“. . . I shall carve the record of my sufferings . . . On an olive tree. . .” (Tawfiq Zayyad)

uproot
Suspended in space: uprooting of olive trees for the expansion of Zufin, Jewish settlement in the Tulkarm district (Photo: B’Tselem/ Christoph Gocke – EAPPI)

❶ Israeli forces demolish Palestinian-owned structures in Nablus
. . . ―❶ (ᴀ) Israeli Occupation uproots 300 trees west of Hebron
. . . ―❶ (ᴃ) Israel demolishes multiple Palestinian structures in Jerusalem area
. . . ―❶ (ᴄ) Israeli forces uproot 50 olive trees as Palestinian farmer awaits court date to appeal

  • Background: “Uprooting Identities: The Regulation of Olive Trees in the Occupied West Bank.”

❷ Gaza Strip: Attacks in the Border Areas and their Consequences
❸ POETRY by Tawfiq Zayyad
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ ISRAELI  FORCES  DEMOLISH  PALESTINIAN-OWNED  STRUCTURES  IN  NABLUS
Ma’an News Agency
Aug. 17, 2016
Israeli forces on Wednesday demolished two rooms used for agricultural purposes and leveled stone walls in the villages of Khirbet al-Marajim and Qusra in the southern part of the occupied West Bank district of Nablus.
___Ghassan Daghlas, a Palestinian official who monitors Israeli settlement activities in the northern West Bank, told Ma’an that Israeli bulldozers, escorted by Israeli forces, demolished a room belonging to Tariq Dirawi in Khirbet al-Marajim.    MORE . . .  

. . . ―❶ (ᴀ) ISRAELI  OCCUPATION  UPROOTS  300  TREES  WEST  OF  HEBRON
Alray-Palestinian Media Agency
Aug. 17, 2016
Hebron. ALRAY. Israeli military bulldozers uprooted about 300 olives trees on Wednesday morning and swept lands in Oula town, West of Hebron in the south of the occupied West Bank.
___Isa Al Omla, the activist in the wall and settlements resistance, said that the Israeli bulldozers broke into Al- Najar Valley area, near the apartheid wall, and swept away some lands ( 15 acres) owned by the family of Mohammed Khalil Abdul Aziz Al Omla.  MORE . . .

. . . ―❶ (ᴃ) ISRAEL  DEMOLISHES  MULTIPLE  PALESTINIAN  STRUCTURES  IN  JERUSALEM  AREA
Ma’an News Agency
Aug. 16, 2016
Israeli forces demolished multiple Palestinian structures in the Jerusalem area on Tuesday, the same morning that Israeli-enforced demolitions left more than 70 Palestinians homeless in the Hebron and Bethlehem districts of the occupied West Bank.
___In the Jabal al-Mukabbir neighborhood of occupied East Jerusalem, bulldozers escorted by Israeli police officers and Jerusalem municipality inspectors demolished a single-room house and several outdoor walls, because the structures were built without licenses issued by the Jerusalem municipality.     MORE . . .  

Event marking Rachel Corrie's death, Qariyut, West Bank, 15.3.2
Israeli soldiers attack Palestinians during an olive tree planting commemorating (March, 2015). Corrie, an American, was killed by an Israeli military bulldozer in 2003, blocking the demolition of a Palestinian home in the Gaza Strip (Photo: Activestills.org)

. . . ―❶ (ᴄ ) ISRAELI  FORCES  UPROOT  50  OLIVE  TREES  AS  PALESTINIAN  FARMER  AWAITS  COURT  DATE  TO  APPEAL
Ma’an News Agency
Aug. 16, 2016
Israeli bulldozers uprooted more than 50 olive trees on Tuesday morning in the Palestinian village of Shufa in the northern occupied West Bank district of Tulkarem, Palestinian farmers told Ma’an, two weeks before a court hearing was scheduled to be held to appeal the Israeli-ordered confiscation of the land.
___One of the farmers, Abed Hamid, said he received a phone call from a neighbor notifying him that Israeli forces brought bulldozers to his olive tree orchard and started to uproot the trees, which were planted between 15 and 20 years ago.
___After Hamid rushed to his land, he said he witnessed Israeli forces “stealing” the majority of his trees, which were left intact.    MORE . . .    

  • Braverman, Irus. “UPROOTING IDENTITIES: THE REGULATION OF OLIVE TREES IN THE OCCUPIED WEST BANK.” Polar: Political & Legal Anthropology Review 32.2 (2009): 237-264.    FULL ARTICLE.   

