“. . . we appear to be nothing more than prisoners. . .” (Ibrahim Nasrallah)

A Palestinian family walks on Aug. 27, 2014, past the collapsed remains of a building in al-Shujaiyya that was destroyed in fighting between Hamas and Israel. (AFP/Roberto Schmidt)
A Palestinian family walks on Aug. 27, 2014, past the collapsed remains of a building in al-Shujaiyya that was destroyed in fighting between Hamas and Israel. (AFP/Roberto Schmidt)

❶ From MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
GAZAN RESIDENTS CELEBRATING EID REMINDED OF LAST YEAR’S LOSSES
July 17, 2015
Residents of the al-Shujaiyya neighborhood in the Gaza Strip enter Eid al-Fitr celebrations this year reminded of the heavy losses sustained just before the holiday began last year.
____Gaza resident Um Mumen Skafi lost both her son and her home after an attack by Israeli forces took place shortly before the holy month of Ramadan came to a close last year, in what would later be known as the Shujaiyya massacre.
(More. . .)

❷ From MONDOWEISS
THE BRAVE NEW WORLD OF MAPPING OCCUPIED EAST JERUSALEM
Dan Cohen
July 16, 2015
While Israel seeks to brand Jerusalem as its eternal and undivided capital, the existence of 300,000 Palestinian Jerusalemites lays bare the apartheid reality of the self-proclaimed Jewish State’s claim. For Israeli military and security firms, occupied East Jerusalem’s unique situation presents unique opportunities to develop new methods of enforcing occupation.
____Ofek Aerial Photography is one of these companies. This firm has sold a Google Street View-style mapping system to Israeli military and police agencies used to plan operations in occupied East Jerusalem to the smallest detail. Called mobile mapping, the technology can be used for anything from measurements for home demolitions to shooter-style video game simulations of full-force military invasions.
(More. . .)

❸ From MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
ISRAELI FORCES DETAIN GAZAN TRAVELING TO WEST BANK FOR TREATMENT
July 11, 2015
Israeli forces on Friday afternoon detained a young Palestinian man from the Gaza Strip as he tried to pass through Erez crossing near Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza strip.
____Ibrahim al-Shaer, 20, was attempting to travel to the West Bank for medical treatment when Israeli forces stopped him and took him into custody, Palestinian sources and family relatives told Ma’an. . . .
____Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip regularly attempt to travel outside of the blockaded coastal enclave for medical treatment.
____Seventeen hospitals, 56 primary healthcare facilities and 45 ambulances were damaged or destroyed by Israeli strikes during the 50-day war between Israel and Hamas last summer, according to humanitarian group Medical Aid for Palestinians.
(More. . .)

Palestinians walk through the Erez border crossing with Israel in the northern Gaza Strip as they cross into Gaza, on June 9, 2010. (AFP/Mahmud Hams, File)
Palestinians walk through the Erez border crossing with Israel in the northern Gaza Strip as they cross into Gaza, on June 9, 2010. (AFP/Mahmud Hams, File)

❹ From THE PALESTINIAN INFORMATION CENTER
REPORT: AT LEAST 6,000 PALESTINIAN PRISONERS IN ISRAELI JAILS
July 17, 2015
At least 6,000 Palestinians are still prisoners in 18 Israeli jails and detention center, according to a report released by the Palestinian commission for detainees and ex-detainees on Thursday.
____480 of those prisoners are serving life sentences and 67 others are being jailed for prison terms exceeding 20 or 25 years.
____The detainees also include 24 women, 250 children and minors, and eight lawmakers.
(More. . .)
See also: FIVE PALESTINIAN MOTHERS SPEND EID AL-FITR IN ISRAELI JAILS

❺ Opinion
From MONDOWEISS
NAIM ATEEK’S MORAL ARC OF THE UNIVERSE
Marc Ellis
July 16, 2015
When we think of protest letters, Martin Luther King’s letter from a Birmingham jail comes to mind. But there’s a tradition of protest letters to the unjust powers-that-be. Written for immediate effect, they are preserved in history and studied. These letters change the way we view the world. They call us to act for justice in our time.
____Add another protest letter, from a Palestinian cleric, Reverend Naim Ateek. This one’s personal.
____I first met Naim in Jerusalem in 1987 when I presented my Jewish theology of liberation. He asked me to read his manuscript on a Palestinian theology of liberation. After reading the first pages, I knew a new theological day was dawning. A Jewish and a Palestinian theology of liberation could make an impact for justice.
(More. . .)
(Marc H. Ellis is retired Director and Professor of Jewish Studies at Baylor University and author of Burning Children: A Jewish View of the War in Gaza and Exile and the Prophetic: Images in the New Diaspora.)

