“. . . For it is the function of history To follow our dictates . . .” (Tawfiq Zayyad)

❶ PCHR: New attempts by Israel to legitimize killing of Palestinians
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Israel’s attorney general says new laws will consider West Bank

  • Background: “International Law and the Occupied Territories.” Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture.

❷ Palestinians kidnapped, homes ransacked in predawn sweep by IOF
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) Detainees narrate how they were tortured during interrogation in Israeli centers
❸ Gov’t to supply Gaza with electricity following bank guarantee
. . . . . ❸ ― (ᴀ) Gaza: Health Sector may collapse due to shortage of medicines
❹ Hanan Ashrawi to Trump: ‘We will not be blackmailed’
❺ POETRY by Tawfiq Zayyad
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ PCHR:  NEW  ATTEMPTS  BY  ISRAEL  TO  LEGITIMIZE  KILLING  OF  PALESTINIANS 
Palestine News Network – PNN 
Jan. 3, 2018 ― The Israeli Knesset is set to vote on Wednesday to amend the Penal Code in order to legalize the use of death penalty against those involved in murders while carrying out “terrorist operations”.
___The bill was presented before the Knesset on 30 October 2017 by three Israeli extremist parliamentarians: Robert Eltov, Oded Forer and Yuli Leminovsky.
___The bill stipulates that “the Minister of Defense orders the commander of the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) in the division to give orders to: 1- the Military Court in the division to have the power to sentence death penalty without requiring the consensus of the Military Court, but only the ordinary majority; 2- No other court in the division has the right to commute a final death sentence issued by the military court in the division.”    MORE . . .  
.  .  .  .  .  ―  (ᴀ)  ISRAEL’S  ATTORNEY  GENERAL  SAYS  NEW  LAWS  WILL  CONSIDER  WEST  BANK
The Palestinian Information Center
Jan. 3, 2018 ― Israel’s Attorney General on Monday issued a decision stating that all new laws from now on will include the West Bank settlements.
[. . . .] Bennett stressed that they will no longer approve the passage of any law unless it is applied to the West Bank settlers.
___For her turn, Israel’s Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked hailed the decision and said that the Israelis living in the West Bank are not “second class citizens” and that she will work to develop new measures to make sure that the new legislations will be applied to them too.   MORE . . . 

Weiss, Peter.
“INTERNATIONAL  LAW  AND  THE  OCCUPIED  TERRITORIES.” 
PALESTINE-ISRAEL JOURNAL OF POLITICS, ECONOMICS & CULTURE, vol. 21, no. 3, Jan. 2016, pp. 96-101.
[. . . .] There is virtually unanimous international agreement that Israel’s presence in the West Bank constitutes an occupation within the meaning of Section III of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which deals with the protection of civilian persons in times of war. The United States, the United Nations Security Council and the International Court of Justice have all upheld the agreement. A number of important consequences flow from this fact:
* The settlements are illegal because, under Article 49, “the occupying power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies”;
* Under Article 3, “outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment” are prohibited, as well as violence to life and person, in particular murder and torture”;
* Under Article 5, persons suspected of activity hostile to the occupying power shall be treated with humanity;
* Under Article 13, the provisions of the convention are to be applied “without any adverse distinction based, in particular, on race, nationality, religion or political opinion”;
* Under Article 16, the wounded, sick, infirm and expectant mothers “shall be the object of particular protection and respect”;
* Under Article 31, No physical or moral coercion shall be exercised against protected persons, in particular to obtain information from them or from their parties”;
* Article 32 prohibits the commission of murder, torture and corporal punishment against protected persons, as well as “any other measures of brutality whether applied by civilian or military agents”;
* Under Article 33, “No protected person may be punished for an offense he or she has not personally committed. Collective penalties and likewise all measures of intimidation or terrorism are prohibited. Reprisals against protected persons and their property are prohibited.”
[. . . .] It requires no evidentiary brief to demonstrate that these and similar provisions are, by the current occupying power, more honored in the breach than in the observance.
[. . . .] There are, of course, many principles of international law beyond those derived from the law of war. To take only one example: The International Covenant on Social, Economic and Cultural Rights, to which Israel is a party, contains provisions dealing with, inter alia, the rights of self-determination, the right to work, an adequate standard of living and the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health. Similar legal obligations flow from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which, while not a treaty, is widely regarded as another source of basic rights applicable in occupied territories, as well as in the territory of the occupier.     SOURCE . . . 

