“. . . I was raised under an olive tree . . .” (Fouzi El-Azmar)

SELECTED NEWS OF THE DAY

Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (29 August – 04 September 2019)

Palestinian Center for Human Rights
September 5, 2019
Great March of Return in Eastern Gaza Strip: 1 Civilian killed and 93 others injured, including 33 children, a woman, 2 journalists, and a paramedic.
West Bank: 4 civilians injured, including a child and a human rights defender.
During 85 incursions into the West Bank: 91 civilians, including 8 children and 2 women, arrested
A Palestinian forced to self-demolish his house in the occupied East Jerusalem, while an under-construction mosque, a well and 2 agricultural rooms demolished in eastern Hebron.  Details . . . .

  • NGO: World’s worst tragic figures recorded in Gaza
    The Middle East Monitor
    September 5, 2019
    The blockaded Gaza Strip has marked the highest tragic humanitarian figures in the world, a humanitarian aid NGO said Thursday, Anadolu Agency reported. The Istanbul-based Gaza Aid Association held a conference dedicated to the Gaza Strip, and released its annual report on the humanitarian situation in the enclave.
    ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ The situation in the strip is “the worst over the years of siege,” said Abdul Majed al-Aloul, general manager of the association. It recorded tragic humanitarian figures that were “the highest in the world in the fields of unemployment with 52%, poverty 53% and water pollution 95% and the daily power outage rate that reached 75%,” he said.  More . . . .  
  • IOF Closes Main Road To West Bank Village Of Kifl Haris
    Days of Palestine
    September 5, 2019
    The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) on Thursday morning closed the main entrance to Kifl Haris village, west of Salfit in the West Bank. According to local sources, the IOF closed off the main road to the town with the  swing barrier, which it had been placed last year in the area.  More . . . .   
  • Settlers Storm Madama Village, Attack Citizens
    Days Of Palestine – Nablus
    September 5, 2019
    Dozens of Palestinian citizens suffered from their exposure to tear gas in Madama village, south of Nablus, during clashes with Israeli soldiers and settlers.
    ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Chief of the village Ihab al-Qut said that a horde of Jewish settlers from the illegal settlement of Yitzhar in Nablus stormed the southern area of the village and clashed with local youths in the presence of soldiers who fired volleys of tear gas grenades.  More . . . .  
  • Video: Going to school under Israeli occupation
    The Electronic Intifada
    September 5, 2019
    Omar Hajajleh is a local school bus driver in the occupied West Bank village of al-Walaja. Al-Walaja lies between the city of Bethlehem and occupied East Jerusalem.
    ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ In 2015, Israel built its separation wall directly through Hajajleh’s land, cutting off his family home from the rest of the village. . .  Hajajleh found himself uniquely positioned to take local children to school as only he has access to the valley leading to it.   More . . . .

OPINION

How much are Palestinians paying for ‘peace’ with Israel?

Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse
By Entsar Abu Jahal
September 6, 2019
As he was delivering another $10 million to the Gaza Strip recently, Qatari Ambassador Mohammed al-Emadi said Hamas and Israel have no interest in war and prefer peace and calm. He told Reuters that if citizens feel economically comfortable, they will no longer be haunted by the “ghost of war.”
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Emadi made these statements Aug. 24 after dropping off Qatari funds to Gaza. The money will be distributed to 100,000 poor families, with each receiving $100. This gift was just the most recent; Qatar has provided more than $1 billion in cash and relief projects to the Gaza Strip in recent years. For example, in October 2018, Qatar offered urgent humanitarian assistance to the Gaza Strip worth $150 million.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ But some Palestinians worry that all this money is a payoff in exchange for peace instead of protests as they seek to return to their homes in what is now Israel.  More . . . .

Why [US] ‘Moderates’ Don’t Have A Clue What To Do About Israel’s Settlements

Days of Palestine
September 6, 2019
Earlier this month, the High Planning Committee (HPC) of the Israeli Civil Administration authorised the construction of 2,304 new settlement units, just days after the approval of another 6,000 units in the occupied West Bank. These alarming developments are nothing if not predictable to those following recent events in the region, and the sordid course of US President Donald Trump’s “Deal of the Century”. With Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pledging during Israel’s April General Election campaign to annex settlements; US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman giving an approving nod to such a move; the US defunding of UNRWA and unilateral recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital; and with Senior US Advisor Jared Kushner declining to speak of a “two state solution”, the stage is almost set for the worst-case scenario. The inexorable march towards annexation is winding down to its last few strides.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ In principle, liberals and centrists tend to oppose annexation, as it would sound the death knell for the two-state solution that they’ve always maintained optimistically is just around the corner. However, despite these developments, “moderates” in the US Democratic Party (and even some “progressives”) have rallied around a bipartisan resolution decrying the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions movement . . .   More . . . .

