“. . . the stars were named by people like us . . .” (Naomi Shihab Nye)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .

WASTEWATER  REUSE  PROJECT  LAUNCHES  IN  RAMALLAH  CITY 
American Near East Refugee Aid (Anera) recently launched a wastewater reuse project to conserve scarce drinking water in the central occupied West Bank city of Ramallah.    ­­­___Anera said in a press release that the project is expected to be completed by May 2020 and that it will protect the water supply by facilitating the reuse of 240,000 cubic meters (63,401,292 gallons) of wastewater annually.   [. . . .] The project, funded by the Jim Pattison Foundation, the Vitol Foundation and the Ramallah Municipality, will also increase the amount of potable water available for human consumption and domestic use in Ramallah City by 300 cubic meters (79,251 gallons) per day.   More . . .

ISRAELI  FORCES  DEMOLISH  HOME  IN  RAMALLAH-DISTRICT  VILLAGE
Israeli forces Thursday demolished a Palestinian home under construction in RANTIS VILLAGE, northwest of the central West Bank city of RAMALLAH, said local sources.    [. . . .]  Meanwhile, Israeli forces delivered a demolition notice to a Palestinian home in AL-WALAJA VILLAGE, northwest of the southern West Bank city of Bethlehem.   [. . . .]  Almost 88 percent of RANTIS and 97 percent of AL-WALAJA, mainly agricultural land, were classified as Area C, which falls under the full Israeli control and where Israel refuses to permit virtually any Palestinian construction, forcing many Palestinians to embark on construction without a permit to shelter their families.   ___Since its occupation in 1967, along with the rest of the West Bank, Israel has seized most of the lands belonging to both villages for the construction of settlements, bypass roads and the apartheid wall . . .   More . . .

TEEN  KILLED,  THREE  INJURED  BY  ISRAELI  GUNFIRE  IN  RAFAH      Israeli soldiers on Wednesday night killed a Palestinian teenager and wounded others as they were rallying in a border area to the east of Rafah in southern Gaza.   ___A reporter for the Palestinian Information Center (PIC) said that the kid was critically injured in the head by Israeli gunfire and succumbed to his injury later.      More . . .

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .

[ISRAEL]  TELLS  HIGH  COURT:  WE  CAN  ANNEX  THE  WEST  BANK,  INTERNATIONAL  LAW  BE  DAMNED      August 7th, the state’s private attorney Harel Arnon submitted a second brief [Hebrew] to the High Court of Justice in defense of the settlement “Regulation Law.” In it he argues that the Knesset is not bound by international law and has the right to apply its own laws outside of its borders and annex land, if it wishes.
Arnon argues:
“The mere application of a certain Israeli norm [law] to an anonymous place outside the state does not necessarily make that anonymous place part of Israel. The Knesset is not restricted from legislating extra-territorially anywhere in the world, including in the region, the Knesset can legislate in Judea and Samaria.”  The brief also argues

NOTICES  FROM  ORGANIZATIONS. . . .

ANERA   American  Near  East  Refugee  Aid    For 50 years, Anera has helped refugees and others hurt by conflicts in the Middle East live with dignity and purpose. Anera, which has no political or religious affiliation, works on the ground with partners in the West Bank, Gaza, Lebanon and Syria. We mobilize resources for immediate emergency relief and for sustainable, long-term health, education, and economic development.  Website . . .    50th Anniversary Dinner

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

“HOW  PALESTINIANS  KEEP  WARM,”  BY  NAOMI  SHIHAB  NYE  (B.  1952)

Choose one word and say it over
and over, till it builds a fire inside your mouth.
Adhafera*, the one who holds out, Alphard*, solitary one,
the stars were named by people like us.
Each night they line up on the long path between worlds.
They nod and blink, no right or wrong
in their yellow eyes. Dirah*, little house,
unfold your walls and take us in.

My well went dry, my grandfather’s grapes
have stopped singing. I stir the coals,
my babies cry. How will I teach them
they belong to the stars?
They build forts of white stone and say, “This is mine.”
How will I teach them to love Mizar*, veil, cloak,
to know that behind it an ancient man
is fanning a flame?
He stirs the dark wind of our breath.
He says the veil will rise
till they see us shining, spreading like embers
on the blessed hills.

Well, I made that up. I’m not so sure about Mizar.
But I know we need to keep warm here on earth
And when your shawl is as thin as mine is, you tell stories.

