“. . . Amid the ruins of a collapsing world . . .” (Fadwa Tuqan)

SELECTED NEWS OF THE DAY

EU says demolition of Palestinian property in occupied West Bank threat to two-state solution

WAFA
September 3, 2019
The European Union (EU) Representative and Heads of Mission in Jerusalem and Ramallah denounced yesterday Israel’s demolition of Palestinian property in Area C of the occupied West Bank as a threat to the two-state solution.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ A statement by the local EU missions referred to the August 26 demolition of a Palestinian family’s home and restaurant near Bethlehem. . . .
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ “These demolitions, together with settlement construction for Israelis in the area, exacerbate threats to the viability of the two-state solution and further undermine prospects for a lasting peace,” said the EU statement.  More . . . .

  • Jerusalem’s Israeli municipality demolishes Palestinian house in the occupied  city  WAFA September 03, 2019
    The Israeli municipality of West Jerusalem demolished today a Palestinian-owned house in al-Tur neighborhood of the occupied city under the pretext it was built without a permit, according to the house owner Mohammad Abu al-Hawa.  More . . . .
  • Israel forces Palestinian family to demolish their home
    The Palestinian Information Center
    September 3, 2019
    The Israeli authorities on Sunday forced a Palestinian family in ‘Ara village in the 1948 occupied Palestinian territories to demolish their own home.  More. . . .
  • Pictures- A Jerusalemite self-demolishes his commercial facility in Silwan
    Wadi Hilweh Information Center – Silwan
    September 1, 2019   More . . . .
  • Israeli settlers set up caravan on confiscated Palestinian land
    The Palestinian Information Center
    September 3, 2019
    Israeli settlers on Tuesday morning erected a caravan on a newly seized Palestinian land in Beit Jala town, west of Bethlehem.
    ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Local sources said that the four-dunum land, owned by the Palestinian citizen Saba Skandar, was seized by the Israeli authorities on Monday without prior notice.  More . . . .

PODCAST: Has international law failed Palestinians?

+972 Magazine
Noura Erakat, Palestinian legal scholar
August 30, 2019
Israel has been able to leverage international law to its advantage much better than the Palestinians, says Noura Erakat, Palestinian legal scholar, human rights activist and author of Justice for Some: Law and the Question of Palestine, on the latest episode of The +972 Podcast.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Erakat proposes understanding it as another tool used to promote a political agenda.  More . . . .

POEM OF THE DAY

“THE  LAST  KNOCK,”  BY  FADWA  TUQAN

Will you not open this door for me?
My hand is exhausted from knocking at Your door.
I have come to Your vastness to beg
Some tranquility and peace of mind
But Your door is closed in my face,
Drowned in silence.
Lord of the house,
The door was open here,
A refuge for all burdened with grief.
The door was open here,
And the green olive tree rose high
Embracing the house.
The oil lamp kindling without fire,
Guiding the steps of one walking at night,
Relieving those crushed by the burden of Earth,
Flooding them with satisfaction and ease.
Do you hear me, O Lord of the house,
After my loss in the deserts;
Away from You I have returned to You
But Your door is closed
In my face, drowned in silence.
Your house is shrouded
With the dust of death.
You are here. Open, then, the door.
Do not veil Your face.
See my orphanhood, my loss,
Amid the ruins of a collapsing world,
The grief of the world on my shoulders
And terrors of a tyrant destiny
To be undone.

From: A Lover From Palestine and Other Poems: An Anthology of Palestinian Poetry. Ed. Abdul Wahab Al-Messiri. Washington, DC: Free Palestine Press, 1970. Available.

‘. . . Call it home for all the living. . .” (Lahab Assef Al-Jundi)

SELECTED NEWS OF THE DAY

Mosque, house demolished in south of West Bank

WAFA
September 2, 2019
The Israeli military authorities demolished today a mosque and a house in the southern West Bank city of Hebron, according to local sources.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Israeli army units used a bulldozer to destroy al-Ummah mosque in Jabal Jouhar south of Hebron city. The demolition included a water well used by the mosque, reported the head of the Hebron Waqf department Jamal Abu Arram, who said that the demolition came as a surprise to them and without a prior warning.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Waqf officials described the demolition of the mosque as an aggression against Muslim holy places ˙ and a provocation, as well as a crime against the right of Muslims to worship.   More . . . .

MoE: School demolition threats will never break the will of resistance & education

Palestine News Network
September 2, 2019
The Ministry of Education (MoE) in a statement on Monday said that the ongoing Occupation violations against Palestinian educational institutions will not break the will of resistance education, pointing out that the policy of notifying schools of demolition and stopping schools’ construction and confiscating their properties will not discourage our determination from educating generations and raising children with national and humanitarian values.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ This comes as IOF handed a demolition threat to Ibzeeq School “Tahaddi 10,” in Tubas, ordering the School to remove the fence surrounding it. This step comes in the context of systematic and continuous attacks against the school, which was previously demolished under false military pretexts. More . . . .

IOF arrest university lecturer from Ramallah

Palestine News Network
September 1, 2019
Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) on Sunday morning launched a raid and arrest campaign in the West Bank, where they arrested four Palestinians including a university lecturer.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ The detainees included a media lecturer at Birzeit University, Widad Barghouti (mother of the two prisoners Qassam and Carmel Barghouti) from Kobar village north of Ramallah.  More . . . .  

