“. . . who has always striven, sir, for freedom . . .” (Fouzi El-Asmar)

IMG_3723 - Copy - Copy
In the desert east of Jerusalem: Rev. Naim Ateek of Sabeel (center) leader with Fall Witness Visitors, 2015 (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 10, 2015)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .
|    JAPAN  FUNDS  NEW  CLASSROOMS,  SOLAR  ENERGY  SYSTEM  PROJECTS  IN  RAMALLAH
The Japanese Ambassador for the Palestinian Affairs and Representative of Japan to Palestine, Takeshi Okubo, signed grant contracts for three Grassroots Human Security Projects (GGP) with representatives of Nilin town, al-Tira village, and Franciscan Sisters’ School for a total amount of $234,526, at the Representative Office of Japan, in the central occupied West Bank city of Ramallah, on Monday.    ___The Nilin Municipality in the Ramallah district, will use a fund of $85,215 for constructing three new classrooms and a toilet unit in Nilin’s Girl School to provide 100 students from 6th grade to 12th grade with new class rooms and appropriate and healthy educational environment.    ___Meanwhile, the al-Tira village council will use a fund of $88,936 for reconstructing new four classrooms. . . .   More . . .
. . . . Related  INVESTMENT  IN  EDUCATION  –  INVESTMENT  IN  THE  FUTURE
. . . . Related  VIDEO:  AREA  C  “EUROPEAN  UNION  AND  THE  PALESTINIANS”
|    ISRAELI  SETTLERS  ATTACK  PALESTINIANS  NEAR  IBRAHIMI  MOSQUE
On Wednesday, a group of Israeli settlers gathers outside the Ibrahimi Mosque and assaulted Palestinian citizens, in protest against the Adan (Muslim call for prayers) via loudspeakers used in the mosque.    ___Palestinian citizen, Yacoub Abu Jihad, said that the settlers beat him and held him for several hours. One of them threatened to kill him sooner or later and held him in a nearby shop for several hours before he was released.    More . . .
. . . . Related  ISRAELI  SETTLERS  ATTACK  PALESTINIAN  OLIVE-PICKERS  IN  HEBRON
. . . . Related  SCORES  OF  SETTLERS  DEFILE  AQSA  MOSQUE
. . . . Background  TRANSFORMING  “TRESTIA”  MILITARY  CAMP  INTO  A  NEW [settler] OUTPOST/TUBAS
|   IOF  DETAINS  6  PALESTINIANS  FROM  WB
The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) detained on Wednesday at daybreak six Palestinian people during multiple raids across the occupied West Bank towns and cities.    ___Israeli Walla news site claimed that the detainees are wanted by the IOF on suspicion of involvement in security activities, indicating that they were transferred to police interrogation centers.    More . . .
. . . . Related  IOF  DEPORTS  4  JERUSALEMITES  FROM  SOUR  BAHER,  JABAL  AL-MOKABER

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .
|    THE  ISRAELI  GOVERNMENT  IS  EXPLOITING  THE  PITTSBURGH  MURDERS  TO  TRY  TO  DEMONIZE  PALESTINE  SOLIDARITY
Yesterday during an interview on MSNBC, Ron Dermer, the Israeli Ambassador to the United States, placed the blame for the attack on both white supremacists and the “radical left,” which is clearly code for BDS activists.    ___Dermer said: “One of the big forces in college campuses today is anti-Semitism. And those anti-Semites are usually not neo-Nazis, on college campuses. They’re coming from the radical left. We have to stand against anti-Semitism whether it comes from the right or whether it comes from the left.”    ___This is a disgusting lie. But it is part and parcel with the recent push by the Israeli government and its supporters in the West to redefine the meaning of antisemitism to include criticism of Israel.    More . . .
|    ASHRAWI  AFFIRMS  NEED  FOR  URGENT  THIRD-PARTY  INTERVENTION  IN  LIGHT  OF  RECENT  US  STANCES
PLO Executive Committee Member Hanan Ashrawi stated that, ‘since the current American administration does not have a real vision for a just and genuine peace and with Israel willfully working to destroy the foundations for a two-state solution, it is imperative that there is an urgent intervention of a third-party like Europe, in particular France.’    ___This came during a meeting with Deputy Diplomatic Counselor at the French Presidency Aurélien Lechevallier at the PLO headquarters in Ramallah, where both parties  discussed the latest political and regional developments and the current crisis as a result of Israel’s serious escalations and egregious violations of international law.    More . . .

NOTICES  FROM  ORGANIZATIONS. . . .
|
    SABEEL  ECUMENICAL  LIBERATION  THEOLOGY  CENTER,  JERUSALEM 
Mission: To strive towards theological liberation through instilling the Christian faith in the daily lives of those who suffer under occupation, violence, injustice, and discrimination.    Wave of Prayer, November 1, 2018;    . . . . Fall Witness Visit, 2018

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

“BECAUSE  I  AM  AN  ARAB,”  BY  FOUZI  EL-ASMAR
I sit in preventive detention.
The reason, see, is that I am an Arab.
An Arab who has refused to sell his soul
who has always striven, sir, for freedom.
An Arab who has protested at the suffering
of his people
Who has carried with him the hope
of a just peace
Who has spoken out against death
at every corner
Who has called for and has lived
a life of brotherhood.
That is why I sit in preventive detention
Because I carried on the struggle
And because I am an Arab.

