“. . . The branches of this land foster me . . .” (Fouzi El Azmar)

[Note from the blogger:  this blog will be published every second day beginning today.]

Selected News of the Day 

EU Slams Israel’s Settlements As “Serious Breach Of International Law”

Days of Palestine
September 18, 2019
Shortly after the Israeli government approved the establishment of a new settlement on the outskirts of Jericho city, the European Union slammed all settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, as a serious breach of international law.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙“The European Union reiterates that all settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, are illegal under international law,” said the EU spokesperson for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Maja Kocijancic in a press release.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙The EU called on Israel to “end all settlement activity and to dismantle the outposts erected since March 2001 in line with prior obligations”, the statement said.   More . . . .

Israeli Forces Destroy Over 100 Olive Trees In Northern West Bank Village

Days of Palestine
September 18, 2019
Israeli soldiers chopped  down on Wednesday scores of Palestinian-owned olive trees in Burqin village, west of the occupied West Bank district of Salfit, according to  Marwan Abdul Rahman, head of Burqin village council.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙He said soldiers chopped more than 100 olive trees in Khirbet Qarqash area located in the northeastern part of the village.  More . . . .

  • Israeli army cuts water supply to Jordan Valley village
    WAFA
    September 19, 2019
    The Israeli army today cut water supply to the village of Bardalla in the northern Jordan Valley after shutting down the water taps supplying the village with its daily water needs, according to member of Bardalla village council Darrar Daraghmeh.
    ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙He said soldiers raided the village and proceeded to shut the pipes supplying the village’s around 2000 population with their daily water needs without giving reason for this action.  More . . . .
  • Israeli Soldiers Bulldoze Palestinian Agricultural Lands Near Qalqilia And Salfit
    IMEMC-International Middle East Media Center
    September 18, 2019
    Israeli soldiers bulldozed and uprooted, Wednesday, large areas of Palestinian agricultural lands in Hijja village, east of the northern West Bank city of Qalqilia, and near Salfit in central West Bank.
    ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙Mohammad Abu Sheikh, a Palestinian Authority official who monitors Israel’s illegal colonialist activities in Qalqilia governorate, said several army bulldozers started uprooted approximately 145 Dunams of farmlands.
    ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙He added that the Israeli violation comes as part of the efforts to expand the Industrial Zone of the illegal Karnei Shomron colony, which was built on privately-owned Palestinian lands.    More . . . .
  • In a large-scale search-and-arrest campaign, Israeli forces round up 22 Palestinians in West Bank
    WAFA
    September 19, 2019  In a large-scale search-and-arrest campaign, Israeli forces detained early this morning 22 Palestinians in various areas of the occupied West Bank, including three 14-year-old minors, according to the Palestinian Prisoner Society (PPS).
    ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙It said soldiers raided the town of Abu Dis, east of Jerusalem, and detained three 14-year-old minors after raiding their family homes.   
    More . . . .

Commentary

Israelis have made their verdict clear: Benjamin Netanyahu’s time is up

The National
Jonathan Cook
September 18, 2019
For most Israelis, the general election on Tuesday was about one thing and one thing only. Not the economy, nor the occupation, nor even corruption scandals. It was about Benjamin Netanyahu. Should he head yet another far-right government, or should his 10-year divisive rule come to an end?
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙Barring a last-minute upset as the final ballot papers are counted, it is clear that Mr Netanyahu does not command a majority and could well be on his way out. . . . The difficulty is that such a coalition would depend on the support of the 13 Joint List legislators representing Israel’s large Palestinian minority. . . .   More . . . .

Poem of the Day

“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. Intro. By Israel Shahak. New York: KNOW Books, 1973.    Available from Google Books.

Support ‘Palestine Writes’, the first Palestinian Literature festival in North America
Mondoweiss
Nada Elia, September 18, 2019  More . . . .

“. . . are Palestinians any different from any other refugees . . .” (Lahab Assef Al-Jundi)

SELECTED NEWS OF THE DAY

PCHR Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (22 – 28 August 2019)

Palestinian Center for Human Rights
August 30, 2019

  • Great March of Return in Eastern Gaza Strip: 155 civilians injured, including 60 children, 2 women, and 7 paramedics.
  • West Bank: 4 civilians injured.   During 82 incursions into the West Bank: 79 civilians, including 9 children and a woman, arrested.
  • Notices to confiscate 1186 dunums in eastern Qalqiliyah for settlement expansion; a house and restaurant demolished in Bethlehem, and a Palestinian forced to self-demolish his house in occupied East Jerusalem.
  • 4 shooting incidents reported against Palestinian fishing boats off Gaza shores in addition to a limited incursion into eastern Gaza Strip.  Details . . . .    

