“. . . I have sworn. . . I will not accept you occupied . . .” (Yusuf Hamdan)

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Fully armed with automatic weapons these Israeli young men are allowed to walk
local streets near Palestinian homes
where local children play in the street.
(Photo: Christian Peacemaker Teams, Oct. 1, 2018)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .

| ISRAELI  SETTLERS  SEIZE  HISTORICAL  BUILDING  IN  JERUSALEM
Israeli settlers took over a historical Palestinian building in the Aqbat Darwish neighborhood of Jerusalem’s Old City, in the central occupied West Bank, early Thursday morning.    ___. . . residents of the neighborhood were shocked by Israeli settler seizing the building in the early morning hours of Thursday.    ___Israeli settlers reportedly moved into the building, belonging to the Judeh family; the building was used as a clinic.    ___On Wednesday, Israeli settlement group Elad had taken over a Palestinian-owned property in the Silwan neighborhood of the city.  ___There are an upwards of 300,000 Israeli settlers residing in East Jerusalem, with at least 500 living in Silwan among a population of 45,000 Palestinians.   More . . .
| IN  PHOTOS:  KHAN  AL-AHMAR  PREPARES  FOR  DEMOLITION  AFTER  DECADE-LONG  BATTLE  TO  REMAIN
A tiny Palestinian Bedouin town located in the West Bank hills outside of Jerusalem is bracing for an impending eviction to make way for plans to expand an Israeli settlement. The case reached its endpoint on Monday when the deadline ordered by Israel’s high court expired on the community of Khan al-Ahmar to vacate and demolish their own homes and an elementary school.    More . . .

KA-918-7-768x513cPhotographer Thomas Dallal documented demolition preparations in Khan al-Ahmar throughout the month of September. (Photo: Mondoweiss, October 2, 2018)

| ISRAELI  FORCES  KILL  15-YEAR-OLD  PALESTINIAN,  INJURE  DOZENS  IN  GAZA
A 15-year-old Palestinian was shot and killed, while dozens of others were injured, on Wednesday evening, after Israeli forces opened fire at Palestinian protesters near the Erez crossing (Beit Hanoun) between Israel and the northern besieged Gaza Strip.    ___. . .  15-year-old Ahmad Samir Abu Habel was shot in the head by Israeli forces as he participated in protests near the Erez crossing in northern Gaza.   ___Medical sources confirmed that 24 Palestinians were shot and injured by Israeli forces . . .      More . . .
| AS  OLIVE  HARVEST  SEASON  BEGINS  IN  WEST  BANK,  ISRAELI  SETTLERS  STEAL  PALESTINIAN  CROPS
As Palestinians embark on picking their olives, considered one of the main income-generating seasons for thousands of Palestinian families in the occupied West Bank, Israeli settler were seen on Thursday stealing their olive crops.    ___According to Yehya Qadoos, head of Burin village council, settlers sneaked to land belonging to farmers in the village and stole their olive crops.   More . . .

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .

| PALESTINE  UNDER  OCCUPATION:  ONE  VILLAGE’S  RESISTANCE:  VIDEO  . . .
| US,  IN  ITS  BLIND  SUPPORT  FOR  ISRAEL,  DISPLAYS  DISDAIN  OF  INTERNATIONAL  LAW,  SAYS  FOREIGN  MINISTRY
The US Administration’s announcement of its intention to withdraw from the Additional Protocol to the Vienna Convention reaffirms the administration’s disdain towards international law and the rules-based international order, the Palestinian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Thursday.    ___“This administration is willfully disrupting and undermining the international order because of its blind support to Israel’s illegal colonial policies, thus advancing this hostile agenda at the expense of global cooperation . . .”     ___The Ministry said that “the State of Palestine has exercised its right to defend itself through legal means by resorting to the International Court of Justice on the issue of the illegal US embassy move to our capital, Jerusalem. This step was based on the compulsory jurisdiction of Court, as stipulated in Article I of the Additional Protocol.”    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.

“. . . I shall carve the record of my sufferings . . . On an olive tree. . .” (Tawfiq Zayyad)

uproot
Suspended in space: uprooting of olive trees for the expansion of Zufin, Jewish settlement in the Tulkarm district (Photo: B’Tselem/ Christoph Gocke – EAPPI)

❶ Israeli forces demolish Palestinian-owned structures in Nablus
. . . ―❶ (ᴀ) Israeli Occupation uproots 300 trees west of Hebron
. . . ―❶ (ᴃ) Israel demolishes multiple Palestinian structures in Jerusalem area
. . . ―❶ (ᴄ) Israeli forces uproot 50 olive trees as Palestinian farmer awaits court date to appeal

  • Background: “Uprooting Identities: The Regulation of Olive Trees in the Occupied West Bank.”

