“. . . religiously motivated policies of colonization hide behind a security narrative . . .” (Christopher J. Ferrero)

Ramat Shlomo
The illegal Ramat Shlomo settlement near the municipal boundaries of Jerusalem, June 6, 2014 (Photo: The Guardian).

❶ Water situation in Gaza is alarming “. . . only 10% of Gaza’s population has access to safe drinking water. . .”
. . . ― (a) Electricity shortage causes children’s hospital in Gaza to suspend medical care
❷ Israel to build 500 new settler homes in East Jerusalem     Palestinian leaders say Israel’s settlement movement is emboldened by the election of Donald Trump in the US.
. . . ― (a) Israel approves construction of road on confiscated Palestinian lands

  • Background: “Sidelining the Hardliners: A 2 + 1 Solution for Israel- Palestine.” DOMES: Digest Of Middle East Studies   

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WATER  SITUATION  IN  GAZA  IS  ALARMING  “. . . Only 10% of Gaza’s population has access to safe drinking water. . .” 
Alray-Palestinian Media Agency   
Nov. 24, 2016
The World Bank indicated in a report Wednesday that the water sources in Gaza are critically scarce, and the situation in Gaza is alarming. . . .
___Adnan Ghosheh, Senior Water & Sanitation Specialist, remembers a time not so long ago when everyone in Gaza could drink water from their tap. That was in the late 1990s, but so much water has been pumped out of the natural aquifer underneath Gaza since then that seawater has seeped in, making it too salty to drink. These and other factors mean that only 10% of Gaza’s population has access to safe drinking water, compared to 90% in the West Bank . . . More . . .
Ma’an News Agency 
Nov. 23, 2016
Health services in a children’s hospital in Gaza will be suspended for more than a day due to a lack of fuel to power its generators, the Ministry of Health of the besieged Palestinian enclave said in a statement on Wednesday.
___The ministry said that the al-Durrah children’s hospital would be out of commission for 27 hours due to the power shortage, adding that other hospitals across Gaza faced similar risks.      More . . .

ISRAEL  TO  BUILD  500  NEW  SETTLER  HOMES  IN  EAST  JERUSALEM     – Palestinian leaders say Israel’s settlement movement is emboldened by the election of Donald Trump in the US.
Al Jazeera English 
Nov. 24, 2016
Israel has announced plans to move forward with the construction of 500 homes for Jewish settlers in occupied East Jerusalem, the first such move since the US presidential election.
___”This morning, the local planning and building committee made the decision to advance [plans]… for 500 units in Ramat Shlomo,” the Ir Amim anti-settlement NGO said, referring to an ultra-Orthodox Jewish settlement near the Palestinian neighbourhood of Shuafat.
___The plans had been on hold since 2014, Ir Amin said.      More . . .

Off the main road in Nabi Elias. Some kids are on the roof. May 2013. Photo By Orrling – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=28992790

. . . ― (A) ISRAEL APPROVES CONSTRUCTION OF ROAD ON CONFISCATED PALESTINIAN LANDS      Ma’an News Agency       Nov. 24, 2016       The Israeli Civil Administration’s higher planning committee approved constructing a bypass road on confiscated Palestinian lands in the northern occupied West Bank on Wednesday.
___A spokesperson for the Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), the Israeli agency responsible for implementing Israeli policies in the occupied Palestinian territory, told Ma’an that the committee had approved the construction of a road on lands of the village of al-Nabi Elyas.      More . . .     Related . . . 

  • Ferrero, Christopher J. “Sidelining The Hardliners: A 2 + 1 Solution For Israel- Palestine.” DOMES: Digest Of Middle East Studies 23.1 (2014): 128-155.    SOURCE.

[. . . .] Achieving a state in the West Bank should be the proximate, urgent goal of the Palestinian people. Ideologically motivated Israeli settlement of the West Bank continues apace and threatens the viability of a two state solution. Meanwhile, religiously motivated policies of colonization hide behind a security narrative conflating Hamas with Fatah and suggesting that the Palestinians pose an existential threat.
[. . . .] The pro-settlement attitudes and policies of the Netanyahu government are the most urgent and alarming threat to a Palestinian state in the West Bank. Over a half-million Jewish settlers reside in the West Bank and East Jerusalem; nearly 200,000 of them in East Jerusalem. Despite Israeli talking points about “natural growth,” the West Bank’s Jewish population is growing three times faster than that of Israel proper. . . . Israeli governments across the political spectrum—but especially Likud—have financially incentivized the settlement of Judea and Samaria. Approximately 100 settlements have been constructed since Netanyahu’s first stint as prime minister began in 1996. During the first half of 2013,  Israel approved or advanced plans for over 15,000 new housing units in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, a surge that one settlement expert calls “unprecedented in scope and intensity since 1967”. Even as talks with the Palestinians resumed in late summer 2013, the Netanyahu government continued to roll out construction plans, including work at Ramat Shlomo in East Jerusalem. The announcement of plans for this site during a 2010 visit to Israel by the Vice President of the United States, Joseph Biden, stirred temporary outrage by the Americans. Yet, despite Palestinian protestations of Israeli bad faith and warnings about the implications for peace, Washington has acquiesced to continued settlement work during the talks . . . .


