“The earth is closing in on us . . .” (Mahmoud Darwish)

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SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY
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| ISRAELI  SETTLERS  HANG  POSTERS  CALLING  FOR  KILLING  PALESTINIAN  PRESIDENT   
Israeli extreme Jewish groups hung posters of the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas at the Huwwara crossroads in southern Nablus, in the northern occupied West Bank, on Tuesday, calling for his assassination.    [. . . .] The posters read “supporter of terrorists” and called for killing (assassinating) the Palestinian President.    ___The incident comes as member of the Likud party at the Israeli Knesset, Oren Hazan, had called for imposing closure on the Ramallah and al-Bireh district until the suspect of an attack carried out in the Ofra illegal Israeli settlement, two days ago, is detained.    [. . . .] Israeli forces raided several institutions in Ramallah, including the Palestinian Authority (PA)-owned Wafa News and Information Agency, allegedly searching for the suspect.    More. . .
. . . . Related  Palestinian journalists, officials protest Israeli army raid of WAFA news agency office  
. . . . Related  Palestinians kidnapped, civilian homes ransacked by Israeli forces
. . . . Related  Israel shoots dozens of Palestinians in the 19th maritime march in Gaza
. . . . Related  Palestinian shot, killed by Israeli forces in Hebron
RAMALAWI:  THE  OCCUPATION  HAS  ISSUED  A  DECISION  RESTRICTING  VACCINE  IMPORTS  TO  PALESTINE
The Israeli occupation authorities issued a decree banning the Palestinian Ministry of Health from importing vaccines, starting from the beginning of the year 2019, said Undersecretary of the Ministry of Health Dr. Asaad Ramlawi.    ___In an interview with the official Voice of Palestine radio station, Dr. Ramlawi said that the Israeli decree put the supply of vaccinations at risk; the Ministry of Health has resources for just two months of vaccine provision, after which there will be a serious problem if the issue is not resolved.    More . . .
. . . . Related  Mizan Center: Eight patients died due to Israeli travel restriction
| OMAN  ALLOWS  ISRAELI  PLANES  TO  USE  ITS  AIRSPACE    More . . .
. . . . Related  Qatari envoy says Gaza airport was proposed, Israel unresponsive
. . . . Related  Britain’s unreported military alliance with Israel
. . . . Related  World Zionist Organization Used Israeli Public Funds to Finance Illegal Outpost
. . . . Related  [American] Evangelical Christian Groups Invested $65 Million to Jewish Settlements

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .
|  WHY  IS  ISRAEL  FORGING  SECRET  TIES  WITH  SUDAN?
The past two months saw Israeli official visits to several Arab countries. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited Qatar Oct. 26 and met with Sultan Qaboos bin Said to discuss the situation in the region. On the same day, Israeli Sports Minister Miri Regev touched down in Abu Dhabi as part of the Israeli judo team participating in international competitions there. Israeli Minister of Transportation Yisrael Katz arrived Nov. 4 in Muscat for an international conference on global transportation.    ___Moreover, Bahrain invited Nov. 25 Israeli Minister of Economy Eli Cohen for a visit in April to attend a technology conference. On the same day, Chadian President Idriss Debby visited Israel, in a bid to strengthen ties between the two countries, while Chad is hoping to obtain Israeli-made weapons and security assistance as well as benefit from Israeli technologies.    ____Amid these Arab-Israeli developments, Israel’s Channel 2 reported Nov. 25 that Netanyahu’s next Arab visit will be Sudan, without specifying a date. The visit comes within the framework of efforts to create short air routes from Israel to South America via Sudan.    More . . .    

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

“THE  EARTH  IS  CLOSING  IN  ON  US,”  BY  MAHMOUD  DARWISH

The earth is closing in on us, pushing us through the last passage, and
. . . . we tear off our limbs to pass through.
The earth is squeezing us. I wish we were its wheat so we could die
. . . . and live again. I wish the earth was our mother
So she’d be kind to us. I wish we were pictures on the rocks for our
. . . . dreams to carry
As mirrors. We saw the faces of those to be killed by the last of us
. . . . in the last defense of the soul.
We cried over their children’s feast. We saw the faces of those who’ll
. . . . throw our children
Out of the windows of this last space. Our star will hang up mirrors.
Where should we go after the last frontiers? Where should the birds
. . . .fly after the last sky?
Where should the plants sleep after the last breath of air? We will
. . . . write our names with scarlet steam.
We will cut off the hand of the song to be finished by our flesh.
We will die here, here in the last passage. Here and here our blood
. . . . will plant its olive tree.

–From Adonis; Mahmud Darwish; and Samih al-Qasim. VICTIMS OF A MAP: A BILINGUAL ANTHOLOGY OF ARABIC POETRY.  Trans. Abdullah al-Udhari. London: Saqi Books, 2008. Available from Barnes and Noble.

“. . . These policies fall under what is referred to as ‘cleaning the area of its inhabitants’ . . .” (Khalil Tofakji)

outpost
The new illegal outpost being constructed in the northern Jordan Valley on privately owned Palestinian land, Nov. 4, 2016. (Photo: Amira Hass, Haaretz)

❶ Colonizers Build New Illegal Settlement in Jordan Valley

  • Background:    “Settlements And Ethnic Cleansing In The Jordan Valley.” Palestine-Israel Journal Of Politics, Economics & Culture.

