“. . . I shall carve my sighs . . . on the tombs of my dead . . .” (Tawfiq Zayyad)

The condition of Hind Shahin, a breast cancer patient, has been deteriorating ever since she was denied exit from Gaza for treatment (Photo: Feb. 5, 2017, Mersiha Gadzo/Al Jazeera)

❶ NGO mourns 2 Palestinians after Israel denied them exit from Gaza for treatment
❷ Executing Palestinians is Israeli policy

  • “Lack of Security for Palestinians.” Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture.  
  • “Calls for Extrajudicial Killings of Palestinian Suspects Proliferate.” Human Rights Watch.   
  • “From Colonization to Separation: Exploring the Structure of Israel’s Occupation.” Third World Quarterly.

❹ POETRY by Tawfiq Zayyad
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Ma’an News Agency 
May 11, 2017
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Health non-profit Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP) mourned on Wednesday the recent deaths of two Palestinians from the Gaza Strip, including a five-year-old girl, after Israeli authorities denied them permission to leave the besieged territory for treatment. . . .    [The NGO] reported in April the death of five-year-old Aya Khalil Abu Mitalq, who passed away waiting for Israeli authorities to grant her a travel permit to a hospital in occupied East Jerusalem to treat a metabolic disorder. . . .
___Earlier this month, [the NGO] also reported the death of 59-year-old Walid Muhammad Muhammad Qaaoud . . .  on May 2 after cancer metastasized all over his body, following more than a year of Israeli authorities rejecting his requests for a travel permit to receive life-saving treatment in a hospital in East Jerusalem.
[. . . .] ___MAP quoted the World Health Organization . . .  that Israeli authorities had denied or delayed 40 percent of requests to leave Gaza for medical reasons in February, in a stark increase from 2012, when the rejection rate was 8 percent.      MORE . . .   
The Electronic Intifada      
Maureen Clare Murphy
May 10, 2017
By now, no one can deny that extrajudicially executing Palestinians who pose no immediate lethal threat is Israeli policy.
___Not the 100 US Senators who signed a shameful letter decrying efforts to hold Israel accountable for its rights abuses at the United Nations, parroting Israeli talking points claiming that the state is being unfairly singled out. . . .
___Nor Israel lobby groups in the US, which are fretting that the latest Israeli move to codify state discrimination against indigenous Palestinian citizens will make it harder to sell Israel as a liberal democracy. . . .
___There is no denying this policy of execution – long obvious to Palestinians and human rights observers, and admitted to by a settler security chief in an Israeli court – after police were shown on video demonstrating how to confirm a kill to a crowd of fifth-graders in the city of Ramat HaSharon . . .       MORE . . . .  

Mourners carry the body of 17-year-old Qusay al-Umour out of the Beit Jala hospital on Jan. 17, 2017. (MaanImages/Yumna Patel)


    Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture, vol. 21, no. 2, Nov. 2015, pp. 28-35.
    Palestinians who were accused of attacking Israelis were shot directly, either by Israeli military forces or by settlers who may have just felt insecure or threatened with or without reason. Most of the martyrs would not be liable for a death sentence in a state of law. The homes of these Palestinian martyrs are being demolished in violation of international law, and their families are threatened with loss of residency. While raids on Palestinian homes and schools continue, the theft of Palestinian land and spree of barbaric extrajudicial killings are all being buoyed by the cheers of the masses, media incitement and the encouragement of the Israeli government and the Zionist far-right extremists.
    ____Israelis have a government and weapons. They are protected by an army that stands behind them. Recently the Israeli government set up metal detectors at the entrances of the Old City of Jerusalem so that Palestinians aren’t allowed to go through with any metal objects, while Israeli settlers pass through with their guns!! The Israelis are asked to keep their weapons with them at all times!!! Could you think for yourself what do Palestinians have, who is there to protect them or care about their lost livelihoods. They are paralyzed and fed up with injustice, racism, the denial of rights practiced by the Israeli government and the ignorance of the Palestinian Authority. The Palestinians are the only people on this earth who are asked to guarantee the security of their occupier, while Israel is the only country that calls for defense from its victims. Are you still wondering why this is happening? Palestinians chose to resist and express their anger in their own way.      MORE . . .
    January 2, 2017
    Some senior Israeli officials have been encouraging Israeli soldiers and police to kill Palestinians they suspect of attacking Israelis even when they are no longer a threat, Human Rights Watch said today in an analysis of those statements. Other Israeli officials have failed to repudiate the calls for excessive use of force.    ___Human Rights Watch has documented numerous statements since October 2015, by senior Israeli politicians, including the police minister and defense minister, calling on police and soldiers to shoot to kill suspected attackers, irrespective of whether lethal force is actually strictly necessary to protect life.
    ___“It’s not just about potentially rogue soldiers, but also about senior Israeli officials who publicly tell security forces to unlawfully shoot to kill,” said Sari Bashi, Israel advocacy director at Human Rights Watch.    MORE . . .
    Third World Quarterly, Vol. 29, No. 1, 2008, pp 25 – 44.
    In the second intifada, the suspension of the law became the norm. One example of this suspension is Israel’s pervasive employment of extrajudicial executions. The fact that not one Israeli soldier has been tried for these killings and that they are part of an overt policy suggests that some of the occupied inhabitants have been reduced to what the Italian political philosopher Giorgio Agamben has called homo sacer, people who can be killed without it being considered a crime.
    ___Another example of how the law has been suspended involves the massive destruction of Palestinian homes. . . .     MORE . . . 

