“. . . Let the oppressor review his account . . .” (Tawfiq Zayyad)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .

|    ISRAEL  APPROVES  20,000  SETTLEMENT  UNITS  IN  MAALE  ADUMIM
The Israeli government has approved the construction of more than 20,000 new housing units in the illegal Israeli settlement of Maale Adumim, east of Jerusalem.    ___Hebrew-language news outlets reported that the approval of the new housing units came after a long period of fear and political confrontation.     ___Sources mentioned the existence of a comprehensive development agreement between the Israeli Ministry of Construction and Housing and the Maale Adumim Municipality to build thousands of housing units in the illegal settlement over the coming years.    More . . .
|    WORLD  BANK  INCREASES  ALLOCATIONS  TO  PALESTINE  TO  $90  MILLION
The World Bank Country Director for West Bank and Gaza, Marina Wes, announced on Saturday that the World Bank has increased this year’s allocation to Palestine to $90 million, up from the previous $55 million.    ___Wes said a new assistance strategy for Palestine has been presented to the World Bank’s board of executive directors that focus on job creation and private sector development.    ___“In December 2017, we at the World Bank presented a new assistance strategy for the West Bank and Gaza at two of our board’s executive directors, and this new assistance strategy has a very strong focus on job creation and private sector development.”    More . . .
|    YOUNG  MAN  SHOT  AT  GAZA  PROTEST  SUCCUMBS  TO  INJURY
Another Palestinian young man has died of a serious injury he sustained during his participation in a March of Return rally staged east of central Gaza last Friday.    ___According to the health ministry, 37-year-old Yehya Hasnat died after he succumbed to a head injury caused by Israeli gunfire.    ___His death has raised the number of Gazans who were killed recently by the Israeli occupation forces during Friday’s protests on the Gaza border to seven.    More . . .
. . . . Related  Israeli  Airstrikes  Damage  Buildings,  Including  Hospital  in  Gaza
. . . . Related  IOF  Open  Fire  On  Gaza  Farmers
. . . . Related  Palestinians  Kidnapped  By  Israel  Army  In  Predawn  Sweep
. . . . Related  IOF  attacks  Palestinian  citizens  in  Azzun  town

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .

|   UN  HUMAN  RIGHTS  EXPERT  URGES  ACTION  TO  STOP  ISRAEL’S  ANNEXATION  IN  WEST  BANK
A UN human rights expert said it was high time the international community takes firm action to stop Israel’s annexation of large parts of the West Bank through settlement expansion and legislative initiatives. . .    ___“During five decades of the occupation, Israel has steadily entrenched its sovereign footprint throughout the West Bank,” the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the occupied Palestinian territory said. Michael Lynk, in a report to the UN General Assembly, highlighted settlement construction and expansion. . .    ____“The Israeli Knesset has adopted a number of laws in the past year that have become a flashing green light for more formal annexation steps,” he said. . .     ___“The  strict  prohibition  against  annexation  in  international  law  applies not only to a formal declaration, but also to those acts of territorial appropriation by Israel that have been a cumulative part of its efforts to stake a future claim of formal sovereignty over the occupied Palestinian territory.”    More . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

“WE  SHALL  REMAIN,”  BY  TAWFIQ  ZAYYAD
It is a thousand times easier
For you
To pass an elephant through the needle’s eye
To catch fried fish in the Milky Way
To plow the sea
To teach an alligator speech,
A thousand times easier
Than smothering with your oppression.
The spark of an idea
Or forcing us to deviate
A single step
From our chosen march.
Like twenty impossibilities
We shall remain in Lydda, Ramlah, and Galilee.

Here upon your chests
We shall remain
Like the glass and the cactus
In your throats
A fiery whirlwind in your eyes.

Here, we shall remain
A wall on your chests.
We wash the dishes in the hotels
And serve drinks to the masters.
We mop the floors in the dark kitchens
To extract a piece of bread
From your blue teeth
For the little ones.

Here, we shall remain
A wall on your chests.
We starve,
Go naked,
Sing songs
And fill the streets
With demonstrations
And the jails with pride.
We breed rebellions
One after another.
Like twenty impossibles we remain
In Lydda, Ramlah, and Galilee.