Palestinians slam Netanyahu pledge to annex West Bank settlements

Aljazeera
September 2, 2019
Palestinian officials denounce Israel PM’s reiterated pledge to annex occupied West Bank settlements as ‘unacceptable’.
Palestinian officials have denounced Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s reiteration of a pledge to annex all illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank, warning such a move would not lead to “any peace”.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Nabil Abu Rudeineh, a spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, said Netanyahu’s announcement on Sunday was a “continuation of attempts to create an unacceptable fait accompli”.   More . . .

  • Knesset speaker: Netanyahu’s West Bank vow not merely election rhetoric
    The Middle East Monitor
    September 2, 2019
    Knesset speaker Yuli Edelstein said yesterday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s vow to annex West Bank settlements is not merely an election campaign promise, but a real plan.
    ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Speaking to right-wing news outlet Arutz Sheva, Edelstein – a member of Netanyahu’s Likud party – claimed that the movement to annex West Bank territory has made significant gains in recent years.
    ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ “For about a decade we have longed for sovereignty,” Edelstein said, using the language preferred by the Israeli right for annexation, “and have made significant progress”.
    ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ “From a situation in which a minister who referred to the idea of sovereignty in Judea and Samaria [the occupied West Bank] was considered delusional, we have reached a position where Netanyahu’s statement is taken for granted and legitimate,” the long-time Likud lawmaker added.  More . . . .

POEM OF THE DAY

“HOLY LANDERS,” by Lahab Assef Al-Jundi

Listen!
You are fighting over a land that can fit,
with wilderness to spare,
in the Panhandle of Texas [USA]

You are building walls to segregate,
splitting wholes till little is left,
killing and dying for pieces of sky
in the same window.

The olive trees are dying
of embarrassment.

They have enough fruits
and pits for all of you.
All they want is for you to stop
uprooting them.
Sending your children to die
in their names.

Listen!

Your land is no holier than my backyard.
None of you is any more chosen
than the homeless veteran panhandling
with a God Bless cardboard sign
at the light of Mecca
and San Pedro.

Draw a borderline around the place.
Call it home for all the living,
all the dead,
all the tired exiles with its dust
gummed on their tongues.

There are no heroes left.

From Before There Is Nowhere to Stand. Ed. Joan Dobbie and Grace Beeler. Lost Horse Press, 2012.

“I said, it’s no threat, it’s just a fact. . .” (Sam Hamod)

Palestine InSight is published daily except Sundays when only the poetry will be included. Please return for news from Palestine tomorrow. Thank you.

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

“AT  THE  ISRAELI  CHECKPOINT  –  A  POEM,”  BY  SAM  HAMOD  
(In memory of Mahmoud Darwish, the greatest of Arab Poets)
At the checkpoint, the
Israeli private asked me my name, I told
her, my name is
Zaitoun, she asked, what does that mean,
I told her 4,000 year old trees, she laughed,
asked for my real name, I told her, “Dumm,” what?
I said, it means blood, she said, that’s no name, I told her
blood of my grandfather, my father, my uncle
and even mine if necessary, she bridled, called the corporal,
he came running up, said, what kind of threat is that,
I said, it’s no threat, it’s just a fact,
he called the sergeant, he came up and hit me before he spoke,
my mouth  bled,  I told him, this is the blood I mean, that same
blood, you are afraid of, it’s over 4000 years old, see how dark it is
he called the lieutenant, who asked why my mouth was bleeding,
the sergeant said I had threatened him, the lieutenant asked me
if that was the truth, I told him, I had only stated facts, that
they would be true, after they conferred, he called the
colonel, the colonel came over and asked why I’d been provocative,
I said,all I was doing was stating facts; he asked what I did,
I told him, I was a farmer, he asked what kind, I told him
a farmer with words, what some call a poet—
he asked me if I knew the work of Amichai, I told him yes,
that I’d met him, that he knew what I meant, that Amichai was
sorry for what he’d felt he “had to do”—the colonel shrugged
dismissed the others and told me, “pass on,
I understand, but they don’t, they are not Jews, I am Jew,
not a Zionist”
I pulled the qhubz arabi from my pocket, pulled some zaitoun
from another, some jibbin from my bag and gave it to him–
we laughed, he split the bread in half—
we ate together, we laughed at how sad and foolish all this was  

Sam Hamod is a poet who was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry, has published 10 books of poems, the winner of the Ethnic Heritage Prize for Poetry, taught at The Writers Workshop of The U. of Iowa, Princeton, Michigan, Howard and edited THIRD  WORLD  NEWS  in Washington, DC. He contributed this poem to PalestineChronicle.com.

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

SELECTED NEWS OF THE DAY

Youth dies from Israeli gunfire wounds in Gaza

WAFA
August 31, 2019
A Palestinian youth died today from wounds sustained by Israeli gunfire during the protests at Gaza border yesterday, medical sources said. . . .
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Over 300 Palestinians have been killed and about 17,000 others injured by Israeli forces since the outbreak of the Great March of Return protests at Gaza border on March 30, 2018.  More . . . .