PALESTINIANS  KIDNAPPED,  HOMES  RANSACKED  IN  PREDAWN  SWEEP  BY  IOF
The Palestinian Information Center   
Jan. 3, 2018 ― Several Palestinians were kidnapped by the Israeli occupation forces (IOF) at daybreak Wednesday in abduction sweeps launched across the West Bank and Jerusalem.
___Clashes burst out in Jenin’s southern town of Qabatiya shortly after the IOF stormed the area and ransacked civilian homes.
___The occupation forces showered residential neighborhoods with spates of bullet fire and teargas grenades, resulting in injuries.    MORE . . .  
.  .  .  .  .  ❷  ―  (ᴀ)  DETAINEES  NARRATE  HOW  THEY  WERE  TORTURED  DURING  INTERROGATION  IN  ISRAELI  CENTERS
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA   
Jan. 3, 2018 ― Omar Zuhour, from Beit Kahil village near Hebron, WAS ONLY 14 YEARS OLD when he was detained by Israeli soldiers who hit him on the head and knees with their bullet case, kicked him all over his body . . .
___This testimony from Zuhour was given to the Prisoners’ Commission and was distributed on Wednesday in a statement on the torture of Palestinians in Israeli detention and interrogation centers.  MORE . . . 
❸ GOV’T  TO  SUPPLY  GAZA  WITH  ELECTRICITY  FOLLOWING  BANK  GUARANTEE
The Palestinian Information Center 
Jan. 3, 2018 ― After receiving a bank guarantee from the electricity distribution company in the Gaza Strip, the Ramallah-based consensus government decided to supply the besieged enclave with its power needs.
___An informed source told the Palestinian Information Center (PIC) on Tuesday that the government took such decision after the distribution company provided it with a bank guarantee worth 10 million dollars.   MORE . . . 
.  .  .  .  .  ❸  ―  (ᴀ)  GAZA:  HEALTH  SECTOR  MAY  COLLAPSE  DUE  TO  SHORTAGE  OF  MEDICINES 
Palestine News Network – PNN
Jan. 3, 2018 ― The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) said it’s deeply concerned over the severe lack of medicines and medical consumables in the Gaza Strip Hospitals, warning that conditions of the Gaza Strip patients would deteriorate due to the shortage of medicine and periodic medications, which are not available in the Gaza healthcare facilities.
___PCHR called upon the Ministry of Health in Ramallah to guarantee the free and secure flow of all consignments of medicines and needed medical supplies for the health facilities in the Gaza Strip.    MORE . . .  
❹ HANAN  ASHRAWI  TO  TRUMP:  ‘WE  WILL  NOT  BE  BLACKMAILED’   
Al Jazeera English
Jan. 3, 2018 ― A senior Palestinian official has responded with defiance to Donald Trump’s threat via Twitter to cut aid to the Palestinian Authority.
___Hanan Ashrawi’s rebuke followed the US president’s tweet admitting that the Middle East peace process was in difficulty and warning Palestinians that they could lose US aid worth more than $300m a year.
___”We will not be blackmailed,” Ashrawi said in a statement on Wednesday.
___”President Trump has sabotaged our search for peace, freedom and justice. Now he dares to blame the Palestinians for the consequences of his own irresponsible actions!” MORE . . . 

“THE  FIRE  OF  THE  MAGI,  BY  TAWFIQ  ZAYYAD
I take my time!
I take my time!
I draw the first thread of light
From the deep darkness of night;
I tend the nursery of dreams
At the source of the torrent,
And dry the tears of loved ones
With a kerchief of jasmine.
I plant the most verdant oases
Amidst the scorched sands,
And shape a life for the outlaws
From fragrance, plenty, and justice.
If someday, on the road, my foot should stumble,
My roots will uphold and support me.