Trees in general, and olive and pine trees in particular, perform a pivotal role in both the Zionist and the Palestinian national narratives. Since 1901, the Jewish National Fund (JNF) . . . has planted over 240 million trees in Israel, most of which are pines. This massive enterprise has fundamentally transformed the Israeli/Palestinian landscape. Indeed, over the years, the pine has come to be perceived as the quintessential symbol of the Zionist project . . .  If the Jewish tree is the pine, the Palestinian tree is the olive. As Ismat Shbeta, a refugee from the depopulated Palestinian village Miske, tells me in an Interview, “The olive is the Palestinian tree . . . . That’s the olive’s nationality”
[. . . .]  A fusion of humans and trees is thereby constructed: the olive embodies the Palestinian people, the green of its foliage is perceived as interchangeable with the red of their blood. However, the olive is not only a proxy witness; it also provides a model of survival for the Palestinian people. In this sense, the olive not only stands for but also speaks for the mute and uprooted Palestinian . . .
[. . . .]  Since its inception, and increasingly in the last two decades, Israel has been uprooting Palestinian olive trees. . . . . Israel’s central rationale for uprooting olive trees in the occupied territories has not been framed as punitive, or at least not explicitly so. Israel explains these uprootings, rather, as essential for its national security. First, Israel has been uprooting olives to make way for the recently built Separation Barrier. In the same vein, Israel’s Defense Forces have uprooted thousands of olive . . .  to secure roads, increase visibility, and make way for watchtowers, checkpoints. . . .
[. . . .]  In addition to the uprooting of Palestinian olive trees by the State of Israel, for the last decade or so Jewish settlers have also been targeting Palestinian trees. . . . The tree warfare conducted by the New Settlers adds another layer of meaning to the relationship between humans and trees in the occupied West Bank. . . .  the sabotage of olive trees is still an everyday occurrence in the West Bank. As a result, Palestinian access to agricultural land is frequently jeopardized.
[. . . .]   Although both the New Settlers and the human rights activists interviewed here have insisted that the Israeli/Palestinian war is not really about trees but about land, it is nonetheless clear that the emotional, cultural, ritualistic, and economic significance of the tree has been at the forefront of their actions. [Palestinians] would never have claimed that trees are unimportant in this battle. However, they also see clearly the connection between the trees and the overall power struggle over land, autonomy, identity, and power . . . .

❷ GAZA  STRIP:  ATTACKS  IN  THE  BORDER  AREAS  AND  THEIR  CONSEQUENCES
International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC
Aug. 16, 2016
Following disengagement from the Gaza Strip in September 2005, Israel unilaterally and illegally established a so-called “buffer zone”, an area prohibited to Palestinians along the land and sea borders of the Gaza Strip.
[. . . .]
Preventing Palestinians from accessing their lands and fishing areas violates numerous provisions of international human rights law, including the right to work, the right to an adequate standard of living, and the right to the highest attainable standard of health. Enforcing the “buffer zone” through the use of live fire often results in, inter alia, the direct targeting of civilians and/or indiscriminate attacks, both of which constitute war crimes.     MORE . . .

“ON  THE  TRUNK  OF  AN  OLIVE  TREE,”  BY  TAWFIQ  ZAYYAD
Because I do not weave wool,
And daily am in danger of detention,
And my house is the object of police visits
To search and “to cleanse,”
Because I cannot buy paper,
I shall carve the record of my sufferings,
And all my secrets
On an olive tree
In the courtyard
Of my house.

I shall carve my story and the chapters of my tragedy,
I shall carve my sighs
On my grove and on the tombs of my dead;
I shall carve
All the bitterness I have tasted,
To be blotted out by some of the happiness to come

I shall carve the number of each deed
Of our usurped land
The location of my village and its boundaries.
The demolished houses of its peoples,
My uprooted trees,
And each crushed wild blossom.
And the names of those master torturers
Who rattled my nerves and caused my misery.
The names of all the prisons,
And every type of handcuff
That closed around my wrists,
The files of my jailers,
Every curse
Poured upon my head.
I shall carve:
Kafr Qasim, I shall not forget!
And I shall carve:
Deir Yassin, it’s rooted in my memory.
I shall carve:
We have reached the peak of our tragedy.
It has absorbed us and we have absorbed it,
But we have finally reached it.

I shall carve all that the sun tells me,
And what the moon whispers,
And what the skylark relates,
Near the well
Forsaken by lovers.

And to remember it all,
I shall continue to carve
All the chapters of my tragedy,
And all the stages of the disaster,
From beginning
To end,
On the olive tree
In the courtyard
Of the house.

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.
About Tafiq Zayyad. 

