“. . . the story of a humanitarian tragedy: the forced displacement of some 800,000 Palestinians . . .” (Al-Hourriah)

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Palestinian refugees leaving the Galilee in October–November 1948 (Photo: Public Domain)

NEWSPAPERS REVIEW: PRISONERS STRIKE, NAKBA ANNIVERSARY FOCUS OF DAILIES    
❶ ― (ᴀ) Palestinians mark 69th ‘Nakba’ anniversary with rallies
❶ ― (ᴃ) Israeli forces suppress Nakba day rallies in Bethlehem, Ramallah
❷ 29 Days of Hunger Strike: Commercial strike in the West Bank; Barghouthi, Sa’adat receive legal visits
❸ ― (ᴀ) Athens protests and actions support Palestinian prisoners’ hunger strike, struggle for freedom
❸ ― (ᴃ) Irish Republican prisoners’ statement of solidarity with Palestinian political prisoners
HISTORICAL NOTE  
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
NEWSPAPERS REVIEW: PRISONERS STRIKE, NAKBA ANNIVERSARY FOCUS OF DAILIES       
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA

May 15, 2017
Twenty eight days of hunger strike by Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails and the 69th Nakba anniversary were the focus of the three Arabic dailies on Monday.
[. . . .]___ The papers also said the strike coincides with the anniversary of the Nakba (catastrophe), which marks 69 years since the dispersal of the Palestinian people and uprooting from their homes and land in historic Palestine in 1948.      MORE . . .  

❶ ― (ᴀ) PALESTINIANS MARK 69TH ‘NAKBA’ ANNIVERSARY WITH RALLIES:  Protests and vigils in occupied West Bank, Gaza and Israel as Palestinians mark forced displacement from lands in 1948.
Al Jazeera English
May 15, 2017
Palestinians are commemorating the 69th anniversary of the “Nakba”, the “day of catastrophe” in which Israel was officially declared a state following the forced removal of more than 750,000 Palestinians from their homes and the destruction of over 500 villages and towns.
___People across historic Palestine – including Israel, the occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip – are holding rallies, marches and candlelight vigils on Monday, as well as sounding sirens.
___Israel has made publicly commemorating the Nakba increasingly difficult for Palestinians, with a “Nakba Law” that authorises Israel’s finance minister to revoke funding from institutions that reject Israel’s character as a “Jewish state” or mark the country’s “Independence Day” as a day of mourning.     MORE . . .
❶ ― (ᴃ)  ISRAELI FORCES SUPPRESS NAKBA DAY RALLIES IN BETHLEHEM, RAMALLAH  
Ma’an News Agency  
May 15, 2017
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israeli forces cracked down on Palestinians commemorating the 69th anniversary of the Nakba, or “catastrophe,” on Monday, with several Palestinians sustaining gunshot injuries and suffering from severe tear gas inhalation during marches in Bethlehem and Ramallah.
___At least three people were hospitalized after Israeli forces violently suppressed a Nakba march in the southern occupied West Bank city of Bethlehem around midday Monday, with one march participant describing the use of force as one of “the worst (tear) gas experiences” they had witnessed in the city in five years.
___Witnesses told Ma’an the Israeli forces were deliberately launching tear gas canisters directly at demonstrators on the main street in northern Bethlehem where the march culminated, and continued to shoot tear gas at those attempting the escape, causing numerous people to suffer from tear gas suffocation.    MORE . . .

❷ 29 DAYS OF HUNGER STRIKE: COMMERCIAL STRIKE IN THE WEST BANK; BARGHOUTHI, SA’ADAT RECEIVE LEGAL VISITS 

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network 
May 15, 2017
As Palestinians and their supporters around the world mark the 69th anniversary of the Nakba, the catastrophe of the occupation of Palestine and the forced displacement of over 750,000 Palestinian refugees from their homes, lands and villages by Zionist forces, Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails enter their 29th day of hunger strike on 15 May 2017.       ___Palestinian prisoners have a long history of hunger strikes in Israeli prisons, stretching back to 1968. This strike, the Strike of Freedom and Dignity, was launched on 17 April 2017, Palestinian Prisoners’ Day, by approximately 1,500 out of the total 6,300 Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails. They are demanding basic human rights, including an end to the denial of family visits, proper health care and medical treatment, the right to pursue distance higher education and an end to solitary confinement and administrative detention, imprisonment without charge or trial.    MORE . . .

