“. . .strangers with their rifles’ muzzles . . .” (Samih Al-Qasim)

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Israeli Occupation Forces bunker and watchtower in Central Hebron. (Photo: Harold Knight, November 7, 2015)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY
|  ISRAEL  DEMOLISHES  HOME  IN  JERUSALEM  –  143  DEMOLISHED  IN  2018  
Israeli bulldozers demolished a Palestinian-owned house in Qalandiya north of occupied East Jerusalem in the central West Bank, on Wednesday morning.    ___Owner Hamzeh al-Mughrabi told Ma’an that Israeli police forces escorted municipality staff into Qalandiya, where they surrounded the house, emptied and evacuated residents before starting the demolition.    ___Al-Mughrabi added that the Shweiki family of 6 members, including a man with disability, live in the 100-square meter house.    More . . .
~~ Jerusalem  mayor  plans  to  reduce  the  sound  of  mosque  loudspeakers     More . . .
|   WEEKLY  REPORT  ON  ISRAELI  HUMAN  RIGHTS  VIOLATIONS  IN  THE  OCCUPIED  PALESTINIAN  TERRITORY  (20–26  DECEMBER  2018)
Israeli forces continued to use excessive force against the peaceful protestors in the Gaza Strip.     ___4 Palestinian civilians, including a child, and a person with mobility impairment were killed.   142 civilians, including 30 children, 2 women, 2 journalists, and a paramedic, were wounded; the injury of 2 of them was reported serious.    ___A child was killed and 5 civilians were wounded, including a Journalist, in the West Bank.    ___Israeli forces conducted 66 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and 2 limited incursions into the northern Gaza Strip.   More . . .
~~  Scores  of  Palestinians  injured  by  Israeli  bullet  fire     More . . .
~~  Civilians  kidnapped,  homes  ransacked  by  Israeli  army    More . . .
|  ISRAEL  AND  THE  UNITED  STATES  FORMALLY  QUIT  UNESCO
More than a year after announcing their withdrawal from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Israel and the United States’ decision officially went into effect at the last second of December 31, 2018.   ___UNESCO was the first UN body to grant full membership to Palestine in 2011, which led the Obama administration to stop paying its annual contributions. In 2017, the UN heritage agency passed a resolution designating the Tomb of Patriarchs in  Hebron  as  a  Palestinian  World  Heritage  Site. The decision was opposed by the Jewish community because of the holy cave’s significance in Judaism.     More . . .

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION
NOT  WELCOME  IN  HEBRON:  ITS  ORIGINAL  RESIDENTS  AND  BREAKING  THE  SILENCE
Jonathan Cook
Ido Even-Paz switched on his body camera as his tour group decamped from the bus in Hebron. The former Israeli soldier wanted to document any trouble we might encounter in this, the largest Palestinian city in the occupied West Bank.    ___It was not Hebron’s Palestinian residents who concerned him, however. He was worried about fellow Israelis—Jewish religious extremists and the soldiers there to guard them—who have seized control of much of the city center [. . . .]  ___For more than 15 years, Israel has forbidden entry for Palestinians to what was once Hebron’s main throroughfare and central shopping area along Shuhada Street. Now it has been rebranded in Hebrew as King David Street, and declared what the army terms a “sterilized area.” The closure severs the main transport routes for Palestinians between north and south Hebron.    ___Most of the Palestinian inhabitants have been driven from the city center by endless harassment and attacks by settlers, bolstered by arrests and night raids conducted by the army, says Even-Paz.    More . . .
~~  Gaza  march  leader  to  conscientious  objectors:  ‘Turn  your  words  into  weapons’    More . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY

“STORY  OF  A  CITY,”  BY  SAMIH  AL-QASIM
There was a blue city
that dreamt of foreigners wandering
Around and spending their money
day after day.

But it became a black city
despising strangers
with their rifles’ muzzles
making the rounds of its cafés.

From: Al-Qasim, Samih.  SADDER  THAN  WATER.  New  and  Selected  Poems.  Trans. Nazih Kasis and Adina Hoffman. Jerusalem: Ibis Editions, 2008. Available from Barnes and Noble.

“. . . the day is impudent and selfish. . .” (Mourid Barghouti)

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Palestinian children at the Great Return March, near  Gaza City, April 10, 2018. (Photo: Mohammed Zaanoun/Activestills.org)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY 
ILLEGAL  SETTLEMENT  EXPANSION  UNDERWAY  AT  COST  OF  A  NORTHERN  WEST  BANK  VILLAGE
The Israeli army razed land in Dhar al-Maleh village, southwest of Jenin in the north of the occupied West Bank, in order to expand an illegal Jewish settlement, the village’s head of council Ahmad Khatib said on Tuesday.    ___He told WAFA that bulldozers started to work on 120 dunums of the village land and in the process destroyed a paved road as the military was working on expanding the illegal settlement of Shaked, built on expropriated village land.     More . . .
~~  Israel  plans  new  settlement  units  in  Bethlehem    More . . .
~~  Israeli  settlements  threaten  to  engulf  West  Bank  communities    More . . .
QATAR  DEAL  EXPECTED  TO  BOOST  PALESTINIAN  TRADE
Qatar and Palestine are working to boost their bilateral trade, taking steps that one expert says will double their exchange over five years.    ___The Qatar Chamber of Commerce and Industry recently signed a cooperation agreement with the Palestine Trade Center (PalTrade) to increase partnership efforts between the two countries. During a Dec. 12 meeting in Doha that was also attended by Palestinian Ambassador to Qatar Amir Ghannam as well as Qatari and Palestinian businesspeople, the two sides agreed to allow nine Palestinian food and agriculture companies to export their products to the Qatari market.    More . . .
~~  Palestinian  Poverty  Level  Almost  Double  Israel  Average    More . . .
|   EIGHT  PALESTINIANS  KIDNAPPED  BY  IOF  IN  W.  BANK
The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) at dawn Tuesday kidnapped at least eight Palestinian citizens during campaigns in the West Bank.    ___The Israeli army claimed in a statement that its forces arrested eight wanted Palestinians overnight in the West Bank.    ___According to local sources, the IOF kidnapped a number of citizens in Beit Ummar town. . .    More . . .
~~  Israeli  navy  kidnaps  two  fishermen  in  Gaza  waters    More . . .
~~  Israeli  army  opens  fire  at  Palestinians  south  of  besieged  Gaza    More . . .