China to donate $15 m for several projects in Palestine

WAFA
August 29, 2019
Guo Wei, ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to the State of Palestine, and Amjad Ghanem, Secretary General of Palestinian Council of Ministers, signed yesterday an agreement under which China will be donating $15 million to implement over a dozen projects in different fields in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ These fields include infrastructure, youth and entrepreneurship, women and energy, but on top of which is a project on donating $500,000 to buy school bags for Palestinian children.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ “We named it the School Bag Project,” Ghanem said, adding that about 15,000 to 20,000 new school bags bought with the Chinese donation will be offered next week to Palestinian school children in remote and poor areas in the West Bank and Gaza Strip at the start of the new school year.  More . . . .

Hamas seeks ties with other factions, Palestinian families

Palestine Pulse
Entsar Abu Jahal
August 28, 2019
The two main Palestinian factions in the Gaza Strip are growing closer, and they want the world to know. Yahya Sinwar, Hamas leader in Gaza, revealed Aug. 14 a recent high-level meeting between Hamas and Islamic Jihad political and military leaders.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Sinwar said the six-hour meeting focused on details of the factions’ resistance project and included preparations to deter Israeli aggression and discussions about developing a national action plan, the marches of return and lifting the blockade by Israel. More . . . .

Opinion: The plight of the Palestinian people is to face racism, anywhere and everywhere

The Middle East Monitor
Asa Winstanley
August 30, 2019
Seventeen-year-old Ismail Ajjawi must have been giddy with excitement when he, a Palestinian refugee living in southern Lebanon, won a major scholarship to Harvard University. . . .  Flying into Boston’s Logan International Airport, Ajjawi was detained, interrogated for hours on his political and religious beliefs, screamed at and eventually deported. . . .  After invading his privacy by forcing their way into his social media account, border officials determined that some of his online “friends” had posted “political” views which were critical of the US. This apparently made him “inadmissible” to the country, despite having been already granted a visa. . . .
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Such unjust restrictions on movement, migration, travel, study and employment frequently target many different peoples from the global south. . . . the Palestinians are an almost unique example of a particularly vulnerable, stateless population, which is subject to frequent and arbitrary global movement restrictions. . . .
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ If anything, though, Israel is a product of western imperialism, racism and anti-Semitism; the anti-Semitic view that Jewish people do not “really” belong in Europe is shared by the Zionist movement, as well as by fascists.  More . . . .

POEM OF THE DAY 

“ANY  REFUGEES  IN  THE  WORLD,”  BY  LAHAB  ASSEF  AL-JUNDI

what is the first thing that comes to mind
when you hear of refugees?
what terror trove them out of their homes?
are they getting help?
what is being done for their safe return?

are Palestinians any different from any other refugees?
is it not their simple right
to return to the land they were driven from?

why are they being asked to settle
for money?
who designated the Palestinians as the chosen people
to carry the cross for a guilt-ridden West?
why do politicians tell them
too much time has passed
when their grievance
is with people who went back after 2000 years?

between continued warfare and annihilation
coexistence beckons
as the only
honorable
demographic.

time for peace
now.

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

 

“. . . a crushed glass under the feet still shines. . .” (Naomi Shihab Nye)

img_2964-copy
Items purchased in Hebron glass blowing shop. (Photo by Harold Knight – see ** below)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .

   ISRAEL  CANCELS  ENTRY  OF  GOODS  INTO  GAZA
The Israeli army cancelled entry of dozens of trucks carrying goods into the besieged Gaza Strip, on late Monday, according to Palestinian official sources.    ____Sources confirmed that the Israeli side cancelled entry of dozens of trucks scheduled to arrive into Gaza on Tuesday; reasons of the cancellation were unknown.    ___It is noteworthy that in addition to these cancelled truckloads of goods, Qatari-funded fuel was also not allowed entry into Gaza for Gaza’s only power plant.    More . . .
. . . . Related   Egyptian  security  delegation  arrives  in  Gaza  to  complete  talks
|    IOF  DISMANTLE  SCHOOL  CARAVANS  NORTH  OF  TUBAS    On Tuesday morning, Israeli occupation forces dismantled caravans belonging to the school of the Late Marwan Majali, AKA “Tahadi (10)”, located in Khirbat “Ibiziq” area north of Tubas, northern West Bank.    ____The Director of Education Tubas Sa’ed Qabha told WAFA that the occupation dismantled two caravans as they detain the educational staff, ministry of education and students, while preventing students from entering the school.    More . . .
|    REPORT:  ISRAEL  CONTINUING  JUDAIZATION  PLANS  IN  HEBRON
Plans to Judaize the Old City of Hebron are proceeding step by step amid international silence and the American support that encourages the occupation authorities to continue their policy. Following the Ibrahimi Mosque’s massacre, the occupation authorities divided the Mosque between the Palestinians and the settlers. More than one site inside the Ibrahimi Mosque can’t be accessed by Palestinian worshipers, while settlers are allowed to use the whole place at any time.     ____For years, plans have been made to link the settlement of Qiryat Arba with other settlement blocs surrounding the Old City through demolishing and removing the Palestinian buildings from the area for a comprehensive judaization of the area extending from the settlement of Kiryat Arba to the entire Old City and Tel Rumeida.   More . . . .
. . . . Related  Palestinian  shot  dead  in  al-Khalil  [HEBRON]  over  alleged  stabbing  attack
. . . . Related  Palestinian  official:  87%  of  BETHLEHEM  lands  under  Israeli  control
. . . . Related  NGO  warns  of  property  diversion  in  occupied  JERUSALEM
. . . . Related  Ariel  settlement  guards  obstruct  traffic  at  main  entrance  to  SALFIT
. . . . Related  Israel  Army  Rolls  Into  West  Bank  [QALQILIYA]  Cracks  Down  On  Civilians

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .

|    ISRAEL’S  ASSAULT  ON  PALESTINIAN  UNIVERSITIES  IS  A  THREAT  TO  HUMAN  RIGHTS  AND  A  TRAGEDY  FOR  THIS  GENERATION  OF  STUDENTS
The fundamental right to education is enshrined in international law. Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states: “Everyone has the right to education”. . . . The challenges currently being faced by Palestinian universities mean that this universal right is being severely compromised in the occupied Palestinian territory.     ___As an occupying power, the state of Israel, is obligated to ensure that civilians under occupation are not denied their basic human rights. . .  which includes access to education.    [. . . .] Meanwhile, for decades, the education sector – schools as well as universities – has had to contend with Israel’s systematic obstruction of education, from enforced closures, campus raids, and the oppression of individual students and teachers. . .  According to Sam Bahour, a former board member of Birzeit University and co-founder Right to Enter Campaign . . . it’s important to see this assault on education as part of a broader picture of Israeli oppression of Palestinian lives and a determination to stifle the natural growth of a society.    More . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . .

(** The glass pieces came from one of the few  Hebron  glass  blower  shops  still operating in 2008. The delicate pieces I purchased, like the one in Nye’s poem,  were broken in shipping. Nye’s poem commemorates the massacre of Muslim worshipers at Ibrahimi Mosque, Hebron, 1994.)

“THE  SMALL  VASES  FROM  HEBRON,”  BY  NAOMI  SHIHAB  NYE

Tip their mouths open to the sky.
Turquoise, amber,
the deep green with fluted handle,
pitcher the size of two thumbs,
tiny lip and graceful waist.

Here we place the smallest flower
which could have lived invisibly
in loose soil beside the road,
sprig of succulent rosemary,
bowing mint.

They grow deeper in the center of the table.

Here we entrust the small life,
thread, fragment, breath.
And it bends. It waits all day.
As the bread cools and the children
open their gray copybooks
to shape the letter that looks like
a chimney rising out of a house.

And what do the headlines say?

Nothing of the smaller petal
perfectly arranged inside the larger petal
or the way tinted glass filters light.
Men and boys, praying when they died,
fall out of their skins.
The whole alphabet of living,
heads and tails of words,
sentences, the way they said,
“Ya’Allah!” when astonished,
or “ya’ani” for “I mean”—
a crushed glass under the feet
still shines.

But the child of Hebron sleeps
with the thud of her brothers falling
and the long sorrow of the color red.