“HOMELAND,” BY IBRAHIM NASRALLAH

Under the yoke of our mornings
the sun crumbles
and in the darkness of our steps
our panting breath is on fire
these incomplete homelands
in which we appear to be
nothing more than prisoners of war

“DAYS,” BY IBRAHIM NASRALLAH

On the first day
I held my hand as it drew a coffin
so they sent me a wreath
On the second day
I held my hand as it drew a flower
so they sent me a coffin
On the third day I shouted out
I want to live
so they sent me a killer

“IN THE BEGINNING,” BY IBRAHIM NASRALLAH

In the beginning
the horses said, we need plains
the eagles said, we need summits
the snakes said, we need lairs
but humans remained bewildered

About Ibrahim Nasrallah.
Nasrallah, Ibrahim. Rain Inside. Trans. Ibrahim Muhawi. Evanston, IL: Curbstone Books (Northwestern University Press), 2009. Available from Amazon.

Naim Ateek
Naim Ateek

“. . .the splendor of life is being born within the walls of my prison. . .” (Samīh al-Qāsim)

Khader Adnan and his children. He has been held in prison 10 times under administrative detention which allows Israel to detain people for periods of 6 months without the filing of charges or a trial.
Khader Adnan and his children. He has been held in prison 10 times under administrative detention which allows Israel to detain people for periods of 6 months without the filing of charges or a trial.

From PALESTINIAN INFORMATION CENTER
SERIOUS DETERIORATION IN KHADER ADNAN’S HEALTH CONDITION
June 18, 2015
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)– The health situation of the prisoner Khader Adnan has seriously deteriorated as he continues his hunger strike for 45 consecutive days protesting his administrative detention, rights group said.
____Head of the Palestinian Prisoners Society (PPS) Jawad Boulos said that Israeli officials asked him late Thursday to urgently come to Assaf Harofeh Hospital as Adana’s health situation has sharply deteriorated.
(More. . .)
Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network

From PALESTINE NEWS & INFORMATION AGENCY – WAFA
ISRAEL ARRESTS 11 PALESTINIANS IN WEST BANK, ASSAULTS TODDLER, TWO ELDERS
June 16, 2015
Israeli forces Tuesday arrested nine Palestinians from across the West Bank and attacked a toddler, while Israeli police arrested two women and assaulted two elders in Jerusalem, according to local and security sources.
____Israeli forces stormed Jenin refugee camp, fired stun grenades, and arrested three youths after raiding and destroying the entire content of their families’ homes, including the main front doors. . . .
____Israeli forces also arrested an 18-year-old identified as Abd al-Hamid Hammad, after raiding several homes in the town of Silwad to the East of Ramallah.
____ . . . forces arrested Tawfiq Nazzal, 30, from Qalqilia after assaulting his family members, including his four-year-old child. The child was transferred to hospital for treatment.
(More . . .)

From THE ELECTRONIC INTIFADA
WILL US CHURCHES HELP BRING DOWN ISRAEL’S PRISON WALLS?
Ryan Rodrick Beiler
June 18, 2015
Three churches will debate resolutions this month to divest from companies supporting the Israeli occupation. The Episcopal Church, United Church of Christ and Mennonite Church USA will each discuss Palestine during their conventions.
____The discussions are taking place amid strenuous efforts by the Zionist lobby to counter the campaign for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel.
____Sheldon Adelson, the casino billionaire and mega-donor to the Republican Party, recently hosted a conference in Las Vegas to raise a reported $50 million to put more “boots on the ground” in the “war” against BDS. . . .
____All of the resolutions in question cite the Kairos Palestine document, signed by some 3,000 Palestinian Christians, which calls for “boycott and disinvestment as tools of nonviolence for justice, peace and security for all.”
(More . . .)

From AL MONITOR―PALESTINE PULSE
PALESTINIAN MEN FACE PRISON SENTENCES FOR FACEBOOK POSTS
Aziza Nofal
Posted June 9, 2015
The Jerusalemite family of Omar al-Shalabi did not expect the status updates he posted on his Facebook page to lead to his arrest . . . the family also believed he would be released and allowed to return home. On May 12, Shalabi was sentenced to nine months in prison.
____Shalabi’s brother Mohammed . . . told Al-Monitor that the ruling was unexpected given the apparent trivialness of the acts leading to the charges against him. . . He had been arrested Dec. 14 and charged with incitement based on postings to his Facebook page. The posts followed the kidnapping and murder of a young Palestinian man, Mohammed Abu Khdeir, by extremist settlers
(More. . .)

