“. . . 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.

“. . . they come to burn the love in our hearts . . .” (Yousef al-Mahmoud)

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Maale Adumim settlement, part of “E1 Corridor” threatening Khan al-Ahmar (Photo: Palestine Information Center, October 28, 2017)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .

|   KHAN  AL-AHMAR  FLOODED  WITH  WASTEWATER  FOR  2ND  TIME    Israeli settlers stormed the Bedouin village of Khan al-Ahmar, east of Jerusalem, on Monday, and flooded the area with wastewater for a second time.    __Locals said that Israeli settlers from the nearby illegal Israeli settlement of Kfar Adummim stormed the village and flooded Khan al-Ahmar with wastewater, causing serious environmental and health hazard for residents.   ___Sources added that the wastewater from the Kfar Adummim settlement flooded large areas of the village, as Israeli settlers attempt to assist the Israeli government force the residents to leave the area.    More . . .
. . . . . . . Resource: What  is  the  E1  area,  and  why  is  it  so  important?
. . . . Related   Israeli  soldiers,  settlers  uproot  trees  in  East  Jerusalem  neighborhood
|   ISRAELI  [HEBRON]  SETTLEMENT  PLANS  ‘DECLARATION  OF  NEW  WAR  AGAINST  PALESTINIANS’          The Palestinian government slammed, on Monday, the Israeli government’s approval of 22 million shekels ($6.1 million) in government funding to expand an illegal Israeli settlement inside the southern occupied West Bank city of Hebron.   ___The Palestinian government’s spokesperson, Youssef al-Mahmoud, said in a statement that the approval is a “literal translation of the occupation’s plans that is based on what became known as the ‘Deal of the Century.'”   ___He called it expansion of an Israeli settlement in the center of Hebron City is “a declaration of a new war against the Palestinian people, a blatant targeting of their existence, and an attack on international laws and resolutions.”   More . . .
|   EURO-MED  RIGHTS  GROUP  CALLS  FOR  PRESSURE  ON  ISRAEL  TO  END  TARGETING  PALESTINIAN  DEMONSTRATORS      The Geneva-based  EURO-MEDITERRANEAN  HUMAN  RIGHTS  MONITOR  (Euro-Med)  Monday said that Israeli forces caused injuries to one in every 100 Palestinians as Gaza protests conclude 200 days and called on the international community to exert serious pressure on Israel to end  its targeting of Palestinian demonstrators.   ___“The Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor calls on the international community to exert serious pressure to put an end to the targeting of Palestinian demonstrators in the Gaza Strip and to protect their right to peaceful assembly,” said Euro-Med in a statement.   ___It also called on “all parties concerned to exert pressure on Israel to lift its blockade affecting every aspect of Gaza’s largely civilian population.”   More . . .
|   AFTER  A  DAY  OF  PROTEST,  ISRAELI  ARMY  BACKS  DOWN  ON  DECISION  TO  CLOSE  WEST  BANK  SCHOOL     After a day of protest against an Israeli army order to close al-Lubban/al-Sawiyeh school in the north of the West Bank, the Israeli army backed down on its decision on Monday and allowed the school to reopen, according to Nablus Governor Akram Rajoub.    ___He told WAFA that the protest by the families and officials earlier today against the closure order seem to have forced the army to back down on its earlier decision.    More . . .
. . . . Related  Palestinians  arrested,  homes  ransacked  in  dawn  sweep  by  Israel  army
. . . . Related  Israeli  forces  arrest  Khan  Ahmar  activists

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .

|   A  PALESTINIAN  BEDOUIN  VILLAGE  BRACES  FOR  FORCIBLE  TRANSFER  AS  ISRAEL  SEEKS  TO  SPLIT  THE  WEST  BANK  IN  HALF    RAYYAH HAS LIVED in Khan al-Ahmar all of her 47 years. . .  Her family and neighbors, members of a Bedouin community known as the Jahalin, found refuge on this scorched patch of rocks and dust in the 1950s, after they were expelled from the land they had inhabited for generations, in the Negev desert, following the establishment of the Israeli state. The land Khan al-Ahmar stands on was under Jordanian control when the Jahalin arrived. Today, this smatter of tin roofs and tarps sits on the side of a highway in the occupied West Bank, surrounded by a fast-growing ring of Israeli settlements . . .    ___The village, which is home to less than 200 people and where the only building with walls is a school made of mud and old tires, has become the latest front line in a conflict over land that for decades has determined the fates of Palestinians . . .    More . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

“ENEMY,”  BY  YOUSEF  AL-MAHMOUD
They come from all the ends of the earth to sit among us
they come from the ends of the winds
they bring sickness and a hissing like snakes
they come from the ends of the snows
they come smelling of death
they come with blood-dipping knives
they bring panic and terror
they are utterly not-to-be-trusted
they are utterly murderous
they are proud of their murders, they are drinkers of blood
proud of tooth and nail
even more proud of guns and treachery
they come to burn the love in our hearts
and turn it to torture and bitterness
they bring sorrow, terror, sickness. . .
How have they come to sit among us?
—Translated by DM Black

Yousef Al-Mahmoud is a prominent broadcaster and poet, and former head of the Ministry of Culture in his native Jenin.
From A  BIRD  IS  NOT  A  STONE:  AN  ANTHOLOGY  OF  CONTEMPORARY  PALESTINIAN  POETRY (Glasgow: Freight Books, 2014) –available from Barnes and Noble.

“. . . When the almond and the olive have turned to timber . . .” (Samih Al-Qasim)

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THE VILLAGE OF BURIN. PHOTO BY SALMA A-DEB’I. B’Tselem Website, March 27,2018.