Here, we shall remain.
You may drink the sea;
We shall guard the shade
Of the olive tree and the fig,
Planting ideas
Like the yeast in the dough.
The coldness of ice is in our nerves
And a burning hell in our hearts.
We squeeze the rock to quench our thirst
And if we starve
We eat the dirt
And never depart
Or grudge our blood.

Here – we have a past
……a present
………..and a future.
Our roots are entrenched
Deep in the earth
Like twenty impossibles
We shall remain.
Let the oppressor review his account
Before the turn of the wheel.
For every action there is a reaction:
Read what is written in the Book.
Like twenty impossibles
We shall remain – in Lydda, Ramlah and Galilee.

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

“. . .They work tanks, but we know stones . . .” (Mohammed Al-Kurd)

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Poet Mohammed El-Kurd. (Photo by Dave Leins, from Middle East Eye)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .

| 70%  OF  JERUSALEMITES’  SHOPS  WERE  CLOSED  DUE  TO  ACCUMULATED  ISRAELI  TAXES
Director of the Jerusalem Center for Economic and Social Rights Ziad Hamouri said that the occupation authorities continue to impose taxes and accumulating debt to the owners, for the goal of displacing them from their city,  adding that  it has already damaged 70% of shops and real estate in Jerusalem.    ___Over 250 shops were closed in the Old City of Jerusalem because of Israeli taxes on Jerusalem property, as well as the siege, closures and tax evasion of Jerusalemites, Hamouri told Voice of Palestine radio on Sunday.    More . . .
Related . . .   Jerusalem:  25  years  after  Oslo  –  A  UN  perspective
Related . . .   World  Bank:  Cash-Strapped  Gaza  And  An  Economy  In  Collapse  Put  Palestinian  Needs  At  Risk
Related . . .   Israel  confiscates  children’s  clothes  heading  to  Gaza
| ISRAELI  FANATICS  GO  ON  A  RAMPAGE  IN  PALESTINIAN  AREAS  IN  JERUSALEM
Israeli fanatics went on a rampage late Sunday early Monday in Palestinian areas inside and outside Jerusalem’s Old City as they marked the end of the Jewish Succot holiday, according to local Palestinian sources.    ___They said the extremist Israeli went on a hate rampage in Musrara neighborhood, just outside Damascus Gate, one of the main gates to the Old City, resulting in injury to five Palestinians.    ___The extremists assaulted Palestinians inside the Old City as well, smashed parked Palestinian cars and damaged shops as they marched inside the narrow Old City streets in all Palestinian areas.    ___Israeli police forces, which were present in large numbers, did not stop the extremist vigilantes but instead fired stun grenades at the Palestinians who tried to defend themselves, their homes and their property.    More . . .
Related . . .   Hordes  of  Israeli  settlers  break  into  al-Aqsa  Mosque
Related . . .   Turkey  condemns  Israel’s  use  of  excessive  force  against  Gaza  civilians
Related . . .   Palestinian  injured,  seven  arrested  in  West  Bank  campaigns

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .

ADALAH:  15  YEARS  SINCE  THE  OR  COMMISSION  RESULTS,  ISRAEL  STILL  USING  SNIPERS  TO  DISPERSE  CROWDS
Eighteen years since the October 2000 Israeli police murder of 13 unarmed Palestinian protesters in Israel and the findings of the  Or  Commission  of  Inquiry  in 2003 into the murders which concluded that:  “It should be unequivocally clear that live fire, including by snipers, is not a means for the police to disperse crowds,” the Israeli military continues killing unarmed Palestinian civilian protesters with snipers . . .   Just this past Friday . . .  troops killed seven people, including two boys ages 11 and 14, and wounded another 257 in Gaza, including 163 shot with live ammunition.    ___Adalah demanded in a statement marking 18 years for the murder of the 13 Palestinians in Israel that Israel immediately halts the shooting of civilian protesters with live ammunition.   More . . .
|  PCBS:  5%  OF  PALESTINIAN  POPULATION  ARE  ELDERLY      On the occasion of the World Elderly day, the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) released a report, on Sunday, that the Palestinian society is considered a young society, where the percentage of young people is high and the percentage of the elderly is relatively low.   ___PCBS confirmed that in 2017, the number of the elderly aged 60 and above reached 233,269 persons (5.0%), with 152,443 persons (5.4%) in the West Bank and 80,826 persons (4.3%) in the Gaza Strip.   ___PCBS said that even though, the percentage of the elderly in Palestine will increase during the coming years, their percentage will stay relatively low . . .   More . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . .

“THIS  IS  WHY  WE  DANCE,”  BY  MOHAMMED  EL-KURD
Mohammed El-Kurd is a 20-year-old from East Jerusalem, now living and studying in Atlanta, Georgia, USA.
HE READS HIS POEM.

“. . . No longer am I some firm-rooted tree . . .” (Yousef El Qedra)

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Residential street in Jerusalem’s Muslim Quarter with homes taken by Israelis. (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 5, 2015)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .

| PALESTINE  FILES  LAWSUIT  AGAINST  US  AT  THE  INTERNATIONAL  COURT  OF  JUSTICE
The State of Palestine has filed a lawsuit against the United States at the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the main judicial body of the United Nations, for violating international law by moving its embassy in Israel to the occupied city of Jerusalem, Foreign Minister Riyad Malki said on Saturday.     ___Malki added in a statement that the case was based on Palestine’s membership in the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations that defines a framework for diplomatic relations between independent countries, specifically the Optional Protocol concerning the Compulsory Settlement of Disputes.     More . . .

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Commercial street in Jerusalem’s Christian Quarter. (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 4, 2015)

| 7  PALESTINIANS,  INCLUDING  2  CHILDREN,  KILLED  IN  GAZA  PROTESTS 
Seven Palestinians, including two children, were shot and killed by Israeli forces during protests across the eastern borders of the besieged Gaza Strip, on Friday afternoon.   ___The Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza confirmed that 7 Palestinians were killed identifying them as 14-year-old boy Muhammad Nayif al-Hum . . . 12-year-old Nasser Azmi Musbeh, and Muhammad Ali Anshashi, 18, both shot and killed in eastern Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip . . .  Spokesperson of the ministry, Ashraf al-Qidra, confirmed that some 506 Palestinians were injured during protests, 90 of whom were injured with live bullets, including 3 critical cases.   ___Thirty-five children were among the injuries, in addition to four paramedics and three journalists.    More . . .
Related . . .   Gaza  is  the  Israeli  arms  industry’s  testing  ground
Related . . .   World  Bank:  Gaza  economy  in  ‘free  fall’
| MINISTERIAL  MEETING  ON  UNRWA  RAISES  REMARKABLE  US$122  MILLION
On 27 September, the Foreign Ministers of Jordan, Sweden, Turkey, Japan and Germany, as well as the High Representative and Vice-President of the European Union, hosted a Ministerial Meeting in New York, with the aim of mobilising financial and political support for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA).   ___The Ministerial Meeting raised a remarkable US$122 million, with Kuwait, the European Union, Germany, Norway, France, Belgium and Ireland announcing additional funding commitments. This meeting represented a crucial step in the efforts to overcome the Agency’s remaining shortfall of US$186 million and sustain UNRWA operations in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, Gaza, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.   More . . .

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .

| WHAT  WAS  WRONG  WITH  BOTH  UN  SPEECHES?
Samia Khoury
On Thursday,  September 27, 2018, both the Palestinian President Abbas and the Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu addressed the United Nations  General Assembly.  ___Every time I listen to speeches like those, I keep hoping against hope that something new or fresh might come up to uplift our morale and truly give us reason to look forward to better days.  Of course it was necessary for president Abbas to draw the attention of the assembly that the USA has not been  an honest broker to the peace process, because they turned a blind eye to the violations of Israel to all the agreements signed with Israel.  He  announced that the Palestinians are not willing to continue  committing themselves to agreements that Israel has not kept. . .   ___On the other hand, Mr. Netanyahu’s  main  emphasis,  before responding to some of the points that  Mr. Abbas referred to, was on Iran.   More . . .
| AL-AQSA  INTIFADA:  THE  REVOLUTION  IS  STILL  GOING  ON  18  YEARS  LATER  
These days coincide with the anniversary of the outbreak of Al-Aqsa Intifada in 2000, which marked a turning point in the Palestinian cause, changing many equations.    [. . . .] The spark of the intifada broke out 18 years ago, after the Israeli war criminal, the leader of the Likud Party at the time, Ariel Sharon, along with Israeli settlers stormed the courtyards of Al-Aqsa Mosque, and tried to desecrate its yards and its symbolic place through their provocative actions.   ___The Palestinian people faced this provocation with courage with their bare chests, providing examples of sacrifice and dignity, as they always did to protect Al-Aqsa Mosque and Jerusalem and the Palestinian cause as a whole.     More . . .
| ISRAEL’S  RETREAT  FROM  DEMOCRACY  CREATING  WIDENING  DIVISION  WITH  AMERICAN  JEWS
Allan C. Brownfeld
Israel’s steady retreat from democracy, as dramatically manifested by the Knesset passing in July a new nation-state law—and its 51-year occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem—is widening the division between American Jews and the self-proclaimed “Jewish state.”   ___An opinion poll published in Israel in June shows a growing gap between Israelis and American Jews. The American Jewish Committee (AJC) survey found that 77 percent of Israelis approved of President Donald Trump’s handling of U.S.-Israel relations, while only 34 percent of American Jews did. Eighty-five percent of Israelis supported the decision to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, upending decades of U.S. foreign policy and an international consensus that the city’s status should be decided through peace negotiations. Only 47 percent of American Jews supported the move.    ___The poll also found that 59 percent of American Jews favor the establishment of a Palestinian state alongside Israel, compared to only 44 percent of Israelis. The two communities also differ sharply on matters of religion and state, particularly on the ultra-Orthodox monopoly over religious affairs in Israel.    More . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . .

“EXHAUSTION  OVERTOOK  ME,”  BY  YOUSEF  EL  QEDRA

I’ve suffered from fatigue since an early age,
And my body crumpled in the presence of sickness.
Probably, my body also fell apart.
No longer am I some firm-rooted tree,
branches mingling with the clear blue sky.
Maybe I have never been that way.
Every cell in my body was shaken.
You saw so many thorny questions grown into my skin.
You saw that my eyes hurt with tears,
and I couldn’t tell from which cascade those tears fell.

You saw clouds that appeared in the minds of my poems
heading back in disappointment toward the river;
the river reverted to its headwaters of first longing.
The sea is too salty. Meanwhile my thirst surprised me
by coming at the wrong time. My thirst was stubborn,
and I am not stubborn with anyone, except myself.

Suddenly, I wanted the world to turn into a desert
without a sun above it. Without memories of the trees
or the river or the distraught young women.
I want myself to be a dead body
smoking a rotten cigarette, watching the emptiness.
I want myself to be a line inside a neglected book,
a line upon which the dust eats and drinks.
—Trans. Yasmin Snounu and Edward Morin

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.  

“. . . No matter your sanctions, no matter your rhetoric and foreign policy . . .” (Jehan Bseiso)

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BARCELONA, SPAIN – SEPTEMBER 14: Women show their support for two sailing boats with only female activists on board, before they set off for the Gaza Strip (Photo: The Middle East Monitor – MEMO)

❶ Israeli forces carry out airstrikes on Gaza Strip, target 3 alleged Hamas sites
❷ World Bank: Israeli restrictions ruining Palestinian economy
❸ POETRY by Jehan Bseiso

  • Background from journal Middle East Policy (lengthy excerpt)

` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ ISRAELI FORCES CARRY OUT AIRSTRIKES ON GAZA STRIP, TARGET 3 ALLEGED HAMAS SITES
Ma’an News Agency
Sept. 15, 2016
Israeli forces carried out several airstrikes on the besieged Gaza Strip during predawn hours on Thursday after a rocket was launched from Gaza and exploded near the border with Israel.
___The Israeli army had said the rocket hit an area near the Eshkol.
___According to locals, Israeli forces targeted empty agricultural lands northwest of Beit Lahiya in the northern region, reportedly striking a site used by the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of the Hamas movement. Israeli forces also shelled another site northwest of Beit Lahiya in the area of al-Shayma also allegedly used by Hamas, causing a fire to break out in the area.       MORE . . .
RELATED  Israeli military cleared on Wednesday its occupation forces of war crimes in incidents of killing civilians during Israeli major offensive on the coastal enclave in 2014. RELATED  Photos: ‘The Women’s boats to Gaza’ prepare to set sail

