“. . . one of the Chosen selected her heart for his anointed lead . . .” (Reja-e Busailah*)

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Palestinian farmer from Qaryut village inspects destroyed olive trees. (Photo by AFP, Published Fri Aug 17, 2018 by PressTV)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .

|  ISRAEL  RAZES  LANDS,  UPROOTS  OLIVE  TREES  IN  AL-KHADER  VILLAGE
Israeli military bulldozers razed Palestinian agricultural lands and uprooted olive trees in the al-Khader village, south of the southern occupied West Bank district of Bethlehem, on Thursday.    ___Locals said that Israeli bulldozers razed 5 dunams (1.2 acres) of agricultural lands, located between two illegal Israeli settlements of Elazar and Neve Daniel, both built on lands of the al-Khader village, and uprooted olive trees.    ___Sources confirmed that the razed and leveled lands belonged to Muhammad Moussa.    ___Locals added that razing of Palestinian lands and uprooting of trees is part of an Israeli plan to expand nearby illegal settlements.   More . . .
. . . . Related   Israeli  forces  demolish  housing  structures  in  Jordan  Valley
. . . . Related  PA  cabinet  to  form  investigation  committee  into  Jerusalem  properties  issue
. . . . Related   Salfit:  Israel  to  confiscate  8  dunums  of  land  for  military  purposes
|  WHO:  14  GAZANS  KILLED,  INCLUDING  4  CHILDREN,  IN  TWO  WEEKS
The World Health Organization (WHO) issued a special situation report, on Wednesday, in which the latest figures showed that 14 Palestinians, including four children, were killed and 1,434 were injured by the Israeli forces in the past two weeks in the besieged Gaza Strip.    ___According to the WHO report, from March 30th, the start of “The Great March of Return” protests along the Gaza borders with Israel, until the 6th of October, 205 Palestinians were killed.    ___Out of the total killed, 190 Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces during the mass protests, while 15 others were killed during various Israeli attacks.    More . . .
. . . . Related  Gaza’s  unemployment  doubled  since  start  of  Israeli  blockade  –  labor
|  UNESCO  ADOPTS  BY  CONSENSUS  DECISIONS  ON  PALESTINE
. . . . (UNESCO) adopted on Wednesday by consensus two resolutions on Occupied Palestine in the framework of its 205th plenary meeting.     [. . . .] One resolution stated that, ”The Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls, a site inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List and on the List of World Heritage in Danger, is the sacred city of the three monotheistic religions – Judaism, Christianity and Islam. . .  all legislative and administrative measures and actions taken by Israel . . .  are null and void and must be rescinded forthwith.”    [. . . .] It also deplored “the ongoing Israeli excavations, works, construction of private roads for settlers and of a Wall inside the Old City of Al-Khalil/Hebron which are illegal under international law and harmfully affect the authenticity and integrity of the site, and the subsequent denial of freedom of movement and freedom of access to places of worship.”    More . . .

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .

| WHAT  THE  CLOSURE  OF  THE  PLO  OFFICE  IN  WASHINGTON  REALLY  MEANS
Dorgham Abusalim
There have been attempts to shutter the PLO presence in the U.S. ever since it opened a Washington, DC-based Information Office in 1978. But it wasn’t until 1987 that such attempts began to gain steam when Congress adopted the Anti-Terrorism Act, in which it proclaimed the PLO a terrorist organization—this law is in effect to this day . . .  In all the commentary on the closure of the PLO office in Washington, little has been said about what it actually means . . .       [. . . .] Thirty-six years later, the closure of the PLO office in Washington . . .  echoes [Edward] Said’s sobering analysis: “To  reduce  Palestinian  existence  as  much  as  possible.”  Indeed, the closure of the PLO office is yet another reminder of the long assault by Israel and the U.S., its chief ally, on those elements that constitute the Palestinian narrative: institutions, culture, history, law, and language, to name a few.    More . . .

NOTICES  FROM  ORGANIZATIONS. . . .

| KINDER  USA  PRESENTS  DR.  MADS  GILBERT:  A  RETURN  VISIT  TO  GAZA  (Dallas,  Texas,  October  21;  Anaheim,  California,  October  26)  For over thirsty years, Dr. Mads Gilbert has worked in conflict zones including volunteering in hospitals under siege in West Beirut, Lebanon during the 80s and Gaza for the last two decades. His perspective as a doctor and activist in such a conflicted time and area makes him the ideal person for our upcoming speaking events.  Tickets and Information . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

“IN  THE  SHADOW  OF  THE  HOLY  HEIGHTS”  BY  REJA-E  BUSAILAH 

  •                 for Haniya Suleiman Zarawneh, killed by the Israelis
    at the age of 25, near Jerusalem, January 4, 1988

The sun came out that day from the depth of winter
like the rare orphan of good luck —
what else can the light of heaven be
on a day rising from the dead of winter?