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .

|  IN  VIDEO  –  ISRAELI  SETTLERS  ATTACK  PALESTINIAN  FARMERS  IN  NABLUS       Video footage showed how several Israeli settlers attacked Palestinian farmers, on Saturday, while they were harvesting olive harvest on Palestinians lands belonging to the residents of the Burin village, south of the northern occupied West Bank district of Nablus.    ___According to local sources, Israeli settlers from the illegal Givat Ronin settlement attacked two Palestinian farmers by throwing rocks at them and chased them out of their own lands.    ___The Israeli human rights group B’Tselem reported that “Settler violence and vandalism takes place with full backing by the Israeli authorities. Sometimes soldiers take part in the assault; at other times, they stand idly by.    More . . .
|  VIDEO:  AS  THE  OLIVE  HARVEST  BEGINS,  SO  DO  THE  SETTLER  ATTACKS     The time had finally come: the residents of Turmusayya, a lush Palestinian village nestled in a valley between Ramallah and Nablus in the central occupied West Bank, had gotten permission from Israeli authorities to go harvest their olive trees. This chance only came twice a year: two days in the spring to cultivate their land, and two days in the fall to harvest the olives.     ___When they arrived, they were devastated to find dozens of trees chopped down, uprooted, and rotting.     More . . .
. . . . Related  Israeli forces chase Palestinian herders out of grazing land
. . . . Related  Settlers chop off olive, grape trees near Bethlehem
. . . . Related  Settlers attack civilians in Hebron
. . . . Related  Israeli army destroys water pipeline in Kafr Qaddoum
. . . . Related  Israeli Soldiers And Settlers Uproot Trees In Silwan
. . . . Related  PHOTOS: Israeli bulldozers demolish homes in West Bank villages
. . . . Related  Israeli fanatics break into Aqsa Mosque
|  ISRAEL ORDERS IMMEDIATE HALT OF FUEL DELIVERIES TO GAZA    Israel’s Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman has ordered an immediate halt to fuel deliveries headed to besieged Gaza in response to what he claimed attacks against Israeli soldiers and civilians.    ___The announcement on Friday follows the killing  of  seven  Palestinians  by  Israeli  forces  during the ongoing March of Return protests.   ___”Israel will not tolerate a situation in which fuel tankers are allowed to enter Gaza on the one hand, while terror and violence are used against [Israeli] soldiers and Israeli citizens on the other,” the statement from Lieberman’s office read.    More . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

“A  HOMELAND,”  BY  SAMIH  AL-QASIM
So what,
When in my homeland
The sparrow dies of starvation,
In exile, without a shroud,
While the earthworm is satiated, devouring God’s food!

So what,
When the yellow fields
Yield no more to their tillers
Than memories of weariness,
While their rich harvest pours
Into the granaries of the usurper!

So what,
If the cement has diverted
The ancient springs
Causing them to forget their natural course,
When their owner calls,
They cry in his face: “Who are you?”

So what,
When the almond and the olive have turned to timber
Adorning tavern doorways,
And monuments
Whose nude loveliness beautifies halls and bars,
And is carried by tourists
To the farthest corners of the earth,
While nothing remains before my eyes
But dry leaves and tinder!

So what,
When my people’s tragedy
Has turned to farce in others’ eyes,
And my face is a poor bargain
That even the slave-trader gleefully disdains!

So what,
When in barren space the satellites spin,
And in the streets walks a beggar, holding a hat,
And the song of autumn is heard!
Blow, East winds!
Our roots are still alive.

Samih Al-Qasim 
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.

“. . . his wounds Proclaim his testament of love and suffering . . .” (Samih Al-Qasim)

Mitzpe_KramimOn Tuesday, 3 July 2018, the State . . .  informed the court that
it agreed that the land [Mitzpe Kramim] , which is privately
owned by Palestinians, would be transferred to the settlers
who invaded it.  (Photo: Peace Now, July 7, 2018)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .Israel

MOH:  93  PALESTINIANS  INJURED  DURING  GAZA  PROTEST 
Almost 100 Palestinians suffered injuries at the northern borders of the besieged Gaza Strip, on Monday, as protesters participated in the naval march setting off from the Gaza seaport against the nearly 12-year Israeli siege.    ___The Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza confirmed that 93 Palestinians were injured, including 37 injured by Israeli live ammunition.    ___Israeli forces opened fire directly targeting medical crews and ambulances that attempted to reach the area to provide aid to those injured.    More . . .
. . . Related  In video – Israeli forces assault, injure Jerusalemite youths
. . . Related  Israeli forces injure Palestinians in Hebron clashes
. . . Related  Israeli forces attack West Bank protests against Israel’s Nation-State Law, injuries reported
. . . Related  ADALAH:  ‘ISRAELI  SNIPERS  CONTINUE  TO  TARGET  UNARMED  PALESTINIANS’
IOF  KIDNAPS  21  PALESTINIANS  IN  WEST  BANK  CAMPAIGNS
Israeli occupation forces (IOF) at dawn Tuesday arrested 21 Palestinians during large-scale campaigns in the West Bank.   ___The Israeli occupation army said in a statement that 21 “wanted” Palestinians were arrested on Tuesday for being involved in popular resistance activities against Israeli targets.   ___The IOF at daybreak carried out raid and search campaigns against Palestinian houses in Tulkarem, Occupied Jerusalem, al-Khalil, and Jenin.   More . . .

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .

IT  IS  NOT  UP  TO  THE  UN  TO  DETERMINE  PALESTINIAN  RESISTANCE  AND  NARRATIVES       
The Great Return March protests in the Gaza Strip have provided the foundations for Palestinians from which they can articulate their demands, away from the political bickering, opportunism and exploitation which has rendered the people dependent solely on their own determination to survive.    [. . . .] Two recent statements by UN officials testify to the international community’s refusal to recognise the latter.       ___The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in the occupied Palestinian territory (OCHA) has diluted the ongoing Palestinian protests to a reflection over “increasing frustration over worsening conditions of daily life . . .      ___To mark the International Day of Non-Violence, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres called for the implementation of Gandhi’s non-violent approach. “At the United Nations,” he explained, “a world free of violence – and the resolution of differences through non-violent means – is at the core of our work.”    ___Both UN statements are replete with omissions.   More . . .
. . . Related  Israel’s Stranglehold on Area C: Development as Resistance
REPORT:  WIDE  COOPERATION  BETWEEN  ISRAELI  JUDICIAL  SYSTEM  AND  BANKS  IN  FAVOR  OF  SETTLEMENTS 
The National Bureau for Defending the Land and Resisting Settlement said that the Israeli army [is] involved in the crime of forging the Palestinian documents which prove their ownership of the land, but also confiscate and allocate those lands for settlement purposes. The Jerusalem District Court issued a ruling last month alleging that the Mitzpeh Kramim outpost northeast of Ramallah in the occupied West Bank was built on settler land.    ___The occupation authorities claimed before the court at the time that they had handed over the land to the “Settlement Brigade” by mistake. . .  The court decided at the time not to continue construction work in the settlement outpost, but the Supreme Court’s decision did not prevent the “the Brigade” from continuing settlement activities, and providing banks with documentation to enable settlers to obtain housing loans.   More . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . .

“THE  MAN  WHO  VISITED  DEATH,”  BY  SAMIH  AL-QASIM
Leave the martyr shrouded in his garments,
Lay him at the foot of the mountain: for it knows his sorrow.
Do not bury him, while his wounds
Proclaim his testament of love and suffering.
Do you hear?

Let him take leave of his friends,
A bleeding eagle among the rocks.
Lay him in the sun; his face caressed
By the winds, redolent with the fragrance of the land of his youth.

Do not close his eyes; a final
Red glimmer still shines in them.
His call reverberates in the golden valleys:
“You who fear death, I fear it not;
Take me to my home
To rest my cheek upon its threshold,
To kiss the doorknob,
Take me to my vineyard, I would die, with the pangs of my love in my heart,
If my eyes do not feast once more on the sight of its soil. 

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.

“. . . Even her dreams are besieged . . .” (Samih Faraj)

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Members of delegation from Sabeel Liberation Theology Center, Jerusalem,
in Hebron’s al-Shuhada Street with gates closing the street and
Israeli soldier in guard tower above. (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 7, 2015)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .

UN  APPOINTS  NEW  CHAIR  OF  COMMISSION  ON  VIOLATIONS  AGAINST  PALESTINIANS
The President of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) . . .  announced the appointment of Santiago Canton of Argentina to serve as a member and chairperson of the Council-mandated Commission of Inquiry on the 2018 protests in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.   Canton . . .  will replace David Michael Crane of the United States who recently stepped down as a member of the three-person Commission.   ___The Commissioners have been mandated by the Human Rights Council to investigate all alleged violations and abuses of international humanitarian law and international human rights law in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, particularly in the blockaded Gaza Strip. . .    More . . .

SPAIN  READY  TO  RECOGNIZE  PALESTINIAN  STATE
Spain has become the latest country to voice its readiness to recognize the State of Palestine and that it will promote a European Union (EU) move to recognize Palestine as an independent state.   ___Spain’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Josep Borrell, spoke at a conference of EU leaders in Austria, saying that the Spanish government will promote an EU move to recognize Palestine.   ___Borrell said that “if the EU is not able to reach a unanimous decision, then each to their own.”   More . . .
Related . . . MEMBERS  OF  EU  PARLIAMENT  CALL  ON  EU  TO  RECOGNIZE  PALESTINE

ISRAELI  FORCES  SEVERELY  ASSAULT,  DETAIN  HEBRON  RESIDENTS    Israeli forces raided a Palestinian home, on Wednesday night, the southern occupied West Bank city of Hebron, and assaulted its residents.   ___Locals said that Israeli forces raided the home of Palestinian, Ghaleb Abu Sbeih, in the Old City of HEBRON and thoroughly searched it, damaging most of his furniture and personal belongings.  ___Israeli forces assaulted two Palestinians, Shaher and Ibrahim Abu Sbeih, during the raid. . .   More . . .
Related . . . ISRAELI  FORCES  INJURE  DOZENS  OF  PALESTINIAN  STUDENTS  IN  HEBRON

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .

HEBRON:  6  ILLEGAL  SETTLEMENTS,  95  PHYSICAL  OBSTACLES,  2200  ISRAELI  SOLDIERS  TO  PRIVILEGE  850  ILLEGAL  SETTLERS.
For centuries, Al-Khalil (Hebron) has been considered a holy city, primarily because of the Ibrahimi Mosque/The Tomb of the Patriarchs, which followers of Judaism, Islam, and Christianity consider a sacred site of pilgrimage. Today, Al-Khalil is an openly segregated city. The daily lives of its 215,000 Palestinian residents are severely disrupted to privilege just 850 hard-line Israeli settlers, enabled by hundreds of heavily armed Israeli soldiers. More . . .   Join  Visualizing Palestine . . .
Related . . .  OCCUPATION  CAPTURED  09/18:  PHOTOS  OF  PALESTINIAN  LIFE  AND  ISRAELI  OCCUPATION  IN  THE  WEST  BANK  CITY  OF  HEBRON
Related . . .  PALESTINIAN  POLICE  PAY  FIRST-EVER  SYMBOLIC  VISIT  TO  HEBRON’S  OLD  CITY

NOTICES  FROM  ORGANIZATIONS. . . .

ECUMENICAL  ACCOMPANIERS  PROGRAM  IN  PALESTINE  AND  ISRAEL  (EAPPI)    The World Council of Churches’ Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI) was created in 2002 by the WCC. . .    1,800 ecumenical accompaniers (EAs) have worked to create conditions for a just peace.   EAPPI advocates for justice and peace based on non-violence and a non-partisan approach. . . To insure adherence to these vital principles at a local level in Israel and Palestine, a Local Reference Group (LRG) with representatives from the Christian, Muslim and Jewish communities, is appointed . . .     More . . .   Donate . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

“A WOMAN,” BY SAMIH FARAJ

Take one step towards the old house
And another down the stairs to the home
Where a woman sits in the early evening light:
Light, the radiance of a dove, shining;
Or light like the light from a shrine.
No one knows where she has come from –
Through which quarter or distant land she passed.
What shadow the light cast when she’d gone.
No one knows the flood she passed through –
The risks she took, the daily deluge.
No one can measure the vast sea she crossed,
The hazards she held in her small hands.
An ordinary woman: one step at a time, one step
On the land lacking, on the barren soil; one step
On the time passing; one step on the clock ticking.
Except for something in her now rising, hot, scolding,
Even her dreams are besieged, it seems; yet
In the middle of a siege it’s still possible to dream.
A dream of the old house, and her first step.
—Translated by Jackie Kay

Samih Faraj is a teacher in Deheishe Refugee Camp and a lecturer at HEBRON and Bethlehem Universities. He has been editor-in-chief of several journals, including VOICE OF THE NATION.
Poem from A BIRD IS NOT A STONE: AN ANTHOLOGY OF CONTEMPORARY PALESTINIAN POETRY (Glasgow: Freight Books, 2014).

“. . . Salaam upon you the day you were killed in the land of peace . . .” (Mahmoud Darwish)

IMG_3219 - CopyHEBRON: Mother and sons climb into back window of their home
because Israel has closed their street 
to protect illegal settlers.
(Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 7, 2015)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .

THE  PALESTINIAN  ECONOMY  IN  LIGHT  OF  THE  AMERICAN  SANCTIONS
Several reports will be on the table of the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee (AHCL) for coordinating international aid to the Palestinian People, which is chaired by Norway, when it meets in New York on the sidelines of United Nations General Assembly meetings later this month.   ___The reports, from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank and the Palestinian government, agree that 2018 is the worst for the Palestinian economy since Israel has re-occupied the Palestinian cities in the West Bank 16 years ago.   ___By the beginning of 2018, domestic and international forecasts estimated that growth in the Palestinian economy would range from 2.5% to 3%, reflecting a continuation of the slowdown in the Palestinian economy over the past five years . . .    More . . .
Related . . .   13,000  UNRWA  EMPLOYEES  IN  GAZA  PROTEST  AGAINST  CUTS

PLO  CONDEMNS  ISRAEL’S  MURDER  OF  SIX  PALESTINIANS  IN  THE  LAST  24  HOURS
The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) strongly condemned on Wednesday Israel’s murder of six Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, the West Bank and East Jerusalem in the last 24 hours, accusing Israeli forces of deliberately targeting the Palestinians.   ___“The deliberate murder of six Palestinians by Israeli forces in the last twenty-four hours is yet another escalation in the Israeli occupation’s brutality and inhumanity,” said PLO Executive Committee member Hanan Ashrawi.   More . . .
Related . . .  PALESTINIANS  BID  LAST  FAREWELL  TO  2  YOUTHS  MURDERED  BY  ISRAEL  ARMY

ISRAELI  FORCES  INJURE  DOZENS  OF  PALESTINIAN  STUDENTS  IN  HEBRON
Dozens of Palestinian school students suffered injuries, on Wednesday, during clashes with Israeli forces in the southern occupied West Bank city of Hebron.   ___Local sources said that Israeli forces provoked Palestinian students as they were on their way to school in Hebron City, resulting in violent clashes between students and Israeli forces. . . .  Israeli forces fired tear-gas bombs at the Palestinian students, causing dozens of students to suffer from tear-gas inhalation.    ___Palestinian students are regularly harassed by Israeli forces and settlers in Hebron City.   More . . .
Related . . .    15,000  JEWS  VISIT  HEBRON’S  IBRAHIMI  MOSQUE  AHEAD  OF  YOM  KIPPUR

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .

‘OSLO  SOLD  US  OUT’:  YOUNG  PALESTINIANS  ON  THE  MOMENT  THAT  SHAPED  THEIR  GENERATION
In September 1993 the world celebrated what it thought was the beginning of the end of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.   ___The Oslo Accords was supposed to lead to a “comprehensive peace agreement” by 1999, and eventually, a Palestinian state . . .  ___Twenty-five years after Oslo. . .  a fair and just peace agreement for the Palestinians remains far out of reach. The dream of an independent Palestinian state even further.   [. . . .] “What does Oslo mean to me? For me, Oslo means that the Palestinian people did not get to decide their fate as a whole.” The words of Yasmin Abu Shakdim, a 22-year-old Sociology student from the city of Hebron, are expressive of a sentiment held by many Palestinian youth.   More . . .

7AMLEH:  GOOGLE  MAPS  ENDANGERING  PALESTINIAN  HUMAN  RIGHTS
The Arab Center for the Advancement of Social Media released a new report entitled, “Mapping Segregation – Google Maps and the Human Rights of Palestinians”.   ___The report reveals new insights about how  Google Maps’ mapping process in the occupied Palestinian territories serves the interests of the Israeli government and contradicts Google’s commitment to international human rights frameworks.   More . . .

REMEMBERING  THE  SABRA  AND  SHATILA  MASSACRE
Between September 16 and 18, 1982, Palestinian refugees in Beirut’s Sabra and Shatila refugee camps were massacred. Estimates vary, but about 3,000 Palestinian refugees, mostly women, children, and the elderly were killed. The attack took place during Lebanon’s civil war, a few months after Israel’s invasion of the country.   More . . .

NOTICES  FROM  ORGANIZATIONS. . . . 

CHRISTIAN  PEACEMAKER  TEAMS  PALESTINE
Christian Peacemaker Teams Palestine is a faith-based organization that supports Palestinian-led, non-violent, grassroots resistance to the Israeli occupation and the unjust structures that uphold it. By collaborating with local Palestinian and Israeli peacemakers and educating people in our home communities we strive to help create a space for justice and peace.   More . . .    Donate . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

“I  DIDN’T  APOLOGIZE  TO  THE  WELL,”  MAHMOUD  DARWISH

I didn’t apologize to the well when I passed the well,
I borrowed from the ancient pine tree a cloud
and squeezed it like an orange, then waited for a gazelle
white and legendary. And I ordered my heart to be patient:
Be neutral as if you were not of me! Right here
the kind shepherds stood on air and evolved
their flutes, then persuaded the mountain quail toward
the snare. And right here I saddled a horse for flying toward
my planets, then flew. And right here the priestess
told me: Beware of the asphalt road and the cars
and walk upon your exhalation. Right here
I slackened my shadow and waited, I picked the tiniest
rock and stayed up late. I broke the myth and I broke.
And I circled the well until I flew from myself
to what isn’t of it. A deep voice shouted at me:
This grave isn’t your grave. So I apologized.
I read verses from the wise holy book, and said
to the unknown one in the well: Salaam upon you the day
you were killed in the land of peace, and the day you rise
from the darkness of the well alive!

—From THE  BUTTERFLY’S  BURDEN, by Mahmoud Darwish, Trans. Fady Joudah. Port Townsend, WA: Copper Canyon Press. 2007.

“. . . a land that can fit, with wilderness to spare, in the Panhandle of Texas . . .” (Lahab Assef Al-Jundi)

❶ Abu Rudeineh responding to US ambassador: Occupation is reason for violence
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Amid rising tensions, US troops in Israel for missile defense drill
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴃ) 44 Settlers, 33 US soldiers storm al-Aqsa Mosque plaza

  • Background: “The Gold Standard: U.S.–Israel Military Relations.” American Foreign Policy Interests.

