“. . . the workman aspiring with great longing for/ His land . . .” (Fouzi El-Asmar)

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Lifta, depopulated Palestinian village on the outskirts of Jerusalem. (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 5, 2015)

Note: the format today is a departure from our norm a number of news items touching on the topic “the Nakba is a continuum of injustice, denial and colonization” from the first item.

❶ PLO department shares video depicting ongoing elimination, dispossession of Palestinians
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) WATCH: Palestinians visit ruins of village destroyed during Nakba
❷ Israel aims new Nakba-style weapon at Arab citizens
. . . . . ❷― (ᴀ) Israel to expand Arial industrial zone at the expense of Salfit lands.
. . . . . ❷― (ᴃ) Tayseer Khaled: The new settlement plan on Qalandia airport land is being  prepared under the US administration cover
❸ Palestinians face biggest expulsion in years by settlers in Jerusalem
. . . . . ❸― (ᴀ) Palestinian Citizens in Israel: A Fast-Shrinking Civic Space
❹ Israeli settler who killed Palestinian in Nablus not being investigated as criminal suspect
. . . . . ❹ ― (ᴀ) VIDEO: Israeli settler passes out candy to celebrate killing of Palestinian in Nablus
❺ POETRY by Fouzi El-Asmar
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ PLO  DEPARTMENT  SHARES  VIDEO  DEPICTING  ONGOING  ELIMINATION,  DISPOSSESSION  OF  PALESTINIANS      
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA   
May 19, 2017
Note: The video is not available from WAFA. It is included here for the statement, “. . . it is important to remember that this is not a commemoration of an event in the past; rather, the Nakba is a continuum of injustice, denial and colonization that perpetuates to this day. . .” 
The Palestine Liberation Organization’s (PLO) Department of Culture and Information Thursday shared a video depicting the ongoing elimination and dispossession of the Palestinian people since 1947.
___On behalf of PLO Executive Committee member Hanan Ashrawi, the department shared a video clip, Israel: Crime and Impunity, on the occasion of the 69th anniversary of the Nakba “the catastrophe.”  MORE. . . .
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) WATCH:  PALESTINIANS  VISIT  RUINS  OF  VILLAGE  DESTROYED  DURING  NAKBA
+972 Blog   
May 18, 2017
Descendants of Palestinians who were expelled from the village of Ma’alul during the Nakba visit the site of their former home to celebrate Easter in the church there — one of the few buildings left standing after the Israeli army destroyed the locality.  MORE . . . .
❷ ISRAEL  AIMS  NEW  NAKBA-STYLE  WEAPON  AT  ARAB  CITIZENS
+972 Blog
May 15, 2017
. . . .  the Israeli campaign to control land has never stopped. As Israel celebrates the 69th anniversary of its establishment — Palestinians commemorate the Nakba annually on May 15 — it is also brandishing its latest weapon against its remaining Arab citizens, designed to corral them into an ever-shrinking living space.
___According to Israel, the new so-called Kaminitz Law, which was enacted in April 2017, is intended to consolidate and streamline state powers in enforcing planning and building regulations.       MORE . . . .
. . . . ❷― (ᴀ) ISRAEL  TO  EXPAND  ARIAL  INDUSTRIAL  ZONE  AT  THE  EXPENSE  OF  SALFIT  LANDS.  VIOLATION:  EXPANSION  WORKS  ON  AN  INDUSTRIAL  ZONE  
POICA – Monitoring Israeli Colonization Activities in the Palestinian Territories      
May 2, 2017
The Israeli occupation government work day and night to take over more Palestinian lands for the favor of colonial expansionist plans in the West Bank area. According to Land Research Center field follow-up, the ravaging works are focused in the areas known as Khallet Al-Za’faran and Al-Harayeq from Bruqin village. More than 100 dunums were totally swept until the day of preparing this report. The aim behind the ravaging works is to create open a colonial road (1km* 6m) in the periphery of the targeted area, which is being exploited for the favor of expanding Arial Industrial Zone.
___Data of Land Research Center showed that the targeted lands belong to Sabra family from Bruqin town.  MORE . . .
. . . . . ❷― (ᴃ) TAYSEER  KHALED:  THE  NEW  SETTLEMENT  PLAN  ON  QALANDIA  AIRPORT  LAND  IS  BEING  PREPARED  UNDER  THE  US  ADMINISTRATION  COVER   
Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (Group 194)
May 2, 2017
Tayseer Khaled, a member of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), a member of the Political Bureau of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP), blamed the US administration for the consequences of Israeli housing ministry and the Israeli occupation municipality intention in Jerusalem, to implement a large settlement plan aimed at building 15,000 settlement units on the land of Jerusalem Airport and lands of Qalandia that surround the settlement area called “Atarot” which was established by the occupation authorities on the land of the citizens in north-west Jerusalem.   MORE . . . .
❸ PALESTINIANS  FACE  BIGGEST  EXPULSION  IN  YEARS  BY  SETTLERS  IN  JERUSALEM   
The Electronic Intifada
Charlotte Silver
May 17, 2017
A private settler organization is planning “the most extensive expulsion scheme in recent years,” in the Batan al-Hawa area of Silwan in occupied East Jerusalem, the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem is warning.
___The settler group, Ateret Cohanim, claims to own about an acre of land in the densely populated neighborhood near the al-Aqsa mosque.
___The group has filed eviction claims against the 81 Palestinian families who live there.
___B’Tselem says this concentration of evictions represents 45 percent of all Palestinians facing “dispossession on the basis of ethnicity” in East Jerusalem.  MORE . . .
. . . . . ❸― (ᴀ) PALESTINIAN  CITIZENS  IN  ISRAEL:  A  FAST-SHRINKING  CIVIC  SPACE   
Al-Shabaka: The Palestinian Policy Network
Nadim Nashif, Raya Naamneh
January 13, 2016
Israel still portrays itself as a Jewish and democratic state. Yet in practice, as its Palestinian citizens can attest, it functions as a Jewish ethnocracy, leaving small margins of freedom for its Palestinian citizens that have been steadily shrinking in the past few years. Now the Israeli state has come under the complete control of the far right wing, which sees no need even for such limited margins of freedom. This is evident in the wave of discriminatory legislation and the use of the Emergency Regulations against established non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and movements such as the northern branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel.        MORE . . .   