And she had risen before the sun that day
and like her mother and grandmother before her
she washed by hand and wrung by hand
the linen for spouse and child,

and like mother and grandmother
she walked up the wooden ladder
with the pail onto the roof
into the shadow of the Holy Heights —
so clear was the sky
it almost recalled the sight and the scent of the sea down west.

Faithfully she hung her labors on the rope
article by article
that the good sun might dry them for her,
she clasped each with a wooden pin
as safeguard against the prankish wind —

it was no senseless nature that did it when she was done
just about to come down for other chores,
it was no fiendish Nazi,
it was one of the Chosen
selected her heart for his anointed lead
so that limp went the spring in the covenant
which joined soul and limb —

and the good sun shines
and the sheets and the skirts and the nightgowns
and the small socks
and the outfit for the wooden doll
they toss in the wind
and smell like linen hand-washed and sun-dried
they swing lighthearted on the rope
waiting for mother to collect them

*  Reja-e Busailah has been blind since infancy. At age 7, he and his family were forced marched by Zionist forces from their home in Lydda into exile. He was educated in Cairo and earned a PhD in English from New York University. He is the author of a collection of poetry, “We Are Human,” (1985). He taught at Indiana University for 30 years and is now retired. He recently published his memoir “In the Land of My Birth: A Palestinian Boyhood.”

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.

“. . . my aim was to declare that the day . . .” (Ahmad Dahbour)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY

[Note: “See also” indicates a related story rather than additions to the linked story.]

ISRAELI  SETTLERS  RAID,  VANDALIZE  PROPERTY  IN  NABLUS
A group of Israeli settlers raided a number of Palestinian homes and vandalized vehicles, on Thursday, in the Urif village in the northern occupied West Bank district of Nablus.   ___Ghassan Daghlas, an official who monitors settlement activity in the northern West Bank, told Ma’an that Israeli settlers from the illegal Israeli settlement of Yitzhar stormed the Urif village and raided several Palestinian homes in the eastern part of the village.   More. . .  See also. . .
ISRAELI  FORCES  TO  DEMOLISH  PALESTINIAN  HOUSE  SOUTH  OF  BETHLEHEM    Israeli forces Wednesday delivered a demolition order for a Palestinian house in al-Khader village, south of Bethlehem, said a local activist.   ___Hassan Breijah, Coordinator of Anti-Wall and Settlement Committee, said that Israeli forces raided the town and handed Sameeh Ahmad Salah an order to demolish his house. . . under the pretense of unlicensed building. . . . in the southern section of the town, known as Khirbet ‘Alya. . .    ___He pointed out that the planned demolition is connected with an Israeli plan to construct a settler-only bypass road that would serve as a northern entrance to Efrat settlement.   More. . .
ISRAEL  ALLOWS  HUNDREDS  OF  THOUSANDS  OF  SETTLERS  TO  CARRY  GUNS      Israel’s Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan stated that Israel has eased the criteria for the obtainment of personal gun permits, Israel Hayom reported.   ___The move is expected to lead to hundreds of thousands of Israelis applying for a license.   ___The law is for new license applicants and holders of existing licenses, according to the sources.   More. . .
ONE  OF  PALESTINE’S  MOST  POPULAR  JOURNALISTS  IS  IN  JAIL  FOR  INCITEMENT
Oren Ziv

Ali Dar Ali was arrested for two posts he published on Facebook. But the prosecution and the judge are far more concerned with his large following than the content of the posts.    ___Israeli forces arrested Ali Dar Ali, one of the most renowned Palestinian journalists in the West Bank, at his home near Ramallah last week, for incitement to violence. . . .   ___Ali, who has been working for Palestinian television since 2007, is known for broadcasting live from demonstrations in the occupied territories, where he routinely documents clashes between young Palestinians and the army, as well as IDF raids on villages. Often times, he is the only journalist that covers these events as they unfold, and thus is able to document daily life under occupation from up close.   More. . .