❷ Israeli forces shower Palestinian school with tear gas, sending several students to hospital
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) Israeli forces detain father of slain Palestinian teen from Halhul, clash with locals
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴃ) Teen critically injured in clashes with Israeli soldiers north of Jerusalem
❸ PCHR: IOF continue systematic crimes in the oPT
❹ POETRY by Lahab Assef Al-Jundi
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
ABU  RUDEINEH  RESPONDING  TO  US  AMBASSADOR:  OCCUPATION  IS  REASON  FOR  VIOLENCE
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Feb. 8, 2018 ― Responding to statements by the US ambassador to Israel David Friedman criticizing the Palestinian Authority, presidential spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh said on Wednesday that the Israeli occupation and the settlement policy are the main reason for violence in the region.
___Friedman, a staunch supporter of Israeli settlements and settlers who regularly donates money and support for the illegal Jewish settlement in the occupied territories, which are in violation of international law, lashed out at what he said in a tweet as “Palestinian leader” not speaking out against the killing of  settlers in the West Bank.
___“The statements by the US ambassador lead us to wonder about the ambassador’s relationship with the occupation: Does he represent the US or Israel?” wondered Abu Rudeineh.     MORE . . . 
.  .  .  .  .  ❶  ―  (ᴀ)  AMID  RISING  TENSIONS,  US  TROOPS  IN  ISRAEL  FOR  MISSILE  DEFENSE  DRILL
The Jerusalem Post
Feb. 4, 2018 ― With tensions high on both the northern and southern fronts, US troops are in Israel and have deployed anti-missile defense systems across the country ahead of the biennial Juniper Cobra military exercise.
___The large-scale, five-day drill will simulate a massive missile attack on Israel from both fronts and will be led by the Israel Air Force, the IDF confirmed to The Jerusalem Post on Sunday.    MORE . . . 
.  .  .  .  .  ❶  ―  (ᴃ)    44  SETTLERS,  33  US  SOLDIERS  STORM  AL-AQSA  MOSQUE  PLAZA
The Palestinian Information Center
Feb. 8, 2018 ―  Some 44 Jewish settlers escorted by 33 American soldiers on Thursday broke into al-Aqsa Mosque’s plazas amid protection by Israeli police.
___Islamic Endowment Department in Jerusalem, said the American soldiers stormed the holy site in civilian uniform with the company of an Israeli officer.  MORE . . .

Holt, Blaine D.
“THE  GOLD  STANDARD:  U.S.–ISRAEL  MILITARY  RELATIONS.”
AMERICAN FOREIGN POLICY INTERESTS, vol. 36, no. 2, Mar/Apr2014, pp. 111-118. ‘‘The Gold Standard’’ may well be one of the most cliche´d and overused phrases used to communicate any field’s leading program or effort. However, in considering the military-to-military relationship between the United States and Israel, this trite descriptor may be more than appropriate. . . .
[. . . .] At present, the bilateral relationship in the military sphere is the envy of strategists and planners around the world. Joint and combined exercises, staff colleges and fellowships, interoperability training, and joint research and development are some of the jewels in the crown that suits both countries well. . . .   Today’s relationship boasts robust intelligence cooperation in addition to all the measures that yield two very capable, ready forces that have confidence in their ability to meet the bilateral challenges posed by leaders in Washington and Tel Aviv. And, while U.S.–Israeli bonds at the political level have ebbed and flowed, military-to-military relations have grown steadily, while remaining pragmatic and professional, over the last 50 years.
[. . . .] Irrespective of the level at which U.S. foreign aid settles as the political leadership in both countries engage in dialogue and debate domestically, the relationship between militaries forged over five decades is valuable. A way to safely shepherd this evolving and dynamic military alliance through any political, economic, or diplomatic climate is to deepen the roots of the existing programs while looking at innovative options to form new initiatives. In other words, rather than looking for ways to sustain the status quo, the timing is optimal to move the relationship to the next level . . . version 2.0.     SOURCE . . .  

ISRAELI  FORCES  SHOWER  PALESTINIAN  SCHOOL  WITH  TEAR  GAS,  SENDING  SEVERAL  STUDENTS  TO  HOSPITAL 
Ma’an News Agency
Feb. 8, 2018 ― Dozens of Palestinian school students in the southern occupied West Bank city of Hebron were exposed to high levels of tear gas on Thursday morning as Israeli forces showered their school with tear gas canisters.
___Several students were transferred to the Muhammad Ali al-Muhtaseb Hospital for treatment.   MORE . . .
.  .  .  .  .  ❷  ―  (ᴀ)  ISRAELI  FORCES  DETAIN  FATHER  OF  SLAIN  PALESTINIAN  TEEN  FROM  HALHUL,  CLASH  WITH  LOCALS
Ma’an News Agency
Feb. 8, 2018 ― Clashes erupted in the Hebron-area town of Halhul in the southern occupied West Bank district of Hebron on Wednesday during an Israeli raid into the town, just shortly after an Israeli security guard had shot and killed Halhul resident Hamzeh Youssif Zamaareh, 19.
[. . . .] After the alleged attack, Israeli forces raided Zamaareh’s family house and detained his father, Youssif.   MORE . . .
.  .  .  .  .  ❷―  (ᴃ)  TEEN  CRITICALLY  INJURED  IN  CLASHES  WITH  ISRAELI  SOLDIERS  NORTH  OF  JERUSALEM
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Feb. 8, 2018 ― Israeli soldiers Wednesday critically injured a 16-year-old Palestinian in Kafr ‘Aqab, north of Jerusalem, said medical sources.
___The Palestinian Red Crescent told WAFA the teen, who remains unidentified until the moment, was hit in the face, chest, and thigh areas during clashes that erupted with Israeli soldiers.     MORE . . .  
❸  PCHR:  IOF  CONTINUE  SYSTEMATIC  CRIMES  IN  THE  OPT
Palestine News Network – PNN
Feb. 7, 2018 ― The Gaza based Palestinian Center for Human Rights in its weekly report during the reporting period of (01 – 07 Feb. 2018) has recorded ongoing systematic crimes in the occupied Palestinian territories, which include:

  • Israeli forces continued to use excessive force in the oPt
  • Two Palestinian civilians were killed in peaceful protests that did not pose any threat to the Israeli soldiers’ life.
  • Israeli forces killed Ahmed Jarar in a crime of extra-judicial execution.
  • [. . . .] Israeli forces conducted 74 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and 7 into Jerusalem.    MORE . . . 

“HOLY  LANDERS,”  BY  LAHAB  ASSEF  AL-JUNDI
Listen!
You are fighting over a land that can fit,
with wilderness to spare,
in the Panhandle of Texas.

You are building walls to segregate,
splitting wholes till little is left,
killing and dying for pieces of sky
in the same window.

