“. . . I loved life, from the bottom of my heart . . .” (Samih Al-Qasim)

naalwa-barghouthi-mteir-e1544735249544
Israeli Field executions: Ashraf Na’alwa, Saleh Barghouthi, Majd Mteir. (Photo: Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network, by Quds News, Dec. 13, 2018)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .    
PLO:  TIME  FOR  INTERNATIONAL  COMMUNITY  TO  PROVIDE  PROTECTION  TO  PALESTINIANS
Azzam al-Ahmad, member of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) Executive Committee, said that the leadership has reached several regional and international stakeholders “to put an end to the escalated violence by Israeli forces and settlers in the West Bank,” on Thursday.     ___Al-Ahmad spoke to Voice of Palestine radio and stressed, “The time has come for the international community to shoulder its responsibility to provide protection to our people from the (Israeli) violations, which include field executions of Palestinian citizens and incitement (by Israeli settlers) to kill President Mahmoud Abbas.”    ___He added “this incitement was met with international condemnation,” noting that the Palestinian people “will not stand idly, but will confront the Israeli occupation until they fulfill their rights.”    More . . .
. . . . Related  IOF  Assassinate  Three  Palestinians  They  Claim  Were  Involved  In  Anti-Israeli  Attacks
. . . . Related  Settlers attack in Nablus and Hebron
. . . . Related  2 Palestinians injured by Israeli  Forces in al-Mughayyar
. . . . Related  Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations In The Occupied Palestinian Territory (06– 12 December 2018)
| UPDATE  |  ISRAELI  FORCES  DETAIN  100  PALESTINIANS  IN  WEST  BANK
Israeli forces arrested more than 100 Palestinians, including lawmakers and former prisoners, during large-scale raids that targeted many areas across the occupied West Bank throughout the past two days, according to the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS).    ___Last night alone, the forces detained at least 46 Palestinians, including two lawmakers and a journalist, during a large-scale detention campaign across the West Bank.    ___Israeli forces conducted multiple overnight raids in Hebron city in addition to the nearby towns of Idhna, Beit Kahel, Yatta and Adh-Dhahiriyya, ransacking civilian houses and interrogating families.    More . . .
. . . . Related  Ramallah City Sealed Off For Second Consecutive Day
. . . . Related  Entrance to Al-Arroub Refugee Camp Sealed by Israeli Forces
. . . . Related  Israeli army raids headquarters of Palestine Olympic Committee in Al-Bireh

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .
| ISRAEL’S  EXECUTIONS  CAN’T  KILL  PALESTINIAN  RESISTANCE:  REMEMBERING  ASHRAF  NA’ALWA,  SALEH  BARGHOUTHI,  MAJD  MTEIR  AND  HASAN  ARDA
On 13 December 2018, Israeli occupation forces shot down four Palestinians, including several resistance fighters who had evaded their pursuit for months.    [. . . .]  These killings were carried out in a coordinated fashion, alongside the arrest of dozens of Palestinians on the same night. Clearly, these were intended to be a deadly blow not only against these strugglers, but also the Palestinian resistance as a whole.    ___Nevertheless, ensuing events made clear that the military power of the occupation and its extrajudicial executions would only inflame Palestinian resistance further.    More . . .
|  PALESTINIAN  SOLIDARITY:  IS  SOUTH  AFRICA  IN  THE  DRIVER’S  SEAT?   Recent events in South Africa have had a profoundly positive impact on Palestine.    ___It may not be music for this country’s [UNITED STATES] pro-Israel lobby but certainly welcomed by the broad spectrum of solidarity movements active in pursuit of freedom and justice for the Palestinian cause.    ___These milestone events have provided Palestinian Resistance Movements, particularly Hamas, as well as solidarity activists, renewed hope that the pendulum is slowly but surely swinging away from the colonial settler regime Israel.    More . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

“HE  WHISPERED  BEFORE  HE  TOOK  HIS  FINAL  BREATHS,”
BY  SAMIH  AL-QASIM

Don’t honor me with a monument
and song!
Of all the sad songs,
I prefer my mother’s sadness.

Do not pay your last respects
with laurel and a royal display!
Of all the tender wreaths
I prefer my mother’s palm.

Don’t glorify me by giving my name
to a city square
or a street and public garden!
I’d rather a grapevine be planted
(in my name)
and grow into a vineyard and farm!

Do not preserve my memory
by giving a speech each year in my honor!
I’d rather a fine machine
pounding away in a factory
speak in my name.

Tell my mother―
tell her what you plant in my name,
tell the factory’s machine
that I loved life, from the bottom of my heart,
and therefore took my final breaths
at peace and happy.

From: Al-Qasim, Samih. SADDER  THAN  WATER.  New  and  Selected  Poems. Trans. Nazih Kasis and Adina Hoffman. Jerusalem: Ibis Editions, 2008. Available from Barnes and Noble.

 

“. . . You will be liberated from your own tyranny . . .” (Samah Sabawi)

gaza1 - Copy
“Israel is once again looking to instigate a war on Gaza,” Yousef Munayyer, U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights, wrote on Twitter. (Photo: Ibraheem Abu Mustafa/Reuters)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .
|    VIOLENCE  ESCALATES:  6  PALESTINIANS  KILLED,  20  INJURED  IN  ISRAELI   [ GAZA]  AIRSTRIKES 
Six Palestinians were killed and at least 20 others were injured during a campaign of Israeli airstrikes from overnight Monday until predawn Tuesday across the northern besieged Gaza Strip.    ___Medical sources in Gaza reported that six Palestinians were killed and 20 others were injured during continuous Israeli airstrikes over various parts of Gaza.    More . . .
. . . . Related  PLO  HOLDS  ISRAEL  FULLY  RESPONSIBLE  FOR  ESCALATION  IN  GAZA
. . . . Related  HAMAS  CONDEMN  ISRAEL  DESTRUCTION  OF  AL  AQSA  TV  STATION  (VIDEO)
. . . . Related  [AL-QASSAM  BRIGADES]:  ISRAEL  RESPONSIBLE  FOR  CONSEQUENCES  OF  ITS  AGGRESSION  AGAINST  GAZA
|    POLITICAL  SOURCE:  ISRAEL  SUSPENDS  GAZA  TRUCE  TALKS
A senior Israeli political source said the government had suspended contacts with Egypt and the United Nations regarding a truce with the Gaza Strip.    ___Israeli media, including Channel 10, quoted a senior political source, who it did not identify, as saying that Tel Aviv “has no contacts with Egypt and the United Nations on the ceasefire in Gaza”.    ___The announcement came at the height of the Israeli cabinet meeting on Tuesday morning, chaired by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.    More . . .
|    ISRAELI  FORCES  DETAIN  9  PALESTINIANS  IN  WEST  BANK 
Israeli forces detained at least nine Palestinians across the occupied West Bank during raids, on predawn Tuesday.    ___Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS) confirmed that Israeli forces detained two Palestinians in the southern West Bank district of Hebron . . .   In the southern West Bank district of Bethlehem, two Palestinians were detained . . .   In the central West Bank district of Jerusalem, four Palestinians were detained by Israeli forces. . .    More . . .

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .
|    HAMAS  DIDN’T  START  THIS  FIGHT,  BUT  IT  WON’T  WIN  IT  EITHER
Israel’s killing of  Hamas  commander  Nour  Baraka  on Sunday and the predictable response from the Islamist movement have sparked fears of renewed hostilities between the two sides. . . .   observers see parallels with Israel’s 2012 assassination of  Ahmad  Al  Jabari  . . .   That incident set off eight days of fighting in which six Israelis and 167 Palestinians were killed.    ___If the deadly exchange six years ago was about avenging a senior Hamas commander, its casualties, even according to the Israeli military’s official figures, were mostly civilian. . . .  though Netanyahu has demonstrated time and again that he will not hesitate to kill innocents, especially in pursuit of domestic political gain, what options does Hamas have?    [. . . . ] Whether they intended it or not, Israel’s military planners know that Baraka’s killing will bait Hamas. Any sustained response by the Palestinian faction would clearly benefit Netanyahu, who has been lambasted by his political opponents for allowing $15 million in Qatari cash to be transferred to the Strip. . .  Netanyahu has a more pressing political problem — mass resistance to Israel’s ongoing siege and the humanitarian disaster it has created.    More . . .
. . . . Related  ISRAELI  INCURSIONS  INTO  GAZA  ARE  THE  RULE,  NOT  THE  EXCEPTION

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . .