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION
|  THE  GRASSROOTS  MOVEMENTS  IN  ISRAEL-PALESTINE  THAT  WON  2018
Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man
+972 Magazine’s story of the year for 2018 is the protest movements that managed to beat the odds by forcing governments to revisit and even change their policies. The story of African refugees stopping their deportation from Israel, and Gazans using popular protests to make sure the world doesn’t forget about them.   ___The global rise of nationalist and right-wing governments has not been particularly good for progressive movements over the past year. But two grassroots movements in Israel and Palestine, respectively, managed to push back against oppressive policies and, at least temporarily, achieve real victories on the ground. These stories are not only impressive, against-the-odds wins — they are also a reminder that the work of organizers and activists on the ground does stand a chance facing down governments, armies, and immensely powerful economic interests.   More . . .
|  THE  UN’S  VISION  OF  ‘PEACE’  FOR  PALESTINE  EXCLUDES  ORDINARY  PALESTINIANS
Ramona Wadi
The UN is now adamant that the Palestinian Authority should return to govern the Gaza Strip. In the aftermath of Israel’s 2014 Operation Protective Edge, this hypothesis was raised by the US and has seldom been questioned, ostensibly due to other pressing factors such as delivering the necessary humanitarian aid to displaced and injured Palestinians in the besieged enclave.    ___Since the Palestinian cause has become fragmented into separate issues to prevent national unity, the PA — through decisions taken by its leader Mahmoud Abbas — has slowly imposed its own sanctions on Gaza, bizarrely in the name of unity. Ths facade was dropped swiftly, though, to reveal the real reason for the sanctions; the Fatah-led PA wants to force Hamas to relinquish its political power in the enclave. Hamas, remember, won the last Palestinian elections in 2006, but has never been allowed to govern both the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.     More . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY

Excerpt from “MIDNIGHT,”  BY  MOURID  BARGHOUTI

The new day does not ask your permission to enter,
it does not ask if you are ready to receive it.
The day is impudent and selfish,
it insists on arriving every day.
You hear dawn climbing the stairs
before it breaks into your house,
the same way you hear them coming to arrest you
before they break down the door,
before you rub your eyes,
before you’re asked to have a cup of coffee
with the hyena
with the gold tooth
and heavy makeup.

As for the birds,
don’t they know that this is not the time for singing?
Here they are, singing
as usual,
twittering melodies you do not understand.
May be they echo the refrain:
nothing equals
one more hour with you.

From: Barghouti, Mourid. MIDNIGHT  AND  OTHER  POEMS. Trans. By Radwa Ashour. Todmorden, Lancashire, UK: Arc Books, 2008. Available from B&N.

“. . . No quiet place to die, with dignity. . .” (Jehan Bseiso)

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Cyclist Alaa al-Dali’s leg was amputated after being shot at the Great Return March protests, crushing his dream of participating in the 2018 Asia Games. (Photo: Middle East Eye, 27 April 2018)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY
| OCHA:  ISRAELI  FORCES  KILLED  295  PALESTINIANS  IN  2018   
The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said that a total of 295 Palestinians were killed and over 29,000 others were injured in 2018 by Israeli forces.    ___According to a recent report released by OCHA, 57 of those Palestinian fatalities and about 7,000 of the wounded citizens were under age 18.    ___“This is the highest death toll in a single year since the Gaza conflict of 2014, and the highest number of injuries recorded since OCHA began documenting casualties in the oPt (occupied Palestinian territories) in 2005,” the report said.    More . . .
IOF  KIDNAPS  25  PALESTINIANS  IN  WEST  BANK  RAIDS
The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) at dawn Monday arrested 25 Palestinians during West Bank sweeps.    ___The PIC reporter said that the IOF raided Kobar village, north of Ramallah, and arrested 12 Palestinian citizens.    ___Other Palestinians, including two ex-prisoners and a lawyer, were arrested in campaigns targeting Silwad and Ras Karkar villages, east and west of Ramallah respectively . . .    More . . .
~~  Israeli  forces  demolish  agricultural  structure  in  Masafer  Yatta    More . . .
~~  Israel  seizes  1,200  dunams  of  Palestinian  land  for  new  settlement     More . . .
|  ISRAEL  CONTINUES  TO  DENY  TREATMENT  ABROAD  TO  GAZANS  INJURED  IN  BORDER  PROTESTS
The Israeli authorities continued in November to deny Gazans injured in the border protest access to medical treatment outside the besieged Gaza Strip.    ___In its monthly report on health access barriers for patients in the occupied Palestinian territory for the month of November, the World Health Organization (WHO) said that out of 51 permit applications  in November for people injured during the protests seeking treatment outside Gaza, only four applications were approved, six were denied and 41 delayed.   More . . .
~~  Video:  Israel-Palestine  Tensions:  UN  says  Israel  has  no  justification  for  Gaza  killings      More . . .
~~  Israel  Launches  Aistrikes  on  Gaza      More . . .

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION
|  WHO  REPORT:  PALESTINIANS’  ACCESS  TO  HEALTHCARE  AT  MERCY  OF  ISRAEL    
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has released its monthly report of the situation patients have been facing in Palestine in November 2018.    ___Due to the impoverished circumstances in Gaza, many residents need to travel outside the confines of the Israeli-Gazan border to receive appropriate health care. However, despite necessity of medical care, access to these hospitals and facilities has been routinely obstructed by Israeli security.    ___In November 2018, there were 2,519 applications to cross the Erez border for health care. 29% were children, 16% of applicants were 60 years plus, 43% female and 92% were medically funded by Palestinian Ministry of Health.    More . . .

NOTICES  FROM  ORGANIZATIONS
|  A  CHRISTMAS  MESSAGE  FROM  MAP  (MEDICAL  AID  TO  PALESTINIANS)  CEO  AIMEE  SHALAN
This year has been yet another difficult and tragic one for Palestinians.    ___The shocking use of force by Israeli forces against demonstrators in Gaza has killed scores and injured thousands. . .    ___Demolitions continue to be a day-to-day reality for many Palestinians in the West Bank. Not only have individual homes and buildings such as schools been demolished, but entire villages like Khan al Ahmar have been threatened . . .     ___We have also witnessed a dangerous politicisation of humanitarian aid, with the US administration cutting all funding to UNRWA . . . These cuts greatly threaten Palestinian refugees’ access to healthcare, education and emergency food assistance.    __Amid such bleak circumstances, I am incredibly proud of all that MAP has achieved and want to thank our supporters for their generosity and kind support – facilitating our essential and lifesaving work    More . . .    Donate . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY

“RE:  CEMETERIES  IN  PALESTINIAN  CAMPS  SHORT  ON  SPACE/DAILY  STAR/16.06.12,”  BY  JEHAN  BSEISO

And so, the cemeteries are full –
In Lebanon, Jordan, Syria and Gaza.
We will soon bury Palestinians above ground.
Nowhere to live and now,
No quiet place to die, with dignity.
Raise high the beams – carpenters, death architects.
Soon, your walls will reach the sky.