Because I do not weave wool,
And daily am in danger of detention,
And my house is the object of police visits
To search and “to cleanse,”
Because I cannot buy paper,
I shall carve the record of my sufferings,
And all my secrets
On an olive tree
In the courtyard
Of my house.

I shall carve my story and the chapters of my tragedy,
I shall carve my sighs
On my grove and on the tombs of my dead;
I shall carve
All the bitterness I have tasted,
To be blotted out by some of the happiness to come.

I shall carve the number of each deed
Of our usurped land
The location of my village and its boundaries.
The demolished houses of its peoples,
My uprooted trees,
And each crushed wild blossom.
And the names of those master torturers
Who rattled my nerves and caused my misery.
The names of all the prisons,
And every type of handcuff
That closed around my wrists,
The files of my jailers,
Every curse
Poured upon my head.
I shall carve:
Kafr Qasim, I shall not forget!
And I shall carve:
Deir Yassin, it’s rooted in my memory.
I shall carve:
We have reached the peak of our tragedy.
It has absorbed us and we have absorbed it,
But we have finally reached it.

I shall carve all that the sun tells me,
And what the moon whispers,
And what the skylark relates,
Near the well
Forsaken by lovers.

And to remember it all,
I shall continue to carve
All the chapters of my tragedy,
And all the stages of the disaster,
From beginning
To end,
On the olive tree
In the courtyard
Of the house.

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.
About Tawfiq Zayyad.

“. . . In the framework of international law . . . Palestinians are virtually nowhere . . .” (Laurie King-Irani)

Jan, 15, 2014. A sports uniform is accused of “fomenting terrorism” and inspiring “violence and hatred”. The team is a Chilean soccer club called CLUB DEPORTIVO PALESTINO, and their offense was incorporating an image of historic Palestine on their jerseys. (Photo: Portside.org)

❶ . Chile-based court files war crimes lawsuit against Israeli Supreme Court justices
❷ . Human Rights Watch: Arabs face imminent displacement in Israel
❸ . IOF closes main road in Ramallah

  • Background: “Exiled To A Liminal Legal Zone: Are We All Palestinians Now?” Third World Quarterly

` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Ma’an News Agency     
Nov. 29, 2016
A Santiago-based court in Chile on Monday filed a war crimes lawsuit against three Israeli Supreme Court justices for approving the construction of the Israeli separation wall, declared illegal by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in 2004.
___According to Israeli newspaper Haaretz, the lawsuit was filed by six Palestinian landowners in Beit Jala in the occupied West Bank district of Bethlehem and alleged war crimes, including crimes against humanity, against former chief Justice Asher Grunis, and Justices Neal Hendel and Uzi Vogelman.
___The claimants reportedly own the land that is expected to be cut off from their village by the separation wall, while five of the plaintiffs are Chilean nationals, Haaretz reported.
___Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians migrated to Chile over the last century, resulting in a large Palestinian diaspora community in the South American country, while many Palestinians with Chilean nationality also reside in the West Bank, particularly in Beit Jala.      More . . .