–From Naomi Shihab Nye, RED SUITCASE,  1994.

*Adhafera, a third-magnitude star in the constellation of Leo, the lion
*Alphard, Heart of the Snake in constellation Hydra
*Dirah, Star–Seed or Branch. Symbolically called the Abused or Beaten One
*Mizar, With its fainter companion star Alcor a double star

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

IMG_3567
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
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
UN  APPEALS  FOR  FUNDING  TO  ADDRESS  ‘SPIRALING’  HUMANITARIAN  CRISIS  IN  GAZA 
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 . . .
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) CANCER  PATIENT  DIES  IN  GAZA  AFTER  BEING  DENIED  TREATMENT  ABROAD    
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 . . .
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴃ) EGYPT  SUPPLYING  FUEL  TO  RESCUE  PALESTINIANS 
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 . . .

❷ ISRAELI  COURT  FINDS  RIGHT-WING  EXTREMIST  GUILTY  IN  2015  CHURCH  ARSON 
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 . . .

IMG_3575
Church of the Multiplication. Damage from firebomb thrown by right-wing Israeli terrorist Yinon Reuveni (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 9, 2015)

❸ A  MEMORIAL  SERVICE  FOR  A  DEAD  SETTLER  FROM  HEBRON  AT  AL-AQSA  MOSQUE
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 . . .

“CAMP  BLOCK  5,”  BY  UTHMAN  HUSSEIN

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.
FULL ARTICLE . . .
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)

Mideast-Gaza-Trapped-_sham-1-512x349
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)
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ ON  10TH  ANNIVERSARY  OF  SIEGE,  GAZA  REACHING  HUMANITARIAN  AND  POLITICAL  BREAKING  POINT  
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 . . .
. . . . . ❶― (ᴀ) GAZA  BRACES  ITSELF  FOR  ‘COLLAPSE’  AFTER  ISRAEL  APPROVES  REDUCTION  OF  ELECTRICITY  SUPPLY
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 . . .     
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴃ) PLO  ASHRAWI  CONDEMNS  NETANYAHU’S  CALL  TO  SHUT  DOWN  UNRWA         
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 . . .

gaza map❷ MOH  WARNS  OF  STOPPING  HEART  CATHETER  IN  GAZA
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 . . .

gaza2008
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,”  BY  HARUN  HASHIM  AL RASHID (b. 1927, Gaza)
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.
–Source
 About HARUN HASHIM AL RASHID

 

 

“. . . the international community decided to intervene negatively, and thus began the tragedy of Palestine . . .” (Hanan Ashrawi)

un_assembly_vote
The UN passing Resolution 181, Nov. 29, 1947 (Stock photo online)

❶ . Ashrawi: Partition is a historical concession, and solidarity should be an active engagement
❷ . Egyptian power line malfunctions, parts of southern Gaza left without electricity

  • Background:  “The Energy Poverty Nexus In The Middle East And North Africa.” OPEC Energy Review

❸ . Israeli forces enter southern Gaza Strip, level lands
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ . ASHRAWI:  PARTITION  IS  A  HISTORICAL  CONCESSION,  AND  SOLIDARITY  SHOULD  BE  AN  ACTIVE  ENGAGEMENT  
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA     
Nov. 29, 2016
In marking on Tuesday the 69th anniversary of the adoption of UN General Assembly Resolution 181 (the Partition Plan)  and the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, PLO Executive Committee Member Hanan Ashrawi said: “This anniversary marks an occasion in which the international community decided to intervene negatively, and thus began the tragedy of Palestine.”
___She said in a statement that “[a]lthough the Partition Resolution itself gives the international community the right and power to take action against any party that is responsible for attempts that constitute ‘any threat to the peace, breach of the peace, or act of aggression’ and alter ‘by force the settlement envisaged by [the] resolution,’ it has repeatedly failed to do so or to hold Israel to account.”       More . . .  
Related:  Jeremy R. Hammond. “The Myth of the Creation of Israel.” Foreign Policy Journal. Oct. 26, 2010.

