“. . . With bloodied footsteps, Silence reigned in the city . . .” (Fadwa Tuqan)

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Shopping in The Old City’s Souq (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 11, 2015)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .
| ON  DAY  OF  SOLIDARITY  WITH  PALESTINE,  GOVERNMENT  CALLS  ON  WORLD  TO  END  ISRAELI  OCCUPATION   
Marking the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People on Thursday
, the Palestinian government called on the international community to work hard toward implementing international resolutions and law that demand an end to the Israeli occupation and enable the Palestinian people to regain all their legitimate rights.    ___Government spokesman Yousef al-Mahmoud said in a statement on Thursday that the international community must go past remembrance of the Palestinian tragedy and move toward enabling the Palestinian people to establish their fully sovereign independent state on all the Palestinian territories occupied in 1967 with East Jerusalem as its capital.    More . . .
. . . . Related  Haneyya [Hamas Political Bureau] calls on UN to protect Palestinians’ right to resistance
.  .  .  .  . Related  Russia Foreign Ministry invites Haneyya to Moscow
. . . . Related  Bill on boycott of Israeli settlement products passes first reading in Irish Senate
. . . . Related  Erekat applauds Chilean parliament for standing by Palestinian rights
|  NETANYAHU  AIMS  TO  COMPLETE  TOTAL  ANNEXATION  OF  JERUSALEM  FROM  PALESTINE
In light of the recent grave developments in Jerusalem and the Israeli occupation’s accelerated and egregious violations committed against the Palestinian people’s national and human rights in the occupied city, Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) Executive Committee Member, Hanan Ashrawi, said on Wednesday that “the reality and future of Jerusalem is a litmus test for the world.”    ___Ashrawi appealed to governments around the world and all members of the international community to hold Israel accountable for its illegal actions in occupied Jerusalem.    [. . . .] Israel has accelerated and intensified its efforts to entrench its colonial military occupation . . .   measures include Israel’s theft of Palestinian lands, the expansion of its illegal settlement enterprise, the arrest of Palestinian representatives and officials and the deliberate targeting of Palestinian ministries and institutions, the revocation the IDs and residency status of Palestinians, the demolition of commercial and residential Palestinian-owned properties and other structures, and the expulsion of Palestinians from their homes, among other flagrant violations of international law and relevant conventions.”    More . . .
. . . . Related  Israeli police summons Palestinian Authority minister of Jerusalem Affairs
. . . . Related  Israeli demolition leaves Palestinian family homeless [East Jerusalem]
. . . . Related  Over 170 settlers break into Al-Aqsa Mosque
. . . . Related  Israeli forces attack Palestinian students near Jerusalem university
| KUFFIYEHS  AND  TALLITS:  HOPE  IN  THE  OLD  CITY’S  SOUQ    
By Nissim Lebovits
The Old City’s Souq (open-air market) is an often-overwhelming collision of competing visuals. Its optical milieu is rooted in Jerusalem’s status as the meeting point of a wide range of cultures, as well as the market’s thousand-plus year history. One of the most jarring manifestations of this reality is the merchandise sold there; in shops across the souq, kuffiyehs hang next to tallits. The t-shirt vendors sell “Free Palestine” designs, and also “Guns’n ’Moses”. Food carts offer rugelach next to ka’ak, and postcards of the Dome of the Rock are for sale next to pictures of the Western Wall. Merchandise choices in the souk often seem so hyper political and contradictory as to cancel each other out.     More . . .

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .
ISRAEL’S  DE  FACTO  ANNEXATION  OF  EAST  JERUSALEM  VIOLATES  THE  PALESTINIAN  PEOPLE’S  RIGHT  TO  SELF-DETERMINATION   In observation of the 2018 International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, the Executive Director of the Geneva Centre for Human Rights Advancement and Global Dialogue Ambassador Idriss Jazairy appealed to the international community to express solidarity to the endeavours of the Palestinian people to exercise their right to self-determination.    ___Ambassador Jazairy stated that Israel’s de facto annexation of East Jerusalem impedes the prospects of a two-state solution and hinders the realization of regional peace and security. The decision of several countries to move their embassies to Jerusalem, thus recognising the latter as the capital of Israel, contradicts the provisions set forth in the Arab Peace Initiative that calls for the normalization of relations between Arab states and Israel once the latter cedes, inter alia,its military occupation of the West Bank including East Jerusalem.    More . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

“MY  SAD  CITY,”  BY  FADWA  TUQAN
. . . . (The day of Zionist Occupation, June 27, 1967)
The day we saw death and betrayal,
The tide ebbed.
The windows of the sky closed,
And the city held its breath.
The day the waves were vanquished, the day
The ugliness of the abyss revealed its true face,
Hope turned to ashes,
And gagging on disaster,
My sad city choked.

