“. . . what of my comrades in this cell? You ask. . .” (Fouzi El Asmar)

Some 250 Palestinians being held in Israel’s Negev prison have begun an open-ended hunger strike in protest to their administrative detention. Shiite News Photo.
Some 250 Palestinians being held in Israel’s Negev prison have begun an open-ended hunger strike in protest to their administrative detention. Shiite News Photo.

MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
5  PALESTINIANS  JAILED  WITHOUT  TRIAL  CONTINUE  HUNGER  STRIKES
August 29, 2015
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Five Palestinian prisoners in Israel’s Negev jail on Saturday continued a hunger strike they began on August 18 to protest their internment without trial or charge, the Palestinian Authority Committee for Prisoners’ Affairs said.
____Fadi Obeidat, a lawyer for the PA committee, met with some of the hunger strikers Saturday and said that they were demanding an end to Israel’s policy of administrative detention.
____The Negev jail — also known as the Ktz’iot prison — is one of Israel’s largest detention centers and has been site to frequent tensions between administrative detainees and prison personnel in recent months.
More. . .

INTERNATIONAL MIDDLE EAST MEDIA CENTER (IMEMC)
INCLUDING  A  CHILD,  THREE  PALESTINIANS  KIDNAPPED  IN  RAMALLAH  AND  JERUSALEM
August 30, 2015
Israeli soldiers invaded, on Sunday at dawn, the town of Silwad, east of the central West Bank city of Ramallah, kidnapped a child, and held his 10-year-old brother in the bathroom while interrogating and threatening him. The army also kidnapped two young men in occupied East Jerusalem.
____The child, Hamza Shokri Hammad, 15 years of age, was kidnapped after a large number of soldiers smashed the family’s main door, and detained him in one of the rooms after forcing him brother Bilal, 10 years of age, into the bathroom, where he was threatened and interrogated.
____Hammad was taken prisoner before the soldiers left the property; the family said the army confiscated mobile phones, Game CD’s, in addition to destroying a computer.
More. . .

INTERNATIONAL MIDDLE EAST MEDIA CENTER (IMEMC)
PCHR  REPORT  ON  ISRAELI  HUMAN  RIGHTS  VIOLATIONS  IN  THE  OPT  (20- 26 AUGUST 2015)
August 28, 2015
Israeli forces have continued with systematic attacks against Palestinian civilians and their property in the occupied Palestinian territories (oPt) for the reporting period of 20- 26 August 2015.
____During the reporting period, Israeli forces used excessive force against Palestinian civilians participating in peaceful protests in the West Bank. In the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces continued to open fire at border areas along the Gaza Strip border. . . .
____In the West Bank, Israeli forces continued to use excessive and systematic use of force against peaceful protests organized by Palestinian civilians and Israeli and international human rights activists. . . .
____Moreover, Israeli forces arrested 3 protestors, including 2 photojournalists and a human rights activist, participating in al-Nabi Saleh protest, northwest of Ramallah, under the pretext that they were present in a closed military zone. Two of whom were taken to Benjamin police station, east of occupied Jerusalem, while the third one was taken to Oferdetention facility, southwest of Ramallah.
More. . .

Samidoun: Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network Photo
Samidoun: Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network Photo

ALTERNATIVE INFORMATION CENTER (AIC)
VIDEO!  LINA:  STUDENT  ACTIVIST,  FORMER  PRISONER
Samidoun: Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network
August 23, 2015
The new short film, “Lina | لينا”, by Palestinian filmmaker Osama Abed, tells the story of Palestinian student activist and former political prisoner Lina Khattab. The 11-minute film, in Arabic with English subtitles, covers Lina’s arrest, abuse by occupation soldiers, Israeli military trial, struggle and her freedom, and her ongoing involvement in the struggle for the freedom of Palestine, its land and people.
____Abed is a filmmaker whose work has been accepted at multiple film festivals in the region and has received awards for his filmmaking from several Palestinian municipalities; he is currently directing “Let Me Live.”
More. . .

Opinion
+972 BLOG
‘WHAT’S  THE  NUMBER  OF  YOUR  ROOM,  CHILD?’
Sawsan Khalife
August 29, 2015
(Sawsan Khalife is an independent journalist.)
[. . . .]
According to Defense for Children International, each year approximately 500 to 700 Palestinian children, some as young as 12, are detained and prosecuted in the Israeli military court system. The most common charge is stone throwing.
____. . . I wondered whether there is a room for children in the West Bank similar to “Room Number 4,” which Palestinian children in East Jerusalem know all too well.
____It would be surprising to find a child, or even an adult, in East Jerusalem who is not familiar with “Room Number 4.” This is the name of the interrogation room in Jerusalem’s police station in the Russian compound neighborhood, where Palestinian residents, including children, are interrogated.
____While hundreds of children are arrested annually, it is the conditions they undergo during their arrest and interrogation that represents possibly the most severe violation, under both Israeli and international law.
More. . .

(Blogger’s note: This poem was written 45 years ago. Its timeliness today cannot be disputed.)

“TWENTY  COMRADES,”  BY  FOUZI  EL ASMAR
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.

Israeli soldiers arresting a Palestinian boy for allegedly throwing stones at an Israeli police station on Salahaddin Street, East Jerusalem. [Middle East Monitor file photo]
Israeli soldiers arresting a Palestinian boy for allegedly throwing stones at an Israeli police station on Salahaddin Street, East Jerusalem. [Middle East Monitor file photo]

“. . . they shout, but their clamour makes no sound . . .” (Mourid Barghouti)

regular for every postFrom:
ei
YOUNG DANCER JAILED BY ISRAEL FOR TAKING PART IN PROTEST

By Charlotte Kates. Beirut. 13 February 2015

Lina Khattab, 18, is in her first year of media studies at Birzeit University in the occupied West Bank. An accomplished dancer, she is a member of the renowned troupe El-Funoun.