nakba
Demonstrators wave Palestinian flags during a Nakba protest in Ramallah (Photo: Ma’an News Agency, May 15, 2017)

❸ ― (ᴀ) ATHENS PROTESTS AND ACTIONS SUPPORT PALESTINIAN PRISONERS’ HUNGER STRIKE, STRUGGLE FOR FREEDOM 
Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network      
May 15, 2017
Organizers in Athens, Greece have organized a series of actions in support of Palestinian political prisoners. Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network in Athens has participated in protests, marches and contingents to express solidarity from Greece to all Palestinian prisoners, and to the 1500 prisoners who launched the Strike for Freedom and Dignity on 17 April 2017, Palestinian Prisoners’ Day.    MORE . . .     
❸ ― (ᴃ) IRISH REPUBLICAN PRISONERS’ STATEMENT OF SOLIDARITY WITH PALESTINIAN POLITICAL PRISONERS     
Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network  
May 15, 2017
Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network is honored to republish the following statement from Irish republican prisoners in Maghaberry Jail. Throughout the history of the Irish and Palestinian struggles, these movements have extended their support and solidarity to one another. Nowhere has this solidarity been more poignant than inside Israeli and British colonial jails, as Palestinian and Irish hunger strikers and political prisoners expressed their joint commitment to liberation struggle. The 1981 message from Palestinian prisoners in Nafha to the H-Block strikers continues to powerfully resonate today.  MORE . . . .             RELATED . . . .         RELATED . . . .  

Historical Note

THE PALESTINIAN NAKBA: FROM NAPOLEON TO BEN-GURION
Al-Hourriah       
May 15, 2017
The term “Nakba” (“catastrophe” in Arabic) conjures up memories of two pivotal events in Palestinian history: the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948 and the expulsion of some 800,000 Palestinians from their ancestral homeland.
___The word has not only come to symbolize the tragedy that befell Palestinians in 1948, but also of the trials and tribulations the people of Palestine continue to endure under Israel’s decades-long occupation.
___The Nakba is the story of a humanitarian tragedy: the forced displacement of some 800,000 Palestinians and the destruction of most of Palestine’s political, economic and cultural heritage to make way for the self-proclaimed Jewish state.    MORE . . .

“. . . “Since . . . 1967, Israeli forces have arrested more than 800,000 Palestinians . . . 20% of the total Palestinian population . . . .” (Addameer)

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Palestinian protesters during a demonstration in Bethlehem to show their support for Palestinians imprisoned in Israeli jails after hundreds of detainees launched a hunger strike, April 17, 2017. (AHMAD GHARABLI / AFP/GETTY IMAGES)

❶  Israeli authorities continue attempts to break [prisoners’] mass hunger strike on 24th day
❷ The Prisoners’ Revolt: The Real Reasons behind the Palestinian Hunger Strike
❸ BACKGROUND ARTICLES

  • The Economic Exploitation of Palestinian Prisoners
  • On Administrative Detention
  • The Impact of Parental Detention on the Psychological Wellbeing of Palestinian Children
  • Israel’s Policy Of Administrative Detention

❹ POETRY by Fouzi El Asmar

` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
ISRAELI  AUTHORITIES  CONTINUE  ATTEMPTS  TO  BREAK [PRISONERS’] MASS  HUNGER STRIKE  ON  24TH  DAY   
Ma’an News Agency    
May 10, 2017
RAMALLAH — As some 1,600 Palestinians held in Israeli prisons entered their 24th day of a mass hunger strike on Wednesday, the prisoners have reported severe health deterioration — including several hunger strikers coughing up blood — and continued repressive measures imposed on the prisoners by the Israel Prison Service (IPS).
___Israeli authorities have also escalated their delegitimization campaign against Marwan Barghouthi, an imprisoned Fatah figure and the primary leader of the strike.     ___Palestinian prisoners are calling for an end to the denial of family visits, the right to pursue higher education, appropriate medical care and treatment, and an end to solitary confinement and administrative detention — imprisonment without charge or trial — among other demands for basic rights.       MORE . . .

