“. . . The twenty revolutions that will eternalize this cell . . .” (Fouzi El Asmar)

Aug. 19, 2016, Philadelphia: Friday Protest: Free Bilal Kayed! End Administrative Detention! (Photo: Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network)
Aug. 19, 2016, Philadelphia: Friday Protest: Free Bilal Kayed! End Administrative Detention! (Photo: Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network)

❶ Palestinian released, placed on house arrest after serving 14 year sentence in Israeli prisons
❷ Palestinian PM Office: Israel’s ‘horrific treatment’ of Bilal Kayid amounting to ‘torture’
❸ Seven Palestinians arrested in WB, Jerusalem
❺ POETRY by Fouzi El Asmar
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Ma’an News Agency 
Aug. 24, 2016
An Israeli judge Tuesday ordered the release of a Palestinian from the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of Jabal al-Mukkabir who was redetained four days after being released from a 14-year sentence in Israeli prisons, according to local sources.
___Israeli Magistrate Court’s judge ordered the release of Jerusalemite prisoner Sufian Fakhri Abdo from Israeli prison and imposed 14 days of house detention and a 10,000 shekel ($2,653) fine on him.  MORE . . .

Ma’an News Agency
Aug. 23, 2016
The Palestinian Prime Minister’s office called on Tuesday for the immediate release of Bilal Kayid, saying that Israel’s “horrific treatment” of the hunger-striking prisoner amounted to “torture.”
___Kayid has been on hunger strike for 70 days after Israeli authorities sentenced him to administrative detention — internment without trial or charges — on the day he was scheduled to be released from prison after serving a 14-and-a-half year sentence.  ___Kayid has since been hospitalized after his health severely deteriorated. However, the Israel Prison Service (IPS) has kept him shackled to his hospital bed and has had guards surrounding him at all times.     MORE . . .    

Alray-Palestinian Media Agency
Aug. 24, 2016
Israeli occupation forces (IOF) arrested on Wednesday morning seven citizens in raids to different parts of the occupied West Bank.
___The public Israeli radio said that the occupation forces accused four of the detainees in involving in “terrorist actions.”
___Local sources said that Israeli forces raided several houses in the town of Halhul in Hebron, and arrested three citizens identified as Abed Jnazrah, Ayman al-Omran, and Ali Sarayaa.       MORE . . .

Bailey, Pam.  Washington Report On Middle East Affairs 33.3 (2014): 21-22.

Prisoners are perhaps the most powerless individuals in the world. They are at the mercy of their captors–deprived of freedom of movement, stripped of virtually all personal resources, limited in communication with the outside to rationed, supervised moments.  ___But the human spirit is not easily extinguished and, particularly when people are imprisoned for their belief in a cause, the natural leaders among them fight back with what little they have: their brains and their bodies.
[. . . .]   The Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association has joined the World Organization Against Torture to express concern about their health and harsh treatment, as well as call on international activists to protest to Israeli authorities. Meanwhile, the Israeli government is considering a new rule that would allow the force-feeding of hunger-striking prisoners whose lives are in danger. Israel had previously stopped the practice after three prisoners died as a result.
[. . . . ]  Sometimes, however, what seems like individual wins can carry larger symbolism–as in the case of Samer Issawi. Over the course of a partial hunger strike of 266 days, Issawi lost half his body weight and suffered numerous health problems–yet rejected offers to release him if he agreed to be deported someplace other than East Jerusalem. By insisting on going home, he captured the hearts of activists and caught the fickle media’s attention–and won.
___”My victory was a Palestinian victory that proves nothing is impossible in the face of our will,” he says now. “If I had to do it over again, I would, because nothing is more valuable than freedom.”     FULL ARTICLE . . . . 

Beloved, you ask me
Of life in this prison, this cell
what of the chains
chafing my wrists
what of my food and drink
and the comrades of my cell?

Beloved, let me tell you:
Our clouds are indeed heavy
But our being here
is a smile of spring,
The shock of thunder
in autumn, after draught.
We are not defeated
Like our jailers.

Life in this prison, this cell
is a palm tree impregnated
at the dawn.
My chains are the round
echo of a muezzin,
Their clank is the ringing
of my people’s bells.

Beloved, you as me
of the meaning of my food
Here beloved
we grow like the wild flowers.