POEM OF THE DAY

“TO  A  JEWISH  FRIEND,”  BY  FOUZI  EL-ASMAR
Don’t ask me
the impossible
Don’t’ ask me
to hunt stars,
walk to the sun.
Don’t ask me
to empty the sea
to erase the day’s light
I am nothing but a man.

Don’t ask me
to abandon my eyes, my love,
the memory of my childhood.

I was raised
under an olive tree,
I ate the figs
of my orchard
drank wine from
the sloping vineyards
Tasted Cactus fruit
in the valleys
more, more.

The nightingale has sung
in my ears
The free winds of fields and cities
always tickled me
My friend
You cannot ask me
to leave my own country.  (March 1971)

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

“I am the root of a thousand olive trees” (Ramzy Baroud)

Selected News of the Day

Palestinians foil attempt by US embassy to convene a meeting for youth in Ramallah

WAFA
August 19, 2019
Palestinians foiled an attempt by the US embassy in Israel to hold a meeting for Palestinian youth in the West Bank city of Ramallah after the hotel where the meeting was supposed to take place has informed the embassy that it cannot host it, today said Issam Baker, coordinator of the National Forces in Ramallah. . .   The Palestinians are boycotting all US-sponsored activity after the US recognized Jerusalem as capital of Israel and moved its embassy to the city, closed the Palestinian representative office in Washington, stopped funding Jerusalem hospitals, cut off funding from the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, and cancelled the term occupied territories from the West Bank, among other anti-Palestinian steps.   More. . . .

What occupation looks like for Rashida Tlaib’s village in the West Bank 

By Dror Etkes, +972 Magazine
August 19, 2019
Forty years of land grabs, settlement expansion, and the building of a highway that is off limits to Palestinians. This is what is happening to Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib’s village.
The West Bank village of Beit Ur al-Fauqa made headlines over the weekend, after Democratic Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib announced she would not accept Israel’s offer for a “humanitarian visit” to see family, and particularly her aging grandmother.
Beyond Tlaib’s personal story, however, is the story of a village that has seen decades of land grabs for the purpose of Israeli settlement expansion and the construction of a bypass road, which Palestinian residents of the West Bank have been banned from using for nearly two decades.  More. . . .

Israel kills three Palestinians in besieged Gaza Strip

Officials say three Palestinians killed, one wounded, after overnight Israeli attacks in northern Gaza.
Al-Jezeera
August 18, 2019
At least three Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces in the north of the Gaza Strip, according to Palestinian health officials and local media, hours after three rockets were allegedly fired from the blockaded enclave.
Maan news agency said on Sunday at least one other Palestinian suffered “critical” injuries following the overnight attack. . . . In a statement issued late on Saturday, the Israeli army said an attack helicopter and tank had fired at “armed suspects” along the fence that separates Israel from the besieged Gaza Strip, home to more than two million Palestinians. . . . Israel has waged three wars on Gaza since 2008. The Gaza Health Ministry said that since the start of the weekly Great March of Return protests last year, the Israeli army has killed more than 300 demonstrators and wounded 17,000 others, who were officially referred to hospitals.   More. . . .

Are Palestinian construction permits Israel’s way to annex Area C?

Tamam Mohsen, Al-Monitor: Palestine Pulse
August 8, 2019
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — The Israeli Cabinet approved July 30 the construction of 715 houses for Palestinians in Area C. Such a rare step came one day before US President Donald Trump’s senior adviser Jared Kushner arrived in Israel, as part of the US administration’s preparations to announce the details of the peace plan, also known as the “deal of the century,” in the upcoming months.
Nevertheless, the construction plan — which Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu suggested and which gives the green light for the construction of 6,000 housing units in the West Bank settlements as well — has been rejected by the Palestinians and has ignited the ire of Israeli’s right wing.
The Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a July 30 statement, “Every day, the Israeli government shows that it deals with the occupied Palestinian territories classified as Area C as a strategic reserve for the settlements.” The ministry warned against any Israeli attempt to turn all settlements and outposts into a single settlement bloc that is grouped geographically “into a Jewish state for the settlers in the West Bank.”   More. . . .

Poem of the Day

“NAKBA,”  BY  RAMZY  BAROUD

The bones of my ancestors are the foundation
On which the mountains of Galilee stand.

Our ruggedness might not suit your taste
But we inherited the language of trees.