“. . . My anger drips oil and honey, my pain bears almonds . . .” (Yusuf Hamdan)

The boy, Ahmed Manasrah, 13, remains strong, unwilling to break, no matter how much the Israeli officers aggravate him with moral and physical pressure. (Photo: MEMO)
The boy, Ahmed Manasrah, 13, remains strong, unwilling to break, no matter how much the Israeli officers aggravate him with moral and physical pressure. (Photo: MEMO)

❶ Analysis: A Child Triumphs against Israel’s Brutal Occupation
❷ Israeli Troops Force Palestinian Family off Land during Olive Harvest
❸ Thousands Attend Funerals of Two Palestinians Slain in Clashes
❹ Beyond the Natural Scenes of Palestinian Nature Reserves
-A– Israeli Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory –October 2015
❺ Opinion/Analysis: Israeli hospital raid reflects the criminal behavior of the country’s political leadership
❻ Poetry by Yusuf Hamdan
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ Analysis
PALESTINE CHRONICLE
A  CHILD  TRIUMPHS  AGAINST  ISRAEL’S BRUTAL  OCCUPATION
Hossam Shaker
Nov 13 2015
It is rare to find scenes that can express a complex reality or major issue, but one such was some video footage leaked recently, which exposed part of the heinous interrogation of a Palestinian child. Ranking officers in the Israeli occupation security services tried to overpower a 13 year old boy, break his will and crush his dignity.
____The astonishing video shows the impressive resilience of the Palestinian people, represented by this child from Jerusalem. The boy, Ahmed Manasrah, remains strong, unwilling to break, no matter how much the Israeli officers aggravate him with moral and physical pressure.
More . . .
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
ISRAELI  TROOPS  FORCE  PALESTINIAN  FAMILY  OFF  LAND  DURING  OLIVE  HARVEST
Nov. 15, 2015
HEBRON (Ma’an) – Israeli troops on Sunday forced a Palestinian family off their agricultural land during an olive harvest for the second time in two days, a popular committee spokesperson told Ma’an.
___Muhammad Ayyad Awad said Israeli troops forced Hammad Abdul-Hamid Sleibi and his family to leave the family’s olive fields on the outskirts Beit Ummar, in the southern occupied West Bank district of Hebron.
___Sleibi said that security guards from the nearby illegal Israeli settlement of Bat Ayin first arrived to tell the family to leave. The security guards allegedly pointed their guns at the family and threatened them, telling them not to come back to the area.
___The family refused to leave their land, and Israeli forces soon showed up to the scene and shot tear gas and stun grenades at the family, forcing them to flee.
More . . .
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
THOUSANDS  ATTEND  FUNERALS  OF  TWO  PALESTINIANS  SLAIN  IN  CLASHES
Nov. 14, 2015
HEBRON (Ma’an) — Thousands of Palestinians gathered in the Hebron and Ramallah districts of the occupied West Bank Saturday for separate funerals of Palestinians shot dead by Israeli forces during clashes.
___Near Hebron, mourners carried the body of Hassan Jihad al-Baw, 23, whowas shot in the heart on Friday in the town of Halhul and killed immediately, medics told Ma’an at the time.
[. . . . .]
___Mourners demanded international protection and a response to “Israeli violations and executions against Palestinians.”
[. . . . .]
___Meanwhile in the Ramallah-area town of Budrus, mourners buried Lafi Yusif Awad, 22.
___Awad was shot and killed by Israeli forces during clashes in the town Friday after the Israeli army said he attempted to grab a soldier’s weapon.
More . . .

The funeral of Lafi Youssef Awad, 21, shot by Israeli forces. (MaanImages, Nov. 14, 2015)
The funeral of Lafi Youssef Awad, 21, shot by Israeli forces. (MaanImages, Nov. 14, 2015)