Israeli Settlers Assault, Injure Farmer Near Bethlehem

Days of Palestine
August 31, 2019
A Palestinian farmer sustained injuries in the head on Friday night when he was brutally assaulted by extremist Jewish settlers near the village of Artas, south of Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank, local sources said.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Settlers from the Israeli settlement bloc of Gush Etzion reportedly broke into the farm of Ayman Khalil Sa’ad, who comes from Artas, while working in the farm near the village.   More . . . .

Israel Destroys Al-Araqib for 156th Time

IMEMC News & Agencies
August 31, 2019
Israeli occupation authorities have made hundreds of Bedouin Palestinians homeless after demolishing their village in the Negev region for the 156th time, Palestine’s news agency says.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Eyewitnesses said, according to the PNN, that Israeli authorities, on Thursday, demolished crude homes and tore apart tents in the Bedouin village of Araqib, displacing its residents.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Authorities then dragged the debris and remains of the shelters out of the village. They also plundered chairs, pillows, mattresses and other belongings from the villagers.   More . . . .

Israel’s Scramble for Africa: Selling Water, Weapons and Lies

The Palestine Chronicle
Ramzy Baroud
August 30, 2019
For years, Kenya has served as Israel’s gateway to Africa. Israel has been using the strong political, economic and security relations between the two states as a way to expand its influence on the continent and turn other African nations against Palestine. Unfortunately, Israel’s strategy seems, at least on the surface, to be succeeding – Africa’s historically vocal support for the Palestinian struggle on the international arena is dwindling.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ The continent’s rapprochement with Israel is unfortunate, because, for decades, Africa has stood as a vanguard against all racist ideologies, including Zionism – the ideology behind Israel’s establishment on the ruins of Palestine. If Africa succumbs to Israeli enticement and pressure to fully embrace the Zionist state, the Palestinian people would lose a treasured partner in their struggle for freedom and human rights.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ But all is not lost.  More . . . .

POEM OF THE DAY  

RE: CEMETERIES IN PALESTINIAN CAMPS
SHORT ON SPACE/DAILY STAR/16.05.12 — 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, ed. Vacy Vlazna, Novum Oro Books, 2016.
Jehan Bseiso is a Palestinian poet, researcher, and aid worker. She was born in Los Angeles, grew up in Jordan, and studied at AUB in Lebanon. Her poetry has been published in Warscapes, The Electronic Intifada, and Mada Masr, among others. Her book I Remember My Name (2016) was nominated for the Palestine Book Award. She has worked with Doctors Without Borders since 2008 in countries like Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Ethiopia, and others.

“. . . are Palestinians any different from any other refugees . . .” (Lahab Assef Al-Jundi)

SELECTED NEWS OF THE DAY

PCHR Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (22 – 28 August 2019)

Palestinian Center for Human Rights
August 30, 2019

  • Great March of Return in Eastern Gaza Strip: 155 civilians injured, including 60 children, 2 women, and 7 paramedics.
  • West Bank: 4 civilians injured.   During 82 incursions into the West Bank: 79 civilians, including 9 children and a woman, arrested.
  • Notices to confiscate 1186 dunums in eastern Qalqiliyah for settlement expansion; a house and restaurant demolished in Bethlehem, and a Palestinian forced to self-demolish his house in occupied East Jerusalem.
  • 4 shooting incidents reported against Palestinian fishing boats off Gaza shores in addition to a limited incursion into eastern Gaza Strip.  Details . . . .    

China to donate $15 m for several projects in Palestine

WAFA
August 29, 2019
Guo Wei, ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to the State of Palestine, and Amjad Ghanem, Secretary General of Palestinian Council of Ministers, signed yesterday an agreement under which China will be donating $15 million to implement over a dozen projects in different fields in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ These fields include infrastructure, youth and entrepreneurship, women and energy, but on top of which is a project on donating $500,000 to buy school bags for Palestinian children.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ “We named it the School Bag Project,” Ghanem said, adding that about 15,000 to 20,000 new school bags bought with the Chinese donation will be offered next week to Palestinian school children in remote and poor areas in the West Bank and Gaza Strip at the start of the new school year.  More . . . .

Hamas seeks ties with other factions, Palestinian families

Palestine Pulse
Entsar Abu Jahal
August 28, 2019
The two main Palestinian factions in the Gaza Strip are growing closer, and they want the world to know. Yahya Sinwar, Hamas leader in Gaza, revealed Aug. 14 a recent high-level meeting between Hamas and Islamic Jihad political and military leaders.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Sinwar said the six-hour meeting focused on details of the factions’ resistance project and included preparations to deter Israeli aggression and discussions about developing a national action plan, the marches of return and lifting the blockade by Israel. More . . . .