From: I  REMEMBER  MY  NAME:  POETRY  BY  SAMAH  SABAWI,  RAMZY  BAROUD,  JEHAN  BSEISO.  Vacy Vlazna, editor. London: Novum Publishing, 2016. Available from publisher.

“. . . And your children will play again . . .” (Nizar Qabbani)

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Children of Rawdat El-Zuhur School (Photo: Global Ministries of the United Church of Christ, Nov. 2014)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY    
|  GAZA  –  4  PALESTINIANS  KILLED,  DOZENS  INJURED  INCLUDING  JOURNALISTS,  PARAMEDICS
Four Palestinians were shot and killed by Israeli forces during weekly protests across the eastern borders of the besieged Gaza Strip since Friday afternoon.    [. . . .] The ministry pointed out that two journalists and four paramedic were among those injured.    ___At least 47 others were injured with live bullets and rubber-coated steel bullets, while dozens suffered tear-gas inhalation as Israeli forces suppressed the 39th Friday of the return marches.    More . . .
~~ Photojournalist  among  4  injured  in  Kafr  Qaddum  weekly  march    More . . .
~~ Factions  call  protest  at  Australia’s  representative  office  in  Ramallah  against  Jerusalem  decision   More . . .
|  UN  ADOPTS  RESOLUTION  ON  PALESTINIAN  SOVEREIGNTY  OVER  NATURAL  RESOURCES
The United Nations General Assembly adopted, by an overwhelming majority, a resolution that affirms the right of the Palestinian people to sovereignty over their natural resources.    ___The resolution was adopted by a recorded vote of 159 in favour to 7 against (Canada, Israel, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, United States), with 13 abstentions.    ___The resolution stresses permanent sovereignty of the Palestinian people in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, and of the Arab population in occupied Syrian Golan over their natural resources.    More . . .
| [THE  ORGANIZATION  OF  ISLAMIC  COOPERATION]  OIC  INTENDS  TO  SET  UP  FUND  FOR  SUPPORT  OF  PALESTINIAN  REFUGEES
The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has announced its intention to establish a fund to support the Palestinian refugees.    ___According to a press release issued by the organization, a committee of experts from the OIC member states held a meeting on Wednesday to discuss the draft statute of the waqf fund for support of the Palestinian Refugees at the OIC headquarters in Jeddah.    ___OIC secretary-general Yousef al-Othaimeen stated that the meeting came in light of the worsening financial crisis of UNRWA and its impact on the humanitarian, social, and economic situation of the Palestinian refugees, especially after the US suspended its contributions.    More . . .      
~~ Health  ministry,  with  support  from  WHO,  UNICEF,  succeeds  in  bringing  in  children  vaccines  More . . .
~~ EU  increases  financial  support  for  UNRWA      More . . .
~~ Distribution  of  Palestinian  refugees  registered  by  UNRWA     More . . .

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION

| HUMANITARIAN  AID  IS  OVERTLY  POLITICIZED,  JUST  NOT  IN  FAVOR  OF  THE  PALESTINIANS
By Ramona Wadi
The 2019 humanitarian plan for Palestinians in the occupied territories will allocate $350 million for aid intervention, according to Ramallah’s Minister of Social Development Ibrahim Al-Shaer and UN envoy Jamie McGoldrick. The people of Palestine remain divested of their legitimate human and civil rights in order to retain the imposed status of near-total aid dependency.    ___Despite decades of humanitarian aid sent their way since 1948, the Palestinians have still not recovered from the immediate deprivation of basic necessities created by the Nakba. This paradox could have been resolved if their rights had been fulfilled with equal enthusiasm.     [. . . .] Human rights, it seems, are official opportunities for personal advancement at the UN. Is that not a means of the politicization of humanitarian aid? According to Ma’an news agency, Al-Shaer “reaffirmed the danger of politicizing humanitarian aid because that would undermine and threaten human rights.”   More . . .

NOTICES  FROM  ORGANIZATIONS
RAWDAT EL ZUHUR SCHOOL
Rawdat El-Zuhur
is a Palestinian non governmental non-profit women’s organization in East Jerusalem. It supervises  Rawdat  El-Zuhur  elementary  coeducational  school  and  kindergarten  which serves mainly the lower income community.   December Newsletter. . .           Donate . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY

“JERUSALEM,”  BY  NIZAR  QABBANI
Oh Jerusalem, the luminous city of prophets
The shortest path between earth and sky

Oh Jerusalem, the citadel of laws
A beautiful child with fingers charred
and downcast eyes
You are the shady oasis passed by the Prophet
Your streets are melancholy
Your minarets are mourning
You, the young maiden dressed in black
Who rings the bells in the Nativity
On Saturday morning?
Who brings toys for the children
On Christmas eve?
The city of sorrow
A huge tear trembling on your eyelid
Who will halt the aggression
On you, the pearl of religions?
Who will wash your bloody walls?
Who will safeguard the Bible?
Who will rescue the Quran?
Who will save Christ?
Who will save man?
Oh Jerusalem my town
Oh Jerusalem my love
Tomorrow the lemon trees will blossom
And the olive trees will rejoice
Your eyes will dance
The migrant pigeons will return
To your sacred roofs
And your children will play again
And fathers and sons will meet
On your rosy hills
My city, city of peace and olives.
—Translated by Sharif Elmusa and Naomi Shihab Nye

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

“Have you forgotten your shame. . .” (Samih Al-Qasim)