❷ . EGYPTIAN  POWER  LINE  MALFUNCTIONS,  PARTS  OF  SOUTHERN  GAZA  LEFT  WITHOUT  ELECTRICITY     
Ma’an News Agency
Nov. 29, 2016
Parts of the southern Gaza Strip were left without electricity on Tuesday morning, after a main Egyptian line feeding southern Gaza malfunctioned hours after it was reported as fixed.
___Spokesman for the Gaza Electricity Company Muhammad Thabet confirmed to Ma’an that an Egyptian electricity line known as ‘Gaza 2’ malfunctioned on Tuesday morning, causing outages across the southern besieged coastal enclave.
___He pointed out that the line was fixed on Monday evening after it, along with an Israeli power line, had been damaged on Wednesday.
[. . . .]  Even at full capacity, Egyptian and Israeli electricity grids, together with Gaza’s sole power plant, fail to cover the Gaza Strip’s energy needs and only provide energy to Gaza’s inhabitants for eight hours each day.        More . . .

  • El-Katiri, Laura. “The Energy Poverty Nexus In The Middle East And North Africa.” OPEC Energy Review 38.3 (2014): 296-322.     SOURCE.

In part of the [Middle East and North Africa], the persistence of energy poverty does not stem from a lack of government attention, underinvestment, geographical factors or low incomes. Rather, it is driven by socio-political instability, whether short-term or ongoing. Little is known about the scope and duration of conflict-driven energy poverty, especially in the case of conflicts that result in years of instability and a lack of effective domestic institutions. The consequences must nevertheless be seen as severe for local populations, adding to socioeconomic neglect that in turn perpetuates and feeds into social conflict. The Arab–Israeli conflict is a case in point. The conflict caused hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees to settle in the Gaza strip and camps in Jordan and Lebanon, where many of them ended up spending decades in provisional housing, often with little if any access to electricity and sewage. There are no available data on electricity service rates in the West Bank and Gaza, but official Israeli reports estimated operating rates at the Gaza Strip’s sole power station’s 20 per cent of capacity at end of 2012, suggesting significant undersupply of Gazan households (Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 2012***).
***Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 2012. The humanitarian situation in Gaza. 18 November 2012.

(A journal article justifying Israel’s economic and humanitarian treatment of Gaza.)
Meisels, Tamar. “Economic Warfare – The Case Of Gaza.” Journal Of Military Ethics 10.2 (2011): 94-109.

❸ . ISRAELI  FORCES  ENTER  SOUTHERN  GAZA  STRIP,  LEVEL  LANDS
Ma’an News Agency 
Nov. 29, 2016
Israeli military vehicles escorted several bulldozers into the southern Gaza Strip on Tuesday morning, where they leveled Palestinian agricultural fields.     ___Witnesses told Ma’an that five military bulldozers escorted by military vehicles crossed the border fence in the eastern outskirts of the town of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, “and carried out earthworks near the border fence.”        More . . . 

power
The Egyptian power plant that provides electricity to parts of the southern Gaza, Jan. 29, 2016 (Photo: Ma’an News Agency)

 

“. . . their dignity sets them free . . .” (Samah Sabawi)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Israeli street blockade, Hebron, November 17, 2012. (Photo: marthiemombergblog)

❶ Israeli forces raid Yatta [Hebron] after more than 40 days of blockade
. . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Israeli army bulldozers, jeeps, drones enter southern Gaza
❷ Netanyahu [inspecting new wall in Hebron]: Barrier in South Hebron Hills important for Israel’s security

  • background From Postcolonial Studies

❸ Opinion/Analysis:  WHAT  REALLY  DELAYED  UNESCO  VOTE  ON  JERUSALEM?
❹ POETRY by Samah Sabawi
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ ISRAELI  FORCES  RAID  YATTA  AFTER  MORE  THAN  40  DAYS  OF  BLOCKADE
Ma’an News Agency
July 21, 2016
Israeli forces raided several homes in the southern occupied West Bank town of Yatta early Thursday, as the army maintained its weeks-long blockade of municipalities in the Hebron district.
___A coordinator of a popular committee in the southern West Bank, Rateb al-Jbour, said that Israeli forces raided central Yatta and searched the houses of two Palestinian security officer, identified as Majdi Moussa al-Shreiqi and Ahmad Moussa al-Shreiqi, the latter reportedly a former prisoner detained by Israel.     MORE . . .
. . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) ISRAELI  ARMY  BULLDOZERS,  JEEPS,  DRONES  ENTER  SOUTHERN  GAZA
Ma’an News Agency
July 21, 2016
Several Israeli army bulldozers entered the southern Gaza Strip on Thursday morning, locals said.
___Witnesses told Ma’an that four Israeli bulldozers coming from the al-Matbaq Gate entered 50 meters into eastern Rafah City, escorted by four military jeeps as drones flew overhead [. . . .]
___Israeli military incursions inside the besieged Gaza Strip and near the “buffer zone” which lies on both land and sea sides of Gaza, have long been a near-daily occurrence. MORE . . .

