“. . .strangers with their rifles’ muzzles . . .” (Samih Al-Qasim)

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Israeli Occupation Forces bunker and watchtower in Central Hebron. (Photo: Harold Knight, November 7, 2015)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY
|  ISRAEL  DEMOLISHES  HOME  IN  JERUSALEM  –  143  DEMOLISHED  IN  2018  
Israeli bulldozers demolished a Palestinian-owned house in Qalandiya north of occupied East Jerusalem in the central West Bank, on Wednesday morning.    ___Owner Hamzeh al-Mughrabi told Ma’an that Israeli police forces escorted municipality staff into Qalandiya, where they surrounded the house, emptied and evacuated residents before starting the demolition.    ___Al-Mughrabi added that the Shweiki family of 6 members, including a man with disability, live in the 100-square meter house.    More . . .
~~ Jerusalem  mayor  plans  to  reduce  the  sound  of  mosque  loudspeakers     More . . .
|   WEEKLY  REPORT  ON  ISRAELI  HUMAN  RIGHTS  VIOLATIONS  IN  THE  OCCUPIED  PALESTINIAN  TERRITORY  (20–26  DECEMBER  2018)
Israeli forces continued to use excessive force against the peaceful protestors in the Gaza Strip.     ___4 Palestinian civilians, including a child, and a person with mobility impairment were killed.   142 civilians, including 30 children, 2 women, 2 journalists, and a paramedic, were wounded; the injury of 2 of them was reported serious.    ___A child was killed and 5 civilians were wounded, including a Journalist, in the West Bank.    ___Israeli forces conducted 66 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and 2 limited incursions into the northern Gaza Strip.   More . . .
~~  Scores  of  Palestinians  injured  by  Israeli  bullet  fire     More . . .
~~  Civilians  kidnapped,  homes  ransacked  by  Israeli  army    More . . .
|  ISRAEL  AND  THE  UNITED  STATES  FORMALLY  QUIT  UNESCO
More than a year after announcing their withdrawal from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Israel and the United States’ decision officially went into effect at the last second of December 31, 2018.   ___UNESCO was the first UN body to grant full membership to Palestine in 2011, which led the Obama administration to stop paying its annual contributions. In 2017, the UN heritage agency passed a resolution designating the Tomb of Patriarchs in  Hebron  as  a  Palestinian  World  Heritage  Site. The decision was opposed by the Jewish community because of the holy cave’s significance in Judaism.     More . . .

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION
NOT  WELCOME  IN  HEBRON:  ITS  ORIGINAL  RESIDENTS  AND  BREAKING  THE  SILENCE
Jonathan Cook
Ido Even-Paz switched on his body camera as his tour group decamped from the bus in Hebron. The former Israeli soldier wanted to document any trouble we might encounter in this, the largest Palestinian city in the occupied West Bank.    ___It was not Hebron’s Palestinian residents who concerned him, however. He was worried about fellow Israelis—Jewish religious extremists and the soldiers there to guard them—who have seized control of much of the city center [. . . .]  ___For more than 15 years, Israel has forbidden entry for Palestinians to what was once Hebron’s main throroughfare and central shopping area along Shuhada Street. Now it has been rebranded in Hebrew as King David Street, and declared what the army terms a “sterilized area.” The closure severs the main transport routes for Palestinians between north and south Hebron.    ___Most of the Palestinian inhabitants have been driven from the city center by endless harassment and attacks by settlers, bolstered by arrests and night raids conducted by the army, says Even-Paz.    More . . .
~~  Gaza  march  leader  to  conscientious  objectors:  ‘Turn  your  words  into  weapons’    More . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY

“STORY  OF  A  CITY,”  BY  SAMIH  AL-QASIM
There was a blue city
that dreamt of foreigners wandering
Around and spending their money
day after day.

But it became a black city
despising strangers
with their rifles’ muzzles
making the rounds of its cafés.

From: Al-Qasim, Samih.  SADDER  THAN  WATER.  New  and  Selected  Poems.  Trans. Nazih Kasis and Adina Hoffman. Jerusalem: Ibis Editions, 2008. Available from Barnes and Noble.

“. . . and wish for you another day another sun . . .” (Ramzy Baroud)

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Sarah Algherbawi with her husband and son, Khalil. (Photo: Mondoweiss, Dec. 14, 2018, courtesy of the family)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .     
|  ISRAELI  ARMY  SHATTERS  THE  ILLUSION  OF  NORMALCY  IN  RAMALLAH
Living in Ramallah is thought of as trendy these days, and to a certain extent, represents a relatively luxurious life. Restaurants and cafes are packed, there are clubs and parties on weekends, there are sports and cultural activities, art galleries, and concerts.   ___Yet that assumption, that life is good as long as you are inside Ramallah, is not always reflective of reality. Israeli forces raid the city of regularly, entering a neighborhood in the dead of night, taking over an entire home or building, and leaving at dawn with whomever they came to capture.    ___This week, with Christmas approaching, Israel didn’t just invade one neighborhood, it put the entire city under military closure . . . .     More . . .
|  GAZA  TEACHER  AMONG  50  FINALISTS  FOR  ‘WORLD’S  BEST  TEACHER’  PRIZE
The Palestinian Ministry of Education announced on Friday that a teacher from Gaza has been nominated as one of 50 finalists for the “world’s best teacher prize”.    ___Maths teacher Rana Ziadeh is to compete for the prize as part of a competition organized by global education charity The Varkey Foundation, Safa news agency reported.    More . . .    
~~ TWO  SCHOOLS  EVACUATED  AS  SETTLER  OPENS  GUNFIRE  OUTSIDE
An Israeli settler opened gunfire on Sunday outside two schools on the entrance to the village of al-Lubban al-Sharqiya, to the south of Nablus in the West Bank, as other settlers rampaged through the street under the protection of Israeli forces, local sources said.   ___The shooting terrified the students and teachers of the two schools, and were forced to leave the schools to a safe haven.    More . . .
~~ STUDENTS  SUFFOCATE  FROM  TEARGAS  FIRED  BY  ISRAELI  SOLDIERS  IN  HEBRON
Dozens of students suffocated on Sunday from teargas inhalation after Israeli soldiers fired teargas canisters at them in a school in Hebron City, southern West Bank, a local source told WAFA.     More . . .
|   ISRAEL  DELIVERS  DEMOLITION  NOTICE  TO  FAMILY  OF  PALESTINIAN  PRISONER
Israeli forces delivered a demolition notice to the family of 16-year-old Khalil Jabbarin, in Yatta City in the southern West Bank district of Hebron, on Sunday.    ___Jabbarin, was shot, injured and imprisoned by Israeli forces, in September, after he had carried out a stabbing attack reportedly killing an Israeli settler.    ___The Israeli commander of the Israeli military central command approved an order for the demolition of the Jabbarin family’s apartment . . .  [. . . .] Israel demolishes family homes of Palestinians, who were involved in attacking Israelis as part of its collective punishment policy against the Palestinian people.     More . . .
~~ SETTLERS  START  EXPANSION  OF  SETTLEMENT  NEAR  HEBRON
Israeli Jewish settlers on Sunday proceeded to expand the illegal Israeli settlement of Mitzpe Yair, to the south of Hebron city in the southern West Bank.    ___Rateb Jabour, coordinator of the National and Popular Committee in Hebron, told WAFA that Israeli settlers started razing lands and installing caravans in the settlement in order to expand it.    More . . .