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Esther Bejarano, Auschwitz survivor, 2015. (Photo: Uwe Zucchi DPA- German News Agency)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .
|  TENTS,  SCHOOL  FURNITURE  SEIZED  IN  SOUTH  OF  WEST  BANK
Israeli soldiers raided a village in the south Hebron hills on Monday and seized tents and furniture brought for a local school the Israeli army had demolished last week, according to the local education department.    ___The Israeli army demolished the school built near the town of Samou, south of the West Bank, on Wednesday and seized its furniture after destroying the grounds.    ___Residents, along with the Ministry of Education and solidarity groups, brought tents and furniture to rebuild it, but an army force broke into the area during the night and seized everything.    [. . . .] The school, referred to as Challenge School 13, serves 35 students up to grade six from two Palestinian communities living in that area. Its construction had cost 40,000 euros.    More . . .
. . . . Related  IOF raids homes, kidnaps citizens in different W. Bank areas
. . . . Related  Thousands of settlers storm different West Bank sites for rituals
. . . . Related  Israeli settlers break into Palestinian archaeological site [Beita Town, Nablus]
. . . . Related  Israeli forces raid outskirts of Ramallah, seize surveillance cameras
. . . . Related  Farmer Mansour Marayta mourns his stolen land
. . . . Related  IOF storm Ramallah villages after shooting of Ofra settlers
|  SCORES  OF  AMPUTATIONS  IN  GAZA  AS  ISRAELI  TROOPS  AIM  AT  LEGS
Israeli forces deployed along the fence that separates Israel from the Gaza Strip have fired live rounds at rock-throwing Palestinian protesters ever since demonstrations demanding the right to return began in March.    ___And for eight months, Israeli snipers have targeted one part of the body more than any other – the legs.    ___The Israeli army says it is responding to weekly assaults on its frontier by Palestinians armed with stones, grenades and firebombs. It says it opens fire only as a last resort and considers firing at the lower limbs an act of restraint.    More . . .
. . . . Related  Report: Palestinian Prisoners In Israel Jails Suffer Medical Negligence
. . . . Related  Palestinians injured after Israeli settlers break into Joseph’s Tomb in Nablus
|  SENIOR  ISRAELI  LAWMAKER  CALLS  FOR  KILLING  ALL  PALESTINIANS
Chair of the Defence Committee at the Israeli Parliament Avi Dichter has called for killing all the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.    ___As he was commenting on the peaceful protests of the Great March of Return taking place along the eastern fence of the Gaza Strip, he said: “The Israeli army has enough bullets for every Palestinian.”    ___Dichter is a senior member of the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s ruling Likud Party, which is a right wing one. [. . . .] He later added: “The number [of peaceful Palestinian protesters] killed does not mean anything because they are just Nazis anyhow.”    More . . .

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .
WHY  AUSCHWITZ  SURVIVOR  ESTHER  BEJARANO  SUPPORTS  BDS
Esther Bejarano learned to love music from her father Rudolf Loewy, a cantor in the Jewish community of the southwest German town of Saarlouis, where she was born in 1924.  That was lucky for her, because music literally saved her life.     ___Bejarano recently spoke to The Electronic Intifada at her home in Hamburg.  [. . . .] After the war, Bejarano emigrated to Palestine, but her aversion to Israel’s policies towards the Palestinians eventually led her to return to Germany.  [. . . .] But Bejarano knows no fear and continues to raise her voice, calling Israel’s government “fascist” and saying she supports BDS – boycott, divestment and sanctions – if it helps challenge Israel’s persecution of Palestinians.   More . . .

NOTICES  FROM  ORGANIZATIONS. . . .
| MEDICAL  AID  FOR  PALESTINIANS
Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP) works for the health and dignity of Palestinians living under occupation and as refugees.  We provide immediate medical aid to those in great need, while also developing local capacity and skills to ensure the long-term development of the Palestinian healthcare system.  Donate

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

“BUCHENWALD,”  BY  SAMIH  AL-QASIM

Have you forgotten your shame at Buchenwald?
Do you remember your flames at Buchenwald?
Have you forgotten your love in the lexicon
of silence? Do you remember your panic―
at the reign of death, in the nightmare of time―
that the whole world
would become a Buchenwald?
Whether you’ve forgotten or not,
the dead’s images linger
among the wreaths of flowers,
and from the dismembered corpses
a hand emerges,
a nail in the palm and tattoo on the wrist―
a sign for the planet.
Do you remember? Or not?
Buchenwald― whether or not you’ve forgotten,
the images of the murdered
remain among the wreaths of flowers . . .

From:  Al-Qasim, Samih. SADDER  THAN  WATER.  New  and  Selected  Poems.  Trans. Nazih Kasis and Adina Hoffman. Jerusalem: Ibis Editions, 2008.  Available from Barnes and Noble.

 

“. . .hate is not love and love is freedom . . .” (Ramzy Baroud)

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Sunrise, The Great March of Return. (Photo: Palestinian Information Center, December 7, 2018)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .
  ON  37TH    FRIDAY  OF  GREAT  MARCH  OF  RETURN  AND  BREAKING  SIEGE,  ISRAELI  FORCES  WOUND  72  CIVILIANS,  INCLUDING  11  CHILDREN,  1  WOMAN  AND  2  PARAMEDICS
On Friday evening, 07 December 2018, Israeli forces wounded 72 Palestinian civilians, including 11 children, 1 woman and 2 paramedics in the peaceful demonstrations in the eastern Gaza Strip despite the decreasing intensity of the demonstrations there for the sixth week consecutively and absence of most means usually used during the demonstrations since the beginning of the Return and Breaking the Siege March 7 months ago.    ___According to observations by PCHR’s fieldworkers, for the fifth week since the beginning of the Return March on 30 March 2018, the demonstrators abstained from burning tires while the attempts to cross the border fence and throw stones and incendiary balloons were completely absent.     More . . .
. . . . Related   Palestinian Forced to Demolish his Home in East Jerusalem
. . . . Related   Child injured in settler attack on Palestinian family
. . . . Related   Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (29 November – 05 December 2018)
. . . . Related   41 violations committed against Palestinian content on social media
| PALESTINE  SIGNS  10  COOPERATION  AGREEMENTS  WITH  FRANCE;  PREMIER  APPRECIATES  FRENCH  SUPPORT
Palestine and France signed 10 cooperation agreements on Friday during a visit for Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah to Paris and his meeting with his French counterpart Edouard Philippe.    ___Hamdallah thanked France during a joint press conference with Philippe for its support for Palestine on all levels and its support for the two-state solution.    ___”As I expressed in our discussions with Prime Minister Philippe today, we are grateful for the French positions which demonstrate strong commitments to deepen and develop our partnership and cooperation and I would like to emphasize that this is also our commitment,” said Hamdallah.    More . . .
. . . . Related  FM Malki: France agreed in principle to cooperate in opening of the Paris Economic Protocol
. . . . Related  One year on: The political and human impact of Trump’s Jerusalem decision
DECEMBER  9  MARKS  31ST  ANNIVERSARY  FOR  OUTBREAK  OF  FIRST  UPRISING  –  THE  STONES  INTIFADA
On DECEMBER 8, 1987
, an Israeli settler identified as Herzel Boukiza rammed his vehicle into Palestinian workers returning home through Erez/Beit Hanoun checkpoint between Israel and Gaza. Four workers from Jabalya and Maghazi in Gaza were killed.    ___The next day, and following the funerals of the four, angry Palestinians took to the streets in Jabalya to protest the premeditated attack. The protests then quickly spread to the rest of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank where thousands of Palestinians took to the streets and engaged the heavily armed Israeli soldiers with stones in what has become to be known as the stones uprising or Intifada.   [. . . .] a total of 1550 Palestinians were killed, over 70,000 injured more than half of them suffered permanent disabilities, between 100,000 to 200,000 were detained. . .      More . . .

