“. . . Don’t ask me to empty the sea. . .” (Fouzi El Asmar)

16-year-old Laith Haitham Abu Naeem, EXECUTED BY Israeli Soldier (Photo, PNN, Feb. 1, 2018)

❶ MOFA: The Silence On the Execution of “Laith Abu Naeem” is Disgraceful
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Ramallah bids last farewell to 16-year-old martyr
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴃ) Children terrorized as Israeli army ransacks homes, kidnaps civilians

  • Background: “Our Jerusalem — a Reality Check.” Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture

❷ Israel releases Palestinian lawmaker who has spent nearly 32 years behind bars
. . . . . ❷― (ᴀ) Israeli detention of Palestinians up by 5% in 2017, say groups
❸ POETRY by Fouzi El Asmar
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Palestine News Network – PNN  
Jan. 31, 2018 ― The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates in a statement strongly condemned the unlawful killing of the 16 years old “Laith Haitham Abu Naeem” in the village of al Mughayer near Ramallah. The crime happened after an Israeli soldier shot the martyr in the head from a close range to deliberately kill him.
___The Ministry assured that this crime reflects the culture of barbaric killing which is popular among the Israeli soldiers who are deployed throughout the Palestinian territory, addnig that it’s also considered a reflection of the political instructions of the political and military levels in the state of Israel that permits and encourages the killing of Palestinians.
___The Ministry warned against the consequences of dealing with the death penalty against the unarmed Palestinians as numbers and statistics, those grotesque crimes became a routine and insignificant that’s not worth paying attention to the amount of tragedy and suffering of the Palestinian families due to the loss of their loved ones.    MORE . . .
.  .  .  .  .  ❶  ―  (ᴀ)  RAMALLAH  BIDS  LAST  FAREWELL  TO  16-YEAR-OLD  MARTYR   
Palestine News Network – PNN 
Feb. 1, 2018 ― Crowds of Ramallah on Wednesday noon bid the last farewell to its 16-year-old martyr, Laith Abu Naim, who was shot dead by Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) on Tuesday, during clashes in the city.
___Abu Na’im was buried in his home-village, Al-Mughir, northeast of Ramallah, in midst of large popular and official presence.
___The boy wes shot dead in cold blood by the IOF during clashes in Ramallah on Tuesday. . .   MORE . . .
The Palestinian Information Center
Feb. 1, 2018 ― A number of Palestinians were kidnapped by the Israeli occupation forces (IOF) at daybreak Thursday in abduction sweeps rocking West Bank provinces.
___Overnight, special Israeli forces kidnapped three Palestinian young men after they chased down a car near Nablus’s western town of Zawata.
___According to eye-witnesses, a driver accidentally rammed a parked car before undercover Israeli officers showed up in the area and dragged the driver to their jeep at gunpoint.
___Sometime later, the family of Palestinian prisoner Jamal Abu al-Heija said their eldest son, Abdul Salem, also an ex-prisoner, was kidnapped from the targeted car. Another son of al-Heija’s, Emad, was kidnapped just a few hours later from the family’s home in Jenin.    MORE . . .