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Israel’s air force hit the Gaza Strip early Thursday (Photo: Sept 15, 2016 (Agence France‑Presse)

❷ WORLD BANK: ISRAELI RESTRICTIONS RUINING PALESTINIAN ECONOMY
The Palestinian Information Center
Sept. 15, 2016
The prolonged period of slow economic growth has resulted in persistently high unemployment and stagnation in the average income of Palestinian citizens, according to the latest World Bank report on the Palestinian economy.
[. . . .]
Donor aid remains key for improving the humanitarian situation in Gaza. Out of the US$3.5 billion pledged at the Cairo Conference for rebuilding Gaza (2014-2017), 46 percent has been disbursed, which means it is US$1.3 billion behind schedule. Critically, only 16 percent of the total Gaza recovery needs outlined in the detailed assessment that was prepared after the 2014 war have been addressed.   MORE . . .

“GAZA,  2009,”  BY  JEHAN  BSEISO

No matter white flag.

No matter medicine.
No matter civilian.

No matter international community.

No matter your international waters.

No matter your sanctions, no matter your rhetoric and foreign policy.

Only 62 years’ status quo.
Every day, every day Nakba.
Subsidized settlements.

Even more walls.

Children on the ICRC bus, visiting Babas in your prisons ―
Matter.

Food and medicine rotting at every border ―
Matter.
From the shadows, the silent majority watch water go on fire.

Jehan Bseiso is a Palestinian poet, researcher and aid-worker currently based in Cairo. Born in Los Angeles, she grew up in Jordan and studied in Lebanon.
From: I  REMEMBER  MY  NAME:  Poetry  by  Samah  Sabawi,  Ramzy  Baroud,  Jehan  Bseiso. Vacy Vlanzna, ed. London: Novum Publishing, 2016. Available from Barnes and Noble.

  • Zunes, Stephen. “The Gaza war, Congress and international humanitarian law.” Middle East Policy 17.1 (2010): 68+.FULL ARTICLE

[….]
The large-scale killing of civilians during Israel’s three-week assault on the Gaza Strip in 2008-09 received widespread condemnation from human-rights advocates and international legal scholars the world over. In both Europe and North America, public reaction to the grossly disproportionate Israeli response to Hamas rocket attacks was the most negative ever expressed against an Israeli military action. In Israel itself, soldiers who had witnesses some of the atrocities joined Israeli peace activists in exposing war crimes committed by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). However, the U.S. Congress, under the leadership of the Democratic Party, overwhelmingly defended the Israeli offensive, even to the point of attacking leading defenders of international humanitarian law.

[. . . .]     On November 6, Israel tightened its siege of the Gaza Strip, prompting Human Rights Watch to note, “Israel’s severe limitations on the movement of nonmilitary goods and people into and out of Gaza, including fuel and medical supplies, constitutes collective punishment, also in violation of the laws of war.” Despite this, congressional leaders of both parties continued to defend the sanctions. . . .  Despite the congressional leadership’s support for Israel’s rejection of such efforts to salvage the ceasefire, which could have prevented further rocket attacks into Israel, they subsequently would claim that Israel had “no choice” but to launch its massive assault on the Gaza Strip in retaliation.
[. . . .]     . . . some members of Congress went so far as to simply deny that large-scale attacks against civilian targets were taking place. For example, Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA) . . . insisted that. . . . “The Israeli response has been a series of targeted strikes against Hamas militants, aimed directly at those who are launching the attacks on Israeli civilian population centers” and that “the Israeli military is taking extreme caution to limit civilian casualties.”
[. . . .]     . . .  the goal of Congress appears to be to protect war criminals from prosecution. U.S. support for human rights and international law has always been uneven, but never has Congress gone on record by such an overwhelming margin to discredit these universal principles so categorically. Indeed, it may be a means of preventing the kind of precedent that could serve as a deterrent to subsequent violations of international humanitarian law by the United States in its “global war on terrorism.” By essentially going on record that mass killing of civilians is legitimate as long as you are fighting “terrorists,” this provides a blank check for U.S. forces to commit future atrocities. . . .
[. . . .]
Of greatest concern for the U.S. Congress, however, was the mission organized by the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), headed by the distinguished South African jurist Richard Goldstone. The Goldstone Commission report cited a series of war crimes by both Hamas militia and Israeli forces, called on both Hamas and the Israeli government to bring to justice those responsible, and recommended that, in the absence of credible investigations by their respective governments, the case be referred to the International Criminal Court (ICC) for possible prosecution. . . .
[. . . .] That the report examined violations of international humanitarian law by both sides did not alter these senators’ insistence of bias since, according to the letter, “the vast majority of the report focuses on Israel’s conduct, rather than that of Hamas.”
[. . . .]