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION

EMBATTLED  TRUMP  STARTLES  ISRAEL  BY  DEMANDING  ‘HIGHER  PRICE’  FOR  HIS  DELUSIONAL  ACHIEVEMENTS  ON  JERUSALEM  The president’s claim that the future of the city was off the table is a mix of balderdash and poppycock wrapped in pure rubbish
Chemi Shalev
Donald Trump starred in the main headlines in Israel on Wednesday morning, just as he did in the United States, but for completely different reasons. Americans were reeling. . .   Israelis, on the other hand, were more flabbergasted by a few sentences that Trump uttered, intentionally or inadvertently, in his campaign-style rally in West Virginia.   ___The term that grabbed people was “higher price.” Israel would have to pay a “higher price,” Trump said, in return for his decision to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem. It’s the Palestinians’ turn, he said in his typical third-grade lingo, “to get something good.”   More. . .

IN  RESPONSE  TO  TRUMP  STATEMENT :  EREKAT  SAYS  THERE  IS  NO  PRICE  FOR  JERUSALEM
Secretary of the Executive Committee for Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Dr. Saeb Erekat, responded to US President Donald Trump and his National Security Advisor John Bolton statements about the removal of  Jerusalem from the negotiating table in the future by saying that there is no price for Jerusalem”.   ___Erekat added in his respons PNN received by Email that without East Jerusalem including Holy Haram, Church of the Holy Sepulcher, its old town and its walls as Palestaine capital there will be no meaning of Palestinian state”.   ___He added that Trump, Bolton and Netanyahu must understand that there will no peace without East Jerusalem as the capital of the state of Palestine on the 1967 borders.   More. . .

ISRAELI  RESTRICTIONS  STRANGLE  GAZA’S  CANCER  PATIENTS
Ahmad Kabariti
For the fourth time in two months, Nevin Abu El-Jidian failed to cross the Erez checkpoint, which separates the Gaza Strip from Israel and the West Bank. Israeli authorities asked her to come back again with an updated radiograph of her breast cancer. “The officer told me I have to go back to Gaza and take an updated one.” But, even then, passage into Israel is not guaranteed, the officer told her.    ___[. . . .] According to testimony collected by the Physicians for Human Rights – Israel, officers at the Erez crossing often exploit vulnerable patients to obtain information, forcing them to inform on friends and family. Refusal to collaborate results in denying passage to these patients.   More. . . See also. . .

THE  LANGUAGE  OF  PALESTINIAN  FREEDOM
Steven Salaita

Ash Sarkar, of “I’m literally a communist” fame, recently set Palestine Twitter ablaze with an unusual pronouncement: “. . . I’m making a decision to try and speak of Palestinians’ right to protection and self-defence rather than resistance.”   ___ Reaction against this message was swift. . . Palestinian critics, many of whom patiently explained the importance of terms like “resistance.”  ___[. . . .] “Resistance” doesn’t simply denote obstinacy; it connotes political and economic self-realization. “Fighting” isn’t an irrational desire to inflict harm; it is a necessary survival mechanism.  The colony cannot maintain its endurance without antagonism.   More. . .

NOTICES  FROM  ORGANIZATIONS

SABEEL  ECUMENICAL  LIBERATION  THEOLOGY  CENTER  (JERUSALEM)
Fall Witness Visit: October 30th – November 7th
Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center invites you to join us for 9 nights to experience the reality of life in today’s Holy Land. . .    ___Meet and reflect with Palestinian Christians and Muslims as well as with Jewish Israelis and internationals who partner with Sabeel in non-violent resistance against the violation of international and humanitarian law   More. . .
AUGUST  24TH  REPORT  FROM  THE  FRONTLINES:  USPCN’S  DELEGATION  TO  PALESTINE  (CHICAGO)
Attend this report back of the first USPCN delegation in eight years! Muhammad Sankari, Bassem Kawar, and Danya Zituni are the featured presenters.   More. . .

“OUR  COUNTRY,”  BY  AHMAD DAHBOUR
Who is it calls like this?
Who are you, Sir?
It was as if I had heard a voice that knew me, and perhaps for
you it was the same? Or am I mistaken? If I am, I ask your
forgiveness, Sir. For what reason do you think I would contrive
this dialogue? Believe me, I have no ulterior motive. But
let us assume I have faked this dialogue; my aim was to
declare that the day . . . Please listen, and don’t go away.
On our land exists a wall which we would like to have converted
into a room, only we weren’t granted building permission.
What can I say? Are these utensils sold in the market place?