THIS WEEK IN PALESTINE
BEYOND  THE  NATURAL  SCENES  OF  PALESTINIAN  NATURE  RESERVES
Roubina Bassous Ghattas
November 2015
At the 1992 Earth Summit the governments of the world agreed on a new agenda for sustainable development. This agenda included a bold new Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) which calls on governments to establish systems of protected areas and to manage these in order to support conservation, sustainable use, and equitable benefit sharing. . . . Nature Reserves are places for people to get a sense of peace in a busy world; places that invigorate the human spirit and challenge the senses.
[. . . . .]
The Palestinian Nature Reserves (NRs) harbor a rich base with many species. When applying the precautionary principle for the analysis of Key Biodiversity Areas (KBA) on the Palestinian NRs, we find numbers of them identified as KBAs, which highlights the outstanding biodiversity value that is represented by the Palestinian reserves.
More . . .
-A–  ISRAELI  VIOLATIONS  IN  THE  OCCUPIED  PALESTINIAN  TERRITORY –OCTOBER 2015
The Applied Research Institute – Jerusalem
Oct. 11, 2015
From the beginning of the month of October 2015, the Palestinian territory witnessed a systematic war carried out by the Israeli Occupation Army and settlers living in the illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory. The confrontation began between the Palestinians, who have the right of the land, and the Israeli Army and their settlers, who have nothing unless the military gear. . .
More . . .
❺ Opinion/Analysis
MONDOWEISS
ISRAELI  HOSPITAL  RAID  REFLECTS  THE  CRIMINAL  BEHAVIOR  OF  THE  COUNTRY’S  POLITICAL  LEADERSHIP
Michael Marder
Nov. 13, 2015
The thuggish operations of the Israeli army match very closely the criminal behavior of the country’s political authorities. The undercover raid of the Palestinian al-Ahli hospital in Hebron by about a dozen IDF operatives in disguise on November 12 resulted in the killing of 27-year-old Abdallah Shalaldeh and the arrest of his cousin Azzam who was being treated there.
___An armed attack on a hospital is an offense, according to the Geneva Conventions of 1949, to which Israel was a signatory a year after their formulation, in 1950
[. . . . .]
___At bottom, Israel engages in self-dehumanization when it sanctions raids akin to the one that happened this Thursday
More . . .

“THE  TRUTH  IS  SAID,”  BY  YUSUF  HAMDAN
I say that I hate occupation
you get angry
wake the mountain from its sleep
and chide the fox for forgetting
and you draw the arrest order

I say that I hate war and fighting
you get angry
send an armed messenger
polite
to tell me: Come!
and when I smile
you drown in insults and coughs

I say that I hate oppression
and that all I have
of progressive papers is Al-Itthad
you get angry
and from the sky
you pour Jerusalem and the News
al-Subh and al-Masa
and New Outlook
and other names

I say that I hate rape
you get angry
and honor me in a prison cell
and inflict punishment upon me
and guard me from my friends

I say that I love Justice
you hate it!

I say that I hate injustice
you love it
and if you get angry
there is the ocean drink it!

My anger drips oil and honey
my pain bears almonds, flouts, and roses
so jail my piece of bread
I defy

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.
Also in: Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture. Vol.14 No.1 2007.
Yusuf Hamdan was born in 1942 in the Triangle area of Palestine. He lived in Haifa in the early ‘60s and taught in a nearby Arabic school. He published his poems in al-Jadid, al-Ittihad, and al-Ghad, and lost his teaching position because of his poetry. In 1970 he left Israel for the US, where he presently lives and works.
Al-Ittihad (The Union) is an Israeli Arabic-language daily newspaper based in Haifa. Once considered the most important Arab media outlet in Israel, it is owned by Maki, the Israeli Communist Party. It is currently edited by Aida Touma-Suleiman.

Graph: Monitoring Israeli Colonization Activities in the Palestinian Territories, Oct. 11, 2015.
Graph: Monitoring Israeli Colonization Activities in the Palestinian Territories, Oct. 11, 2015.

“. . . The joy of daylight embraces the darkness . . .” (Fouzi El-Asmar)

Perhaps the Palestinian proverb “Olive oil is the mainstay of the house” reflects the role that olive oil plays in the lives of the Palestinians. Photo by Rami Rishmawi (Centre for Cultural Heritage Preservation Archives).
Perhaps the Palestinian proverb “Olive oil is the mainstay of the house” reflects the role that olive oil plays in the lives of the Palestinians.
Photo by Rami Rishmawi (Centre for Cultural Heritage Preservation Archives).