I am the root of a thousand olive trees
A legacy that will grow through my children

I will fight to preserve my essence until my son
Is old enough to inherit his grandmother’s Thoub*

She lost her childhood amidst dying peasants
Before walking the beaten road of exile and hope

Pleading at every checkpoint, she was the face in her photo
Searching for a home between Haifa and Eternity.

So, don’t talk to me about the Pharaoh: My
Father’s blood drenched the skin of Jesus

After the Romans caught him at a checkpoint
Hiding a recipe for revolution, and a love poem

And all the love letters of refugee women
Sent to men suspended on crosses

Overlooking the Martyrs Graveyard
Echoing the battle cries of Jaffa.

From I  REMEMBER  MY  NAME, ed. Vacy Vlanza. London: Novum Publishing, 2016.

*Dress, garment

“. . . complete this journey To the hour of a country . . .” (Mahmoud Darwish)

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From VISUALIZING PALESTINE (see commentary below)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .
|    EUROPEAN  PARLIAMENT  REJECTS  RESOLUTION  TO  MONITOR  ‘INCITEMENT’  IN  PALESTINIAN  EDUCATION
The Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki said, on Wednesday, that the Israeli diplomacy has received another defeat in the European Union after the European Parliament rejected a draft resolution on Palestinian education to monitor Palestinian textbooks to remove “incitement against Israel.”    ___The rejected draft was submitted by a group from the Christian Democratic Party that called on the European Commission and the United Nations to monitor Palestinian textbooks and introduce necessary amendments to remove “incitement against Israel and dissemination of a culture of hate against Jews.”    More . . .
. . . . Related  A  New  School  Year…  A  Renewed  Will
|    HUMANITARIAN  AID  TO  PALESTINIANS  ‘AT  AN  ALL-TIME  LOW,’  UN  WARNS
Funding for humanitarian activities in the occupied Palestinian territories is “at an all-time low,” according to a UN agency responsible for humanitarian affairs in the West Bank and Gaza.    ___According to a report published this month by the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), as of a few weeks ago only $159 million of a requested $539.7 million had been secured for the 2018 Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP), the strategy and funding appeal meant to address the needs of the humanitarian community in the occupied territories.    ___The lack of funding has had a devastating impact on non-governmental organizations in the Gaza Strip. A policy paper published last year by the Palestinian NGOs Network (PNGO), a coordination group aiming to strengthen Palestinian civil society, shows that funding for NGOS in the besieged enclave was halved in 2016, compared to the previous year.    More . . .
|    KUSHNER  DEMANDS  HIGHER  LEVELS  OF  BETRAYAL  FROM  THE  PA
After the US unilaterally recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, withdrew all funding from the United Nations Relief and Works Organisation for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) and closed the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) Mission in Washington, Senior Advisor Son-in-Law to the US President Jared Kushner had the audacity to announce that a “reasonable” Palestinian leadership would agree to negotiate with Israel on US President Donald Trump’s purported peace plan.    ___So far, the only detail associated with President Trump’s plan is that “both sides would need to make concessions”. However, this rhetoric doesn’t even pass for an illusion of equity. Adding Kushner’s expectations of “reasonable leadership” to the equation, at a time when the current Palestinian leadership has been stripped of its political viability – despite its acquiescence to the US and Israel – makes it clear that the imbalance of compromise, as always, will be to the detriment of the Palestinian people.    More . . .

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .
|    ONE  WEEK  IN  PALESTINE:  EXISTENCE  AS  A  FORM  OF  RESISTANCE
Laura Vale
My journey begins in a stuffy, dust-coated taxi-sheerut alongside a young American family scrapping together phrases of Hebrew and a few local Israelis loudly bickering with the driver. As I block them from my mind and stare silently out the window, I am struck by the great white hills of settlements, large ghost towns cascading down the desert slopes. . . . We soon reach the infamous walled highway and my fellow travellers continue their journey as if nothing is abnormal about this scene. Driving through the West Bank on Israeli roads inaccessible to the Palestinian population, Palestine is simply erased from view and mind.    More . . .

NOTICES  FROM  ORGANIZATIONS. . . .
|     VISUALIZING  PALESTINE
Visualizing Palestine creates data-driven tools to advance a factual, rights-based narrative of the Palestinian-Israeli issue. Our researchers, designers, technologists, and communications specialists work in partnership with civil society actors to amplify their impact and promote justice and equality.   Become a member . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

“WE  TRAVEL  LIKE  OTHER  PEOPLE,”  BY  MAHMOUD  DARWISH

We travel like other people, but we return to nowhere. As if travelling
Is the way of the clouds. We have buried our loved ones in the
darkness of the clouds, between the roots of the trees.
And we said to our wives: go on giving birth to people like us
for hundreds of years so we can complete this journey
To the hour of a country, to a metre of the impossible.
We travel in the carriages of the psalms, sleep in the tent of the
prophets and come out of the speech of the gypsies.
We measure space with a hoopee’s beak or sing to while away the
distance and cleanse the light of the moon.
Your path is long so dream of seven women to bear this long path
On your shoulders. Shake for them palm trees so as to know their
names and who’ll be the mother of the boy of Galilee.
We have a country of words. Speak speak so I can put my road on the
stone of a stone.
We have a country of words. Speak speak so we may know the end of
this travel.