Do you think that I am in the secret police? Then why are you
afraid of me? I’m only interested in words. So let it go if
I expressed myself badly. It is my country.
Don’t we have the right here to shake hands?
To form a friendship of sorts?
An adversary? A pal who forgives?
Or a passer-by who calls our name?
Don’t we have that right?
Isn’t it our country?
Did you hear a voice? Who is it that calls like this?
Who is it who calls our name?
—Trans. Lena Jayyusi and Jeremy Reed
—From Anthology of Modern Palestinian Literature, Columbia University Press, 1992.

“. . . Will you become . . . an ordinary country? . . .” (Samih Al-Qasim)

bedouin
A demolished house in an unrecognized Bedouin village in the Negev, December 2010 (photo: Times of Israel)

❶ Bethlehem: Settlers Raze Lands in Al-Khader
❷ 1,000 civilian structures demolished by Israeli authorities in Negev
❸ Israeli police to ban burial of Jerusalemite martyrs in their areas
❹ Opinion/Analysis: AFTER  TEL AVIV  ATTACK,  WHAT  IS  GOING  BACK  TO  BUSINESS  AS  USUAL?
❺ POETRY by Samih Al-Qasim
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ BETHLEHEM:  SETTLERS  RAZE  LANDS  IN  AL-KHADER
International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC
June 8, 2016
Israeli settlers, Wednesday, razed Palestinian-owned lands in the village of al-Khader, to the south of occupied Bethlehem, according to local sources.
___Hasan Burajeya, of the Anti-Settlement Committee in Bethlehem, told WAFA that a group of illegal Israeli settlers, accompanied by a military escort, proceeded to raze about 15 dunams of land near al-Khader. The razed land belongs to local Palestinians from the village.
___Burajeya asserted that the razing of said lands comes as part of Israeli plan to construct a yeshiva (Jewish school) at the site.      MORE . . .  

LATE THIS past June [2012], a group of Israeli settlers in the West Bank defaced and burned a mosque in the small West Bank village of Jabaa. Graffiti sprayed by the vandals warned of a “war” over the planned evacuation, ordered by the Israeli Supreme Court, of a handful of houses illegally built on private Palestinian land near the Israeli settlement of Beit El. The torching of the mosque was the fourth such attack in 18 months and part of a wider trend of routine violence committed by radical settlers against innocent Palestinians, Israeli security personnel, and mainstream settler leaders — all aimed at intimidating perceived enemies of the settlement project.
___This violence has not always plagued the settler community. Although many paint all Israeli settlers as extremists, conflating them with the often-justified criticism of Israeli government policy in the West Bank, the vast majority of them oppose attacks against Palestinian civilians or the Israeli state. In the past, Israeli authorities and the settler leadership often worked together to prevent such assaults and keep radicalism at bay. Yet in recent years, the settler movement has experienced a profound breakdown in discipline, with extremists now beyond the reach of either Israeli law enforcement or the discipline of settler leaders.

  • Byman, Daniel, and Natan Sachs. “The Rise Of Settler Terrorism.” Foreign Affairs 91.5 (2012): 73-86.      Complete Article.     

❷ 1,000  CIVILIAN  STRUCTURES  DEMOLISHED  BY  ISRAELI  AUTHORITIES  IN  NEGEV
The Palestinian Information Center
June 9, 2016
The Israeli authorities demolished 1,041 Bedouin structures in Negev between 2013 and 2015, with a further 1,711 structures being destroyed by their owners after receiving demolition orders. According to a new report by the Negev Coexistence Forum for Civil Equality (NCF), in 2015 alone, nearly 1,000 structures were demolished in Negev — 365 by the Israeli authorities, and 617 by the homeowners themselves.
___The waves of demolitions have displaced thousands of Bedouins over the past three years, according to Michal Rotem, the author of the report.      MORE . . . 

