“. . . the stones of your streets grow sad, the towers of mosques downcast . . .” (Nizar Qabbani)

Al Ahli Arab Hospital has been ministering in Gaza City since 1882. The institution was founded by the Church of England’s Church Mission Society. (Photo: Mary Frances Schjonberg/Episcopal News Service)

The Israeli Supreme Court yesterday rejected a petition submitted by 104 Palestinians against claims by a right-wing Israeli organization paving the way for 700 Palestinians to be forced from their homes, Haaretz reported.    ___The 700 Palestinians, who make up 70 families, have been going through a legal battle to protect their right to remain in their homes since 2002. Last June, lawyers for the occupation admitted that the process by which settlers organization Ateret Cohanim received rights to the land was flawed. In spite of this, the judge ruled in favor of the settlers’ rights to siege the area.    ___Ateret Cohanim aims to take over Palestinian properties in occupied East Jerusalem and transfer then to Israeli settlers. The ownership claims were based on arguments of the properties’ situation before the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948. Palestinian house deeds were transferred to the Benvenisti Trust by Israel’s Justice Ministry in 2002 claiming it purchased the land in the late 1800s to settle Jews arriving in Palestine from Yemen.    More . . .
. . . . Related  Experts:  Occupation  seeks  to  establish  a  50km  settlement  belt  in  JERUSALEM
. . . . Related  Palestinian family left homeless after demolition in LOD CITY
. . . . Related  Israel demolishes Palestinian family home in NEGEV
. . . . Related  Israeli forces demolish Palestinian carwash in HEBRON
  CABINET  CONDEMNS  ISRAELI  DECISION  TO  EXPEL  PALESTINIANS  FROM  THEIR  HOMES  IN  JERUSALEM     The Palestinian cabinet condemned on Thursday the Israeli decision to evacuate 28 dunums of Palestinian land in Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in occupied Jerusalem, home to more than 500 Palestinians, despite all documents proving the Palestinian ownership of these lands.    ___It said in a statement issued at the conclusion of the weekly cabinet meeting headed by Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah that the government also condemned the Israeli Supreme Court’s approval of the demolition of the  TAHADI  FIVE  SCHOOL  IN  BEI T TA’MUR  VILLAGE, near BETHLEHEM, the demolition of shops in SHUFAT  REFUGEE  CAMP  IN  JERUSALEM  and the forced break-in into dozens of houses and shops in DEIR  AL-GHUSOUN  TOWN,  NORTH  OF  TULKARM  in the north of the West Bank.    ___“The Cabinet emphasized that all such decisions are clear attempts to undermine the steadfastness of the Palestinian people and the role of the Palestinian Government,” said the statement.    More . . .

By Sandy Tolan
[. . . .] if the Gaza Strip truly becomes “uninhabitable” by 2020, as the UN and humanitarian groups warn, it will be largely because of the utter collapse of the system for delivering safe drinking water and properly disposing of disease-causing sewage.    ___Because of Gaza’s water and sewage catastrophe, medical experts are now seeing sharp increases in waterborne and foodborne diseases . . .  [. . . .] And doctors in Gaza’s hospitals now report increased cases of paediatric cancer.    ___For years these torments seemed sealed off from the outside world by layers of fences, locked gates, patrolling Israeli drones and warplanes, and international disdain and indifference.    ___Now, finally, from Washington to European capitals, and even to the Israeli security infrastructure in Tel Aviv, alarm bells are going off, warning that something must be done to prevent the water catastrophe in Gaza. . .    More . . .

In the midst of a steady stream of news and photos from Gaza over the past ten days – bombed buildings, burning buses, terrified children, fragile cease-fire agreements – there was one story that didn’t get widely reported.    ___On November 9, the 25 year-old hot water system at Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza City suddenly collapsed. This urgent situation caused an immediate shut down of the water supply to the entire facility.    ___The  result?  No  drinking  water,  no  pressurized  water  for  sterilization  of  medical  equipment  and  surgical  instruments,  no  laundry  services.  No  water,  period.  All  scheduled  surgeries  were  cancelled, and staff continued to treat patients under dire circumstances . . .    Your generosity gets Ahli Hospital through an emergency   Donate . . . 

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . .

Oh Jerusalem, luminous city of prophets
The shortest path between heaven and earth!