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .
ISRAEL’S  ASSASSINATION  OF  PALESTINIAN  CHILDHOOD
Israeli soldiers continue to practice terrorism and murder against Palestinians; the latest of which was with the shooting of four-year-old child Ahmed Yassen Abu Abed, when an Israeli sniper fired an internationally forbidden bullet at his head.    ___The child Ahmed Yasser Abu Abed died of wounds sustained a week ago east of Khan Younis.    [. . . .] Defense for Children International, Palestine said the Israeli occupation forces killed 52 children in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, since the beginning of this year, 46 of them were in the Gaza Strip.    More . . .
~~ HOW  IT  FEELS  TO  HAVE  A  CHILD  IN  AN  UNINHABITABLE  PLACE
Sarah Algherbawi
I just had my first baby, a boy named Khalil, last month. From the first moment I held my child in my arms, I was flushed with emotions. I was extremely happy and blessed, but also worried and confused.    [. . . .] When I thought of the coming year, I could not help but think of the UN report that warns my home in the Gaza Strip will be uninhabitable” by 2020.    [. . . .] It’s not only the fear of war that dominates every parent in Gaza. We also lack stability. When I lost my job on July because of the punitive measures the Trump administration took against Palestinians I became like one-third of Gaza: unemployed.    More . . .

NOTICES  FROM  ORGANIZATIONS. . . .
DEFENCE  FOR  CHILDREN  INTERNATIONAL  (DCI)  is a worldwide movement for children’s rights with more than 37 national sections and associated members across the globe. DCI-PALESTINE WAS CREATED IN PALESTINE in order to promote and defend children’s rights. Therefore, several actions are undertaken in the following priority issues . . .     Donate . . .    ..

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

“LULLABY,”  BY  RAMZY  BAROUD
. . . For (Miriam), a refugee child from Palestine

I’ll etch your name
on a secret star
we’ll both go there
on frightful nights

when Mother Earth
runs out of room
for you and me

I’ll hold you tight
and sing you songs
of a distant land
beyond the stars

and watch you grow
between my heart
and the highest high

I’ll draw your face
on a single seed
and hold your palm
to face the sun

when you’re awake
and call out my name
don’t moan or cry

I’ll return
to raise your hand
at a shooting star
and with for you

another day
another sun
another world

where Palestine
is a mountain top
of soil and air
and a purple sky

From: I  REMEMBER  MY  NAME:  Poetry  by  Samah  Sabawi,  Ramzy  Baroud,  Jehan  Bseiso. Vacy Vlanzna, ed. London: Novum Publishing, 2016. Available from Barnes and Noble.

“. . . An Arab who has protested at the suffering of his people . . .” (Fouzi el-Asmar)

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Destruction of home of Murad Hushema in Wadi Qadum, East Jerusalem. (Photo: Palestine News Network, Dec. 8, 2018)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .
OCHA:  ‘INCREASE  IN  ISRAELI  DEMOLITIONS,  VANDALISM  AGAINST  PALESTINIANS’
Citing the lack of building permits, the Israeli authorities demolished or seized 33 Palestinian-owned structures in Area C of the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, including two structures provided as humanitarian assistance, United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in the occupied Palestinian territory confirmed in its report covering the period from November 20th to December 3rd.    ___OCHA’s biweekly “Protection of Civilians” report said that Israeli settler violence and vandalism in the West Bank have been on the rise since the beginning of 2018, with a weekly average of five attacks resulting in injuries or property damage, compared with an average of three in 2017.     More . . .
. . . . Related  Rain and Israeli tunnels [under homes] cause land cave-in in Silwan
. . . . Related  Israel commits 24 violations against journalists in November
. . . . Related  Settlers, led by the Israeli Minister of Agriculture, charge into Al-Aqsa Mosque
|  IOF  ARREST  10  PALESTINIANS  IN  WEST  BANK  RAIDS 
Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) on Sunday overnight launched a campaign of raids and arrests in cities all over the occupied West Bank.    ___IOF raided Balata and Askar refugee camps in Nablus, northern West Bank, where they arrested four men, including ex-prisoners. Israeli army patrols also stormed Salem, Asira, Al-Lubban towns in the vicinity of the city.    ___In addition, Israeli settlers, under under the protection of the Israeli army, have stormed the area of ​​Sada Al-Fahs in Hebron [. . . .]    More . . .
. . . . Related  Citizens rally in al-Khalil in solidarity with female prisoners
|  GAZA:  19TH  MARITIME  RALLY  TO  KICK  OFF  MONDAY  
The National Committee for Breaking Gaza Siege has announced the launch of the 19th maritime rally on the coast and in Gaza waters on Monday.    ___A spokesman for the Committee told a news conference on Sunday morning that the rally would be staged under the slogan “Resistance to freedom” to confirm the Palestinian people’s adherence to all forms of resistance.    ___The spokesman called on all citizens in Gaza to participate in the rally in order to send a message to the international community, the US administration and the Israeli occupation state stating that “the Palestinian people’s resistance of the occupation is legitimate.”    More . . .
. . . . Related  Egyptian security delegation to visit Gaza
. . . . Related  Former Israel PM ordered targeting densely populated areas in 2008 Gaza war