Days of Palestine
Nov. 30, 2016
More than 80,000 Palestinians in Negev are currently under Israeli threat of displacement Israeli occupation authorities should revoke plans to forcibly displace Arab residents from the Negev village of Umm al-Hiran, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said.
___The American human rights group said that the Israeli occupation is planning to force the Arabs, the indigenous Palestinian resident who remained home after the Israeli occupation of Palestine, in the village to build a new Jewish community in its place.     ___According to a statement by HRW, the Israeli Execution and Collection Authority on November 20, 2016, approved a request by the Israeli Land Authority to forcibly demolish two homes and approximately eight surrounding structures at the entrance of Umm al-Hiran.
[. . . .] Adalah, a nongovernmental legal centre that advocates for Arab minority rights in Israel and represents Umm al-Hiran residents, fears that the evictions will take place before the November 30 deadline.
___In a statement to Human Rights Watch, the lead Adalah attorney on the case, Suhad Bishara, said they would continue to “seek all available legal channels” to halt the displacement and support the “existential, moral and legitimate right” of the villagers to “continue living on their land.”
___In conditions similar to those in Umm al-Hiran, about 80,000 Arabs live under constant threat of home demolitions in 35 villages that Israel does not recognise in the Negev.     More . . .    Related . . .    ETHNIC  CLEANSING:  NEGEV  IS  A  BATTLEFIELD  FOR  A  VERY  FIERCE  STRUGGLE    Palestine Chronicle    Nov 29 2016

May 06, 2015. Court rules that Umm al-Hiran in the northern Negev is built on state land, paving way for construction of Jewish community of Hiran. (Photo: Ha’aretz)

Alray-Palestinian Media Agency 
Nov. 30, 2016
Israeli occupation forces (IOF) closed on Wednesday morning the main road between Silwad town and Ain Yabrod village east of Ramallah city in the center of the West Bank with cement cubes.
___Local sources said that the IOF closed the bridge connecting Ain Yabrod village with Silwad town and forced Palestinian citizens to take other long alternative roads. More . . .

(Note: While the article below is 10 years old and some of the legal issues it discusses have been decided, it is still an insightful and compelling study of the Palestinian Diaspora. I have included a much longer quotation than I usually do. Unfortunately the article is available online only through EBSCO databases or Research Gate.)   

  • King-Irani, Laurie. “Exiled To A Liminal Legal Zone: Are We All Palestinians Now?” Third World Quarterly 27.5 (2006): 923-936.   SOURCE. 

As a diaspora of over nine million people, Palestinians are everywhere: second-class citizens of Israel, stateless residents of fragmented and walled-in Bantustans in the occupied West Bank, refugees residing inside and outside of camps in Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan; and immigrants, students, professionals and nationalised citizens in virtually every country in the world. Palestinians dwell in the ‘First’ as well as the ‘Third’ worlds, economically speaking. Among the far-flung Palestinian diaspora are some of the poorest as well as some of the wealthiest people in the world. In the framework of international law, however, Palestinians are virtually nowhere. As stateless persons they occupy a liminal and interstitial space in the international legal and political order, an order that (contemporary discourses of cosmopolitanism, globalisation and emergent transnational organisations aside) remains founded upon and grounded in the interests of sovereign nation-states rather than in the claims of sub- or transnational actors, whether individuals or groups.
___Palestinians reaped few if any benefits from the late 20th century florescence of international humanitarian law (IHL), an era that witnessed a serious international focus on human rights and ‘policing the past’, as well as the establishment of the first ad hoc international criminal tribunals in half a century to address massive human rights violations (including genocide) in Africa and Europe. The defining event of the 1990s for Palestinians was the signing of the Oslo Accords and the now-famous handshake  between PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat and the late Israeli Prime Minster Yitzhak Rabin in 1993.
___Oslo, however, was not founded on international law or treaties but, rather, constituted a negotiated agreement between unequal partners. It was an agreement that side-stepped the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, UN General Assembly Resolution 194 (concerning the rights of Palestinian refugees), UN Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338 (censuring Israel’s acquisition of territory by force), the Fourth Geneva Convention’s limitations on the actions of an occupying power, and a bevy of annual reports, issued by such bodies as the UN Human Rights Commission, the International Jurists Commission, and the International Committee of the Red Cross, emphasising Israel’s duty to uphold IHL and to abide by all of international treaties it has signed.
___The Oslo Accords (the Declaration of Principles— DOP) did not represent a legally binding, international document, but a slippery ‘deal’ or ‘understanding’ brokered by the USA, a superpower actor with a long record of supporting Israel regardless of its failure to comply with international humanitarian norms. Rather than being empowering, conciliatory, or liberating the Palestinians from a chronic state of legal and political liminality, the Oslo process ultimately proved to be a coercive set of mechanisms that further entrenched Israeli control over Palestinian land. It also set precedents for a dangerous attenuation of IHL’s relevance to the overall Israeli – Palestinian conflict.
___Following the Al-Qaida attacks on New York City and Washington, DC on 11 September 2001, IHL’s growing focus on the needs of individual victims was eclipsed once again by the interests of sovereign states, or, as Hajjar terms them, hyper-sovereign states.10 The USA and its ally, Israel, are the chief embodiments of hyper-sovereignty, a political and military stance characterised by pre-emptive policies, a distaste for multilateral legal frameworks to counter emerging extra-state threats, and a pronounced reliance on overwhelming unilateral force that often violates IHL, international human rights law (IHRL) and UN resolutions, while rendering international diplomacy beside the point. The travails of the Palestinian people since 1948 offer a disturbing, though highly instructive, reverse-image view of the contours and limitations—as well as the possibilities—of an international legal order. The ongoing Palestinian tragedy also illuminates serious contradictions in prevailing discourses of human and civil rights, exposing ambiguities in prevailing legal definitions of, and guarantees for, human beings.
[. . . .]



