“. . . Tank shells and small-arms fire and their hatred, all these roll . . .” (Uthman Hussein)

The Sea of Galilee near the Church of the Multiplication (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 9, 2015)

❶ UN appeals for funding to address ‘spiraling’ humanitarian crisis in Gaza
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Cancer patient dies in Gaza after being denied treatment abroad
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴃ) Egypt supplying fuel to rescue Palestinians

Background: “Countdown to the Next Chernobyl–Gaza.” Washington Report on Middle East Affairs.

❷ Israeli court finds right-wing extremist guilty in 2015 church arson
❸ A memorial service for a dead settler from Hebron at Al-Aqsa Mosque
❹ POETRY by Uthman Hussein
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Ma’an News Agency
July 3, 2017.   United Nations humanitarian organizations in the occupied Palestinian territory appealed on Monday for funding to address the “spiraling” situation in the besieged Gaza Strip.
___According to a statement published by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the agencies requested some $25 million in funding during a meeting with diplomats in Jerusalem.
___The additional funding would seek to “mitigate the effects of deep power cuts and lack of fuel” that have severely affected Gaza’s infrastructure — such as water treatment plants and sewage systems — and its health sector, the statement said
___The funding would also help assist some 100,000 food-insecure families, the OCHA statement added.   MORE . . .
Al Hourriah Magazine (Freedom) 
July 4, 2017.  The Gaza Ministry of Health announced on Monday the death of a citizen suffering from cancer due to Israel’s procrastination in allowing him to receive treatment outside the Gaza Strip.
___Spokesman of the Ministry Ashraf al-Qedra said that the Israeli authorities have been procrastinating for 20 days in transferring Jameel Tafesh, 60, who was suffering from liver cancer, to a hospital in the 1948 occupied Palestinian territories.   MORE . . .
Al-Monitor (Palestine Pulse)   
Mohammed Othman
July 3, 2017.  The diesel fuel Egypt has supplied to the Gaza Strip is but a drop in the bucket toward easing Gaza’s power crisis, but there is hope the gesture might signal a thaw in Egypt’s relations with the Hamas-run Gaza government and possibly open the flow of trade.
___Egyptian authorities opened the Rafah border crossing to the Gaza Strip June 21-24 to allow in Egyptian industrial diesel for Gaza’s sole power plant, which has been offline more than two months. Since then, the plant has received intermittent deliveries of Egyptian diesel fuel through the Rafah crossing.   MORE . . .  

Abood, Jeffery. “COUNTDOWN  TO  THE  NEXT  CHERNOBYL –GAZA.” Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, vol. 35, no. 5, Aug/Sep2016, pp. 1-5.
Gaza is home to 1.9 million people, over a million of whom are children. According to the CIA Factbook, only 19 other territories (out of 229) have a younger median age. Last year, a United Nations report warned that the Gaza Strip, the place these children call home, “could become uninhabitable by 2020, if current economic trends persist.” By the time we are inundated with the next round of presidential election ads, Gaza could very well have become uninhabitable, unable to support human life–thus joining the list of other uninhabitable areas of the world, including the Arctic, Death Valley and Chernobyl.
___Why will one of the most densely populated areas on earth soon to be designated, like the city of Chernobyl, as unable to sustain life? It will not be due to some nuclear accident or natural disaster. It will, instead, be uniquely by design.
___According to a June 2016 U.N. report, “Fragmented Lives,” “the major drivers of humanitarian vulnerability in the oPt were directly linked to Israel’s protracted occupation.” In 2015, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) warned that “short of ending the blockade [we cannot] reverse the ongoing de-development and impoverishment in Gaza.” According to UNCTAD, this “de-development” is a process by which development is not merely hindered but reversed. A state of “de-development” requires control of all the aspects that contribute to a normal life. Keeping a population captive, while never allowing their situation to improve, denies them the ability to live, grow and thrive.    FULL ARTICLE . . .

Ma’an News Agency
July 3, 2017.  A far-right Israeli extremist was found guilty on Monday in a 2015 arson attack targeting the famous Church of Multiplication in northern Israel, Israeli media reported.
___According to Israeli newspaper Haaretz, 22-year-old Yinon Reuveni was found guilty of all charges after torching the church, believed to be the site where Jesus Christ performed the miracle of multiplying fishes and loaves of bread, in June 2015.
___The church only reopened in February of this year after undergoing extensive repairs following the fire.
___Reuveni had also been charged in 2016 for committing acts of violence against Palestinians, Ynet noted, whereas Haaretz quoted Shin Bet sources as claiming that Reuveni had been involved in other arson attacks against mosques.   MORE . . .

Church of the Multiplication. Damage from firebomb thrown by right-wing Israeli terrorist Yinon Reuveni (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 9, 2015)

Wadi Hilweh Information Center – Silwan
June 29, 2017.
Dozens of settlers broke into Al-Aqsa Mosque on Thursday morning as a group of them conducted a memorial service on the first anniversary of the death of Halil Yafa; a settler from Kiryat Arba’ settlement in Hebron.
___The Islamic Awqaf department said that 123 settlers broke into Al-Aqsa Mosque on Thursday morning through Dung Gate which is controlled by the occupation authorities since the occupation of the city of Jerusalem. Settlers carried out a tour inside the courtyards of Al-Aqsa while one group 970 settlers) including the mother of Halil Yafa (member of the Alleged Temple groups) and the Chief of Police in Jerusalem as well as senior police officers and Special Forces personnel conducted a memorial service for Halil.   MORE . . .