I take my time
For I am unlike the match
That flickers once, then dies.
I am more like the fire of the magi, burning bright
From my cradle to my grave.
And from my forebears to my offspring.
My endurance is as limitless as the horizon,
And the skill of the ant I’ve mastered.

I take my time,
For it is the function of history
To follow our dictates.
We have prepared for the downfall of the giants of the earth,
We will pay them back in kind;
We will give them enough rope, not that they may live longer,
But that they might have enough to hang themselves.

About Tawfiq Zayyad.
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.

“. . . Let the oppressor review his account Before the turn of the wheel . . .” (Tawfiq Zayyad)

orphanage-001
Dar al-Aytam al-Islamiyya dates back to the Circassian Mamluk and Ottoman periods, and includes an Islamic orphanage and  secondary school. (Photo: Archnet)

❶ Israeli forces kill Palestinian teen in Beit Ummar, Hebron for alleged rock-throwing

  • Background: “International Law And The Occupied Territories.” Palestine-Israel Journal Of Politics, Economics & Culture.

❷ Israeli forces raid Palestinian orphanage for 5th time
❸ Israeli Soldiers Open Fire On Farmers In Southern Gaza, Navy Attacks Fishers In Northern Gaza
❹ POETRY by Tawfiq Zayyad
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
ISRAELI  FORCES  KILL  PALESTINIAN  TEEN  IN  BEIT UMMAR,  HEBRON  FOR ALLEGED  ROCK-THROWING
Ma’an News Agency    
Oct. 20, 2016
Israeli forces Thursday evening shot and killed a 15-year-old Palestinian near the Beit Ummar junction in the northern part of the village of Beit Ummar in the occupied West Bank district of Hebron. Israeli authorities have claimed an Israeli soldier shot the teenager dead in response to a rock-throwing incident.
___Local activist Muhammad Ayyad Awad told Ma’an that he saw the body of a young Palestinian on the ground near the entrance of Beit Ummar. The young Palestinian, later identified as Khalid Bahr Ahmad Bahr, 15, was reportedly shot by Israeli forces in the back, with the bullet exiting through his chest.     More . . .       

  • Weiss, Peter. “International Law And The Occupied Territories.” Palestine-Israel Journal Of Politics, Economics & Culture 21.3 (2016): 96-101.   Source.

There is virtually unanimous international agreement that Israel’s presence in the West Bank constitutes an occupation within the meaning of Section III of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which deals with the protection of civilian persons in times of war. . .
* The settlements are illegal because, under Article 49, “the occupying power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies”;
* Under Article 3, “outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment” are prohibited, as well as violence to life and person, in particular murder and torture”
[. . . .]
As with international law generally, the law of war [is] based on moral principles rather than formal treaty. . . .
* Article 1: “A place, district, or country occupied by an enemy stands, in consequence of the occupation, under the Martial Law of the invading or occupying army. . . .”
* Article 4: “Martial Law is simply military authority exercised in accordance with the laws and usages of war. Military oppression is not Martial Law . . . it is incumbent upon those who administer it to be strictly guided by the principles of justice, honor, and humanity
[. . . .]
All Palestinians living in the West Bank are protected persons under the law of occupation. They do not lose that status by killing settlers or committing other war crimes; they only become protected persons who remain entitled to due process and humanitarian treatment.
[. . . .]
The difference between a war crime and a crime against humanity is that the former can be committed as an isolated act constituting a serious violation of the law of war, while the latter requires that it be part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against the civilian population. . . . . The most recent definition of both types of crimes is found in the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, which entered into force in 2002.
[. . . .]
Article 7 lists the following as crimes against humanity: murder, extermination, enslavement, deportation, imprisonment in violation of international law, torture and other sexual crimes, persecution, enforced disappearance, apartheid, other inhumane acts of a similar character intentionally causing great suffering or serious injury to body or to mental or physical health.
___The situation is paradoxical: Israel, not being a party to the ICC, may not, as a matter of international law, be bound by certain crimes enumerated in the Rome Statute, such as rape, while Palestinians are. Many of these would, of course, be crimes under domestic or military law or under customary humanitarian law. However, it is troubling that, when Israeli officials speak about these non-treaty obligations, they do so in terms of Jewish values or IDF values, rather than universal values, as if the universal values . . .  do not necessarily apply to Israel.