From: Adonis; Mahmud Darwish; and Samih al-Qasim. VICTIMS  OF  A  MAP:  A  BILINGUAL  ANTHOLOGY  OF  ARABIC  POETRY. Trans. Abdullah al-Udhari. London: Saqi Books. 2008.

 

“. . .the US cannot let the situation remain stable . . .” (Jared Kushner)

IMG_3577 - Copy
5th-century Mosaics, floor of the Church of Loaves and Fishes, Sea of Galilee. Photo by Harold Knight, November 9, 2015.

SELECTED  NEWS  OF  THE  DAY

ISRAELI  SETTLERS  DAMAGE  40  PALESTINIAN  VEHICLES  IN  NABLUS
Israeli settlers attacked a Palestinian house, punctured and damaged vehicles in the northern West Bank district of Nablus late Thursday.  ___The attacks came after an Israeli settlers was killed by a Palestinian driver in a car accident, initially thought to be a vehicular attack, near Nablus, late Thursday night.   ___The Palestinian driver, 60, turned himself in to the Palestinian liaison, shortly after the accident, saying that he had fled the site of the accident out of fear.  MORE.
ISRAEL  EXTENDS  DETENTION  OF  PALESTINIAN  WOMAN  ON  DAY  OF  RELEASE
The Israeli authorities renewed, on Friday morning, the administrative detention of Palestinian prisoner Fidaa Muhammad Ikhlayyil, 21, from Beit Ummar in the southern West Bank district of Hebron. . .  Ikhlayyil, a university student, was detained by Israeli forces six months ago and charged with incitement against Israel via her social media pages.   MORE.
HAMAS  RESPONDS  TO  ISRAELI  THREATS  AGAINST  ITS  LEADERS
Member of Hamas Political Bureau Husam Badran responded on Sunday to Israeli threats of assassinating the Movement’s leaders. ___In a press release on Sunday, Badran said that the Israeli threats against Hamas leaders “reflect the state of confusion and hysteria the Israeli Occupation is going through.”  MORE.
REPORTS  REVEAL  KUSHNER  PLAN  TO  DISMANTLE  UNRWA
The Palestinian leadership have slammed a reported plan by the US President’s special adviser Jared Kushner to dismantle the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, saying it’s a plot to take a key issue off any future negotiations. MORE.

COMMENTARY  AND  OPINION

WHY  A  CULTURAL  CENTRE?
Samia Khoury
A few days ago Israel bombarded the Mishal  cultural centre in Gaza destroying it completely.  Why?  This centre has been the gift of Said Meshal to the youth of Gaza to help them cope with all the pressure of living under  siege for the last twelve years.  It is neither a Hamas nor a Fateh Centre. . . . Is it not enough that those young people as well as all the people of Gaza are deprived of a normal life, that it was too much for Israel to see them enjoying some fun with music art, and drama.  MORE.

ARBITRARY  DEMANDS  ON  FOREIGN  NATIONAL  ACADEMICS  WORKING  IN  PALESTINIAN  UNIVERSITIES
(Letter from Committee on Academic Freedom, Middle East Studies Association)
Dear Prime Minister and Ministers,
We write to you on behalf of the Committee on Academic Freedom of the Middle East Studies Association of North America (MESA) to express our dismay regarding the severe and unreasonable limitations imposed on foreign nationals who are faculty members at Birzeit University (BZU) and other Palestinian universities in the West Bank and Gaza. These faculty, some of whom have been teaching for years in Palestinian universities, now have to deal with a wide range of arbitrary demands and conditions in order to obtain re-entry visas that permit their employment in Palestinian universities. Moreover, for the past two years, the Israeli authorities have increasingly denied visas – both new and re-entry – to such academics, to a degree that severely imperils the quality of Palestinian education and the right to education of Palestinian students.  MORE.