Opinion: The plight of the Palestinian people is to face racism, anywhere and everywhere

The Middle East Monitor
Asa Winstanley
August 30, 2019
Seventeen-year-old Ismail Ajjawi must have been giddy with excitement when he, a Palestinian refugee living in southern Lebanon, won a major scholarship to Harvard University. . . .  Flying into Boston’s Logan International Airport, Ajjawi was detained, interrogated for hours on his political and religious beliefs, screamed at and eventually deported. . . .  After invading his privacy by forcing their way into his social media account, border officials determined that some of his online “friends” had posted “political” views which were critical of the US. This apparently made him “inadmissible” to the country, despite having been already granted a visa. . . .
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Such unjust restrictions on movement, migration, travel, study and employment frequently target many different peoples from the global south. . . . the Palestinians are an almost unique example of a particularly vulnerable, stateless population, which is subject to frequent and arbitrary global movement restrictions. . . .
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ If anything, though, Israel is a product of western imperialism, racism and anti-Semitism; the anti-Semitic view that Jewish people do not “really” belong in Europe is shared by the Zionist movement, as well as by fascists.  More . . . .

POEM OF THE DAY 

“ANY  REFUGEES  IN  THE  WORLD,”  BY  LAHAB  ASSEF  AL-JUNDI

what is the first thing that comes to mind
when you hear of refugees?
what terror trove them out of their homes?
are they getting help?
what is being done for their safe return?

are Palestinians any different from any other refugees?
is it not their simple right
to return to the land they were driven from?

why are they being asked to settle
for money?
who designated the Palestinians as the chosen people
to carry the cross for a guilt-ridden West?
why do politicians tell them
too much time has passed
when their grievance
is with people who went back after 2000 years?

between continued warfare and annihilation
coexistence beckons
as the only
honorable
demographic.

time for peace
now.

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

 

“. . . in the street there’s nothing but a beggar . . .” (Samih al-Qasim)

SELECTED NEWS OF THE DAY

Merkel, Abbas Meet for Talks in Berlin

Asharq Al-Awsat Newspaper
August 29, 2019
Chancellor Angela Merkel says Germany continues to believe a two-state solution for Israelis and Palestinian is the only way for both peoples “to live in peace and security.”
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Merkel stressed her support for a two-state solution ahead of talks Thursday with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas at the Chancellery in Berlin.   More . . . .

Israeli Forces Close Hebron’s Ibrahimi Mosque to Muslim Worshippers

The Middle East Monitor
 August 29, 2019
Israeli forces today closed the Ibrahimi Mosque to Muslim worshippers for 24 hours, in preparation for a Jewish settlers raid to mark a Jewish holiday, said a Waqf official.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Director of the Hebron Waqf Directorate’s Public Relations Department Raed Maswadeh told WAFA that Israeli soldiers closed the mosque to Muslim worshipers, while they allowed Jewish settlers to access it. Maswadeh added that the settlers also set up tents just outside the mosque.    More . . . .

  • In Hebron, Tlaib and Omar would have seen Israel’s apartheid city

    +972 Magazine
    By Avner Gvaryahu
    August 28, 2019
    Had Reps. Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar been allowed to visit Hebron, they would have seen Israel’s official policy of discrimination and segregation for the city’s 215,000 Palestinian residents.
    Outside the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron lies a beautiful leafy garden. In it stands a large stone with the names of the donors – Chicago Friends of Hebron. Even if U.S. Congresswomen Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib had not been barred from visiting the occupied territories earlier this month, Breaking the Silence, an Israeli organization comprised of former IDF soldiers working to expose the realities of military occupation, would not have been able to take them there. Since Omar and Tlaib are both Muslim, they not only would have been unwelcome — Israeli Border Police soldiers stationed around the park would have stopped them from entering.
    ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Discrimination and segregation are unpalatable wherever they exist, but in Hebron’s city center, they have been the official policy for the 215,000 Palestinian residents – especially since the Tomb of the Patriarchs massacre in 1994, in which a Jewish nationalist fanatic shot dead 29 Palestinians while praying at the holy site.   More . . . .     

Israeli Colonists Invade Archaeological Site Near Nablus

IMEMC-International Middle East Media Center
August 29, 2019
A group of illegal Israeli colonialist settlers, accompanied by many soldiers invaded, on Wednesday evening, the archeological area in al-Mas’udiyya, north of Nablus, in northern West Bank, and prevented the Palestinians from entering it.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Ghassan Daghlas, a Palestinian official who monitors Israel’s illegal colonialist activities in northern West Bank, said dozens of colonists and soldiers invaded the archeological area, and its park, in al- Mas’udiyya.   More. . . .

Israeli Troops Abduct Two Married Couples, Journalist in Early Morning Raids

IMEMC-International Middle East Media Center
August 29, 2019
Early Thursday morning before dawn, Israeli troops invaded several parts of the West Bank and abducted five Palestinians — two married couples from Jerusalem, and a photojournalist from the village of Ni’lin.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ According to the Palestinian Wafa News Agency, Israeli forces abducted on Thursday two Palestinian citizens and their wives from the town of Silwan, south of Al-Aqsa Mosque in East Jerusalem. More . . . .

POEM OF THE DAY

“A HOMELAND,” BY SAMIH AL-QASIM

So what,
When in my homeland
The sparrow dies of starvation,
In exile, without a shroud,
While the earthworm is satiated,
Devouring God’s food!

So what,
When the yellow fields
Yield no more to their tillers
Than memories of weariness,
While their rich harvest pours
Into the granaries of the usurper.