The olive trees are dying
of embarrassment.
They have enough fruits
and pits for all of you.
All they want is for you to stop
uprooting them.
Sending your children to die
in their names.

Listen!
Your land is no holier than my backyard.
None of you is any more chosen
than the homeless veteran panhandling
with a God Bless cardboard sign
at the light of Mecca
and San Pedro.
Draw a borderline around the place.
Call it home for all the living,
all the dead
all the tired exiles with its dust
gummed on their tongues.

There are no heroes left.

Lahab Assef Al-Jundi was born, and grew up, in Damascus, Syria. He attended The University of Texas in Austin, where he graduated with a degree in Electrical Engineering. Not long after graduation, he discovered his passion for writing. He published his first poetry collection, “A Long Way”, in 1985. His poetry has appeared in numerous literary publications,

“. . . Your land is no holier than my backyard . . .” (Lahab Assef Al-Jundi)

❶ Israeli forces demolish structures, notify to demolish homes in Silwan
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) A child [from Nabi Saleh village] with an IOF bullet in his skull
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴃ) Video: IOF shoot, injure four Palestinians in Hebron clashes

  • Background: “Boycotting Apartheid from South Africa to Palestine.” Peace Review

❷ PPS: since Trump announcement, Israeli forces have detained over 600 Palestinians
. . . . . ❷― (ᴀ) Video: Right-wing Israeli minister harasses Palestinians visiting imprisoned relatives
. . . . . ❷― (ᴃ) ICRC slams MK’s harassment of Palestinian prisoners’ families relatives
. . . . . ❷― (ᴄ) Abu Marzouk: Israelis should think it over before trying to ape Haza
❸ POETRY by Lahab Assef Al-Jundi
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ ISRAELI  FORCES  DEMOLISH  STRUCTURES,  NOTIFY  TO  DEMOLISH  HOMES  IN  SILWAN    
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA   
Dec. 26, 2017 ― Israeli forces Tuesday demolished two structures and notified to demolish a number of homes in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan, under the pretext of construction without a permit, according to WAFA correspondent.
___Israeli police accompanied by bulldozers broke into Silwan area in the early morning hours and demolished a structure and an animal shack, according to the Silwan-based Wadi Hilweh Information Center.  MORE . . .   
.  .  .  .  . ❶ ― (ᴀ) A  CHILD  [FROM  NABI  SALEH  VILLAGE]  WITH  AN  IOF  BULLET  IN  HIS  SKULL 
The Palestinian Information Center     
Dec. 25, 2017 ― On the 15th of December 2017, Mohammed climbed his house’s three-meter wall, to watch the movement of Israeli occupation forces (IOF), yet there was a soldier lying down, and watching his movement. The soldier shot the 15-year-old boy with a single bullet that penetrated his face. The boy fell from the top of the wall and hit the ground.     MORE . . . 
.  .  .  .  . ❶ ―  (ᴃ)  VIDEO:  IOF  SHOOT,  INJURE  FOUR  PALESTINIANS  IN  HEBRON  CLASHES    
Palestine News Network – PNN 
Dec. 26, 2017 ― Four Palestinians were shot and injured with live bullets and others suffocated on Tuesday during separate clashes with Israeli forces in the town of Sa’ir and nearby al-Arroub refugee camp, to the north of Hebron, according to local and security sources.
___Israeli forces raided al-Aroub refugee camp, spurring clashes with locals. Forces fired live bullets at residents, shooting and injuring three in the foot.  They were transferred to hospital for medical treatment. Their medical condition is still unknown, WAFA reported.
___Forces further attacked residents’ homes with tear gas canisters, causing many to suffocate as a result of teargas inhalation.    MORE . . . 

Di Stefano, Paul and Mostafa Henaway.
“BOYCOTTING  APARTHEID  FROM  SOUTH  AFRICA  TO  PALESTINE.”
PEACE REVIEW, vol. 26, no. 1, Jan-Mar2014, pp. 19-27.
[. . . .] There is little doubt that Israel’s international membership in numerous diplomatic and economic forums “provides both an unmerited veneer of respectability and material support for its crimes.” In fact, a key challenge of this facet of the BDS strategy is to keep international attention focused on Israeli human rights violations, so the Palestinian struggle is not subsumed under the veneer of normalization prevalent in international relations. Normalization is anathema to achieving rights and ending oppression because it allows Israelis to gain while Palestinians lose. Normalization accepts the humanity and dignity of Israelis while actively denying Palestinians their own. It obfuscates the Palestinian reality of oppression and colonialism and improperly casts the relationship between colonizers and colonized as symmetrical. BDS asserts the notion that oppression must end before peace can take place. Neve Gordon urges, “Outside pressure is the only answer. . . . Words and condemnations have not yielded results, not even a settlement freeze . . . nothing else has worked.” Noura Erakat notes that “the tripartite strategy is rooted in economic logic: Israel must comply with international law because non-compliance is too politically and economically costly to maintain . . . ” Therefore, the key to changing the conditions for Palestinians is to politically isolate Israel by calling for sanctions against it. In effect, these sanctions serve to buttress the varied boycotts by grassroots organizations that, in turn, threaten to alter the status quo. . . .    SOURCE . . . 

