“. . . A thousand eyes for an eye? . . .” (Lahab Assef Al-Jundi)

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Children of Bedouin community of Khan al Ahmar. (Photo: Medical Aid for Palestinians, March 3, 2017.)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .

|  UNRWA  RECEIVES  $118  MILLION  IN  AID  FOR  PALESTINE  REFUGEES
The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA) has received $118 million from a number of countries to help in upholding its essential services.    ___UNRWA’s spokesman Sami Mashasha said a meeting, which was held on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in support of the UNRWA, under the sponsorship of Turkey, Japan, Sweden, Jordan and the European Union, culminated in pledges for allocating further essential funding to the UNRWA.   More . . .
Related . . .    EU proposes additional €40 million for UNRWA to keep schools and health clinics open
|  ABBAS  UNANIMOUSLY  NAMED  CHAIRMAN  OF  THE  GROUP  OF  77  AND  CHINA
The Group of 77 and China meeting in New York on Thursday . . .  unanimously named Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas as chairman, replacing Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the current chairman.   ___The representatives of 134 countries, representing 80% of the world’s population, named the State of Palestine as chairman of the Group of 77 and China during the 42nd meeting of the group’s foreign ministers . . .   ___The State of Palestine, while presiding over the group of 134 countries, will . . .  negotiate with the other partners and member states of the organization on all the developmental, humanitarian and legal issues on the agenda of the United Nations 2019.  More . . .
|  ISRAEL  SEALS  OFF,  DECLARES  KHAN  AL-AHMAR  CLOSED  MILITARY  ZONE   Israeli forces declared the Khan al-Ahmar village, east of occupied Jerusalem in the central West bank, on Friday, a closed military zone.   ___A Ma’an reporter said that Israeli forces closed all roads leading to Khan al-Ahmar, preventing Palestinians and journalists from entering the village.   ___Israeli forces closed the iron gate at the entrance of the village, early Friday morning.   More . . .
Related . . . EU Exerts Effort to Halt Demolition of Khan Al-Ahmar
Related . . . Despite Israeli restrictions, Palestinians perform prayer in Khan al-Ahmar
|  ISRAELI  SOLDIERS  SAVAGELY  ASSAULT  [DISABLED]  JERUSALEMITE
He was not protected by his injury nor his crutch. The young Jerusalemite Amir Abu Laban, 28 years old, was hospitalized in the Hadassah Ein Karem hospital in Jerusalem, after he was cruelly beaten by Israeli soldiers at the King Hussein Bridge crossing at the Jordanian-Palestinian border a few days ago.   [. . . .] The crime of the young Abu Laban was that he said to the occupation soldiers that he has special needs, and that he cannot be examined through X-rays which has a negative impact on his health, due to the existence of platinum in his body because of his disability, yet the soldiers violently assaulted him.   More . . .

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .

|  ISRAEL’S  STRANGLEHOLD  ON  AREA  C:  DEVELOPMENT  AS  RESISTANCE
Ahmad El-Atrash
Israel’s efforts to tighten its grip on the West Bank have been unprecedented since the current Israeli cabinet formed in 2015. . . . Five decades of Israeli occupation – particularly since the Oslo Accords were signed in 1993 – have allowed Israel to continue its colonization of Palestinian land while rendering Palestinian development truncated, distorted, and even mythological.    [. . . .]  Israel has developed [Area C] in particular for its own purposes, namely through the construction of settlements and military infrastructure.   ___In the face of Israel’s policy of expansion in the West Bank, Palestinians view their own development as a means of resistance.    More . . .
|  WHAT  NETANYAHU’S  IDEA  OF  PEACE  LOOKS  LIKE 
Haggai Matar
U.S. President Donald Trump said that he favors two states as a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, during a press conference alongside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in New York on Wednesday.   ___ In response to Trump’s comments, which signaled a change from his previous stance, according to which he would back whichever solution Israelis and Palestinians support, Netanyahu told “. . . . I am willing for the Palestinians to have the authority to rule themselves without the capability to harm us.” Israel, said Netanyahu, will not “relinquish security control west of the Jordan.”   More. . .

NOTICES  FROM  ORGANIZATIONS. . . .

KinderUSADR.  MADS  GILBERT:  A  RETURN  VISIT  TO  GAZA,  October 21, 2018 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm. Angelika Film Center, Plano, Texas. Information and REGISTRATION.

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . .

“COLLATERAL  SAVAGE,”  BY  LAHAB  ASSEF  AL-JUNDI
Survivors of The Holocaust please
Talk to me. Help me understand―
Do you sanction what’s being done
In your names?

I thought your spirits
grew more gentle
having lived through the unspeakable.

Bombs are not less lethal or evil―
Stop being so deathly afraid of the other.

A thousand eyes for an eye?
Children of the Holocaust
please do not lash out
as if you lost your sight.

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.