So what,
If the cement has diverted
The ancient springs,
Causing them to forget their natural course,
When their owner calls,
They cry in his face: “Who are you?”

So what,
When the almond and the olive tree have turned to timber
Adorning tavern doorways,
And monuments
Whose nude loveliness beautifies halls and bars,
And is carried by tourists
To the farthest corners of the earth,
While nothing remains before my eyes
But dry leaves and tinder!

So what,
When my people’s tragedy
Has turned to farce in others’ eyes,
And my face is a poor bargain
That even the slave-trader gleefully disdains!

So what,
When in barren space the satellites spin,
And in the street there’s nothing but a beggar, holding a hat,
And the song of autumn is heard!
Blow, East winds!
Our roots are still alive!

From A LOVER FROM PALESTINE AND OTHER POEMS, An Anthology of Palestinian Poetry. ed. Abdul Wahab al-Messiri, Free Palestine Press, Washington D.C. 1970.

“. . . is it my country or the source of my exile . . .” (Zuhair Abu Shaib)

SELECTED NEWS OF THE DAY

Israeli army destroys road students in West Bank village use to reach their school

WAFA
August 28, 2019
Israeli army bulldozers destroyed today a road the al-Tira village council had opened a year ago to facilitate movement of students to their school and back as well as movement of residents in general, according to Abdul Jaber Mohammad, head of al-Tira village council located to west of Ramallah. . . .
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ He stressed Israel wants to build a road in that area to connect the illegal Israeli settlement of Beit Horon to the highway that connects Jerusalem to Tel Aviv.    More . . . .

Israel Punishes Gaza with Fuel Cuts

Palestine Chronicle
August 27, 2019
The Israeli government took retaliatory aim at Gaza’s electricity supply Monday ordering fuel shipments into the coastal region to be cut-in-half “until further notice”, over alleged Palestinian rockets attacks against southern Israel on Sunday night.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Mohammad Thabet, a spokesman for the Gaza power company said:  “We already are in a crisis and now the Israeli decision will make it worse. It will have a grave impact on the lives of 2 million people and on vital services such as hospitals.”   More . . . .

Committee Calls on International Community to Protect Palestinian Civilians

IMEMC-International Middle East Media Center
August 28, 2019
The Legal and International Advocacy Committee of the National Commission for the Return and Siege Breaking Marches strongly condemns the continuation of the Israeli occupation forces targeting the Palestinians participating in the return and siege breaking marches in Gaza Strip.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ The demonstrations have been held for 71 consecutive Fridays, and on August 23, 2019, the Israeli occupation forces, deliberately used excessive and lethal force against demonstrators, injuring 122 civilians, 50 of them with live bullets. These injuries included children, women and 3 badged paramedics and journalists.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ The Committee affirms that the return marches and the popular activities that still maintain a peaceful approach, to which the Israeli occupation forces react with deadly force, demonstrating Israel’s arrogance and contempt for the International Law system of human rights. . . .
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Therefore, the Legal and International Advocacy Committee calls for the implementation of the recommendations in the report of the international commission of inquiry, which was adopted at the 40th Session of the Human Rights Council. More . . . .

State of the Gaza Strip Border Crossings (01 -31 July 2019)

Palestinian Center for Human Rights
August 27, 2019
During the reporting period (July), the Israeli authorities continued to impose their closure on the Gaza Strip for the 13th consecutive year along with tightened restrictions on the crossings surrounding the Gaza Strip, contrary to the Israeli claims of easing restrictions on the movement of persons and goods.  Further, the Israeli authorities continued to control entry and exit for pedestrians from the Gaza Strip at the Beit Hanoun “Erez” Crossing as they narrowly allow some categorioes such as patients of urgent cases and their companions, who both undergo a very long and complicated process in order to get travel permits and are subject to tightened security measures while traveling through the crossing.  During July, the Israeli authorities at Beit Hanoun “Erez” Crossing obstructed the travel of 661 patients . . . .  More . . . .

POEM OF THE DAY

“NAME OF THE SOIL,” BY ZUHAIR ABU SHAIB

what is its name?
what is the name of the soil
that falls from my withered body?
what is its name as it drifts and gathers
under my clothes
while, slowly, I build wall after wall?

I picture a sky full of clouds
I see it as I wish it to be
when night falls, I gulp my fill of springs
in darkness I lift my latch
to wise men

I ask my guests
who imprisoned the soul in rock?
who left prophets spread-eagled on doorsteps?
who risks everything to capture the earth?
a man who does not know his own shadow

what can I call this rug of soil?
is it my country or the source of my exile?
is it my miracle or my cross?

what is its name?

――Translated by Tom Pow

From A BIRD IS NOT A STONE: AN ANTHOLOGY OF CONTEMPORARY PALESTINIAN POETRY (Glasgow: Freight Books, 2014).
Zuhair Abu Shaib was born in Deir al-Ghusun, a town near the city of Tulkarm in the northern West Bank and studied at Yarmouk University. He was a teacher and journalist in Yemen, and a book designer. He was also editor of the journal Awraq.