❶ Israeli soldiers kill Palestinian teen in Tulkarem clashes
❷ Red Crescent declares ‘state of emergency’ after attacks on staff
❸ Soldiers Kidnap Nine Palestinians, Many Residents Injured
❹ Al-Shajara al-Mubaraka (“The blessed tree”
❺ Opinion/Analysis: Why Israel wants a religious war over Al-Aqsa
❻ Poetry by Fouzi El-Asmar
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
ISRAELI  SOLDIERS  KILL  PALESTINIAN  TEEN  IN  TULKAREM  CLASHES
Oct. 5, 2015
TULKAREM (Ma’an) — Israeli forces shot dead a Palestinian teenager during clashes in the northern West Bank village of Bala, east of Tulkarem, overnight Sunday, medics said.
____Red Crescent officials told Ma’an that 18-year-old Huthayfa Othman Suleiman was shot in the chest during clashes and died in the operating room.
____Three other young men were shot with live fire during the clashes and taken to Thabit Thabit hospital to be treated for their injuries.
[. . . . .]
“What happened in Tulkarem is clear evidence that the Netanyahu government is trying to escalate the situation in the West Bank to torture angry Palestinian citizens who protest what is going on in the Al-Aqsa Mosque, as well as settler attacks against Palestinian towns,” a senior Fatah official in Tulkarem, Muayyad Shaaban, told Ma’an.
More . . .
Related . . . VIDEO:  AL-MAYADEEN  JOURNALIST  INJURED  BY  ISRAELI  FORCES  IN  JERUSALEM
Related . . . RED  CRESCENT:  96  PALESTINIANS  WOUNDED  BY  LIVE,  RUBBER  BULLETS
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
RED  CRESCENT  DECLARES  ‘STATE  OF  EMERGENCY’  AFTER  ATTACKS  ON  STAFF
Oct. 4, 2015
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — The Palestine Red Crescent Society on Sunday declared a state of emergency across the occupied Palestinian territory following an upsurge in violence by Israeli soldiers and settlers, including 14 attacks on the society’s ambulances in just three days.
____The society said in a statement that it was declaring a level 3 state of emergency and putting all its staff, teams and volunteers on standby.
____The society decried Israeli violations of international humanitarian law, saying that in a 72-hour period, it had faced 14 attacks against its staff and vehicles “in a serious escalation of violations against PRCS, its teams and the humanitarian services they render.”
More . . .
INTERNATIONAL MIDDLE EAST MEDIA CENTER (IMEMC)
SOLDIERS  KIDNAP  NINE  PALESTINIANS,  MANY  RESIDENTS  INJURED
Oct. 05, 2015
Israeli soldiers invaded, earlier Monday, several Palestinian communities in the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem, violently searched homes and property, and kidnapped nine Palestinians. The army attacked and injured a woman in her home, while many residents suffered the effects of tear gas inhalation.
____The Palestinian News & Info Agency (WAFA) has reported that the soldiers invaded the home of Badea’ Shafiq Snober, 47, in Yitma village, south of the northern West Bank city of Nablus, and kidnapped him, after violently searching his property, causing damage.
____The soldiers also attacked Badea’ wife, Eman ‘Othman, 45, as she tried to stop them from ransacking her home and kidnapping her husband, causing various cuts and bruises.
____Dozens of army vehicles also invaded the towns of Huwwara, Beit Forik, Osarin and Qabalan, searched and ransacked several homes, and withdrew without conducting any arrests.
More . . .
Related . . . PCHR:  “ISRAELI  FORCES  ESCALATE  THEIR  ARBITRARY  MEASURES  IN  THE  WEST  BANK”
Related . . . SEVERAL  PALESTINIANS  INJURED  IN  JENIN,  ONE  KIDNAPPED  IN  BETHLEHEM
THIS WEEK IN PALESTINE
AL-SHAJARA  AL-MUBARAKA  (“THE  BLESSED  TREE”)
Nada Atrash and Sami Backleh
The Olive Tree is a synonym for Palestine, and Palestine is a synonym for the Olive Tree. They exist together. They have formed a confluence for eternity, and they still maintain the passion between them. Never a morning or an evening passes, unless the Olive Tree, or ‘the Tree of Light’ as it is called by the Palestinians, is a part of it in one way or another.”
[. . . . . ]
____ Although universally regarded as the symbol of peace, the olive tree has become a symbol of steadfastness in Palestine. Since the Nakba in 1967, Israel has uprooted more than 1.5 million olive trees. Moreover, farmers are forbidden to pick olives from their trees that are located near the Wall or close to the settlements.
More . . .
❺ Opinion/Analysis
AL JAZEERA
ANALYSIS:  WHY  ISRAEL  WANTS  A  RELIGIOUS  WAR  OVER  AL-AQSA
The struggle over Al-Aqsa Mosque is a colonial and not a religious one, Palestinian experts say.
Sep. 21, 2015
Much of the media coverage of recent raids and protests by Israeli police and settlers at Al-Aqsa Mosque have focused on the “exclusive Muslim control” over the compound in Israeli-occupied Jerusalem, and Palestinian fears of the demand by Jewish settlers to “divide it”. Lost in the religious warfare narrative is the colonial impulse governing both Israeli actions and Palestinian reactions. Where does the struggle for Al-Aqsa fit within the wider Israeli-Palestinian conflict?
____Four leading Palestinian figures give their take on the latest round of Israeli violence at Al-Aqsa.
More . . .

