“. . . These times are not such as they imagine . . .” (Mahmoud Darwish)

❶ Israel to displace 23 Bedouin families east of J’lem
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Israel completes building Apartheid Wall in Al-Khalil

  • Background: . “Jerusalem: A Shattered City of Peace.” Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture.

❷ Israeli forces detain Jerusalemite lawmaker, 2 months after release from prison
❸ Opinion/Analysis: Demographic hysteria leaves Jerusalemites by the wayside
❹ POETRY by Mahmoud Darwish
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The Palestinian Information Center  
Aug. 4, 2017.   The Israeli occupation army has threatened to demolish the homes of 23 Palestinian families in the Bedouin al-Fahidat neighborhood, east of Anata town in Occupied Jerusalem, within a few days.
___According to a local resident, the Israeli army’s civil administration notified the families of its intention to raze all their homes and structures, and gave them three days to evacuate their area, which it said would be used for military purposes.
___The families, half of them children, were deliberately given until Saturday to object to the demolition notice so as to prevent them from finding a sufficient time to prepare and file a complaint, especially during the weekend when official institutions are closed.  MORE . . .
Days of Palestine
August 3. 2017.   Israeli occupation completed building of 26-mile part of its Apartheid Wall in South Hills of West Bank city of Al-Khalil, Israeli media reported on Wednesday.
___The 20-feet high concrete wall with barbed wires and cameras was erected between the Tarquimiya crossing and the illegal Israeli settlement of Meitar.
___In 2004, the International Court of Justice ruled that this Apartheid Wall is illegal because it is built on the basis racial discrimination.     MORE . . .

AbuZayyad, Nisreen. “JERUSALEM: A SHATTERED CITY OF PEACE.” Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture, vol. 21, no. 4, Mar. 2016, pp. 38-44.    [. . . .] . . . Yet, Jerusalem is not a city one can escape from, especially not the Palestinians. Jerusalem is where their heart and soul is, and not only because of its religious sites – is it where their national identity rose.
___Most of the time, the urge to escape this city is caused by feelings of frustration and by not being able to deal emotionally with what this city has become. The current reality is a daily nightmare to those who were born in Jerusalem and consider it their home. Every day Palestinians are witnessing a part of their soul being shattered and stolen by the Israeli occupation of East Jerusalem, as what they identify with as their home and identity is being stolen and claimed by the Israelis. This daily uprooting is being covered over and washed away with the burdens of survival, in areas such as housing, employment and residency IDs. Some Palestinians in the city are so consumed with their daily burdens that they are incapable of noticing this daily uprooting. They adapt and adjust themselves to new circumstances imposed by the occupation.
___In East Jerusalem, which has been under continuous attack since its occupation in 1967, Israeli governments have used every legislation and policy to deprive the Palestinians of their natural growth, development or livelihood, making their lives so difficult, miserable and inhuman, to force them to leave. Thus, it is not a coincidence that Palestinians in East Jerusalem are burdened with social and economic problems, which many of us view as an instrument used to destroy Palestinian society and identity there.
[. . . .] Given these circumstances, Middle East Publications – PIJ and Ir Amim decided to carry out a project, supported by IFAZivik, that focuses specifically on the younger generation in Jerusalem who are the key to the future. Each organization is focusing on its concerns and priorities from their own institutional perspective. Middle East Publications — PIJ is working on the priorities of younger Palestinian Jerusalemites in East Jerusalem, while Ir Amim is working on issues which concern the young Israeli Jerusalemites, within the overall objective of finding a just and peaceful solution for the future of the city.   The program includes training programs and political seminars to empower young Palestinian Jerusalemites to advocate their rights and to understand the Israeli occupation system that they work and live within.  FULL ARTICLE . . .