 

Those places are unrecognizable now disfigured by misery . . .” (Seema V. Atalla)

SELECTED NEWS OF THE DAY

Israeli forces to punitively demolish Palestinian houses in Hebron-district town

Israeli forces Tuesday overnight notified the families of three Palestinians of their apparent intention to demolish their houses in Beit Kahel town, northwest of Hebron.
· · · Security sources confirmed that an Israeli military force surrounded the houses of the families of Ahmad Aref Asafra and Mu’men Said Zuhur, currently held in Israeli detention, besides to the house of Mu’men’s grandfather, Attieh, dragged the occupants outside before taking measurements of the three houses. . . This came 18 days after the . . . killing of an off-duty Israeli soldier outside the settlement of Ofra on last Thursday.   More . . . .

•   Punitive House Demolitions, the Prohibition of Collective Punishment, and the
Supreme Court of Israel 
Penn State International Law Review: Vol. 21: No. 3, Article 4 (2003)
By Shane Darcy
Article 53 of the Fourth Geneva Convention
. . . to which Israel is a signatory and to which it is bound as an Occupying Power, prohibits the destruction of property, ‘except where such destruction is rendered absolutely necessary by military operations. Similarly, Article 23 of the 1907 Hague Regulations stipulates that it is ‘especially forbidden to “destroy or to seize the enemy’s property, unless such destruction or seizure be imperatively demanded by the necessities of war.” By the very fact that housing demolitions are carried out as a punitive measure would defeat any claim that such actions can be justified as being an absolute military necessityAvailable here

Israel Stops Construction of New School in Bedouin Village under Rightwing Pressure

Palestine Chronicle
August 26, 2019
The Israeli government has moved to stop construction of a school in an unrecognized Bedouin Palestinian village, after pressure from a notorious right-wing group, reported Haaretz. According to the report, a Finance Ministry department that enforces planning and building laws has issued the stop-work order for the high school at al-Zarnug in the Negev.  More . . . .

Netanyahu to expand Dolev settlement in reprisal for Friday’s attack

The Palestinian Information Center
August 27, 2019
Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu pledged to double the size of the illegal settlement of Dolev in the occupied West Bank in response to Friday’s bomb attack that killed one settler and injured two others.
· · · According to Israeli media sources, Netanyahu told his office director on Monday to prepare a plan for 300 housing units in Dolev settlement in order to submit it for approval to the regional planning and construction council.  More . . . .

PA slams US State Department for removing it from country list

The Middle East Monitor
August 27, 2019
The Palestinian Authority (PA) has slammed the US State Department for removing it from its online list of countries, saying the move constitutes yet more evidence of the US’ alignment with the Israeli right-wing.
· · · · Previously the State Department website featured the “Palestinian Territories” under its “Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs: Countries & Areas” web page, where it offered information about the occupied West Bank and besieged Gaza Strip.
· · · However, the newly-updated webpage now makes no mention of the occupied territories or Palestine, referring to Palestinians only once on the “Israel” subpage. This page reads: “The U.S. is committed to supporting the parties in efforts to reach a lasting, comprehensive peace agreement that offers a brighter future to both Israel and the Palestinians.”  More . . . .

POEM OF THE DAY

COLD COMFORT — Seema V. Atalla

The lost places are easy to list:

My grandmother’s Haifa
where she wore her hair in waist-long braids,
gathered with her neighbors by the seaside to chat,
and at the tiny, crisp fish she loved, fried to perfection.

My father’s Nazareth
where he carried grain to the mill for his mother,
and listened to the blind man who sat outside the church
playing hymns on his flute.

My grandmother’s Jerusalem
where she planted banks of fragrant lavender,
taught kindergarten,
and rolled grape leaves for dinner, leaf by leaf.

My mother’s Ramallah
cool green peaceful place
where she and her sisters learned algebra and embroidery
among the sighing pines and rosy stone homes.

Those places are unrecognizable now
disfigured
by misery
riddled with desperation
choked with the nitty gritty grime of actuality.

Simpler to turn back to the long-cherished images.
The lost places seem quaint now,
perhaps a little faded . . .
we revisit them
the way we touch an old injury,
fingering the scar
over and over
finding comfort
in pressing the place
where it hurts.

From WE BEGIN HERE: POEMS FOR PALESTINE AND LEBANON, edited by Kamal Boullata and Kathy Engel (Interlink Press, 2007).

Palestinian-American Seema V. Atalla was born in New York, completed high school in Amman, Jordan, and now lives in Southern California where she teaches at Mt. San Antonio College. In 1992 she obtained an MA in Comparative Literature from UCLA. She is best-known for her translations of Arabic short stories and poems.

 

You have stolen my ancestors’ vineyards and the land I once plowed . . . (Mahmoud Darwish)

Selected News of the Day

Palestinian events banned in East Jerusalem

Al-Monitor — Palestine Pulse
Ahmad Melhem
August 25, 2019
Israeli forces in East Jerusalem prevented a lecture on the Israeli demolition of Jerusalemite homes from being delivered Aug. 17 at the Burj Luqluq Social Center Society. The lecture had been organized by Burj Luqluq in cooperation with the Palestinian Bar Association.
· · · The same forces stopped a ceremony from being held Aug. 6 in honor of the late athlete Ahmad Adilah at The East Jerusalem YMCA because the ceremony was sponsored by the Palestinian Authority. They also prevented a memorial service for the Palestinian writer Subhi Ghosheh from taking place Aug. 5 at the Yabous Cultural Center. They stormed the center and assaulted participants. Four randomly selected participants were summoned by the Israeli intelligence for interrogation at the Al-Maskobiyya Interrogation Center in Jerusalem.
· · · These actions come from Minister of Internal Security Gilad Ardan’s Aug. 5 order to extend the closure of Palestinian institutions in the city and prohibit any cultural or political activities held by Palestinian organizations. The decision deems such events terror activities that violate Israeli sovereignty and laws in the city.   More . . . .

Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (08– 21 August 2019)

Palestinian Center for Human Rights
August 22, 2019
●   2 Palestinians killed, including a child, under the pretext of carrying out stab and run-over attacks in the West Bank
●   Great March of Return in Eastern Gaza Strip: 85 civilians injured, including 25 children and 6 women.
●   West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem: 73 civilians injured, including a Korean activist.
●   
86 civilians, including 4 children and a woman, arrested during 189 incursions into the West Bank.   More . . . .

Israeli forces demolish Bethlehem-district house, restaurant

WAFA
August 26, 2019 – Israeli forces today demolished a  house and a restaurant in Beit Jala city, located to the west of the West Bank city of Bethlehem . . . . Hasan Breijeh,  a local anti-settlement and wall activist, told WAFA that a bulldozer arrived in Wadi al-Makhrour, a valley that stretches between Battir village and Beit Jala city, protected by Israeli soldiers.
· · · Israeli soldiers sealed off the area and surrounded the house and restaurant before the heavy machinery demolished them purportedly for lacking rarely-granted Israeli building permits. . . .
· · · Wadi al-Makhrour is a popular hiking spot for Palestinians. It is best enjoyed during the late afternoon in the summer when the sun is about to set.
· · · According to the online portal for Palestinian tourism, http://www.visitpalestine.ps, the area encompasses both natural and agricultural landscapes and is well known for its ancient terraces and stone towers called qusur, built of neatly placed rocks that used to serve as storage rooms for various crops planted in the wadi.  More . . . .

I’m Palestinian. Like Rashida Tlaib, I Am Barred From Seeing My Family.

Rep. Tlaib’s experience is familiar to many Palestinians.
Adalah Justice Project
By Sandra Tamari
August 20, 2019
Israel’s treatment of U.S. Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) has made Israel’s complete control over Palestinian lives clear. Rep. Tlaib, a Palestinian-American with family in the occupied West Bank, was forced to make a choice between her right to visit her grandmother and her right to political speech against Israeli oppression. She ultimately chose the collective over the personal: She refused Israel’s demeaning conditions that would have granted her a “humanitarian” exception to enter Palestine, so long as she refrained from advocating for a boycott of Israel during her visit. Rep. Tlaib explained in a press conference in Minneapolis on August 19, “My grandmother said it beautifully when she said I am her dream manifested. I am her free bird, so why would I come back and be caged?”
· · · Rep. Tlaib’s experience is familiar to many Palestinians, including myself. I, too, was barred from seeing my family in Palestine because of my advocacy for freedom and justice for Palestinians. In May 2012, I traveled to Ben Gurion airport in Tel Aviv to participate in an interfaith delegation and to attend my cousin’s wedding in Ramallah. I presented my U.S. passport to Israeli authorities. At least five Israeli interrogators asked for the names of my father and grandfather; the names likely sounded too “Arab” for the interrogators, who asked me numerous questions about where my father was born. I was taken aside and questioned at least five times.   More . . . .

Poem of the Day

“IDENTITY  CARD,”  BY MAHMOUD  DARWISH  (1964)

Write down:
I am an Arab
my I.D. number, 50,000
my children, eight
and the ninth due next summer
―Does that anger you?

Write down:
Arab.
I work with my struggling friends in a quarry
and my children are eight.
I chip a loaf of bread for them,
clothes and notebooks
from the rocks.
I will not beg for a handout at your
door nor humble myself
on your threshold
―Does that anger you?

Write down:
Arab,
a name with no friendly diminutive.
A patient man, in a country
brimming with anger.
My roots have gripped this soil
since time began,
before the opening of ages
before the cypress and the olive,
before the grasses flourished.
My father came from a line of plowmen,
and my grandfather was a peasant
who taught me about the sun’s glory
before teaching me to read.
My home is a watchman’s shack
made of reeds and sticks―
Does my condition anger you?

There is no gentle name,
write down:
Arab.
The colour of my hair, jet black―
eyes, brown―
trademarks, a headband over a keffiyeh
and a hand whose touch grates
rough as a rock.
My address is a weaponless village
with nameless streets.
All its men are in the field and quarry
―Does that anger you?

Write down:
Arab.
You have stolen my ancestors’ vineyards
and the land I once ploughed
with my children
leaving my grandchildren nothing but rocks.
Will your government take those too,
as the rumour goes?

Write down, then
at the top of Page One:
I do not hate
and do not steal
but starve me, and I will eat
my assailant’s flesh.
Beware of my hunger
and of my anger.