❷ THE  PRISONERS’  REVOLT:  THE  REAL  REASONS  BEHIND  THE  PALESTINIAN  HUNGER  STRIKE      
Palestine Chronicle      
Ramzy Baroud
May 3 2017
Gaza is the world’s largest open air prison. The West Bank is a prison, too, segmented into various wards, known as areas A, B and C.  In fact, all Palestinians are subjected to varied degrees of military restrictions. At some level, they are all prisoners.
___East Jerusalem is cut off from the West Bank, and those in the West Bank are separated from one another.
[. . . .] ___Palestinians ‘lucky’ enough to escape the handcuffs and shackles are still trapped in different ways.
[. . . .]  This is why the issue of prisoners is a very sensitive one for Palestinians. It is a real and metaphorical representation of all that Palestinians have in common.
___The protests igniting across the Occupied Territories to support 1,500 hunger strikers are not merely an act of ‘solidarity’ with the incarcerated and abused men and women who are demanding improvements to their conditions.
___Sadly, prison is the most obvious fact of Palestinian life; it is the status quo; the everyday reality.     MORE . . .

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More than 100 Palestinian children are in Israeli prisons are aged between 12 and 15. April 24, 2016. (Getty Images)

❸ BACKGROUND  ARTICLES

“THE  ECONOMIC  EXPLOITATION  OF  PALESTINIAN  PRISONERS.”
Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association
February 2017
This report addresses the economic aspects of the imprisonment of over 800,000 Palestinians since the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza in 1967, with a particular focus on the role that prisons play in the maintenance of the regime of occupation, from 1985 until the present.    MORE. . . .

“ON  ADMINISTRATIVE  DETENTION.”
Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association
December 2015
Administrative detention is a procedure that allows the Israeli military to hold prisoners indefinitely on secret information without charging them or allowing them to stand trial. Although administrative detention is used almost exclusively to detain Palestinians from the occupied Palestinian territory (OPT), which includes the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip, Israeli citizens and foreign nationals can also be held as administrative detainees by Israel (over the years, only 9 Israeli settlers have been held in administrative detention) . . . .
___Since the beginning of the Israeli occupation in 1967, Israeli forces have arrested more than 800,000 Palestinians, constitute almost 20% of the total Palestinian population in the occupied Palestinian territories.       MORE . . .

“THE  IMPACT  OF  PARENTAL  DETENTION  ON  THE  PSYCHOLOGICAL  WELLBEING  OF  PALESTINIAN  CHILDREN.”
Plos ONE, vol. 10, no. 7, 17
Amer Shehadeh, et al.  July 2015, pp. 1-11.
For about one quarter to one third of the young children whose fathers were in prison, mothers reported scores above the threshold, showing they had severe psychological problems (SDQ) and severe symptoms of posttraumatic stress (UCLA-PTSD-RI). These percentages are much higher than in the control group of children whose fathers were not detention (table 3). Logistic regression analyses confirm the large impact of father’s detention onto young children’s psychological wellbeing      MORE. . . .  

“ISRAEL’S  POLICY  OF  ADMINISTRATIVE  DETENTION.”
Directorate-General For External Policies Of The [European] Union Policy Department
May 10, 2012.
[. . . . ] In Israel, the Ministry of Defence issues the administrative detention order, to be implemented by the Israeli executive power. Administrative detentions are usually secret orders for six months periods of incarceration, and can be renewed indefinitely. In some cases, prisoners have been held without charge or trial for several years. The practice is based on three pieces of legislation, each of which applies in a different area (the West Bank, the territory of Israeli and the Gaza Strip)      MORE . . .

“TWENTY  COMRADES,”  BY  FOUZI  EL ASMAR
Beloved, you ask me
Of life in this prison, this cell
what of the chains
chafing my wrists
what of my food and drink
and the comrades of my cell?

Beloved, let me tell you:
Our clouds are indeed heavy
But our being here
is a smile of spring,
The shock of thunder
in autumn, after draught.
We are not defeated
Like our jailers.

