“. . . the splendor of life Is being born within the walls of my prison . . .” (Samih Al-Qasim)

rimon
Israeli occupation forces stormed Palestinian prisoners in their cells, Ramon prison, in occupied Negev. (Photo: Alresalah English)

❶ Israeli forces raid PFLP section in Ramon prison, impose total closure
. . . ❶ ― (ᴀ)   Statement No. 8 from the PFLP Prison Branch

  • background from South Atlantic Quarterly

❷ Free Bilal Kayed! Report from the international week of action for Palestinian Prisoners

  • background from Public Health Ethics

❸ Opinion/Analysis: ISRAELI  JUSTICE:  JUDGE,  JURY  AND  JAILER
❹ POETRY by Samih Al-Qasim
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ ISRAELI  FORCES  RAID  PFLP  SECTION  IN  RAMON  PRISON,  IMPOSE  TOTAL  CLOSURE
Ma’an News Agency
July 17, 2016
The Palestinian Prisoners’ Society said on Sunday morning that Israeli Prison Service (IPS) forces raided section 5 of Israel’s Ramon prison, where they searched room number 72 and imposed a total closure on the section, which holds exclusively prisoners affiliated with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP).
___The group added in a statement that the acts of the prison administration and its forces are part of its collective punishment on PFLP prisoners across all Israeli prisons, in response to their support of Bilal Kayid, who has been on a hunger strike since June 14 in protest of his administrative detention order.
[. . . .]
___Israel considers the majority of Palestinian political parties to be “terrorist organizations.” As a result, most Palestinians who participate in the political arena in the ccupied Palestinian territory risk being imprisoned by Israeli authorities.     MORE . . .  
. . . ❶ ― (ᴀ)   STATEMENT  NO.  8  FROM  THE  PFLP  PRISON  BRANCH:  ESCALATION  BY  THE  PRISON  ADMINISTRATION  WILL  MEET  OUR  ESCALATION  OF  PROTEST
Gaza.Scoop.ps – Real Time News From Gaza
July 15, 2016
The prisons of the occupation are in a state of flux, escalation, and rapid developments in the battle for freedom waged by the prisoners of the Popular Front against the fascist prison administration, for victory for their comrade, the leader Bilal Kayed, on hunger strike for a month. The Front organization in all prisons is continuing to escalate their protest, and prepare more serious steps of escalation, intent on their demands, drawing inspiration from the steadfastness of Comrade Kayed, and with the support of the Prisoners’ Movement which was expressed in an important statement a few days ago. This is expected to culminate in a program of unified steps of struggle involving the entire prisoners’ movement soon. In this context, we as the leadership of the branch of the organization of the Front in the occupation prisons emphasize the following . . .MORE . . . 

From South Atlantic Quarterly
Sumud, translated roughly as “steadfastness,” has no fixed meaning . . . . the practice of sumud destabilizes the colonial order and its power relations. This steadfastness constitutes a Palestinian relational political-psycho-affective subjectivity [. . . .]
___As a theoretical frame, sumud signifies a revolutionary becoming . . . .  it is a continuing process of reorganization of the revolutionary self that would be actualized in practice. Each practice of sumud in the [prison] interrogation is an actualization of the potentiality of the revolutionary becoming. . . . Palestinians are therefore constituted as they resist . . . . Palestinians-in-sumud correspond to “being caught in the act of legending.” These heroes-mediators are not individual heroes but a series; they embody others and others embody them [. . . .]
___Approximating the possibility of sumud, then, offers an alternative to hegemonic liberal modes of the individual autonomous subject that are dominant worldwide . . . . Palestinians have undertaken efforts “not merely for the endurance and victory of their people’s just cause but also as a Palestinian contribution to the protection and maintenance of the human values of freedom and liberation”. . . . sumud as a particular liberating Palestinian mode of being encodes a liberational potential for humanity. Thus, in approaching sumud as a particular Palestinian mode of being, we can consider its potential to reflect a universal mode of “revolutionary becoming” . . .

  • Meari, Lena. “Sumud: A Palestinian Philosophy Of Confrontation In Colonial Prisons.” South Atlantic Quarterly 113.3 (2014): 547-578.   SOURCE.

BILAL❷ FREE  BILAL  KAYED!  REPORT  FROM  THE  INTERNATIONAL  WEEK  OF  ACTION  FOR  PALESTINIAN  PRISONERS
Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network
July 17, 2016
As Bilal Kayed enters his second month on hunger strike in Israeli prisons, events and actions were organized around the world on 8-15 July in a coordinated week of action organized by Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network in support of Kayed’s struggle and that of fellow Palestinian prisoners, and in memory of Ghassan Kanafani, the Palestinian writer, artist and political leader and thinker assassinated on 8 July 1972 in Beirut.
___Events were organized in New York City, Arklow, Enniscorthy, London, Naples, Tampa, Milan, Beirut, Amman, and Berlin, as well as events inside occupied Palestine – in Gaza, Haifa, Nablus, El Bireh, Asira al-Shamaliya, Dheisheh camp, and elsewhere. Online advocacy for Kayed’s release also escalated with a “Twitterstorm” on 14 July, in which thousands of tweets highlighted #freedom4bilal.      MORE . . .   