“THE  LIBERATION  ANTHEM”  BY  SAMAH  SABAWI
(June 27, 2011)

To the people of Israel who fear our freedom:  Don’t be afraid,
we will liberate you too.
This is my rendition of an anthem to be sung
That day you and I will stand side by side
Shoulder to shoulder
Watching a new dawn wipe away decades of hate and savagery
The day I rise from the ashes of your oppression
I promise you I will not rise alone
You too will rise with me
You will be liberated from your own tyranny
And my freedom will bring your salvation

This is my rendition of an anthem to be sung
I’ll craft new words of expression
Outside of this suffocating language that has occupied me
Your words are like your walls
They encroach on my humanity
I am more than demography
I’m neither your collaborator
Nor your enemy
I am not your moderate
Not your terrorist
Not your Islamist
Funammentalist
Extremist
Militant
Radical
I am more than adjectives letters and syllables
I will construct my own language
And replace your words of power
With the power of my words

This is my rendition of an anthem to be sung
I don’t want to obliterate nor humiliate you
I refuse to hate you
Don’t care to demonize or proselytize or theorize your intentions
Every breath you draw reminds me you are human
The sound of your beating heart is a rhythm familiar to my ears
You and I are no different
We are made of blood and tears

This is my rendition of an anthem to be be sung
I will resist and soar above your matrix of control
With the power of my will your wall will fall
And the concrete that once segregated us will be used to rebuild homes
Your bulldozers and your tanks will dissolve into the earth
The sap will return to the olive trees
The gates will open wide for the refugees
We will be free
I will be your equal
And only then you will be mine
My other self
My fellow human being

From: I  REMEMBER  MY  NAME:  POETRY  BY  SAMAH  SABAWI,  RAMZY  BAROUD,  JEHAN  BSEISO.  Vacy Vlazna, editor. London: Novum Publishing, 2016. Available from publisher.

“. . . they bring panic and terror they are utterly not-to-be-trusted . . .” (Yousef Al-Mahmoud)

❶ Foreign Minister says Israeli settlement plans have a US green light
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) President Abbas receives important call from Saudi King Salman

  • Background: “Clarity or Ambiguity? The Withdrawal Clause of UN Security Council Resolution 242.” International Affairs.

❷ Palestinian refugees live in fear of Trump aid cuts
❸ Israeli forces shoot 2 Palestinians, detain minors during predawn raids
. . . . . ❸ ― (ᴀ) Israeli settler killed in shooting attack near Nablus
❹ POETRY by Yousef Al-Mahmoud
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ FOREIGN  MINISTER  SAYS  ISRAELI  SETTLEMENT  PLANS  HAVE  A  US  GREEN  LIGHT
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Jan. 10, 2018 ― Foreign Minister Riyad Malki said on Wednesday that Israeli announcement of plans to build 1285 new settlement units in the occupied West Bank was one outcome of US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, which gave Israel the green light to do whatever it wants with the Palestinian land.
___Malki told Voice of Palestine radio that the Israeli decision was also a result of the international community’s failure to hold Israel accountable for its acts, particularly with regard to settlement construction.      MORE . . .   
.  .  .  .  .  ❶  ―  (ᴀ)  PRESIDENT  ABBAS  RECEIVES  IMPORTANT  CALL  FROM  SAUDI  KING  SALMAN    
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Jan. 10, 2018 ― Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas received on Tuesday an important telephone call from King Salman bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia.
___King Salman reaffirmed Saudi Arabia’s firm and continuing support for Palestinian right to establish an independent state with East Jerusalem as its capital.
___He affirmed as well the importance of continuing with direct daily coordination to assure support for the Palestinian cause, the Arab’s number one issue, reiterating his country’s firm position from the Palestinian issue, particularly Jerusalem.    MORE . . .   

(Note: while the “facts on the ground” have changed considerably since this article was written, it provides important information about of the intent of UN Resolution 242.)  

McDOWALL, DAVID.
“CLARITY  OR  AMBIGUITY?  THE  WITHDRAWAL  CLAUSE  OF  UN  SECURITY  COUNCIL  RESOLUTION  242.”
INTERNATIONAL  AFFAIRS, vol. 90, no. 6, Nov. 2014, pp. 1367-1381.
[. . . .] How does one explain the failure to hold the line, either on the ‘inadmissibility’ preamble or on the withdrawal clause? Both the US and UK were politically more sympathetic to Israel than to the Arab states. In America this attitude encompassed virtually the whole electorate, as well as government and commerce. In Britain, the electorate was also overwhelmingly pro-Israel, but the government’s position, while still firmly pro-Israel, was tempered by the importance of trade with the Arab world. These attitudes possibly affected the two countries’ position regarding Resolution 242, giving Israel the leeway on the withdrawal clause to which the Council majority were opposed. Fatefully, however, neither America nor Britain felt able to defy its ardently pro-Israel electorate and take a firm stance against Israel’s practical disregard for Resolution 242. Neither had the political will to do this; and Israel, from the outset, knew it.
[. . . .] So let us do so now, almost 50 years later, with a comparison of the requirements of Resolution 242 with those relevant parts of the Fourth Geneva Convention. Quite simply, it is illegal for any body purporting to represent civilian persons under occupation—including, in this case, the PLO, the Palestinian Authority or the government of Syria—to agree any terms with the occupant that in any regard ‘renounce in part or in entirety the rights secured to them by the present Convention’ (article 8). In elaborating on this theme, article 47 states:

Protected persons who are in occupied territory shall not be deprived, in any case or
in any manner whatsoever, of the benefits of the present Convention by any change introduced, as the result of the occupation of a territory, into the institutions or
government of the said territory, nor by any agreement concluded between the authorities of the occupied territories and the Occupying Power, nor by any annexation by the latter of the whole or part of the occupied territory.

In the light of everything that has transpired since 1967 one must gulp at the clarity and foresight of this prohibition, articulated specifically to protect and prevent the vulnerable from giving up their rights in the face of overwhelming military and political pressure.     SOURCE . . .  

❷ PALESTINIAN  REFUGEES  LIVE  IN  FEAR  OF  TRUMP  AID  CUTS 
Al Jazeera English 
by Ibrahim Husseini
Jan. 10, 2018 ― Palestinians living in refugee camps have expressed deep alarm over US threats to potentially cut funding for a relief agency tasked with providing aid and services to them.
___For nearly 70 years, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA) has been the lifeline to the more than five million registered Palestinian refugees in the occupied territories and neighbouring countries.
___It offers support in food supply, access to education, healthcare, social services and employment.
___”Today, more than two-thirds of refugees are children who go to UNRWA schools. If the schools shut down, there will be a big problem,” Salah Ajarmeh, a 44-year-old living in Aida refugee camp outside of Bethlehem, told Al Jazeera.    MORE . . .   
ISRAELI  FORCES  SHOOT  2  PALESTINIANS,  DETAIN  MINORS  DURING  PREDAWN  RAIDS
Ma’an News Agency 
Jan. 10, 2018 ― Two Palestinian youths were injured with live ammunition as Israeli forces conducted predawn detention raids in several districts across the occupied West Bank before dawn on Wednesday, detaining 12 Palestinians.
___Locals in the city of Jericho told Ma’an that two youths, whose identities remained unknown, were shot by Israeli forces with live ammunition during a raid on the Aqbat Jaber refugee camp. Two other Palestinians were detained during the raid.
___According to a statement from the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS), a 16-year-old Palestinian and his 26-year-old brother were detained from Jericho.
___Meanwhile, PPS said in a statement that Israeli forces detained 10 other Palestinians during West Bank raids.     MORE . . .   
.  .  .  .  .  ❸  ―  (ᴀ)  ISRAELI  SETTLER  KILLED  IN  SHOOTING  ATTACK  NEAR  NABLUS 
Ma’an News Agency 
Jan. 10, 2018 ― An Israeli settler, 35, was killed late Tuesday after he succumbed to wounds sustained in a shooting attack near the Surra village, south of Nablus City in the northern occupied West Bank.
___Israeli media identified the settler as Raziel Shevah. Reports said that Shevah came under fire while driving in his car near.
___The assailants, whose identities remained unknown, reportedly fired 22 shots at his vehicle.
___Shevah was transferred to the Meir Hospital in Kfar Saba in central Israel, where he was declared dead.
___Following the attack, Israeli forces closed the Yitzhar-Nablus road, a main road in the northern West Bank, and heavily deployed in the area.   MORE . . .   