Atef Alshaer lecturing at Westminster
Atef Alshaer lecturing at Westminster

From PALESTINE CHRONICLE
THE IMPERATIVE OF PALESTINIAN LIBERATION
Atef Alshaer
(Lecturer in Arabic Language and Culture at the University of Westminster, educated at Birzeit University and the University of London, where he obtained his PhD.)
June 18, 2015
Before 1948, there was no country, nation-state, in historic Palestine called Israel. Israel founded itself by the conquest and exclusion of others, the Palestinians, the rightful owners of Palestine. . . Palestine as a name and reality that encompassed diverse ethnic populations living with each other is what that piece of land had been known for . . . not a western-supported colony, as Israel certainly is in origin. [Keith W.] Whitelam puts the record straight in his book, The Invention of Ancient Israel: The Silencing of Palestine History, when he contends that, “viewed from the longer perspective, the history of ancient Israel is a moment in the vast expanse of Palestinian history”.
____The establishment of Israel is therefore an anomaly . . . Israel and its supporters, however, tend to make Israel so natural and normal a state as if it has had existed for thousands of years, and as if its present Jewish population is the direct ancestors of those who trod the same territory more than two thousand years ago. Nothing could be further from the truth.
(More. . .)

“LETTER FROM A PRISON CAMP,” BY SAMĪH AL-QĀSIM
Mother, it grieves me,
That because of me, throughout your night of agony,
You shed silent tears, anxiously awaiting the return
Of my beloved brothers from their chores;
That you are not able to eat
While my seat remains empty, and there is no talk or laughter.
How it pains me, Mother,
That tears rush to your eyes
When friends drop by to ask about me.
But I believe, Mother,
That the splendor of life
Is being born within the walls of my prison,
And I believe that the last of my visitors
Will not be an eyeless bat, coming to me by night.
Surely, the light of day will dawn,
And, dazzled by it, my jailer will be humbled.
He will fall to the ground . . . broken,
Shattered, burnt by daylight.

Translated by A. M. Elmesseri

Samīh al-Qāsim (1939-2014) was a Palestinian Druze whose Arabic poetry is well known throughout the Arab World. His poetry is influenced by two primary periods of his life: Before and after the Six-Day War. He joined the Communist Hadash political party in 1967. Al- Qāsim has published several volumes and collections of poetry.
(More. . .)
(Poetry Hunter. . .)
From BEFORE THERE IS NOWHERE TO STAND: PALESTINE ISRAEL POETS RESPOND TO THE STRUGGLE. Ed. By Joan Dobbie and Grace Beeler. Sandpoint ID: Lost Horse Press, 2012.

C A L E N D A R
• Nakba Museum Project of Memory and Hope, June 13-27
• Upcoming group delegations to Palestine/Israel
. . .o Interfaith Peace Builders Delegation
. . .o 2015 Sabeel Witness Visit

(FILES) Photo taken on September 24, 2008 shows Palestinian poet Samih al-Qasim reading a poem during a literary evening  in Tunis.
Photo taken on September 24, 2008 shows Palestinian poet Samih al-Qasim reading a poem during a literary evening in Tunis.

“. . .fill prisons with dignity. . .” (Tawfiq Zayyad)

Vigil in support of Khader Adnan
Vigil in support of Khader Adnan

❶ From MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
KHADER ADNAN UNABLE TO STAND AS HUNGER STRIKE ENTERS 39TH DAY
June 12, 2015
JENIN (Ma’an) — Palestinian prisoner Khader Adnan entered his 39th day on hunger strike Friday as his health continues to deteriorate, the Palestinian Prisoners’ Center for Studies said.
____Rafat Hamduna, director of the center, said that Adnan’s weight was dropping to dangerous levels and he is no longer able to stand up or move.
____The director called on Palestinian, Arab and international actors to take notice and support Adnan’s cause, adding that the detainee is defending the humanitarian rights of the 500 or so Palestinians being held under in Israeli administrative detention.
____Adnan, a father of six children, was detained on July 8, 2014 and sentenced to administrative detention for the 10th time in his life.
____Palestinians held in administrative detention can be held without charge or trial for months or years, and are denied access to the evidence that led to their detention.
(More. . .)