And what of
my comrades in this cell? You ask
They are the twenty candles
lighting the darkness of this cell
The twenty songs
shaking the walls of this cell
The twenty revolutions
that will eternalize this cell
And we, beloved
we shall not be stopped.  (June, 1970)

El Asmar, Fouzi. POEMS  FROM  AN  ISRAELI  PRISON. Intro. By Israel Shahak. New York: KNOW Books, 1973.
Available from Amazon.
About Fouzi El Asmar.

“. . . to expose the international community to their predicament . . .” (Galit Eilat)


Bilin weekly protest, April 10, 2015 (Photo: Ma’an New Agency)

❶ Israeli forces suppress weekly Bilin protest, residents march in solidarity with hunger-strikers
❷ Israeli forces injure Palestinian with live fire during protests in the Gaza Strip
❸ Israeli Forces Storm Bethlehem Zakat Committee Premises, Seize Belongings
❹ Opinion/Analysis:  “Where Do You Draw The Line?” South Atlantic Quarterly
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Ma’an News Agency
Aug. 12, 2016
Israeli forces reportedly “suppressed” the weekly protests in the Ramallah-area village of Bilin on Friday.
___Friday’s march was held in solidarity with Palestinian hunger-striker Bilal Kayid, where protesters chanted slogans of support and called for Kayid’s immediate release.
___Kayid, who entered the 60th day of his hunger strike on Friday, is a prominent member of the PFLP. After being sentenced to six months of administrative detention — an Israeli policy of internment without charge or trial — on the day he was expected to be released from a 14-year prison sentence, he declared an open hunger strike.     MORE . . .

Ma’an News Agency
Aug. 13, 2016
Israeli forces Friday injured a Palestinian with live fire in the eastern part of al-Bureij refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip during clashes with Israeli forces deployed near the border between the besieged enclave and Israel.
___Spokesperson of the Ministry of Health Ashraf al-Qidra told Ma’an that a 23-year-old sustained light injuries in the leg as Israeli snipers opened live fire at several Palestinians as protests erupted in the refugee camp.
___Meanwhile, protests were also reported in the eastern part of Gaza City, where witnesses told Ma’an Israeli snipers hid behind large dirt mounds as they shot live fire and tear gas bombs at the protestors.
___An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an that protesters “approached the buffer zone” after which Israeli forces “fired warning shots,” causing the protesters to retreat. The spokesperson made no comment on the reported injury.        MORE . . .  

Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
August 13, 2016
Israeli forces Saturday stormed and wreaked havoc into the Zakat committee’s premises during an overnight raid into the southern West Bank city of Bethlehem, said a Zakat Committee official.
___Chairman of the Bethlehem Zakat Committee Muhammad Rezeq said a large Israeli military force stormed the zakat committee’s premises in the central Bethlehem neighborhood of al-Karkafeh, destroying doors and ransacking it.
___Troops reportedly seized six computers, orphans’ files and cheque books. MORE . . .   

Pro-Palestine supporters in Sao Paulo, Brazil, march carrying a Palestine flag during a demonstration against Operation Cast Lead in 2009 (Photo: AFP)

❹ Opinion/Analysis:  EILAT,  GALIT.  “WHERE  DO  YOU  DRAW  THE  LINE?”  SOUTH  ATLANTIC  QUARTERLY  114.3 (2015): 680-686.

Galit Eilat is Founding Director of “DAL – The Israeli Center for Digital Art”; Editor-in-Chief of Maarav, an online art and culture magazine; lecturer in the Department of Photography, Video & Computer Imaging at the “Bezalel Academy of Art and Design” in Jerusalem; Advisor for the Israel Museum in Jerusalem.  Her projects deal with the topics of the political situation in the Middle East, activism and the political potential of art.

Present-day Israel is not a democratic state. During the past five years, we have witnessed increasing nationalism, the silencing of political minorities, the media, and civic organizations, and the approval of antidemocratic laws. What started in 1967 as the sin of occupying Palestinian lands continues today as a crime against the occupied population. What actions will awaken Israelis from their indifference and make them fight for their right to live in a democratic state? Why are no sanctions imposed on Israel, while more and more sanctions are imposed on Gaza, while Israel enjoys international support and is one of the leading countries calling for boycotts of other states and organizations? . . .  Israeli propaganda tends to define any struggle against government policy as a type of terror: diplomatic terror, economic terror, cyber terror, legal terror. In doing so, it deems any form of struggle against the occupation as violent and illegitimate. The Palestinian choice of a strategy of boycott and diplomatic-economic sanctions, however, is based on tactics of nonviolent struggle that are considered legitimate and effective around the world. Vis-à-vis the mighty propaganda machine implemented by Israel, the Palestinians have opted for a tool intended to expose the international community to their predicament and to enable anyone anywhere in the world to express active support for their cause.