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

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

489791CSettlers break into homes in Hebron. Note the wire mesh over the street
installed to catch garbage that illegal Israeli settlers throw at Palestinians.
(Photo: Ma’an News Agency, Oct. 29, 2018)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .
|    PCC  DECIDES  TO  SUSPEND  RECOGNITION  OF  ISRAEL 
The Palestinian Central Council (PCC) decided on Monday, a day after meeting in the central occupied West Bank city of Ramallah, to end all commitments in agreements the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) has signed with Israel, suspend recognition of Israel until it recognizes the State of Palestine, end security coordination and end the Paris Economic Protocols.    ___The PCC said in a statement “In view of Israel’s continued denial of the signed agreements, the PCC, in confirmation of its previous decision and considering that the transitional phase no longer exists. . .     More . . .

The  wording  from  the  Final  Statement:
. . . . In view of Israel’s continued denial of the signed agreements and the ensuing obligations, the Palestinian Central Council reaffirms its previous decision considering the transitional phase no longer exists, decides to end the obligations of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and the Palestinian Authority towards its agreements with the occupation authority (Israel), mainly suspending recognition of the State of Israel until its recognition of the State of Palestine on the 4 June 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital, the cessation of security coordination in all its forms, and economic disengagement on the grounds that the transitional phase, including the Paris Protocols, no longer exist, and on the basis for identifying practical pillars and steps to continue the process of transition from the stage of Authority to the embodiment of the independence of a sovereign an independent state. . . Complete . . .

|    PALESTINIAN  KILLED,  DOZENS  INJURED  DURING  GAZA’S  14TH  NAVAL  MARCH  (VIDEOS)
A 27-year-old Palestinian was shot and killed by Israeli forces, while dozens of others suffered from tear-gas inhalation, on Monday, during the 14th naval march at the northern borders of the besieged Gaza Strip.    ___A Ma’an reporter confirmed that Muhammad Abed Abu Ubada, 27, was killed by Israeli forces during the 14th naval march, which set off from the Gaza seaport, in protest against the 12-year Israeli siege.    More . . .
. . . . Related  JEWISH  SETTLERS  BLOCK  TRUCKS  FROM  ENTERING  GAZA
     IOF  UPROOT  200  OLIVE  TREES,  RAZE  LANDS  NEAR  HEBRON 

Israeli occupation forces (IOF) on Monday uprooted 200 olive trees, and uprooted 13 dunums of agricultural land in the town of Beit Ula, west of Hebron.    ___Head of the Farmers Services Department at the Hebron Agricultural Department Hashim Badarin said that the occupation forces stormed the Khirbet Kharouf area west of the town of Beit Ula, uprooted 200 olive trees planted ten years ago, and destroyed the fence and chains surrounding the targeted land.    ___The farmer and landowner Hijazi al-Tarshan said that the occupation forces are pursuing a policy of uprooting of trees and trying to prevent farmers from working in their lands in this area near the wall of racist expansion in preparation for the seizure.    More . . .
. . . . Related  IN  VIDEO  –  ISRAELI  SETTLERS  SEIZE  PALESTINIAN  HOMES  IN  HEBRON
|    PMA  BUSINESS  CYCLE  INDEX  SHOWS  DECLINE  IN  THE  WEST  BANK  AND  SLIGHT  IMPROVEMENT  IN  GAZA  STRIP
The PMA has released the results of its extended Business Cycle Index (extended PMABCI) for October 2018. The results revealed that the overall index fell during October due to the decline in the West Bank’s index, despite the slight improvement in Gaza Strip’s index. As such, the overall extended PMABCI dropped from -3.2 points in September to around -5.9 points in this October. However, it remained slightly higher than the index of October 2017 (-7.6 points).    More . . .

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .
| 
   THE  PALESTINIAN  ECONOMY  IS  A  RESISTING  ECONOMY
By Palestinian Prime Minister Dr. Rami Al-Hamdallah
The State of Palestine constantly confronts critical economic and social obstacles due to the policies the Israeli occupation limitlessly imposes on the Palestinian people and their land.  Speaking unconditionally, these policies target all factors of production including land, resources, and labor. Nonetheless, this noble nation has always strived to live and coexist. The creative Palestinian citizen fulfilled significant achievements and left fingerprints on all disciplines and sectors.  In this context, I will present, with numbers and statistics, a series of changes in the economic reality in Palestine.    More . . .

NOTICES  FROM  ORGANIZATIONS. . . .
|    BRIGHT  STARS  OF  BETHLEHEM  –  DAR  AL-KALIMA  UNIVERSITY2019 Leadership Program in the Holy Land.  March 25-April 8, 2019.
This program offers new and creative ways to understand and respond to the context of the Israel/Palestine conflict. It raises the possibility of different strategies for resisting the power of empire and supporting those who both struggle against it and suffer its daily injustices and violence. This is an in-depth program during which new insights, experiences and strategies will be explored.  Information and Registration.

POEM  FOR  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.

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:  PALESTINE  ISRAEL  POETS  RESPOND  TO  THE  STRUGGLE. Ed. By Joan Dobbie and Grace Beeler. Sandpoint ID: Lost Horse Press, 2012.  Available from B&N.