“ENEMY,”  BY  YOUSEF  AL-MAHMOUD
They come from all the ends of the earth to sit among us
they come from the ends of the winds
they bring sickness and a hissing like sakes
they come from the ends of the snows
they come smelling of death
they come with blood-dipping knives
they bring panic and terror
they are utterly not-to-be-trusted
they are utterly murderous
they are proud of their murders, they are drinkers of blood
proud of tooth and nail
even more proud of guns and treachery
they come to burn the love in our hearts
and turn it to torture and bitterness
they bring sorrow, terror, sickness. . .
How have they come to sit among us?
—Translated by DM Black

Yousef Al-Mahmoud is a prominent broadcaster and poet, and former head of the Ministry of Culture in his native Jenin.
From A  BIRD  IS  NOT  A  STONE:  AN  ANTHOLOGY  OF  CONTEMPORARY  PALESTINIAN  POETRY (Glasgow: Freight Books, 2014) –available From Amazon.com.

“. . . because love and peace are holy and are coming to town . . .” (Mahmoud Darwish)

❶ ICC to open full-blown investigation in settlements, 2014 Gaza war

  • Background:  Palestine in The Hague: justice, geopolitics, and the International Criminal Court.” Global Governance.

❷ Abbas instructs Washington delegate to intensify work in US
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) Erekat: No negotiations until Jerusalem decision is dropped
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴃ) Minister Abu Shahla meets UNRWA operations chief in Gaza
❸ Israel detains 19 Palestinians, including a 14-year-old boy
. . . . . ❸ ― (ᴀ) Israeli navy detains five Gaza fishermen, seizes their boats
❹ POETRY by Mahmoud Darwish
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ ICC  TO  OPEN  FULL-BLOWN  INVESTIGATION  IN  SETTLEMENTS,  2014  GAZA  WAR
Palestine News Network – PNN 
Jan. 9, 2018 ―  The International Criminal Court in The Hague is planning on investigating Israeli leaders over Israeli settlement expansion in Jerusalem and West Bank, as well as the 2014 aggression on Gaza titled ‘Operation Protective Edge.’
___According to a report by Channel 10 Monday evening, the Israeli National Security Council warned Israeli lawmakers in the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that the international court is planning on opening an investigation later this year into the 2014 war with Hamas, as well settlements in the West Bank.
___Prosecutors at the International Criminal Court, at the behest of the Palestinian Authority, have opened cursory examinations in both matters . . .    MORE . . .    ..

Note: Article gives detailed background information about the ICC’s decision.

Bosco, David.
“PALESTINE  IN  THE  HAGUE:  JUSTICE,  GEOPOLITICS,  AND  THE  INTERNATIONAL  CRIMINAL  COURT.”
GLOBAL GOVERNANCE, vol. 22, no. 1, Jan-Mar2016, pp. 155-171. On 1 April 2015, Palestine joined the international criminal court. The 123rd ICC member state, Palestine immediately became its most controversial. Israel’s Foreign Ministry described its accession as a “political, hypocritical, and cynical maneuver.” The United States expressed regret about the court’s involvement, calling any ICC scrutiny of Israel a “tragic irony.” For their part, Palestinian officials insisted that they seek “justice, not vengeance,” and major human rights groups hailed the move as a step toward potential accountability for all parties.
[. . . .] Palestine did not appear on the court’s docket until early 2009. The catalyst was Israel’s 2008−2009 campaign in the Gaza Strip, dubbed Operation Cast Lead. Designed to reduce Hamas’s ability to launch rockets and artillery at Israel, the action resulted in the deaths of hundreds of Palestinians, including many civilians. Palestinian officials and some outside observers argued that Israeli forces had committed war crimes. In January 2009, Palestine’s justice minister flew to The Hague and sought an ICC investigation.
[. . . .] The conflict in Gaza that lasted most of July and August 2014 will be a priority for the prosecutor. By providing retroactive jurisdiction, Palestine has allowed the court to consider all events on Palestinian territory after the outbreak of major fighting . . . . The prosecutor will likely focus on several categories of possible crimes by Palestinians and Israelis.
[. . . .] For all the attention paid to the fighting in Gaza, the most dangerous issue for Israeli officials lies elsewhere. Israel’s policy of supporting settlements in the occupied West Bank could place senior Israeli officials in greater legal jeopardy than its conduct in Gaza. Israel’s settlements in territory occupied during the 1967 war have been widely described as illegal, including by the UN Security Council and the International Court of Justice. A commission of inquiry appointed by the UN Human Rights Council described settlements as potential war crimes.
[. . . .] Yet international courts have not directly addressed the issue of criminal responsibility for these policies. The Rome Statute lists as a war crime “the transfer, directly or indirectly, by the Occupying Power of parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.” The ICC’s preliminary examination will likely be the first international judicial inquiry into whether the Israeli promotion of settlements in the Occupied Territories meets this definition [. . . .]  SOURCE . . . 

❷ ABBAS  INSTRUCTS  WASHINGTON  DELEGATE  TO  INTENSIFY  WORK  IN  US
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA  
Jan. 9, 2018 ― President Mahmoud Abbas Tuesday gave clear instructions to the Palestinian diplomatic delegation to Washington to intensify work in the United State to influence public opinion and increase awareness of the Palestinian cause, chief Palestinian delegate Hussam Zomlot said on Monday.
___He said in a statement, after meeting heads of Palestinian and Arab organizations in Washington, that Abbas stressed the importance of the Palestine Liberation Organization’s (PLO) general delegation to the US in intensifying efforts with all representatives of the American people and influence public opinion by collaborating with the Palestinian community, the Arab, Islamic and Christian institutions, solidarity groups and civil society organizations in the US.     MORE . . . 
.  .  .  .  .  ❷  ―  (ᴀ)  EREKAT:  NO  NEGOTIATIONS  UNTIL  JERUSALEM  DECISION  IS  DROPPED
Palestine News Network – PNN
Jan. 9, 2018 ― Secretary-General of the PLO  Executive Committee, Dr. Saeb Erekat, said that the continued American attempts to revive Israeli-Palestinian negotiations  are unacceptable to the Palestinian leadership, unless the decision to declare Jerusalem as the capital of Israel is dropped.
___“The Palestinian leadership will not accept any offers for negotiations unless the American decision on Jerusalem is dropped,” Erakat told the official Voice of Palestine radio station on Tuesday.
___Erekat said that US President, Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel dictated removing Jerusalem from any negotiations.     MORE . . . 
.  .  .  .  .  ❷  ―  (ᴃ)  MINISTER  ABU  SHAHLA  MEETS  UNRWA  OPERATIONS  CHIEF  IN  GAZA
The Palestinian Information Center 
Jan. 8, 2018 ― Palestinian labor minister Ma’moun Abu Shahla on Monday met with director of UNRWA operations  Matthias Schmale at the headquarters of the ministry in the Gaza Strip and discussed with him the US decision to freeze funding for the agency.
___Abu Shahla discussed the impacts of the US decision on the UNRWA’s operations and the need for taking serious action by the UN against such US threat.     MORE . . . 
❸ ISRAEL  DETAINS  19  PALESTINIANS,  INCLUDING  A  14-YEAR-OLD  BOY           Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Jan. 9, 2018 ― Israeli forces detained on Tuesday 19 Palestinians, including a 14-year-old boy, during wide-scale raids in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, said the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS).
[. . . .] According to a statistic by Prisoners Support and Human Rights Association, the total number of Palestinian political prisoners is 6154, with 453 of them held in administrative detention without charge, 311 minors and 59 women.   MORE . . .    ..
.  .  .  .  .  ❸  ―  (ᴀ)  ISRAELI  NAVY  DETAINS  FIVE  GAZA  FISHERMEN,  SEIZES  THEIR  BOATS 
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA 
Jan. 9, 2018 ― Israeli navy detained on Tuesday five Gaza fishermen and confiscated two fishing boats in al-Sudaniya area, northwest of the Gaza Strip, WAFA correspondent said.
___He said that the Israeli navy opened fire at the fishermen and their boats as they were sailing four nautical miles in the sea of al-Sudaniya area . . .    MORE . . . 

“IN  JERUSALEM,”  BY  MAHMOUD  DARWISH
In Jerusalem, and I mean within the ancient walls,
I walk from one epoch to another without a memory
to guide me. The prophets over there are sharing
the history of the holy . . . ascending to heaven
and returning less discouraged and melancholy, because love
and peace are holy and are coming to town.
I was walking down a slope and thinking to myself: How
do the narrators disagree over what light said about a stone?
Is it from a dimly lit stone that wars flare up?
I walk in my sleep. I stare in my sleep. I see
no one behind me. I see no one ahead of me.
All this light is for me. I walk. I become lighter. I fly
then I become another. Transfigured. Words
sprout like grass from Isaiah’s messenger
mouth: “If you don’t believe you won’t believe.”
I walk as if I were another. And my wound a white
biblical rose. And my hands like two doves
on the cross hovering and carrying the earth.
I don’t walk, I fly, I become another,
transfigured. No place and no time. So who am I?
I am no I in ascension’s presence. But I
think to myself: Alone, the prophet Mohammad
spoke classical Arabic. “And then what?”
Then what? A woman soldier shouted:
Is that you again? Didn’t I kill you?
I said: You killed me . . . and I forgot, like you, to die.

