“. . . Prison assaults but does not hit the mark . . .” (Ahmad Dahbur)

❶ Israel’s arrests of Palestinians ‘highest in years’

Background: “Multiple Legal Systems in the West Bank.” Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture.

❷ 2 Palestinians, Israeli soldier injured during al-Duheisha refugee camp raid
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) Israeli forces detain 32 Palestinians in West Bank, Jerusalem
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴃ) Israeli forces ban Palestinian citizens of Israel from entering Old City of Jerusalem
❸ “MADA” demands release of detained journalists in Palestinian prisons
❹ POETRY by  Ahmad Dahbur
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Al Jazeera English
Zena Tahhan
Aug. 9, 2017.   Israeli forces arrested some 1,268 Palestinians in the occupied Palestinian territories over the last two months, according to rights groups.
___Several non-governmental organisations, including the Ramallah-based Addameer prisoner rights group and al-Mezan rights centre in Gaza, released the figures in a joint press release published on Tuesday.
___In June, the arrest of 388 Palestinians from across the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and Jerusalem, including 70 children and six women was documented.
___In July, Israeli forces proceeded to arrest an additional 880 Palestinians, including 144 children and 18 women.   MORE . . .

(Note: This article is an explanation of the evolution of the current system of laws and courts in the West Bank.)

Shehadeh, Raja.
Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture, vol. 21, no. 3, Jan. 2016, pp. 6-15.
The concept of a ’’dual legal system” has a long history, stemming from the beginning of Israel’s military occupation of the West Bank of the Jordan River in 1967. . .  Israel’s ultimate aim is the annexation of the West Bank without its Palestinian inhabitants. However, the unlikelihood and difficulty of a mass expulsion of Arabs has meant that an interim period, pending full de jure annexation, has necessitated the creation of a particular legal relationship with the territory. Among the legal problems that arise in this interim period are the following:

* How to apply Israeli law to the Jewish settlements in the West Bank while the area has not been annexed and is not under Israeli sovereignty. Related to this problem are the situations in which courts are to apply this law, which government departments are to execute it, and how to ensure that only the Jewish settlers will be subject to these laws, courts and government departments.

* How to avoid applying the Israeli legal system to the Palestinian inhabitants.

* How to reconcile this peculiar legal state of affairs with the requirements of international law.     FULL ARTICLE . . .

Ma’an News Agency 
Aug. 9, 2017.   Two Palestinians were shot and injured during a predawn raid on Wednesday by Israeli forces on the al-Duheisha refugee camp in the southern occupied West Bank city of Bethlehem.
___Locals identified the two injured as Raed al-Salhi and Aziz Arafeh, adding that al-Salhi was critically injured while Arafeh was injured in the leg and in stable condition.
___The two were detained by Israeli forces and taken to the Hadassah hospital in Jerusalem for treatment.        MORE . . .
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
August 9, 2017.   Israeli forces detained overnight at least 32 Palestinians during raids across the occupied West Bank districts and East Jerusalem, the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS) said on Wednesday.   MORE . . .
Ma’an News Agency
Aug. 9, 2017.   Israeli forces prevented dozens of Palestinian citizens of Israel from entering the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in occupied East Jerusalem on Tuesday afternoon, claiming that they had been subjected to bans from “higher orders.”
___Sources told Ma’an that Israeli forces were deployed at the entrances to the Old City and Al-Aqsa ahead of the asr afternoon prayers, examining the IDs of people entering the Old City, and preventing Palestinians whose ID cards said they resided in Palestinian-majority towns in Israel from entering.
___Witnesses said that Israeli forces chased after some people who tried to pass through Damascus Gate into the Old City despite having been told they were not allowed in, and escorted them out.
___The witnesses added that Israeli forces had forced some buses carrying worshipers to leave Jerusalem.
___A worshiper from the town of Umm al-Fahm said that some eight buses coming from Palestinian-majority municipalities such as Umm al-Fahm, Mashhad, and Baqa al-Gharbiya had been stopped by Israeli security forces upon arriving at the Old City of Jerusalem.   MORE . . .
Palestine News Network – PNN
Aug. 9, 2017.   The Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms (MADA) condemns the arrest campaign carried out by the security services in the West Bank last night against five journalists; MADA expresses its rejection of all justifications of attacks against media freedoms.
___The arrestment campaign included the following journalists: Ahmad Mohammad Halayka, Tareq Abu Zeyd, Quttaiba Saleh Qasem, Mamdouh Mahmoud Hamamreh and Amer Abdulhakim Abu Arafa.
___Moy’ad Hamamreh the brother of the journalist Mamdouh Hamamreh reported to MADA “at around19:00pm of (08/08/2017) and while my brother Mamdouh was in a shop right near his house in Husan village, a private car arrived (Scoda), with agents dressed in civil presented themselves as Palestinian intelligence agents, and asked Mamdouh to accompany them without presenting any official document or any arrest warrant, and they deported him to the headquarters of the Palestinian Intelligence in Bethlehem”.   MORE . . .