“. . the bed of her elder son, made for the final time . .” (Mourid Barghouti)

489726C
Medical personnel examine bodies of three Palestinian children murdered yesterday. (Photo: Ma’an News Agency)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .
|    ISRAELI  AIRSTRIKE  KILLS  3  PALESTINIAN  MINORS  IN  GAZA
Three Palestinian minors were killed during an Israeli airstrike northeast of Khan Younis, in the southern besieged Gaza Strip, on Sunday.    ___The Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza confirmed that three minors were killed after a group of Palestinians were targeted by an Israeli warplane, near the security border fence with Israel northeast of Khan Younis City.    [. . . .] The  Palestinian  Red  Crescent  Society  (PRCS)  reported . . .  that Israeli warplanes targeted and fired a missile towards a group of Palestinian protesters known as the “Night Confusion” unit, who participated in night protests against the nearly 12-year Israeli siege, near the security border fence.    ___The Israeli army announced that it targeted three Palestinians, who allegedly attempted to place a suspicious object near the security border fence with Israel, which led to their killing.    [. . . .] The  World  Health  Organization  (WHO)  issued a issued a special situation report, which showed that 14 Palestinians, including four children, were killed and 1,434 were injured by the Israeli forces in the past two weeks in Gaza.    More . . .
. . . . Related  Israel’s deliberate targeting of children is an ongoing war crime, says PLO official   PLO Executive Committee Member Hanan Ashrawi Monday strongly condemned Israel’s shelling and murder of three Palestinian children to the east of Khan Younes in the southern besieged Gaza Strip.
. . . . Related  Abu Zuhri: Israel’s murder of Gaza children reflects its terrorism    Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri condemned Israel’s killing of three Palestinian children in an eastern border area of the besieged Gaza Strip as “a reflection of its criminal image and terrorism.”
. . . . Related  Israeli  bulldozers  raze,  level  lands  in  Gaza
|
   PRESIDENT  ABBAS:  WE  ARE  FACING  A  HISTORICAL  MOMENT;  EITHER  TO  BE  OR  NOT  TO  BE
President Mahmoud Abbas said on Sunday during the 30th Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Central Council session held in Ramallah that “the phase we are going through may be the most dangerous phase that the Palestinian people have ever experienced,” stressing that “we are facing a historical moment; either to be or not to be.”    More . . .
|    MOROCCAN  COMMISSION:  PALESTINIAN  CAUSE  IS  THE  NATION’S  KEY  CONCERN
The Moroccan Commission to Support the Nation’s Causes said Jerusalem will forever remain Arabs’ and Muslims’ beating heart.    ___The commission said ever since the US President Donald Trump took office, unprecedented schemes and anti-Palestine measures have seen the day.    More . . .
. . . . Related  Hundreds  rally  in  Istanbul  in  support  for  Return  March

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .
|    THE  ISRAELI  MYTH  OF  THE  UNCIVILIZED  PALESTINIAN
Recently, in another shocking incident, Israel’s Culture Minister Miri Regev was outraged by a Palestinian children’s novel written by Walid Dagga, a Palestinian prisoner who spent more than thirty years in jail for resisting the occupation. In her opinion, he is in jail not to write novels but to be punished. This might cause shock to some, but this falls perfectly in line with how Israel’s official discourse stereotypes Palestinians: as mere demons who are able only to kill indiscriminately. Writing novels? Well, this does not fit in this stereotype.    More . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

“HOW  ARE  YOU?”  BY  MOURID  BARGHOUTI
Waiting for the school bus,
watching his breath turn into mist near his nose
in the icy morning,
the schoolboy’s fingers are frozen,
too stiff to make a fist.

On the pillow of regret,
the defeated soldier
lazily tries to get up,
raising his broken toothbrush
to his teeth.

Early or late,
The stranger awakens in his exile, his homeland.
Their clothes, their car number pates, their trees,
their quarrels, their love, their land, their sea
belong to them.
His memories are like rats gathering on his doormat,
new and warm
in front of his closed door.

On a lonely pillow,
the mother throws a quick glance
at the bed of her elder son,
made for the final time
and empty, forever.

A voice from the neighbouring window is heard:
“Hello, good morning, how are you?”
“Hello, good morning, we’re fine,
we’re fine!”

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

 

“. . . 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

“. . . no legacy under the rubble, no pride in long fires . . .” (Jehan Bseiso)

Bedouin_woman_Al_Araqib-1A Bedouin woman after authorities demolished her village of Al Araqeeb,
January 16, 2011 (Keren Manor/Activestills.org)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .
|    5  PALESTINIANS  KILLED,  HUNDREDS  INJURED  DURING  GAZA  PROTESTS
The total number of those killed during the 31st Friday of “The Great March of Return” rose to five Palestinians killed and more than 232 injured alongside the eastern borders of the besieged Gaza Strip.    ____According to the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza, Israeli forces fired live bullets and rubber-coated steel bullets, as well as tear-gas bombs at Palestinian protesters, who gathered along the Gaza border, killing five protesters and injuring hundreds.    [. . . .] Since the start of the protests on March 30th, more than 205 Palestinians have been killed and over 22,000 others were injured along the Gaza border by Israeli forces.    More . . .
. . . . Related  Israel  targets  Gaza’s  children,  say  witnesse
. . . . Related  Schools  suspended  in  parts  of  Gaza  as  Israeli  warplanes  intensify  airstrikes
. . . . Related  Gaza  Is  At  The  Forefront  Of  Palestine’s  Pain
. . . . Related  Hamas  warns  against  [Mahmoud  Abbas]  undermining  reconciliation  and  ceasefire,  Great  Return  March  to  continue
|    ISRAEL  DEMOLISHES  AL-ARAQEEB  FOR  135TH  TIME,  ARRESTS  RESIDENTS
Israeli forces have demolished the village of Al-Araqeeb in the occupied Negev desert for the 135th time, local sources reported yesterday.    ___Al-Araqeeb’s residents told Arab48 that Israeli bulldozers, reinforced and protected by the occupation forces, stormed the village and proceeded to demolish all the Palestinian houses and tents there, displacing women and children despite the “cold weather and rain”.    More . . .
|    HOME  DEMOLITIONS  IN  THE  NEGEV  AND  TEL  AVIV  SHOW  THE  REAL  FACE  OF  GOVERNMENT  CORRUPTION       Orly Noy     Corruption does not begin with Netanyahu’s cigars or pink champagne. It begins with an ideological system that sees entire segments of the population as undesirable and unnecessary, and as temporary residents in their own homes.    More . . .