[. . . .]

___The question is often asked in Israel: “Why are there no Palestinians who oppose violence?” or “When will a Palestinian leader emerge who will pursue a nonviolent struggle against the Israeli occupation?” Yet, here we have a group of Palestinian activists who choose precisely that—to promote an economic-cultural boycott over armed combat—but Israeli propaganda has dubbed the Palestinian consumer boycott of products from the settlements an “act of hostility.” The double standards of Israeli propaganda are underlined by the Israeli government’s advocacy of a boycott against Hamas in Gaza, against the regime in Iran, and against products made in Sweden—after Sweden officially recognized the Palestinian state.

[. . . .]

It has also been suggested that the boycott often backfires by reinforcing the claim that Israel is still struggling for its existence and that Jews are still being persecuted. One cannot accept such a stance because it forecloses the possibility of criticism of Israel, in general, and Jews, in particular. Above all, it disregards the fact that Israel is also the Palestinians’ homeland.     SOURCE



“. . . It is my right to behold the sun . . .” (Fouzi el-Asmar)

bilal❶ 10 Palestinian prisoners join mass hunger strike in solidarity with Bilal Kayid
❷ The terror of the children
❸ POETRY by Fouzi el-Asmar

Background from New Zealand International Review

Background from Public Health Ethics

` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Ma’an News Agency
July 31, 2016
Ten new Palestinian prisoners on Sunday joined a mass open hunger strike in solidarity with prisoner Bilal Kayid, according to Issa Qaraqe, head of the Palestinian Committee of Prisoners’ Affair, a day after reports emerged that Kayid’s health had deteriorated sharply after almost 50 days without food.
___Qaraqe told the Palestinian Wafa News Agency that ten prisoners from Israel’s Ramon prison joined the open strike, including Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) leader Ahmad Saadat, who was reportedly moved to solitary confinement after joining the strike, according to the Palestinian Prisoners’ Society.
___Kayid, a member of the PFLP, Palestine’s most popular left-wing political faction, has been on hunger strike for 47 days in protest of being placed in administrative detention — Israel’s controversial policy of internment without charge or trial under undisclosed evidence — on the day he was scheduled to be released after completing a 14-and-a-half-year prison sentence.      MORE . . .    

Military Court Watch (monitoring the treatment of children in detention)
Reprinted from El Pais (English)
Mario Vargas Llosa
July 25, 2016
[. . . .] The operations designed to induce panic are generally carried out at night by masked soldiers who first throw grenades into homes accompanied by shouting, with the aim of frightening families – above all, the children. These raids come out of the blue and are carefully orchestrated. The teenager or child who has been betrayed by an informer is blindfolded and handcuffed. The young suspects are then taken away in a truck, usually on the floor of the truck with the soldiers’ feet on top of them and the odd kick to keep them scared.
___In the interrogation room, they are left tied up on the floor for five to 10 hours. This helps to lower their morale and frighten them further. The subsequent interrogation follows a pattern; they are advised to admit to throwing stones, which will get them no more than two or three months behind bars. Otherwise, they will have to wait seven or eight months for their case to go to trial, which could means a worse sentence.       MORE . . .    

From New Zealand International Review
On 17 April 2012, Palestine Prisoners Day, more than 1000 Palestinian prisoners began an open-ended hunger strike to protest against unjust arrest procedures, arbitrary detention and bad prison conditions. Reported Richard Falk, ‘I am appalled by the continuing human rights violations in Israeli prisons and I urge the Government of Israel to respect its international human rights obligations towards all Palestinian prisoners.’
[. . . .]
___Since the 1967 war, an estimated 40 per cent of the Palestinian male population in the occupied territory has been in detention in Israeli jails. Israel makes widespread use of arbitrary detention; no charges, no trials. Some prisoners are held this way for years, just by renewing the arbitrary detention.
___Twenty-seven Palestinian parliamentarians and two ministers are being held. Human rights activists, taking part in nonviolent protests against the wall as it is expanded, are targeted.
___Political prisoners are held in Israel jails, against the Geneva Convention. Dostoevsky said you should judge a country by examining its prisons.  Griffiths, Lois, and Martin Griffiths. “The Palestine Story: To Exist Is To Resist.” New Zealand International Review 37.5 (2012): 4-9.   SOURCE 