The Negev/Naqab region in southern Israel is a socially segregated landscape rent by clashes between Bedouin and Jewish residents and government bodies over access to land for farming and homes and over the status of Bedouin villages. Though Bedouin residents once migrated within the region and bordering grazing areas, they have been struggling for the past half-century to gain a firm and recognised place within the Israeli state. Approximately half of the Negev’s 180,000 Bedouin Arab residents live in villages and family clusters that the government deems illegal. The other half live in government-planned townships, which hold legal legitimacy as residences.
[. . . .]
However . . . formal citizenship does not guarantee the equal distribution of political rights and economic resources. Rather, ‘differentiated citizenship’ means that social goods are distributed unequally along racial or class-based social divisions. Such is the case for a Jewish–Arab differentiation in Israel. Whereas Israel’s Basic Laws promise equal rights to all citizens . . .  rights are systematically denied to non-Jews (e.g., land purchases and the benefits accruing to military service).
___How does this differentiation happen? Of critical importance for the case of land rights, socially privileged citizens have more influence in defining legitimate and illegitimate land uses. An examination of the media campaigns, protests, court cases and Knesset debates involved in Negev struggles against eviction reveals  the  importance  of  leveraging  cultural  recognition.  Residents in both these cases lived dispersed, agro-pastoral lifestyles that were initially prohibited by the Israeli government. Jewish residents were able to gain legal recognition for their land-use practices, while Bedouin residents were not.

  • McKee, Emily. “Demolitions And Amendments: Coping With Cultural Recognition And Its Denial In Southern Israel.” Nomadic Peoples 19.1 (2015): 95-119.  Available.

❸ ISRAELI  POLICE  TO  BAN  BURIAL  OF  JERUSALEMITE  MARTYRS  IN  THEIR  AREAS
The Palestinian Information Center
June 9, 2016
The Israeli occupation police on Wednesday decided not to allow funerals and burials for Palestinian martyrs from east Jerusalem in their neighborhoods or town and to choose the Muslim cemeteries they would be buried in.
___Yedioth Ahronoth website said this decision was taken following the funeral of martyr Alaa Abu Jamal several weeks when about 200 persons gathered at the Jabel Mukaber cemetery and chanted incitement slogans against Israel and support for the deceased, whom it described as a “terrorist”.
___After reporting what happened at that funeral, minister of public security Gilad Erdan ordered a freeze on returning the bodies of “terrorists” to their families until the incident could be investigated and new conditions could be imposed to ensure funerals would not contain incitement.       MORE . . .

1-tel aviv
Reporter’s notebook: Scenes from the Tel Aviv terror attack – Arab-Israeli Conflict – (Photo: Jerusalem Post)

❹ Opinion/Analysis:  AFTER  TEL AVIV  ATTACK,  WHAT  IS  GOING  BACK  TO  BUSINESS  AS  USUAL?
972 Magazine
Mairav Zonszein
June 9, 2016
I was out last night in Tel Aviv at a poetry book launch for a good friend when the news flashed on my phone that there was a shooting in the Sarona Market . . . .
___Life does go on here despite the violence. That’s just the reality. But when I read the statement by Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai that Israelis cannot let such terror “disrupt our lives” and that we should “return to business as usual” tomorrow, I become enraged. Why shouldn’t this disrupt our lives? [. . . .]
___The word “disruption” here also dismisses the fact that the lives of so many Palestinians are “disrupted” all the time. The entire city of Yatta, where the two murderers are from — a population of about 65,000 people in the occupied West Bank — is now under military lockdown. This is collective punishment, a mass “disruption.”
MORE . . .  

“IF ONLY,” BY SAMIH AL-QASIM

My homeland, an earring dangling

from the ear of the earth;

my homeland . . . a woman

whose thighs are opened by the western wind;

my homeland, the oars of the boat;

my homeland, the absent son:

Will you one day rouse what is in me?

Will you become . . . an ordinary country?

From Al-Qasim, Samih. SADDER THAN WATER. New and Selected Poems. Trans. Nazih Kasis and Adina Hoffman. Jerusalem: Ibis Editions, 2008.
Samih Al-Qasim  Obituary, August 20, 2014   
About Ibis Editions.  Available from Amazon.  

 

“. . . tired of minds that have become hotels . . .” (Rashid Hussein)

Caption: Father Ramiz Baker, with Muntaser [left] and Sayid [right] (Photo, The Middle East Monitor)
Father Ramiz Baker, with Muntaser [left] and Sayid [right] (Photo, The Middle East Monitor)
❶ From THE MIDDLE EAST MONITOR
ISRAEL APPROVES 800 NEW SETTLEMENT UNITS IN BETHLEHEM
July 15, 2015
Israeli Public Prosecution has revealed an Israeli settlement plan consisting of 800 new settlement units in Bethlehem, south of the occupied West Bank, Palestinian newspaper Al-Resalah reported yesterday.
____The plan was approved by the Israeli Housing and Construction Minister Ori Ariel, during Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s previous government at the end of last year.
(More. . .)