Gone were the children and the songs,
There was no shadow, no echo.
Sorrow crawled naked in my city,
With bloodied footsteps,
Silence reigned in the city,
Silence like crouching mountains,
Mysterious like the night, tragic silence,
Burdened,
Weighed down with death and defeat.
Alas! My sad and silent city.
Can it be true that in the season of harvest,
Grain and fruit have turned to ashes?
Alas! That this should be the fruit of all the journeying!
―Translated by A.M. Elmesseri

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, 2012Available from B&N.

 

“. . . Do you remember your panic―at the reign of death? . . .” (Samih Al-Qasim)

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As a guest at Al-Aqsa, November 5, 2015. Photo: by Harold Knight.

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .

WHO:  10  PALESTINIANS,  INCLUDING  4  CHILDREN,  WERE  KILLED  BY  ISRAELIS  IN  GAZA  IN  2  WEEKS 
The latest figures provided by the Ministry of Health (MoH) indicate that during the demonstrations between 10th and 22nd September, 10 Palestinians including four children were killed and 1,193 were injured by the Israeli forces, the World Health Organization (WHO) said in a special situation report on Gaza published on Thursday. Most of the killings and injuries occurred during protests as part of the March of Return on the Gaza border with Israel.    ___Out of the total 1,193 injured, 690 patients required transfer to the MoH hospitals or NGO clinics, including 127 children and 37 females. Of the hospitalized injured, 19 cases were critically life threatening, 275 moderate, 386 mild . . .  More . . .

OVER  500  ISRAELI  SETTLERS  STORM  AL-AQSA  ON  4TH  DAY  OF  SUKKOT
Hundreds of Israeli settlers stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, on Thursday, through the Moroccan Gate on the fourth day of their Jewish holiday of Sukkot.   ___The Islamic Endowment Department (Waqf) confirmed that 509 Israeli settlers stormed the compound via the Moroccan Gate that was opened at 7 a.m. until 9:30 a.m. and the numbers are expected to increase throughout the day.   ___Israeli forces and police were deployed across the compound, by the Moroccans Gate and by the Chain Gate, in addition to Israeli police being deployed by the doors of the mosque and into the streets leading up to the compound in the Old City.   More . . .
Related . . .Fanatic  Israeli  settlers  perform  provocative  rituals  in  Samou
Related
. . .Israeli  forces  injure  20  Palestinians  as  settlers  visit  Joseph’s  Tomb     

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .

EREKAT:  WHAT  TRUMP  SAID  IS  A  REWARD  FOR    AGGRESSORS  FOR  THEIR  CRIMES
PLO Executive Committee Secretary Dr. Saeb Erekat  said in  his response to President Trump’s Speech at the UNGA today that President Trump has confirmed that his administration has closed the doors to peace and cannot play a role in peacemaking by stating that his decision to move his embassy to Israel to Jerusalem, in violation of Security Council resolution 478, was a “recognition of reality”. Rather, what his administration did, and continues to do, is to reward and incentivize violations of international law, colonization, war crimes, and apartheid.    ___His rejection of the International Criminal Court is a rejection of international law. It should be noted that Israel, the occupying power, did not implement any of the UN Security Council and General Assembly resolutions Erekat said.   More . . .
Related . . .Officials  address  Palestine  at  UNGA

“PREVENTING  PALESTINE”:  A  MUST  READ  HISTORY  OF  FAILED  PEACE-MAKING
James J. Zogby
Seth Anziska’s “Preventing Palestine: A Political History From Camp David to Oslo” is a deeply insightful and profoundly disturbing book that traces the tortuous path of Middle East peace-making during the past four decades. It was quite painful to read.     ___Having been a close observer and sometimes participant in many of the developments that have unfolded since the end of the 1973 War, Anziska opened old wounds while shedding new light on the painful events and acts of betrayal that have shaped recent Palestinian history.     ___Through all of the twists and turns of this period, the brutal wars and the diplomatic initiatives, the one constant that emerges is the Israeli determined refusal to recognize the Palestinian right to self-determination and statehood and the self-serving acquiesce to their intransigence by successive American administrations and key Arab leaders.  More . . .