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Israeli settler, who appears to be protected by Israeli army forces, was distributing candy to Israeli settlers in celebration of the killing. (Photo: Ma’an News Agency, May 18, 2017)

Note:  Continuing from Headline News of May 18
ISRAELI  SETTLER  WHO  KILLED  PALESTINIAN  IN  NABLUS  NOT  BEING  INVESTIGATED  AS  CRIMINAL  SUSPECT   
Ma’an News Agency 
May 18, 2017
The Israeli settler who shot and killed one Palestinian and injured another on Thursday near the Huwwara village, south of Nablus in the northern occupied West Bank, is not being investigated by Israeli police as a criminal suspect, according to Israeli news daily Haaretz.        MORE . . .  
. . . . . ❹ ― (ᴀ) VIDEO:  ISRAELI  SETTLER  PASSES  OUT  CANDY  TO  CELEBRATE  KILLING  OF  PALESTINIAN  IN  NABLUS    
Ma’an News Agency  
May 18, 2017
Following a deadly shooting carried out by an Israeli settler near the Huwwara village in the occupied West Bank district of Nablus, an Israeli settler distributed candy to passing Israeli vehicles south of Nablus on Thursday in celebration of the settler killing a 23-year-old Palestinian earlier in the day.      MORE . . .

“DREAMS  ON  A  MATTRESS  OF  THORNS,”  BY  FOUZI  EL-ASMAR

Oh my homeland
The whisper of the leaves I the breeze
Robs me of my sleep.
The darkness of the dawn
And the glance of my beautiful sister
Searching for our songs
Robs me of my sleep.

Lovebirds returning to their nest
At sunset
Kissing their nestlings
Rejoicing
Rob me of my sleep.

The silence of the night
Robs me of my sleep
Oh my country.