I have to go, I said: I have to. The barbarians are besieging time and place, besieging this rapid breathing in the side-alleys of frustration’s long journey. Explosions ripple, fear controls the situation. Justified and upstanding fear in the face of history at a great crossroads. They monitor us and we monitor them and we besiege their glory with our weakness. Tank shells and small-arms fire and their hatred, all these roll before the demolition machines.
I will go now. Many children, half asleep and stumbling and falling as you hurry them from their houses at the hour of dawn. Houses that will be leveled like accusations in just a moment. A father carries his children and rushes like a missile out of what will shortly be a pile of cement, oh if he didn’t draw back from you a moment, he would still be Ahmed al-Munsi under the pile which his house became, as if I had an appointment with justified forgetting as well. The hour of dawn passes and shells pound the dilapidated house and the demolition machine bears down on the overwhelmed blocks of the camp in their misery. . . .     COMPLETE POEM . . .

Uthman Hussein is the founder and editor-in-chief of the Palestinian cultural magazine Ashtar. He lives in Rafah in Gaza.
From A BIRD IS NOT A STONE: AN ANTHOLOGY OF CONTEMPORARY PALESTINIAN POETRY. Ed. by Henry Bell and Sarah Irving. (Glasgow: Freight Books, 2014) –available from Barnes & Noble.

Further reading about the situation in Gaza:
Bouris, Dimitris. “The Vicious Cycle Of Building And Destroying: The 2014 War On Gaza.” Mediterranean Politics 20.1 (2015): 111-117.       SOURCE . . .
Hartley, Delinda C. “What Looms Ahead for the Forgotten Heroes of Gaza?.” Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, vol. 34, no. 3, May 2015, pp. 16-74.
Macintyre, Donald. “Life among the Ruins. (Cover Story).” New Statesman, vol. 143, no. 5221, 08 Aug. 2014, pp. 22-27.     FULL ARTICLE . . .



“. . . fed up with humiliation of living there. . .” (Harun Hashim Rasheed)

Monday, Aug. 4, 2014, a Palestinian woman passes by rescuers inspecting the rubble of destroyed houses following Israeli strikes in Rafah refugee camp, southern Gaza Strip. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)

❶ On 10th anniversary of siege, Gaza reaching humanitarian and political breaking point
. . . . . ❶― (ᴀ) Gaza braces itself for ‘collapse’ after Israel approves reduction of electricity supply
. . . . . ❶― (ᴃ) PLO Ashrawi condemns Netanyahu’s call to shut down UNRWA

  • BACKGROUND:  One million Palestinian refugees in 8 Gaza Strip camps

❷ MOH warns of stopping heart catheter in Gaza

  • BACKGROUND: Shalev G. “A Doctor’s Testimony: Medical Neutrality and the Visibility of Palestinian Grievances in Jewish-Israeli Publics.”
  • HISTORICAL NOTE:  Zunes, Stephen. “The Gaza War, Congress and International Humanitarian Law.”

❸ POETRY by Harun Hashim Rasheed (b. 1927, Gaza)
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Ma’an News Agency
Chloe Benoist
June 15, 2017        As the Gaza Strip marked the ten-year anniversary of Israel’s siege of the small Palestinian enclave on Thursday, the humanitarian situation has continued to alarm rights groups, which have denounced the “inhuman conditions unparalleled in the modern world.”
___Gaza, which has often been compared to an “open air prison” for its 1.9 million inhabitants crowded into 365 square kilometers, has suffered from a decade of isolation and deprivation, made all the worse by three devastating Israeli military operations, and persistent intra-Palestinian political strife.
___The recent decision by the Palestinian Authority (PA) to request that Israel reduce its supply of electricity to the Gaza Strip has made many fear that the situation in Gaza could soon reach a political and humanitarian breaking point with unforetold consequences.     MORE . . .
Ma’an News Agency 
June 12, 2017       The Israeli security cabinet has approved a 40 percent reduction in Israel’s electricity supply to the besieged Gaza Strip, where Palestinians are already coping with a crippling power crisis and daily, hours-long blackouts, according Israeli media reports.
___While Gaza’s electricity company said it had not received an official order regarding the impending power cut, it called upon Palestinians in Gaza to prepare for the worst, while human rights groups urged Israel to reconsider the move — expected to have immediate and disastrous effects on the medical sector in particular.
___The approval came after Israeli authorities announced plans to make the cuts last month, upon request of the Palestinian Authority (PA) in occupied West Bank, which foots Gaza’s monthly electricity bill from Israel, by subtracting from taxes collected by Israel on behalf of the PA.     MORE . . .     
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA  
June 16, 2017         PLO Executive Committee Member Hanan Ashrawi strongly condemned Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s demand to shut down the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).
___”Netanyahu’s call to disband UNRWA is the epitome of arrogance, particularly since Israel itself is responsible for creating the Palestinian refugee problem,” Said Ashrawi in a press statement issued on Thursday.
___The statement said Israeli government bears a moral and legal responsibility for Palestinian refugees and the serious injustices of the past.
___“It should not be permitted to defame or slander UNRWA which still remains a lifeline for millions of Palestinian refugees residing in Occupied Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria, providing them with essential services, assistance and opportunities for work, growth and development.”

