SELECTED NEWS OF THE DAY
| ILLEGAL SETTLEMENT EXPANSION UNDERWAY AT COST OF A NORTHERN WEST BANK VILLAGE
The Israeli army razed land in Dhar al-Maleh village, southwest of Jenin in the north of the occupied West Bank, in order to expand an illegal Jewish settlement, the village’s head of council Ahmad Khatib said on Tuesday. ___He told WAFA that bulldozers started to work on 120 dunums of the village land and in the process destroyed a paved road as the military was working on expanding the illegal settlement of Shaked, built on expropriated village land. More . . .
~~ Israel plans new settlement units in Bethlehem More . . .
~~ Israeli settlements threaten to engulf West Bank communities More . . .
| QATAR DEAL EXPECTED TO BOOST PALESTINIAN TRADE
Qatar and Palestine are working to boost their bilateral trade, taking steps that one expert says will double their exchange over five years. ___The Qatar Chamber of Commerce and Industry recently signed a cooperation agreement with the Palestine Trade Center (PalTrade) to increase partnership efforts between the two countries. During a Dec. 12 meeting in Doha that was also attended by Palestinian Ambassador to Qatar Amir Ghannam as well as Qatari and Palestinian businesspeople, the two sides agreed to allow nine Palestinian food and agriculture companies to export their products to the Qatari market. More . . .
~~ Palestinian Poverty Level Almost Double Israel Average More . . .
| EIGHT PALESTINIANS KIDNAPPED BY IOF IN W. BANK
The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) at dawn Tuesday kidnapped at least eight Palestinian citizens during campaigns in the West Bank. ___The Israeli army claimed in a statement that its forces arrested eight wanted Palestinians overnight in the West Bank. ___According to local sources, the IOF kidnapped a number of citizens in Beit Ummar town. . . More . . .
~~ Israeli navy kidnaps two fishermen in Gaza waters More . . .
~~ Israeli army opens fire at Palestinians south of besieged Gaza More . . .
COMMENTARY AND OPINION
| THE GRASSROOTS MOVEMENTS IN ISRAEL-PALESTINE THAT WON 2018
Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man
+972 Magazine’s story of the year for 2018 is the protest movements that managed to beat the odds by forcing governments to revisit and even change their policies. The story of African refugees stopping their deportation from Israel, and Gazans using popular protests to make sure the world doesn’t forget about them. ___The global rise of nationalist and right-wing governments has not been particularly good for progressive movements over the past year. But two grassroots movements in Israel and Palestine, respectively, managed to push back against oppressive policies and, at least temporarily, achieve real victories on the ground. These stories are not only impressive, against-the-odds wins — they are also a reminder that the work of organizers and activists on the ground does stand a chance facing down governments, armies, and immensely powerful economic interests. More . . .
| THE UN’S VISION OF ‘PEACE’ FOR PALESTINE EXCLUDES ORDINARY PALESTINIANS
The UN is now adamant that the Palestinian Authority should return to govern the Gaza Strip. In the aftermath of Israel’s 2014 Operation Protective Edge, this hypothesis was raised by the US and has seldom been questioned, ostensibly due to other pressing factors such as delivering the necessary humanitarian aid to displaced and injured Palestinians in the besieged enclave. ___Since the Palestinian cause has become fragmented into separate issues to prevent national unity, the PA — through decisions taken by its leader Mahmoud Abbas — has slowly imposed its own sanctions on Gaza, bizarrely in the name of unity. Ths facade was dropped swiftly, though, to reveal the real reason for the sanctions; the Fatah-led PA wants to force Hamas to relinquish its political power in the enclave. Hamas, remember, won the last Palestinian elections in 2006, but has never been allowed to govern both the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. More . . .
POEM FOR THE DAY
Excerpt from “MIDNIGHT,” BY MOURID BARGHOUTI
The new day does not ask your permission to enter,
it does not ask if you are ready to receive it.
The day is impudent and selfish,
it insists on arriving every day.
You hear dawn climbing the stairs
before it breaks into your house,
the same way you hear them coming to arrest you
before they break down the door,
before you rub your eyes,
before you’re asked to have a cup of coffee
with the hyena
with the gold tooth
and heavy makeup.
As for the birds,
don’t they know that this is not the time for singing?
Here they are, singing
twittering melodies you do not understand.
May be they echo the refrain:
one more hour with you.
From: Barghouti, Mourid. MIDNIGHT AND OTHER POEMS. Trans. By Radwa Ashour. Todmorden, Lancashire, UK: Arc Books, 2008. Available from B&N.