From Darwish, Mahmoud. The Butterfly’s Burden. Trans. Fady Joudah. Copper Canyon Press, 2008. Available.
About Mahmoud Darwish.

“. . . Your land is no holier than my backyard . . .” (Lahab Assef Al-Jundi)

❶ Israeli forces demolish structures, notify to demolish homes in Silwan
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) A child [from Nabi Saleh village] with an IOF bullet in his skull
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴃ) Video: IOF shoot, injure four Palestinians in Hebron clashes

  • Background: “Boycotting Apartheid from South Africa to Palestine.” Peace Review

❷ PPS: since Trump announcement, Israeli forces have detained over 600 Palestinians
. . . . . ❷― (ᴀ) Video: Right-wing Israeli minister harasses Palestinians visiting imprisoned relatives
. . . . . ❷― (ᴃ) ICRC slams MK’s harassment of Palestinian prisoners’ families relatives
. . . . . ❷― (ᴄ) Abu Marzouk: Israelis should think it over before trying to ape Haza
❸ POETRY by Lahab Assef Al-Jundi
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ ISRAELI  FORCES  DEMOLISH  STRUCTURES,  NOTIFY  TO  DEMOLISH  HOMES  IN  SILWAN    
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA   
Dec. 26, 2017 ― Israeli forces Tuesday demolished two structures and notified to demolish a number of homes in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan, under the pretext of construction without a permit, according to WAFA correspondent.
___Israeli police accompanied by bulldozers broke into Silwan area in the early morning hours and demolished a structure and an animal shack, according to the Silwan-based Wadi Hilweh Information Center.  MORE . . .   
.  .  .  .  . ❶ ― (ᴀ) A  CHILD  [FROM  NABI  SALEH  VILLAGE]  WITH  AN  IOF  BULLET  IN  HIS  SKULL 
The Palestinian Information Center     
Dec. 25, 2017 ― On the 15th of December 2017, Mohammed climbed his house’s three-meter wall, to watch the movement of Israeli occupation forces (IOF), yet there was a soldier lying down, and watching his movement. The soldier shot the 15-year-old boy with a single bullet that penetrated his face. The boy fell from the top of the wall and hit the ground.     MORE . . . 
.  .  .  .  . ❶ ―  (ᴃ)  VIDEO:  IOF  SHOOT,  INJURE  FOUR  PALESTINIANS  IN  HEBRON  CLASHES    
Palestine News Network – PNN 
Dec. 26, 2017 ― Four Palestinians were shot and injured with live bullets and others suffocated on Tuesday during separate clashes with Israeli forces in the town of Sa’ir and nearby al-Arroub refugee camp, to the north of Hebron, according to local and security sources.
___Israeli forces raided al-Aroub refugee camp, spurring clashes with locals. Forces fired live bullets at residents, shooting and injuring three in the foot.  They were transferred to hospital for medical treatment. Their medical condition is still unknown, WAFA reported.
___Forces further attacked residents’ homes with tear gas canisters, causing many to suffocate as a result of teargas inhalation.    MORE . . . 

Di Stefano, Paul and Mostafa Henaway.
“BOYCOTTING  APARTHEID  FROM  SOUTH  AFRICA  TO  PALESTINE.”
PEACE REVIEW, vol. 26, no. 1, Jan-Mar2014, pp. 19-27.
[. . . .] There is little doubt that Israel’s international membership in numerous diplomatic and economic forums “provides both an unmerited veneer of respectability and material support for its crimes.” In fact, a key challenge of this facet of the BDS strategy is to keep international attention focused on Israeli human rights violations, so the Palestinian struggle is not subsumed under the veneer of normalization prevalent in international relations. Normalization is anathema to achieving rights and ending oppression because it allows Israelis to gain while Palestinians lose. Normalization accepts the humanity and dignity of Israelis while actively denying Palestinians their own. It obfuscates the Palestinian reality of oppression and colonialism and improperly casts the relationship between colonizers and colonized as symmetrical. BDS asserts the notion that oppression must end before peace can take place. Neve Gordon urges, “Outside pressure is the only answer. . . . Words and condemnations have not yielded results, not even a settlement freeze . . . nothing else has worked.” Noura Erakat notes that “the tripartite strategy is rooted in economic logic: Israel must comply with international law because non-compliance is too politically and economically costly to maintain . . . ” Therefore, the key to changing the conditions for Palestinians is to politically isolate Israel by calling for sanctions against it. In effect, these sanctions serve to buttress the varied boycotts by grassroots organizations that, in turn, threaten to alter the status quo. . . .    SOURCE . . . 

❷  PPS:  SINCE  TRUMP  ANNOUNCEMENT,  ISRAELI  FORCES  HAVE  DETAINED  OVER  600  PALESTINIANS
Ma’an News Agency  
Dec. 26, 2017 ― Israeli forces detained at least 24 Palestinians during pre dawn raids Tuesday across the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, according to Palestinian sources.
___The Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS) reported that as of Tuesday the number of Palestinians detained by Israeli forces since the US President’s declaration of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel three weeks ago, stands at 610 Palestinians, including 170 minors, 12 women and three injured detainees.     MORE . . . 
.  .  .  .  .  ❷―  (ᴀ)  VIDEO:  RIGHT-WING  ISRAELI  MINISTER  HARASSES  PALESTINIANS  VISITING  IMPRISONED  RELATIVES
Ma’an News Agency
Dec. 25, 2017 ― An ultra right-wing Israeli minister verbally harassed Palestinians from Gaza as they traveled on a bus to visit their imprisoned relatives in souther Israel’s Nafha prison, hurling abuse at women on the bus calling their sons “dogs.”
___MK Oren Hazan of the right-wing Likud party, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s party, intercepted and boarded a bus of Palestinian families traveling to Nafha prison on Monday.
___As he confronted the Palestinian families, he turned to the mother of an imprisoned Palestinian and asked, “Who did you come to visit? What did your son do?” to which she replied “He did not do anything.”
___Hazan responded to the mother by saying “Your son is a dog. He’s a dog. You come to visit the scum who are sitting here in prison, whom you see as your family members.”   MORE . . . 
.  .  .  .  .  ❷―  (ᴃ)  ICRC  SLAMS  MK’S  HARASSMENT  OF  PALESTINIAN  PRISONERS’  FAMILIES  RELATIVES  
The Palestinian Information Center
Dec. 25, 2017 ― The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) on Monday slammed an Israeli Knesset member for intercepting a bus of Palestinian families visiting their imprisoned sons in Israeli jails.
___ICRC spokeswoman Soheir Zaqout said that the Committee is following with concern what happened during the visit, stressing that the families of Palestinian prisoners have the right to visit their sons with dignity.   MORE . . . 
.  .  .  .  . ❷ ―  (ᴄ)  ABU  MARZOUK:  ISRAELIS  SHOULD  THINK  IT  OVER  BEFORE  TRYING  TO  APE  HAZAN
The Palestinian Information Center   
Dec. 25, 2017 ― Member of Hamas’s political bureau Mousa Abu Marzouk has said that Israeli leaders should think twice before trying to copy Knesset member Oren Hazan and bully families of Palestinian prisoners who seek to see their relatives in Israeli jails.
___“Hazan’s savage behavior reflected the fragility of this rogue entity whose leaders are looking for fake heroism,” Abu Marzouk said in Twitter remarks on Monday.  MORE . . . 

“HOLY  LANDERS,”  BY  LAHAB  ASSEF  AL-JUNDI

Listen!
You are fighting over a land that can fit,
with wilderness to spare,
in the Panhandle of Texas.

You are building walls to segregate,
splitting wholes till little is left,
killing and dying for pieces of sky
in the same window.

The olive trees are dying
of embarrassment.
They have enough fruits
and pits for all of you.
All they want is for you to stop
uprooting them.
Sending your children to die
in their names.

Listen!
Your land is no holier than my backyard.
None of you is any more chosen
the homeless veteran panhandling
with a God Bless cardboard sign
at the light of Mecca
and San Pedro.
Draw a borderline around the place.
Call it home for all the living,
all the dead
all the tired exiles with its dust
gummed on their tongues.

There are no heroes left.

Lahab Assef Al-Jundi was born, and grew up, in Damascus, Syria. Attended The University of Texas in Austin, where he graduated with a degree in Electrical Engineering. Not long after graduation, he discovered his passion for writing. He published his first poetry collection, “A Long Way”, in 1985. His poetry has appeared in numerous literary publications, and many Anthologies including: “In These Latitudes, Ten Contemporary Poets”, edited by Robert Bonazzi, “Inclined to Speak, An Anthology of Contemporary Arab American Poetry”, edited by Hayan Charara, and “Between Heaven and Texas”, edited by Naomi Shihab Nye.