ISRAELI  FORCES  RAID  PALESTINIAN  ORPHANAGE  FOR  5TH  TIME
Days of Palestine
Oct 20, 2016
Israeli forces kidnapped teen orphan following fifth raid on  Palestinian orphanage   in Old City of occupied Jerusalem.
___Seventeen-year-old orphan Mp’az Khalil was kidnapped after the orphanage was raided for the fifth time in ten days. He had been interrogated after being accused of throwing stones at Israeli occupation forces.
___The orphanage’s administrative board evacuated it before the end of the day to prevent any clashes with the Israeli occupation forces, sources said.
___On Monday, the Israeli occupation forces kidnapped the Director of the Palestinian Ministry of Education Samir Jibril.   More . . .    
Related . . .   HEAD  OF  JERUSALEM  EDUCATION  ADMINISTRATION  ARRESTED 

ISRAELI  SOLDIERS  OPEN  FIRE  ON  FARMERS  IN  SOUTHERN  GAZA,  NAVY  ATTACKS  FISHERS  IN  NORTHERN  GAZA
International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC
October 21, 2016
Israeli soldiers opened fire, on Friday morning, targeting Palestinian farmers in their own lands, east of Khan Younis, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip, while navy ships opened fire on fishers in northern Gaza.
___Eyewitnesses said the soldiers, stationed on military towers across the border fence, fired many live rounds into Palestinian agricultural lands, forcing the farmers out in fear of additional army fire.
___They added that the attack was carried out while military vehicles were seen heavily driving across the border fence, while many army sharpshooters were deployed across the border fence.   More. . .

“WE  SHALL  REMAIN,”  BY  TAWFIQ  ZAYYAD  – 1970

It is a thousand times easier
For you
To pass an elephant through the needle’s eye
To catch fried fish in the Milky Way
To plow the sea
To teach the alligator speech, a thousand times easier
Than smothering with your oppression
The spark of an idea
Of forcing us to deviate
A single step
From our chosen march.
Like twenty impossibles
We shall remain in Lydda, Ramlah, and Galilee.

Here upon your chests
We shall remain
Like the glass and the cactus
In your throats
A fiery whirlwind
In your eyes.

Here we shall remain
A wall on your chests.
We wash dishes in the hotels
And serve drinks to the masters.
We mop the floors in the dark kitchens
To extract a piece of bread
From your blue teeth
For the little ones.

Here, we shall remain
A wall on your chests.
We starve,
Go naked,
Sing songs
And fill the streets
With demonstrations
And the jails with pride.
We breed rebellions
One after another.
Like twenty impossibles we remain
In Lydda, Ramlah, Galilee.

Here, we shall remain.
You may drink the sea;
We shall guard the shade
Of the olive tree and the fig,
Planting ideas
Like the yeast in the dough.
The coldness of ice is in our nerves
And a burning hell in our hearts.
We squeeze the rock
To quench our thirst
And if we starve
We eat the dirt
And never depart
Or grudge our blood.

Here―we have a past
―a present
―and a future.
Our roots are entrenched
Deep in the earth.
Like twenty impossibles
We shall remain.

Let the oppressor review his account
Before the turn of the wheel.
For every action there is a reaction:
Read what is written in the Book.
Like twenty impossibles
We shall remain―in Lydda, in Ramlah
And Galilee.

From: Aruri, Naseer and Edmund Ghareeb, eds. ENEMY  OF  THE  SUN:  POETRY  OF  THE  PALESTINIAN  RESISTANCE.  Washington, DC: Drum and Spear Press, 1970.
Available from Amazon.
About Tawfiq Zayyad