❷ Gaza Strip: Attacks in the Border Areas and their Consequences
❸ POETRY by Tawfiq Zayyad
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ ISRAELI  FORCES  DEMOLISH  PALESTINIAN-OWNED  STRUCTURES  IN  NABLUS
Ma’an News Agency
Aug. 17, 2016
Israeli forces on Wednesday demolished two rooms used for agricultural purposes and leveled stone walls in the villages of Khirbet al-Marajim and Qusra in the southern part of the occupied West Bank district of Nablus.
___Ghassan Daghlas, a Palestinian official who monitors Israeli settlement activities in the northern West Bank, told Ma’an that Israeli bulldozers, escorted by Israeli forces, demolished a room belonging to Tariq Dirawi in Khirbet al-Marajim.    MORE . . .  

. . . ―❶ (ᴀ) ISRAELI  OCCUPATION  UPROOTS  300  TREES  WEST  OF  HEBRON
Alray-Palestinian Media Agency
Aug. 17, 2016
Hebron. ALRAY. Israeli military bulldozers uprooted about 300 olives trees on Wednesday morning and swept lands in Oula town, West of Hebron in the south of the occupied West Bank.
___Isa Al Omla, the activist in the wall and settlements resistance, said that the Israeli bulldozers broke into Al- Najar Valley area, near the apartheid wall, and swept away some lands ( 15 acres) owned by the family of Mohammed Khalil Abdul Aziz Al Omla.  MORE . . .

. . . ―❶ (ᴃ) ISRAEL  DEMOLISHES  MULTIPLE  PALESTINIAN  STRUCTURES  IN  JERUSALEM  AREA
Ma’an News Agency
Aug. 16, 2016
Israeli forces demolished multiple Palestinian structures in the Jerusalem area on Tuesday, the same morning that Israeli-enforced demolitions left more than 70 Palestinians homeless in the Hebron and Bethlehem districts of the occupied West Bank.
___In the Jabal al-Mukabbir neighborhood of occupied East Jerusalem, bulldozers escorted by Israeli police officers and Jerusalem municipality inspectors demolished a single-room house and several outdoor walls, because the structures were built without licenses issued by the Jerusalem municipality.     MORE . . .  

Event marking Rachel Corrie's death, Qariyut, West Bank, 15.3.2
Israeli soldiers attack Palestinians during an olive tree planting commemorating (March, 2015). Corrie, an American, was killed by an Israeli military bulldozer in 2003, blocking the demolition of a Palestinian home in the Gaza Strip (Photo: Activestills.org)

. . . ―❶ (ᴄ ) ISRAELI  FORCES  UPROOT  50  OLIVE  TREES  AS  PALESTINIAN  FARMER  AWAITS  COURT  DATE  TO  APPEAL
Ma’an News Agency
Aug. 16, 2016
Israeli bulldozers uprooted more than 50 olive trees on Tuesday morning in the Palestinian village of Shufa in the northern occupied West Bank district of Tulkarem, Palestinian farmers told Ma’an, two weeks before a court hearing was scheduled to be held to appeal the Israeli-ordered confiscation of the land.
___One of the farmers, Abed Hamid, said he received a phone call from a neighbor notifying him that Israeli forces brought bulldozers to his olive tree orchard and started to uproot the trees, which were planted between 15 and 20 years ago.
___After Hamid rushed to his land, he said he witnessed Israeli forces “stealing” the majority of his trees, which were left intact.    MORE . . .    

  • Braverman, Irus. “UPROOTING IDENTITIES: THE REGULATION OF OLIVE TREES IN THE OCCUPIED WEST BANK.” Polar: Political & Legal Anthropology Review 32.2 (2009): 237-264.    FULL ARTICLE.   