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

“They’ve grown to become trees plunging deep roots. . .” (Fadwa Tuqan)

SELECTED NEWS OF THE DAY

Israeli army detains three youths from villages near Ramallah, seizes surveillance cameras

WAFA
August 24, 2019
The Israeli army detained early this morning three Palestinian youths from villages near Ramallah and seized street surveillance cameras in these villages, according to local sources. . . .
· · · · The sources said the soldiers seized tapes from the street surveillance cameras installed by shop and homeowners in these villages.
· · · · The arrests and seizure of the cameras are believed related to the Israeli army investigation into the explosion from yesterday near the village of Ein Arik that killed one Israeli settler and injured two others.   More . . . .   

Israeli settlers attack Palestinian citizens in West Bank cities

Groups of Israeli settlers on Friday rioted and attacked Palestinian citizens in al-Khalil and Nablus districts in the West Bank.
· · · Local sources reported that hordes of Israeli settlers gathered near Road 60 east of al-Khalil City and hurled rocks at Palestinian vehicles. More . . . .

In one East Jerusalem neighborhood, summer vacation has become a war zone

For children in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Issawiya, summer vacation means dodging rubber bullets and watching their fathers and brothers arrested and humiliated every day.
+972 Magazine
August 22, 2019
At the entrance to Issawiya in East Jerusalem, eight children are laughing as they chase one another in circles. I take out a camera and a few of them begin to gather around me. The oldest of the group is 13 years old, and tells me that they are playing “Jews and Arabs.” Do you know it? She asks. There are two teams: the Jews shoot at the Arabs and the Arabs throw rocks. The game ends when one of the teams wins.
I look on as they play but cannot really seem to make out the rules. It’s a bit like tag, only that instead of tagging one another, they pretend chase, detain, and shoot each other. The children’s home is just across the road. . . .   More . . . .

OPINION and BACKGROUND

The Future of the Two-State Solution and the Alternatives — A View from Gaza

Palestine-Israel Journal
Vol. 24 No. 1, 2019
By Husam Dajni
. . . . This article will address the following questions: What are the indicators of the erosion of the two-state solution? What are the chances the Palestinian leadership and the international community can keep this solution viable? What are possible alternatives to the two-state solution? And what is Hamas’s vision for the two-state solution and its alternatives, given the new reality?  More . . . .
(The Palestine-Israel Journal is a non-profit organization, founded in 1994 by Ziad AbuZayyad and Victor Cygielman, two prominent Palestinian and Israeli journalists, and was established concurrently with the first phases of the Oslo peace process to encourage dialogue between civil societies on both sides and broaden the base of support for the peace process.)

The East Jerusalem Municipality (Amanat al-Quds): History and Horizons

This Week In Palestine
Issue: 256, Aug 2019
By Walid Salem
The Jerusalem municipality was established by the Ottomans in 1863. At that time, it was composed of five members: three Muslims, one Christian, and one Jew. The British Mandatory Period began in 1917. . . . The Israeli occupying authorities dissolved this council on June 21, 1967, and began to enforce Israeli law in East Jerusalem whilst extending the responsibilities of the Israeli municipality to include East Jerusalem. Nevertheless, the 1963 elected city council continued operating and still represents East Jerusalem in Arab, Islamic, and international federations of capitals and cities today. . . .
· · · During President Mahmoud Abbas’s term, an amended Law No. 10 of 2005 was passed regarding the election of local authorities. Article 69 of the law stipulates that “members of the Municipal Council shall be selected in accordance with the Law of the Municipality of the Capital (Amanat al-Quds Law).”
· · · In January 2012, President Mahmoud Abbas issued a second decree appointing a new municipality for Jerusalem.    More . . . .
(In December 1998, Turbo Design put out the first issue of an English-language magazine called This Week in Palestine (TWiP). Twenty-one years later, the magazine is now considered to be a major Palestinian success story and, unfortunately, remains the only English-language magazine in Palestine. TWiP essentially promotes and documents Palestine. . . .)

POEM OF THE DAY

“SONG  OF  BECOMING,”  BY  FADWA  TUQAN

They’re only boys
who used to frolic and play
launching rainbowed kites
on the western wind,
their blue-and-green kites
whistling, leaping,
trading easy laughter and jokes
dueling with branches, pretending to be
great heroes in history.

Suddenly now they’ve grown,
grown more than the years of a normal life,
merged with secret and passionate words,
carried love’s messages like the Bible or the Quran,
to be read in whispers.
They’ve grown to become trees
plunging deep roots into the earth,
stretching high towards the sun.
Now their voices are ones that reject,
that knock down and build anew.
Anger smouldering on the fringes of a blocked horizon,
invading classrooms, streets, city quarters,
centering on squares,
facing sullen tanks with streams of stones.

Now they shake the gallows of dawn
assailing the night and its flood.
They’ve grown more than the years of a life
to become the worshipped and the worshippers.

When their torn limbs merged with the stuff of our earth
they became legends,
they grew into vaulting bridges,
they grew and grew, becoming
larger than all poetry.
――
Translated by Naomi Shihab Nye

From ANTHOLOGY OF MODERN PALESTINIAN LITERATURE. Ed. Salma Khadra Jayyusi. New York: Columbia University Press, 1992. Available from Columbia University Press.