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .
|    WHY  ISRAEL  SEES  BDS  AS  A  ‘STRATEGIC  THREAT’    As leaders of a state that is totally alien to the region and its indigenous peoples, Israeli political and military planners are obsessed with what they term “strategic threats”.    ___Such “threats” have varied over the years. The prime targets have included former Egyptian President Gamal Abdul Nasser, the Palestine Liberation Organisation and, since 1988, Hamas, Palestine’s Islamic liberation movement.    ___The PLO, “the Hamas” (or “the Khamas” as Israeli leaders constantly – and wholly incorrectly – insist on naming it) have been joined in the last decade or so by “the BDS” – the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement.    More . . .
    ISRAEL’S  $72M  WAR  CHEST  TO  FIGHT  BDS  COMES  TO  BRUSSELS     In its ongoing battle against the  international  Boycott,  Divestment  and  Sanctions  (BDS)  campaign  Israel is pushing for European political parties to declare the movement “fundamentally anti-Semitic”.    ___The latest drive saw Israel’s Minister of Jerusalem Affairs, Ze’ev Elkin, attending a conference in Brussels backed by the Israeli government which proposed a text for prospective MEPs and political parties to sign up to before European elections in May next year.    More . . .

NOTICES  FROM  ORGANIZATIONS. . . .
|    BDS  CAMPAIGN   The Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement works to end international support for Israel’s oppression of Palestinians and pressure Israel to comply with international law.    Get Involved . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

“CEASEFIRE,”  BY  JEHAN  BSEISO.

Little men, cross legged, trade war stories like boys trade baseball cards.

These are times ripe and full with want and promise never fulfilled.

This much is true:
Lost boys become lost men.

Too much water, too much blood dilutes history and
We always end up with less than what we started.

In Gaza,
There is no legacy under the rubble, no pride in long fires
Burning.

There is a face at the window, sallow.

One woman sighing, her body bears the marks of all their trudging,
thighs transformed to gallows and trenches.

Her hair shrouds the dead from both sides and her lap
cradles aporias generations can’t understand.

—from I  REMEMBER  MY  NAME.  Novum Pro Publishers. 2016.

“. . . complete this journey To the hour of a country . . .” (Mahmoud Darwish)

83c899f294e3b1630787bca116670012
From VISUALIZING PALESTINE (see commentary below)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .
|    EUROPEAN  PARLIAMENT  REJECTS  RESOLUTION  TO  MONITOR  ‘INCITEMENT’  IN  PALESTINIAN  EDUCATION
The Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki said, on Wednesday, that the Israeli diplomacy has received another defeat in the European Union after the European Parliament rejected a draft resolution on Palestinian education to monitor Palestinian textbooks to remove “incitement against Israel.”    ___The rejected draft was submitted by a group from the Christian Democratic Party that called on the European Commission and the United Nations to monitor Palestinian textbooks and introduce necessary amendments to remove “incitement against Israel and dissemination of a culture of hate against Jews.”    More . . .
. . . . Related  A  New  School  Year…  A  Renewed  Will
|    HUMANITARIAN  AID  TO  PALESTINIANS  ‘AT  AN  ALL-TIME  LOW,’  UN  WARNS
Funding for humanitarian activities in the occupied Palestinian territories is “at an all-time low,” according to a UN agency responsible for humanitarian affairs in the West Bank and Gaza.    ___According to a report published this month by the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), as of a few weeks ago only $159 million of a requested $539.7 million had been secured for the 2018 Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP), the strategy and funding appeal meant to address the needs of the humanitarian community in the occupied territories.    ___The lack of funding has had a devastating impact on non-governmental organizations in the Gaza Strip. A policy paper published last year by the Palestinian NGOs Network (PNGO), a coordination group aiming to strengthen Palestinian civil society, shows that funding for NGOS in the besieged enclave was halved in 2016, compared to the previous year.    More . . .
|    KUSHNER  DEMANDS  HIGHER  LEVELS  OF  BETRAYAL  FROM  THE  PA
After the US unilaterally recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, withdrew all funding from the United Nations Relief and Works Organisation for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) and closed the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) Mission in Washington, Senior Advisor Son-in-Law to the US President Jared Kushner had the audacity to announce that a “reasonable” Palestinian leadership would agree to negotiate with Israel on US President Donald Trump’s purported peace plan.    ___So far, the only detail associated with President Trump’s plan is that “both sides would need to make concessions”. However, this rhetoric doesn’t even pass for an illusion of equity. Adding Kushner’s expectations of “reasonable leadership” to the equation, at a time when the current Palestinian leadership has been stripped of its political viability – despite its acquiescence to the US and Israel – makes it clear that the imbalance of compromise, as always, will be to the detriment of the Palestinian people.    More . . .