FOR  PALESTINIANS  IN  GAZA,  PETER  BEINART’S  DETENTION  IS  A  LUXURY.  HERE  ARE  OUR  STORIES.
Muhammad Shehada
This week, noted journalist, CNN contributor and Forward columnist Peter Beinart underwent a shocking ordeal. He was detained and interrogated at Ben Gurion Airport when trying to enter Israel, despite being Jewish and an ardent Zionist. The outrage was so swift that Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu himself called the episode a mistake in a quasi-apology. . . . for Gaza’s two million locked up inhabitants, it’s far worse. Israel closes Gaza’s sea, air and field spaces with its military, leaving the population with one Israeli-controlled border to leave the besieged enclave, the Erez Border Crossing. There is also the Egyptian border, the Rafah crossing. . . .  The truth is, I’d rather to be detained and interrogated at Ben Gurion for weeks on end than be imprisoned in Gaza. ___I’m not alone. Here are a few stories of Palestinians from Gaza who feel similarly.   MORE.

WEEKLY  REPORT  ON  ISRAELI  HUMAN  RIGHTS  VIOLATIONS  IN  THE  OCCUPIED  PALESTINIAN  TERRITORY  (09–15–2018)
Israeli forces continued to use force against Palestinian peaceful protestors in the Gaza Strip.
3 Palestinian civilians, including a volunteer paramedic, were killed while a civilian succumbed to his pervious wounds.
157 Palestinian civilians, including 27 children, 2 women, 2 journalists, and 2 paramedics, were wounded; 11 of them sustained serious wounds.
Israeli forces conducted 73 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and 4 similar incursions were conducted in Jerusalem. . . .
Israeli authorities continued to create a Jewish majority in occupied East Jerusalem. MORE.

IMG_3575 - Copy
Firebombing by Israeli seminary students, Church of Loaves and Fishes, June 17, 2015. Photo by Harold Knight, November 9, 2015.

 

“. . . My roots have gripped this soil since time began . . .” (Mahmoud Darwish)

  • Umm_al-Fahm_2014
    Umm al-Fahm (Photo: Wikipedia, 2014)

    Umm al-Fahm is located 20 kilometres (12 miles) northwest of Jenin in the Haifa District of Israel. In 2015 its population was 52,500, nearly all of whom are Arab citizens of Israel. “The people of Um Al-Fahm are proud of their long history of resistance and rejection of colonialism and occupation, during which the city continued to breed revolutionaries in defense of Palestine” (Palestinian Information Center). Umm al-Fahm was the home of the three Palestinians killed in the attack on/by Israeli police in Jerusalem on July 14, 2017.

❶ Thousands of Palestinians march towards Al-Aqsa to denounce Israeli measures

  • Background: “Resisting ‘Israelization’: The Islamic Movement in Israel and the Realization of Islamization, Palestinization and Arabization.” Journal of Islamic Studies

. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Israeli forces violently suppress Al-Aqsa protests in West Bank, Gaza
❷ President asks US to intervene over Al-Aqsa Mosque tensions
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) Israeli forces detain 10 Palestinians, including Fatah officials from Jerusalem
❸ Opinion/Analysis: Um Al-Fahm: Always in defense of Al-Aqsa, Palestine
❹ POETRY by Mahmoud Darwish
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
THOUSANDS  OF  PALESTINIANS  MARCH  TOWARDS  AL-AQSA  TO  DENOUNCE  ISRAELI  MEASURES     
Ma’an News Agency
July 21, 2017.  Tensions were running high in occupied East Jerusalem on Friday as thousands of Palestinians were marching towards the Old City to denounce increased Israeli security measures in the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, which Israeli authorities decided to maintain early on Friday, despite recommendations from Israel’s own security agencies.
___The Waqf, the Islamic endowment administering Al-Aqsa, called earlier this week on all mosques in Jerusalem to be closed on Friday and for all Muslim worshipers in the city to head towards Al-Aqsa to denounce the installation of metal detectors, turnstiles, and additional security cameras in the compound after a shooting attack on July 14 left the assailants, three Palestinian citizens of Israel, and two Israeli border police officers killed.   MORE . . .