Jerusalem, you of the myriad minarets,
become a beautiful little girl with burned fingers.
City of the Virgin, your eyes are sad.
Shady oasis where the Prophet passed,
the stones of your streets grow sad,
the towers of mosques downcast.
City swathed in black, who’ll ring the bells
at the Holy Sepulchre on Sunday mornings?
Who will carry toys to children on Christmas Eve?
City of sorrows, a huge tear
trembling on your eyelid,
who’ll save the Bible?
Who’ll save the Qur’an?
Who will save Christ?
Who will save man?

Jerusalem, beloved city of mine,
tomorrow your lemon trees will bloom,
your green stalks and branches rise up joyful,
and your eyes will laugh. Migrant pigeons
will return to your holy roofs
and children will go back to playing.
Parents and children will meet
on your shining streets,
my city, city of olives and peace.
—Translated by Sharif Elmusa and Naomi Shihab Nye

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 Barnes and Noble.

“. . . I will rise from the land that feeds our furious storm . . .” (Mu’in Bseiso, b. Gaza, 1927)

❶ As Gaza’s sole power plant shuts down, groups warn of devastating consequences

  • Background: “Isolation through Humanitarianism: Subaltern Geopolitics of the Siege on Gaza.” Antipode

❷ PFLP slams Hamas, Fatah for putting politics over lives of Palestinians in Gaza
❸ ‘Gaza will be unlivable next year, not 2020 as the UN says’
❹ POETRY by Mu’in Bseiso
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Ma’an News Agency 
July 13, 2017.   Gaza’s months-long power crisis once again took a turn for the worst on Wednesday night, when the besieged territory’s sole power plant shut down, further straining the dire humanitarian situation for Gaza’s two million residents.
___Israeli NGO Gisha released a statement on Thursday, stating that the power plant had shut down owing to lack of fuel and that the lives of residents have been “disrupted, entire hospital wards are shut down, untreated sewage is spilling to the sea in heretofore-unseen quantities and beaches are becoming more dangerous for swimming.”
___Head of Public Relations for Gaza’s electricity company Muhammad Thabet also released a statement warning of the devastating consequences that would affect every aspect of life in the Gaza Strip if the electricity supply continued to dwindle.
___The besieged Gaza Strip only has a supply of 70 megawatts of electricity available, after Israel reduced electricity supply to the besieged territory from 120 megawatts upon request of the Palestinian Authority (PA) three weeks ago, he pointed out.    MORE . . .

Smith, Ron J. “ISOLATION  THROUGH  HUMANITARIANISM:  SUBALTERN  GEOPOLITICS  OF  THE  SIEGE  ON  GAZA.” Antipode, vol. 48, no. 3, June 2016, pp. 750-769.
[. . . .] The process of maintaining control over territory and populations while dispossessing inhabitants through violence, immiseration and dispossession makes clear that, at its core, occupation is a colonial process.
___Gaza represents a peculiar form of occupation, wherein an occupying military need not be permanently present on the ground to impose its will and control on the local population. . .  Gazan lives are permanently circumscribed by occupation from afar—what Gazans and international agencies refer to as “Al Hissar”—the siege. Siege is a geopolitical phenomenon that functions through the removal of societies from the global networks of trade and movement. . . . The siege of Gaza represents a distinct form of political control based on a subset of occupation practices carried out to their extreme. Within this comprehensive program of isolation, the population is cut off completely from the surrounding territory. The local populace is deprived of basic goods needed for survival and freedom of movement is completely curtailed. . . .    While Israel’s regulation of everyday life is common to both Gaza and the West Bank . . .   Gaza thus far represents an extreme of isolation and deprivation, punctuated by large-scale military invasions.
[. . . .] This article therefore insists on the importance of considering siege as a particular geopolitical phenomenon that is related to but distinct from other forms of violence and control . . .   siege must be understood as a highly developed form of collective punishment against a population deemed surplus. Siege uses the tactic of isolating ordinary people from their ability to engage in the exchange of goods, services, people, and ideas as a means of imposing political pressure. The violence of the siege is visible in the ways in which it denies basic needs for the targeted population, and through its enforcement through policies like shoot to kill. Conventional wars, the types that punctuate the ongoing siege in Gaza, work in concert with siege as a means of injuring the population as a whole.
___The siege makes the injuries of war fester: there are no resources to repair the destruction and rebuild homes; it prevents victims from receiving appropriate medical care; it prevents families from returning to the territory to mourn the dead and to support the survivors; and is in itself a form of violence and deprivation. The supposed expectation of any siege is that the inhabitants will put the necessary pressure on their governments to exact the kinds of political changes desired by those imposing the siege. In the case of Gaza, this is complicated by the fact that Israel does not acknowledge its system of control as siege, and has presented no demands as requisite for the lifting of the siege. Indeed, it is unclear that there is any course of activity Gazans can follow that would bring the siege to an end . . .   1.7 million Gazans (the vast majority of whom are refugees from earlier programs of Zionist and Israeli displacement) are a body of civilians that serves no purpose to the Israeli government, and the territory of Gaza itself appears to be a sacrifice zone. Indeed, if we take seriously the notion of Avodat Ivrit, or “Hebrew Labor,” as an organizing principle of Israeli policy, then the siege is a result of the brutal logic of Israel’s categorization of Gaza as a population considered hostile and surplus [. . . .]     SOURCE . . .