❷ From INTERNATIONAL MIDDLE EAST MEDIA CENTER (IMEMC)
ISRAELI EXTREMISTS UPROOT VEGETABLE CROPS IN BETHLEHEM
July 19, 2015
Several fanatic Israeli settlers invaded, on Saturday evening, Palestinian farmlands in the town of al-Khader, south of the West Bank city of Bethlehem, and uprooted hundreds of tomato and cauliflower plants and seedlings, in addition to destroying an entire field planted with Okra.
____Ahmad Salah, coordinator of the Popular Committee against the Wall and Settlements in al-Khader, said the Israeli extremists came from the illegal Israeli settlement of Efrat, built on stolen Palestinian lands.
(More. . .)
(Background)
(Background)

Caption: Israeli settlers uprooted hundreds of olive trees from the lands of al-Khader village, south of Bethlehem, March 20, 2013 (Photo flotillahyves.com).
Israeli settlers uprooted hundreds of olive trees from the lands of al-Khader village, south of Bethlehem, March 20, 2013 (Photo flotillahyves.com).

❸ From THE PALESTINIAN INFORMATION CENTER
ISRAELI VANDALS ATTACK PALESTINIANS IN AL-KHALIL
July 19, 2015
AL-KHALIL, (PIC)– A horde of Israeli extremist settlers, residing in the illegal Ma’un settlement, attacked on Saturday Palestinian passers-by and shepherds in al-Khalil’s town of Yatta, in the southern West Bank.
____ . . . the Israeli settlers, ESCORTED BY ARMY OFFICERS, attacked shepherds and unarmed citizens.
(More . . .)

❹ From AL-MONITOR: THE PULSE OF THE MIDDLE EAST
WEST BANK COMMUNITY WELCOMES KHADER ADNAN HOME FROM ISRAELI PRISON
Aziza Nofal
July 17, 2015
JENIN, West Bank — Cries of joy were heard at the home of administrative detainee Sheikh Khader Adnan after he was released and carried on the shoulders of supporters into his town of Arraba, near Jenin . . . .
____After his release July 12, Adnan stepped out to the rostrum in front of his house and addressed hundreds of people who came from the West Bank and occupied Jerusalem to welcome him. He said Israel made a mistake by detaining him and has paid a high price.
(More. . .)

❺ From MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
PALESTINIAN YOUTHS STUCK AT CAIRO AIRPORT
July 18, 2015
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Several Palestinian youths from the Gaza Strip heading to Saudi Arabia and European countries have been stuck at the Cairo International Airport for a month.
_____Three young men and two young women were reportedly taken by Egyptian authorities from the Rafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt to the airport where they were prevented from travelling due to expired residency permits for their destination countries.
(More. . .)

❻ OPINION
From THE MIDDLE EAST MONITOR
ONE YEAR ON FROM THE ISRAELI OFFENSIVE, GAZA’S CHILDREN ARE UNABLE TO FORGET
Motasem A Dalloul
July 16, 2015
During the 51-day Israeli offensive on the Gaza Strip . . . a group of Palestinian children fled to the beach to escape from the harsh and extensive bombing of houses, hospitals, healthcare centres and playgrounds; they went there to play football.
____They thought that the beach, an open area, was a safe place because it has never been used by the Palestinian resistance. Although the seven of them arrived on the beach safely, minutes later, four had been killed and three were wounded after being targeted by shells apparently fired from an Israeli warship.
(More. . .)

“WITHOUT A PASSPORT,” BY RASHID HUSSEIN (1936-1977)

I was born without a passport
I grew up
and saw my country
become prisons
without a passport

So I raised a country
a sun
and wheat
in every house
I tended to the trees therein
I learned how to write poetry
to make the people of my village happy
without a passport

I learned that he whose land is stolen
does not like the rain
If he were ever to return to it, he will
without a passport

But I am tired of minds
that have become hotels
for wishes that never give birth
except with a passport

Without a passport
I came to you
and revolted against you
so slaughter me
perhaps I will then feel that I am dying
without a passport

From Rashid Hussein, Al-A`mal al-Shi`riyya (al-Taybe: Markaz Ihya’ al-Turath al-`Arabi, 1990), Translated by Sinan Antoon.
Rashid Hussein (1936-1977) was born in Musmus, Palestine. He published his first collection in 1957 and established himself as a major Palestinian poet and orator. He was the first celebrity poet to appear on the Arab-Israeli stage; other poets called him “the star“. He showed them it was possible to write about “human things“ – bread, hunger, anger.
(More. . .)
(Another poem by Rashid Hussein)

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