“. . . If poetry does not carry a lantern . . .” (Mahmoud Darwish)

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View of the Valley Below the Tent of Nations, 9km Southwest of Bethlehem. (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 13, 2015)

❶ Extending the duration of detaining 4 Jerusalemite children inside internal rehabilitation institutions
❷ Israeli Court Convicts Primary Suspect in Abu-Khdeir Murder
❸ PA losing $285 million a year under arrangements with Israel
❹ Palestine to send medics, aid to Ecuador after deadly earthquake
❺ Opinion/Analysis: POETIC  INJUSTICE:  PALESTINIAN  POET  ARRESTED  OVER  FACEBOOK  POST
❻ POETRY by Mahmoud Darwish
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
EXTENDING  THE  DURATION  OF  DETAINING  4  JERUSALEMITE  CHILDREN  INSIDE  INTERNAL  REHABILITATION  INSTITUTIONS
Wadi Hilweh Information Center – Silwan
April 18, 2016
The District Court judges decided to extend the duration of detaining 4 Jerusalemites children inside internal rehabilitation institutions [. . . .]
___The internal institutions are “rehabilitation institutions” run by the social affairs. Detaining children in such institutions is based on recommendations by the public prosecution and intelligence service; they are considered an alternative to the occupation prisons.      MORE . . .  

ISRAELI  COURT  CONVICTS  PRIMARY  SUSPECT  IN  ABU-KHDEIR  MURDER
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
April 19, 2016
The primary suspect in the murder of Palestinian teenager Mohammed Abu Khdeir was convicted of murder on Tuesday, after an Israeli court in Jerusalem rejected an insanity plea presented by the defendant [. . . .]
___Abu Khdeir’s family demanded that not only Ben-David be sentenced to life imprisonment, but that also HIS FAMILY HOME BE PUNITIVELY DEMOLISHED [emphasis added], in parallel with the Israel’s policy of punitive demolition of family houses of Palestinians accused of carrying out attacks . . .  MORE . . .   HISTORY . . .

PA  LOSING  $285  MILLION  A  YEAR  UNDER  ARRANGEMENTS  WITH  ISRAEL
Ma’an News Agency
April 18, 2016
The Palestinian Authority is losing up to $285 million a year under its current economic arrangements with Israel, the World Bank said on Monday [. . . .]
___It found that the current revenue sharing arrangements as outlined by the Paris Protocol — through which Israel collects VAT, import taxes and other revenues on behalf of the PA — “have not been systematically implemented.”     MORE . . .

PALESTINE  TO  SEND  MEDICS,  AID  TO  ECUADOR  AFTER  DEADLY  EARTHQUAKE
Ma’an News Agency
April 17, 2016
A Palestinian medical team will leave the occupied West Bank on Monday to help victims of a deadly earthquake in Ecuador, the Palestinian Ministry of Health said [. . . .]
___Meanwhile, Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki said a team of 15 Palestinian emergency and disaster medics would leave for Ecuador on Monday.
___Al-Maliki added that Palestine and Ecuador have always shared a strong bond and been supportive of one another.     MORE . . .

Opinion/Analysis:  POETIC  INJUSTICE:  PALESTINIAN  POET  ARRESTED  OVER  FACEBOOK  POST
+972 Blog
Yoav Haifawi
April 17, 2016
Poet and activist Dareen Tatour has been charged with incitement to violence based on a poem she posted on Facebook. Its translation by a policeman whose sole competence as a translator is his ‘love for the Arabic language,’ was enough to convince the court to extend her remand and keep her under house arrest. MORE . . .   