From Public Health Ethics
The present article focuses on the case of the 2012 hunger-strike of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails. We analyze the ethical dilemma involved in the way the Israeli medical community reacted to these hunger-strikes and the question of force feeding within the context of the fundamental dual-loyalty structure inherent in the Israeli Prison Services—system. We argue that the liberal perspective that focuses the discussion on the dilemma between the principle of individual autonomy and the sanctity of life tends to be oblivious to the asymmetrical relation of power that characterizes the prison system and to the socio-political context in which hunger-strikes take place. Emphasizing hunger-strikes as political acts implies that health practitioners’ conducts cannot be analyzed only through the prism of clinical medical ethics. It requires a public health ethics’ approach, an approach that understands health in the context of the complex relationship between society, state, organizations, communities and individuals. The authors are both academics and volunteers in Physicians for Human Rights—Israel thus our analysis is based both on sociological and public health ethics principles and on the continuous work and advocacy for the right to health of prisoners. Filc, Dani, et al. “Palestinian Prisoners’ Hunger-Strikes In Israeli Prisons: Beyond The Dual-Loyalty Dilemma In Medical Practice And Patient Care.” Public Health Ethics 7.3 (2014): 229-238.     SOURCE 

“THE WAY,” by Fouzi El-Asmar

I shall not despair;
Whether my way leads to a jail,
under the sun
or in exile
I shall not despair.

It is my right to behold the sun
To demolish the tent and banishment
To eat the fruit of the olive
To water the vineyards
with music
To sing of Love
in Jaffa, in Haifa
To sow the fertile land
with new seeds
It is my right.

Let my way be
The reaching of one hand to another
That a tower of dreams be built.

This is my way
And if the last price to pay
is my sight
my life
I shall
but will not give up
my way.

El Asmar, Fouzi. POEMS FROM AN ISRAELI PRISON. Intro. By Israel Shahak. New York: KNOW Books, 1973.  Available from Amazon.
About Fouzi El Asmar.

“. . . the splendor of life Is being born within the walls of my prison . . .” (Samih Al-Qasim)

Israeli occupation forces stormed Palestinian prisoners in their cells, Ramon prison, in occupied Negev. (Photo: Alresalah English)

❶ Israeli forces raid PFLP section in Ramon prison, impose total closure
. . . ❶ ― (ᴀ)   Statement No. 8 from the PFLP Prison Branch

  • background from South Atlantic Quarterly

❷ Free Bilal Kayed! Report from the international week of action for Palestinian Prisoners

  • background from Public Health Ethics

❹ POETRY by Samih Al-Qasim
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Ma’an News Agency
July 17, 2016
The Palestinian Prisoners’ Society said on Sunday morning that Israeli Prison Service (IPS) forces raided section 5 of Israel’s Ramon prison, where they searched room number 72 and imposed a total closure on the section, which holds exclusively prisoners affiliated with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP).
___The group added in a statement that the acts of the prison administration and its forces are part of its collective punishment on PFLP prisoners across all Israeli prisons, in response to their support of Bilal Kayid, who has been on a hunger strike since June 14 in protest of his administrative detention order.
[. . . .]
___Israel considers the majority of Palestinian political parties to be “terrorist organizations.” As a result, most Palestinians who participate in the political arena in the ccupied Palestinian territory risk being imprisoned by Israeli authorities.     MORE . . .  
Gaza.Scoop.ps – Real Time News From Gaza
July 15, 2016
The prisons of the occupation are in a state of flux, escalation, and rapid developments in the battle for freedom waged by the prisoners of the Popular Front against the fascist prison administration, for victory for their comrade, the leader Bilal Kayed, on hunger strike for a month. The Front organization in all prisons is continuing to escalate their protest, and prepare more serious steps of escalation, intent on their demands, drawing inspiration from the steadfastness of Comrade Kayed, and with the support of the Prisoners’ Movement which was expressed in an important statement a few days ago. This is expected to culminate in a program of unified steps of struggle involving the entire prisoners’ movement soon. In this context, we as the leadership of the branch of the organization of the Front in the occupation prisons emphasize the following . . .MORE . . . 