Ma’an News Agency 
July 13, 2017.  The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) a left-wing Palestinian political faction, released statements on Thursday, criticizing both the Hamas and Fatah movements for the ongoing punitive measures that the two factions have taken  against each other in recent weeks amidst a deepening political crisis.
___The PFLP rejected the move by Hamas to prevent members of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and Fatah Central Committee from leaving the Gaza Strip, where Hamas was elected to power in 2006, to travel to the occupied West Bank.
___“The ban and the obstruction of movement from Gaza to the West bank is a policy that Hamas follows, violating all rights and personal freedom, and damages national relations,” the PFLP said, demanding that Hamas and its security forces “immediately stop this policy and create the suitable atmosphere for better national relations and avoid any tensions that deepen the national conflict and violate rights and freedom guaranteed for all Palestinians in West bank and in Gaza Strip.”
___The group went on to criticize the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority (PA) of “collective punishment” on Palestinians living in the Hamas-led Gaza Strip, which has been embroiled in a dire electricity crisis, worsened by increasing punitive measures by Israel and the PA.        MORE . . .
+972 Magazine 
Edo Konrad
July 11, 2017.   Things have gotten acutely worse in the Gaza Strip over the past month, since Israel and the Pale1stinian Authority cut the besieged strip’s already inadequate supply of power. But an entire generation of Gazans have grown up without ever experiencing electricity that is available around the clock. Crisis is nothing new.
___In addition to sewage that flows into the sea untreated, and hospital ICUs that must rely on gasoline-powered generators, the power shortage also has dire consequences on everyday life in regular households. Without electricity, the pumps that deliver tap water to apartments in high-rise residential buildings stop working. “Water used to reach these houses between two-to-three hours every few days,” Khalil Shaheen says. “And this is in the summer. Yesterday, my building only had one hour of water.”
___Israel pulled its troops out of the Gaza Strip a little over a decade ago, but its military retains effective control over many aspects of life in the coastal enclave. The Israeli army still controls the Strip’s land and maritime borders, decides who and what may enter and exit, blocks basic technologies like 3G cellular broadband from being installed, and has launched three military operations that left thousands of Gazans dead. Israel also sells Gaza the majority of its inadequate supply of electricity.
___Shaheen, who is the director of the Economic and Social Rights Unit at the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR), one of Palestine’s most prominent rights groups, monitors the impact of Israeli, Palestinian Authority, and Hamas policies on life in the Gaza Strip. “I’m afraid that with the ongoing situation, Gaza will be unlivable by the end of 2018,” he said in a telephone interview earlier this week.   MORE . . . 


Brother! If they should sharpen the sword on my neck,
I would not kneel, even if their whips lashed
my bloodied mouth
If dawn is so close to coming
I shall not retreat.
I will rise from the land that feeds our furious storm!

Brother! If the executioner should drag me to the slaughterhouse
before your eyes to make you kneel,
so you might beg him to relent,
I’d call again, Brother! Raise your proud head
and watch as they murder me!
Witness my executioner, sword dripping with my blood!
What shall expose the murderer, but our innocent bleeding?

At night their guns kidnapped him from his trench.
The hero was flung into the cells’ darkness
where, like a banner flutter above chains, he stayed.
The chains became flaming torches,
burning the ashes which coat our shining future.
Now the hero lives, his footsteps ringing triumphantly
within the closed walls of every prison.
—Trans. by May Jayyusi and Naomi Shihab Nye

About Mu’in Bseiso
From: ANTHOLOGY  OF  MODERN  PALESTINIAN  LITERATURE.  Ed. Salma Khadra Jayyusi. New York: Columbia University Press, 1992. Available from Columbia University Press.