“OF  POETRY,”  BY  MAHMOUD  DARWISH

I

Yesterday, we sang to a star behind a cloud
and bathed in our tears.
Yesterday, we bickered with the vine trees and the moon
with the nights, and fate,
and made love to women.
The hour struck, Khayyam drank on
and under the rhythm of his drugged songs
we remained poor as ever.
Poets, friends
we are in a new world!
What has passed is dead, and whoever writes a poem
in the days of the atom and the wind
creates prophets.

II

Our poems are without colour,
voiceless and tasteless.
If poetry  does not carry a lantern from house to house,
if the poor to not know what it ‘means’
we had better discard it!
It is better that we seek immortal silence

III

I would that these poems were
the chisel in the labourer’s hand,
the bomb in the extremist’s―

I would that these words
were the plough between a peasant’s hands,
a shirt, a door, or a key!
Someone has said,
If my poems please those who love me
and anger my enemies
then I am a poet. . .
But a for me―

(1964)

From WHEN THE WORDS BURN: AN ANTHOLOGY OF MODERN ARABIC POETRY: 1945-1987.
Translated and edited by John Mikhail Asfour. Dunvegan, Ontario, Canada. Cormorant BBooks, 1988.

‘ . . . “Does this rock have a story?” . . .” (Ghassan Kanafani)

Several large eagles inhabit the Middle East. This is the White-tailed Eagle, a fairly common eagle in Palestine. (Photo: Birding Is Fun Blog.) See short story excerpt below.
Several large eagles inhabit the Middle East. This is the White-tailed Eagle, a fairly common eagle in Palestine. (Photo: Birding Is Fun Blog.) See short story excerpt below.

❶ Palestinian prisoners have the will to persevere in the face of the oppressor
❷ VIEW! Israeli occupation of Hebron
❸ Israeli exports hit hard by Palestinian boycott, World Bank says
❹ Solar power pays off for enterprising Palestinians
❺ Opinion/Analysis: Oslo has become a tool for Israeli expansionism — it’s time to let go
❻ Short story excerpt by Ghassan Kanafani (1936-1972)
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ THE MIDDLE EAST MONITOR
PALESTINIAN  PRISONERS  HAVE  THE  WILL  TO PERSEVERE  IN  THE  FACE  OF  THE  OPPRESSOR
Dr Fayez Rasheed
Oct. 2, 2015
There are 17 Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike in Israeli prisons. Altogether, almost 5,000 Palestinians are being held by Israel, including 20 women, 230 children and a number of elderly men. They are all subject to the worst types of cruelty and torture in prison. According to the Palestinian Prisoners’ Society in Ramallah, 95 per cent of Palestinian prisoners are suffering from a form of torture . . . . Over 1,000 of the Palestinians in Israeli jails are ill; 160 have chronic illnesses, including cancer. Eighty are being held under arbitrary administrative detention, based on a law left over from British Mandate days.
____Israel is still holding 30 “old prisoners”, the term describing those who were imprisoned prior to the Oslo agreement . . . .
More . . .
CHRISTIAN PEACEMAKER TEAMS
VIEW!  ISRAELI  OCCUPATION  OF  HEBRON
Oct. 1, 2015
See a week of Israeli occupation in the southern West Bank city of Hebron. [Weekly series of photographs from Christian Peacemakers Teams.]
More . . .
ELECTRONIC INTIFADA
ISRAELI  EXPORTS  HIT  HARD  BY  PALESTINIAN  BOYCOTT,  WORLD  BANK  SAYS
Maureen Clare Murphy
Oct. 2, 2015
The Palestinian campaign to boycott Israeli goods has exacted a major cost on Israel’s exports to the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip.
____This victory is quietly acknowledged in a World Bank report released this week.
____Palestinian imports from Israel dropped by 24 percent during the first quarter of 2015, the report states.
____The World Bank explains that the drop “is the result of reduced economic activity, but also a growing trend among Palestinian consumers to substitute products imported from Israel by those from other countries, as a result of which non-Israeli imports were up 22 percent.”
More . . .
AL-MONITOR (PALESTINE PULSE)
SOLAR  POWER  PAYS  OFF  FOR  ENTERPRISING  PALESTINIANS
Aziza Nofal
October 2, 2015
RAMALLAH, West Bank — Three years ago, Rabia al-Rabi stopped purchasing electricity from the Jerusalem Electricity Company, the official power provider in the city of Ramallah.
____The Palestinian woman actually started selling electricity to the very same company for 800 shekels (about $200) per month after she started a renewable energy generation project at her home.
____Rabi had carefully studied the economic feasibility of the project. Despite the high cost of installing the solar cells, she decided to run the risk and make her house one of the first in Ramallah to generate electricity from solar energy. Solar cells are installed on rooftops. . . .
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❺ Opinion/Analysis
+972 MAGAZINE
OSLO  HAS  BECOME  A  TOOL  FOR  ISRAELI  EXPANSIONISM — IT’S  TIME  TO  LET  GO
Nathan Hersh
Oct. 3, 2015
(Nathan Hersh served in the Israel Defense Forces from 2009 to 2011. He has an MA in Conflict Resolution from Tel Aviv University. He was managing director of Partners for Progressive Israel.)
The Oslo Accords are the banner accomplishment of the Israeli peace movement. But their impact on the West Bank is no longer to orchestrate a phased withdrawal of Israeli forces, which they intended to do. Instead, the leadership in Israel has become increasingly populated by settlers and their sympathizers, and it has used the Oslo Accords for its own ideological pursuits.
____The lasting accomplishments of the Oslo Accords—the division of the West Bank into Areas A, B and C; the cooperation between Israeli and Palestinian security forces and the creation of the Palestinian Authority—have different uses under Netanyahu’s premiership. . . . The Oslo Accords have been manipulated to strengthen the occupation, not dismantle it.
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(Note: The following departure from poetry is intended to spotlight more of the vast tradition of Palestinian literature. These excerpts will appear with regularity.)

