,066 Palestinians (West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza) held as “security prisoners” in Israeli detention facilities including 422 children. In the case of children there was a 4 per cent increase in the number compared with the previous month and an annual increase of 15 per cent compared with 2014.    More . . . 
AL-MONITOR (PALESTINE PULSE) 
THE  OTTOMAN  LEGACY  IN  PALESTINE
Aziza Nofal, Trans. Pascale Menassa
Feb. 4, 2016
In 1901, to commemorate the 25th year of enthronement of Sultan Abdul Hamid II in the Ottoman Empire, the sultan gifted 30 clock towers to the regions under the Ottoman state’s control. Palestine received seven of these, including the clock tower at the entrance to the Old City in Nablus, north of the West Bank.
___The clock tower stands today as one of the most important touristic and historical sites in the city. It still functions, and it is the central landmark of Nablus.   More . . . 
Opinion/Analysis
THIS WEEK IN PALESTINE
COPING  WITH  INSECURITY
Salwa Duaibis
Feb. 1, 2016
I always look forward with apprehension to accompanying visiting delegations to Ofer military court, where they can witness injustice in “concentrated doses.” The visits are always stark reminders of what life is like for ordinary Palestinian men, women, and children who live in the shadow of settlements, along bypass roads, or behind the wall. This time . . . [I had] to calm down my sister a bit as she kept expressing her “fear” of witnessing mothers in distress. . . I myself could not put my finger on what exactly it was that made me believe there was no reason for her to worry.    More . . .
. . . . . ❺―(ᴀ) THIS WEEK IN PALESTINE
THE  SECURITY  FORCES  OPERATING  IN  PALESTINE:  AN  OVERVIEW
TWIP Collective
Feb. 1, 2016
Security has been a cornerstone of the Oslo Accords, and . . . all peace plans, and the ongoing public discourse . . . . But the term carries different meanings . . . Palestinians view the security sector as a main element in the process of state-building and seek a full-fledged functional system that can protect them against Israeli incursion and form the basis of sovereignty. Israel wants a Palestinian security sector that is strong enough to carry out the policing required in order to secure Israel’s safety.    More . . .

Two Poems by SAMIH AL-QASIM

“THE  CLOCK  ON  THE  WALL”
My city collapsed
The clock was still on the wall
Our neighborhood collapsed
The clock was still on the wall
The street collapsed
The clock was still on the wall
The square collapse
The clock was still on the wall
The house collapsed
The clock was still on the wall
The wall collapsed
The clock
Ticked on

“THE  WILL  OF  A  MAN  DYING  IN  EXILE”
Light the fire so I can see in the mirror of the flames
The courtyard, the bridge
And the golden meadows.
Light the fire so I can see my tears
On the night of the massacre
So I can see your sister’s corpse
Whose heart is a bird ripped by foreign tongues,
By foreign winds.
Light the fires so I can see your sister’s corpse,
So I can see jasmine
As a shroud,
The moon
As an incense burner
On the night of the massacre.
Light the fire so I can see myself dying
My suffering is your only inheritance
My suffering before the jasmine turns
Into a witness
The moon
Into a witness
Light the fire so I can see
Light the fi. . .

(Written after the 1967 Arab-Israeli war and the Israeli occupation of the rest of the Palestinian territories, al-Qasim refers to the plight exiled Palestinians who lost hope of returning to their homeland.)

About Samih Al-Qasim
From: Adonis, Mahmud Darwish, Samih al-Qasim.  VICTIMS  OF  A  M AP:  A  BILINGUAL  ANTHOLOGY  OF  ARABIC  POETRY.  London: Saqi Books, 2008. Available from Amazon.

“. . . Don’t ask me to empty the sea . . .” (Fouzi El-Asmar)

ramallah christmas
Palestinians attend the Christmas tree lighting ceremony in the West Bank city of Ramallah on Dec. 13, 2011. (Xinhua/Fadi Arouri)

❶ The Grinch who stole Palestinian Christmas
❷ Israel releases Palestinian journalist held without trial or charge
❸ Israel releases suspect of Dawabsha arson murder on house arrest
❹ ‘Jews can’t be terrorists,’ Jewish Home MK says
❺ Opinion/Analysis: Letter From An Israeli Activist
❻ Poetry by Fouzi El-Asmar
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
REPORT: LIST  OF  116  PALESTINIANS  KILLED  SINCE  OCTOBER  1ST

