“. . . The gates of my heart Are wide open to misery . . .” (Abdul Karim Sabawi)

Nasser_Sept_28Israeli forces killed Nasser Musbeh with live ammunition on September 28, 2018.
(Photo: From Defense for Children Palestine, Courtesy of Musbeh family)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .

|  QATARI  FUNDED  FUEL  PUMPED  TO  ONLY  POWER  PLANT  IN  GAZA
Fuel trucks funded by the Qatari government on Tuesday morning began entering the Gaza strip through Kerem Shalom commercial crossing, southeast of the Strip.    ___Six fuel trucks funded by Qatar are scheduled to enter the strip today, pumping fuel for the only power plant in the Gaza Strip.    [. . . .] The agreement came within the framework of the donor conference held recently in New York and with Israeli approval,  under which Qatar was allowed to finance part of the Gaza Strip’s electricity by providing the necessary fuel, which is expected to double the electricity hours, ie eight hours.   More . . .
| NETANYAHU  SAYS  ARMY  PREPPING  FOR  POSSIBLE  MILITARY  CAMPAIGN  AGAINST  GAZA 
The Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has reportedly informed his cabinet that the army is preparing for a possible military campaign against the blockaded Gaza Strip in case the situation was not improved, according to Israeli media.    ___“If the reality of civil distress in Gaza is diminished, that is desirable, but that is not certain to happen, and so we are preparing militarily — that is not an empty statement,” Netanyahu said.    More . . .
|  12  PALESTINIANS,  INCLUDING  WOMEN,  KIDNAPPED  IN  W.  BANK  IOF  CAMPAIGNS
The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) on Tuesday morning kidnapped 12 West Bankers, including relatives of Ashraf Abu Sheikha, who recently carried out a deadly shooting attack in the Barkan industrial zone near the illegal settlement of Ariel.    ___Local sources told the Palestinian Information Center (PIC) that the IOF stormed at dawn Shuweika suburb in Tulkarem and raided homes belonging to Abu Sheikha’s family.    ___Israeli soldiers maltreated and rounded up the mother of Abu Sheikha and his two sisters, and said they would remain in detention until Abu Sheikha turned himself in, according to the sources.   More . . .
. . . .Related  Israeli  Forces  Detain  Palestinian  Family  In  Aida  Camp
. . . .Related  Israeli forces detain Palestinian siblings in East Jerusalem
. . . .Related  Israel  Court  Sentences  Anti-Occupation  Protester  To  7  Years  In  Jail

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .

|  THAT  SINGLE  LINE  OF  BLOOD:  NASSER  MUSBEH  AND  MUHAMMAD  AL-DURRAH 
By Ramzy Baroud
As the frail body of 12-year-old Nasser Musbeh fell to the ground [in Gaza] on Friday, September 28, history was repeating itself in a most tragic way.  [. . . .] Almost 18-years to the day separates Nasser’s recent murder and the Israeli army killing of Muhammad Al-Durrah, also 12, on September 30, 2000. Between these dates, hundreds of Palestinian children have perished [in Gaza] in similar ways.    ___. . . 954 Palestinian children were killed between the Second Intifada in 2000 and Israel’s war on Gaza, the so-called Operation Cast Lead in 2008. In the latter war alone, 345 child were reportedly killed, in addition to another 367 child fatalities reported in Israel’s latest war, ‘Protective Edge’ of 2014.    ___But Muhammad and Nasser . . .  have more in common than simply being the ill-fated victims of trigger-happy Israeli soldiers.    __In that single line of blood that links Nasser Musbeh and Muhammad al-Durrah, there is a narrative so compelling, yet often neglected. The two 12-year-old boys . . . whose families were driven from villages that were destroyed in 1948 to make room for today’s Israel.   More . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . .

“WRITTEN  ON  THE  FIRST  MORNING  WHEN  ABDUL  KARIM  SABAWI
WOKE  UP  TO  FIND  HIMSELF A  REFUGEE  IN  EXILE,”
BY  ABDUL  KARIM  SABAWI

When you were parched
We quenched your thirst with our blood
Now…
We carry your burden
Disgraced we cry in shame when asked
Where do you come from?
Dishonored we die
If only the stray bullets
From the occupier’s guns
Were merciful
And pierced through our legs
If only they tore through our knees
If only we sunk into your fields
Deep to our necks
If only we got stuck
And became the salt of your earth
The nutrients in your fertile soil
If only we didn’t leave
The gates of my heart
Are wide open to misery
Don’t ask me where this wind is blowing
Don’t ask me about a house
Or windows
Or trees
The Bulldozers were here
And the houses in our village
Fell like a row of decayed teeth
They haven’t colonized Mars yet
And the moon is barren
Uninhabitable
So carry your children
Your memories
And follow me
We can live in the books of history
They’ll write about us,
“The wicked Bedouins
Landed in Baghdad
The wicked Bedouins landed in Yafa
They landed in Grenada
Then moved on
They packed their belongings
And rode their camels
Leaving no trace on the red clay
All their artifacts
Faded
With the passing of the years.”
What does it really mean to this world?
What does it really mean?
To be Arabs
Native Americans
Or Dinosaurs
(Refugee Camp, Jordan 1968)

Abdul Karim Sabawi was born in 1942 in the Toffah District in Gaza city. He has been a refugee in Australia most of his life.   –From BLOOD  FOR  FREEDOM:  POETRY  FROM  PALESTINE,  BY  ABDUL  KARIM  SABAWI.   Editor: Biblioteca de las Grandes Naciones. Library of the Great Nations. Oiartzun, Basque Country: August, 2014. PDF online.
The poet reads.