ROSMER, TILDE. “RESISTING  ‘ISRAELIZATION’:  THE  ISLAMIC  MOVEMENT  IN  ISRAEL  AND  THE  REALIZATION  OF  ISLAMIZATION,  PALESTINIZATION  AND  ARABIZATION.”
JOURNAL OF ISLAMIC STUDIES, vol. 23, no. 3, Sept. 2012, pp. 325-358.
Since the 1970s the Islamic Movement in Israel has sought to (re)create and promote an Arab Palestinian Muslim identity among its constituency of Palestinian citizens of Israel. Through educational and religious institutions the Movement aims to teach Palestinians in Israel about Islam and ancient and modern Palestinian history, as well as their current predicament as indigenous non-Jewish citizens of the Jewish state; and to improve their level of Arabic. These aims are vocalized in many of the religious and political speeches by the Movement’s leaders; reiterated in the content of the material distributed by the pupil and student organizations; and demonstrably present in the Movement’s social and political activities around the country.
___Established by shaykhs educated in religious institutions in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, the Islamic Movement in Israel grew from a movement of grass-roots activism into a player on the local political field during the mid-1980s
. . .  [the movement bases] their activism on the inter-related agendas of Islamization, Palestinization and Arabization, which are formed and disseminated via the Movement’s state-wide network of mosques, educational and social institutions and organizations.
[. . . .] In order to educate new local religious leaders the Movement now runs an Islamic College in Umm al-Fahm and it also sends students abroad, mainly to Jordan.
[. . . .] According to Dumper and Larkin, it is widely believed among the Muslim Palestinian community in Israel that al-Aqsa is under threat from settler groups, right-wing Israeli politicians, and aggressive military forces. The settler groups are understood to be the main propagators behind the controversial archaeological excavations near and/or under the site. This fear is the motivational force behind the organization of an annual event called ‘al-Aqsa is in danger’ hosted by the Northern branch in Umm al-Fahm. The festival attracts tens of thousands of Muslims from all over the country. At this festival the leaders of the Movement give emotional speeches about liberating al-Aqsa, which are loaded with religious content and strong statements. For example, Khatib has stated at the festival that, ‘ . . . the sweep of the sword will start a fire that will burn the enemies of al-Aqsa.’    SOURCE . . .

. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) ISRAELI  FORCES  VIOLENTLY  SUPPRESS  AL-AQSA  PROTESTS  IN  WEST  BANK,  GAZA   
Ma’an News Agency
July 21, 2017.   Israeli forces violently suppressed demonstrations in the occupied West Bank and Gaza on Friday, injuring scores who had gathered in solidarity with a massive protest in occupied East Jerusalem to denounce increasing Israeli security measures at the Al-Aqsa compound.
[. . . .] The witness said that some 300 demonstrators had gathered in front of an Israeli military base set behind Israel’s illegal separation wall in northern Bethlehem to pray, with a dozen of protesters chanting slogans.
___As the majority of demonstrators began walking away from the separation wall, Israeli forces began spraying skunk water — a strong, foul smelling liquid — towards the crowd, and shot tear gas.   MORE . . .
❷ PRESIDENT  ASKS  U.S.  TO  INTERVENE  OVER  AL-AQSA  MOSQUE  TENSIONS  
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
July 21, 2017.  President Mahmoud Abbas Friday asked the US administration to intervene to compel Israel to back down from its measures in East Jerusalem’s flashpoint Al-Aqsa Mosque compound.
___Abbas discussed the spiraling tensions in East Jerusalem in a phone call with US President Donald Trump’s top advisor and son-in-law Jared Kushner.
___He asked the US administration to immediately intervene in order to compel Israel to back down from its recent measures in East Jerusalem and the mosque compound.  MORE . . .
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) ISRAELI  FORCES  DETAIN  10  PALESTINIANS,  INCLUDING  FATAH  OFFICIALS  FROM  JERUSALEM 
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA  
July 21, 2017.   Israeli forces Friday detained at least 10 Palestinians, including Fatah officials and activists, during multiple raids across East Jerusalem.
___Israeli police detained former Minister of Jerusalem Affairs and member of Fatah Revolutionary Council after storming his home in the city.
___Police also detained Fatah movement’s Jerusalem Secretary-General Adnan Ghaith and his brother, Hani, after storming their homes in Silwan.   MORE . . .
RELATED: Father Musleh [Spokesman of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem]: “What is happening at Aqsa premeditated plan.”
❸ OPINION/ANALYSIS:  UM  AL-FAHM:  ALWAYS  IN  DEFENSE  OF  AL-AQSA,  PALESTINE  
The Palestinian Information Center   
July 18, 2017.   At the courtyards of Al-Aqsa Mosque, three Palestinians from Um Al-Fahm city carried out a shooting attack on Friday morning, July 14, killing two Israeli occupation officers, before they were killed at the hands of Israeli policemen. This shooting was only the latest manifestation of a revolutionary spirit of an Arab-Muslim thought in the hearts of the people of this [Um Al-Fahm], located in the heart of the northern 1948 occupied Palestine, which for nine decades had shown outstanding courage in defense of Palestine and Al-Aqsa Mosque.
[. . . .] [At the time of the Nakba] Um Al-Fahm was the largest city in Palestine, with an area of 150,000 dunums, of which only 22,000 dunums remain today. An estimated number of 52,000 Palestinians live there today. The city has the second largest Palestinian population in the 1948 Occupied Territories after Nazareth.
[. . . .] Following its occupation by Israel, the city remained a hotbed of constant tension that disturbed the occupation and its security apparatuses, because of the strong national spirit and its people’s refusal of subjugation to the occupiers. [. . . .]   MORE . . .