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .
  A  DECADE  AFTER  HOLY  LAND  CONVICTION [Dallas, Texas],  PALESTINE  ADVOCACY  IN  U.S.  STILL  UNDERMINED
Ten years ago, United States federal prosecutors shut down what was then the biggest Muslim charity in the country, a foundation supporting Palestinians refugees. Authorities seized all of the Holy Land Foundation’s assets and put five of its leaders in prison.    ___ Over the past decade, the case has set into motion a broad and powerful effort to criminalize and sanction Palestine advocacy in the United States. It created a chilling effect that forces many Americans to think twice before supporting Palestinian or Muslim charities to this day.    More . . .
| ON  THE  10TH  ANNIVERSARY
By  Imprisoned  Humanitarian  Activist  Shukri  Abu  Baker  of  The  Holy Land  Foundation (Dallas, Texas, USA)
Sick, is all I’d been feeling on that cold Monday night. Some hours earlier, the ominous air in that courtroom, the timid gestures, the awful anticipation, the dreadful verdicts… all was too much to stomach. I cringed every time the judge’s voice rang “guilty” in my head; his gloating only amplified by the claustrophobic compactness in my prison cell.    More . . .
. . . . And  Who  Is  Not  Special?   [. . . .] This is why it’s wrong to spew insults at others from a place of power just because one can. . .    More . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . .

“BECAUSE  I  AM  AN  ARAB,”  BY  FOUZI  EL-ASMAR

I sit in preventive detention.
The reason, see, is that I am an Arab.
An Arab who has refused to sell his soul
who has always striven, sir, for freedom.
An Arab who has protested at the suffering
of his people
Who has carried with him the hope
of a just peace
Who has spoken out against death
at every corner
Who has called for and has lived
a life of brotherhood.
That is why I sit in preventive detention
Because I carried on the struggle
And because I am an Arab.

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

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

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Previous arrest of Jawad Siam, Wadi Hilweh Information Center, Jerusalem, October 31, 2015 (Photo: silwanic.net)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .
|  DIRECTOR  OF  WADI  HILWEH  INFORMATION  CENTER  RELEASED  ON  CONDITIONS
Israeli forces released Jawad Siam, director of Wadi Hilweh Information Center, on Sunday, after several hours in detention on charges of “organizing a protest in SALAH AL-DIN STREET” in occupied East Jerusalem.    ___The Wadi Hilweh Information Center said that Israeli forces banned Siam from entry to Salah al-Din Street, al-Sultan Suleiman Street, and the Damascus Gate, in addition to a ban on participating in protests in the city . . .     [. . . .] ___Siam organized a protest, during which he was detained, against the extended detention of Palestinian Governor of Jerusalem, Adnan Ghaith.    More . . .
. . . . Related  Soldiers storm W. Bank village, clash with local youths [DEIR ABU MASH’AL]
. . . . Related  Including A Woman And A Journalist, Army Abducts Five Palestinians in RAMALLAH
. . . . Related  Army Abducts Eight Palestinians, Including Two Children, In HEBRON
. . . . Related  Israeli Soldiers Abduct 32 Palestinians In JERUSALEM
|  PCHR  CONDEMNS  EXPLOITATION  OF  ISRAELI  SUPREME  COURT  IN  SERVICE  OF  SETTLEMENT  PROJECTS
The Palestinian Center for Human rights (PCHR) condemns the ongoing exploitation of the Israeli Supreme Court in the service of settlement projects in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) in general and in occupied East Jerusalem in particular and the Court’s issuance of decisions that violate the rules of international humanitarian law and international human rights law.    ___The latest of these decisions was rejecting the petition filed by dozens of Palestinian civilians living in “Batn al-Hawa” neighborhood in Silwan village, south of the occupied Jerusalem.  Their petition was to request overturning the decision by the Custodian of Absentee Property that orders the resident to evacuate their houses and hand them to “Ateret Cohanim” Settlement Association.    More . . .
. . . . Related  Israel seizes land for expansion near Salfit   ..
.  .  .  .  .  Update   Palestinian land bulldozed to expand Israeli occupation watchtower
. . . . Related  Israeli settlements devouring Qaryut, encroaching on Area B
|  STATE  OF  THE  GAZA  STRIP  BORDER  CROSSINGS  (01  –  31  OCTOBER  2018)  [Palestinian Centre for Human Rights] 
The Israeli closure imposed on the Gaza Strip continues for the 12th consecutive year.  During the reporting period (August), the Israeli authorities intensified the restrictions on the commericial crossings as they . . .  banned the entry of all goods and commodities into the Gaza Strip, except for the humanitarian supplies (including food and medicine).  Moroever, the Israeli authorities decided to totally ban the exportation of all goods from the Gaza Strip. As for the Crossings for the movement of persons, the Israeli authorities continue to impose tightened restrictions on the movement of the Gaza Strip residents through Beit Hanoun “Erez” Crossing, narrowly allowing the travel of limited categories . . .    More . . .
. . . . Related  Only handful of Gaza families allowed to visit jailed relatives

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .
|  ISRAEL  DOESN’T  SURVIVE  BECAUSE  IT’S  STRONG;  IT  SUCCEEDS  BY  WEAKENING  ITS  ENEMIES
By Mohammad Makram Balawi
The result of the latest round of fighting in the besieged Gaza Strip . . .   proved that Palestinian can damage Israel, as never before. Israeli media provided some statistics in this regard that were unprecedented and, from an Israeli point of view, appalling.    [. . . .] Israel and its backers, principally the US government, have always sought to ensure that it maintains its military hegemony in the Middle East, enabling its troops to inflict death and destruction on others while being safe from serious opposition.    [. . . .]  Israel’s policies have gone more or less to plan for the past 20 years or so. All the major Arab armies have either been neutralised by peace treaties, such as the Egyptians and Jordanians; destroyed like the Iraqi army; or completely bogged down in civil wars, like the armed forces in Syria and Yemen. The rest are either intimidated or sidelined by ongoing normalisation with Arab countries, especially in the Gulf. . . . The simple conclusion to draw from all of this is that Israel does not survive because it is strong; it is where it is because it succeeds in weakening its enemies, no matter the cost.   More . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

“JERUSALEM,”  BY  NIZAR  QABBANI
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.