From South Atlantic Quarterly
Sumud, translated roughly as “steadfastness,” has no fixed meaning . . . . the practice of sumud destabilizes the colonial order and its power relations. This steadfastness constitutes a Palestinian relational political-psycho-affective subjectivity [. . . .]
___As a theoretical frame, sumud signifies a revolutionary becoming . . . .  it is a continuing process of reorganization of the revolutionary self that would be actualized in practice. Each practice of sumud in the [prison] interrogation is an actualization of the potentiality of the revolutionary becoming. . . . Palestinians are therefore constituted as they resist . . . . Palestinians-in-sumud correspond to “being caught in the act of legending.” These heroes-mediators are not individual heroes but a series; they embody others and others embody them [. . . .]
___Approximating the possibility of sumud, then, offers an alternative to hegemonic liberal modes of the individual autonomous subject that are dominant worldwide . . . . Palestinians have undertaken efforts “not merely for the endurance and victory of their people’s just cause but also as a Palestinian contribution to the protection and maintenance of the human values of freedom and liberation”. . . . sumud as a particular liberating Palestinian mode of being encodes a liberational potential for humanity. Thus, in approaching sumud as a particular Palestinian mode of being, we can consider its potential to reflect a universal mode of “revolutionary becoming” . . .

  • Meari, Lena. “Sumud: A Palestinian Philosophy Of Confrontation In Colonial Prisons.” South Atlantic Quarterly 113.3 (2014): 547-578.   SOURCE.

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network
July 17, 2016
As Bilal Kayed enters his second month on hunger strike in Israeli prisons, events and actions were organized around the world on 8-15 July in a coordinated week of action organized by Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network in support of Kayed’s struggle and that of fellow Palestinian prisoners, and in memory of Ghassan Kanafani, the Palestinian writer, artist and political leader and thinker assassinated on 8 July 1972 in Beirut.
___Events were organized in New York City, Arklow, Enniscorthy, London, Naples, Tampa, Milan, Beirut, Amman, and Berlin, as well as events inside occupied Palestine – in Gaza, Haifa, Nablus, El Bireh, Asira al-Shamaliya, Dheisheh camp, and elsewhere. Online advocacy for Kayed’s release also escalated with a “Twitterstorm” on 14 July, in which thousands of tweets highlighted #freedom4bilal.      MORE . . .   

From Public Health Ethics
The liberal perspective that focuses on the individual’s dilemma tends to be oblivious to the asymmetrical relation of power that characterizes the prison system and to the socio-political context in which hunger strikes take place. The liberal perspective poses the problem in similar terms to the ethical dilemma facing a doctor whose patient refuses a life-saving procedure. However . . . the relation between the physician and his/her hunger striking patient is not the typical doctor/patient encounter. The patient is there against his/her will, and the prisoner is treated by a physician s/he did not choose, at least in the first instance. Moreover, the physician usually makes his/her choices torn apart between loyalty for his/her patient and  for  the  system  in  which  s/he  works. Finally, the prisoner is not just refusing treatment. Hunger striking is a political act. . . .
___Hunger-strikers should not be simplistically compared with a patient willingly avoiding medical treatment that can alleviate his/her sufferings. Hunger-strikers do not choose death over life, neither do they want to put an end to their lives. Theirs is a political struggle in which, even though they are prepared to risk life, they would gladly go on living if they achieve their goals. Bilad Diab, who was released from administrative imprisonment in an Israeli prison after a 66-day hunger-strike, exemplified this when saying: ‘No one dies for the sake of dying. No one becomes a martyr for the sake of dying. We love life in its natural form. A hunger-strike is a real struggle which the person undertakes and risks his life in order to be released and given freedom.’

  • Filc, Dani, et al. “Palestinian Prisoners’ Hunger-Strikes In Israeli Prisons: Beyond The Dual-Loyalty Dilemma In Medical Practice And Patient Care.” Public Health Ethics 7.3 (2014): 229-238.     SOURCE.  