“. . . The truth in your heart is stronger, As long as you resist . . .” (Dareen Tatour)

The P48 endeavour came at a difficult time, marked by high tensions and a fracture between the Palestinian Authority and Hamas (Photo after first shutdown in 2015: Zeidan Mahmoud/Al Jazeera)

❶ Israeli occupation shuts down Arab 48 TV
. . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Dozens protest for release of Palestinian poet under house arrest

  • From Washington Report On Middle East Affairs

❷ UN experts urge Israeli Knesset not to adopt pending legislation that could target critical NGOs

  • From Space & Polity

❹ POETRY by Dareen Tatour
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Days of Palestine
Jun 25, 2016
Israeli Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan decided on Thursday to ban for six month Arab 48 TV which operates in Israel [in Nazareth].
___Erdan decided to shut down the TV channel, which changed its name after a previous ban, over claims that the TV undermines Israeli sovereignty.   [See Article 19.2 of the ICPPR]
___In July 2015, the minister ordered the Palestine 48 channel to stop operating for six months, arguing the television station was not authorised for broadcasting in Israel. The station subsequently changed its name to Musawa Channel.     MORE . . . 

From: Washington Report On Middle East Affairs 
Of course, Israeli censorship has long been a part of Palestinian reality. One recalls Prime Minister Golda Meir’s 1971 edict erasing Palestine and the Green Line from all maps produced in Israel, or Israeli occupation forces ordering the removal of Palestinian political symbols–flags, posters and more. Israeli authorities censored coverage of the first and second Palestinians intifadas, meticulously reviewing Arabic publications for “security”-related material, and enforced its ban on critical reporting with arrests, beatings and the confiscation of press cards. According to Reporters Without Borders, Israeli soldiers have shot at least nine Palestinian journalists, including reporters for the Associated Press, Agence France Presse (AFP) and Al Ayyam newspaper.
___According to HRW, blame for the wholesale destruction of freedom of the press and of expression in Palestine originates with political protection and funding by the United States and the European Union of Israeli and Palestinian security forces. This bias, moreover, ensures that the abuses continue. In its report, HRW calls upon the enabling nations to cease providing aid to all agencies, regardless of affiliation, implicated in serious violations of human rights and to publicly criticize abuses committed by West Bank and Gaza security forces.
___Without such intercession by the international community, Israel, Hamas and Fatah will continue restricting freedom of expression, abusing journalists, closing media offices, confiscating equipment, preventing the distribution of newspapers, and assaulting journalists during demonstrations–all of which serve to prevent information from reaching those directly affected, it also renders the entire world ignorant of facts–facts which in time will lead to a peaceful resolution of the longest running conflict in the Middle East.  Omer, Mohammed. “Casualty Of War: Censuring Truth In Palestine.” Washington Report On Middle East Affairs 27.8 (2008): 19-41.    SOURCE.

+972 Blog
By Yael Marom
June 26, 2016
Dozens of Palestinians and Israelis demonstrated at Jaffa’s Clock Tower Square on Saturday evening to call for the release of Palestinian poet, Dareen Tatour, who has been held under house arrest for the past five months.___ Tatour, 33, from the Arab village Al-Reineh near Nazereth, was arrested by Israeli police on October 10, 2015 because of a poem she had posted to Facebook. . . .  She was charged with incitement to violence and identifying with a terrorist organization — all because of her poem.     MORE . . .       SEE ALSO . . .   