From Public Health Ethics
The liberal perspective that focuses on the individual’s dilemma tends to be oblivious to the asymmetrical relation of power that characterizes the prison system and to the socio-political context in which hunger strikes take place. The liberal perspective poses the problem in similar terms to the ethical dilemma facing a doctor whose patient refuses a life-saving procedure. However . . . the relation between the physician and his/her hunger striking patient is not the typical doctor/patient encounter. The patient is there against his/her will, and the prisoner is treated by a physician s/he did not choose, at least in the first instance. Moreover, the physician usually makes his/her choices torn apart between loyalty for his/her patient and  for  the  system  in  which  s/he  works. Finally, the prisoner is not just refusing treatment. Hunger striking is a political act. . . .
___Hunger-strikers should not be simplistically compared with a patient willingly avoiding medical treatment that can alleviate his/her sufferings. Hunger-strikers do not choose death over life, neither do they want to put an end to their lives. Theirs is a political struggle in which, even though they are prepared to risk life, they would gladly go on living if they achieve their goals. Bilad Diab, who was released from administrative imprisonment in an Israeli prison after a 66-day hunger-strike, exemplified this when saying: ‘No one dies for the sake of dying. No one becomes a martyr for the sake of dying. We love life in its natural form. A hunger-strike is a real struggle which the person undertakes and risks his life in order to be released and given freedom.’

  • Filc, Dani, et al. “Palestinian Prisoners’ Hunger-Strikes In Israeli Prisons: Beyond The Dual-Loyalty Dilemma In Medical Practice And Patient Care.” Public Health Ethics 7.3 (2014): 229-238.     SOURCE.  

❸ Opinion/Analysis: ISRAELI  JUSTICE:  JUDGE,  JURY  AND  JAILER
The Palestinian Information Center
Gregory Shupak
January 22, 2016
Mohammed al-Qeeq has been on hunger strike since 25 November 2015 [freed on May 9, 2016] in protest against Israel placing him under six-month administrative detention and his condition has deteriorated. . . administrative detention [is] a practice whereby Israel jails Palestinians for renewable periods of up to six months on the basis of secret evidence and without charge or trial. Administrative detention has been condemned several times by the UN Human Rights Office and the Human Rights Committee. Similarly, the Israeli NGO B’tselem notes “the substantial injury to due process inherent in this measure.” Addameer, the Palestinian political prisoners’ rights group, says that Israel is holding 660 Palestinians in administrative detention. . .
[. . . .]
Meanwhile, Israel wants Bulgarian authorities to give them Omar Nayef Zayed, who escaped Israeli detention in May 1990 after an Israeli military court convicted him of the killing of an Israeli settler yeshiva student and sentenced him to life. For now Zayed has taken refuge in the Palestinian Authority’s embassy in Sofia [assassinated February 16, 2016 in the embassy]. Under the Oslo Accords, all Palestinian political prisoners were supposed to be released and Zayed seems to fall within this purview.     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)
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.

“. . . the ink of the spirit burns on the shore of meaning. . .” (Yousef el Qedra)

Loav Bakri in hospital. Image by Ma'an.
Loav Bakri in hospital after beating by gang of Israeli settlers . Image by Ma’an.

❶ From: INTERNATIONAL MIDDLE EAST MEDIA CENTER (IMEMC)
PCHR  REPORT  ON  ISRAELI  HUMAN  RIGHTS  VIOLATIONS  IN  THE  OPT  (06- 12 AUGUST 2015)
PCHR-Gaza
August 13, 2015
Israeli forces escalated the use of excessive force against Palestinian civilians in the West Bank. During the reporting period, Israeli forces used excessive force killing a Palestinian civilian, while Sa’ed Dawabsha died of burns he sustained earlier due to a settler attack. In the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces wounded a Palestinian child east of Beit Hanoun town as part of shooting incidents along the Gaza Strip border area. . . .
____Incursions . . . .
____Restrictions on movement . . . .
____Settlement Activities . . . .
____Efforts to create a Jewish demographic majority in Jerusalem . . . .
More. . . 
Complete PCHR document

❷ From: ALTERNATIVE INFORMATION CENTER (AIC)
PALESTINIAN PRISONER RESISTANCE: PALESTINIAN PRISONERS ARE CONTINUING THEIR PROTESTS AND RESISTANCE INSIDE PRISON.
Samidoun: Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network
August 13, 2015
This includes Muhammad Allan, the 31-year-old lawyer on hunger strike for 58 days to protest his administrative detention without charge or trial.
____About 560 prisoners in Ramon and Nafha prisons are currently taking part in protests against recent violent raids, transfers and other conditions in the prisons. . . . Their current protest actions include boycotting domestic work in the cells, refusing to answer to security checks or roll call, refusing to distribute meals and refusing to meet or deal with wardens.
____The prisoners are demanding an end on the invasions and violent raids on cells; improvement of medical care for prisoners. . . . the end of isolation and solitary confinement; restoration of family visits to all prisoners denied them; an end to arbitrary transfers . . . .
More. . .
HUNGER  STRIKER  ENTERS  COMA  AS  PROTEST  ENTERS  60  DAYS  (MUHAMMAD ALLAN)