The Palestinian Information Center
Gregory Shupak
January 22, 2016
Mohammed al-Qeeq has been on hunger strike since 25 November 2015 [freed on May 9, 2016] in protest against Israel placing him under six-month administrative detention and his condition has deteriorated. . . administrative detention [is] a practice whereby Israel jails Palestinians for renewable periods of up to six months on the basis of secret evidence and without charge or trial. Administrative detention has been condemned several times by the UN Human Rights Office and the Human Rights Committee. Similarly, the Israeli NGO B’tselem notes “the substantial injury to due process inherent in this measure.” Addameer, the Palestinian political prisoners’ rights group, says that Israel is holding 660 Palestinians in administrative detention. . .
[. . . .]
Meanwhile, Israel wants Bulgarian authorities to give them Omar Nayef Zayed, who escaped Israeli detention in May 1990 after an Israeli military court convicted him of the killing of an Israeli settler yeshiva student and sentenced him to life. For now Zayed has taken refuge in the Palestinian Authority’s embassy in Sofia [assassinated February 16, 2016 in the embassy]. Under the Oslo Accords, all Palestinian political prisoners were supposed to be released and Zayed seems to fall within this purview.     MORE . . .


Mother, it grieves me,
That because of me, throughout your night of agony,
You shed silent tears, anxiously awaiting the return
Of my beloved brothers from their chores;
That you are not able to eat
While my seat remains empty, and there is no talk or laughter.
How it pains me, Mother,
That tears rush to your eyes
When friends drop by to ask about me.
But I believe, Mother,
That the splendor of life
Is being born within the walls of my prison,
And I believe that the last of my visitors
Will not be an eyeless bat, coming to me by night.
Surely, the light of day will dawn,
And, dazzled by it, my jailer will be humbled.
He will fall to the ground . . . broken,
Shattered, burnt by daylight.
Translated by A. M. Elmesseri

Samīh al-Qāsim (1939-2014)
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.

“Palestinian boy ‘mistakenly’ killed by Israeli forces”

15-year-old Mahmoud Raafat Badran, shot dead by Israeli forces on June 21, 2016 (Photo: Ma’an News Agency)

❶ Palestinian boy ‘mistakenly’ killed by Israeli forces while driving near stone-throwing incident
❷ Prisoner leaders thrown in solitary confinement; 120 Palestinians striking in Megiddo prison
❹ POETRY by Yusuf Hamdan
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Ma’an News Agency
June 21, 2016
Israeli forces shot and killed a 15-year-old Palestinian bystander and seriously injured four other Palestinian teens early Tuesday morning west of Ramallah in the central occupied West Bank, after Palestinian youth nearby threw stones and Molotov cocktails at Israeli settlers, lightly injuring them.
___The Palestinian Ministry of Health confirmed the death of Mahmoud Raafat Badran, 15, from the village of Beit Ur al-Tahta.     MORE . . .

  • From European Journal Of International Law 

[. . . .]
The crucial principle that underlies jus in bello is that civilians must be shielded from the violence of the battle. That means that they cannot be directly targeted; terrorism is ruled out from the beginning (this is what the terrorists complain about). It also means that injuries inflicted on civilians indirectly, incidentally, in the course of the fighting – what is called ‘collateral damage’ – must be limited. The standard understanding of the limits is that the injury to civilians must not be ‘disproportionate’ to the value of the military target. The point is to permit the attack so long as the target is really important and the risk to innocent people falls within a reasonable range. ‘Innocent’ here is a term of art; it means ‘disengaged from the business of war’. It says nothing about the moral standing of disengaged men and women, but it does say something, and it is meant to say something, about the moral standing of anyone who deliberately sets out to kill them.
[. . . .]
If we want to protect innocent lives in war, we have to work through the responsibility arguments and we have to get the proportionality calculations right. And these arguments and calculations require us to bracket – not forever but for a reflective moment – our political sympathies and antipathies and to focus narrowly on what happens on the battlefield or in the course of the asymmetric struggle. How should insurgents and soldiers aim their weapons, with what intentions, in what circumstances, with what degree of care? There are right answers to these questions, and the right answers will not deny victory to the men and women who adopt them as their military code.

  • Walzer, Michael. “Coda: Can The Good Guys Win?.” European Journal Of International Law 24.1 (2013): 433-444.  ARTICLE. 