❷ NETANYAHU  [inspecting  new  wall  in  Hebron]:  BARRIER  IN  SOUTH  HEBRON  HILLS  IMPORTANT  FOR  ISRAEL’S  SECURITY
The Jerusalem Post
Herb Keinon
July 20, 2016
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu inspected the construction work being done on a new security barrier in the South Hebron Hills area on Wednesday, saying completing it was important for the country’s security.
___“We said that we will close the breaches,” he said. “We will prevent illegal residents and attackers from reaching Israel’s cities.”     MORE . . .
RELATED . . .   NETANYAHU  VISITS  CONSTRUCTION  SITE  OF  NEW  SEPARATION  BARRIER  IN  HEBRON.  Ma’an News Agency  

From Postcolonial Studies
The security barrier was a unilateral Israeli decision. The policy decision to build the barrier nonetheless entailed considerable internal negotiations involving competing political parties and leaders. The resulting compromise gained broad popular and institutional support. Palestinian and international opposition to the barrier has been firm, based in large part on Israel’s placement of sections of the barrier within the Green Line so as to protect Jewish Israel has stated repeatedly that the barrier does not represent a final political border, but it does suggest an initial bid. This was one reason that the Israeli government responded negatively to American president Barack Obama’s declaration of pre-1967 borders as an initial point of negotiation.
___While the international legitimacy of the barrier has not been recognized, its effectiveness has. Thus, it is unlikely that Israel will dismantle the barrier or place it wholly on its side of the Green Line. Legal challenges within Israel have led to a process of internal negotiation among the civil society, the judiciary, and the executive on the exact placement of the barrier — but not on its continued existence. It is unlikely that final status negotiations will include complete Israeli withdrawal from all the West Bank territory won in the 1967 War. The clause of Resolution 242 emphasizing Israel’s right to ‘‘live in peace within secure and recognized borders’’ strongly suggests that Israel will seek to incorporate the security barrier formula into any final status agreements.

  • Lee, Christopher J. “Beyond Analogy: Bare Life In The West Bank.” Postcolonial Studies 16.4 (2013): 374-387.
netanyahu
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu flies plane over West Bank. (Photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)

❸ Opinion/Analysis: WHAT  REALLY  DELAYED  UNESCO  VOTE  ON  JERUSALEM?
Mondoweiss
Daoud Kuttab
July 20, 2016
Despite the Israelis’ initial claims that their efforts have partially succeeded in shelving a pro-Palestinian vote at UNESCO, the story that is emerging now is quite different. Palestinian and Arab officials say the delay in the vote that had been planned for July 20 in Istanbul was postponed due to the failed coup attempt in Turkey.
___Omar Awadallah, the director of UN activities at the Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, told Al-Monitor that UNESCO had postponed voting on all resolutions, not just the one on extending the declaration that Jerusalem’s Old City meets UNESCO’s criteria for being endangered. “Due to the security uncertainty connected to the failed coup in Turkey, UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee decided to postpone all decisions until it meets again in Paris in October,” said Awadallah.      MORE . . .   

“DEFYING THE UNIVERSE,” BY SAMAH SABAWI

Are your loved ones trapped behind the wall
Do they need the army’s permission
For their prayers to reach the sky
For their love to cross the ocean
And touch your thirsty heart
Are your loved ones trapped

Do you yearn to be in your family home
And when you call, do they always say
“we are fine, alhamdollelah”
Does it surprise you that they are whole
While you… are broken|
Must they always worry about you
Urge you to have faith in your exile
Must they always pity you
For not breathing the air
Of your ancestors’ land
Must they always comfort you
Even when the bombs are falling
Do you ever wonder who is walled in
Is it you…or is it them
And when it finally dawns upon you
That their dignity sets them free
Do you feel ashamed of your liberty

About Samah Sabawi  
From: Valentine, Douglas. “Poetry, Palestine and the Language of Resistance.” Counterpunch. September 20, 2013.