  • BACKGROUND:   ONE  MILLION  PALESTINIAN  REFUGEES  IN  8  GAZA  STRIP  CAMPS          May 16, 2013    Alray-Palestinian Media Agency      The Gaza Strip is home to more than 1.1 million registered refugees, of which more than half a million live in the eight refugee camps established by UNRWA.
    ___The refugee camps have one of the highest population densities in the world.  The blockade on Gaza has had a devastating impact on refugees across the Gaza Strip, including those living in camps.  Unemployment continues to be at unprecedented levels particularly affecting young people in Gaza.     MORE . . .

Alray-Palestinian Media Agency    
June 15, 2017       The head of cardiac catheterization at Al-Shifa Medical Compound, Mohammad Habib, warned that the cardiac catheter service will be stopped in the coming weeks if the basic items are not supplied, confirming that the department uses only sterile tools.
___Habib said that many of the basic types were run out, such as pharmacological blockers, pacemaker of various types, and catheterization of the arteries.
[. . . .] He pointed out that the cases are now transferred to treatment abroad, such as catheter therapy for the heart and peripheral arteries, due to stopping the remittances.    [. . . .] the heart catheter section at Al-Shifa carries out 1500 operations every year, an average of 150 operations a month between diagnosis and treatment.       MORE . . .

  • BACKGROUND: Shalev G. “A Doctor’s Testimony: Medical Neutrality and the Visibility of Palestinian Grievances in Jewish-Israeli Publics.” Culture, Medicine & Psychiatry [serial on the Internet]. (2016, June), 40(2): 242-262.     Abstract:   This paper follows the testimony of Izzeldin Abuelaish, a Palestinian physician who bears witness to his experiences working, living, and suffering under Israeli rule. He presents his story as a doctor’s story, drawing on his identity as a medical professional to gain credibility and visibility and to challenge the limited legitimacy of Palestinian grievances. . . .  at once recounts the suffering and loss endured by the Palestinian people and also struggles to negotiate the values associated with being a ‘‘reliable’’ witness. . .   In comparison with most Palestinian narratives, Abuelaish’s testimony achieved an extremely rare degree of visibility and sympathy, a phenomenon that calls out for analysis. I identify the boundaries that typically render Palestinian grievances invisible to Israeli publics and suggest how medicine’s self-proclaimed ethos of neutrality served as a channel for crossing them. . . .   the political possibilities and limitations of medical witnessing to render suffering visible and arouse compassion toward those construed as a dangerous/enemy Other.        SOURCE:     RELATED . . .

  • HISTORICAL NOTE:  Zunes, Stephen. “The Gaza War [2008-2009], Congress and International Humanitarian Law.”  Middle East Policy, vol. 17, no. 1, Spring2010, pp. 68-81.       Support for the impending war began months earlier, in June 2008, when 77 senators — including future Secretary of State Hillary Clinton — signed a letter . . .  to President George W. Bush defending Israeli air strikes on the heavily populated Gaza Strip. The letter also urged the Bush administration to block any UN Security Council resolution critical of Israel, claiming that UN opposition to Israeli attacks against crowded urban areas constituted a refusal to “acknowledge Israel’s right to self-defense.”      ___An almost identical letter in the House, drafted by House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD). . .  received 268 signatures. Americans for Peace Now (APN), a liberal Zionist group, warned that these letters were designed to build “a defense, in advance, for a large Israeli military offensive in Gaza.” APN, among others, also noted that such an Israeli offensive against the Gaza Strip would likely result in large-scale civilian casualties.
    ___In apparent anticipation of such a scenario, the House of Representatives had passed a resolution that March, during an upsurge of fighting between Hamas militiamen and Israeli forces, which claimed, “Those responsible for launching rocket attacks against Israel routinely embed their production facilities and launch sites amongst the Palestinian civilian population, utilizing them as human shields.” . . . .   However, human-rights groups monitoring the situation at that time noted that, while Hamas had failed to take all feasible precautions to protect civilians in the densely populated Gaza Strip, they found no instances of the use of human shields by Hamas. (Footnote: Interview, Joe Stork, Middle East division, Human Rights Watch, June 18, 2008.)       ARTICLE . . .

Government ministry buildings destroyed by an Israeli airstrike on December 30, 2008 in Gaza City, Gaza Strip. (Photo Credit: Abid Katib/Getty Images)

Let it be known:
there will be no peace.
because the lodgers in the tents
have become fed up with humiliation of
living there,
become tired of suffering, misery and illness,
bored with the death creeping in their bones,
sick of life itself,
because they are homeless,
walking in darkness.