 

 

“. . . but with you, the sun’s enemy, I will not bargain . . .” (Samih al -Qasim)

25348825_1925072917533509_2459295879374347377_n-001
A Meme from FaceBook. Perhaps it should read “recognizes Tel Aviv as the capital of the United States.”

❶ PPS: 490 Palestinians detained by Israeli forces since Trump decision on Jerusalem

  • Background: “A Letter from the Editors: The Longest Occupation.” Against the Current

. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Israeli forces detain cousin of Ahed Tamimi, extend detention of Ahed and her mother
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴃ) Palestinians injured as Israeli army suppresses rallies against US decision on Jerusalem
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴄ) Palestinian teen remains in a coma after being shot in head by Israeli forces
❷ President Abbas meets Saudi King Salman in Riyadh
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) UNGA to vote on withdrawing US recognition of Jerusalem as Israeli capital
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴃ) Palestinian delegations holding talks in Russia and China on future of peace process
❸ POETRY by Samih al -Qasim
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ PPS:  490  PALESTINIANS  DETAINED  BY  ISRAELI  FORCES  SINCE  TRUMP  DECISION  ON  JERUSALEM 
Ma’an News Agency    
Dec. 20, 2017 ―Israeli forces detained at least 28 Palestinians overnight between Tuesday and Wednesday from the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, according to official Palestinian and Israeli sources.
___The Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS) . . .   said that as of Tuesday, the total number of Palestinians detained by Israeli forces since the beginning of the protests that followed US President Donald Trump’s’ recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital was 490, including 148 minors and 11 women.  MORE . . . 

“A  LETTER  FROM  THE  EDITORS:  THE  LONGEST  OCCUPATION.” 
AGAINST THE CURRENT, vol. 32, no. 189, Jul/Aug2017, pp. 2-44.
DONALD TRUMP’S SPEECH to the regional potentates and dictators assembled for the occasion in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia was generally acclaimed as eminently presidential, and rightly so. That is to say, it was firmly in the tradition of U.S. presidential addresses on Middle East policy: utterly cynical, dripping with deceit, and above all, irreversibly tied to the United States’ leading role as the chief arms merchant to some of the world’s most brutal regimes.
___Unlike some of his predecessors, of course, Trump paid no lip service to human rights or democracy, both of which he despises — as do his Saudi royal hosts, who understood perfectly that the way to treat him is with limitless pomp and flattery . . .
[. . . .] Trump’s performance in Riyadh . . .  was in some ways as breathtaking as it was presidential. He assured the assembled rulers of Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain etc. that “we are not here to lecture you,” and declaimed the absence of democracy — in Iran. In fact, Iran just held an election. The population didn’t get to choose the candidates. . .  But given the choices presented to them, Iranians voted overwhelmingly for the “moderate” president Hassan Rouhani who promised openness and social relaxation.
[. . . .] Whatever happens to Trump’s presidency won’t be decided by his antics in Riyadh, Jerusalem or Brussels. It will end if, and at whatever point, he becomes a liability rather than an enabler of the savage rightwing Republican political agenda. But it’s important that the resistance to the Trump regime — which has only intensified after his withdrawal from the international climate agreement — take up the issues of war in the Middle East, Palestine in particular.   FULL ARTICLE . . .

.  .  .  .  .  ❶  ―  (ᴀ)  ISRAELI  FORCES  DETAIN  COUSIN  OF  AHED  TAMIMI,  EXTEND  DETENTION  OF  AHED  AND  HER  MOTHER 
Ma’an News Agency   
Dec. 20, 2017 ― Israeli forces detained the cousin of Palestinian teenage actvist Ahed al-Tamimi during predawn raids on Wednesday in the occupied West Bank.
___Locals in the central West Bank village of Nabi Saleh told Ma’an that Israeli forces detained 21-year-old Nour Naji al-Tamimi, the cousin of 17-year-old Ahed al-Tamimi who was detained . . . after a video went viral of her slapping an armed Israeli officer during a raid on Nabi Saleh.
___Nour, who appeared in the video next to Ahed as the two attempted to push the soldiers out of their property, was reportedly arrested for reasons relating to the video.
___Ahed’s mother, Nariman, was also detained on Tuesday . . .  According to Arabic media, both Ahed and Nariman’s detentions were extended.  MORE . . .
.  .  .  .  .  ❶  ―  (ᴃ)  PALESTINIANS  INJURED  AS  ISRAELI  ARMY  SUPPRESSES  RALLIES  AGAINST  US  DECISION  ON  JERUSALEM
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Dec. 20, 2017 ― Israeli forces responded with force on Wednesday shooting live and rubber bullets and tear gas canisters to disperse thousands of Palestinians who rallied across the West Bank districts of Ramallah, Hebron, Tulkarm and Bethlehem against the US decision recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital causing dozens of suffocation cases and at least one injury from live bullet.
___The Palestinian national and Islamic forces called for mass rallies in all the Palestinian cities after which participants would march to contact points with Israeli soldiers.     MORE . . . 
.  .  .  .  .  ❶  ―  (ᴄ)  PALESTINIAN  TEEN  REMAINS  IN  A  COMA  AFTER  BEING  SHOT  IN  HEAD  BY  ISRAELI  FORCES
Ma’an News Agency 
Dec. 19, 2017 ― Fourteen-year-old Muhammad Fadel al-Tamimi remains in a medically-induced coma as of Tuesday, days after he was hot in the face with a rubber-coated steel bullet by Israeli forces.
___The Palestinian teenager, a resident of the central occupied West Bank town of Nabi Saleh, was injured during clashes in his village on Friday.    MORE . . . 
❷  PRESIDENT  ABBAS  MEETS  SAUDI  KING  SALMAN  IN  RIYADH 
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA 
Dec. 20, 2017 ― President Mahmoud Abbas met in Riyadh on Wednesday with King Salman bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia and briefed him on the latest developments and efforts to protect Jerusalem from the dangers facing it following US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as capital of Israel earlier this month.   MORE . . .
.  .  .  .  .  ❷  ―  (ᴀ)  UNGA  TO  VOTE  ON  WITHDRAWING  US  RECOGNITION  OF  JERUSALEM  AS  ISRAELI  CAPITAL 
Palestine News Network – PNN
Dec. 20, 2017 ―Palestine’s Permanent Observer at the United Nations, Riyad Mansour, said the United Nations General Assembly is going to vote on Thursday on a draft resolution that calls for withdrawing the United States’ recent decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, Voice of Palestine radio reported Wednesday.
___He told the Voice of Palestine radio that the UN General Assembly will hold a session named “United for Peace” on Thursday to vote on the draft resolution which asks the US to back down on its recent decision on Jerusalem, after the US vetoed a similar UN Security Council resolution last Monday.    MORE . . .
.  .  .  .  .  ❷  ―  (ᴃ)  PALESTINIAN  DELEGATIONS  HOLDING  TALKS  IN  RUSSIA  AND  CHINA  ON  FUTURE  OF  PEACE  PROCESS  
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA     
Dec. 20, 2017 ― Two official Palestinian delegations are in Russia and China to discuss the future of the peace process, PLO Executive Committee member Saleh Rafat said on Wednesday.
___He told the official Voice of Palestine radio that the visit by the two Palestinian delegations is part of efforts to garner support for the Palestinian position that strongly opposes the US decision recognizing Jerusalem as capital of Israel.
___He said Moscow had confirmed its support for the Palestinian position and would stand by Palestine at the United Nations General Assembly when it meets on Thursday with a goal to denounce the US decision.   MORE . . . 

“A  SPEECH  IN  THE  UNEMPLOYMENT  MARKET,”  BY  SAMIH  AL-QASIM
If you like, I will forfeit my wages
and put up my clothes and bed for sale.
I’ll work as a stonecutter, porter or street-sweeper,
and search for grain in the dung of cattle
and languish, naked and hungry
but with you, the sun’s enemy, I will not bargain.
With the last throb in my veins I will resist.

Though you steal the last foot of my land
and feed my youth to the prison,
seize my grandfather’s inheritance
of furnishings, dishes and pots,
burn my poems and books,
throw my flesh to the dogs
and dwell as a dream of horror over my village
with you, the sun’s enemy, I will not bargain.
With the last throb in my veins I will resist.