“THE  PRISON,”  BY  AHMAD  DAHBUR  (Ahmed  Dahbour)
(To Abu Faris. . . who has been there)

Prison teaches that the heart is a desert,
That light is a desert.
It curses the fire and the land of the commandos.
Prison teaches that water is a chameleon,
That the landscape is a snake,
That echo is treacherous, and the wind an enemy.
Prison teaches that the guide’s sight grows dim,
And that the homeland departs.
Prison is a black kingdom in the sand;
Prison is a sword guarding the eyelids;
Prison . . . not the homeland!
So how, my beloved homeland, will the beloved ones survive?

Here we are, no complaints and no regrets,
We never say: an aimless wandering!
Blood gushes forth from the depths of our love.
Prison assaults but does not hit the mark;
Our wounds hit back,
Reaching out like water . . . like the wilderness,
Promising the light with a new light.
From deep within us, signaling twice!
Our cub child,
And the fire of salvation.
We see it, yes we do.
We are not dreaming,
We almost step into his joyous landscape
We almost do.
This is the moment of travail in our difficult labor,
We hug the newborn―
He who springs from our very ecstasy,
Whose kicks we feel in our guts,
Who teaches the hungry what he knows
And declares in words well understood:
Revolution, revolution . . . till life.

The inmate has not lost his features in the sand,
Prison did not turn him into a desert.
From his hunger, water and vegetation sprang.
When silence wounds him,
He can break it with a sigh,
But he endures.
His testimony:
Near death, there were exhaustion and fatigue,
His executioner pressing him to promise
A word . . . a groan, or to divulge his secret,
But all in vain.
His countenance was radiating in the sand
Like an oasis,
For prison had not turned him into a desert.

About Ahmad Dahbur. And here.
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

“. . . Don’t worry, your son is still in his grave . . .” (Mourid Barghouti)

bahaa elayyan
Muhammad Elayyan makes the victory sign after the body of his slain son Bahaa Elayyan is released by Israeli authorities, Sept. 1, 2016. (Photo: Ma’an News Agency)

❶ After 325 days, Israel returns body of slain Palestinian Bahaa Elayyan to his family
❷ Israel shuts down Palestinian radio station amid escalation in press violations
. . . ❷― (ᴀ)   Israeli violations against journalists in occupied territory increase by 17% in first half of 2016
❸ Israeli forces detain 10 Palestinians, including journalist, in West Bank night raids

  • Background from Washington Report on Middle East Affairs. “. . . discourse . . .  itself actually functions to shield Israeli society from the criticism that it deserves.” 

❹ POETRY by Mourid Barghouti
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Ma’an News Agency
Sept. 1, 2016
Israeli authorities returned the body of Palestinian Bahaa Elayyan on Thursday at dawn, allowing his family — which has been leading the movement advocating for Israel to release slain Palestinians’ bodies — to bury him 325 days after his death.
___Elayyan, a 22-year-old resident of the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Jabal al-Mukabbir, was killed alongside another Palestinian after they attacked an Israeli bus with on Oct. 13, killing three Israelis with knives and a gun.
___His body was buried at the al-Mujahidin cemetery near the Old City of Jerusalem, in accordance with stipulations from Israeli police, which has allowed the release of bodies of slain Palestinians from East Jerusalem accused of “terrorism” on the condition that they no longer have funerals in their neighborhoods or villages, but would instead be buried in cemeteries chosen by the police.    MORE . . .   