Sleep does not bless my eyelids
For there are nails in my eyes
Covered with the rust of many days
And the blast of drums in my eyes
Beaten by the arms of hatred.

And I run
I run
I run in order to wrap
The morning around my body.
I run towards my loved ones
I kiss them
I console them for the loss
Of their yesterday.

I tell them:
My loved ones
Forget the yesterday
Let us fold it
And bury it in the ground
The day is ours
The morrow is ours
They carry the sun
Of our destiny.

My loved ones
Do not fear.
Despite the delayed dawn
despite the dagger
Stabbed deep into your hip
We shall arrive.

We shall arrive
On the wind
Among the clouds
Under the zenith
Among the bleating sheep
Among the drops of sweat
Adoring the face of the workman
Aspiring with great long for
His land.

We shall come
On the sun rays we shall come
Have no fear
We shall come.

Fouzi El-Asmar
From:  El-Asmar, Fouzi. THE  WIND-DRIVEN  REED  AND  OTHER  POEMS. Washington, D.C.: Three Continents Press, 1979.   Available from Amazon.

“. . . the remains of a forgotten village and a cross . . .” (Sami Al-Jundi)

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The forgotten Jerusalem Palestinian village of Lifta, one of the few villages where the buildings remain. It is about to be “restored” to a fashionable Jewish district. (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 5, 2015)

❶ EU expresses ‘deep concern’ over Israeli demolitions in Area C
❷ 2 Palestinians shot dead near Ramallah after alleged attacks
❸ Soldiers Injure Seven Palestinians in Jerusalem, Kidnap One Child
❹ Analysis: SPATIAL  DEVELOPMENT  OF  BETHLEHEM  AND EAST  JERUSALEM:  A  BLEAK  FUTURE?
❺ Opinion/Analysis: WHAT  DOES  IT  SAY  WHEN  THE  IDF  IS  THE  SANEST  VOICE  IN  ISRAEL?
❻ Poetry. “Take Me to AL-QASTAL,” by Sami Al-Jundi
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
EU  EXPRESSES  ‘DEEP CONCERN’  OVER  ISRAELI  DEMOLITIONS  IN  AREA C
Dec. 4, 2015
JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — European Union missions on Friday reiterated a call for Israel to meet its obligations to Palestinians living in Area C of the occupied West Bank, where several demolitions have taken place in recent weeks.
___The EU missions in Jerusalem and Ramallah expressed “deep concern, once again” for the violations in the Israeli-controlled area, a statement said.
___On Thursday, Israeli authorities confiscated 10 tents donated to residents of al-Hadidiya village by the International Committee of the Red Cross.
___The tents had been donated after Israel’s civil administration and military forces demolished Palestinian structures in the in the northern Jordan Valley.  More . . .
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
2  PALESTINIANS  SHOT  DEAD  NEAR  RAMALLAH  AFTER  ALLEGED  ATTACKS
Dec. 4, 2015
BETHLEHEM ― Two Palestinians were shot dead near Ramallah on Friday after separate alleged attacks targeting Israeli military forces in the occupied West Bank, Israel’s army and Palestinian officials said.
___A Palestinian was shot and killed near the illegal Ofra settlement north of Ramallah after ramming his car into a group of Israeli soldiers, according to the Israeli army.
___The army confirmed that two soldiers were injured in the incident. Israeli emergency service Magen David Adom said that paramedics treated two Israelis around 20 years of age who sustained minor injuries. More . . .
IMEMC-INTERNATIONAL MIDDLE EAST MEDIA CENTER
SOLDIERS  INJURE  SEVEN  PALESTINIANS  IN  JERUSALEM,  KIDNAP  ONE  CHILD
Dec. 04, 2015
Palestinian medical sources in occupied Jerusalem have reported, Friday, that Israeli soldiers shot and injured seven Palestinians, while dozens suffered the effects of tear gas inhalation, in Jabal al-Mokabber town, in the city. The army also kidnapped one child in Silwan, and handed five demolition orders of residential and commercial structures.
___The soldiers used excessive force against dozens of Palestinians, holding a nonviolent protest, demanding the Israeli authorities to transfer the bodies of Palestinians, who were killed by the military, back to their families for proper burial ceremonies.
[. . . . ]
___On Friday evening, the soldiers kidnapped a child, identified as Mohammad Sufian al-Atrash, 15, after repeatedly beating and kicking him, in the Central Neighborhood in Silwan. More . . .