You may smother my flame in the night,
withhold my mother’s kiss
and let children curse my kinfolk.
You may slip past the guardian of my sorrows
and settle my history between a coward and a senseless god.
You may deny my children holiday clothes
and fool my friends with a borrowed face,
hedge me around with all your walls
and sacrifice my days on some humble spot
but with you, the sun’s enemy, I will not bargain.
With the last throb in my veins I will resist.

Enemy of the sun,
in the port there is feasting, a flood of good tidings,
shrills and shouts and a cry of joy;
heroic anthems burst from every throat!
On the horizon, a boat
challenges the wind and boundless sea, and passes out of danger.
It is Ulysses’ return
from the lost seas―
the return of the sun, and of the exiled―
and by her eyes,
and by his eyes,
I swear I will not bargain!

I will resist.
― (1967)

An interview with Samih Al-Qasim.
From WHEN THE WORDS BURN: AN ANTHOLOGY OF MODERN ARABIC POETRY: 1945-1987. Translated and edited by John Mikhail Asfour. Dunvegan, Ontario, Canada. Cormorant Books, 1988.

“. . . The world will be cleansed of its sorrows . . .” (Fadwa Tuqan)

❶ Maliki: Palestinians can no longer accept the US as a peace mediator
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Arab foreign ministers demand US to annul Jerusalem decision
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴃ) The world’s anger toward Trump gives Palestinians a clear path for action
❷ In Photos: Israeli police use force to break up protest in East Jerusalem
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) Prisoner’s Society says Israel detained 150 Palestinians since US move
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴃ) Trump’s announcement threatens the heart of Palestinian healthcare
POETRY by Fadwa Tuqan
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ MALIKI:  PALESTINIANS  CAN  NO  LONGER  ACCEPT  THE  US  AS  A  PEACE  MEDIATOR 
The Palestinian Information Center 
Dec. 10, 2017 ― Palestinian minister of foreign affairs Riyadh al-Maliki has affirmed that the Palestinian Authority (PA) is looking for another international sponsor for the peace process in the aftermath of the serious decision that was taken by the US president regarding Jerusalem.
___Maliki made his remarks in a news conference held on Saturday at the Palestinian embassy in Cairo to clarify the PA’s position after the US proved itself to be unfit as a neutral sponsor for the peace process. MORE . . .    ..
.  .  .  .  .  ❶  ―  (ᴀ)  ARAB  FOREIGN  MINISTERS  DEMAND  US  TO  ANNUL  JERUSALEM  DECISION  
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Dec. 10, 2017 – Arab Foreign Ministers demanded the United States to withdraw its decision on Jerusalem and to work with the international community to oblige Israel to implement international laws.
___The ministers concluded in an emergency meeting in Cairo, which was called for to discuss the US move to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and to transfer the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem that the decision has no legal effect, but constitutes a serious violation of the international law.
___The ministers warned that attempts to change the legal and historical status of Jerusalem and its Arab identity and attack its Islamic and Christian holy sites provokes the feelings of Muslims and Christians throughout the Arab and Muslim world.  MORE . . .
.  .  .  .  .  ❶  ―  (ᴃ)  THE  WORLD’S  ANGER  TOWARD  TRUMP  GIVES  PALESTINIANS  A  CLEAR  PATH  FOR  ACTION   
Mondoweiss
Haidar Eid      (Haidar Eid is Associate Professor of Postcolonial and Postmodern Literature at Gaza’s al-Aqsa University.)
Dec. 9, 2017 ― US president Donald Trump has taken a decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Forget about international law, UN and Security Council Resolutions, Arab and Muslim reaction! The President of the United of Sates of America does not give a damn. If the world doesn’t like it, it can bang its head against the “wailing wall!”
___What is Jerusalem?
___Jerusalem is Zarnouqa, the village from which my family together with thousands of villagers, were ethnically cleansed in 1948 in order to make room for Ashkenazi Jews from Eastern Europe, a pure Jewish state, similar to Apartheid South Africa and other settler-colonies, one that does not grant you citizenship unless you are born to a Jewish mother.
___Alas, my mother was not Jewish and, therefore, I am expected to live in a refugee camp, accept my low status, and never think of praying in one of the holiest sites of Islam, Christianity and Judaism.
___President Trump, with all sincerity, believes that we are biologically born different and, therefore, some of us have no right to exist and survive on this piece of land unless we choose to be slaves and be grateful for that!   MORE . . .
❷ IN  PHOTOS:  ISRAELI  POLICE  USE  FORCE  TO  BREAK  UP  PROTEST  IN  EAST  JERUSALEM
Ma’an News Agency
Dec. 9, 2017 ― Israeli police on Saturday entered occupied East Jerusalem on foot and on horseback, and suppressed a peaceful Palestinian demonstration against US President Donald Trump’s announcement recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
___Witnesses said police stormed into the crowd of local activists, students and ordinary citizens who were marching peacefully on the main city street, dispersing them and arresting two people.
___Police tossed stun grenades into the crowd as police on horseback reportedly ran over people, including journalists covering the event.
__The witnesses said the police attacked people, mainly women, who were carrying Palestinian flags and snatched them from their hands.   MORE . . .
.  .  .  .  .  ❷  ―  (ᴀ)  PRISONER’S  SOCIETY  SAYS  ISRAEL  DETAINED  150  PALESTINIANS  SINCE  US  MOVE 
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Dec. 10, 2017 ― The Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS) Sunday said Israeli army forces and police detained a total of 150 Palestinians since US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
___A press released published by PPS said the highest percentage of detentions occurred in Jerusalem with 40 people detained, including four women who were later released.   MORE . . .
.  .  .  .  .  ❷  ―  (ᴃ)  TRUMP’S  ANNOUNCEMENT  THREATENS  THE  HEART  OF  PALESTINIAN  HEALTHCARE
Palestine News Network – PNN     Dec. 8, 2017 ― On Wednesday, President Donald Trump declared that the United States now recognises Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel, and announced his intention to move the US embassy to the city.
___At Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP), we are deeply concerned by this development and reports that at least 50 Palestinians protesting against the US decision have been injured by Israeli security forces, nine by live ammunition.
___Israel’s annexation of occupied East Jerusalem, the surrounding separation wall, and its complex regime of permits and IDs create manifold barriers to the rights to health and dignity of Palestinians.
___MAP has repeatedly raised concerns about armed raids on Palestinian hospitals and healthcare centres in occupied East Jerusalem, as well as dangerous delays to ambulances and patients entering the city via checkpoints.
___East Jerusalem is the site of many medical specialties unavailable elsewhere in the occupied Palestinian territory, including cardiac surgery and essential specialist cancer treatments such as radiotherapy. It is therefore vital that Palestinian patients from the West Bank and Gaza are able to enter freely to access this care.   MORE . . .

“THE  SEAGULL  AND  THE  NEGATION  OF  NEGATION,”  BY  FADWA  TUQAN

It crossed the horizon and cleft the darkness,
Mastering the blue, darting on wings of light―
Twisting, turning and still turning.
It knocked at my dark window, and the gasping silence quivered:
“Bird, is it good news you bring?”
It divulged its secret, yet breathed not a word,
And the seagull disappeared.

Bird, my sea-bird, I know now
That during hard times, standing in the tunnel of silence,
All things change.
The seed sprouts even within the heart of the dead,
Morning bursts forth from darkness.
I know now,
As I hear horses galloping the call of death along the shores,
That when the flood comes,
The world will be cleansed of its sorrows.

Bird, my sea-bird, rising from the depths of darkness,
God’s blessing upon you for the good news you bring.
For I know now
Something happened . . . the horizon parted and the house greeted the light of day.

About Fadwa Tuqan.
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.

“. . . blindfold me But here I will stand tall . . .” (Fouzi el Asmar)

❶ Israel demolishes 2 Palestinian homes in occupied East Jerusalem
❷ Hamas and Fatah meet in Cairo to continue reconciliation talks

  • Background: “Indispensible but Elusive: Palestinian National Reunification.” Middle East Policy.

❸ Israel arrests 19 Palestinians including 6 Fatah activists taken for interrogation
❹ Save the Children: rights of Palestinian children being eroded in West Bank
❺ POETRY by Fouzi el Asmar
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ ISRAEL  DEMOLISHES  2  PALESTINIAN  HOMES  IN  OCCUPIED  EAST  JERUSALEM    
Ma’an News Agency
Nov. 22, 2017 ― Israeli forces reportedly demolished two Palestinian homes on Wednesday in occupied East Jerusalem, according to local sources.
___Locals told Ma’an that staff from Israel’s Jerusalem Municipality, under the protection of police forces, raided the neighborhoods of al-Issawiya and Shufat and demolished two homes, under the pretext that they were built without difficult-to-obtain Israeli building permits.
___Israeli forces first demolished the home of Sharif Muhsein in al-Issawiya, which according to local activist Muhammad Abu al-Hummus, was still under construction. The demolition reportedly caused damages to the house next door.   MORE . . .
❷  HAMAS  AND  FATAH  MEET  IN  CAIRO  TO  CONTINUE  RECONCILIATION  TALKS
Ma’an News Agency 
Nov. 21, 2017 ― Palestinian political factions are set to meet on Tuesday in Cairo, Egypt, in the newest round of national reconciliation talks, following the reconciliation agreement signed by feuding factions Hamas and Fatah in October.
___Official Palestinian Authority (PA)-owned Wafa news agency reported that the “national dialogue” is to last for three days, and will review what has been achieved so far from the October agreement, and review elements from the failed 2011 agreement.  MORE . . .