❷  PPS:  SINCE  TRUMP  ANNOUNCEMENT,  ISRAELI  FORCES  HAVE  DETAINED  OVER  600  PALESTINIANS
Ma’an News Agency  
Dec. 26, 2017 ― Israeli forces detained at least 24 Palestinians during pre dawn raids Tuesday across the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, according to Palestinian sources.
___The Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS) reported that as of Tuesday the number of Palestinians detained by Israeli forces since the US President’s declaration of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel three weeks ago, stands at 610 Palestinians, including 170 minors, 12 women and three injured detainees.     MORE . . . 
.  .  .  .  .  ❷―  (ᴀ)  VIDEO:  RIGHT-WING  ISRAELI  MINISTER  HARASSES  PALESTINIANS  VISITING  IMPRISONED  RELATIVES
Ma’an News Agency
Dec. 25, 2017 ― An ultra right-wing Israeli minister verbally harassed Palestinians from Gaza as they traveled on a bus to visit their imprisoned relatives in souther Israel’s Nafha prison, hurling abuse at women on the bus calling their sons “dogs.”
___MK Oren Hazan of the right-wing Likud party, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s party, intercepted and boarded a bus of Palestinian families traveling to Nafha prison on Monday.
___As he confronted the Palestinian families, he turned to the mother of an imprisoned Palestinian and asked, “Who did you come to visit? What did your son do?” to which she replied “He did not do anything.”
___Hazan responded to the mother by saying “Your son is a dog. He’s a dog. You come to visit the scum who are sitting here in prison, whom you see as your family members.”   MORE . . . 
.  .  .  .  .  ❷―  (ᴃ)  ICRC  SLAMS  MK’S  HARASSMENT  OF  PALESTINIAN  PRISONERS’  FAMILIES  RELATIVES  
The Palestinian Information Center
Dec. 25, 2017 ― The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) on Monday slammed an Israeli Knesset member for intercepting a bus of Palestinian families visiting their imprisoned sons in Israeli jails.
___ICRC spokeswoman Soheir Zaqout said that the Committee is following with concern what happened during the visit, stressing that the families of Palestinian prisoners have the right to visit their sons with dignity.   MORE . . . 
.  .  .  .  . ❷ ―  (ᴄ)  ABU  MARZOUK:  ISRAELIS  SHOULD  THINK  IT  OVER  BEFORE  TRYING  TO  APE  HAZAN
The Palestinian Information Center   
Dec. 25, 2017 ― Member of Hamas’s political bureau Mousa Abu Marzouk has said that Israeli leaders should think twice before trying to copy Knesset member Oren Hazan and bully families of Palestinian prisoners who seek to see their relatives in Israeli jails.
___“Hazan’s savage behavior reflected the fragility of this rogue entity whose leaders are looking for fake heroism,” Abu Marzouk said in Twitter remarks on Monday.  MORE . . . 

“HOLY  LANDERS,”  BY  LAHAB  ASSEF  AL-JUNDI

Listen!
You are fighting over a land that can fit,
with wilderness to spare,
in the Panhandle of Texas.

You are building walls to segregate,
splitting wholes till little is left,
killing and dying for pieces of sky
in the same window.

The olive trees are dying
of embarrassment.
They have enough fruits
and pits for all of you.
All they want is for you to stop
uprooting them.
Sending your children to die
in their names.

Listen!
Your land is no holier than my backyard.
None of you is any more chosen
the homeless veteran panhandling
with a God Bless cardboard sign
at the light of Mecca
and San Pedro.
Draw a borderline around the place.
Call it home for all the living,
all the dead
all the tired exiles with its dust
gummed on their tongues.

There are no heroes left.

Lahab Assef Al-Jundi was born, and grew up, in Damascus, Syria. Attended The University of Texas in Austin, where he graduated with a degree in Electrical Engineering. Not long after graduation, he discovered his passion for writing. He published his first poetry collection, “A Long Way”, in 1985. His poetry has appeared in numerous literary publications, and many Anthologies including: “In These Latitudes, Ten Contemporary Poets”, edited by Robert Bonazzi, “Inclined to Speak, An Anthology of Contemporary Arab American Poetry”, edited by Hayan Charara, and “Between Heaven and Texas”, edited by Naomi Shihab Nye.

 

 

“. . . My friends: The Nile will not pour into the Volga . . .” (Mahmoud Darwish)

❶ Istanbul summit rejects US decision over Jerusalem, considers it null
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Abbas: Palestinians will no longer accept US role in peace process

  • Background: “Israel and the Arab Gulf States: From Tacit Cooperation to Reconciliation?” Israel Affairs.

❷ Journalist, human rights activist injured as Palestinians continue anti-Trump protests
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) Child critically injured by soldiers remains in a coma, says group
❸ WHO Report: 45% of Gaza patients did not receive travel permits from Israel
. . . . . ❸ ― (ᴀ) Israeli authorities demolish house in 1948 occupied Palestine
❹ Opinion/Analysis: What next after Bin Salman has ordered Abbas to surrender to Israel?
❺ POETRY by Mahmoud Darwish
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
ISTANBUL  SUMMIT  REJECTS  US  DECISION  OVER  JERUSALEM,  CONSIDERS  IT  NULL  
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Dec. 13, 2017 ― The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Wednesday rejected and condemned the illegal and irresponsible unilateral decision made by the President of the United States of America Donald Trump to recognize Jerusalem as the capital Israel and move his country’s embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
___In the final communiqué issued by the Extraordinary Islamic Summit Conference, world leaders considered the US decision null and void and considered it an attack on the historical, legal, natural and national rights of the Palestinian people, as well as a deliberate undermining of all peace efforts, a prelude to extremism and terrorism, and a threat to international peace and security.
___They reaffirmed the centrality of the Cause of Palestine and Al-Quds Ash-Sharif to the Muslim nation and renewed principled support for the Palestinian people in their pursuit to attain their inalienable national rights, including their right to self-determination and the establishment of their independent and sovereign Palestinian State on the borders of 4 June 1967, with Jerusalem as its capital. (The official text of the final announcement follows).    MORE . . .
.  .  .  .  .  ❶  ―  (ᴀ)  ABBAS:  PALESTINIANS  WILL  NO  LONGER  ACCEPT  US  ROLE  IN  PEACE  PROCESS    
Palestine News Network – PNN    
Dec. 13, 2017 ― The Palestinian president on Wednesday said that the Palestinians will no longer accept any role for the United States in the Middle East peace process following President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
___Abbas, speaking at the The Istanbul gathering of heads of state and top officials from the 57-member Organization of Islamic Cooperation, had called Trump’s decision “a war crime” that threatened world peace, calling on the United Nations to take charge of the peace process and create a new mechanism, arguing that Washington is no longer “fit” for the task.
___The Palestinians are committed to a peaceful resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Abbas said, but after Trump’s seismic shift on Jerusalem, Washington is not accepted as a fair negotiator, the AP reported.   MORE . . .

(Note: this article is two years old and, of course, is not exactly germane to recent developments. However, it is a detailed background history of the relationship among Israel, the Gulf States, and the United States that is useful today.)