[Note: Mahmoud Darwish wrote this poem in 1964 when he was 22 years old. He was imprisoned for it―his first imprisonment. The poem became rallying words for the Palestinians. Note, it was written before the 1967 War and before the First and Second Intifadas and remains germane in today’s Palestine.]

“IDENTITY  CARD,”  BY MAHMOUD  DARWISH  (1964)
Write down:
I am an Arab
my I.D. number, 50,000
my children, eight
and the ninth due next summer
―Does that anger you?

Write down:
Arab.
I work with my struggling friends in a quarry
and my children are eight.
I chip a loaf of bread for them,
clothes and notebooks
from the rocks.
I will not beg for a handout at your
door nor humble myself
on your threshold
―Does that anger you?

Write down:
Arab,
a name with no friendly diminutive.
A patient man, in a country
brimming with anger.
My roots have gripped this soil
since time began,
before the opening of ages
before the cypress and the olive,
before the grasses flourished.
My father came from a line of plowmen,
and my grandfather was a peasant
who taught me about the sun’s glory
before teaching me to read.
My home is a watchman’s shack
made of reeds and sticks―
Does my condition anger you?

There is no gentle name,
write down:
Arab.
The colour of my hair, jet black―
eyes, brown―
trademarks, a headband over a keffiyeh
and a hand whose touch grates
rough as a rock.
My address is a weaponless village
with nameless streets.
All its men are in the field and quarry
―Does that anger you?

Write down:
Arab.
You have stolen my ancestors’ vineyards
and the land I once ploughed
with my children
leaving my grandchildren nothing but rocks.
Will your government take those too,
as the rumour goes?

Write down, then
at the top of Page One:
I do not hate
and do not steal
but starve me, and I will eat
my assailant’s flesh.
Beware of my hunger
and of my anger.

About Mahmoud Darwish
From WHEN  THE  WORDS  BURN:  AN  ANTHOLOGY  OF  MODERN  ARABIC  POETRY:  1945-1987.  Translated and edited by John Mikhail Asfour. Dunvegan, Ontario, Canada. Cormorant Books, 1988.

“. . . nightmares never leave . . .” (Majid Abu Ghoush)

.A Palestinian family eats dinner by candlelight at their makeshift home in the Rafah refugee camp, in the southern Gaza Strip, during a power outage on June 12, 2017. (Abed Rahim Khatib/ Flash90, from +972 Magazine)
A Palestinian family eats dinner by candlelight at their makeshift home in the Rafah refugee camp, in the southern Gaza Strip, during a power outage on June 12, 2017. Photo by Abed Rahim Khatib/ Flash90

“. . . Palestinians should not be counted simply because they are not citizens anyway, and they cannot be citizens because they are not Jews . . . this has become the fault line between the two major political camps in Israel; their basic disagreement is about how not to count, or be accountable for the colonized Palestinians. . . “ (Adi Ophir)

❶ On world refugee day, estimates show 66% of Palestinians became refugees in 1948

Background: “On the Structural Role and Coming End of ‘The Occupation’.” Arab Studies Quarterly

❷ Israel begins work on first settlement in 25 years as Jared Kushner flies in
❸ Hamas calls for mobilization at Gaza border on Friday
. . . . . ❸― (ᴀ) Gaza crisis: Israel slashes electricity supplies for 3rd day as Egypt provides fuel
❹ POETRY by Majid Abu Ghoush
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ ON  WORLD  REFUGEE  DAY,  ESTIMATES  SHOW  66%  OF  PALESTINIANS  BECAME  REFUGEES  IN  1948
Ma’an News Agency      
June 20, 2017.  On the anniversary of World Refugee Day, and one month after the 69th anniversary of the Palestinian Nakba, or “catastrophe,” it is estimated that 66 percent of Palestinians who were living in British-Mandate Palestine in 1948 were expelled from historic Palestine and displaced, according to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS).
___“The human plight and tragedy that has befallen on the Palestinian people” resulted in approximately 957,000 Palestinian refugees — 66 percent of the total population of Palestinian who were living in historic Palestine on the eve of the war in 1948, PCBS said in a statement Tuesday.   MORE . . .        RELATED . . . 