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

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Israeli forces activated all military checkpoints around Ramallah — many of which are normally open with no soldiers present — in addition to new flying checkpoints set up throughout the area. (Photo: Ma’an News Agency)

❶ Israeli forces kill Palestinian youth near Tulkarem
❷ Israeli forces tighten grip on Ramallah as closure continues
❸ Analysis: Reflections on Food Security under the Conditions Prevalent in Area C
❹ Israeli Soldiers Kidnap Ten Palestinians in the West Bank
❺ Opinion/Analysis: WHEN  EQUALITY  IS  THE  BIGGEST  EXISTENTIAL  THREAT  OF  ALL
❻ Poetry by Zuhair Abu Shaib
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
ISRAELI  FORCES  KILL  PALESTINIAN  YOUTH  NEAR  TULKAREM
Feb. 1, 2016
A Palestinian youth was shot dead by Israeli forces on Monday after he allegedly attempted to stab an Israeli soldier south of Tulkarem.
___Palestinian medical sources identified the teenager as 19-year-old Ahmad Hassan Tuba from the village of Kafr Jammal near Tulkarem.
___An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an that Israeli forces found Tuba near the illegal settlement of Salit, south of Tulkarem, adding that Tuba “drew a knife and attempted to stab” an Israeli soldier.   More . . .
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
ISRAELI  FORCES  TIGHTEN  GRIP  ON  RAMALLAH  AS  CLOSURE  CONTINUES
Feb. 1, 2016
Israeli forces continued their blockade on Monday of the central West Bank city of Ramallah and its neighboring villages and towns for the second consecutive day, after a shooting attack at a military checkpoint on Sunday.
___Israeli forces initiated the blockade hours after the shooting near the illegal Israeli settlement of Beit El north of Ramallah, in which a Palestinian Authority staff sergeant shot and injured three Israeli soldiers before being killed at the scene.   More . . .

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A Palestinian citizen of Israel waves a Palestinian flag during a protest against the police killing of Khir Hamdan in Umm al-Fahm. (Photo: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

ANALYSIS
THIS WEEK IN PALESTINE
REFLECTIONS  ON  FOOD  SECURITY  UNDER  THE  CONDITIONS  PREVALENT  IN  AREA  C
Roubina Bassous Ghattas
Feb. 1, 2016
Although it is difficult to ascertain the exact size of the Palestinian population that resides in Area Ci due to the large number of communities whose boundaries overlap areas A, B, and C, it is estimated that, as of 2015, as many as 40,245 Palestinians, 1.4 percent of the West Bank population, live. . . in Area C. . . .
___. . . the farmers and herders who live in Area C tend to experience worse conditions than the general population because they usually live in small communities located in remote areas that are under-served not only with respect to public services (such as education, water and sanitation, and health care) but also in terms of infrastructure. . . . struggle for access to basic assistance and services such as water/sanitation, primary education, and basic safe shelter.    More . . .
IMEMC-INTERNATIONAL MIDDLE EAST MEDIA CENTER
ISRAELI  SOLDIERS  KIDNAP  TEN  PALESTINIANS  IN  THE  WEST  BANK
Feb. 01, 2016
Israeli soldiers kidnapped, on Monday at dawn, at least ten Palestinians, in numerous invasions and searches of homes, in different parts of the occupied West Bank. One Palestinian was kidnapped on Sunday evening.
Several army vehicles invaded the northern West Bank city of Nablus, searched homes, and kidnapped two Palestinians . . . .
In addition, dozens of soldiers invaded the northern West Bank city of Tulkarem, broke into and ransacked many homes, and kidnapped four Palestinians. . . .     More . . .
Opinion/Analysis
+972 MAGAZINE
WHEN  EQUALITY  IS  THE  BIGGEST  EXISTENTIAL  THREAT  OF  ALL
Natasha Roth
Jan. 31, 2016
In these days of entrapping human rights activists and blacklisting ‘traitors,’ the concept of equality has become as radical as it gets — and a threat to everything the governing regime stands for.
Last week Israeli lawmakers had the opportunity to take a first step towards enshrining equality in the law. They rejected this opportunity, voting down Joint List MK Jamal Zahalka’s proposed amendment to include a clause on equality in Israel’s Basic Law: Human Dignity and Liberty.
___ The vote was taken on a preliminary reading of Zahalka’s bill, meaning that it was shot down before it even left the starting blocks.    More . . . 

“NAME  OF  THE  SOIL,”  BY  ZUHAIR  ABU  SHAIB

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

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

I ask my guests
who imprisoned the soul in rock?
who left prophets spread-eagled on doorsteps?

who risks everything to capture the earth?
a man who does not know his own shadow

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

what is its name?

Zuhair Abu Shaib was born in Deir al-Ghusun and studied at Yarmouk University. He was a teacher and journalist in Yemen, and a book designer. He was also editor of the journal Awarq.
From A  BIRD  IS  NOT  A  STONE:  AN  ANTHOLOGY  OF  CONTEMPORARY  PALESTINIAN  POETRY (Glasgow: Freight Books, 2014) –available from Amazon.com.