Trees in general, and olive and pine trees in particular, perform a pivotal role in both the Zionist and the Palestinian national narratives. Since 1901, the Jewish National Fund (JNF) . . . has planted over 240 million trees in Israel, most of which are pines. This massive enterprise has fundamentally transformed the Israeli/Palestinian landscape. Indeed, over the years, the pine has come to be perceived as the quintessential symbol of the Zionist project . . .  If the Jewish tree is the pine, the Palestinian tree is the olive. As Ismat Shbeta, a refugee from the depopulated Palestinian village Miske, tells me in an Interview, “The olive is the Palestinian tree . . . . That’s the olive’s nationality”
[. . . .]  A fusion of humans and trees is thereby constructed: the olive embodies the Palestinian people, the green of its foliage is perceived as interchangeable with the red of their blood. However, the olive is not only a proxy witness; it also provides a model of survival for the Palestinian people. In this sense, the olive not only stands for but also speaks for the mute and uprooted Palestinian . . .
[. . . .]  Since its inception, and increasingly in the last two decades, Israel has been uprooting Palestinian olive trees. . . . . Israel’s central rationale for uprooting olive trees in the occupied territories has not been framed as punitive, or at least not explicitly so. Israel explains these uprootings, rather, as essential for its national security. First, Israel has been uprooting olives to make way for the recently built Separation Barrier. In the same vein, Israel’s Defense Forces have uprooted thousands of olive . . .  to secure roads, increase visibility, and make way for watchtowers, checkpoints. . . .
[. . . .]  In addition to the uprooting of Palestinian olive trees by the State of Israel, for the last decade or so Jewish settlers have also been targeting Palestinian trees. . . . The tree warfare conducted by the New Settlers adds another layer of meaning to the relationship between humans and trees in the occupied West Bank. . . .  the sabotage of olive trees is still an everyday occurrence in the West Bank. As a result, Palestinian access to agricultural land is frequently jeopardized.
[. . . .]   Although both the New Settlers and the human rights activists interviewed here have insisted that the Israeli/Palestinian war is not really about trees but about land, it is nonetheless clear that the emotional, cultural, ritualistic, and economic significance of the tree has been at the forefront of their actions. [Palestinians] would never have claimed that trees are unimportant in this battle. However, they also see clearly the connection between the trees and the overall power struggle over land, autonomy, identity, and power . . . .

❷ GAZA  STRIP:  ATTACKS  IN  THE  BORDER  AREAS  AND  THEIR  CONSEQUENCES
International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC
Aug. 16, 2016
Following disengagement from the Gaza Strip in September 2005, Israel unilaterally and illegally established a so-called “buffer zone”, an area prohibited to Palestinians along the land and sea borders of the Gaza Strip.
[. . . .]
Preventing Palestinians from accessing their lands and fishing areas violates numerous provisions of international human rights law, including the right to work, the right to an adequate standard of living, and the right to the highest attainable standard of health. Enforcing the “buffer zone” through the use of live fire often results in, inter alia, the direct targeting of civilians and/or indiscriminate attacks, both of which constitute war crimes.     MORE . . .

“ON  THE  TRUNK  OF  AN  OLIVE  TREE,”  BY  TAWFIQ  ZAYYAD
Because I do not weave wool,
And daily am in danger of detention,
And my house is the object of police visits
To search and “to cleanse,”
Because I cannot buy paper,
I shall carve the record of my sufferings,
And all my secrets
On an olive tree
In the courtyard
Of my house.

I shall carve my story and the chapters of my tragedy,
I shall carve my sighs
On my grove and on the tombs of my dead;
I shall carve
All the bitterness I have tasted,
To be blotted out by some of the happiness to come

I shall carve the number of each deed
Of our usurped land
The location of my village and its boundaries.
The demolished houses of its peoples,
My uprooted trees,
And each crushed wild blossom.
And the names of those master torturers
Who rattled my nerves and caused my misery.
The names of all the prisons,
And every type of handcuff
That closed around my wrists,
The files of my jailers,
Every curse
Poured upon my head.
I shall carve:
Kafr Qasim, I shall not forget!
And I shall carve:
Deir Yassin, it’s rooted in my memory.
I shall carve:
We have reached the peak of our tragedy.
It has absorbed us and we have absorbed it,
But we have finally reached it.

I shall carve all that the sun tells me,
And what the moon whispers,
And what the skylark relates,
Near the well
Forsaken by lovers.

And to remember it all,
I shall continue to carve
All the chapters of my tragedy,
And all the stages of the disaster,
From beginning
To end,
On the olive tree
In the courtyard
Of the house.

From  THE  PALESTINIAN  WEDDING:  A  BILINGUAL  ANTHOLOGY  OF  CONTEMPORARY  PALESTINIAN  RESISTANCE  POETRY.  Ed. and Trans. A. M. Elmessiri. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2011. Reprint from Three Continents Press, Inc., 1982. Available from Palestine Online Store.
About Tafiq Zayyad. 