“. . . I shall sing in spite of fences in spite of jailers . . .” (Fouzi El-Asmar)


Israeli Soldiers Demolish homes near Nablus. April 4, 2016 (Photo: IMEMC, April 4, 2016)

❶ Israel to Demolish Two Homes in Nablus Village
❷ Israel Okays 82 housing units in Ramat Shlomo settlement
❸ Israeli forces raid, blockade Ramallah area village after settler vehicle comes under fire
❺ POETRY by Fouzi El-Asmar
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Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
June 7, 2016
Israeli authorities on Tuesday notified Palestinians in the village of Duma, to the south of Nablus, about their intent to demolish two homes and a carpentry workshop of their own, according to local sources.
___Adeeb Dawabsheh, deputy mayor of Duma, told WAFA that the Israeli army cited construction without permission as a pretext for the demolition notice.
___He said the two homes and the workshop are the property of two local Palestinians from the Dawabsheh family.      MORE . . .  

If the Israeli government recognises ‘pragmatically’ that at present Jews will not be able to settle throughout the territory of their geography of imagination because of demographic and geographic realities—namely the existence of a concentrated Palestinian population in many areas—what would be the expedient territorial adjustment while still adhering in the longer term to ‘core beliefs’? The answer is: adopt a strategy to prevent the creation of a viable Palestinian state by confining Palestinian population concentrations to non-contiguous ‘enclaves’ while Israel retains effective control over all Palestine’s international border . . . . Such ‘dynamic enclavisation’ is probably unique as a tactic of spatial dismemberment in expanding a nation-state with undetermined territorial borders, although it is familiar as a tactic in military geography employed on the battlefield [. . . .]
___Palestinians are invited at best to a kind of ‘mock’ sovereignty over an archipelago of truncated spaces—behind borders which are in some profound sense provisional. Indeed, provisionality seems a kind of modality for the way territory is dealt with under the Zionist – nationalist geopolitical code of control and its extension. In that sense, a kind of dynamic unilateral repartition of Mandatory Palestine seems an underlying strategy.

  • Falah, Ghazi-Walid. “The Geopolitics of ‘Enclavisation’ and the Demise of a Two-State Solution to the Israeli – Palestinian Conflict.” Third  World  Quarterly  26.8 (2005): 1341-1372.

The Palestinian Information Center
June 7, 2016
The Israeli municipality’s planning and construction committee in Occupied Jerusalem on Monday authorized the marketing of the 82 housing units in Ramat Shlomo settlement despite the government’s objection and without notifying it, Israel’s Channel 2 claimed.
___Ramat Shlomo is an illegal settlement located in northeast Jerusalem, next to the Palestinian village of Shuafat.
___A diplomatic crisis erupted between Israel and the US in March 2010 due to the former’s plan to build 1,600 new housing units in the settlement, coinciding with US vice-president Joe Biden’s visit to Palestine in order to push for renewed peace talks.  MORE . . .  

Fouzi  El-Asmar  lived  as  a  Palestinian  Arab  in Israel  for  the  first  thirty-five  years  of  his life.
___His poetry. . . captures the existential predicament of this condition: can one “be” an Arab in Israel if one refuses to accede one’s soul to the state authorities or protests the suffering of one’s people, who live under the oppression of a state that claims to speak for the protection of the Jewish people everywhere and for all time?   [. . . .]
___To be a Palestinian Arab in Israel at this moment is to represent an intractable problem for the demography and long-term “security” of the Jewish state, and is a painful reminder of how the founding conditions of Israeli society were built on the Palestinian Arab’s exclusion, transfer, or vulnerable location within an apartheid state. The Palestinian Arab in Israel lives in the shadow of the destruction of Palestinian civil society, which Israel’s settler colonial violence unleashed, and in the aftermath of the Holocaust and the rise of militant Zionism.

  • Abraham, Matthew. “The Perils Of Separation: Fouzi El-Asmar’s To  Be  An  Arab  In  Israel  As An Allegory Of Settler Colonial Anxiety.” South  Atlantic  Quarterly  107.4 (2008): 715-734.

Ma’an News Agency
June 7, 2016
Israeli forces raided and imposed a blockade on the village of Deir Abu Mashal in the central occupied West Bank Monday evening after Palestinian gunmen reportedly fired shots at two Israeli settler vehicles in the area, and an Israeli settler returned fire.___Locals told Ma’an that a large number of Israeli forces stormed Deir Abu Mashal northwest of Ramallah and broke into shops and gas stations, seizing hard drives from outdoor surveillance cameras. Witnesses added Israeli soldiers questioned several Palestinian youths.   MORE . . .

1-ramat shlomo
Ramat Shlomo, a Jewish settlement in the mainly Arab eastern sector of Jerusalem with Palestinian houses seen from the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Beit Hanina, on June 5, 2014. (Photo: Getty Images)

The Middle East Monitor – MEMO
Ramzy Baroud
June 7, 2016
In their defense, the Israelis seem to have figured out the whole thing and opted out. But the hapless Palestinian leadership, along with their Arab League partners, joined by the French, EU and UN representatives, and even US Secretary of State, John Kerry, decided to play along.
___However, the French peace initiative-turned-conference in Paris on June 3 is nothing but a charade, and they all know it, Palestinians included.
___So, why the colossal waste of time?       MORE . . . 


I shall create
out of the darkness of my jail
my dawn
out of the jaw of hatred
my destiny.
I shall sing
the wind
the sun
the flowers
the spring.
I shall sing
in spite of fences
in spite of jailers
in spite of hatred.

Fouzi El-Asmar
El-Asmar, Fouzi. THE   WIND-DRIVEN   REED   AND   OTHER   POEMS. Washington, D.C.: Three Continents Press, 1979.  Available from Amazon.