“. . . . The Holy Land seemingly chooses bullets . . .” (Farrah Sarafa)

Police and some 1,200 protesters clash during a rally against the government’s plan to resettle some 30,000 Bedouin residents of the Negev, in the southern Israeli town of Hura, earlier this month (Photo credit: David Buimovitch/Flash90)

❶ Palestinian woman shot dead after alleged car attack at Gush Etzion
❷ Israeli forces open fire on Palestinians near Gaza border
❸ PHOTOS: Arabs and Jews protest planned expulsion of 1,200 Bedouin
❹ BDS win: UNICEF in Jordan ends G4S contract
❻ Poetry by Farrah Sarafa
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
4 Mar. 2016
Israeli forces shot dead a 34-year-old Palestinian woman on Friday morning after she allegedly rammed her car into an Israeli soldier stationed at the Gush Etzion junction in the southern occupied West Bank.
___An Israeli army spokesperson said that after the woman hit the soldier with her car, Israeli forces “responded to the imminent threat” by shooting and killing her.     MORE . . .
4 Mar. 2016
Israeli forces opened fire on Palestinian workers east of Gaza City on Friday morning, with no injuries reported, locals told Ma’an.
___Heavy gunfire was heard as Israeli soldiers stationed in military towers along the Gazan border opened fire on workers and bird hunters.
___Witnesses told Ma’an that the Palestinians left the area fearing for their safety. Medical sources said that no injuries were reported.      MORE . . .

bedouin children
Bedouin children take part in a demonstration outside the Be’er Sheva District Court against the planned demolition of Umm al-Hiran and Atir, two unrecognized Bedouin villages in Israel’s Negev Desert, March 3, 2016. (Photo: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Yael Marom, photos by Oren Ziv/Activestills.org
3 Mar. 2016
Over 300 demonstrators marched outside the Be’er Sheva District Court Thursday against the planned demolition of two unrecognized Bedouin villages, Umm al-Hiran and Atir, in Israel’s Negev Desert. Two villages are slated to be replaced by a Jewish-only community and a Jewish National Fund forest, respectively
___The protesters, Arabs and Jews, accompanied by members of Knesset from the Joint List and Meretz’s Issawi Freij, chanted “We will not move from Atir and Umm al-Hiran,” and “the Negev belongs to all of us — Jews and Arabs.”      MORE . . .
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in Jordan has ended its contract with G4S following a campaign by BDS activists in the country and across the world over the company’s role in Israel’s detention and torture of Palestinian political prisoners and other Israeli human rights violations.
___Guman Mussa, the Arab World campaigns coordinator with the Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC), the largest coalition in Palestinian civil society leading the global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, welcomed the move.  MORE . . .
+972 BLOG
From YESH DIN, by Yossi Gurvitz
4 Mar. 2016
The government never authorized the wholesale annexation of the West Bank. That’s why it’s doing it behind everyone’s backs. . . .
[. . . . ]
The Israeli government never authorized . . . unofficial policy of annexation – one that does not grant equal rights to those being annexed, while at the same time depriving them of the legal defenses they are entitled to as protected persons, since, allegedly, there is no occupation.      MORE . . . 


Who do you think the Holy Land
Would choose: Palestine or Israel?

Do you expect the birthplace of 3
Religions to ever really be peaceful?

I mean—Jesus was a saint,
Tortured and crucified by men with gold.

Do we celebrate Pilot’s cursed victory
Or the sacrifices made by a saint,

A hero, who rises from the dead?
His Resurrection marked by Easter eggs,

Reproduction. Do miracles
Require modernity or tradition

To appear? Chemicals or nature?
Mind or heart? Bulldozing olive trees,

Whose oil sustained families, diet
And economy, Israel is yet to produce

A decent olive oil. Its blood somehow
Curdles with the juice of branches needed

To extract an extra virgin olive.
The Holy Land seemingly chooses bullets,

Nightclubs, Capitalism, Snobbery-
(Ignorance is bliss)—but the roots

The veins reaching into mountains’
Throats seem to not be cooperating.

Why is that? Ask Jesus, the rebel,
Who’d say: First get to love Palestine.

About Farrah Sarafa
In 2006 she wrote: “My mother was born in Palestine, my father in Iraq; they married in Egypt twenty five years ago and had me here in the States. I am a pure, product of occupation and war, therefore, confused by my American upbringing. The war has been eating me up more than ever and poetry is my primary response. . .”
From Warpoetry.co.uk