“. . . truth needs no eloquence . . .” (Mourid Barghouti)

al-Qiq
Hunger striking Palestinian journalist Muhammad al-Qiq at Emek Medical Center in Afula, Israel, February 8, 2016. On the 83rd day without food, Al-Qiq is suffering from serious vertigo, has lost most of his sight and hearing, and can barely speak. (Photo: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

❶ Palestinian hunger-striker refuses ‘compromise’ offered by Israeli court
❷ Israeli minister calls to annex West Bank
❸ Palestinians’ access to water in 2015
❹ Israeli forces uproot 100 olive trees in Wadi Qana
. . . . . ❹―(ᴀ) Israel to Demolish Jerusalem Homes to Construct Settlement Park
❺ Opinion/Analysis: A LETTER TO OUR READERS: ON CENSORSHIP [+972 MAGAZINE]
❻ Poetry by Mourid Barghouti
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
PALESTINIAN  HUNGER-STRIKER  REFUSES  ‘COMPROMISE’  OFFERED  BY  ISRAELI  COURT
Feb. 16, 2016
Palestinian journalist Muhammad al-Qiq, on his 83rd day of hunger strike Monday, refused an Israeli court decision for his transfer to an East Jerusalem hospital, maintaining he would not end his strike until released and brought to a Palestinian hospital in the occupied West Bank . . . .
___Al-Qiq is one of at least 650 Palestinians being held by Israel under administrative detention, a practice that the UN and Amnesty International have repeatedly argued Israel uses as excessively.
___Last month, al-Qiq wrote in a letter: “They [Palestinian journalists] are now experiencing forceful and abusive detention because they have been the voice of human conscience . . . .     More . . .
THE MIDDLE EAST MONITOR
ISRAELI  MINISTER  CALLS  TO  ANNEX  WEST  BANK
Feb. 16, 2016
Israeli Education Minister and head of the Jewish Home party Naftali Bennett on Sunday called to annex Area C of the occupied West Bank, and giving the Palestinians “autonomy on steroids” in Areas A and B, Israeli YnetNews reported.
___”We have already separated from the Palestinians, they are governing themselves,” he said. “My plan is to actually give the Palestinians a sort of autonomy on steroids in Areas A and B, while in Area C, we gradually start applying our sovereignty.”   More . . .
ALTERNATIVE INFORMATION CENTER (AIC)
PALESTINIANS’  ACCESS  TO  WATER  IN  2015
Feb. 14, 2016
Thirsting for Justice finds that Palestinians’ access to water was worse in 2015 than in 1995 due to Israel’s discriminatory water regime.     More . . .

bulldozer2dop
Israeli forces, on Monday, demolished 20 Palestinian dwellings in Ein al-Rushrash, a locality to the southeast of Douma village, south of Nablus. (Photo: Days of Palestine)

See . . . 

MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
ISRAELI  FORCES  UPROOT  100  OLIVE  TREES  IN  WADI  QANA
Feb. 16, 2016
Israeli forces uprooted 100 olive trees in the Wadi Qana area west of the village of Deir Istiya in Salfit district on Tuesday amid ongoing efforts to push Palestinians out of the area, locals said.
___Farmers from Deir Istiya told Ma’an the forces arrived in Wadi Qana and uprooted the trees without prior notice.
___Soldiers then forced locals from the area in order to allow Israeli settlers to arrive there.    More . . .
. . . . .―(ᴀ) ISRAEL  TO  DEMOLISH  JERUSALEM  HOMES  TO  CONSTRUCT  SETTLEMENT  PARK
The Israeli municipality of West Jerusalem Tuesday issued eviction orders to Palestinians living near the town of Ezariya, east of Jerusalem, to establish a national park to serve illegal Israeli settlers.   More . . .
Opinion/Analysis
+972 MAGAZINE
A LETTER  TO  OUR  READERS:  ON  CENSORSHIP
Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man
Feb. 15, 2016
From military censorship to the government deciding who is and isn’t a journalist, Israeli authorities use various tools to interfere with the press. An important disclosure to our readers.
___When +972 Magazine was formed . . . its founders decided that the site would not have an editorial line or political agenda save for three common denominators to which everyone was willing to commit: human rights, opposing the occupation, and freedom of information.
___Late last month, a Facebook account belonging to Chief IDF Censor Col. Ariella Ben Avraham sent a message to +972 Magazine and dozens of new media news sites, blogs and Facebook accounts detailing “the obligation to submit to the censor [for prior review] items relating to security.”   More . . .

TWO  POEMS  BY  MOURID  BARGHOUTI

PRISON

Man said:
blessed are the birds in their cages
for they, at least,
know the limits
of their prisons.

SILENCE

Silence said:
truth needs no eloquence,
After the death of the horseman,
the homeward-bound horse
says everything
without saying anything.

From Barghouti, Mourid. MIDNIGHT  AND  OTHER  POEMS. Trans. Radwa Ashour. Todmorden, UK: Arc Publications, 2008. Available from Amazon.