“. . . made of two threads from the sacks of relief flour . . .” (Khaled Abdallah)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .
| OCHA:  ‘ISRAELI  FORCES,  SETTLERS’  RAIDS  INTO  PALESTINIAN  SCHOOLS  INCREASED’ 
The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in the Occupied Palestinian Territory confirmed, that since the beginning of 2018 there has been a significant increase in incidents involving the entry of Israeli forces and settlers into Palestinian schools.    ___In OCHA’s biweekly Protection of Civilians Report covering the period from 6th to 19th of November, it said that in the West Bank, 63 Palestinian children and nine adults were injured by Israeli forces during four separate raids into schools, one of which also involved Israeli settlers.   More . . .
. . . . Background  [. . . .] ISRAEL signed the Geneva Conventions on 6 July 1951, and the Additional Protocol III (relating to the Adoption of an Additional Distinctive Emblem, 2005) on 22 November 2007. Moreover, it became SIGNATORY  TO  THE  CONVENTION  FOR  THE  RIGHTS  OF  THE  CHILD  (CRC) on 3 October 1991, and signed the Optional Protocol to the CRC on 18 July 2005. All 8 fundamental ILO conventions have been ratified by Israel.
. . . . Related  Over 700 road obstacles control Palestinian movement within the West Bank: OCHA
| WEEKLY  REPORT  ON  ISRAELI  HUMAN  RIGHTS  VIOLATIONS  IN  THE  OCCUPIED  PALESTINIAN  TERRITORY  (14  –  21  NOVEMBER  2018) 

  • Israeli forces continue systematic crimes in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) (14 – 21 November 2018)
  • Israeli Forces Killed a Fisherman in the Northern Gaza Strip
  • Israeli forces continued to use excessive force against unarmed civilians and peaceful protestors in the Gaza Strip
  • 113 civilians, including 25 children, 3 women, 3 journalists, and 6 paramedics were wounded. More . . .

. . . . Related  Israeli Soldiers Abduct Two Palestinians In Hebron
. . . . Related  Four Protesters Injured at Kafr Qaddoum
. . . . Related  Israeli Soldiers Injure Fourteen Palestinians In Gaza
. . . . Related  Israeli settlers vandalize mosque, spray racist slogans in Beit Iksa
| HAMAS  PUBLISHES  IMAGES  OF  ‘ISRAELIS  INVOLVED  IN  GAZA  COVERT  UNIT’  
The armed wing of the Hamas group has published photos of what it says are members of an Israeli covert operations unit that infiltrated the Gaza Strip on November 11.    ___The Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades posted pictures of eight alleged members of the Israeli force, including two women, on its official website, as well as pictures of two vehicles used by the force during the botched operation.    ___In a statement, the group called on Palestinians to communicate to them any information they might have regarding the persons but provided no further details on the identities of those pictured.    ___Israel’s army censor issued a statement shortly afterwards calling on the public and news media not to distribute the photos or information relating to them.  “Hamas is attempting to understand and analyse the incident. . .    More . . .
. . . . Related  How  Hamas’  rocket  barrage  affects  Israeli  defense  policy
. . . . Related  Is  Russia  full-on  supporting  Hamas?
. . . . Related  Unease  and  apprehension  lie  over  Gaza  following  Israeli  truce

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .
GAZA  (YASSER  ARAFAT)  INTERNATIONAL  AIRPORT:  20  YEARS  LATER  
By Zakaria al-Madhoun
On this day, 20 years ago, the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat inaugurated Gaza International Airport in Rafah, the most southern point in the Gaza Strip.     ___That day was not like any other day, recalled Mohammad el-Baz, who covered the event live for Palestine TV. “Inaugurating the airport was not a normal development for the Palestinian people and leadership represented by Yasser Arafat.”    ___Gaza International Airport, also called Yasser Arafat Airport, had one runway 3080 meters long and 60 meters wide. Construction on the airport started in January 1996 when Arafat laid the foundation stone for the airport.    More . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . .

“MINT,”  BY  KHALED  ABDALLAH
I walk barefoot into my mother’s talk,
the dusty square, the garden chair, the dancer’s kerchief, the wind,
eyes from windows opposite, a moon dangled between two palm
fronds and another moon at the window.
The dancer has a bird’s fluttering heart that no chest can contain.
A jug sprinkles water to settle the dust.
The flute’s lip is wet with its player’s saliva. Like children’s saliva
on the throat of a balloon. This time your heart’s demons will keep it
like the color of your first school uniform. But if the accordion went mad
the women who believe in luck will say this boy is jinxed.
They would prepare a necklace for him made of two threads from the sacks
of relief flour and the bones of extinct animals and yellow
fangs. I return barefoot to mother’s talk. “Another moon at the window”
“Build some corners in your heart, my love, and hide your mint
plants among them.”

—Translated by Khaled Mattawa
From BEFORE THERE IS NOWHERE TO STAND: PALESTINE ISREL POETS RESPOND TO THE STRUGGLE. Ed. By Joan Dobbie and Grace Beeler. Sandpoint ID: Lost Horse Press, 2012.  Available from B&N.

 

 