“TO  THE  BELOVED  MOTHERLAND,”  BY  FOUZI EL-ASMAR
Night in my cell
is life still in bud.
Beloved, you are like the breaking of light,
Like truth
Like a song dissolved into longing
Tearing apart the draped evening
Wrecking the flow of moans.

Beloved,
The joy of daylight
embraces the darkness
in my cell;
persistent silence here
will turn back the blade
of the swindler, the torturer
the thief of my childhood dreams
in the day’s heat.

Beloved, in your name
dusk has touched my forehead
grey dreams flooded my head
But my will remains uncowed
for since I came to manhood
with my eyelashes
I have borne your ancient love
You remain my lighthouse
and only refuge.

Beloved,
we are here to nurse at life
Your full breast
stretches are lightening
of hope and will
It shall flower a new prophecy
in our souls
It shall loosen the chains
and hurl light over our love.

Beloved,
The prison is a brief cloud
The bitter winds
of a cold journey
which we must accomplish.

Our road is wrapped in sighs, tears, and thorns
In all that dark claws can weave
but our love shall triumph
At the end of the road.

There
We shall meet with the sun
Its rays shall enter every house
Fill every crack
Flooding mountains, hills, and plains.

As I sit in a corner of my dim cell
lacing the seeds of the little light
stretching them to these lines for you
I am struck with the joy of a child:
Beloved,
With all that tears this life apart
They forget they cannot put
my mind in jail.

El-Asmar, Fouzi. THE  WIND-DRIVEN  REED  AND  OTHER  POEMS. Washington, DC: Three Continents Press, 1979.
Available at Amazon. 
About Fouzi El-Asmar.

Israeli soldiers as they appear confronting unarmed Palestinian civilians throughout the Occupied Territories and East Jerusalem. (Agence France‑Presse/Photo)
Israeli soldiers as they appear confronting unarmed Palestinian civilians throughout the Occupied Territories and East Jerusalem. (Agence France‑Presse/Photo)

“. . . See my orphanhood, my loss, Amid the ruins of a collapsing world. . .” (Fadwa Tuqan)

Olive tree, Burqin, north Palestine July 6, 2015. Photo by Bryony Dunne
Olive tree, Burqin, north Palestine July 6, 2015. Photo by Bryony Dunne

❶ From: MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
ISRAEL  PREVENTS  GAZA  FOOTBALL  TEAM  FROM  ENTERING  WEST  BANK
Aug. 7, 2015
GAZA CITY―Israeli authorities on Friday prevented Gaza’s Ittihad al-Shujaiyeh football team from leaving the besieged enclave to face West Bank rivals Ahli al-Khalil in the second leg of a cup game, a spokesperson for the club said.
____The Gaza-based team was scheduled to leave the coastal territory together with Hebron’s Ahli al-Khalil after having played an historic game a day earlier at the Yarmouk stadium.
____But four of the players and three of the team’s staff were refused travel permits, spokesperson Alaa Shamali said. . . .
____The second leg of the cup game, scheduled for Sunday, has now been postponed and the next 24 hours will prove crucial as to whether talks with FIFA can lift Israel’s travel restrictions.
More . . .
Background. . . WEST  BANK  FOOTBALL  TEAM  PLAYS  HISTORIC  GAZA  MATCH.

❷ From: THE ELECTRONIC INTIFADA
ONE  YEAR  AFTER  SHELLING  GAZA’S  HOSPITALS,  ISRAEL  STARVES  THEM  OF  POWER
Isra Saleh el-Namey
August 7, 2015
Nabeel Muhammad’s job would be demanding under any circumstances. He is a nurse working with seriously ill patients. The difficulties that he faces have been multiplied by a power crisis in the Gaza Strip. . . .
____The problems besetting this hospital illustrate how it has been under constant attack by one means or another for many years. In July 2014, it was shelled during Operation Protective Edge, Israel’s 51-day bombardment of Gaza. The power cuts that imperil the provision of basic services across Gaza have occurred repeatedly since Israel bombed the Strip’s only power plant in 2006. . . .
____The crisis has been especially acute since Egypt closed tunnels between it and Gaza in 2013. Those tunnels were used to smuggle fuel on which the people of Gaza depended. . . .
____Emad Saleem, a doctor at the European Hospital in Rafah, a city in southern Gaza, said that everyday activities like checking heart rates, blood pressure and body temperatures can be a major ordeal.
More. . .