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .
|    ONE  WEEK  IN  PALESTINE:  EXISTENCE  AS  A  FORM  OF  RESISTANCE
Laura Vale
My journey begins in a stuffy, dust-coated taxi-sheerut alongside a young American family scrapping together phrases of Hebrew and a few local Israelis loudly bickering with the driver. As I block them from my mind and stare silently out the window, I am struck by the great white hills of settlements, large ghost towns cascading down the desert slopes. . . . We soon reach the infamous walled highway and my fellow travellers continue their journey as if nothing is abnormal about this scene. Driving through the West Bank on Israeli roads inaccessible to the Palestinian population, Palestine is simply erased from view and mind.    More . . .

NOTICES  FROM  ORGANIZATIONS. . . .
|     VISUALIZING  PALESTINE
Visualizing Palestine creates data-driven tools to advance a factual, rights-based narrative of the Palestinian-Israeli issue. Our researchers, designers, technologists, and communications specialists work in partnership with civil society actors to amplify their impact and promote justice and equality.   Become a member . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

“WE  TRAVEL  LIKE  OTHER  PEOPLE,”  BY  MAHMOUD  DARWISH

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

From: Adonis; Mahmud Darwish; and Samih al-Qasim. VICTIMS  OF  A  MAP:  A  BILINGUAL  ANTHOLOGY  OF  ARABIC  POETRY. Trans. Abdullah al-Udhari. London: Saqi Books. 2008.

 

“. . . when Mother Earth runs out of room for you and me . . .” (Ramzy Baroud)

PALESTINIAN-ISRAEL-CONFLICT-GAZA
Illustrative: Smoke from Gaza City after Israeli aircraft bombed it on November 30, 2017. (Mahmud Hams/AFP)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .
|     ISRAEL  CARRIES  OUT  CAMPAIGN  OF  AIRSTRIKES  ACROSS  GAZA
Israeli warplanes carried out an airstrikes’ campaign across the besieged Gaza Strip, on predawn Thursday.   ___Local sources said Israeli warplanes fired two missiles towards a military site belonging to Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of the Hamas movement, in Rafah district, in southern Gaza.    ___Sources confirmed that Israeli warplanes targeted a site in Khan Younis district, also in southern Gaza.    ___Israeli warplanes also targeted a site in al-Shiekh Zayid City, in northern Gaza.    ___No injuries were reported, however, the airstrikes led to extensive material damages in the targeted areas.    More . . .
. . . . Related   Israeli forces shoot, injure 8 Palestinians in Gaza
|   WEEKLY  REPORT  ON  ISRAELI  HUMAN  RIGHTS  VIOLATIONS  IN  THE  OCCUPIED  PALESTINIAN  TERRITORY  (18–24  OCTOBER  2018)     Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR)
Israeli forces continued to use excessive force against unarmed civilians and peaceful protestors in the Gaza Strip:   ___A Palestinian youngster was killed in eastern Deir al-Balah in the central Gaza Strip.   342 civilians, including 60 children, 4 women, 6 journalists and 3 paramedics, were wounded; 14 of them sustained serious wounds.    ___Israeli forces killed a Palestinian civilian and wounded 6 others in the West Bank.    ___Israeli warplanes launched 2 missiles at the protestors and wounded two of them.   More . . .
|    ISRAEL  TO  CONFISCATE  THOUSANDS  OF  DUNUMNS  THROUGH  EXPANDING  BYPASS  ROAD
Israeli Occupation Authorities (IOA) on Wednesday approved the expansion of bypass road 60, which runs between Jerusalem and Hebron.    ___Head of the Wall and Settlement Resistance Committee in Bethlehem, Hassan Breijiya told WAFA news agency that Israeli Minister of Communications Yisrael Katz gave orders to start expanding the street according to a plan to surround Al-Arroub refugee camp. . .     More . . .
. . . . Related  IOF  seize  house  after  forcing  Palestinian  owners  to  leave  at  gunpoint

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .
|   EMBRACING  THE  RIGHT  TO  EDUCATION:  A  STORY  OF  HOPE,  DETERMINATION,  AND  SUCCESS
Paula Malan
It all started 25 years ago when  Mr.  Heikki  Kokkala,  a  senior  education  specialist  from  Finland,  and the late Mr. Khalil Mahshi, then director general of external relations at the Ministry of Education in Palestine, met at a UNESCO conference on education. This was a time when educationists globally had started to pay more attention to the effectiveness of education systems and to the assessment of learning outcomes.    ___In Palestine, work had already started on developing the first-ever unified national curriculum which would replace the Jordanian and Egyptian curricula used in the West Bank and Gaza, respectively.  [. . . .] At the same time, the Finnish government was looking for ways to support the newly established Palestinian Authority and decided to direct its support to the education sector.    ___Thus, Mr. Kokkala and Mr. Mahshi, with their many colleagues, began to design the  first  cooperation  project  between  Finland  and  Palestine.    More . . .