Ma’an News Agency
Aug. 4, 2017.   Israeli forces re-detained Palestinian Jerusalemite lawmaker Muhammad Abu Tair, 66, two months after he was released from Israeli custody after serving a 17 month prison sentence.
___Local sources told Ma’an that Israeli forces detained Abu Tair from his home in the West Bank town of Kafr Aqab — where he has resided since Israel deported him from occupied East Jerusalem in 2010.
___Abu Tair, a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) from the Change and Reform Bloc of the Hamas movement representing Jerusalem, was detained on Jan. 28, 2016 from his home and released on May 30, 2017.    MORE . . .
+972 Blog 
By Efrat Cohen-Bar
August 3, 2017.   As far back as the 1970s, the Israeli government set a goal to maintain a Jewish majority of at least 70 percent in its “united” capital of Jerusalem. The goal was set more or less in accordance with the size of the various populations that lived within the new expanded municipal boundaries of the city, established at the end of the war in 1967. Thus, from the first days of the Israeli occupation of East Jerusalem, every effort was made to achieve this demographic dominance.
____Since then, for the past 50 years, urban planning in Jerusalem has been used as a tool in the service of maintaining demographic levels. On the one hand that planning restricts the development of Palestinian villages and neighborhoods, all while promoting building in Israeli neighborhoods and settlements beyond the Green Line.
___Despite all this, the State of Israel has failed to achieve its vaunted demographic goals in Jerusalem. Israeli Jews make up only 60 percent of the city’s population today. Whenever Israel’s control over Jerusalem is compromised the country goes into a hysteric state. So it should be no surprise that we are now seeing a number of new initiatives to alter the city’s boundaries meant to ensure Israeli demographic dominance.     MORE . . .


The hovels of my loved ones stand on the sand ―
I, with the rain, stay awake.
I am the son of Ulysses, who awaited the mail from the North;
A sailor called him, but he would not go.
He anchored the boats and took to the highest mountains:
O rock on which my father prayed to shelter a rebel,
I will not sell you for precious pearls.
I will not depart;
I will not.

The voices of my loved ones cleave the wind, scale the ramparts:
Wait for us, Mother, at the door we will return.
These times are not such as they imagine.
The wind blows as the sailor wills,
And the ship overpowers the tide.
What have you cooked for us, Mother, for we will return?
They have looted the oil jars, Mother, and the flour sacks.
So bring us grain from the fields!
Bring in greens,
We are hungry.

The footsteps of my loved ones are like the moaning of a rock split by an iron hand;
I and the rain are sleepless.
In vain, I gaze through space;
I will remain atop the rock . . . under the rock . . . steadfast.

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.
Mahmoud Darwish.

“. . . religiously motivated policies of colonization hide behind a security narrative . . .” (Christopher J. Ferrero)

Ramat Shlomo
The illegal Ramat Shlomo settlement near the municipal boundaries of Jerusalem, June 6, 2014 (Photo: The Guardian).

❶ Water situation in Gaza is alarming “. . . only 10% of Gaza’s population has access to safe drinking water. . .”
. . . ― (a) Electricity shortage causes children’s hospital in Gaza to suspend medical care
❷ Israel to build 500 new settler homes in East Jerusalem     Palestinian leaders say Israel’s settlement movement is emboldened by the election of Donald Trump in the US.
. . . ― (a) Israel approves construction of road on confiscated Palestinian lands

  • Background: “Sidelining the Hardliners: A 2 + 1 Solution for Israel- Palestine.” DOMES: Digest Of Middle East Studies   