From: Space & Polity
This politics of trauma underscores the significance of aesthetics in the Palestinian/Israeli conflict. . . .  this paper understands aesthetics not as the philosophy of art or beauty, but as “a relation between what people do, what they see, what they hear and what they know” . . . . this paper examines the role of beauty in disrupting the discourse of trauma that dominates humanitarian aid projects targeting Palestinian children . . .  In so doing, this research takes aesthetics beyond its traditional focus on visual arts and representation, and towards the role of aesthetics in reproducing everyday life.
[. . . .]
In thinking about affective political communities, J. Thompson suggests that the ‘affect of beauty’ provides an attractive alternative to the ‘aesthetics of injury’. While pain, he argues, “reduces the person to the boundary of her or his body,” beauty, in contrast, opens the body to an “intimate politics of sharing,” as the sensual generosity of beauty provokes an “affective impulse towards engagement with others.” This urge to share beauty with others serves as a modest “universal claim to some form of good.” . . .  Since beauty inspires an engagement with others in defining what is good, which in many contexts will involve a “comparison with circumstances that are experienced as unjust,” beauty is not a distraction from injustice but “can be part of its critique.” For this reason, beauty takes on added significance in situations of violence. More than a mere coping mechanism, beauty contrasts with and draws attention to injustice, pointing towards other more hopeful futures. . . . Marshall, David Jones. “‘All The Beautiful Things’: Trauma, Aesthetics And The Politics Of Palestinian Childhood.” Space & Polity 17.1 (2013): 53-73.    SOURCE.

United Nations Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights
Press Release
June 25, 2016
Three United Nations human rights experts today urged Israeli lawmakers not to approve the so called ‘NGO transparency bill’ that would, in effect, target non-governmental organizations that are critical of government policy. The experts expressed grave concern that the legislation would chill the speech of human rights NGOs by subjecting them to harsh penalties for violations and delegitimizing them publicly.
[. . . .]
___“The promotion of transparency is indeed desirable and legitimate,” said the UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of expression, David Kaye. “However, the pending legislation has the evident intent of targeting human rights and civil rights organization . . .”
___ The UN human rights experts urged members of the Knesset to withdraw the proposed legislation and uphold its international obligation to safeguard the broad and expansive right to freedom of expression guaranteed to everyone under Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.     MORE . . .

Dareen Tatour in Nazareth District Court on May 8, 2016. (Photo: Haaretz/Rami Shllush)

The Palestine-Israel Journal Politics, Economics, and Culture
By Ziad Khalil AbuZayyad
The greatest challenge that Palestinians face while trying to use social media as a tool for freedom of expression is the change in Israeli policy toward those who dare to express themselves on Facebook or Twitter. Recently Facebook posts have been used as grounds for possible imprisonment when used to express political opinions. Israel has sent dozens of Palestinians to jail for several months, asserting that they expressed extreme points of view on Facebook. Internationally, the discourse has always been that freedom of expression should be maintained on the Internet and that regulations should not allow digital expression to be used as a pretext to hunt down political activists.
[. . . .]
Palestinian activists clearly need to be given support and training that will help them face the political challenges presented by the censure of digital expression. Since we are talking about a conflict, the international Internet community must understand that it is dangerous to allow Israeli policies to prevent Palestinians from expressing their opinions freely and to sentence them to prison simply because they expressed their opinions in the digital world.      MORE . . .    


Resist, My People, Resist Them
Resist, my people, resist them.
In Jerusalem, I dressed my wounds and breathed my sorrows
And carried the soul in my palm
For an Arab Palestine.
I will not succumb to the “peaceful solution,”
Never lower my flags
Until I evict them from my land.
I cast them aside for a coming time.
Resist, my people, resist them.
Resist the settler’s robbery
And follow the caravan of martyrs.
Shred the disgraceful constitution
Which imposed degradation and humiliation
And deterred us from restoring justice.
They burned blameless children;
As for Hadil, they sniped her in public,
Killed her in broad daylight.
Resist, my people, resist them.
Resist the colonialist’s onslaught.
Pay no mind to his agents among us
Who chain us with the peaceful illusion.
Do not fear doubtful tongues;
The truth in your heart is stronger,
As long as you resist in a land
That has lived through raids and victory
So Ali called from his grave:
Resist, my rebellious people.
Write me as prose on the agarwood;
My remains have you as a response.
Resist, my people, resist them.
Resist, my people, resist them.