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .
| ISRAEL  DISPLACES,  LOCKS  UP  AND  KILLS  PALESTINIAN  CHILDREN
By Mohammad Balawi
What does it take to make someone wield a screwdriver and attack a fully armed, well-trained, well-protected soldier, knowing that if he got injured no ambulance would take him to hospital, and if he is lucky he will spend the best years of his life behind bars?    [. . . .] Consider a 16-year-old who has lived all his life under occupation. . . Given how he has grown up, would it make sense for him to attack a fully grown man armed to his teeth with a screwdriver or a kitchen knife, or throw a stone at his tormentors?    ___Israeli occupiers have a peculiar way of explaining this situation. These teens, according to them, are no more than terrorists . . .  lured by money, instigated by terror organisations and encouraged by the leniency of Israeli democracy and the judiciary system, even though Israeli authorities demolish the attacker’s family home and in many cases leave him on the ground bleeding to death.    More . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . .   

“MY  NAME  IS  HERMAN  WALLACE,”  BY  RAMZY  BAROUD

I am a black Palestinian,
South African,
Vietnamese . . .
My name is Mohammed,
Fatima,
Wallace,
Mandela,
Durra,
King . . .
Resistance is my creed.
Prophets found their sanctuary when
they were shot on my soil.
By Israeli bullets
In the Battle of Dien Bien Phu
And just when you think I am defeated,
My fist will rise from the charred earth,
In a painting by Naji Ali,
Through the thick walls of Louisiana State Penitentiary
In the streets of Hanoi,
Amid the rubble of a Gaza mosque.
Even on my dying bed.
I speak many tongues,
And have many names.
But my face is always my face.
On my forehead stitched the memory of pain.
I smile still.
And teach my son never to hate
Because hate is not love
And love is freedom.
I am a Palestinian.
My name is Herman Wallace
And I will always die free.

From: I  REMEMBER  MY  NAME:  POETRY  BY  SAMAH  SABAWI,  RAMZY  BAROUD,  JEHAN  BSEISO.  Vacy Vlazna, editor. London: Novum Publishing, 2016. Available from publisher.

“. . . We wait for the promise of July And the joyous dance . . .” (Jabra Ibrahim Jabra)

IMG_3102 - Copy - CopyFrom the  WALL  MUSEUM  in Bethlehem.
(Photo: Harold Knight, November 6, 2015)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .
PALESTINIANS  GEARING  UP  FOR  ANTI-OCCUPATION  PROTESTS  AT  GAZA  BORDER 
The Higher National Commission of the March of Return and Breaking the Siege has called on the Palestinian masses to take part in the large-scale protests set to be staged on Friday along Gaza’s borderlands.    ___The Higher Commission said in a statement that the peaceful protests make part of Palestinians’ struggle to liberate their land, lift the siege on Gaza, and thwart the US-drafted deal of the century.    More . . .
. . . . Related  Israel returns fishing boats, tools to Gaza
. . . . Related  Gaza hospitals overwhelmed by wounded in Israeli violence: Report
. . . . Related  Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (22 – 28 November 2018)
CHRISTMAS  2018  PREPARATIONS  WELL  UNDERWAY  IN  BETHLEHEM:  “A  FEAST  OF  PEACE,  HOPE  AND  JUSTICE”
Preparations for Christmas 2018 are well underway according to the Press Conference held at the Bethlehem Peace Center today. With the world’s spotlight beaming down this December on the city – the birthplace of Jesus Christ – the municipality of Bethlehem announced that the theme of this Christmas is ‘Being and Existence’.    ___The mayor of Bethlehem, Anton Salman, explained that this Christmas is a time to show the world that the Palestinian people “are rooted in this land, just as the trees are”. The Palestinian people “are one community, regardless of different religions”, the mayor said, squelching any notion that the occupation had spread of the oppression of Palestinian Christians by its Muslim majority.    More . . .
. . . . Related  Bethlehem Prepares to Celebrate Christmas 2018
| ASHRAWI  URGES  EBU  NOT  TO  BROADCAST  EUROVISION  IN  ISRAELI  SETTLEMENTS
Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) Executive Committee Member, Hanan Ashrawi, called upon the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) to respect the Palestinian people’s rights by not broadcasting any Eurovision Song Contest events in Israel’s illegal settlements.    ___Ashrawi said, in a statement, that giving Israel the privilege of hosting the 2019 Eurovision amounts to rewarding it for and helping it to conceal its decades-old military occupation and grave violations of Palestinian national and human rights.    [. . . . ] Last week, three Manchester, UK-based pro-Palestine groups called on European artists and performers to Boycott Eurovision 2019 hosted by Israel, while over 140 artists, including musicians, writers, actors, directors, novelists and poets had signed a letter calling for the event’s boycott.    More . . .
. . . . Related  Japan funds project to enhance water quality in West Bank town
. . . . Related  Palestinian Forum in Britain Organizes Largest Palestinian Festival in London
. . . . Related  Alray International Media Watch from Alray Palestinian Media Agency (Nov. 29, 2018)

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .
| ZIONISM:  CYCLES  OF  TRAUMA  AND  AGGRESSION  IN  THE  SERVICE  OF  SETTLER  COLONIALISM
By Yoav Litvin
The origins of Zionism are profoundly misunderstood by many. This is not coincidental and can be seen largely as the result of propaganda, which opportunistically and erroneously asserts that Zionism is the natural expression of Judaism.    ___In fact, Zionism gained traction among some Jews only in the late 19th  century in response to antisemitism and romantic European nationalist movements. Zionists syncretized many white supremacist, antisemitic, messianic and fascistic racialized dogmas and were thus overwhelmingly unpopular among most Jews, who viewed the ideals of the enlightenment–emancipation, equality and integration – as their target.    [. . . .] In response to antisemitism, Zionists embraced their fear and contempt of their abusers to produce defensive aggression, reinventing identity in a reactionary attempt to ensure survival and restore  pride. The reward of violence–power-quickly enticed Zionist leaders to morph what began as a defensive strategy into an offensive one that culminated with a settler colonialist vision of a homeland in Palestine at the expense of its Indigenous population, the existing Palestinian people.    More . . .
. . . . Related  Israeli journalist lectures against ‘Zionist racism’ in Prague

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . .

“IN  THE  DESERTS  OF  EXILE,”  BY  JABRA  IBRAHIM  JABRA
Spring after spring,
in the deserts of exile,
What are we doing with our love,
When our eyes are full of frost and dust?

Our Palestine, green land of ours;
Its flowers as if embroidered of women’s gowns;
March adorns its hills
With the jewel-like peony and narcissus;
April bursts open in its plains
With flowers and bride-like blossoms;
May is our rustic song
Which we sing at noon, in the blue shadows,
Among the olive trees in our valleys,
And in the ripeness of the fields we wait for the promise of July
And the joyous dance amidst the harvest.

O land of ours where our childhood passed
Like dreams in the shade of the orange grove,
Among the almond trees in the valleys―
Remember us now wandering
Among the thorns of the desert,
Wandering in rocky mountains;
Remember us now
In the tumult of cities beyond deserts and seas;
Remember us with our eyes full of dust
That never clears in our ceaseless wandering.
They crushed the flowers on the hills around us,
Destroyed the houses over our heads,
Scattered our torn remains
Then unfolded the desert before us,
With valleys writhing in hunger
And blue shadows
Scattered into red thorns
Bent over corpses left as prey for falcon and crow.

Is it from your hills that the angels sang to the shepherds
Of peace on earth and goodwill among men?
Only death laughed when it saw
Among the entrails of beasts
The ribs of men,
And through the guffaw of bullets
It went dancing a joyous dance
On the heads of weeping women.
Our land is an emerald,
But in the deserts of exile,
Spring after spring,
Only the dust hisses in our face.
What then, what are we doing with our love,
When our eyes and our mouth are full of frost and dust?

–From THE  PALESTINIAN  WEDDING:  A  BILINGUAL  ANTHOLOGY  OF  CONTEMPORARY  PALESTINIAN  RESISTANCE  POETRY. Ed. and Trans. A. M. Elmessiri. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2011. Reprint from Three Continents Press, Inc., 1982.  Available from Palestine Online Store.
(“Jabra Ibrahim Jabra’s Baghdad Home Destroyed; 
The End of an Era?”)

“. . . The war enters into farce: They bomb a butterfly! . . .” (Mourid Barghouti)

rsz_palestinian-slingshot - Copy
Saber al-Ashqar, 29, with amputated legs, swinging a slingshot as part of the weekly “Great March of Return” protests (Prize-winning Photo: Mahmoud Hams, via Twitter; in Palestine Chronicle)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .
|  MASSIVE  PROTESTS  SET  OFF  AGAINST  GAZA  CEASEFIRE  IN  TEL  AVIV  (VIDEOS)
Hundreds of Israelis from Israeli communities surrounding the besieged Gaza Strip, participated in a protest in Tel Aviv, in central Israel, on Thursday, against “a weak reaction” on the part of the Israeli government after agreeing to a ceasefire with the Hamas movement.    ___A Ma’an reporter said protesters blocked the Azrieli Junction, in the center of Tel Aviv, holding banners and shouting slogans, such as “the south will not be silent.”   More . . .
. . . . Related  Palestinian  Fisherman  Killed  in  Gaza  despite  Ceasefire  (VIDEO)
. . . . Related  Gaza  farmer  shot,  injured  by  Israeli  gunfire  while  working  in  his  land
. . . . Related  As  Palestinians  plant  trees,  Israeli  soldiers  attack  them
. . . . Related  Nael  al-Barghouti:  39  years  in  Israeli  custody   “. . . based on Guinness World Records, is the longest-serving political prisoner ever. . .”
|  UNGA  VOTES  IN  FAVOR  OF  8  PRO-PALESTINE  RESOLUTIONS   
The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) voted, early Saturday, in favor of eight resolutions on Palestine and a ninth on the Syrian Golan Heights.    ___Palestine’s Permanent Observer to the UN Riyad Mansour said, commenting on the vote, that the votes are proof that the international community stands behind and supports the Palestinian cause despite of efforts by the United States to change that.    ___Mansour told Voice of Palestine radio that UNGA voted in favor of four resolutions related to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) and four more on the practices of the Israeli authorities in the occupied territories.    More . . .
| PALESTINE  BOOK  AWARDS  2018  WINNERS  ANNOUNCED 
The winners of the Palestine Book Awards (PBA) were unveiled at a prestigious event in London tonight, attended by prominent figures from the world of academia, literature and politics . . .   Two books were presented with the Academic Award.  MAHA NASSER  was honoured for her work “Brothers Apart: Palestinian citizens of Israel and the Arab world”, which explores the transnational connections forged between Palestinian intellectuals and the rest of the Arab world, and  COLIN ANDERSON  for“Balfour in the Dock: J.M.N. Jeffries & the Case for the Prosecution”, which examines the 750-page magnum opus on Palestine by outstanding British journalist J M N Jeffries.    ___REJA-E BUSAILAH  was presented with the Memoir Award for his autobiographical work “In the Land of My Birth: A Palestinian Boyhood, which documents his childhood in the lead up to the loss of Palestine in the 1948 Nakba (the Catastrophe).    ___The Lifetime Achievement Award, a prize that honours the author’s many contributions to literature on Palestine, was awarded to  SALIM TAMARI. . .   he has secured his place as one of the Arab world’s most experienced academics on the Israel-Palestine conflict.    More . . .
. . . . Related  Palestinian  Photojournalist  Wins  First  Place  in  French  Photo  Awards   October 18, 2018
. . . . Related  Palestine  to  Host  Arab  Statisticians    “The Union of Arab Statisticians wishes to extend its congratulations and best wishes to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) on the occasion of its achieving first place among the Arab statistical . . .”
. . . . Related  Palestinian  Museum  Revives  Solidarity  Posters  with  New  Workshop,  Exhibit