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WATER  SITUATION  IN  GAZA  IS  ALARMING  “. . . Only 10% of Gaza’s population has access to safe drinking water. . .” 
Alray-Palestinian Media Agency   
Nov. 24, 2016
The World Bank indicated in a report Wednesday that the water sources in Gaza are critically scarce, and the situation in Gaza is alarming. . . .
___Adnan Ghosheh, Senior Water & Sanitation Specialist, remembers a time not so long ago when everyone in Gaza could drink water from their tap. That was in the late 1990s, but so much water has been pumped out of the natural aquifer underneath Gaza since then that seawater has seeped in, making it too salty to drink. These and other factors mean that only 10% of Gaza’s population has access to safe drinking water, compared to 90% in the West Bank . . . More . . .
Ma’an News Agency 
Nov. 23, 2016
Health services in a children’s hospital in Gaza will be suspended for more than a day due to a lack of fuel to power its generators, the Ministry of Health of the besieged Palestinian enclave said in a statement on Wednesday.
___The ministry said that the al-Durrah children’s hospital would be out of commission for 27 hours due to the power shortage, adding that other hospitals across Gaza faced similar risks.      More . . .

ISRAEL  TO  BUILD  500  NEW  SETTLER  HOMES  IN  EAST  JERUSALEM     – Palestinian leaders say Israel’s settlement movement is emboldened by the election of Donald Trump in the US.
Al Jazeera English 
Nov. 24, 2016
Israel has announced plans to move forward with the construction of 500 homes for Jewish settlers in occupied East Jerusalem, the first such move since the US presidential election.
___”This morning, the local planning and building committee made the decision to advance [plans]… for 500 units in Ramat Shlomo,” the Ir Amim anti-settlement NGO said, referring to an ultra-Orthodox Jewish settlement near the Palestinian neighbourhood of Shuafat.
___The plans had been on hold since 2014, Ir Amin said.      More . . .

Off the main road in Nabi Elias. Some kids are on the roof. May 2013. Photo By Orrling – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=28992790

. . . ― (A) ISRAEL APPROVES CONSTRUCTION OF ROAD ON CONFISCATED PALESTINIAN LANDS      Ma’an News Agency       Nov. 24, 2016       The Israeli Civil Administration’s higher planning committee approved constructing a bypass road on confiscated Palestinian lands in the northern occupied West Bank on Wednesday.
___A spokesperson for the Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), the Israeli agency responsible for implementing Israeli policies in the occupied Palestinian territory, told Ma’an that the committee had approved the construction of a road on lands of the village of al-Nabi Elyas.      More . . .     Related . . . 

  • Ferrero, Christopher J. “Sidelining The Hardliners: A 2 + 1 Solution For Israel- Palestine.” DOMES: Digest Of Middle East Studies 23.1 (2014): 128-155.    SOURCE.

[. . . .] Achieving a state in the West Bank should be the proximate, urgent goal of the Palestinian people. Ideologically motivated Israeli settlement of the West Bank continues apace and threatens the viability of a two state solution. Meanwhile, religiously motivated policies of colonization hide behind a security narrative conflating Hamas with Fatah and suggesting that the Palestinians pose an existential threat.
[. . . .] The pro-settlement attitudes and policies of the Netanyahu government are the most urgent and alarming threat to a Palestinian state in the West Bank. Over a half-million Jewish settlers reside in the West Bank and East Jerusalem; nearly 200,000 of them in East Jerusalem. Despite Israeli talking points about “natural growth,” the West Bank’s Jewish population is growing three times faster than that of Israel proper. . . . Israeli governments across the political spectrum—but especially Likud—have financially incentivized the settlement of Judea and Samaria. Approximately 100 settlements have been constructed since Netanyahu’s first stint as prime minister began in 1996. During the first half of 2013,  Israel approved or advanced plans for over 15,000 new housing units in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, a surge that one settlement expert calls “unprecedented in scope and intensity since 1967”. Even as talks with the Palestinians resumed in late summer 2013, the Netanyahu government continued to roll out construction plans, including work at Ramat Shlomo in East Jerusalem. The announcement of plans for this site during a 2010 visit to Israel by the Vice President of the United States, Joseph Biden, stirred temporary outrage by the Americans. Yet, despite Palestinian protestations of Israeli bad faith and warnings about the implications for peace, Washington has acquiesced to continued settlement work during the talks . . . .