“. . . You did not leave me land to plow . . .” (Mahmoud Darwish)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .
|  US  WARNS  OF  ‘CONSEQUENCES’  AS  PALESTINE  JOINS  INTERNATIONAL  BODIES
The United States has threatened “consequences” as Palestinians step up efforts for statehood demanding accession to almost a dozen international bodies and conventions.    ___The threat came after Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas signed the documents on Thursday to join the Universal Postal Union, a UN agency that coordinates international postage, and 10 international protocols and conventions.    ___The move infuriated the US, Israel’s staunch ally, with a State Department official claiming that the Palestinian efforts to join international institutions were “premature” and “counterproductive.”    More . . .
|  ISRAEL  RAZES  LAND,  CONFISCATES  VEHICLES  IN  EAST  JERUSALEM
The staff members of the Israeli Nature and Parks Authority and the Jerusalem Municipality stormed the Silwan neighborhood, in occupied East Jerusalem, under the heavy protection of Israeli forces, on Monday.    ___A Ma’an reporter said Israeli bulldozers razed a land in the SILWAN NEIGHBORHOOD, which belonged to Palestinian resident, Khaled al-Zir.    ___ [. . . .] Israeli forces also confiscated several vehicles in the neighborhood under the pretext that the owners did not obtain an Israeli license.    ___The United Nations Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization’s (UNESCO) World Heritage Committee adopted a resolution in July 2017 reaffirming the international body’s non-recognition of Israeli sovereignty in East Jerusalem, and condemned Israeli policies in the Old City.    More . . .
. . . . Related  Palestinian  family  forced  at  gunpoint  [from]  their  land  in  BETHLEHEM
. . . . Related  Israeli  Army  Launches  Limited  Incursion  into  GAZA
. . . . Related  IOF  attacks  schoolchildren,  settlers  vandalize  property  in  URIF  [NABLUS]
. . . . Related  Dozens  of  Palestinian  students  injured  in  IOF  attack  [HEBRON]
|
  ISRAELI  OCCUPATION  FORCES  ARREST  22  PALESTINIANS  IN  THE  WEST  BANK
The Israeli occupation forces arrested 22 Palestinian citizens from the West Bank on Monday morning.    ___IOF arrested the head of the student union council, Yahya Aqel Rabie at  Birzeit University  during raids in the village of Mazra’a al-Gharbiya, northwest of RAMALLAH, the center of the occupied West Bank.    ___Local sources report that military patrols stormed the village and began to raid houses. The Israeli occupation forces arrested Rabie during a raid on his family’s house and was taken to an unknown destination.    More . . .

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .
THE  NEW  NEW  ANTI-SEMITISM
By Richard Falk
I along with many others am being victimized these days. They are being labeled anti-Semites, and in some instances, self-hating Jews as well. This is a Zionist and Israeli effort to shut down our voices and punish our non-violent activism, with special venom directed at the BDS Campaign because it has become so effective in recent years. This negative branding of the opposition is being called ‘the new anti-Semitism.’ The old anti-Semitism was simply hatred of Jews as expressed through negative images and attitudes. . .  The new anti-Semitism is criticism of Israel and Zionism. . .  The false premise is equating Zionism with Jews, automatically making criticism and opposition to the Zionist state of Israel as anti-Semitism. . .  [. . . .] we who are attacked as new anti-Semites are really trying to honor our human identity, and to reject tribalist loyalties or geopolitical alignments, in our commitment to the realization of Palestinian rights. . .  As Jews to hold Israel accountable under standards that were used to condemn Nazi surviving political and military leaders is to honor the legacy of the Holocaust, not to defile it.  More . . .
|  ‘WE  HOPE  THE  REGIME  LASTS’:  WHEN  ISRAEL  ENJOYED  COZY  TIES  WITH  BRAZIL’S  MILITARY  DICTATORSHIP
Just under a month ago, following an especially tumultuous election season, Brazilians elected Jair Bolsonaro as president of their country. Bolsonaro has been a member of the National Congress, Brazil’s parliament, since 1990, where he was part of a group of vocal, extreme-right backbenchers who longed for the days of the military dictatorship that ruled Brazil from 1964 until 1985.    ___His election was welcomed by the Israeli right, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu going so far as to announce he would attend Bolsonaro’s swearing-in ceremony in January.    More . . .

NOTICES  FROM  ORGANIZATIONS. . . .
| EYEWITNESS  PALESTINE    It is our pleasure to share this Annual Report detailing the recent accomplishments of Eyewitness Palestine. In the past year, we have:  Dispatched 4 delegations and 96 delegates to meet with peace-builders in Palestine/Israel . . .   Rolled out a Racial Justice and Equity curriculum . . .  Distributed $161,540 in financial aid . . .  Expanded our online network to more than 25,000 people . . .   Dramatically increased the diversity of Eyewitness Palestine delegations . . .    Information about delegations . . .  Donate . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

“A  DIALOGUE  WITH  A  MAN  WHO  HATES  ME,”  BY  MAHMOUD  DARWISH
Rome was burnt, O crazy man
..Rome is more durable than Nero
Rome will not grasp your poems
..She can recite them by heart
Rome will slice your strings
..My tunes arise from my heart
Your voice echoes a miserable past
..My voice echoes a rocket rage
Your path is long
..I shall not tire
Yehuda** sold you
..I shall not be crucified
My ancestors were cremated in Auschwitz
..My heart is with them

..Pull out the wires from my skin

And the wounds of yesterday?
..A shameful scar―in the face of the executioner over there
What do you carry in your head
..A little wheat
What’s in your chest?
..A picture of a wound
Your face reflects a rancor color
..My face reflects the color of the earth
Then convert your sword into plowshare
..You did not leave me land to plow
You criminal!
..I did not steal―did not kill―didn’t oppress
You Arab! You are a dog!
..O man, may God cure your soul
..Why don’t you try the taste of love
..Why don’t you make way for the sun!!

** The Israeli town of Or Yehuda was established in 1950 on the lands of the depopulated Palestinian villages of Saqiya and Kfar ‘Ana. Jews from Iraq and North Africa settled there.

From: Aruri, Naseer and Edmund Ghareeb, eds. ENEMY  OF  THE  SUN:  POETRY  OF  THE  PALESTINIAN  RESISTANCE. Washington, DC: Drum and Spear Press, 1970.  Available.

“. . . You will be liberated from your own tyranny . . .” (Samah Sabawi)