❷ Israeli forces close several checkpoints, village entrances across Ramallah district
❸ Gaza: Fishing Zone Expansion Postponed for 3rd Time
. . . ❸― (a) Witnesses: Israeli forces attempt to drown Gaza fishing boat with wastewater
. . . ❸― (b) Israeli forces open fire at Palestinian fishermen off Gaza coast
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
COLONIZERS  BUILD  NEW  ILLEGAL  SETTLEMENT  IN  JORDAN  VALLEY 
International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC      
Nov. 6, 2016
Israeli daily newspaper, Haaretz, on Sunday, said that Israeli settlers have a new community gathering near an Israeli military station in the northern part of the valley, five kilometers away from two other settlements.
___According to the newspaper, PNN reports, the settlers arrived in the area two months ago, built a “tabernacle” and left. A few days ago, they went back to the area, leveled the land and began to build, as seen by local eyewitnesses.
___Israeli authorities say that the building is illegal and does not have permits, and that construction will be halted, equipment possibly confiscated.      More . . .

  • Tofakji, Khalil. “Settlements And Ethnic Cleansing In The Jordan Valley.” Palestine-Israel Journal Of Politics, Economics & Culture 21.3 (2016): 81-87.     Source.  

In recent years, the Israeli government has intensified its settlement activities in the Jordan Valley, an area viewed by the Palestinians, from an economic and natural resources perspective, as the future of the Palestinian state. Israel has demonstrated its priorities through continued expansion of Israeli settlements in the area, with significant political implications for future borders . . . .  Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reiterated this point when he declared that the area along the borders with Jordan would remain under Israeli control.
[. . . .]   The Israeli officials’ statements were followed by settlement construction activity, in parallel with the publication of a strategic report by the Israeli NGO Council for Peace and Security, an NGO established by, and composed of, retired Israeli security officials. The report addressed Israeli security needs, and the government’s claim that they require the state to retain control over the Jordan Valley territory, and . . . In this context, Miri Regev, then a Likud member of the Knesset and currently minister of culture and sport, submitted a draft proposal of a law to annex the Jordan Valley territory and to apply Israeli law on it, which was then signed by 18 Knesset members from both coalition and opposition parties.
[. . . .]  ___ In a January 3, 2013 article, Haaretz revealed that over 5064 dunums of land in the Jordan Valley, private property belonging to Palestinians, had been placed under Israeli control and that in recent years, through Israeli military policies, the percentage of the Palestinian lands utilized by settlers had increased by 110%. In 2013, 2,380 dunums of Palestinian lands were transferred to settlers in order to control water resources and facilitate the planting of palm trees and other crops.
[. . . .]   The ethnic cleansing policy took a clear turn in 2004, with the implementation of a project that was announced on January 9, 2004. “The settlers’ project” is aimed at dividing the West Bank into six areas and isolating them from each other. Israel used this project to isolate the Jordan Valley by forbidding non-residents from residing in the area without a permit and removing the Bedouins through deportation or home demolishment. These policies fall under what is referred to as “cleaning the area of its inhabitants” in order to avoid any security or political burdens on Israel in the future.

ISRAELI  FORCES  CLOSE  SEVERAL  CHECKPOINTS,  VILLAGE  ENTRANCES  ACROSS  RAMALLAH  DISTRICT
Ma’an News Agency
Nov. 7, 2016     Israeli forces closed several checkpoints across the central occupied West Bank district of Ramallah Monday morning, resulting in serious traffic jams and mobility impediments on morning commuters attempting to enter Ramallah city.
___Local sources and taxi drivers told Ma’an that Israeli forces closed the northern Attara checkpoint ― a major entryway to Ramallah ― preventing rush hour traffic coming from the northern West Bank from entering the administrative center of the occupied territory. ___Vehicles attempting to enter Ramallah from the area were turned around, while vehicles attempting to exit Ramallah through the checkpoint were subject to “strict inspection” before being allowed to exit.    More . . .

Qalandiya, West Bank, 25.2.2016
Palestinian laborers with work permits and commuting East Jerusalem residents, including high school students, wait to cross the Qalandiya checkpoint separating the parts of East Jerusalem and the West Bank city of Ramallah from Jerusalem in the early hours of February 25, 2016. (Activestills.org)

GAZA:  FISHING  ZONE  EXPANSION  POSTPONED  FOR  3RD  TIME  
International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC   
November 6, 2016
Israeli authorities postponed for the third time a planned temporary expansion of the besieged Gaza Strip’s fishing zone of Sunday, claiming that Palestinian officials had not fulfilled their commitments.
___An Israeli official said on Sunday that the temporary expansion of the northern Gaza Strip’s fishing zone would take place once Palestinian authorities in Gaza “carry out their commitments”, which include placing a ship to observe the agree to monitor any violations.
___The head of Israel’s Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), Yoav Mordechai, said on his official Facebook page that the expansion had been postponed until Sunday, but that “your representatives did not implement what was agreed on.”      More . . .
. . . ❸― (A) WITNESSES:  ISRAELI  FORCES  ATTEMPT  TO  DROWN  GAZA  FISHING  BOAT  WITH  WASTEWATER
Ma’an News Agency  
Nov. 7, 2016
Israeli naval forces attempted to drown a Palestinian fishing boat off the coast of the central Gaza Strip on Monday, according to witnesses.
___Local fishermen told Ma’an that Israeli naval boats pumped wastewaters towards Mohammad Adel Abu Rayala’s fishing boat “in an attempt to drown him.”     More . . .
. . . ❸― (B) ISRAELI  FORCES  OPEN  FIRE  AT  PALESTINIAN  FISHERMEN  OFF  GAZA  COAST   
Ma’an News Agency
Nov. 6, 2016
Israeli naval forces opened fire at Palestinian fishermen off the coast of the northern Gaza Strip on Sunday evening, according to witnesses.
___Local fishermen told Ma’an that Israeli forces opened fire on them while they were out at sea, off the coast of the northern town of Beit Lahiya, forcing them to sail back to shore.      More. . .