You can follow her case on Facebook


“. . . I have not seen a dragon in the land . . .” (Mourid Barghouti)

Birzeit University Cast of "The House of Bernarda Alba,” a play written by Spanish Dramatist Federico Garcia Lorca and directed by Fathi Abdul Rahman. (Photo: Birzeit.edu)
Birzeit University Cast of “The House of Bernarda Alba,” a play written by Spanish Dramatist Federico Garcia Lorca and directed by Fathi Abdul Rahman. (Photo: Birzeit.edu)

❶ Birzeit University Theatre Wins Five Theatre Festival Awards
❷ Netanyahu: Israeli army to continue incursions in Area A
❸ Israeli Soldiers Beat up Palestinian near Nablus
❹ HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH report slams ‘discriminatory’ Israeli closure of Palestinian quarries
❻ POETRY by Mourid Barghouti
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
April 21, 2016
Birzeit University’s Theatre Group, Mawasem Masrahyeh, have won five awards for their performance in “The House of Bernarda Alba” play in the 12th Philadelphia Arab Universities Theater Festival, held in Philadelphia University- Amman, Jordan.
___Produced by the Deanship of Students Affairs at Birzeit University and directed by Fathi Abdel Rahman, the play “The House of Bernarda Alba”, was inspired by the work of the Spanish writer and poet Federico Garcia Lorca, which displayed the plight of women in their societies.      MORE . . . 

Ma’an News Agency
April 21, 2016
In spite of recent talks with Palestinian officials, Israeli armed forces will continue to intervene in parts of the occupied West Bank under full Palestinian Authority (PA) control, high-ranking Israeli officials said on Wednesday.
___During a meeting of the Israeli security cabinet, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon, and Israeli army Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot “made it clear that the IDF (Israeli army) maintains the possibility of entering Area A, and anywhere necessary, according to operational needs,” a statement read.      MORE . . .  

Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
April 21, 2016
Israeli soldiers last night assaulted and beat up a Palestinian youth . . . .  Ahmad Bassam Mohammad, 21 years old from the village of Asira al-Qibilia in Nablus district, while he was attempting to enter Israel for work. [He] was transferred to Rafidia public hospital in Nablus for medical treatment [. . . .]
___According to Israeli human rights group B’Tselem, “Most cases involve a “small dose” of ill-treatment . . .  or degrading treatment. These acts have become an integral part of Palestinian life in the Occupied Territories. From time to time, however, cases of severe brutality occur,” the group has remarked.       MORE . . . 

A quarry in the southern West Bank town of Beit Fajjar stands empty on April 5, 2016, after Israeli forces shut it down. (Photo: Human Rights Watch)
A quarry in the southern West Bank town of Beit Fajjar stands empty on April 5, 2016, after Israeli forces shut it down. (Photo: Human Rights Watch)

Ma’an News Agency
April 21, 2016
Israeli authorities’ closure of 35 Palestinian quarries in the occupied West Bank since March is threatening the livelihoods of 3,500 workers and may constitute “collective punishment,” a HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH REPORT revealed on Thursday.
___The Civil Administration, a subsection of the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) . . .  closed down the quarries in late March and confiscated millions of dollars’ worth of equipment, a move which HRW said highlighted “the discriminatory nature of Israeli rules for Palestinian quarries.”      MORE . . .

+972 Blog
Shemuel Meir
April 21, 2016
What led Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to wake up one fine day and declare, during a highly publicized but insignificant reserve duty exercise in the Golan Heights (and without the army Chief of Staff present, as is customary) that “we struck Syria dozens of times” . . . . __Despite the military terminology and context of Netanyahu’s performance in the Golan, the answer to this riddle can be found on the diplomatic front [. . . .]
___ It appears Netanyahu was trying to take advantage of the civil war and disintegration of Syria in order to gain international recognition for redefining Israel’s borders.      MORE . . .


I have not seen any horrors,
I have not seen a dragon in the land,
I have not seen the Kraken* in the sea,
nor a witch or a policeman
at the outset of my day.
Pirates have not overtaken mu desires,
thieves have not broken down the door of my life,
my absence has not been long,
it only took me one lifetime.

How come you saw scars
on my face, sorrow in my eyes,
and bruises in my bones and in my heart?
These are only illusions.
I have not seen any horrors,
everything was extremely normal.
Don’t worry,
your son is still in his grave, murdered,
and he’s fine.

*a legendary sea monster of large proportions

Interview with Mourid Barghouti  
From Barghouti, Mourid. MIDNIGHT  AND  OTHER  POEMS. Trans. Radwa Ashour. Todmorden, UK: Arc Publications, 2008.  Available from Amazon.