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

EXCERPT  FROM  “MIDNIGHT,”  BY  MOURID  BARGHOUTI
. . . The soul retains its passion
even on the cross,
the body has its dance,
even on the ropes.
The war enters into farce:
They bomb a butterfly!
It becomes even more farcical:
the butterfly has not died
but, with its fragility still intact,
has grown yet lovelier,
towering above the hubris of the general
and his science of war.
Here is half the triumph:
the butterfly,
armed with nothing but its beauty and the thrust of its wings,
enters the contest, sure of death.
It will die, it knows it will die,
–  from the qualities of the killer and from its own qualities.
Yet,
from the window of a future despair,
it will return,
flapping its wings in the rooms of fancy.
The soul retains its passion even on the cross,
even on the ropes, the body has its dance. . .  (pages 47-48)

From: Barghouti, Mourid.  MIDNIGHT  AND  OTHER  POEMS.  Trans. By Radwa Ashour. Todmorden, Lancashire, UK: Arc Books, 2008. Available from B&N.

“. . . My friend / You cannot ask me to leave . . .” (Fouzi el-Asmar)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .
|    TENSIONS  EASE  IN  GAZA,  ALLOWING  MONEY  AND  FUEL  TO  ROLL  IN
For months, Israel has tried to quell Gaza’s border protests through force. Now Israel is taking a different approach, easing a blockade and allowing millions of dollars in aid to flow into Gaza, the impoverished enclave controlled by Hamas, its bitter foe.    ___The aim of the change, in a plan mediated by Egypt and with money supplied by Qatar, is to provide much-needed relief for Gaza, restore calm on the Israeli side of the border and avert another war.    ___The clashes along Gaza’s border have caused misery on both sides: At least 170 Palestinians have been killed, and thousands of acres of Israeli farmland have been torched.    ___But the change in Israel’s approach presents risks for leaders on both sides, pressures that could doom even this limited warming of relations.    More . . .
|    QATARI  CASH  CAN’T  STOP  ISRAELI  BULLETS
One Palestinian was killed during the 33rd consecutive Friday of mass protests along the eastern perimeter of the occupied Gaza Strip.    [. . . .] Yahya Sinwar, the leader of Hamas in Gaza . . . said his faction was reaching “understandings” with Egypt, Qatar and the United Nations to lift the blockade.    [. . . .] Qatari officials brought in $15 million in cash to Gaza in recent days, disbursing it to some 30,000 civil servants hired by Hamas since 2007 whose salaries hadn’t been paid in months. The money will also be used to create 10,000 jobs in Gaza, where unemployment is currently nearly 55 percent – believed to be among the highest rates in the world, if not the highest.    ___The Qatari funding is the first installation of a total of $90 million pledged by the Gulf country for Gaza to be paid over the following six months.    More . . .
|    ISRAEL’S  NEW  DECISION  TO  BAN  DEALING  WITH  LARGE  CASH  A  NEW  CHALLENGE  TO  THE  PALESTINIAN  ECONOMY    In few weeks, the Israeli decision barring dealing with large cash in commercial transactions that exceed 11,000 Israeli shekels ($3000) will get into force, which may have big and immediate repercussions on the Palestinian economy.    [. . . .] The Israeli decision prohibits dealing with cash in commercial transactions. . .  replacing it with electronic means of payment . . .   [. . . .] With the weakness of modern means of payment in Palestine, in light of large daily transactions in Israeli currency, there is fear of large inflow of shekel into the Palestinian market, which already suffers from a large surplus of this currency.    More . . .
|    PALESTINIANS  CONDEMN  HOLLYWOOD  STARS’  FUNDRAISER  FOR  ISRAELI  ARMY
Palestinian people condemned several Hollywood starts who celebrated and raised millions of dollars to fund the Israeli army last week.    ___The Middle East Eye London-based news outlet reported that the gala was organized on November 1st, by Friends of the Israeli Defense Forces, adding that Hollywood stars such as  Ashton  Kutcher,  Gerard  Butler  and  Andy  Garcia attended and celebrated the event.    [. . . .] The event was met with condemnation in Palestine and by Palestinians on social media.    ___One of the organizers of  “The Great March of Return,  which takes place every Friday at the eastern borders of the besieged Gaza Strip, Ahmad Abu Artema, told Middle East Eye that “The Israeli army will use these funds to buy more bullets and more bombs, only to kill more civilians.”    More . . .
. . . . Related  ISRAELI  FORCES  INJURE  AT  LEAST  37  PALESTINIANS  AT  EASTERN  GAZA  BORDERS
. . . . Related  PALESTINIAN  SUCCUMBS  TO  WOUNDS  SUSTAINED  IN  GAZA  PROTESTS
. . . . Related  FOUR  PALESTINIANS  INJURED  IN  KAFR  QADDUM  MARCH

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .
|    JERUSALEM  CHURCHES  ACHIEVE  NEW  VICTORY  AGAINST  ISRAEL  GOVERNMENT  (VIDEO) 
The Council of Jerusalem Churches has achieved a new victory against the Israeli government, with an “unprecedented number of US churches condemn[ing] Israeli attempts to confiscate church lands,” a Council statement – a copy of which was sent to MEMO – said on Friday.     ___The Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem, Theophilos III, who heads the Council of Jerusalem Churches has toured the USA and EU countries to lobby against an Israeli law – known as the “Properties Bill” – which was recently advanced in the Knesset to target church property.    More . . .
|    ‘LIVING  STONES’  OF  AL  AHLI  ARAB  HOSPITAL  BUILD  A  MINISTRY  OF  HEALING,  WITNESS  IN  GAZA
By  Mary  Frances  Schjonberg,  Posted  Mar.  27,  2018
(Note: reposted to show the people of the US continue relationship with Gazans despite the actions of the US government)
Healing comes in many forms, and Al Ahli Arab Hospital’s medical ministry . . .  provide[s] the people of the Gaza Strip with an example of the love of Christ in action.    ___That example is set in an area whose Christian population is dwindling. Suhaila Tarazi, the hospital’s director general, estimates there are no more than 900 Christians among Gaza’s 2 million residents. Ten years ago, the number of Christians stood at 3,000 and the total population was around 1.5 million.    ___Tarazi told Bishop Michael Curry, Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, United States. . . that the remaining Christians are “the living stones” of Gaza, and so too are institutions like Al Ahli Arab Hospital, which is one of more than 30 social service ministries of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem.   More . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

“TO  A  JEWISH  FRIEND,”  BY  FOUZI  EL-ASMAR
Don’t ask me
the impossible
Don’t’ ask me
to hunt stars,
walk to the sun.
Don’t ask me
to empty the sea
to erase the day’s light
I am nothing but a man.