EDUCATION  IN  EAST  JERUSALEM
– There are 87,277 students enrolled in schools, including basic education (grades 1 to 10) and secondary education (grades 11 and 12).
– Approximately 4,300 children are not enrolled in any educational institution.
– Thirty-three percent of children in East Jerusalem fail to complete a full 12 years of schooling.
– Provision of education is fragmented across five different providers: the Palestinian Ministry of Education operating under the Jordanian Islamic Awqaf umbrella, the private sector, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), the Israeli Jerusalem Municipality, and the contractor’s schools that are financed by the Israeli Authorities.
– There is a chronic shortage of classrooms, estimated at around 2,200, with an anticipated annual growth rate of 3 to 4 percent.
– The area available in class for every student is approximately 0.5 square meters, less than the international standards that recommend at least 1.25 square meters.
– Twenty percent of students and teachers and 40 percent of school staff cross a checkpoint on a daily basis to access their schools.
Source: 2016 Jerusalem Directorate of Education Statistics/Geo-mapping Data

. . . . Related    ‘A  cruel  choice’:  Why  Israel  targets  Palestinian  schools

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

“LULLABY,”  BY  RAMZY  BAROUD
I’ll etch your name
on a secret star
we’ll both go there
on frightful nights

when Mother Earth
runs out of room
for you and me

I’ll hold you tight
and sing you songs
of a distant land
beyond the stars

and watch you grow
between my heart
and the highest high

I’ll draw your face
on a single seed
and hold your palm
to face the sun

when you’re awake
and call out my name
don’t moan or cry

I’ll return
to raise your hand
at a shooting star
and with for you

another day
another sun
another world

where Palestine
is a mountain top
of soil and air
and a purple sky

For (Miriam), a refugee child from Palestine

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.

“. . . do we not count as people? . . .” (Shahd Abusalama)

GBMH9010-1-600x600 - Copy
Harvesting olives in Bruqin village, October 22, 2018 (Photo: International Solidarity Movement)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .

|    “THEY  TAKE  EVERYTHING,”  EXPLAINS  BRUQIN  FARMER  DURING  2018  OLIVE  HARVEST       ISM [International Solidarity Movement] volunteers spent the day harvesting olives with farmers in Bruqin village, a day that began with Israeli soldiers confronting the farmer and his family and ordering them to leave their land no later than 5 p.m.  Since the harvest workday typically concludes around 4 p.m., this did not prove an obstacle for the harvesters.  But it was a potent reminder that the residents of Bruqin, a primarily agrarian village located in the fertile Salfit governorate area, continue to lose control over and access to their land due to ongoing Israeli military occupation.    More . . .
|    ISRAELI  FORCES  ASSAULT  COPTIC  CHRISTIAN  PRIEST  DURING  PROTEST  IN  JERUSALEM  (VIDEOS)          Tensions between Coptic Christians of Jerusalem and Israeli occupation forces poured into the streets today during a protest against the Israeli government’s decision to deny the church the right to conduct needed renovation work inside the holy site.    ___Local sources reported the incident saying Israeli forces and police assaulted several Coptic Orthodox priests in front of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, in the Old City of occupied East Jerusalem, and forcefully detained one of them.    ____The assault by Israeli occupation forces started after the Church organized a peaceful protest near Deir Al-Sultan Monastery, located on the roof of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, against an Israeli decision denying the church the right to conduct essential repair work and renovation.   More . . .
. . . . Related   Erekat  condemns  Israeli  aggression  against  Coptic  priests
|    PALESTINIAN  MINOR  SHOT,  KILLED  BY  ISRAELI  FORCES  IN  GAZA     A Palestinian minor succumbed to his wounds, late Tuesday, after he was shot and critically wounded by Israeli live ammunition during protests in the eastern Gaza Strip.    ___The Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza confirmed that 17-year-old Muntaser Ismail al-Baz was shot and wounded in the head by Israeli forces during protests near the Gaza borders, east of Deir al-Balah.    ___The ministry said that al-Baz was transferred to the al-Shifa Hospital, where he had succumbed to his wounds shortly after.    ___According to a report by the Geneva-based Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor (Euro-Med), as Gaza protests exceeded 200 days “one Palestinian is killed every single day” by Israeli forces, noting that “in every 100 Gazans, one injury was recorded.”    More . . .
. . . . Related   Israeli  forces  injure  7  Palestinians  in  Gaza  protests
. . . . Related   Israeli  forces  detain  12  Palestinians  in  West  Bank
. . . . Related   Israeli  forces  hold  5  Palestinian  students  at  Hebron  checkpoint

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .

|    PALESTINIANS  ARE  AS  WORTHY  AS  CHILDREN  OF  HOLOCAUST  SURVIVORS  FOR  DIGNITY     Shahd Abusalama     Palestinians’ legitimate claims continue to be silenced at the expense of sustaining Israel’s longstanding myths of being the safe haven for world Jewry and a democracy with the world’s most moral army. As if we are not as worthy as the children of Holocaust survivors of freedom, security, justice and dignity.    ___As I write this, I recall the many times I had to sit in a room where Europeans discuss their deep-felt guilt over the atrocities committed against their Jewish communities. I recall the many deeply painful times I felt completely unseen during discussions over racism, colonialism, social justice and refugee and migrant rights. . . .    Why is there no guilt felt towards us as European countries fuel and enable more Israeli terrorism against Palestinians? Or do we not count as people? How about Palestinians’ most longstanding refugee problem in our modern history?    More . . .

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.

“. . . a crushed glass under the feet still shines. . .” (Naomi Shihab Nye)

img_2964-copy
Items purchased in Hebron glass blowing shop. (Photo by Harold Knight – see ** below)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .

   ISRAEL  CANCELS  ENTRY  OF  GOODS  INTO  GAZA
The Israeli army cancelled entry of dozens of trucks carrying goods into the besieged Gaza Strip, on late Monday, according to Palestinian official sources.    ____Sources confirmed that the Israeli side cancelled entry of dozens of trucks scheduled to arrive into Gaza on Tuesday; reasons of the cancellation were unknown.    ___It is noteworthy that in addition to these cancelled truckloads of goods, Qatari-funded fuel was also not allowed entry into Gaza for Gaza’s only power plant.    More . . .
. . . . Related   Egyptian  security  delegation  arrives  in  Gaza  to  complete  talks
|    IOF  DISMANTLE  SCHOOL  CARAVANS  NORTH  OF  TUBAS    On Tuesday morning, Israeli occupation forces dismantled caravans belonging to the school of the Late Marwan Majali, AKA “Tahadi (10)”, located in Khirbat “Ibiziq” area north of Tubas, northern West Bank.    ____The Director of Education Tubas Sa’ed Qabha told WAFA that the occupation dismantled two caravans as they detain the educational staff, ministry of education and students, while preventing students from entering the school.    More . . .
|    REPORT:  ISRAEL  CONTINUING  JUDAIZATION  PLANS  IN  HEBRON
Plans to Judaize the Old City of Hebron are proceeding step by step amid international silence and the American support that encourages the occupation authorities to continue their policy. Following the Ibrahimi Mosque’s massacre, the occupation authorities divided the Mosque between the Palestinians and the settlers. More than one site inside the Ibrahimi Mosque can’t be accessed by Palestinian worshipers, while settlers are allowed to use the whole place at any time.     ____For years, plans have been made to link the settlement of Qiryat Arba with other settlement blocs surrounding the Old City through demolishing and removing the Palestinian buildings from the area for a comprehensive judaization of the area extending from the settlement of Kiryat Arba to the entire Old City and Tel Rumeida.   More . . . .
. . . . Related  Palestinian  shot  dead  in  al-Khalil  [HEBRON]  over  alleged  stabbing  attack
. . . . Related  Palestinian  official:  87%  of  BETHLEHEM  lands  under  Israeli  control
. . . . Related  NGO  warns  of  property  diversion  in  occupied  JERUSALEM
. . . . Related  Ariel  settlement  guards  obstruct  traffic  at  main  entrance  to  SALFIT
. . . . Related  Israel  Army  Rolls  Into  West  Bank  [QALQILIYA]  Cracks  Down  On  Civilians

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .

|    ISRAEL’S  ASSAULT  ON  PALESTINIAN  UNIVERSITIES  IS  A  THREAT  TO  HUMAN  RIGHTS  AND  A  TRAGEDY  FOR  THIS  GENERATION  OF  STUDENTS
The fundamental right to education is enshrined in international law. Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states: “Everyone has the right to education”. . . . The challenges currently being faced by Palestinian universities mean that this universal right is being severely compromised in the occupied Palestinian territory.     ___As an occupying power, the state of Israel, is obligated to ensure that civilians under occupation are not denied their basic human rights. . .  which includes access to education.    [. . . .] Meanwhile, for decades, the education sector – schools as well as universities – has had to contend with Israel’s systematic obstruction of education, from enforced closures, campus raids, and the oppression of individual students and teachers. . .  According to Sam Bahour, a former board member of Birzeit University and co-founder Right to Enter Campaign . . . it’s important to see this assault on education as part of a broader picture of Israeli oppression of Palestinian lives and a determination to stifle the natural growth of a society.    More . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . .

(** The glass pieces came from one of the few  Hebron  glass  blower  shops  still operating in 2008. The delicate pieces I purchased, like the one in Nye’s poem,  were broken in shipping. Nye’s poem commemorates the massacre of Muslim worshipers at Ibrahimi Mosque, Hebron, 1994.)

“THE  SMALL  VASES  FROM  HEBRON,”  BY  NAOMI  SHIHAB  NYE

Tip their mouths open to the sky.
Turquoise, amber,
the deep green with fluted handle,
pitcher the size of two thumbs,
tiny lip and graceful waist.

Here we place the smallest flower
which could have lived invisibly
in loose soil beside the road,
sprig of succulent rosemary,
bowing mint.

They grow deeper in the center of the table.

Here we entrust the small life,
thread, fragment, breath.
And it bends. It waits all day.
As the bread cools and the children
open their gray copybooks
to shape the letter that looks like
a chimney rising out of a house.

And what do the headlines say?

Nothing of the smaller petal
perfectly arranged inside the larger petal
or the way tinted glass filters light.
Men and boys, praying when they died,
fall out of their skins.
The whole alphabet of living,
heads and tails of words,
sentences, the way they said,
“Ya’Allah!” when astonished,
or “ya’ani” for “I mean”—
a crushed glass under the feet
still shines.

But the child of Hebron sleeps
with the thud of her brothers falling
and the long sorrow of the color red.