FROM  “SIX  EAGLES  AND  A  CHILD,”  A  SHORT  STORY  BY  GHASSAN  KANAFANI
. . . I put up with all of this grudgingly. . . but the one thing that could really break down all my dignified reserve, was when a peasant would give me a nudge in that old car rocking and hurtling over the rough mountain road. . . then I was expected to take part in the conversation and show interest for the rest of the way.
____“Do you see that rock, professor?” said an old peasant one day, pointing through the window to a tall tapering stone standing on a small hill. . .
____“Yes, in fact I see it three times a week.”
____His fingers remained extended in the direction of the rock and he asked again: “Do you know its story?”
____“Does this rock have a story?” I asked out of curiosity, since even though I knew full well that everything in the villages had a story, I didn’t know that this rock, way out here on this desolate road, had its story too. Nonetheless, my question had a certain grumbling to it, and raising the newspaper in front of my eyes, I began to read it desultorily.
____“It began a long time ago . . .”
____I ignored him and went on reading, certain that the old peasant wasn’t looking at me, but was gazing at the rock as it slowly disappeared from the window’s range of vision.
____“I used to travel this way every other day . . . and always when I passed this rock I would see a grey eagle perched on top of it as if it were some kind of stuffed eagle . . . it was in the morning . . . spreading its enormous wings, it would fly to the top of the rock and then alight quietly. It remained there like that until evening when it would fly off again to return to the mountains . . .”
[ . . . . ]
____“Love . . . love does that to everyone . . . .”
[ . . . . ]

Kanafani, Ghassan. PALESTINE’S  CHILDREN:  RETURNING  TO  HAIFA  AND  OTHER  STORIES. Trans. Barbara Harlow and Karen E. Riley. Boulder, CO: Lynne Riener, 2000.
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About Ghassan Kanafani
(From the introduction to the collection: “There is, in addition, a certain dissonance in Kanafani’s imagery that serves to highlight no only the violence of 1948, but also its brutal abruptness and the powerlessness felt by the Palestinians in the face of it” (Riley and Harlow)).

A Palestinian laborer installs solar panels at a photovoltaic plant in the West Bank city of Jericho, March 27, 2012. (photo by REUTERS/Mohamad Torokman)
A Palestinian laborer installs solar panels at a photovoltaic plant in the West Bank city of Jericho, March 27, 2012. (photo by REUTERS/Mohamad Torokman)