She was arrested by the Israeli military on 13 December as she joined fellow university students in a march to Israel’s Ofer prison, which holds Palestinian political prisoners.

El-Funoun has produced a video of scenes from her arrest spliced with some of her performances with the troupe, which specializes in the traditional Palestinian dance dabke.

Khattab has now been imprisoned for nearly two months and brought before the military court at Ofer nine times. Her last hearing on 25 January was a closed session; no family or observers were allowed to enter the military court. (Full story.)

Follow-up story from
mondoweiss
.

ISRAEL SENTENCES PALESTINIAN TEEN LINA KHATTAB TO 6 MONTHS IN PRISON FOR PROTESTING
By Ben Norton, February 18, 2015

_________________________________________
From:
haaretz

AMERICAN JEWS, SPEAK OUT AGAINST NETANYAHU’S POLICIES
Benjy Cannon
Feb. 18, 2015
The Israeli prime minister and the majority of U.S. Jews fundamentally disagree on key issues. The time has come for American Jewish institutions to address this tension.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s planned speech before Congress – organized behind President Obama’s back – has uncharacteristically split the Jewish communal establishment. Yet the controversy over the speech exposes a tension that has been brewing below the surface for years. The fact is that when it comes to politics, values and the key issues that will decide Israel’s future, Netanyahu and the majority of American Jews fundamentally disagree. The time has come for American Jewish institutions to accept and address that important tension.

The speech, and Netanyahu’s intransigent refusal to back down from it, have created a firestorm of criticism, coming from such mainstream Jewish leaders as Abe Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League and Rabbi Rick Jacobs of the Union for Reform Judaism.  (Full story.)
________________________

From:
palestine

ISIS AND ISRAEL: ALLIES AGAINST A PALESTINIAN STATE
Sep 10 2014
By Jonathan Cook – Nazareth

An image speaks a thousand words – and that is presumably what Israel’s supporters hoped for with their latest ad in the New York Times.

Two photographs are presented side by side. One, titled ISIS, is the now-iconic image of a kneeling James Foley. . . awaiting his terrible fate. The other, titled Hamas, is a scene from Gaza, where a similarly masked killer stands over two victims. . .

A headline stating “This is the face of radical Islam” tries, like the images, to equate the two organizations. . . Netanyahu’s depiction of Hamas and ISIS, or Islamic State, as “branches of the same poisonous tree” is a travesty of the truth.

ISIS militants burning Palestinian flag.
ISIS militants burning Palestinian flag.

The two have entirely different – in fact, opposed – political projects. ISIS wants to return to a supposed era of pure Islamic rule, the caliphate, when all Muslims were subject to God’s laws . . . the implication is that ISIS ultimately seeks world domination.

Hamas’s goals are decidedly more modest. It was born and continues as a national liberation movement, seeking to create a Palestinian state. Its members may disagree on that state’s territorial limits but even the most ambitious expect no more than the historic borders of a Palestine that existed a few decades ago. (Full story.)

__________________________________________

“A NIGHT UNLIKE OTHERS,” by Mourid Barghouti
His finger almost touches the bell,
the door, unbelievably slowly,
opens.
He enters.
He goes to his bedroom.
Here they are:
his picture next to his little bed,
his schoolbag, in the dark,
awake.
He sees himself sleeping
between two dreams, two flags.
He knocks on the doors of all the rooms
– he almost knocks. But he does not.
They all wake up:
“He’s back!
By God, he’s back!” they shout,
but their clamour makes no sound.
They stretch their arms to hug Mohammed
but do not reach his shoulders.

He wants to ask them all
how they are doing
under the night shelling;
he cannot find his voice.
They too say things
but find no voice.
He draws nearer, they draw nearer,
he passes through them, they pass through him,
they remain shadows
and never meet.
They wanted to ask him if he’d had his supper,
if he was warm enough over there, in the earth,
if the doctors could take the bullet and the fear
out of his heart.
Was he still scared?
Had he solved the two arithmetic problems
in order not to disappoint his teacher
the following day?
Had he . . . ?
He, too, simply wanted to say:
I’ve come to see you
to make sure you’re alright.
He said:
Dad will, as usual, forget to take his hypertension pill.
I came to remind him as I usually do.
He said:
my pillow is here, not there.
They said.
He said.
Without a voice.
The doorbell never rang,
the visitor was not in his little bed,
they had not seen him.
The following morning neighbours whispered:
it was all a delusion.
His schoolbag was here
marked by the bullet holes,
and his stained notebooks.
Those who came to give their condolences
had never left his mother.
Moreover, how could a dead child
come back, like this, to his family,
walking, calmly, under the shelling
of such a very long night?

مريد البرغوثي‎, Murīd al-Barghūti (born July 8, 1944, in Deir Ghassana, near Ramallah, on the West Bank) is a Palestinian poet and writer. While Barghouti was studying at the University of Cairo in 1967, the 6-Day War broke out, and he was unable to return to the West Bank until 1996. He was expelled from Egypt in 1977 and was exiled in Budapest separated from his wife, the Egyptian novelist Radwa Ashour. They have been together in the West Bank since they were allowed to return together in 1996. Their son, Tamim Al Barghouti, born in Egypt in 1977, is himself an important Palestinian poet.