“. . . whose planes bombard children’s dreams who breaks rainbows. . .” (Samih Al-Qasim)

The main components of Ibrahim Jawabrah’s artistic works are the tiny wooden or metal cars made of wires and wheels, the patterns of the traditional Palestinian dress and the fabrics used in Palestinian villages. (Photo, This Week in Palestine)
The main components of Ibrahim Jawabrah’s artistic works are the tiny wooden or metal cars made of wires and wheels, the patterns of the traditional Palestinian dress and the fabrics used in Palestinian villages. (Photo, This Week in Palestine)

(Please read “Purpose” above. Thank you.)

❶ Netanyahu Asks Attorney General to Authorize Sniper Fire against Stone-throwers
❷ Artist of the Month: Ibrahim Jawabrah: Searching through Childhood
❸ Rights group: More than 1,991 Palestinian children killed since 2000
❹ The Fires of Religious War Rage over Al-Aqsa
❺ Opinion/Analysis: Gazan refugees denied rights in Jordan for over 45 years
❻ Poetry by Samih Al-Qasim

◊  ◊  ◊  ◊  ◊  ◊

PALESTINE NEWS NETWORK
ISRAEL  AUTHORIZES  SNIPERS  FIRE  AGAINST  ROCK-THROWERS
Sept. 16, 2015
Israel has approved the use of sniper rifles against stone throwers in Jerusalem, Channel 10 reports on Thursday morning. Netanyahu asked the Attorney General to authorize sniper to target the stone throwers as part of his declared “war” on stone throwers in Jerusalem.
More . . .
Related . . .
Related . . . 

THIS WEEK IN PALESTINE
ARTIST  OF  THE  MONTH:  IBRAHIM  JAWABRAH:  SEARCHING  THROUGH  CHILDHOOD
Mohammad Al Amiri
September, 2015
Born in 1985, Ibrahim Jawabrah is still searching for the child in himself. As he was following his passion for art, he explored the depth of his inner self and found himself in the area of his childhood, which gave his art a special trait and flavor. He discovered a new language with which to argue with himself and clarify many issues about art that would fulfill his vision and respond to his passion and emotions.
____Jawabrah chose the path to heal his pain. His mission in art is purely humanitarian.
More . . .

MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
RIGHTS  GROUP:  MORE  THAN  1,991  PALESTINIAN  CHILDREN  KILLED  SINCE  2000
Sept. 17, 2015
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — More than 1,991 Palestinian children have been killed by Israeli forces and extremists since 2000, according to figures released by an international rights group Thursday.
____Ongoing settlement building in occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank are wedging Palestinian children and their families against “expanding and often violent Israeli settler communities,” Defense for Children International- Palestine (DCIP) research reported.
____Such expansion is increasingly placing Palestinian children in a “hyper-militarized environment,” where they are facing higher frequencies of disproportionate violence . . .
More . . .

Palestinian children look at the rubble of a destroyed mosque following an Israeli military strike in the Nusseirat refugee camp in the Gaza Strip on July 12, 2014. (AFP/Thomas Coex, File)
Palestinian children look at the rubble of a destroyed mosque following an Israeli military strike in the Nusseirat refugee camp in the Gaza Strip on July 12, 2014. (AFP/Thomas Coex, File)

PALESTINE CHRONICLE
THE  FIRES  OF  RELIGIOUS  WAR  RAGE  OVER  AL-AQSA
Dr. Yousef Rezqa
Sep 16 2015
Israeli media sources have recently published the following statement: “Netanyahu’s government . . . decision to divide Al-Aqsa mosque in two phases: the first phase is to limit the presence of Palestinians by targeting and arresting religious scholars and students. . . The second phase will include the enforcement of daily hours where Jews can enter Al-Aqsa mosque. Palestinians will be forbidden to enter Al-Aqsa mosque during this time. The same regulations have been previously applied to the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron.”
____If we are to abide by the Netanyahu government’s policy, we will find ourselves in the midst of a new fait accompli that deprives Muslims of their basic right to worship in Al-Aqsa Mosque at any hour of the day.
More . . .
Related . . .