Ma’an News Agency
Aug. 28, 2016
A Palestinian press freedoms watchdog on Saturday said Israeli violations against media freedoms in the occupied Palestinian territory had continued to rise at a rapid pace over the first half of 2016.
___The increase came even after the group reported an “unprecedented” increase in violations throughout 2015 — “the highest ever to be monitored in Palestine” since the group started monitoring violations against media freedoms more than a decade ago.   ___The Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms, known as MADA, recorded a 17 percent escalation of violations by Israeli authorities during the first half of 2016.     MORE . . .

Alray-Palestinian Media Agency
Aug. 31, 2016
The Journalists support committee called upon the international institutions concerned with the rights of journalists to put pressure on the Israeli occupation to stop its aggression against the Palestinian journalists.
___The Committee called in a statement issued on Wednesday, for the release of journalists and media workers in the radio without charge attributed to them, and with the guarantee of freedom of opinion and expression as guaranteed to them in accordance with international laws.
___Earlier this morning, the Israeli occupation forces arrested at dawn the entire crew of Al-Sanabel Radio in the southern city of Hebron south of the West Bank, after the closing and confiscating of its entire contents.      MORE . . .   

Ma’an News Agency
Sept. 1, 2016
Israeli forces detained at least 10 Palestinians, including a journalist, in Wednesday night raids across the occupied West Bank, Israeli and Palestinian sources said.
___The Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS) reported on Thursday that four Palestinians were detained in the southern West Bank district of Hebron, including journalist and former prisoner Osama Shaheen.    MORE . . .

  • Elrahim, Amira Abd. “Lack of Security for Palestinians.” Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture 21.2 (2015): 28-35.  FULL ARTICLE

Unfortunately, the biased international media has always tried to exonerate Israel as an ethnic supremacist state from its guilt regarding ethnic cleansing. Many political analysts, activists and others fear being portrayed as anti-Semites. Conservative discourse surrounding anti-Semitism itself actually functions to shield Israeli society from the criticism that it deserves. This was obvious in the news coverage of the stabbing attacks in some of the international media channels. In the headlines, “stabbings” were presented as the root of the problem which justifies deadly responses and the murder of Palestinians. In this way, the responses were portrayed as responses to an external factor, which is the violence against Israelis. As a result, Israel was portrayed as a victim, changing victims into criminals, and criminals into victims.
___At the same time, social media by contrast threatens to damage the public image of Israel. It played a big role in removing the mask of the Israeli image through its ability to bypass the propaganda war of international media channels. The image of Israeli society has had barbarous periods before, but not like this one, in which every stabber or anyone who threatens with a knife, school scissors or a ruler is executed, even after he has thrown down his “weapon,” while the killer becomes the hero of the nation.
___The goal of this unilateral war is, on one hand, to force Palestinians to give up all their national demands in their homeland and, on the other hand, add privileges to the Israelis. Israel has chosen occupation over peace and has used negotiations as a smokescreen to advance its colonial project.

osama shahin 2
Osama Shaheen


I have not seen any horrors,
I have not seen a dragon in the land,
I have not seen the Kraken* in the sea,
nor a witch or a policeman
at the outset of my day.
Pirates have not overtaken mu desires,
thieves have not broken down the door of my life,
my absence has not been long,
it only took me one lifetime.

How come you saw scars
on my face, sorrow in my eyes,
and bruises in my bones and in my heart?
These are only illusions.
I have not seen any horrors,
everything was extremely normal.
Don’t worry,
your son is still in his grave, murdered,
and he’s fine.

From Barghouti, Mourid. MIDNIGHT AND OTHER POEMS. Trans. Radwa Ashour. Todmorden, UK: Arc Publications, 2008. Available from Barnes and Noble.

*a legendary sea monster of large proportions