❸ From: INTERNATIONAL MIDDLE EAST MEDIA CENTER (IMEMC)
ISRAELI  PARAMILITARY  SETTLER  GANG  BEATS  PALESTINIAN  WORKER  WITH  STEEL  RODS
Celine Hagbard
August 14, 2015
A gang of Israeli settlers attacked a Palestinian worker who was repairing a traffic light in an illegal Israeli settlement near Jerusalem Thursday, landing the worker in the hospital with a broken hand and a number of other injuries, according to local sources.
____The worker, Loav Bakri, 31, works as an electrical contractor, and was sent to the illegal Israeli settlement of Pisgat Ze’ev to fix a broken traffic light.
____When he arrived on the worksite, he was attacked by a gang of six extremist settler youth who beat him severely with metal rods, fists and boots.
____Bakri suffered multiple injuries in the attack, and was taken to a Jerusalem hospital for treatment.
More. . .

Beit Yonatan building, named for Jonathan Pollard, the American convicted of spying for Israel and jailed in 1987. The tall building draped in a gigantic Israeli flag. Photo Settlement Watch of Peace Now.
Beit Yonatan building, named for Jonathan Pollard, the American convicted of spying for Israel and jailed in 1987. The tall building draped in a gigantic Israeli flag. Photo Settlement Watch of Peace Now.

❹ From: MIDDLE EAST MONITOR (MEM)
ILLEGAL  JEWISH  SETTLEMENTS  CONTINUE  TO  SPREAD  IN  OCCUPIED  EAST  JERUSALEM
August 14, 2015
A pro-settler group is continuing with its efforts to spread illegal Jewish settlements in occupied East Jerusalem. Ateret Cohanim, reported Haaretz on Thursday, has obtained a court order to evict a Palestinian family from a building that the organisation now controls in Silwan, near to the Noble Sanctuary of Al-Aqsa.
____Several weeks ago, the organisation filed a request to evacuate other Palestinian families living in the area as it tries to seize more Palestinian homes. More recently, it applied for licences to build a three-story building in Silwan . . . .
____Ateret Cohanim has been active for years . . . . Its activities revolve around taking control of the area of Batan Al-Hawa in Silwan, which it claims was home to Jews of Yemeni origin more than a hundred years ago. In this context the group seized the Beit Yonatan building, which was built without a licence and is now inhabited by 10 Jewish families
More. . .
Peace Now

❺ Opinion
From: MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
WHAT  IF  BIBI  WINS?
John Whitbeck
Aug. 13, 2015
The choice facing members of the U.S. Congress in September’s “disapproval” votes could scarcely be clearer and has nothing to do with the merits of the international agreement reached on July 14 with respect to Iran’s nuclear program.
____Whether one believes that there was a genuine risk of Iran attacking Israel with a nuclear weapon or, more sensibly, that there was a genuine risk of Israel attacking Iran with conventional or nuclear weapons. . . . the “Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action” reached in Vienna should vastly reduce the risk of a catastrophic war involving Iran and Israel.
____Since this diplomatic agreement is obviously good news for the world, the UN Security Council has unanimously approved it and only one of the UN’s 193 member states, Israel, is currently opposed to it.
____The choice before members of Congress is thus a clear and simple one: Do they owe their primary allegiance and loyalty to the United States of America or to Israel?
More. . .
John V. Whitbeck is an international lawyer who has advised the Palestinian negotiating team in negotiations with Israel.

“I  HAVE  NO  HOME,”  BY YOUSEF  EL  QEDRA
I saw clouds running away from the hurt.
I have no language.
Its weight is lighter than a feather.
The quill does not write.
The ink of the spirit burns on the shore of meaning.
The clouds are tears, filled with escape and lacking definition.
A cloud realizes the beauty she forms―
beauty which contains all good things,
for whom trees, gardens, and tired young women wait.

I have no home.
I have a night overripe with sweats caused by numbness all over.
Time has grown up on its own without me.
In my dream, I asked him what he looks like.
My small defeats answered me.
So I asked him again, What did he mean?
Then I found myself suspended in nothingness,
stretched like a string that doesn’t belong to an instrument.
The wind played me. So did irresistible gravity.
I was a run of lost notes that have a sad, strong desire to live.

From BEFORE THERE IS NOWHERE TO STAND: PALESTINE ISREL POETS RESPOND TO THE STRUGGLE. Ed. By Joan Dobbie and Grace Beeler. Sandpoint ID: Lost Horse Press, 2012.
Available from Barnes and Noble.
Yousef el Qedra is a young poet and playwright living in Gaza, Palestine. He has a B.A. degree in Arabic literature from al Azhar University, Gaza. His poems have been published in local, national and international magazines, newspapers, and internet websites. More. . . Nafha Prison, 5 miles north of Mitzpe Ramon.Nafha Prison, 5 miles north of Mitzpe Ramon.