“. . . religiously motivated policies of colonization hide behind a security narrative . . .” (Christopher J. Ferrero)

Ramat Shlomo
The illegal Ramat Shlomo settlement near the municipal boundaries of Jerusalem, June 6, 2014 (Photo: The Guardian).

❶ Water situation in Gaza is alarming “. . . only 10% of Gaza’s population has access to safe drinking water. . .”
. . . ― (a) Electricity shortage causes children’s hospital in Gaza to suspend medical care
❷ Israel to build 500 new settler homes in East Jerusalem     Palestinian leaders say Israel’s settlement movement is emboldened by the election of Donald Trump in the US.
. . . ― (a) Israel approves construction of road on confiscated Palestinian lands

  • Background: “Sidelining the Hardliners: A 2 + 1 Solution for Israel- Palestine.” DOMES: Digest Of Middle East Studies   

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WATER  SITUATION  IN  GAZA  IS  ALARMING  “. . . Only 10% of Gaza’s population has access to safe drinking water. . .” 
Alray-Palestinian Media Agency   
Nov. 24, 2016
The World Bank indicated in a report Wednesday that the water sources in Gaza are critically scarce, and the situation in Gaza is alarming. . . .
___Adnan Ghosheh, Senior Water & Sanitation Specialist, remembers a time not so long ago when everyone in Gaza could drink water from their tap. That was in the late 1990s, but so much water has been pumped out of the natural aquifer underneath Gaza since then that seawater has seeped in, making it too salty to drink. These and other factors mean that only 10% of Gaza’s population has access to safe drinking water, compared to 90% in the West Bank . . . More . . .
Ma’an News Agency 
Nov. 23, 2016
Health services in a children’s hospital in Gaza will be suspended for more than a day due to a lack of fuel to power its generators, the Ministry of Health of the besieged Palestinian enclave said in a statement on Wednesday.
___The ministry said that the al-Durrah children’s hospital would be out of commission for 27 hours due to the power shortage, adding that other hospitals across Gaza faced similar risks.      More . . .

ISRAEL  TO  BUILD  500  NEW  SETTLER  HOMES  IN  EAST  JERUSALEM     – Palestinian leaders say Israel’s settlement movement is emboldened by the election of Donald Trump in the US.
Al Jazeera English 
Nov. 24, 2016
Israel has announced plans to move forward with the construction of 500 homes for Jewish settlers in occupied East Jerusalem, the first such move since the US presidential election.
___”This morning, the local planning and building committee made the decision to advance [plans]… for 500 units in Ramat Shlomo,” the Ir Amim anti-settlement NGO said, referring to an ultra-Orthodox Jewish settlement near the Palestinian neighbourhood of Shuafat.
___The plans had been on hold since 2014, Ir Amin said.      More . . .

Off the main road in Nabi Elias. Some kids are on the roof. May 2013. Photo By Orrling – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=28992790

. . . ― (A) ISRAEL APPROVES CONSTRUCTION OF ROAD ON CONFISCATED PALESTINIAN LANDS      Ma’an News Agency       Nov. 24, 2016       The Israeli Civil Administration’s higher planning committee approved constructing a bypass road on confiscated Palestinian lands in the northern occupied West Bank on Wednesday.
___A spokesperson for the Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), the Israeli agency responsible for implementing Israeli policies in the occupied Palestinian territory, told Ma’an that the committee had approved the construction of a road on lands of the village of al-Nabi Elyas.      More . . .     Related . . . 

  • Ferrero, Christopher J. “Sidelining The Hardliners: A 2 + 1 Solution For Israel- Palestine.” DOMES: Digest Of Middle East Studies 23.1 (2014): 128-155.    SOURCE.