AL-MONITOR: THE PULSE OF PALESTINE
THE  GRINCH  WHO  STOLE  PALESTINIAN  CHRISTMAS
Aziza Nofal
Dec. 10, 2015
RAMALLAH, West Bank — Activist Hekmat Bessiso recently wrote on her Facebook page, “If the birthplace of Jesus Christ does not celebrate Christmas, who in the world will? I hope Palestine remains full of lights every December. Our struggle is enduring, and this is why we should preserve our joy.”
___Bessiso’s comments were in protest of a Nov. 23 declaration by the Council of Churches of Ramallah city and municipality to cancel the annual Christmas tree lighting and limit Christmas celebrations to religious rituals because of the current unrest. It said the decision had been made out of respect for victims and the wounded. As of Dec. 8, the number of Palestinians killed during the two-month-old intifada stood at 117.
More . . .
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
ISRAEL  RELEASES  PALESTINIAN  JOURNALIST  HELD  WITHOUT   TRIAL  OR  CHARGE
Dec. 10, 201
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israeli authorities released a well-known Palestinian rights activist and journalist on Thursday after being held for 18 months under administrative detention, locals told Ma’an.
___Nidal Abu Aker, who has served a total of 14 non-consecutive years in Israeli prison, was released to his family in Duheisha refugee camp south of Bethlehem.
___Most of Abu Aker’s total internment in Israeli prison had been under Israel’s policy of administrative detention, or imprisonment without trial or charge.
More . . .
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
ISRAEL  RELEASES  SUSPECT  OF  DAWABSHA  ARSON  MURDER  ON  HOUSE  ARREST
Dec. 11, 2015
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israel on Thursday released an Israeli settler arrested for suspected involvement in a fatal arson attack on a Palestinian family in July, Israeli media reported.
___The settler, connected to a Jewish extremist organization, was arrested along with several others as a suspect in an arson that killed three members of the Dawabsha family in Duma village in the northern occupied West Bank district of Nablus.
___The suspect was reportedly released and transferred to house arrest for five days at his home in the illegal Israeli settlement of Benyamin, east of Ramallah city.
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real terrorists
Riham Dawabsha has died of injuries she sustained during an arson attack on her home in the West Bank that killed her husband and infant son on July 31, 2015.

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‘JEWS  CAN’T  BE  TERRORISTS,’  JEWISH  HOME  MK  SAYS
Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man
Dec. 10, 2015
‘When you push an entire population up against the wall, when you demonize them and trample their rights, [the situation] will explode in the end,’ the Israeli parliamentarian writes with no sense of irony.
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Related . . . WATCH:  BARBECUE  AT  THE  CHECKPOINT?  WHY  NOT
Opinion/Analysis
IMEMC NEWS
LETTER  FROM  AN  ISRAELI  ACTIVIST
Matan Kaminer – Alternative Information Center
Nov. 30, 2015
I read your open letter to Israeli activists with great shame. I do not know you personally but from your letter and your background I gather that you are one of the many Palestinians who hold a real belief in human decency, and have not entirely lost hope of finding that decency in Jewish Israelis. For many years, people like you have searched all channels of information to garner knowledge about Israeli acts of resistance against the occupation, and it used to be that such acts could be discovered. Not many, perhaps. But now it seems to me that you perk up your ears and hear nothing but a deafening silence. The least I can do is to break that silence by answering your letter, though I cannot say I bring good tidings.
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“TO  A  JEWISH  FRIEND,”  BY  FOUZI  EL-ASMAR

Don’t ask me
the impossible
Don’t’ ask me
to hunt stars,
walk to the sun.
Don’t ask me
to empty the sea
to erase the day’s light
I am nothing but a man.

Don’t ask me
to abandon my eyes, my love,
the memory of my childhood.

I was raised
under an olive tree,
I ate the figs
of my orchard
drank wine from
the sloping vineyards
Tasted Cactus fruit
in the valleys
more, more.

The nightingale has sung
in my ears
The free winds of fields and cities
always tickled me
My friend
You cannot ask me
to leave my own country. (March 1971)

El Asmar, Fouzi.  POEMS  FROM  AN  ISRAELI  PRISON.  Intro. Israel Shahak. New York: KNOW Books, 1973.
Available at Google Books.
About Fouzi El-Asmar 

pal ofer
Ofer Prison, Occupied Territories run by the Israel Prison Service. It holds 1,100 Palestinians, those under administrative detention and those who have been tried and sentenced. Among them are children. (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 5, 2015)