A Palestinian patient at the dialysis department al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in Deir al-Balah in the northern Gaza Strip July 29, 2015. Photo by Ashraf Amra
A Palestinian patient at the dialysis department al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in Deir al-Balah in the northern Gaza Strip July 29, 2015. Photo by Ashraf Amra

❸ From: JADALIYYA (ARAB STUDIES INSTITUTE)
SNAPSHOT:  PALESTINIAN  OLIVE  TREES
Bryony Dunne and Elle Kurancid
July 31, 2015
Olive tree felling is a longtime strategy of Israel’s occupation regime in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Since 1967, an estimated 800,000 Palestinian olive trees have been destroyed by Israeli authorities and settlers.
____In February 2015, Irish-born filmmaker and photographer Bryony Dunne traveled across the West Bank and encountered evidentiary support for such activity (in tree stumps and civilian stories). Over the course of one week, she moved through Israeli checkpoints, and around Israeli settlements and military bases, while heading north to the Palestinian city of Jenin, staying with five Palestinian families along the way. These families earn their livelihood farming either olives or almonds as members of Canaan Fair Trade, a cooperative that supports approximately 1,700 small farmers throughout the occupied West Bank in the sale of produce to international markets. . .
More. . .

❹ From: MIDDLE EAST MONITOR (MEM)
ISRAELI  “TEMPLE”  ORGANISATIONS  CALL  FOR  MARCH  INTO  AL-AQSA  MOSQUE
August 7, 2015
Israeli “Temple” organisations have called for an Israeli flag march on Sunday to Al-Aqsa mosque.
____The organisations of the Temple Mount Faithful and Students for the Temple said the march will reach Al-Aqsa Mosque’s gates at 8:00 am carrying Israeli flags.
More. . .
Background. . .  THE  BATTLE  FOR  AL-AQSA:  ‘THIS  IS  NOT  ABOUT  PRAYER’ 

❺ Opinion
From: +972 MAGAZINE
POLITICAL  DEATH  NOTICES  MOURN  PALESTINIAN  BABY,  ISRAELI  TEEN
Mairav Zonszein
August 7, 2015
It has been a week since Palestinian infant Ali Dawabshe was burned alive when his West Bank home was set on fire by Jewish Israelis, and five days since 16-year old Israeli Shira Banki — who was stabbed at the Jerusalem Pride Parade — died of her wounds.
____Dawabshe’s parents are still in critical condition in an Israeli hospital, while their house is still in ashes . . . . on the streets of West Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, death notices in Hebrew and English have been plastered in recent days to mark the two murders.
____Mourning notices are a common practice in Israel to notify of a death in the community. But these notices, initiated, composed and hung by writer Ilana Sichel and artist Romy Achituv, not only mourn the deaths of these two minors — they also call on Jews in Israel to assume a collective, moral responsibility for them.
More. . .

“THE  LAST  KNOCK,”  BY  FADWA  TUQAN
Will you not open this door for me?
My hand is exhausted from knocking at Your door.
I have come to Your vastness to beg
Some tranquility and peace of mind
But Your door is closed in my face,
Drowned in silence.
Lord of the house,
The door was open here,
A refuge for all burdened with grief.
The door was open here,
And the green olive tree rose high
Embracing the house.
The oil lamb kindling without fire,
Guiding steps of one walking at night,
Relieving those crushed by the burden of Earth,
Flooding them with satisfaction and ease.
Do you hear me, O Lord of the house,
After my loss in the deserts;
Away from You I have returned to You
But Your door is closed
In my face, drowned in silence.
Your house is shrouded
With the dust of death.
You are here. Open, then, the door.
Do not veil Your face.
See my orphanhood, my loss,
Amid the ruins of a collapsing world,
The grief of the world on my shoulders
And terrors of a tyrant destiny
To be undone.

From: A Lover From Palestine and Other Poems: An Anthology of Palestinian Poetry. Ed. Abdul Wahab Al-Messiri. Washington, DC: Free Palestine Press, 1970. Available from Amazon.
Fadwa Tuqan obituary.

Death notices for Ali Dawabshe and Shira Banki (Photo by Sara Holcman)
Death notices for Ali Dawabshe and Shira Banki (Photo by Sara Holcman)

“. . . Happy is he with an iron roof above his head. . . ” (Zakaria Mohammed)

olivesfrom PALESTINE NEWS AND INFORMATION AGENCY – WAFA
ISRAELI FORCES DEMOLISH WATER CISTERN, UPROOT OLIVE TREES IN JENIN, HEBRON VILLAGES
Jenin
March 24, 2015 (WAFA)
Israeli forces Tuesday demolished a water cistern, uprooted olive trees and handed two demolition orders in Ta‘annak village to the west of Jenin and al-Kom locality to the southwest of Hebron.
.  .  .  Escorting a bulldozer, large Israeli troops, consisting of at least 10 vehicles, raided Ta‘annak, where they proceeded to demolish a 50-meter-deep water cistern that is used to provide local farmers in this village as well as Rummana, Zboba, Silat al-Harithiya and al-Yamoun with water for irrigation, said ‘Abdul-Rahman Zyoud, a local farmer and owner of the water cistern.
(More. . . .)