(Note: While this article is four years old and is about the previous agreements which failed, it offers valuable information for understanding the current work toward reconciliation between the two entities. We will continue with more articles written in the intervening years.)

Ibish, Hussein.
“INDISPENSIBLE  BUT  ELUSIVE:  PALESTINIAN  NATIONAL  REUNIFICATION.”
MIDDLE EAST POLICY,
vol. 21, no. 3, Fall2014, pp. 31-46.
[. . . .] Egypt has always regarded the Gaza border area and the Rafah crossing as more of a domestic and national-security issue than a foreign-policy challenge. . .  [but] Egypt moved to shut down smuggling tunnels, make it much harder for anything or anyone to pass between Egypt and Gaza, and close the crossing except for humanitarian purposes or other special exceptions. Gaza had never in its history been this cut off. The Egyptian blockade was, if anything, tighter than the Israeli blockade. And Egypt was in no way constrained, as Israel is, by the responsibilities accruing to the officially designated (by the UN Security Council) occupying power in Gaza.  Egypt’s lawful prerogatives are much more elastic [than srael’s]. Hamas soon found itself politically isolated, diplomatically squeezed and economically strangled at a whole new level, even considering that the blockade had existed since the 2007 split with the PA in the West Bank.
[. . . .] As Hamas was facing an unprecedented meltdown in Gaza during 2013-14, the Ramallah leadership was also in a severe, albeit less extreme, crisis of its own. Like Hamas, its leaders lacked a popular mandate. . . .  Its policy of negotiating with Israel had not produced any tangible benefits in years, but had occasioned significant frustration. Its controversial policy of security coordination with Israel helped to secure law and order and stability . . . was painted as simply providing calm for the occupier. The sense of patriotic duty and national purpose was being weakened . . .
[. . . .] The calculations of all parties regarding the unity agreement [2011] were reshaped by the hostilities in Gaza, the subject of an uneasy truce and uncertain negotiations. Indeed, the Hamas-Israel war appeared to breathe new life into an arrangement . . .
[. . . .]  Israel will have to change its implicit, and perhaps even explicit, position towards the unity agreement. It could well be argued that Israel has already done so, by signaling a willingness to go along with such an arrangement if it is coupled with a “demilitarization” regime . . .  If Israel does not adapt its policies towards the Ramallah leadership, it can virtually guarantee that Hamas will eventually and plausibly insist that the 2014 war with Israel constituted a “victory” for the Islamist organization and its policy of armed struggle. . .  If Israel does decide to adapt its policies in order to deny Hamas that opportunity, this will require a new approach to the PA and, if there is an explicit understanding on a lasting ceasefire or reconstruction, perhaps also to the Palestinian national-unity agreement.    SOURCE . . .    ..

❸ ISRAEL  ARRESTS  19  PALESTINIANS  INCLUDING  6  FATAH  ACTIVISTS  TAKEN  FOR  INTERROGATION    
Palestine News Network – PNN 
Nov. 20,2017 ― The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) launched a large-scale arrest campaign at dawn on Tuesday arresting 19 people most of them in Jerusalem and targeted girls and leaders from Jerusalem.
___The Palestinian Prisoners Society (PPS) said that the occupation arrested 13 Palestinians from Jerusalem.
___According to an attorney with the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society, Mufeed al-Haj, Israeli police is also interrogating six Fatah activists, including one woman, from East Jerusalem detained in earlier raids at their homes for their alleged activity in the occupied city.
___He said that the six detained include Hatem Abdul Qadder, one of the top Fatah officials . . . .   MORE . . .
❹ SAVE  THE  CHILDREN:  RIGHTS  OF  PALESTINIAN  CHILDREN  BEING  ERODED  IN  WEST  BANK   
Ma’an News Agency     Nov. 20, 2017 (Updated Nov. 21, 2017) ― On the anniversary of Universal Children’s Day, international NGO Save the Children released a statement highlighting ongoing the rights violations of Palestinian children in the occupied territory by Israel.
___Jennifer Moorehead, the country director of Save the Children in the occupied Palestinian territory called for greater protection of schools and children’s right to education, saying that “children’s most fundamental right to education is being eroded” in the territory.
___Moorehead highlighted the cases of 55 Palestinian schools in Area C, the more than 60 percent of the West Bank under full Israeli civilian and security control, that are under threat of demolition by Israeli forces.
___“Distance, risky roads, the presence of settlers or of military checkpoints had presented insurmountable challenges for many children to reach the nearest schools,” Moorhead said.   MORE . . .

“I  AM  THE  SON  OF  THE  LAND,”  BY  FOUZI  EL  ASMAR
You may take my hands
and lock them in your chains
You may also blindfold me.

You bereaved me
from the light
and I marched
You robbed me
of the bread
and I ate.
You plundered the land
from me
and I ploughed.

I am the son of the land
and for that
I find goodness in this earth
anywhere I happen to be:
The ants of this land
feed me
The branches of this land
foster me
The eagles of this land
will shield my open revolt

Yes
You may take my hands
And lock them in your chains
You may also blindfold me
But here I will stand tall
And here I shall remain
until the very end. (April, 1970)

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

“. . . No stone to bear their names . . .” (Samih Al Qasim)

❶ Commemorating 61th anniversary of Kafr Qasim Massacre

  • Background: “I was in a war, and in a war things like that happen”: On judgments and ethical investigations in Israeli law and literature.” Jewish Social Studies.

❷ Israeli settlers fire at Palestinian farmers in Masafer Yatta
❸ PPS: Israeli Soldiers Abduct 25 Palestinians In The West Bank
❹ POETRY by Samih Al-Qasim
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❶  COMMEMORATING  61TH  ANNIVERSARY  OF  KAFR  QASIM  MASSACRE 
Alray-Palestinian Media Agency
Oct. 30, 2017 ― On 29 October 1956, Israeli border police carried out a massacre in the Palestinian village of Kafr Qassem, situated on the Palestinian occupied territories at that time of the de facto border between Israeli occupation and the Jordanian West Bank.
[. . . .] [A]s farmers came back from their fields and workers from the workshops, the soldiers gathered them in small groups on the entrance to the village. Then the officer ordered to “mow them down” and they were shot dead, their bodies piled in heaps at the side of the road. Fourty-nine people were killed in cold blood without any provocation, for violating a curfew order that they were not aware of. Twelve of the martyrs were women and girls, 17 children, the youngest of them only 7 years old.
[. . . .] The massacre of Kafr Qasim was not an isolated incident. It was intentionally planned by elements in the Israeli occupation army command as part of a much bigger plan to complete the ethnic cleansing of 1948.     MORE . . .

Keydar, Renana.
“I WAS IN A WAR, AND IN A WAR THINGS LIKE THAT HAPPEN”: ON JUDGMENTS AND ETHICAL INVESTIGATIONS IN ISRAELI LAW AND LITERATURE.”
Jewish Social Studies, vol. 18, no. 3, Spring/Summer2012, pp. 212-224.
On April 9, 1948 . . .  the Israeli paramilitary organizations Lehi and Etsel attacked the Palestinian village of Deir Yassin . . . [resulting] in many civilian casualties, with accounts estimating the death toll to be more than one hundred, many of them women, children, and the elderly. . .  The Deir Yassin attack was immediately denounced as a massacre by various parties, including the Jewish-Israeli leadership. The attack on Deir Yassin remains at the heart of historical and political debate. . .
“___ It is beyond debate that in the dominant and pervasive Israeli narrative of 1948, as it was determined in the official account and as it was disseminated later on by the educational and communication systems, . . . the uprooting of the Palestinians and the destruction of their society is not discussed and is not even mentioned as an important aspect of the war or as one of the consequential outcomes of it.” [Uri Ram, “Ways of Forgetting: Israel and the Obliterated Memory of the Palestinian Nakba.” Journal of Historical Sociology 22, no. 3 (2009): 366-9.]   
[. . . .] Eight years after the events of Deir Yassin, news reached the public of another traumatic event involving extreme and morally questionable violence against civilians by Israeli soldiers: the Kefar Kassem [KAFR QASIM] massacre. On October 29, 1956, the eve of the Sinai War, a battalion of Israeli border police was ordered to enforce an unusually early curfew . . .  The battalion commander . . .  instructed his soldiers to kill anyone found outside his or her house in violation of the curfew. The order was given despite the fact that many villagers who worked outside the village could not know about the new curfew. In one of the villages, Kefar Kassem . . .  more than 40 villagers were shot and killed by the soldiers, among them women and children as young as eight years of age.
[. . . .] One crucial distinction between the two events—Deir Yassin and Kefar Kassem—lies in the fact that . . .   the soldiers involved in the Kefar Kassem massacre were brought to trial and eight soldiers from the border-police unit were found guilty of murder as a result of obeying a manifestly illegal order.    SOURCE . . .     …