Don’t ask me
to abandon my eyes, my love,
the memory of my childhood.

I was raised
under an olive tree,
I ate the figs
of my orchard
drank wine from
the sloping vineyards
Tasted Cactus fruit
in the valleys
more, more.

The nightingale has sung
in my ears
The free winds of fields and cities
always tickled me
My friend
You cannot ask me
to leave my own country.  (March 1971)

El Azmar, Fouzi. POEMS  FROM  AN  ISRAELI  PRISON.  Intro. By Israel Shahak. New York: KNOW Books, 1973.  Available from Abe Books.

 

“. . . the walls arising from silent rocks. . .” (Ibrahim Nasrallah)

holy land 1 046Palestinian home demolished by Israeli Occupation Forces, Silwan neighborhood,
East Jerusalem. Demolitions have continued for decades.
(Photo: Harold Knight,  ‎JULY  ‎12,  ‎2006)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . . .
|    ISRAEL  COMMENCES  DEMOLITIONS  EAST  OF  JERUSALEM
Israeli bulldozers demolished a Palestinian-owned residential building, on Thursday morning, in the al-Zaayim village, east of Jerusalem.     [. . . .] Israeli soldiers prevented residents, locals and reporters from approaching the area. . .  the demolition was carried out under the pretext that the structure was built without the difficult-to-obtain Israeli permit.    ___Nearly all Palestinian applications for building permits in Area C are denied by the Israeli authorities, forcing communities to build illegally.    More . . .
. . . . Related  ISRAEL  DEMOLISHES  PALESTINIAN  RESIDENTIAL  BUILDING  IN  EAST  JERUSALEM
. . . . Related  ISRAEL  DEMOLISHES  PART  OF  PALESTINIAN  CEMETERY  IN  JENIN
. . . . Related  ISRAELI  BULLDOZERS  RAZE  LANDS  IN  SOUTHERN  GAZA
. . . . Related  ARMY  DEMOLISHES  MEMORIAL  FOR  PALESTINIAN  KILLED  BY  SOLDIERS
. . . . Related  ISRAELI  MILITARY  DESTROYS  TEACHING  FACILITY  AT  JORDAN  VALLEY  SCHOOL [KHIRBET IBZEIK]
|    REPORT:  IOF  CONTINUE  SYSTEMATIC  CRIMES  IN  THE  OCCUPIED  PALESTINIAN  TERRITORY
Israeli forces continued to use excessive force against unarmed civilians and peaceful protesters in the Gaza Strip

  • A civilian succumbed to wounds he sustained during his participation in the Return and Breaking Siege protests.
  • 77 civilians, including 12 children, a woman, a journalist and 3 paramedics, were wounded; 4 of them sustained serious wounds.
  • Israeli forces continued to open fire at the border areas in the Gaza Strip . . .   More . . .

   BELGIUM  TO  UPGRADE  PALESTINIAN  DIPLOMATIC  REPRESENTATION  IN  BRUSSELS
Belgium has decided to upgrade the diplomatic status of the Palestinian representative office in Brussels, according to a joint statement issued on Wednesday.    ___This was announced following a meeting between Foreign Minister Riyad Malki and his Belgian counterpart Didier Reynders and Minister of Cooperation and Development Alexander De Croo in Brussels.    ___The two sides signed a joint declaration following their ministerial dialogue in which they affirmed their desire to develop bilateral relations in several fields . . .  More . . .

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .
|    THIS  IS  HOW  ISRAEL  WAS  ESTABLISHED  ON  FALSEHOOD  AND  AGGRESSION   A hundred and one year has passed since the notorious Balfour Declaration. A declaration made to those who do not deserve by those who do not own, initiating the first stage of suffering of the Palestinian people over the last 101 years of displacement, torture, and massacres, which resulted in the martyrdom of thousands of them.    ___The infamous Declaration, under which, the future of an entire people was destroyed, for the benefit of a handful of Jews gathered from the corners of the globe to build a state called Israel on the ruins of Palestine and the ruins of its children and women, including the victims of Deir Yassin, Sabra and Shatila, Kufur Kassem, as well as the bloody massacres committed against the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.    ___THE  TEXT  OF  THE  DECLARATION . . .  More . . .
|   NORMALIZING  EXTERNAL  NARRATIVES  IN  PALESTINE’S  SPACES  FOR  EDUCATION   In collaboration with the Palestinian Ministry of Education,  the  EU  launched  a  competition  across  schools  in Gaza and the occupied West Bank called “Know Europe”. The aim, according to EU Deputy Representative Tomas Niklasson, is “to introduce ourselves again to students of Palestine: introduce our values, culture, history, and identity” and affirm the bloc’s purported commitment to supporting Palestinians.    ___THIS  EDUCATIONAL  ENDEAVOR  IS  TANTAMOUNT  TO  FORCING  GRATITUDE for symbolic recognition, decades after colonial conquest and entrenchment. Yet the reasoning behind the competition, according to the press release, is that “the European Union has a lot in common with Palestine and the region”. PALESTINIANS  KNOW  THERE  IS  NO  COMPARISON, yet this misconception is now being normalized through education, despite the obvious differences between a bloc of countries and Palestine’s disappearance.        More  .  .  .

POEM    FOR    THE    DAY.  .  .  .   

“THE  WINDOWS,”  BY  IBRAHIM  NASRALLAH
Windows are a first step into the world,
a song on a spacious cloud,
a departure, a rose,
the braids of the moon falling over hills,
a heartbeat in the darkenss of the night
that travels in chains
and in men.
They are a threshold for the prayers
of our lonely neighbor,
an oasis for lovers
and children, the tempting fruit
in baskets, the seagull in the heart
bent down in sleep, the wisdom of the walls
arising from silent rocks and moving
toward mountaintops.

–From From Nasrallah, Ibrahim. RAIN INSIDE: SELECTED POEMS. Trans. Omnia Amin and Rick London. Willimantic, CT: Curbstone Press, 2009Available from Barnes and Noble.