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from PALESTINE NEWS NETWORK
IOF HAND OUT FIVE ARBITRARY DEMOLITION THREATS TO JERUSALEM HOMES
PNN/ Jerusalem/
March 23, 2015
Israeli occupation forces this morning have handed out demolition threats to 5 homes in Silwan village north Jerusalem, under the pretext of having no permit to build. Some of the structures date back to 45 years, some of them were newly constructed and others in the process of construction.
.  .  .  The Palestinian Christian-Islamic committee on Monday warned of these threats, since they count as extra Judaization project against Silwan and Al-Aqsa mosque altogether.
(More. . . .)

Jerusalem home demolition (photo by Harold Knight, August, 2008)
Jerusalem home demolition (photo by Harold Knight, August, 2008)

from THE ELECTRONIC INTIFADA
Art, Music & Culture
ISRAELI PORTRAIT OF ROSE-TINTED PAST GIVES WAY TO RAGE AT SETTLERS
Selma Dabbagh
March 23, 2015
It is unusual to read a book on Israel and the Palestinians — perhaps the most documented conflict in world history — that starts by focusing on commonalities rather than divisions: on marriages rather than feuds, festivals rather than riots and municipal housing plans rather than the demolition of homes.
.  .  .  Menachem Klein’s Lives in Common: Arabs and Jews in Jerusalem, Jaffa and Hebron (Hurst Publishing) is a loving, albeit rose-tinted, depiction. By conveying past realities, the book offers a vision of a future for the area that was the British Mandate of Palestine
(More. . . .)

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From JEWISH VOICE FOR PEACE
UCLA RESOLUTION ON ANTI-SEMITISM CREATES DANGEROUS PRECEDENT
Naomi Dann Naomi@jvp.org
March 11, 2015
Jewish Voice for Peace welcomes the commitment of the UCLA Undergraduate Student Association Council (USAC) to addressing issues of anti-Semitism on campus. We recognize that a recent series of troubling incidents, including anti-Semitic graffiti and inappropriate questioning of a Jewish student, have raised concerns about rising anti-Semitism on campus, which we condemn in the strongest terms. However, we are also deeply concerned that the resolution passed by the USAC on March 10, 2015 further enshrines long-standing political efforts to silence legitimate criticism of the state of Israel by codifying its inclusion in the definition of anti-Semitism.
.  .  .  The resolution draws on the “State Department Definition of Anti-Semitism,” (sometimes referred to as the “3 D’s”). However, this definition has no legal standing in the US and was actually removed as a working definition by the European body where it originated.
(More. . . .)

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from THE INTERNATIONAL SOLIDARITY MOVEMENT (ISM)
IN GAZA THE FARMERS IRRIGATE THE LAND WITH THEIR BLOOD
Valeria Cortés
March 18, 2015
Tilling the land in Gaza is one of the most dangerous jobs in the world. The Zionist Occupation Forces fire on the peasants and their families while they sow or harvest their own land near the infamous Zionist fence which surrounds Gaza. They also burn their fields and routinely ravage their crops with bulldozers, leaving hundreds of families ruined and preventing the Gaza Strip from developing its already devastated economy or achieving a minimum of food sovereignty.
(More. . . .)

“THE CYPRESS TREE,” BY ZAKARIA MOHAMMED
The gale above the rooftops –
this gale which has swept through mountain passes
and raced down glens –

Hellish, horned wind –
bellowing and breaking branches. . .

Who smashed the metal stockade?
Who let loose the terrified herd?

The herd-dogs couldn’t stop them,
those horses, fleeing before the wind,
whinnying and upturning time. . .

This storm overhead – horned wind,
battering lampposts, flagpoles, telegraph poles,
pounding with its hooves our hearts and minds –

Happy is he with an iron roof above his head
For the gale will spare his house.
Happy is he who lashes his soul to the cypress tree
that shall not be moved
for his spirit won’t be broken by the winds.
–Translated by Kathleen Jamie

From A BIRD IS NOT A STONE: AN ANTHOLOGY OF CONTEMPORARY PALESTINIAN POETRY (Glasgow: Freight Books, 2014) –available from Amazon.com.

Zakaria Mohammed was born in Nablus in 1951, studied in Baghdad, and now lives in Ramallah, working in the Palestinian Ministry of Culture. He is also a journalist and creative writing teacher.