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“Israel is once again looking to instigate a war on Gaza,” Yousef Munayyer, U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights, wrote on Twitter. (Photo: Ibraheem Abu Mustafa/Reuters)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .
|    VIOLENCE  ESCALATES:  6  PALESTINIANS  KILLED,  20  INJURED  IN  ISRAELI   [ GAZA]  AIRSTRIKES 
Six Palestinians were killed and at least 20 others were injured during a campaign of Israeli airstrikes from overnight Monday until predawn Tuesday across the northern besieged Gaza Strip.    ___Medical sources in Gaza reported that six Palestinians were killed and 20 others were injured during continuous Israeli airstrikes over various parts of Gaza.    More . . .
. . . . Related  PLO  HOLDS  ISRAEL  FULLY  RESPONSIBLE  FOR  ESCALATION  IN  GAZA
. . . . Related  HAMAS  CONDEMN  ISRAEL  DESTRUCTION  OF  AL  AQSA  TV  STATION  (VIDEO)
. . . . Related  [AL-QASSAM  BRIGADES]:  ISRAEL  RESPONSIBLE  FOR  CONSEQUENCES  OF  ITS  AGGRESSION  AGAINST  GAZA
|    POLITICAL  SOURCE:  ISRAEL  SUSPENDS  GAZA  TRUCE  TALKS
A senior Israeli political source said the government had suspended contacts with Egypt and the United Nations regarding a truce with the Gaza Strip.    ___Israeli media, including Channel 10, quoted a senior political source, who it did not identify, as saying that Tel Aviv “has no contacts with Egypt and the United Nations on the ceasefire in Gaza”.    ___The announcement came at the height of the Israeli cabinet meeting on Tuesday morning, chaired by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.    More . . .
|    ISRAELI  FORCES  DETAIN  9  PALESTINIANS  IN  WEST  BANK 
Israeli forces detained at least nine Palestinians across the occupied West Bank during raids, on predawn Tuesday.    ___Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS) confirmed that Israeli forces detained two Palestinians in the southern West Bank district of Hebron . . .   In the southern West Bank district of Bethlehem, two Palestinians were detained . . .   In the central West Bank district of Jerusalem, four Palestinians were detained by Israeli forces. . .    More . . .

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .
|    HAMAS  DIDN’T  START  THIS  FIGHT,  BUT  IT  WON’T  WIN  IT  EITHER
Israel’s killing of  Hamas  commander  Nour  Baraka  on Sunday and the predictable response from the Islamist movement have sparked fears of renewed hostilities between the two sides. . . .   observers see parallels with Israel’s 2012 assassination of  Ahmad  Al  Jabari  . . .   That incident set off eight days of fighting in which six Israelis and 167 Palestinians were killed.    ___If the deadly exchange six years ago was about avenging a senior Hamas commander, its casualties, even according to the Israeli military’s official figures, were mostly civilian. . . .  though Netanyahu has demonstrated time and again that he will not hesitate to kill innocents, especially in pursuit of domestic political gain, what options does Hamas have?    [. . . . ] Whether they intended it or not, Israel’s military planners know that Baraka’s killing will bait Hamas. Any sustained response by the Palestinian faction would clearly benefit Netanyahu, who has been lambasted by his political opponents for allowing $15 million in Qatari cash to be transferred to the Strip. . .  Netanyahu has a more pressing political problem — mass resistance to Israel’s ongoing siege and the humanitarian disaster it has created.    More . . .
. . . . Related  ISRAELI  INCURSIONS  INTO  GAZA  ARE  THE  RULE,  NOT  THE  EXCEPTION

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . .

“THE  LIBERATION  ANTHEM”  BY  SAMAH  SABAWI
(June 27, 2011)

To the people of Israel who fear our freedom:  Don’t be afraid,
we will liberate you too.
This is my rendition of an anthem to be sung
That day you and I will stand side by side
Shoulder to shoulder
Watching a new dawn wipe away decades of hate and savagery
The day I rise from the ashes of your oppression
I promise you I will not rise alone
You too will rise with me
You will be liberated from your own tyranny
And my freedom will bring your salvation

This is my rendition of an anthem to be sung
I’ll craft new words of expression
Outside of this suffocating language that has occupied me
Your words are like your walls
They encroach on my humanity
I am more than demography
I’m neither your collaborator
Nor your enemy
I am not your moderate
Not your terrorist
Not your Islamist
Funammentalist
Extremist
Militant
Radical
I am more than adjectives letters and syllables
I will construct my own language
And replace your words of power
With the power of my words

This is my rendition of an anthem to be sung
I don’t want to obliterate nor humiliate you
I refuse to hate you
Don’t care to demonize or proselytize or theorize your intentions
Every breath you draw reminds me you are human
The sound of your beating heart is a rhythm familiar to my ears
You and I are no different
We are made of blood and tears

This is my rendition of an anthem to be be sung
I will resist and soar above your matrix of control
With the power of my will your wall will fall
And the concrete that once segregated us will be used to rebuild homes
Your bulldozers and your tanks will dissolve into the earth
The sap will return to the olive trees
The gates will open wide for the refugees
We will be free
I will be your equal
And only then you will be mine
My other self
My fellow human being

From: I  REMEMBER  MY  NAME:  POETRY  BY  SAMAH  SABAWI,  RAMZY  BAROUD,  JEHAN  BSEISO.  Vacy Vlazna, editor. London: Novum Publishing, 2016. Available from publisher.

“. . . these are not equal sides, occupier and occupied / We teach life, Sir . . . “ (Rafeef Ziadah)

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Israeli Occupation Forces tower separating Palestinian homes from illegal settlement in Hebron (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 7, 2015)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .
|    IN  VIDEO  –  DOZENS  OF  PALESTINIAN  STUDENTS  SHOT,  INJURED  NEAR  BETHLEHEM
Israeli forces shot and injured several Palestinian students, while dozens of others suffered from tear-gas inhalation, on Sunday, as Israeli forces attacked them in the Tuqu village, in the southern occupied West Bank district of Bethlehem.    ___Local sources confirmed that Israeli forces raided the Tuqu high school and fired tear-gas bombs and rubber-coated steel bullets towards Palestinian students. of Bethlehem.    ___Local sources confirmed that Israeli forces raided the Tuqu high school and fired tear-gas bombs and rubber-coated steel bullets towards Palestinian students.    [. . . .] Israeli forces forced the students and staff members to evacuate the premises, resulting in taking control of the high school and shutting it down.    Sources added that that Israeli forces sealed off the two main entrances to the Tuqu village.     More . . .
. . . . Related  ISRAELI  FORCES  ATTACK,  INJURE  DOZENS  OF  PALESTINIAN  STUDENTS  IN  HEBRON
. . . . Related  ISRAEL  BANS  RENOVATIONS  OF  PALESTINIAN  KINDERGARTEN  IN  HEBRON
. . . . Related  ISRAELI  SOLDIERS  TRY  TO  STEAL  PLAYGROUND  EQUIPMENT  IN  BEIT  TA’MIR  TOWN
|    HEBRON  IS  BRAVING  A  STORM  OF  JUDAISATION   The ongoing and intense settlement activity in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron confirms Israel’s deliberate policy to empty it of its Arab inhabitants and Judaise it. The Palestinian city remains the second most targeted area for illegal Jewish settlements after Jerusalem. The first settlement activity in the West Bank was the establishment of the Kfar Etzion kibbutz in the strategic area bordering Hebron.    ___. . . Israel’s plans for the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron are no less dangerous than its Judaisation plans for Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem. Over the years, the Israeli settlers have turned a major section of the mosque into a synagogue.   [. . . .]  the Israeli government announced recently a new settlement plan targeting the heart of Hebron in order to link the settlements built across the city by means of new illegal blocs.    More . . .
. . . . Related EXTREMIST  ISRAELI  SETTLERS  ATTACK  PALESTINIAN  WORKERS  [HEBRON]
. . . . Related SETTLERS  BAN  ENTRY  OF  TRUCKLOADS  TO  GAZA
|    GREENBLATT:  NEITHER  SIDE  WILL  LIKE  THE  US  “DEAL  OF  THE  CENTURY”
US White House Envoy [Special Representative for International Negotiations] Jason Greenblatt, said in a closed meeting, that the US administration will soon be presenting President Trump’s peace plan in the Middle East that “neither side will like.”    ___According to Israel’s Channel 10, the meeting was held in London, and organized by the UK Association for the Wellbeing of Israel’s Soldiers, in which Greenblatt said that the plan would be a permanent deal instead of temporary agreements, adding that “there will be a need to compromise.”    More . . .