“. . . What sacred verses can explain Sniper fire . . .” (Samah Sabawi)

Soldiers
Israeli snipers seen on the border with Gaza during the Great March of Return, March 30, 2018. (IDF Spokesperson)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .

|  UNRWA  DEPLORES  PALESTINE  REFUGEE  FATALITIES  AND  THE  DETERIORATING  HUMANITARIAN  CRISIS  IN  GAZA
The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) deplored in a statement on Sunday the rise in fatalities among refugee students killed in the Israeli army crackdown on March of Return . . .  and the deteriorating humanitarian crisis.        [. . . .] This latest death brings to 13 the total number of UNRWA students who have been killed since 30 March . . .   Between 31 March and 30 September, UNRWA’s 22 health centers across the Gaza Strip have provided 4,104 consultations for injuries . . .  more than 770 of which related to children. The majority of these (86 per cent) have been gunshot injuries. . . for casualties of such violence and all involved in their care, the effects are lasting; rehabilitation is often long, costly and uncertain, said the UNRWA statement.   More . . .
. . . .Related:   PCHR:  “Two  Fishermen  Arrested  and  One  of  Them  Wounded”
. . . .Related:  Egypt  opens  Rafah  crossing  after  3  days  of  closure 
. . . .RelatedPalestinians  protest  high  unemployment  in  Gaza
|  WB:  IOF  ARREST  19  PALESTINIANS,  CONTINUE  COLLECTIVE  PUNISHMENT  POLICY
Israeli occupation forces have launched a large-scale campaign of arrests, taking at least 19 Palestinian civilians throughout the West Bank and occupied Jerusalem, including raids on dozens of Palestinian homes.     ___The arrests were concentrated in Tulkarm, Nablus and Qalqiliya, where the Israeli occupation forces launched raids and searches and closed roads as a form of collective punishment, in response to the operation in Barkan settlement on Sunday, in which two Israeli settlers were killed.    More . . .
. . . . Related  Settlers  destroy  40  olive  trees  in  village  near  Ramallah
. . . .Related:  Settlers  say  they  plan  to  take  over  Palestinian  land  to  open  a  road  for  themselves
. . . .Related: Israeli  army  prevents  farmers  from  harvesting  their  olive  crops  in  Tulkarm  area

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .

|  ISRAELI  PM  SHOULD  KNOW,  ‘IT  TAKES  TWO,  NOT  THREE,  TO  TANGO!’
By Mahmoud el-Yousseph, Retired US Air Force Veteran
They say it takes two to tango, but if one of them is Benjamin Netanyahu, then you need three. . .  the Israeli Prime Minister saw fit few days ago to plead with the UN Secretary General to urge the international community to put pressure on Hamas in order to release the remains of two IOF soldiers killed in Gaza during the 2014 assault . . .  [. . . . ] Israel is currently holding the remains of 261 Palestinians. Those were people who were killed during the fighting, killed during midnight raids or at checkpoints.   More . . .

NOTICES  FROM  ORGANIZATIONS. . . .

The Jerusalem Fund for Education and Community Development  presents “THE  HISTORICAL  ROOTS  OF  CHRISTIAN  ZIONISM,  ITS  THEOLOGICAL  BASIS  AND  POLITICAL  AGENDA.”
October 24, 2018 12:00 PM.  Reverend Dr. Stephen Sizer is the founder and director of Peacemaker Trust, a charitable organization dedicated to peacemaking . . .   The Palestine Center, 2425 Virginia Avenue, NW; Washington, DC 20037 USA   Information . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . .

“GOD  FORSAKEN,”  By  SAMAH  SABAWI

  • In the aftermath of Israel’s bombardment of Gaza, codenamed Cast Lead in 2009, in which 1400 Palestinians were killed, some IDF soldiers wore t-shirts depicting a pregnant Palestinian woman with her belly in the crosshairs of a rife with the caption, “1 SHOT TWO KILLS.

What is a life worth?
A grain of earth
A drop of oil
A flag on a hill of holy soil
A cross…a star…a crescent moon…
Is it worth ending a life too soon?

What sacred verses can explain
Sniper fire. . .
And white phosphorus rain?
What Holy Scripture gave the command
“Thou shall wipe out they villages
And scorch their land”

And after the massacre
Did they lament?
Did they seek forgiveness?
Did they repent?
Did they try to sanctify their burdened souls
While besieging a people behind their walls
Or did they wear with pride their murderous skills:
A pregnant woman with a caption “1 SHOT 2 KILLS”

No rest for the less sacred, no safety, no light
No benediction no prayer no end in sight
No bread, no medicine no shelter no salvation
No angels can survive this holy Occupation

TELL ME THIS:
What is the life of a Palestinian worth,
In your God forsaken earth?

—From Palestine Chronicle.