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Demonstration in East Jerusalem fired on by Israeli soldiers. (Photo: Silwan IC, Dec. 4, 2015)

Analysis
THIS WEEK IN PALESTINE
SPATIAL  DEVELOPMENT  OF  BETHLEHEM  AND  EAST  JERUSALEM:  A  BLEAK  FUTURE?
Ahmad El-Atrash
December 2015
Bethlehem, like Jerusalem, is considered a sacred city for the three monotheistic religions: Islam, Christianity, and Judaism. Until 1967 – before the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territory that included the occupation of East Jerusalem – Bethlehem was developing and spatially growing, maintaining an organic connection with Jerusalem city. Since the occupation . . . the Bethlehem City-area has witnessed an ever-changing flexible frontier with Jerusalem and thus, the long established socio-cultural, economic, and above all spiritual lifeline between the Bethlehem City-area and Jerusalem has been undermined by the Israeli matrix of control . . .  More . . .
Opinion/Analysis
+ 972 MAGAZINE
WHAT  DOES  IT  SAY  WHEN  THE  IDF  IS  THE  SANEST  VOICE  IN  ISRAEL?
Yoni Mendel
Dec. 4, 2015
“A nation in uniform,” “an army that has a state,” “a democracy of army bases.” In academic research of the critical kind, Israel is understood as a militaristic state.
[. . . . ]
___This past month has seen a great number of examples that show how . . . the IDF, has begun to be viewed by the Israeli leadership . . . as outdated, irrelevant, ignorant, and deceitful.
[. . . . ]
___This began with the violence and stabbings in October 2015. The propagandists of the Israeli government announced openly that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ incitement was behind the uprising. The demagoguery quickly became the prominent message, with the media quickly adopting the words “incitement” and “Abbas” as inseparable. . . .
___The [IDF’s Intelligence] Corps released the following two professional assessments: “Abbas is not inciting in order to harm Israelis,” and “Abbas is considered a very moderating force in Judea and Samaria.” How did Education Minister Naftali Bennett respond? “The security establishment is wrong.”  More . . .

“TAKE  ME  TO  AL-QASTAL,”  BY  SAMI  AL-JUNDI

There, in the cradle of yearning
Where the birds circle in cheerless skies
in the pine forests,
There rest the souls of the ancients
Did you ask the Swallow, my friend,
About Al-Qastal?

From a hill looking over Deir Yassin
Where love was first born
Thousands of years ago
Before the birth of Christ
Before the budding of jasmine
By the cradle of the goldfinch
Be sure to ask about Al-Qastal.

A deep valley
A mystifying magic and a nectar of secrets
A flock of pigeons and a nightingale
And the remains of a forgotten village and a cross
Ruins of a Babylonian minaret
There, where the moon is near
And our first concern is
Love and Al-Qastal.

Take me to Al-Qastal
Take me to the beautiful grave
Take me to my last home
And load me up with the tragedies of the Arabs
And all the fragrance of the ancestors
My home is the prettiest
My grave is the largest
My path is to Al-Qastal.
—Translated by Amal Eqeiq

About Sami Al-Jundi, author of The Hour of Sunlight: One Palestinian’s Journey from Prisoner to Peacemaker.
From BEFORE  THERE  IS  NOWHERE  TO  STAND:  PALESTINE ISRAEL  POETS  RESPOND  TO  THE  STRUGGLE.  Ed. Joan Dobbie and Grace Beeler. Sandpoint ID: Lost Horse Press, 2012. Available from Barnes and Noble

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Christmas Lutheran Church in the busy city center of Bethlehem. Not an “historic” landmark, but part of the cultural life of the city that is in jeopardy. (Photo: Harold Knight, Aug. 2008)