“. . . Sabra – sings her lost half, between the sea and the last war. . .” (Mahmoud Darwish)

Selected News of the Day

OIC: Israeli Government Fully Responsible for Consequences of Colonial Policies

IMEMC-International Middle East Media Center
September 16, 2019
The Council of Foreign Ministers of the Member States of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) held fully responsible the Israeli government for the consequences of its colonial policies in the occupied territory of the State of Palestine . . . .
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ This came during the 16th extraordinary meeting of the OIC council of foreign ministers held at the OIC headquarters in Jeddah, at the request of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, on the “Israeli Prime Minister’s stated intention to annex territories in the Occupied West Bank.” ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ The council proclaimed absolute rejection and vehemently condemned the Israeli Prime Minister’s stated intention to “apply Israeli sovereignty on all of the Jordan Valley, northern Dead Sea and settlements in the occupied West Bank”, describing it as a dangerous escalation, a further serious encroachment on the historical and legal rights of the Palestinian people, a flagrant breach of the UN Charter, the principles of international law and the relevant UN resolutions . . .   More . . . .

Palestinian FM discusses Israeli plans on Jordan Valley with Jordanian, Turkish counterparts

September 16, 2019
Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad Malki met in Jeddah with his Jordanian and Turkish counterparts and discussed coordinating efforts to confront the declaration by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on annexing the occupied Jordan Valley and Israeli violations in Jerusalem and its Islamic holy places.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙Malki told Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi that annexing the Jordan Valley will destroy any chance of having a just and comprehensive peace in the region and will be a threat to world peace and security. Safadi stressed Jordan’s strong position against Netanyahu’s plans, which it considers a blatant violation of international law and undermines the right of peoples in this region to live in peace.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙The Malki-Safadi meeting took place on the side of a meeting for foreign ministers of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation’s (OIC) member states, who also strongly condemned Israeli plans to annex any part of the occupied Palestinian territory.  More . . . .

Blackout expected in parts of West Bank as Israel’s electricity company starts power cut

September 16, 2019
Several hours of blackout are expected to disrupt life in parts of the West Bank next Monday and Tuesday as the Israeli Electricity Company (IEC) intends to cut power supply to the Palestinian-owned Jerusalem District Electricity Company (JDECO), today said JDECO chairman of board and CEO Hisham Omari.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ He said his company has received the third warning from the IEC informing it that it will start rationing or cutting electricity supply to some of the company’s concession areas . . . .
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Omari considered the IEC decision, supported by the Israeli government, as “collective punishment against the Palestinian people,” warning that if IEC goes on with its threat, it will have serious repercussions, particularly on hospitals, education, water supply, communications and many other vital areas.  More . . . .

Remembering the Sabra and Shatila massacre (Sep 16, 1982 – Sep 18, 1982)

For the Palestinians, the tragedy of Sabra and Shatila remains as a powerful reminder of their apparently endless cycle of displacement.
The Middle East Monitor
September 16, 2019
Thirty-seven years ago this week, one of the bloodiest chapters in Palestinian history unfolded in a refugee camp in Lebanon. Surrounded by Israeli forces from all sides, thousands of refugees, bereft of leadership and protection from the international community, were slaughtered during a two day killing spree in the Shatila refugee camp and the adjacent Sabra neighbourhood of Beirut by the Christian Phalangist militia, Israel’s paramilitary ally in Lebanon.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Israeli forces, who had invaded Lebanon three months earlier, advanced into Beirut and surrounded the Palestinian refugee camp of Shatila. A tenuous ceasefire agreement had already been brokered by the US. . .  UN Security Council Resolution 520 dated 17 September was passed unanimously and condemned “the recent Israeli incursions into Beirut in violation of the cease-fire agreements and of Security Council resolutions.” Israel ignored this resolution too.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Virtually sealed off from the outside world by Israeli tanks, hundreds of Phalangist fighters — a Christian militia group inspired by European fascists — were instructed by Israeli forces to clear out PLO members from the area. What unfolded over the following day and half horrified the world.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ In the 38 hours that the Israelis allowed the Phalange militia to enter the refugee camp unhindered, the Palestinians bunkered in their makeshift shelters suffered unspeakable horrors. Israel’s proxy militiamen raped, tortured, mutilated and killed more than 3,000 Palestinian and Lebanese residents of Sabra and Shatila.  More . . . .