“Roads die when peoples’ hopes . . . no longer flow through them. . .” (Tareq al-Karmy)

Palestinians working in Israel wait to cross the Israeli-controlled Jalama checkpoint on International Labour Day near the West Bank city of Jenin May 1, 2014.  REUTERS
Palestinians working in Israel wait to cross the Israeli-controlled Jalama checkpoint on International Labour Day near the West Bank city of Jenin May 1, 2014. REUTERS

❶ From PALESTINE INFORMATION CENTER
FOR JEWISH HOLIDAYS, JALAMA CROSSING CLOSED
[Shavuot—“Feast of Weeks,” May 24-25]
May 24, 2015
JENIN, The Israeli occupation army on Saturday informed the Palestinian Authority liaison office that it would close on Sunday Jalama crossing, north of Jenin city, at the pretext of celebrating Jewish holidays.
___Local sources in Jenin said that the Israeli measure would prevent thousands of workmen and business owners from entering the 1948 occupied lands.
___They added that the closure of the crossing would cause a recession in the markets of Jenin.
(More. . .)

❷ From INTERNATIONAL MIDDLE EAST MEDIA CENTER (IMEMC)
GAZA’S ONLY COMMERCIAL CROSSING CLOSED BY ISRAELI AUTHORITIES
May 24, 2015
Israel closed the Gaza Strip’s only functioning commercial crossing at Kerem Shalom [“Vineyard of Peace” sic], on Sunday, for the Jewish holiday “Feast of Weeks”, a Palestinian official said.
“The Israeli closure would disrupt trade traffic in the strip and negatively affect the flow of fuel into the enclave,” Mounir al-Ghalban of Gaza’s border authority said, according to World Bulletin/Al Ray.
___Blockaded by Israel – by air, land and sea – since 2007, the Gaza Strip has seven border crossings linking it to the outside world.
___Six of these are controlled by Israel, while a seventh – the Rafah crossing – is controlled by Egypt, which keeps it tightly sealed for the most part.
(More. . .)

Trucks waiting to cross at The VINEYARD OF PEACE
Trucks waiting to cross at The VINEYARD OF PEACE [SIC]
❸ From MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
EGYPT TO OPEN RAFAH CROSSING INTO GAZA FOR 2 DAYS
May 24, 2015
CAIRO (Ma’an) — Egyptian authorities will open the Rafah border crossing for two days on Tuesday and Wednesday allowing passengers to travel from Egypt into Gaza, although not the other way around, Egyptian security sources told Ma’an.
___Palestinian officials have reportedly been notified so as to make the necessary arrangements.
__Rafah crossing has been the principal connection between Gaza’s 1.8 million residents and the outside world since the imposition of an Israeli blockade on the coastal enclave since 2007.
___However, for the last two years, the Egyptian authorities have largely kept the crossing closed,
(More. . .)

❹ From MONDOWEISS
BESIEGED IN GAZA FROM BIRTH TO DEATH
Dan Cohen
May 22, 2015
Leila Najjar is 25 years old and six months pregnant. She and her husband Mohammed Sulaiman want to be together for their child’s birth. But she may not see him for years.
__That’s because Najjar lives in Gaza and her husband is studying in Adelaide, Australia. Israeli authorities won’t let Najjar pass through the Israeli-controlled Erez crossing or the Egyptian-controlled Rafah crossing to join Sulaiman, 25, in Australia. With only ten weeks before she will be unable to travel by airplane because of health risks, she is struggling to remain optimistic. . .
__In fact, it is possible that Najjar will be prevented from leaving Gaza at all, meaning Sulaiman, who is on track to complete his PhD in 2018, may not see his son-to-be until he is three years old. . .
(More. . .)

❺ From +972
HOW JERUSALEM MAKES PALESTINIANS DISAPPEAR
Orly Noy
May 23, 2015
While the exclusion of Palestinian cab drivers from a Jerusalem megaplex is illegal and immoral, it is just the tip of the iceberg in a city that constantly tries to erase Palestinian existence.
__“If she wants a Jewish driver, she’ll get a Jewish driver, I don’t understand what difference it makes.” This is how Merav Basher, the representative of Cinema City Jerusalem, responded to Thair Raga, a cab driver from East Jerusalem, when he confronted her about the megaplex’s policy of ordering Jewish-only drivers for some of their workers. . .
__The truth is that I believe Basher. I believe her when she says that she does not understand the problem with keeping Palestinian drivers away from her workers, all the while harming their livelihood. . .
(More. . .)

“Not only Rivers,” by Tareq al-Karmy
Not only rivers have a source.
Paths trickle from single dwellings till,
fed by tracks from villages, they go
through towns and cities. Swelled
by tributary streets till they end
in mighty ports and seaside resorts.
Roads die when peoples’ hopes, fears,
wishes, traffic, no longer flow through them,
unlike rivers which are not made by fishes.

—Translated by Alasdair Gray
From A BIRD IS NOT A STONE: AN ANTHOLOGY OF CONTEMPORARY PALESTINIAN POETRY (Glasgow: Freight Books, 2014) –available from Amazon.com.

Tareq al-Karmy studied at Al-Najah University in Nablus. A prolific poet, his work has been published in numerous anthologies and solo collections. [Link to The New Statesman]
Tarek al-Karmy was born in 1975 in the Palestinian coastal city of Tolkarim. He is a member of the Palestinian Left and he teaches and plays professionally the nay (reed flute).
__He has produced and presented numerous programs for local Palestinian radio stations and has participated in a number of local and international music festivals like the Mediterranean Voices Festival in the south of France. He has written several books of poetry and has a website devoted to poetry

The walkway from Gaza to Israel at the Erez crossing Photo Oxfam
The walkway from Gaza to Israel at the Erez crossing Photo Oxfam