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .
|    PALESTINIAN  EDUCATION  MUST  MOVE  AWAY  FROM  THE  IMPOSED  HUMANITARIAN  AGENDA
Ramona Wadi
As the media hype over Khan Al-Ahmar fades away, mainstream narratives have yet to find another sensationalist violation to exploit . . .   the fate of the Bedouin community it houses will be forgotten . . .  Khan Al-Ahmar’s much-publicized school, built of tires and clay, will also fade into oblivion with the rest of the village and its inhabitants.    [. . . .] a Human Rights Watch (HRW) report dated April 2018 stated that 44 Palestinian schools are risking full or partial demolitions.   [. . . .]  For Israel, the targeting of Palestinian education is a political act designed to reduce drastically any chances of Palestinian emancipation, let alone resistance. Palestinians have a long history of utilizing education to provide the foundations for their legitimate anti-colonial struggle. Yet the incessant deprivation is increasingly contributing to a scenario where education is classified as a right from a western, and therefore, acceptable, perspective. Hence, the humanitarian focus on Palestinians being deprived of an uninterrupted right to education is dissociated from the particular needs of Palestinians who are living the realities of Israel’s colonial violence.    More . . .

NOTICES  FROM  ORGANIZATIONS. . . .
   UNRWA  –  PALESTINIAN  REFUGEES  NEED  YOUR  SOLIDARITY  AND  SUPPORT  NOW  MORE  THAN  EVER  BEFORE.   #DignityIsPriceless Campaign. Donate now.

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

“WE  TEACH  LIFE,  SIR”,  LONDON,  12.11.11, BY  RAFEEF  ZIADAH 

“. . . Our land, my friend, is no barren land. . .” (Mahmoud Darwish)

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Israeli bulldozers from Leshem settlement razing Palestinian agricultural and grazing lands in Deir Ballut town. (Photo: The Palestinian Information Center, May 11, 2017)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .
   ISRAELI  BULLDOZERS  RAZE  PALESTINIAN  LANDS  IN  TULKAREM
Israeli bulldozers razed lands and uprooted olive trees in Palestinian lands adjacent to the Israeli illegal settlement of Avnei Hefetz in the northern occupied West Bank district of Tulkarem, on Thursday morning.    ___The Avnei Hefetz settlement was built on Palestinian-owned lands of the villages and towns of Shufa, Kafr al-Labad and Kafa.    More . . .
. . . . Related  IOF  DEMOLISH  TWO  RESIDENTIAL  ROOMS  NEAR  HEBRON
. . . . Related  ISRAEL  CONFISCATES  PALESTINIAN-OWNED  TRACTORS  IN  JORDAN  VALLEY
. . . . Related  ISRAELI  ARMY  ORDERS  TO  STOP  CONSTRUCTION  ON  HOUSE,  THREE  BARRACKS NEAR  SALFIT
. . . . Related  ISRAELI  FORCES  WREAK  HAVOC  ON  PALESTINIAN  [vendor]  STALLS  IN  AL-KHALI
. . . . Related  IOF  KIDNAPS  SEVERAL  PALESTINIANS  FROM  W.  BANK  HOMES
|   WEEKLY  REPORT  ON  ISRAELI  HUMAN  RIGHTS  VIOLATIONS  IN  THE  OCCUPIED  PALESTINIAN  TERRITORY  (25  –  31  OCTOBER  2018)
The  Palestinian  Centre  for  Human  Rights  (PCHR) 

  • Israeli forces continued to use excessive force against unarmed civilians and peaceful protestors in the Gaza Strip
  • Israeli warplanes carried out dozens of airstrikes against targets in the Gaza Strip and launched 77 missiles.
  • Israeli forces killed a Palestinian civilian and wounded 16 others, including a child, journalist, and 2 paramedics in the West Bank.    More . . .

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .
|   ISRAEL  EVADES  DEMANDS  TO  END  THE  GAZA  PROTESTS  AND  REACH  A  TRUCE
Israeli occupation is only buying time through its talks with the mediators who want to sort out the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Israel needs only to go ahead in its colonial projects.    More . . .
. . . . Background  ISRAEL  DECIDES  AGAINST  TOPPLING  HAMAS  IN  GAZA,  SEEKS  TO  WEAKEN  IT
. . . . Background  ABBAS  TO  MEET  WITH  EGYPTIAN  PRESIDENT  IN  SHARM  EL-SHEIKH
|    ISRAELI  OCCUPATION  MARRING  THE  JOY  OF  THE  OLIVE  SEASON
Abu Basem stands hopelessly rubbing his hands, as he touches the rest of his olive trees in a valley north of Salfit, looking right and left, and recalling memories when joy was all over his house with the start of the olive harvest, which now turned into tears and pain.   ___This is the story of farmer Ahmad Eshtayeh, 80 years old from the city of Salfit, who inspects the rest of his olive field north of Salfit behind the apartheid wall, which swallowed 90% of Salfit’s land, leaving too little for him to cultivate.    More . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . .

“CONCERNING  HOPES,”  BY  MAHMOUD  DARWISH
Don’t tell me:
I wish I were a baker in Algeria
To sing with a fighter.
Don’t tell me:
I wish I were a shepherd in Yemen
To sing for resurrection.
Don’t tell me:
I wish I were a waiter in Havana
To sing the victories of the oppressed.
Don’t tell me:
I wish I were a young porter in Aswan
To sing for the rocks.
The Nile will never flow into the Volga,
Nor will the Congo or the Jordan flow into the Euphrates.
Each river has its own springs,
Its own course and its own life.
Our land, my friend, is no barren land.
Each land gives birth in due time,
And each fighter will see the dawn.

From: Aruri, Naseer and Edmund Ghareeb, eds. ENEMY  OF  THE  SUN:  POETRY  OF  THE  PALESTINIAN  RESISTANCE. Washington, DC: Drum and Spear Press, 1970.  Available from Abe Books.

“. . . a crushed glass under the feet still shines. . .” (Naomi Shihab Nye)

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Items purchased in Hebron glass blowing shop. (Photo by Harold Knight – see ** below)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .

   ISRAEL  CANCELS  ENTRY  OF  GOODS  INTO  GAZA
The Israeli army cancelled entry of dozens of trucks carrying goods into the besieged Gaza Strip, on late Monday, according to Palestinian official sources.    ____Sources confirmed that the Israeli side cancelled entry of dozens of trucks scheduled to arrive into Gaza on Tuesday; reasons of the cancellation were unknown.    ___It is noteworthy that in addition to these cancelled truckloads of goods, Qatari-funded fuel was also not allowed entry into Gaza for Gaza’s only power plant.    More . . .
. . . . Related   Egyptian  security  delegation  arrives  in  Gaza  to  complete  talks
|    IOF  DISMANTLE  SCHOOL  CARAVANS  NORTH  OF  TUBAS    On Tuesday morning, Israeli occupation forces dismantled caravans belonging to the school of the Late Marwan Majali, AKA “Tahadi (10)”, located in Khirbat “Ibiziq” area north of Tubas, northern West Bank.    ____The Director of Education Tubas Sa’ed Qabha told WAFA that the occupation dismantled two caravans as they detain the educational staff, ministry of education and students, while preventing students from entering the school.    More . . .
|    REPORT:  ISRAEL  CONTINUING  JUDAIZATION  PLANS  IN  HEBRON
Plans to Judaize the Old City of Hebron are proceeding step by step amid international silence and the American support that encourages the occupation authorities to continue their policy. Following the Ibrahimi Mosque’s massacre, the occupation authorities divided the Mosque between the Palestinians and the settlers. More than one site inside the Ibrahimi Mosque can’t be accessed by Palestinian worshipers, while settlers are allowed to use the whole place at any time.     ____For years, plans have been made to link the settlement of Qiryat Arba with other settlement blocs surrounding the Old City through demolishing and removing the Palestinian buildings from the area for a comprehensive judaization of the area extending from the settlement of Kiryat Arba to the entire Old City and Tel Rumeida.   More . . . .
. . . . Related  Palestinian  shot  dead  in  al-Khalil  [HEBRON]  over  alleged  stabbing  attack
. . . . Related  Palestinian  official:  87%  of  BETHLEHEM  lands  under  Israeli  control
. . . . Related  NGO  warns  of  property  diversion  in  occupied  JERUSALEM
. . . . Related  Ariel  settlement  guards  obstruct  traffic  at  main  entrance  to  SALFIT
. . . . Related  Israel  Army  Rolls  Into  West  Bank  [QALQILIYA]  Cracks  Down  On  Civilians

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .

|    ISRAEL’S  ASSAULT  ON  PALESTINIAN  UNIVERSITIES  IS  A  THREAT  TO  HUMAN  RIGHTS  AND  A  TRAGEDY  FOR  THIS  GENERATION  OF  STUDENTS
The fundamental right to education is enshrined in international law. Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states: “Everyone has the right to education”. . . . The challenges currently being faced by Palestinian universities mean that this universal right is being severely compromised in the occupied Palestinian territory.     ___As an occupying power, the state of Israel, is obligated to ensure that civilians under occupation are not denied their basic human rights. . .  which includes access to education.    [. . . .] Meanwhile, for decades, the education sector – schools as well as universities – has had to contend with Israel’s systematic obstruction of education, from enforced closures, campus raids, and the oppression of individual students and teachers. . .  According to Sam Bahour, a former board member of Birzeit University and co-founder Right to Enter Campaign . . . it’s important to see this assault on education as part of a broader picture of Israeli oppression of Palestinian lives and a determination to stifle the natural growth of a society.    More . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . .

(** The glass pieces came from one of the few  Hebron  glass  blower  shops  still operating in 2008. The delicate pieces I purchased, like the one in Nye’s poem,  were broken in shipping. Nye’s poem commemorates the massacre of Muslim worshipers at Ibrahimi Mosque, Hebron, 1994.)

“THE  SMALL  VASES  FROM  HEBRON,”  BY  NAOMI  SHIHAB  NYE

Tip their mouths open to the sky.
Turquoise, amber,
the deep green with fluted handle,
pitcher the size of two thumbs,
tiny lip and graceful waist.

Here we place the smallest flower
which could have lived invisibly
in loose soil beside the road,
sprig of succulent rosemary,
bowing mint.

They grow deeper in the center of the table.

Here we entrust the small life,
thread, fragment, breath.
And it bends. It waits all day.
As the bread cools and the children
open their gray copybooks
to shape the letter that looks like
a chimney rising out of a house.

And what do the headlines say?

Nothing of the smaller petal
perfectly arranged inside the larger petal
or the way tinted glass filters light.
Men and boys, praying when they died,
fall out of their skins.
The whole alphabet of living,
heads and tails of words,
sentences, the way they said,
“Ya’Allah!” when astonished,
or “ya’ani” for “I mean”—
a crushed glass under the feet
still shines.

But the child of Hebron sleeps
with the thud of her brothers falling
and the long sorrow of the color red.