Poem of the Day

Sabra – a sleeping girl
The men left
War slept for two short nights,
Beirut obeyed and became the capital…
A long night
Observing the dreams in Sabra,
Sabra is sleeping.
Sabra – the remains of a dead body
She bid farewell to her horsemen and time
And surrendered to sleep out of tiredness.. and the Arabs who threw her behind them.
Sabra – and what the soldiers Departing from Galilee forgot
She doesn’t buy and sell anything but her silence
To buy flowers to put on her braided hair.
Sabra – sings her lost half, between the sea and the last war:
Why do you go?
And leave your wives in the middle of a hard night?
Why do you go?
And hang your night
Over the camp and the national anthem?
Sabra – covering her naked breasts with a farewell song
Counts her palms and gets it wrong
While she can’t find the arm:
How many times will you travel?
And for how long?
And for what dream?
If you return one day
for which exile shall you return,
which exile brought you back?
Sabra – tearing open her chest:
How many times
does the flower bloom?
How many times
will the revolution travel?
Sabra – afraid of the night. Puts it on her knees
covers it with her eyes’ mascara. Cries to distract it:
They left without saying
anything about their return
Withered and tended
from the rose’s flame!
Returned without returning
to the beginning of their journey
Age is like children
running away from a kiss.
No, I do not have an exile
To say: I have a home
God, oh time ..!
Sabra – sleeps. And the fascist’s knife wakes up
Sabra calls who she calls
All of this night is for me, and night is salt
the fascist cuts her breasts – the night reduced –
he then dances around his knife and licks it.
Singing an ode to a victory of the cedars,
And erases
Quietly .. Her flesh from her bones
and spreads her organs over the table
and the fascist continues dancing and laughs for the tilted eyes
and goes crazy for joy, Sabra is no longer a body:
He rides her as his instincts suggest, and his will manifests.
And steals a ring from her flesh and blood and goes back to his mirror
And be – Sea
And be – Land
And be – Clouds
And be – Blood
And be – Night
And be – Killing
And be – Saturday
and she be – Sabra.
Sabra – the intersection of two streets on a body
Sabra, the descent of a Spirit down a Stone
And Sabra – is no one
Sabra – is the identity of our time, forever.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Translated by Saad El Kurdi

Posted on the Blog Kadaitcha September 19, 2012 By Jinjirrie
You can listen to Mahmoud Darwish read this poem on tumbler.com.

“. . . they bring panic and terror they are utterly not-to-be-trusted . . .” (Yousef Al-Mahmoud)

❶ Foreign Minister says Israeli settlement plans have a US green light
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) President Abbas receives important call from Saudi King Salman

  • Background: “Clarity or Ambiguity? The Withdrawal Clause of UN Security Council Resolution 242.” International Affairs.

❷ Palestinian refugees live in fear of Trump aid cuts
❸ Israeli forces shoot 2 Palestinians, detain minors during predawn raids
. . . . . ❸ ― (ᴀ) Israeli settler killed in shooting attack near Nablus
❹ POETRY by Yousef Al-Mahmoud
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Jan. 10, 2018 ― Foreign Minister Riyad Malki said on Wednesday that Israeli announcement of plans to build 1285 new settlement units in the occupied West Bank was one outcome of US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, which gave Israel the green light to do whatever it wants with the Palestinian land.
___Malki told Voice of Palestine radio that the Israeli decision was also a result of the international community’s failure to hold Israel accountable for its acts, particularly with regard to settlement construction.      MORE . . .   
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Jan. 10, 2018 ― Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas received on Tuesday an important telephone call from King Salman bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia.
___King Salman reaffirmed Saudi Arabia’s firm and continuing support for Palestinian right to establish an independent state with East Jerusalem as its capital.
___He affirmed as well the importance of continuing with direct daily coordination to assure support for the Palestinian cause, the Arab’s number one issue, reiterating his country’s firm position from the Palestinian issue, particularly Jerusalem.    MORE . . .   

(Note: while the “facts on the ground” have changed considerably since this article was written, it provides important information about of the intent of UN Resolution 242.)  

INTERNATIONAL  AFFAIRS, vol. 90, no. 6, Nov. 2014, pp. 1367-1381.
[. . . .] How does one explain the failure to hold the line, either on the ‘inadmissibility’ preamble or on the withdrawal clause? Both the US and UK were politically more sympathetic to Israel than to the Arab states. In America this attitude encompassed virtually the whole electorate, as well as government and commerce. In Britain, the electorate was also overwhelmingly pro-Israel, but the government’s position, while still firmly pro-Israel, was tempered by the importance of trade with the Arab world. These attitudes possibly affected the two countries’ position regarding Resolution 242, giving Israel the leeway on the withdrawal clause to which the Council majority were opposed. Fatefully, however, neither America nor Britain felt able to defy its ardently pro-Israel electorate and take a firm stance against Israel’s practical disregard for Resolution 242. Neither had the political will to do this; and Israel, from the outset, knew it.
[. . . .] So let us do so now, almost 50 years later, with a comparison of the requirements of Resolution 242 with those relevant parts of the Fourth Geneva Convention. Quite simply, it is illegal for any body purporting to represent civilian persons under occupation—including, in this case, the PLO, the Palestinian Authority or the government of Syria—to agree any terms with the occupant that in any regard ‘renounce in part or in entirety the rights secured to them by the present Convention’ (article 8). In elaborating on this theme, article 47 states:

Protected persons who are in occupied territory shall not be deprived, in any case or
in any manner whatsoever, of the benefits of the present Convention by any change introduced, as the result of the occupation of a territory, into the institutions or
government of the said territory, nor by any agreement concluded between the authorities of the occupied territories and the Occupying Power, nor by any annexation by the latter of the whole or part of the occupied territory.

In the light of everything that has transpired since 1967 one must gulp at the clarity and foresight of this prohibition, articulated specifically to protect and prevent the vulnerable from giving up their rights in the face of overwhelming military and political pressure.     SOURCE . . .  

Al Jazeera English 
by Ibrahim Husseini
Jan. 10, 2018 ― Palestinians living in refugee camps have expressed deep alarm over US threats to potentially cut funding for a relief agency tasked with providing aid and services to them.
___For nearly 70 years, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA) has been the lifeline to the more than five million registered Palestinian refugees in the occupied territories and neighbouring countries.
___It offers support in food supply, access to education, healthcare, social services and employment.
___”Today, more than two-thirds of refugees are children who go to UNRWA schools. If the schools shut down, there will be a big problem,” Salah Ajarmeh, a 44-year-old living in Aida refugee camp outside of Bethlehem, told Al Jazeera.    MORE . . .   
Ma’an News Agency 
Jan. 10, 2018 ― Two Palestinian youths were injured with live ammunition as Israeli forces conducted predawn detention raids in several districts across the occupied West Bank before dawn on Wednesday, detaining 12 Palestinians.
___Locals in the city of Jericho told Ma’an that two youths, whose identities remained unknown, were shot by Israeli forces with live ammunition during a raid on the Aqbat Jaber refugee camp. Two other Palestinians were detained during the raid.
___According to a statement from the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS), a 16-year-old Palestinian and his 26-year-old brother were detained from Jericho.
___Meanwhile, PPS said in a statement that Israeli forces detained 10 other Palestinians during West Bank raids.     MORE . . .   
Ma’an News Agency 
Jan. 10, 2018 ― An Israeli settler, 35, was killed late Tuesday after he succumbed to wounds sustained in a shooting attack near the Surra village, south of Nablus City in the northern occupied West Bank.
___Israeli media identified the settler as Raziel Shevah. Reports said that Shevah came under fire while driving in his car near.
___The assailants, whose identities remained unknown, reportedly fired 22 shots at his vehicle.
___Shevah was transferred to the Meir Hospital in Kfar Saba in central Israel, where he was declared dead.
___Following the attack, Israeli forces closed the Yitzhar-Nablus road, a main road in the northern West Bank, and heavily deployed in the area.   MORE . . .   

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

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

“. . . my liberty and the raging wind and thunder, tornadoes and rain echo. . .” (Fadwa Tuqan)

Two Bedouin boys rock climbing near their home in Ein Qiniya, a Palestinian village 4.3 miles north of Ramallah. It has existed since the Roman-era of rule in Palestine. Photo by Adam Rouhana.
Two Bedouin boys rock climbing near their home in Ein Qiniya, a Palestinian village 4.3 miles north of Ramallah. It has existed since the Roman-era of rule in Palestine. Photo by Adam Rouhana.

(Please read “Purpose” above. Thank you.)

❶ Saudi king seeks ‘urgent’ UN action on Al-Aqsa
❷ Wrestling the Rocks of Palestine
❸ Israeli forces detain 6 in East Jerusalem, including 4 children
❹ Israel building settler only road on Palestinian land near Nablus
❺ Opinion/Analysis: How Israel legitimizes vigilante terror
❻ “My Liberty,” by Fadwa Tuqan

◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊

Sept. 17, 2015
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AFP) — Saudi King Salman has appealed to UN chief Ban Ki-moon and members of the Security Council for “urgent measures” after clashes at Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, state media reported.
____Salman “expressed strong condemnation of the dangerous Israeli escalation” at the holy site where Palestinian protesters clashed with Israeli police for three straight days, the Saudi Press Agency reported. [. . . .]
____Salman added that the “attack on worshipers” violates the sanctity of religions “and contributes to feeding extremism and violence in the world.”
More. . . 
Background. . .