Klein, Menachem. “OUR  JERUSALEM  —  A  REALITY  CHECK.” 
PALESTINE-ISRAEL  JOURNAL  OF  POLITICS,  ECONOMICS  &  CULTURE, vol. 22/23, no. 4/1, Jan. 2018, pp. 9-15.
[. . . .] Israel’s overwhelming victory in the 1967 war placed Israeli Jerusalem in a position of superiority. Since then, Israel has been acting to shape Jerusalem as its place alone. In the first years after the war, Israel turned East Jerusalem into a hybrid area which contains components of the State of Israel alongside components of the West Bank. Israel annexed East Jerusalem and, from the point of view of Israeli law, detached it from the West Bank. But in a number of other ways, East Jerusalem remained part of the West Bank — for example, from a social point of view and marital connections, in the educational system and the curriculum, in the organization of the religious establishment and the transportation and communication systems. The policy was to cut off East Jerusalem from the West Bank while at the same time not integrating it into Israel.
[. . . .] The building of the Separation Wall cut off tens of thousands of Palestinians from the city, and those areas became ungovernable. They are formally annexed to the State of Israel but, in actuality, they are outside of it. . .  Periodically the Israeli army and police enter the area. These incursions are a matter of routine in the West Bank but occur only infrequently in East Jerusalem. In other words, these Palestinian neighborhoods are today a hybrid area within the West Bank, although they are formally annexed into Israel.
[. . . .] The genetic code of the Palestinian reaction to the Israeli expansionism and political and legal superiority is identical in Jerusalem and in the West Bank: survival in the field, passive resistance to Israeli control and sporadic violence. . .  Violent protests are a sporadic and unorganized phenomenon with similar characteristics in Jerusalem and in the West Bank: stabbing and running over civilians and soldiers, and throwing rocks and Molotov cocktails at settlers, soldiers and police at checkpoints.
[. . . .]  It is important to note that the hybridization of Jerusalem is not multicultural and equal but ethnic and hierarchal. The Jewish collective preserves by force its privileges and discriminates against the Palestinian collective, whose number is almost equal to that of the Jews. This is not only the reality of Jerusalem: Between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea there is a very similar demographic balance. Israel is aware of this and is afraid of its repercussions, but it is trapped in the entanglement that it has created. It refuses to give up on its privileges and is turning to more intensive use of force, yet it frequently underestimates the severity of the problem or denies it.     FULL ARTICLE . . .

Ma’an News Agency 
Feb. 1, 2018 ―  Israeli forces released Palestinian lawmaker Muhammad Abu Tir after he was held in Israeli prison for six months under administrative detention — Israel’s widely-condemned policy of internment without charge or trial.
___Abu Tir was detained on August 4, 2017 after Israeli forces raided his house in the town of al-Bireh in the central occupied West Bank district of Ramallah. He had been released from Israeli prison two months prior to his latest detention in August.
___Abu Tair has spent an estimated total of 32 years behind Israeli bars.
___The Hamas-affiliated lawmaker moved to al-Bireh after being exiled from his home in occupied East Jerusalem in 2010, along with fellow imprisoned parliamentarian Ahmad Attun, Palestinian Legislative Committee (PLC) member Muhammad Tutah, and former PA Minister Khalid Abu Arafeh.   MORE . . .
.  .  .  .  .  ❷―  (ᴀ)  ISRAELI  DETENTION  OF  PALESTINIANS  UP  BY  5%  IN  2017,  SAY  GROUPS
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Feb. 1, 2018 ― Israeli detention of Palestinians increased by 5% in 2017 compared to the previous year for a total of 6742 Palestinians, three Palestinian rights organizations said on Thursday.
___The Palestinian Prisoner’s Society, Addameer and al-Mezan said in a joint report that out of the 6742 Palestinians Israel detained, 1467 were minors, 156 women, 14 lawmakers, and 25 journalists.    MORE . . .

Don’t ask me
the impossible
Don’t’ ask me
to hunt stars,
walk to the sun.
Don’t ask me
to empty the sea
to erase the day’s light
I am nothing but a man.

Don’t ask me
to abandon my eyes, my love,
the memory of my childhood.

I was raised
under an olive tree,
I ate the figs
of my orchard
drank wine from
the sloping vineyards
Tasted Cactus fruit
in the valleys
more, more.

The nightingale has sung
in my ears
The free winds of fields and cities
always tickled me
My friend
You cannot ask me
to leave my own country.  (March 1971)

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

“. . . . Return is more than a reclamation of the land stolen by an enemy . . .” (Jabra Ibrahim Jabra)

Palestine Square in the heart of Gaza City: ruins of abandoned Ottoman era churches. (Photo: MEMO/Mohammed Asad)
Palestine Square in the heart of Gaza City: ruins of abandoned Ottoman era churches. (Photo: MEMO/Mohammed Asad)

❶ Unearthing Gaza’s history
❷ Qalandiya International 2016 Edition to Explore Subject of Return
❸ Israeli forces raid, destroy property at al-Quds University
. . . . . ❸―(ᴀ) Video: Israel demolishes every home in West Bank Bedouin village
❹ IOF demolish municipal slaughterhouse, east of Bethlehem
❻ From an essay by Jabra Ibrahim Jabra
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
The Middle East Monitor – MEMO
April 2016
Palestine Square in the heart of Gaza City has been the focus of excavation works by the Ministry of Endowments to unearth ruins dating back to the Byzantine era. The 1,500 year old remains include crowns, columns and a cross, which indicates there may have been a church on the site, Director of Museums and Antiquities at the Ministry of Tourism Hiam Al-Bitar told MEMO.
___It is expected that the city centre may have contained many churches from the Byzantine era.      MORE . . .

Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Qalandiya International’s executive council announced that the third edition of its collaborative artistic program will be launched between the 5th and the 30th of October 2016 and will be built around the theme of return. . . .
___ . . . the over-riding aim of the festival this year is to open up an in-depth discussion around the important subject of Palestinian return – particularly in the context of the terrible events currently unfolding in the region.
___This is a period in which the Nakba’s repercussions are revealed as harsher as and more devastating than ever before.     MORE . . .  

Ma’an News Agency
April 5, 2016
Israeli forces stormed the campus of al-Quds University in the occupied West Bank village of Abu Dis east of Jerusalem’s Old City early on Tuesday morning, damaging property, local sources told Ma’an.
___Israeli troops raided the university campus at 3 a.m. and left at 5 a.m. For two hours, the soldiers locked campus security guards in one room after breaking their walkie-talkies.
___The soldiers then ransacked a building hosting the Dean of Students . . . .   MORE . . .
Sheren Khalel and Abed Al Qaisi
April 4, 2016
Israeli forces have demolished every home in the Bedouin village of Khirbet Taha in the northern West Bank district of Nablus during three separate demolitions since the start of the year.
___Unlike most Bedouin villages, the residents in Khirbet Taha own their own land. However that land falls in Area C, territory in the occupied West Bank under full Israeli control.     MORE . . .  

Palestine News Network – PNN
April 5, 2016
Israeli Occupation bulldozers on Tuesday morning tore down the municipal slaughterhouse in Beit Sahour town east of Bethlehem, claiming it has no building permit.
___Eyewitnesses told PNN that an intense number of troops broke into the town and demolished the slaughterhouse that’s property of the town municipality, preventing locals from approaching the area.
___The demolition comes as part of a wave of demolitions which IOF embarked months ago.      MORE . . .

The old church in Kafr Bir’im. The Palestinian villagers were expelled from their homes two years after the founding of the State of Israel. (Photo: Activestills.org)
The old church in Kafr Bir’im. The Palestinian villagers were expelled from their homes two years after the founding of the State of Israel. (Photo: Activestills.org)

+972 Magazine Blog
April 4, 2016
Noam Rote
Menachem Klein’s book, Lives in Common: Arabs and Jews in Jerusalem, Jaffa and Hebron, is a depressing one. Originally released in English, the book — which is being published in Hebrew  — paints a picture of a shared life between Palestinians and Jews at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th centuries, bringing us face-to-face with daily life, commerce, education, celebrations, and sadness. It shows that us this kind existence, despite everything we were taught by the Israeli education system, is possible. And then Klein goes on and destroys this delicate balance, burning everything that is left of it today.      MORE . . .


The city of Jerusalem is not just a place; it is also a time. One cannot understand it only in its limited physical boundaries. It must be seen in its historical perspective, as if it were history itself. As if an observer might grasp the history of four thousand years in a single glance.

In this city, history lives. Every stone pronounces it. This history is full of contradictions, full of disasters, but it is also the story of a city for which all of humanity has yearned. Because it has never been, not for one day, merely a city composed of stone and dirt, business and politics. It has always been a city of dreams and longing, and of the human spirit’s gaze toward God.  [. . . . ]

When an enemy comes and crushes sidewalks with armored cars, when he blows up houses with everyone in them, when he tears family and friends up from their roots, when he casts a boy—now a young man—across valleys and deserts, from one road to another, from one home to another, is this not a brazen attempt to sever Self from Self?

From this experience comes every Palestinian’s feeling that he must return. Return is more than a reclamation of the land stolen by an enemy. It is winning back that part of the Self that had been taken, and returning it to itself so it can be whole again.

From: Jabra Ibrahim Jabra. THE  EIGHTH  JOURNEY.  Beirut: Modern Library (al-Maktaba al-‘Asriya) Press, 1967 (collection of literary and social criticism). Republished by ARAB  STUDIES  JOURNAL (January 26, 2015). Web.
About JABRA IBRAHIM JABRA (1919–1994)