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network
June 21, 2016
120 Palestinian prisoners are currently on hunger strike in Megiddo prison in solidarity with Bilal Kayed, the Palestinian prisoner who was ordered to six months administrative detention without charge or trial upon the expiration of his 14.5 year sentence in Israeli prison on Monday, 13 June. Two of the leaders of the prisoners’ movement – Wael Jaghoub and Kamil Abu Hanish – have been thrown into solitary confinement,  said early reports from the prisons on 21 June.
___Kayed has been on hunger strike since 14 June demanding his freedom and the cancellation of the administrative detention order.     MORE . . .

  • From Journal Of International Human Rights

Israeli security authorities see these non-violent demonstrations as a security threat, and, in many cases, have used excessive crowd control measures to disperse them, causing increasing numbers of deaths and injuries to civilians. The IDF regularly declares protest venues as closed military zones to try to prevent the protests from taking place. When they do, the military arrests protesters (Palestinians, Israelis, and foreigners) and in some cases uses tear gas, rubber coated bullets, and other violent measures against non-violent protesters. Nevertheless, the Palestinians are undeterred and continue fighting for their rights in these demonstrations, hoping this will eventually bring a change to their reality.
[. . . .]
___I do not make these observations on the non-violent resistance to paint a skewed picture of reality in the region. Israel remains constantly challenged by real and dangerous security threats to its citizens and troops. However, it is the complexity of this situation, the decades of occupation and oppression, and the high toll the conflict takes on both the Israeli and Palestinian societies that all justify continuous attempts to offer legal, political, and social solutions that will improve it. Furthermore, the rise in the non-violent resistance justifies taking a closer look, particularly at the possibility of increased human rights protections.
___International relations scholar Adam Roberts claims there is no need to try to prove that any of Israel’s commitments pass an applicability test in a given situation. He argues that the burden of proof to show that Israel’s IHL obligations do not apply to the occupied territories is on Israel, and until the burden is met, the assumption is that Israel must conform to the terms of this legal framework.

  • Greenblatt, Keren. “Gate Of The Sun”: Applying Human Rights Law In The Occupied Palestinian Territories In Light Of Non-Violent Resistance And Normalization.” Journal Of International Human Rights 12.2 (2014): 152-190.  ARTICLE.
Bilal Kayed ordered to administrative detention when he was scheduled to be released on June 13 after nearly 15 years in Israeli prisons (Photo: Gaza.Scoop.ps – Real Time News From Gaza, June 16, 2016)

+972 Magazine
Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man
June 20, 2016
A new anti-terrorism bill passed by Israel’s Knesset last week may have actually perpetuated the single, looming problem its writers set out to solve — ending Israel’s 67-year state of emergency.
___The bill is one of many pushed through the Knesset in recent years as part of an effort to eventually revoke the country’s declared state of emergency, initially declared by the British Mandate government in the 1940s and renewed every year since by Israel’s legislative body.
___The emergency regulations have been abused by Israeli state bodies to draw authorities outside the framework of the law for years, from the regulation of taxi meters to health care procedures to administrative detention, the practice of imprisoning somebody — indefinitely — without charge or trial.      MORE . . . 


I say that I hate occupation
you get angry
wake the mountain from its sleep
and chide the fox for forgetting
and you draw the arrest order

I say that I hate war and fighting
you get angry
send an armed messenger
to tell me: Come!
and when I smile
you drown in insults and coughs

I say that I hate oppression
and that all I have
of progressive papers is Al-Itthad
you get angry
and from the sky
you pour Jerusalem and the News
al-Subh and al-Masa
and New Outlook
and other names

I say that I hate rape
you get angry
and honor me in a prison cell
and inflict punishment upon me
and guard me from my friends

I say that I love Justice
you hate it!

I say that I hate injustice
you love it
and if you get angry
there is the ocean drink it!

My anger drips oil and honey
my pain bears almonds, flouts, and roses
so jail my piece of bread
I defy

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.
Yusuf Hamdan was born in 1942 in the Triangle area of Palestine. He lived in Haifa in the early ‘60s and taught in a nearby Arabic school. He published his poems in al-Jadid, al-Ittihad, and al-Ghad, and lost his teaching position because of his poetry. In 1970 he left Israel for the US, where he presently lives and works.
Al-Ittihad (The Union) is an Israeli Arabic-language daily newspaper based in Haifa. Once considered the most important Arab media outlet in Israel, it is owned by Maki, the Israeli Communist Party. It is currently edited by Aida Touma-Suleiman.