Bisan Samamreh
September 2015
Take a minute to imagine feeling unstoppable and having the skills, incentive, and resilience to overcome all obstacles and accomplish anything. Imagine realizing what it would take to perform to the maximum of your . . . This is what I experience through rock climbing.
____When I first heard about rock climbing in Palestine, I was intrigued and frankly quite skeptical, as I could not understand how it was geographically feasible here. I have to admit that the occupation has managed to narrow my perception of space and restrict my sense of movement. I met Tim Bruns and Will Harris, professional climbers and founders of Wadi Climbing. . . . they were surprised by the lack of recreational activities in the area. This triggered the idea of creating a rock-climbing community, as a first step to building the first indoor climbing gym in Palestine.
More. . .

Sept. 17, 2015
JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — Israeli forces detained four Palestinian children and two young men from different neighborhoods of occupied East Jerusalem, after ransacking their homes overnight Wednesday, a human rights lawyer and local sources told Ma’an.
____Addameer human rights lawyer, Muhammad Mahmoud, said Israeli forces detained Ramiz Ajlouni, 12, and Muatazz Said, 16, in the Old City of Jerusalem overnight on Wednesday, while locals sources said that Nabil Sidir, 13, was also detained from his home in the Old City. [. . . .]
____An Israeli police spokesperson told Ma’an that “suspects” arrested in East Jerusalem overnight Wednesday were “involved in riots and disturbances in different neighborhoods,” without adding further details.
More. . .

A Palestinian lies in an alley leading to the Al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem's Old City after scuffles with Israeli riot police on September 14, 2015 (AFP/Thomas Coex, File)
A Palestinian lies in an alley leading to the Al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem’s Old City after scuffles with Israeli riot police on September 14, 2015 (AFP/Thomas Coex, File)

Sept. 16, 2015
The Israeli forces have bulldozed agricultural land owned by Palestinian farmers near the city of Nablus, north West Bank, to open new roads to connect Jewish outposts and settlements south of the city.
____Bashar Qaryouti, coordinator of Popular Committee Against the Wall and Settlements . . . told Al-Resalah news site that Israeli bulldozers have razed large areas of land west of the town of Qaryout near Nablus to build a road to connect the settlement of Eli with other settlements and outposts as part of a larger plan that aims at confiscating large areas of Palestinian land in Qaryout and the surrounding villages.
More. . .

Dan Cohen
Sept. 16, 2015
Immediately after the firebombing of the occupied West Bank village of Duma that killed eighteen-month-old Ali Dawabshe and later his parents, Israeli politicians competed to see who could be more extreme in their denunciations. The further right their ideology, the more brutal their promises were. . .
____“This is a terror attack. Israel deals harshly with terrorism, no matter who the perpetrators are,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said. . .
____But as Sa’ad and Reham Dawabshe, the young parents of baby Ali, succumbed to their wounds, the politicians who had been so vociferous were largely silent. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made a STATEMENT, reiterating that Israeli forces would apprehend the killers. [. . . .]
____In the most clear signal that the perpetrators will not be brought to justice, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon told a group of Likud activists that security forces know the identity of the killers but would not prosecute them in order to not reveal intelligence sources. [. . . .]
____Veteran Israeli journalist Akiva Eldar sees this as a tactic of colonialism.
More. . .

My liberty―my liberty―my liberty,
a sound I repeat
with angry lips
under the exchange of fire
and flames
I run after it
despite my chains
and follow its tracks
despite the night
and struggle ardently
for my liberty
My liberty
My liberty

And the Holy River
and Bridge repeat:
my liberty
and the two banks reiterate:
my liberty
and the raging wind and thunder,
tornadoes and rain
echo the sound:
my liberty

From: Aruri, Naseer and Edmund Ghareeb, eds. ENEMY  OF  THE  SUN:  POETRY  OF  THE  PALESTINIAN  RESISTANCE. Washington, DC: Drum and Spear Press, 1970.
Available from Amazon.
Fadwa Tuqan

A Palestinian car, with a PA number plate. Cars with PA plates cannot drive on highways dissecting Occupied Palestine to connect illegal settlements. [Middle East Monitor File photo]
A Palestinian car, with a PA number plate. Cars with PA plates cannot drive on highways dissecting Occupied Palestine to connect illegal settlements. [Middle East Monitor File photo]