Life in this prison, this cell
is a palm tree impregnated
at the dawn.
My chains are the round
echo of a muezzin,
Their clank is the ringing
of my people’s bells.

Beloved, you ask me
of the meaning of my food
Here beloved
we grow like the wild flowers.

And what of
my comrades in this cell? you ask
They are the twenty candles
lighting the darkness of this cell
The twenty songs
shaking the walls of this cell
The twenty revolutions
that will eternalize this cell
And we, beloved
we shall not be stopped.  (June, 1970)

El Asmar, Fouzi. POEMS  FROM  AN  ISRAELI  PRISON. Intro. By Israel Shahak. New York: KNOW Books, 1973.
Available from Amazon.
About Fouzi El Asmar.

“. . . Is it from your hills that the angels sang to the shepherds Of peace on earth . . .” (Jabra Ibrahim Jabra)

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“Marwan Barghouti’s popularity can give new momentum to the Palestinian struggle.” Shannon Ebrahim, Information Clearing House, October 13, 2013. (Photo: Al-Jazeera)

❶ Leaders of Belgium’s parliament nominate Marwan Barghouti for Nobel Peace Prize
. . ❶ ― (ᴀ) ― April 17, 2014. Deputy President of South Africa signs Robben Island Declaration calling for the freedom of Marwan Barghouthi & All Palestinian political prisoners
❷ 28 Palestinian young women arrested over Facebook
❸ Israeli forces detain Palestinian teens, fire tear gas at Ramallah-area schools
❹ Israeli soldiers detain Palestinian lawmaker in overnight raid
❺ Opinion/Analysis: LIBERMAN’S  NEW  JOB:  CONTROL  OVER  FOUR  MILLION  PALESTINIANS
. . ❺― (ᴀ)  Liberman’s 10-point security program
❻ POETRY by Jabra Ibrahim Jabra
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ LEADERS  OF  BELGIUM’S  PARLIAMENT  NOMINATE  MARWAN  BARGHOUTI  FOR  NOBEL  PEACE  PRIZE
Ma’an News Agency
May 18, 2016
Leading members of Belgium’s parliament from across the national political spectrum nominated Marwan Barghouti for the Nobel Peace Prize on Wednesday, referring to the imprisoned parliament member as the “Palestinian Mandela” and a symbol of peace in Palestine.
___“Peace requires the freedom of Marwan Barghouti and all of the political prisoners, and more generally the freedom of the Palestinian people living for decades under occupation,” the nomination letter sent to the Norwegian Nobel Committee stated.
___“By granting the Nobel Peace Prize to someone who embodies the Palestinian people’s struggle for freedom, but also their aspiration to achieve peace. . . .”    MORE . . .   (Copy and paste)
. . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Deputy  President  of  South  Africa  signs  Robben Island Declaration  calling  for  the  freedom  of  Marwan  Barghouthi  &  All  Palestinian  political  prisoners
Media Review Network
April 17, 2014      MORE . . . 

❷ 28  PALESTINIAN  YOUNG  WOMEN  ARRESTED  OVER  FACEBOOK
The Palestinian Information Center
May 19, 2016
The Israeli Occupation Authorities (IOA) arrested 28 young women over Facebook posts since the outbreak of Jerusalem Intifada last October, the Palestine Center for Prisoners Studies revealed Thursday.
___The rights center stated that Israeli forces notably escalated arrests against Palestinian women over the past seven months under flimsy pretexts [. . . .]
___Israeli authorities invented since the outbreak of Jerusalem Intifada a new charge against Palestinian women. 28 Palestinian young women were arrested for “incitement” in social media. At least six of them are still held behind Israeli bars, while eight others were held in administrative detention.       MORE . . .   