“. . . an unmistakable signal that [the US] Palestinian views and perspectives will be . . . defined by our relationship with Israel . . .” (Ambassador Daniel Kurtzer )

Donald-Trump-and-Benjamin-Netanyahu-850x567SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .

|    NETANYAHU  TEMPORARILY  DELAYS  FORCIBLE  EVICTION  OF  KHAN  AL-AHMAR
The Israeli government has postponed the evacuation of Khan al-Ahmar until further notice, following weeks of rising tensions in the Bedouin village.     ___Following a meeting with US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the village will soon be “evacuated,” adding that the government plans on implementing the September High Court decision allowing for the demolition of the village.     ___[. . . .] Later Sunday afternoon, the Israeli news website Haaretz that the Israeli security cabinet approved Netanyahu’s plans to temporarily postpone the demolition “in order to exhaust negotiations with the village residents.”   More . . .
Related . . . .  Land  in  the  south  of  the  West  Bank  leveled,  [320  olive  and  almond]  trees  uprooted
|    ISRAEL  MINISTER:  NO  CHOICE  BUT  WAR 
Israel’s war Minister Avigdor Lieberman (Yisrael Beytenu) threatened to wage a bloody war against Gaza at the start of a meeting of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.     ___“Wars are only conducted when there is no choice, and now there is no choice,” the minister claimed on Monday. “Anything less than the toughest response won’t help anymore. We have exhausted the other options.”     ___ “There is no popular uprising,” Lieberman said. “There is violence organized by Hamas.     More . . .
   ISRAELI  FORCES  DETAIN  13  PALESTINIANS  IN  WEST  BANK  RAIDS 
Israeli forces detained at least 13 Palestinians across the occupied West Bank, on predawn Monday.     ___According to Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS), Israeli forces detained one Palestinian in the southern West Bank district of Hebron. . .    In the southern West Bank district of Bethlehem, three Palestinians were detained. . .    In Kafr Aqab town, in the central West Bank district of Jerusalem, one Palestinian was detained by Israeli forces. . .  In the central West Bank district of Ramallah, another three Palestinians were detained by Israeli forces. . .   In the northern West Bank district of Nablus, two Palestinians were detained. . .   In the northern West Bank district of Jenin. . .    More . . .

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .

  THE  TRUMP  ADMINISTRATION’S  LATEST  BLOW  TO  THE  CHANCES  FOR  MIDEAST  PEACE
Daniel  Kurtzer,  US  Ambassador  to  Israel,  2001-2005
[. . . .] the Trump administration has decided on yet another step that accelerates the burial of an already moribund peace process: closing  the  American  Consulate  General  in  Jerusalem  and  transforming  it  into  a  “Palestinian  Affairs  Unit”  with  the  U.S.  Embassy. The strangest part of all this is that the administration believes it can still achieve what President Trump has called the “ultimate deal.”   ____The American Consulate General in Jerusalem has been an independent diplomatic mission since its establishment in 1844. Since 1948, and in particular since 1967, the Consulate has served a critical purpose of engaging with Palestinians in an effort to advance the prospects of peace with Israel. The Consulate reported directly to Washington, commenting on what its officers saw and heard, and offered recommendations on how to resolve problems both small and large.   More . . .
|    NETANYAHU,  THE  ARMED  PROPHET  OF  THE  CLASH  OF  CIVILISATIONS 
Dr. Mohammad Makram Balawi, president of ASIA  MIDDLE  EAST  FORUM
. . . . Netanyahu is the prophet out to save the modern Israelites in a hostile environment. His message is to cast the clash of civilisations  theories of Bernard Lewis and Samuel Huntington into a religious mould. The battle is against evil, which is embodied, he believes, in Islam. . . . I suspect that even Lewis and Huntingdon would be shocked if they could see where Netanyahu has taken their idea.     ___ [. . . .] Netanyahu’s words did not reflect gratitude to the US President as much as implicate and entangle him in a messy situation in an area were historical feuds are rarely forgotten. The Israeli-US alliance. . .  is “an eternal bond that can never, ever be broken,” said Netanyahu. His message was clear: you cannot leave us alone, because we share both the responsibility and the consequences for. . .  occupying the Holy City and land of our existential enemy, Islam.    More . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

“SAND  KINGDOM,”  BY  MOURID  BARGHOUTI

With small shovels
and plastic buckets,
the children,
in their joyful clothes,
are building sturdy sand castles.

They throw balls in a game without rules,
they shout, call each other names, laugh,
get scratched in short inevitable clashes.
Complaints are also inevitable:
“Why did you leave me alone?”
“Why don’t you leave me alone?”

They squat on the seat, in a flash,
to make the swing fly higher and higher.

They invent their sudden demands:
a glass of water,
a cry for help, soon forgotten,
a napkin,
a look at the miracle about to take place:
“Watch what I am going to do now!”
“Watch how I jump.”

In the half circle of benches in the part,
on wooden seats
that have almost lost their cumin-colored paint,
mothers and grandmothers in their drab clothes
turn up the collars
to avoid a gust of cold wind,
or silently finger their wrinkled worries.

And from time to time,
trying to overcome their boredom,
they exchange the latest news
in low voices.

They send their children a caring smile,
an encouraging look,
or an instructive gesture.

A big-bellied cat with heavy steps
moves around, as if lost, looking for something.
A string of birds, silent, turns slowly,
like a column of prisoners of war.

Dark clouds pile up above the scene;
a small sun keeps on trying.

From the sand kingdom
a shriek of grief,
a child yells at everyone:
“The castle has fallen.”

—From MIDNIGHT  AND  OTHER  POEMS, by Mourid Barghouti, translated by Radwa Ashour. London: ARC Publications, 2008.  Available from Barnes and Noble.