Ophir, Adi. “ON  THE  STRUCTURAL  ROLE  AND  COMING  END  OF  ‘THE  OCCUPATION’.”  Arab Studies Quarterly, vol. 38, no. 4, Fall2016, pp. 688-693.
[. . . .] Some of them, like Netanyahu think that it is enough to proclaim the temporariness of the occupation while dragging any form of negotiation; others, like Harel, think that even this is not necessary, and that Palestinians should not be counted simply because they are not citizens anyway, and they cannot be citizens because they are not Jews. With the Jewish public in Israel moving further to the right in the last decade, this has become the fault line between the two major political camps in Israel; their basic disagreement is about how not to count, or be accountable for the colonized Palestinians.   SOURCE . . .

❷ ISRAEL  BEGINS  WORK  ON  FIRST  SETTLEMENT  IN  25  YEARS  AS  JARED  KUSHNER  FLIES  IN  
Alray-Palestinian Media Agency (from The Guardian)
June 21, 2017.  Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has announced the beginning of building work on the first new Jewish settlement in the occupied West Bank in 25 years, a day before a visit by Donald Trump’s son-in-law and envoy, Jared Kushner, aimed at reinvigorating the stalled peace process.
___The new settlement, known as Amichai, is being built to house about 300 hardline residents of the illegal West Bank Jewish outpost of Amona who were evicted by police in February after a court ruled their houses were on privately owned Palestinian land.
___The timing of the announcement was condemned by a Palestinian official who suggested it was designed to undermine peace efforts.
___Announcing the beginning of ground-breaking work at the new settlement, Netanyahu wrote on his Twitter feed: “Work began today on-site, as I promised, to establish the new settlement,” with a photograph of a mechanical digger working at the site north of Ramallah.   MORE . . .

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Israel breaks ground on new illegal settlement (Source: The Israeli prime minister’s official Twitter page, June 20, 2017)

❸ HAMAS  CALLS  FOR  MOBILIZATION  AT  GAZA  BORDER  ON  FRIDAY
The Palestinian Information Center  
June 20, 2017.   Hamas Movement called for mobilization next Friday on the Gaza border to mark the occasion of International Quds Day in protest at Israeli aggression on the Palestinian people and holy places.
___In a press statement on Tuesday, Hamas asked Arabs and Muslims to support Occupied Jerusalem and al-Aqsa Mosque as well as the Palestinian besieged people on International Quds Day which coincides on Friday.   MORE . . .
. . . . . ❸― (ᴀ) GAZA  CRISIS:  ISRAEL  SLASHES  ELECTRICITY  SUPPLIES  FOR  3RD  DAY  AS  EGYPT  PROVIDES  FUEL
Ma’an News Agency
June 21, 2017.   Israeli authorities implemented a third round of electricity supply cuts to the Gaza Strip on Wednesday — honoring a request from the Palestinian Authority (PA) that announced last month it would drastically reduce its payments to fund the Hamas-run territory’s electricity bill — as the Egypt government started to deliver diesel fuel to operate Gaza’s only power plant.
[. . . .] The 12-megawatt cuts came after output was reduced by 6 megawatts on Monday and 12 additional megawatts on Tuesday, meaning that the total output of Israeli electricity grids feeding the small Palestinian territory has been reduced from 120 to 88 megawatts in the last three days.
___According to Thabet, Gaza’s some 2 million residents face just two to three hours of electricity every 24 hours as a result of the cuts.   MORE . . .

OCCUPATION,”  BY  MAJID  ABU  GHOUSH
Occupied Ramallah 17/11/06

Strange days cast dour shadows
Dusk. The fragrance of death
on a windowsill.
In the lingering heat
an impossible burden weighs
down on eyelids and chest;
the throat aches, the spine throbs.

Rose petals all tarnished with foul dust
from the poisoned world.
Black limousines sail past, flying
the skull and crossbones.
The grave yawns open early,
nightmares never leave.
Death squads. Detention camps.

Somewhere, an oud
pronounces its sad chords.
The invaders smile; tap their feet.
―Translated by John Glenday

Majid Abu Ghoush (b. Amwas) is a prolific poet, a member of the secretariat of the General Union of Palestinian Writers, and a founding member of Poets Without Borders, Palestine.
From A BIRD IS NOT A STONE: AN ANTHOLOGY OF CONTEMPORARY PALESTINIAN POETRY. Ed. by Henry Bell and Sarah Irving. (Glasgow: Freight Books, 2014).   Available from Barnes and Noble

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Palestinian men seen in front of a fire raging at the Gaza’s main power plant following an overnight Israeli airstrike, south of Gaza City, July 29, 2014. (Emad Nassar/Flash90, from +972 Magazine)