❺ Opinion/Analysis
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
GAZAN  REFUGEES  DENIED  RIGHTS  IN  JORDAN  FOR  OVER  45  YEARS
Aaron Magid
(Aaron Magid is an Amman-based journalist. He graduated from Harvard University with a masters in Middle Eastern studies.)
Sept. 17, 2015
JERASH REFUGEE CAMP, Jordan (Ma’an) — Born in Jordan, 27-year-old Muhammad’s life hardly resembles a typical Jordanian’s. Lacking any political or civil rights . . . because his parents fled to Jordan from Gaza following the 1967 War.
____“Compared to other Jordanian citizens, I am nothing,” explained Muhammad . . . Approximately 140,000 Palestinian refugees from Gaza live in a similar limbo as Muhammad in Jordan: denied most rights and often forced into a life of harsh poverty.
____Nearly 2.1 million Palestinian refugees live in Jordan. During the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, 350,000 Palestinians fled to Jordan . . . The Nationality Law of 1954 provided Palestinian residents of the West Bank with full Jordanian citizenship after King Abdullah I annexed the West Bank on April 24, 1950. However, when the new wave of Palestinian refugees arrived in Jordan escaping from Gaza in the 1967 War, Amman treated them differently than their West Bank countrymen, refusing to provide them with Jordanian nationality or civil rights.
More . . .

EXCERPTED  FROM  “THE  CHILDREN  OF  RAFAH,”  BY  SAMI  AL-QASIM  (1970)
To him who digs his path
in the wounds of millions
whose tanks crush the garden’s roses
To him who breaks at night the houses’ windows
who burns a field and a museum
and sings to the fire
who rips the hair of sad women
and bombs grape fields
who executes the nightingale of feasts in the square
whose planes bombard children’s dreams who breaks rainbows
The children of deep rooted ancestors tonight declare
the children of Rafah tonight declare:
We did not knit blankets from hair braids
we did not spit on the face of murdered women
after plucking the golden teeth
Why do take the candy
and give us bombs?
why make Arab children orphans?
And thanks?

Sadness turned us into men
we must fight

[. . . .]

At the corner of the street
at the outskirts of town
the children of long histories
were gathering books, wood, and orphanage
frames and tent pegs
to build a barricade,
to block the path of darkness
and disturb the troops of hate
until peace washes their eyes
from the dust and hate of war!
And with books, wood, and orphanage
frames and tent pegs
his idol gave the barricade a nervous silence
and his hand was ready with the ink pot―
And the day the security doors of the conquerors closed
he was among the arrested
the son of the man whose residence was unknown

Footnote:
His age nine years―

From: Aruri, Naseer and Edmund Ghareeb, eds. ENEMY  OF  THE  SUN:  POETRY  OF  THE  PALESTINIAN  RESISTANCE. Washington, DC: Drum and Spear Press, 1970.
Available from Amazon.
About Samih Al-Qasim

Israeli security forces arrest a Palestinian during clashes between protesters and police after authorities limited access for Muslim worshipers to the al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem on July 26, 2015. (AFP/Ahmad Gharabli)
Israeli security forces arrest a Palestinian during clashes between protesters and police after authorities limited access for Muslim worshipers to the al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem on July 26, 2015. (AFP/Ahmad Gharabli)

“. . . We are a country of words. Speak speak. . .” (Mahmoud Darwish)

Yarmouk Refugees Waiting for Humanitarian Aid / UNRWA
Yarmouk Refugees Waiting for Humanitarian Aid / UNRWA

From ALTERNATIVE INFORMATION CENTER (AIC)
PALESTINIAN REFUGEES IN SYRIA
Emma Flesche
July 9, 2015
After the Nakba of 1948, approximately 90,000 Palestinians became refugees in Syria. The United Nations . . . estimates this number [has become] close to 560,000. Most of these Palestinians lived in one of the 15 refugee camps in Syria, the largest of which was al-Yarmouk. . .
____With the outbreak of the current war in Syria, attacks on Palestinian refugee camps . . . . created a wave of secondary mass displacement of Palestinian refugees within Syria. . . . attack on the Yarmouk camp led to a mass displacement of refugees that reduced the size of the camp from 160,000 to about 30,000.
____UNRWA estimates that more than 70 percent of the Palestinian refugees in Syria are in need of emergency humanitarian assistance, and that more than 50 percent have been internally displaced as a result of the conflict.
(More. . .)

From VOICE OF AMERICA NEWS
UN: 4 MILLION REFUGEES HAVE FLED SYRIA
Lisa Schlein
July 9, 2015
GENEVA— The U.N. refugee agency said the number of refugees fleeing conflict in Syria has topped 4 million, making Syria the world’s biggest refugee crisis in a generation.
____With no solution to the conflict in sight, the UNHCR said it expects the number of refugees to exceed 4.25 million by the end of the year.
____The U.N. refugee agency said this milestone comes barely 10 months after the 3 million refugee mark was reached.
(More. . .)