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(Photo: “Kafr Qasim,” Donia Al Watan, Blog, Oct. 31, 2016)

❷ ISRAELI  SETTLERS  FIRE  AT  PALESTINIAN  FARMERS  IN  MASAFER  YATTA
Palestine News Network – PNN
Oct. 30, 2017 ― Israeli settlers fired at Palestinian farmers in Masafer Yatta, south of Hebron. The coordinator of the Colonization and Wall Resistance Commission, Rateb Jabbour, told the official News agency, Wafa, that the Israeli settlers from the illegal West Bank settlement of Ma’on fired at the Palestinian farmers while they were harvesting their olive trees in ​​Al-Hamra area near at-Tawani village next to the settlement.
___Jabbour pointed out that a state of panic and fear hit the Palestinian farmers, but no injuries were reported.   MORE . . .
❸ PPS: “ISRAELI  SOLDIERS  ABDUCT  25  PALESTINIANS  IN  THE  WEST  BANK”
International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC 
Oct. 30, 2017 ― The Palestinians Prisoners’ Society (PPS) has reported that Israeli soldiers abducted, earlier Monday, twenty-three Palestinians, including one woman, after invading and violently searching their homes, in different parts of the occupied West Bank, including Jerusalem.
___ The PPS office in Tulkarem governorate, in northern West Bank . . .
___In Jenin governorate, in northern West Bank . . .
___In Nablus, also in northern West Bank . . .
___In Salfit, in northeastern West Bank . . .
___In Jerusalem, the soldiers abducted a woman . . .
___In Ramallah governorate, in central West Bank . . .
___In Hebron, in the southern part of the West Bank . . .   MORE . . .

“REMEMBERING KAFR QASIM,” BY SAMIH AL-QASIM
There is no monument, no rose, no memorial―
neither a line of poetry to delight the murdered
nor any curtain for the unveiling.
There is no blood-stained shred
of a shirt our upright brothers wore.
No stone to bear their names.
Nothing. Only the shame.

Their spirits are hovering still,
digging graves in the rubble of Kafr Qasim.

(A different publication of the poem includes the sentence, “The last eight lines of this poem were deleted by a decision of the [Israeli] censor.”)

Samih Al-Qasim
. . .
From Al-Qasim, Samih. SADDER THAN WATER. NEW AND SELECTED POEMS.  Trans. Nazih Kasis and Adina Hoffman. Jerusalem: Ibis Editions, 2008.  Available from Barnes and Noble

“. . . ‘Administrative Detention’ by the Israeli security forces is . . . yet another testimony to Israel’s ossification in a mythic past . . .” (Jean Fisher)

safadi-001
Hasan Safadi, 24, at his administrative detention order hearing, Jul. 4, 2016. (Photo: Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network)

❶ . Administrative Detention of Addameer Media Coordinator Hasan Safadi Renewed

  • Background:”Negotiating Representation In Israel And Palestine.” Visual Studies

❷ . Palestinian committee: Israel ‘deliberately’ tries to kill Palestinian hunger strikers

  • Background: “Voices In The Singular Plural: ‘Palestine C/O Venice’ And The Intellectual Under Siege.” Third Text

❸ . European legal scholars defend BDS right for freedom of expression
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❶ . ADMINISTRATIVE  DETENTION  OF  ADDAMEER  MEDIA  COORDINATOR  HASAN  SAFADI  RENEWED
Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association
Dec. 8, 2016
The Administrative detention of Palestinian journalist and human rights defender Hasan Safadi, the Media Coordinator for Addameer, has been renewed for an additional 6 months, from 7 December 2016 to 8 June 2017. Administrative detention orders may be renewed indefinitely.
___Safadi’s administrative detention order is scheduled to be confirmed by a judge at a time set in the next 48 hours, making him one of approximately 720 Palestinians held without charge or trial under administrative detention.     More . . .  
Related . . .   Police raid media center in East Jerusalem, detain staff       

  • Wahl, Huw. “Negotiating Representation In Israel And Palestine.” Visual Studies 29.1 (2014): 1-12.  ARTICLE.

In the summer of 2012, I travelled to Israel and Palestine To explore the notion of photographic representation in this heavily documented region and to understand how local visual practitioners negotiated the work of photography in relation to their own identities and opinions on the conflict. ___FIGURE 1.  Ofer Prison, West Bank, June 2012. People demonstrate in support of prisoners participating in one of the longest hunger strikes in Palestinian history. Ofer prison is located near Ramallah in the West Bank and run by the Israeli Prison Services. Israel holds more than 4500 Palestinians in jail on charges that range from stone throwing to deadly attacks on Israeli targets. Hunger strikes in protest at inhumane and abusive conditions, as well as detentions without charge or trial, have been growing over the past years.
__FIGURE 3. Ofer Prison, West Bank, June 2012. Palestinian photojournalists talk with local children during a quiet moment at a demonstration outside Ofer prison in support of prisoners on hunger strike.

❷ . PALESTINIAN  COMMITTEE:  ISRAEL  ‘DELIBERATELY’  TRIES  TO  KILL  PALESTINIAN  HUNGER  STRIKERS
Ma’an News Agency   
Dec. 9, 2016
Head of the Palestinian Committee of Prisoners’ Affairs, Issa Qaraqe accused Israeli authorities of “deliberately” attempting to kill Palestinian hunger strikers, while Israeli authorities have employed several tactics to convince a Palestinian hunger striker to break his strike, according to statements released on Thursday.
___The Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS) said in a statement that Palestinian hunger striker Ammar Ibrahim Hamour, 28, who has been on hunger strike for 18 days in protest of being held in administrative detention — internment without charge or trial, told a PPS lawyer, Khalid Mahajna that Israel Prison Service (IPS) has been attempting to pressure him to end his strike.       More . . . 
Related . . .    Israeli Forces Issue 1586 Administrative Detention Orders Since January 2016   

Fisher, Jean. “Voices In The Singular Plural: ‘Palestine C/O Venice’ And The Intellectual Under Siege.” Third Text 23.6 (2009): 789-801.   ARTICLE.

There is something frankly ugly and undignified, not to say immoral, about these efforts on the part of a nuclear-armed, self-styled liberal democracy and its supporters to justify what must be the most blatant example of systematic cultural genocide since the attempts by colonial America and Australia to eradicate indigenous peoples. . .  What remains to be fought for is basic human rights to homeland, security, freedom of self-expression and self-determination, increasingly translated not in terms of nineteenth-century nationalism but as the biopolitical struggle for diverse ‘forms of life’. . . .  a shift seems to be taking place within the Occupied Palestinian Territories . . . a popular non-violent and non-politically aligned movement of community activism [which] represents the potential to undermine imaginatively the ‘insecurity and endemic uncertainty’ of Israel’s spatiotemporal ruptures. . .  that the organisers of this pacific movement have become the targets of ‘Administrative Detention’ by the Israeli security forces is, by contrast, yet another testimony to Israel’s ossification in a mythic past and failure to imagine a more humane and equitable future.

.  EUROPEAN  LEGAL  SCHOLARS  DEFEND  BDS  RIGHT  FOR  FREEDOM  OF  EXPRESSION
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA    
Dec. 8, 2016
Around 200 European legal scholars and practicing lawyers from 15 countries Thursday issued a statement that stands for Palestinian rights and considers the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement as “a lawful exercise of freedom of expression,” according to a BDS statement.     ___Marking the 10-December UN Human Rights Day, which this year raises the slogan, “Stand up for someone’s rights today,” the legal scholars warned in the statement issued in English, French, Spanish, German, Italian, and Dutch that outlawing BDS undermines basic human rights.       More . . .  

brits-boycott
Jun. 02, 2015, Britain’s National Student Union Joins BDS Movement (Photo: Ha’aretz)