Guzansky, Yoel.
“ISRAEL  AND  THE  ARAB  GULF  STATES:  FROM  TACIT  COOPERATION  TO  RECONCILIATION?”
ISRAEL AFFAIRS, vol. 21, no. 1, Jan. 2015, pp. 131-147.  [. . . .] Some senior officials even dared to hint publicly that such cooperation could in fact take place and that both countries’ interests have become surprisingly overlapping. In a speech focusing on the Iranian nuclear issue at the opening session of the Israeli parliament in October 2013, Prime Minister Netanyahu said: “For the first time since the establishment of the State of Israel, a growing understanding is taking root in the Arab world, and it is not always said softly. This understanding, that Israel is not the enemy of Arabs and that we have a united front on many issues, might advance new possibilities in our region.”
___No Gulf official publicly admitted to having such a united front with the Jewish state, but a Saudi prince and an influential businessman, Alwaleed bin Talal, admitted in an interview with the Wall Street Journal that, ‘For the first time, Saudi Arabian and Israeli interests are almost parallel’. Another report on an Iranian news agency claimed that the Saudi intelligence chief Bandar bin Sultan met with high-ranking Israeli officials in Geneva to discuss ways to promote mutual interests such as ‘containing Iran, and side-lining the Muslim Brotherhood’.
[. . . .] The basic approach of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Oman towards Israel is in constant need of balancing between the concern for their status and position in the Arab world, their hostile public opinions towards Israel and fundamental religious establishments and their strategic needs; and more recently between the need to show support to the Palestinians but to maintain tacit relationship with Israel vis-a`-vis their main rival, Iran.
[. . . .] However, the region’s evolving geopolitical landscape and Washington’s Middle East policy can provide a strategic opportunity to Israeli–GCC relations. Multiple factors like the tense relations with new regimes, skepticism from old ones, increased multilateral action, little effort put thus far into the peace process, withdrawal from Iraq and, soon, Afghanistan, the increasing likelihood of US independence from Middle Eastern oil, and public statements regarding a shift toward Asia suggest that America’s influence and interest in the region is diminishing. To some, it is evident that the Middle East is no longer at the top of US priority list. Iran’s continuous progress toward a nuclear weapon, the erosion of US influence in Iraq, the difficulty in influencing events in Syria, the Arab monarchies’ doubts concerning the reliability of the US, questions regarding the future of US relations with Egypt, and even the cooling of relations with Israel have indicated to some that the US is increasingly hard pressed to advance its policy in the region. To others, these are signs of a superpower in retreat.  [. . . .] SOURCE . . .    ..

❷ JOURNALIST,  HUMAN  RIGHTS  ACTIVIST  INJURED  AS  PALESTINIANS  CONTINUE  ANTI-TRUMP  PROTESTS
Ma’an News Agency
Dec. 13, 2017 ― Clashes between Palestinians and Israeli forces were renewed on Wednesday in several districts across the occupied West Bank as Palestinians continued to protest in rejection of the US President’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
___Clashes erupted between Palestinian youth and Israeli soldiers in several areas across the Hebron district in the southern West Bank.
___In Hebron city, Halhul, and Dura, clashes broke out after Israeli forces suppressed marches in the area.
[. . . .] Locals told Ma’an that Israeli soldiers targeted journalists with stun grenades, injuring photojournalist Abd al-Hafith al-Hashlamon in the foot. His injury was reported as moderate.   MORE . . .
.  .  .  .  .  ❷  ―  (ᴀ)  CHILD  CRITICALLY  INJURED  BY  SOLDIERS  REMAINS  IN  A  COMA,  SAYS  GROUP 
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Dec. 13, 2017 ― Hamid Masri, 14, who was shot and critically injured by Israeli soldiers on Tuesday after they suspected him of trying to attack them is in a coma at an Israeli hospital, the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society said on Wednesday.
___Soldiers opened fire at Masri near the West Bank city of Salfit and seriously wounded him.    MORE . . . 
❸ WHO  REPORT:  45%  OF  GAZA  PATIENTS  DID  NOT  RECEIVE  TRAVEL  PERMITS  FROM  ISRAEL  
Palestine News Network – PNN 
Dec. 13, 2017 ― The most recent report by the World Health Organizations (WHO) states that more than 45% of patients unsuccessful in obtaining security permits from Israeli authorities: Of 2,017 patient applications for a permit to exit Gaza through Erez checkpoint for hospital appointments in October 2017, 55% were approved; 2% were denied including three children and two elderly patients; and 43% were pending and lost their hospital appointments including 164 children and 82 elderly.   MORE . . .
.  .  .  .  .  ❸  ―  (ᴀ)  ISRAELI  AUTHORITIES  DEMOLISH  HOUSE  IN  1948  OCCUPIED  PALESTINE
The Palestinian Information Center
Dec. 13, 2017 ― Israeli bulldozers on Wednesday demolished a Palestinian house in Zemer town in the northern 1948 occupied Palestine.
___Palestinian sources reported that the Israeli bulldozers, accompanied by a military force, broke into Zemer town and demolished a house under construction on a privately owned Palestinian land without prior notice for allegedly lacking the necessary legal licenses.
___Tension prevailed following the demolition operation as Zemer residents rallied to express their rejection of the Israeli practices aimed at uprooting them from their lands.   MORE . . .  
❹ Opinion/Analysis:  WHAT  NEXT  AFTER  BIN  SALMAN  HAS  ORDERED  ABBAS  TO  SURRENDER  TO  ISRAEL?  
The Middle East Monitor – MEMO
Dec. 13, 2017 ― Saudi Arabia and Israel represent a twin threat to the Arab world. Both states have long received the military and political backing of the world’s sole remaining superpower, the United States of America; the regimes of both states abuse human rights, have committed war crimes and discriminate against their own citizens. Both, however, are considered by American elites to be useful for the project of retaining US hegemony in the Middle East, albeit in different ways.
___Support for Israel is also considered to be a religious duty by the powerful sector of US politicians and voters hailing from the fundamentalist evangelical right. This tendency considers Christian Zionism to be a top priority – if not the number one priority – in US foreign policy.
___US support for the Saudi dictatorship is less religious in nature; it’s more about ensuring access for US companies to the region’s vast oil wealth.   MORE . . .

“ON  HOPE,”  BY  MAHMOUD  DARWISH
Do not tell me:
I wish to be a baker in Algeria
In order to sing with the revolutionaries
Do not tell me:
I wish to be a shepherd in the Yemen
To sing for the uprising of the age
Do not tell me:
I wish to be a waiter in Havana
To sing for the victory of the poor
Do not tell me:
I wish to be a stone carrier in Aswan
To sing for the rocks
My friends:
The Nile will not pour into the Volga
The Congo and Jordan Rivers
Will not serve the Euphrates
Each river has its own
Our land is not barren
Each land has its own rebirth
Each dawn has a date with revolution.

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 Amazon.
About Mahmoud Darwish.