❸ Special Report
FROM KINDERUSA
THE INHUMANITY OF YARMOUK
Dalell Mohmed
April 16, 2015
Yarmouk is the largest refugee camp in Syria:
– As of April 2015, approximately 18,000 Palestinians remain trapped in Yarmouk, including 3,500 children
– People are living on just 400 calories a day–sometimes less with infants dying of malnourishment, mothers dying at child birth, and residents resorting to eating leaves and animal feed
– Residents have not had electricity since 2013 and with this, no running water.
KinderUSA is preparing emergency aid for Palestinian families from Yarmouk, but we need your support.
(More. . .)

caption: A photo from the Israel, Syrian border along the Golan Heights showing IDF soldiers conversing with Jabhat al Nusra fighters. By MintPress News Desk, May 4, 2015.
A photo from the Israel, Syrian border along the Golan Heights showing IDF soldiers conversing with Jabhat al Nusra fighters. By MintPress News Desk, May 4, 2015.

From THE MIDDLE EAST MONITOR (MEM)
SYRIANS IN OCCUPIED GOLAN FURIOUS ABOUT ISRAEL’S ALLIANCE WITH AL-QAEDA
Asa Winstanley
June 30, 2015
Israel’s most unlikely alliance is that it currently engages in with Jabhat al-Nusra, al-Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria.
____Despite a long history of anti-Israel and anti-Jewish rhetoric, the main victims of al-Qaeda’s horrible sectarian attacks have been Muslims in the Arab world, along with western civilian and military targets. The movement has rarely targeted Israel. . . .
____But now, on the smaller sector of the Golan which is under Syrian control, the civil war rages. And. . . rebels forces in that area are dominated by al-Qaeda. Yet there has been cooperation between the Israeli military and the rebels. . . .
(More. . .)

❺ Background essay
From AMERICAN FRIENDS SERVICE COMMITTEE
PALESTINIAN REFUGEES AND THE RIGHT OF RETURN
Updated 2015
Approximately 750,000 Palestinians were displaced and became refugees as a result of the 1948 war which led to the founding of Israel. None of these displaced persons were ever allowed to return to the homes or communities from which they were displaced and the Palestinian refugee population has continued to grow in the time that has passed since 1948. Today there are more than 7 million Palestinian refugees scattered around the world. The reality of Palestinian forced displacement is at the core of the Palestinian experience and the Palestinian refugee issue is at the heart of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. This paper provides background information on the history of the Palestinian refugee issue and the politics of the right of return.
(More. . .)

“WE TRAVEL LIKE OTHER PEOPLE,” BY MAHMOUD DARWISH

We travel like other people, but we return to nowhere. As if traveling
Is the way of the clouds. We have buried our loved ones in the
. . darkness of the clouds, between the roots of the trees.
And we said to our wives; go on giving birth to people like us
. . for hundreds of years so we can complete this journey
To the hour of a country, to a meter of the impossible.
We travel in the carriages of the psalms, sleep in the tents of the
. . prophets and come out of the speech of the gypsies.
We measure space with a hoopoe’s beak or sing to while away the
. . distance and cleanse the light of the moon.
Your path is long so dream of seven women to bear this long path
On your shoulders. Shake for them palm trees so as to know their
. . names and who’ll be the mother of the boy of Galilee.
We have a country of words. Speak speak so we may know the end of
. . this travel.

From: Adonis; Mahmud Darwish; and Samih al-Qasim. VICTIMS OF A MAP: A BILINGUAL ANTHOLOGY OF ARABIC POETRY. Trans. Abdullah al-Udhari. London: Saqi Books, 2008. Available from Amazon.
Biographical sketch of Mahmoud Darwish.

A Palestinian relative salvages what he can from his family's belongings amid the rubble of the al-Akhras family home after it was hit by Israeli strike in Rafah refugee camp, southern Gaza Strip, Tuesday, Aug. 26, 2014. Two people were wounded in the airstrike on the house according Gaza health official Ashraf al-Kidra. (AP Photo/Eyad Baba)
A Palestinian relative salvages what he can from his family’s belongings amid the rubble of the al-Akhras family home after it was hit by Israeli strike in Rafah refugee camp, southern Gaza Strip, Tuesday, Aug. 26, 2014. Two people were wounded in the airstrike on the house according Gaza health official Ashraf al-Kidra. (AP Photo/Eyad Baba)