❸ ISRAELI  FORCES  DETAIN  PALESTINIAN  TEENS,  FIRE  TEAR  GAS  AT  RAMALLAH-AREA  SCHOOLS
Ma’an News Agency
May 18, 2016
Israeli soldiers stormed the central occupied West Bank town of Beituniya on Wednesday morning, detaining two teenagers and firing tear gas at nearby schools.
___Witnesses told Ma’an that Israeli troops questioned several young men in the streets of the town west of Ramallah before detaining two teenagers.
___Israeli forces also fired tear gas towards schools in Beituniya, causing dozens of schoolchildren to choke, witnesses added.      MORE . . .      (Copy and paste)

❹ ISRAELI  SOLDIERS  DETAIN  PALESTINIAN  LAWMAKER  IN  OVERNIGHT  RAID
+972 Blog
Noam Rotem
May 18, 2016
Israeli forces arrested Palestinian parliamentarian Abed al-Jaber Fuqaha in his home in the al-Masyoun neighborhood of Ramallah during an overnight raid Monday. According to members of Fuqaha’s family, soldiers burst into their home in the early hours of the morning, beat and took him into custody [. . . .]
___Fuqaha is the seventh Palestinian legislator in Israeli custody. . . .     MORE . . .  

Avigdor Lieberman the head of ultra-nati
“. . . . permanently uncouth Avigdor Lieberman. . . .” Adam Chandler, Tabletmag.com, March 8, 2013. (Photo: MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP/Getty Images)

❺ Opinion/Analysis:  LIBERMAN’S  NEW  JOB:  CONTROL  OVER  FOUR  MILLION  PALESTINIANS
+972 Blog
Noam Sheizaf
May 19, 2016
Avigdor Liberman’s appointment as defense minister is, in my eyes, one of Netanyahu’s most surprising moves . . . . Netanyahu is a careful politician that does not like big egos surrounding him, and Liberman is Liberman — a person who deliberately chooses to be unexpected and undisciplined — even when it doesn’t serve his interests — and who spews hawkish remarks in spades.
___Liberman promised to take down Hamas and execute terrorists — and all this before we blow up Egypt’s Aswan Dam, as he once famously suggested. . . . Liberman has too many promises to fill, and an electorate that runs the gamut from traditional right-wingers to Kahanists. This is disturbing.      MORE . . .
. . ❺― (ᴀ) LIBERMAN’S  10-POINT  SECURITY  PROGRAM
Al-Monitor (Palestine Pulse)
Mazal Mualem
February 29, 2016
“Instead of fighting against terrorism, this government is paying protection money to terrorists. It’s happening right now” [. . . .]
___At a speech [Liberman] introduced his own “10-point program” to stop the wave of terror. After calling for the reinstitution of Israel’s targeted assassination strategy of wanted terrorists, his second point was to stop the transfer of all funds to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.     MORE . . .

“IN  THE  DESERTS  OF  EXILE,”  BY  JABRA  IBRAHIM  JABRA

Spring after spring,
In the deserts of exile,
What are we doing with our love,
When our eyes are full of frost and dust?

Our Palestine, green land of ours;
Its flowers as if embroidered of women’s gowns;
March adorns its hills
With the jewel-like peony and narcissus;
April bursts open in its plains
With flowers and bride-like blossoms;
May is our rustic song
Which we sing at noon,
In the blue shadows,
Among the olive trees of our valley
And in the ripeness of the fields
We wait for the promise of July
And the joyous dance amidst the harvest.

O land of ours where our childhood passed
Like dreams in the shade of the orange-grove,
Among the almond-trees in the valleys—
Remember us now wandering
Among the thorns of the desert,
Wandering in rocky mountains;
Remember us now
In the tumult of cities beyond deserts and seas;
Remember us
With our eyes full of dust
That never clears in our ceaseless wandering
They crushed the flowers on the hills around us,
Destroyed the houses over our heads,
Scattered our torn remains,
Then unfolded the desert before us,
With valleys writhing in hunger
And blue shadows shattered into red thorns
Bent over corpses left as prey for falcon and crow.

Is it from your hills that the angels sang to the shepherds
Of peace on earth and goodwill among men?
Only death laughed when it saw
Among the entrails of beasts
The ribs of men,
And through the guffaw of bullets
It went dancing a joyous dance
On the heads of weeping women.

Our land is an emerald,
But in the deserts of exile,
Spring after spring,
Only the dust hisses in our face.
What then, what are we doing with our love?
When our eyes and our mouth are full of frost and dust?

About Jabra Ibrahim Jabra.  
From AN  ANTHOLOGY  OF  MODERN  ARABIC  POETRY, selected, edited and translated by Mounah Khouri and Hamid Algar.  Online here.