[. . . .] Achieving a state in the West Bank should be the proximate, urgent goal of the Palestinian people. Ideologically motivated Israeli settlement of the West Bank continues apace and threatens the viability of a two state solution. Meanwhile, religiously motivated policies of colonization hide behind a security narrative conflating Hamas with Fatah and suggesting that the Palestinians pose an existential threat.
[. . . .] The pro-settlement attitudes and policies of the Netanyahu government are the most urgent and alarming threat to a Palestinian state in the West Bank. Over a half-million Jewish settlers reside in the West Bank and East Jerusalem; nearly 200,000 of them in East Jerusalem. Despite Israeli talking points about “natural growth,” the West Bank’s Jewish population is growing three times faster than that of Israel proper. . . . Israeli governments across the political spectrum—but especially Likud—have financially incentivized the settlement of Judea and Samaria. Approximately 100 settlements have been constructed since Netanyahu’s first stint as prime minister began in 1996. During the first half of 2013,  Israel approved or advanced plans for over 15,000 new housing units in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, a surge that one settlement expert calls “unprecedented in scope and intensity since 1967”. Even as talks with the Palestinians resumed in late summer 2013, the Netanyahu government continued to roll out construction plans, including work at Ramat Shlomo in East Jerusalem. The announcement of plans for this site during a 2010 visit to Israel by the Vice President of the United States, Joseph Biden, stirred temporary outrage by the Americans. Yet, despite Palestinian protestations of Israeli bad faith and warnings about the implications for peace, Washington has acquiesced to continued settlement work during the talks . . . .


“. . . When my people’s tragedy Has turned to farce in others’ eyes . . .” (Samih Al Qasim)

❶ Israeli Supreme Court rejects Palestinian village’s appeal over confiscated land
❷ IOF attack activists at the symbolic “Al-Yasser village” with teargas
❸ Opinion/Analysis:  Nothing is simple in Palestine
❹ POETRY by Samih Al-Qasim
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Ma’an News Agency
Nov. 17, 2016
The Israeli Supreme Court rejected an appeal filed by residents of the occupied West Bank village of al-Nabi Elyas over Israel’s confiscation of 100 dunams of Palestinian land, Israeli radio reported on Thursday.
___According to the Arabic-language Voice of Israel station, the court ruled on Wednesday that residents of al-Nabi Elyas in the district of Qalqiliya could not prove ownership of land which had been seized to build a road.
___The court claimed that the road, whose construction is expected to begin in January, would benefit both Palestinians and Israeli settlers in the area.
___The ruling added that if Palestinians were able to prove ownership of the land after the confiscation, they were allowed to demand compensation.    More . . .  

Palestine News Network – PNN 

Nov. 17, 2016
Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) on Thursday afternoon attacked the activists campaigning at the “Al-Yasser village” in response to Israeli legalization of Israeli settlements in the West Bank.
___Many have suffered teargas inhalation due to the attack.
___The new village, set up this morning with only tents, was named “Al-Yasser” after the late Palestinian president, Yasser Arafat.      More . . .   

❸ Opinion/Analysis:  NOTHING  IS  SIMPLE  IN  PALESTINE 
International Solidarity Movement   
Nov. 17, 2016
Almost nothing in Palestine is what you expect for the most part. And, this is so true of the negative things you see. No matter how bad you think things are or expect them to be, you are almost always guaranteed that they will be worse . . .   Part of our team was invited by an “inspector” from the United Nations office based here in Al Khalil to go to a Bedouin village in the South Hebron Hills where a demolition took place yesterday.      [. . . .] There have been 5 demolitions in the past year: October 27, 2015; 1 in April 2016; 2 this past August; and the most recent one yesterday where two structures were demolished. Their Community Center which housed the kindergarten, a computer center, an after school program to help kids with homework, and a library has been demolished several times.  More . . .   


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 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 noting 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 streets walks a beggar, holding a hat,
And the song of autumn is heard!

Blow, East winds!
Our roots are still alive.

Samih Al-Qasim
From THE  PALESTINIAN  WEDDING:  A  BILINGUAL  ANTHOLOGY  OF  CONTEMPORARY  PALESTINIAN  RESISTANCE  POETRY. Ed. and Trans. A. M. Elmessiri. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2011. Reprint from Three Continents Press, Inc., 1982. Available from Palestine Online Store.