❷ From THE PALESTINIAN INFORMATION CENTER
64 SHALIT DEAL PRISONERS STILL HELD IN ISRAELI JAILS
GAZA, (PIC)– 64 Palestinian prisoners who were kidnapped after being released during Shalit Deal Swap Deal in 2011 are still held in Israeli jails including three women, Palestinian sources said Friday.
____The Palestine Center for Prisoners Studies said, in a new report marking a year after the kidnapping of dozens of Shalit deal prisoners, that their continued detention in Israeli jails constitutes a flagrant violation to the swap deal reached under Egyptian mediation.
(More. . .)
(About the Shalit Deal)

❸ From PALESTINE NEWS NETWORK
LINA KHATTAB RELEASED AFTER 6 MONTHS IN ISRAELI JAIL
June 12, 2015
Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) yesterday released Lina Khattab after holding her for 2 months in Ofer prison and 4 months in Israel’s HaSharon prison.
____Khattab (18), a Journalism student at Birzeit university, met family and friends at Jabara checkpoint south of Tulkarem yesterday after her long-awaited release from HaSharon prison in Israel.
____Khattab was arrested in December 2014 during a peaceful protest organized by students in solidarity with the Palestinian Political Prisoners, and sentenced on January 16 2015 to a 6-month imprisonment and a 6,000 Israeli Shekel fine ($1,500 USD). Her charges were “throwing stones” and “participating in an unlawful demonstration”, according to Mondoweiss.
(More. . .)

Lina Khattab released
Lina Khattab released

❹ From INTERNATIONAL MIDDLE EAST MEDIA CENTER (IMEMC)
SOLDIERS KIDNAP A PALESTINIAN NEAR JENIN
June 12, 2015
Israeli soldiers invaded, earlier on Friday, the village of Kafrit, southwest of the northern West Bank city of Jenin, and kidnapped one Palestinian.
____The soldiers stormed at least one home, and violently searched it, before kidnapping Hammam Yousef ‘Awwad.
____In related news, a Palestinian detainee from Jenin city, received Friday a six-month arbitrary Administrative Detention order, without charges.
(More. . .)

❺ From INTERNATIONAL MIDDLE EAST MEDIA CENTER (IMEMC)
THREE CHILDREN RELEASED AFTER HOURS OF INTERROGATION
June 12, 2015
The Israeli Police released, late Thursday night, three Palestinian children from Silwan neighborhood, in occupied East Jerusalem, after detaining and interrogating them for several hours, allegedly for throwing stones at a settler’s car.
____The Wadi Hilweh Information Center in Silwan (Silwanic) said a settlement guard detained three children in the al-‘Ein area in Silwan, before he contacted the police who later arrived and took them to a police station.
____The three children have been identified as Ahmad ‘Ezz Shweiki, 10, Tamer Mazen Shweiki, 12, and ‘Odai Nidal ar-Rajabi, 13 years of age; they were moved to the Police Station in Salaheddin Street.
(More. . .)

“HERE WE SHALL STAY,” BY TAWFIQ ZAYYAD

In Lidda, in Ramla, in the Galilee,
we shall remain
like a wall upon your chest,
and in your throat
like a shrad of glass,
a cactus thron,
and in your eyes
a sandstorm.

We shall remain
a wall upon your chest,
clean dishes in your restaurants,
serve drinks in your bars,
sweep the floors of your kitchens
to snatch a bite for our children
from your blue fangs.

Here we shall stay,
sing our songs,
take to the angry streets,
fill prisons with dignity.
In Lidda, in Ramla, in the galilee,
we shall remain,
guard the shade of the fig
and olive trees,
ferment rebellion in our children
as yeast in the dough.

—translated by Sharif Elmusa and Charles Doria
From poemhunter.com
Tawfiq Zyyad (7 May 1929 – 5 July 1994) was a Palestinian politician well known for his “poetry of protest”. Born in the Galilee, Zyyad studied literature in USSR. He was elected mayor of Nazareth, a victory that “surprised and alarmed” Israelis. Elected to the Knesset 1973, Zyyad was active in pressuring the Israeli government to change its policies towards Palestinians both in Israel and in the Occupied Territories. A report he co-authored. . .
(More . . .)

Ahmad ‘Ezz Shweiki, 10, Tamer Mazen Shweiki, 12, and ‘Odai Nidal. 13.
Ahmad ‘Ezz Shweiki, 10, Tamer Mazen Shweiki, 12, and ‘Odai Nidal. 13.