NOTICES  FROM  ORGANIZATIONS. . . .   

BRIGHT  STARS  OF  BETHLEHEM:  “Room  for  Hope,”  (Dallas,  Austin,  Houston,  Texas,  USA),  Oct.  5-7,  2018.    It’s finally here! Bright Stars is coming to Texas for a multi-city festival of Palestinian culture.  After postponing last year’s festival due to Hurricane Harvey, we are thrilled to be in Texas this fall.   Information . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . .

“BUCHENWALD,”  BY  SAMIH  AL-QASIM
Have you forgotten your shame at Buchenwald?
Do you remember your flames at Buchenwald?
Have you forgotten your love in the lexicon
of silence? Do you remember your panic―
at the reign of death, in the nightmare of time―
that the whole world
would become a Buchenwald?
Whether you’ve forgotten or not,
the dead’s images linger
among the wreaths of flowers,
and from the dismembered corpses
a hand emerges,
a nail in the palm and tattoo on the wrist―
a sign for the planet.
Do you remember? Or not?
Buchenwald― whether or not you’ve forgotten,
the images of the murdered
remain among the wreaths of flowers . . .

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

 

“ . . . I call upon them all to help Jerusalem . . .” Harun Hashim Rasheed

(The United Nations World Humanitarian Day was August 19. It is never too late to participate. See “Notices from Organizations” below.)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . . .   

EU,  UK  CONDEMN  ISRAEL’S  APPROVAL  OF  NEW  SETTLEMENT  UNITS
The European Union (EU) condemned the Israeli government’s approval of constructing some 1,000 new settlements units in the occupied West Bank.   ___The EU said in a statement, issued late Thursday, that “within the past two weeks the Israeli authorities have advanced plans and tenders for over two thousand settlement units in the West Bank including East Jerusalem. If implemented, these plans would further jeopardize the prospect of a contiguous and viable future Palestinian state.”   ___The EU stressed that it strongly opposes Israel’s settlement policy, saying that the policy is illegal under international law and an obstacle to peace.   More. . .
ASHRAWI:  ‘ISRAEL  SEEKS  NOT  ONLY  TO  DEFY  BUT  TO  DEFEAT  THE  WHOLE  WORLD’
Member of the Palestinian Liberation Organization’s (PLO) Executive Committee Hanan Ashrawi strongly condemned, on Thursday, “Israel’s expansion of illegal settlement enterprise on stolen Palestinian land.”   ___In her statement, Ashrawi said that “in response to media inquiries concerning the approval by Israel’s Higher Planning Committee of the Civil Administration to construct 2,000 illegal settlement units in the occupied West Bank, as well as the authorization of the Jerusalem ‘Municipality’ and the Israel Land Administration to build 20,000 settlement units in occupied Jerusalem.”   ___”In a blatant disregard for and violation of international law and conventions, as well as United Nations Security Council resolutions and the basic requirements of stability and peace, Israel persists in its illegal policies and oppressive measures in favor of its extremist settler population and colonial project.”    More. . .
See alsoErekat: “Israel’s Illegal Expansion Of Colonies, Direct Outcome of American Greed.”
HAMAS  PURSUES  TRUCE  WITH  ISRAEL,  BUT  NOT  ALL  FACTIONS  APPROVE     Flare-ups earlier this month between the Israeli army and Palestinian resistance factions in the Gaza Strip seemed likely to escalate into an expanded war were it not for the Egypt-brokered cease-fire in place. Instead, Hamas and Israel are close to reaching a genuine truce that could last for years. . .    ___A real truce, however, will require the PLO’s blessing and the participation of various factions besides Hamas. . . .    ___ Egypt and the UN are trying to mediate a long-term agreement between Israel and Hamas. The quest started July 26 with Nickolay Mladenov, the UN special coordinator for the Middle East peace process, visiting first the Gaza Strip to meet with Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh and then Israel, where he met with Israeli officials.   More. . .

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .

ISRAEL  CONTINUES  TO  MISTREAT  RELATIVES  OF  THOUSANDS  OF  PALESTINIANS  HELD  ILLEGALLY  IN  ITS  TERRITORY
According to figures from the Israel Prison Service (IPS), on 30 June 2018 Israel was holding some 5,300 Palestinian residents of the West Bank as security detainees or prisoners in incarceration facilities. With the exception of Ofer Prison, all the facilities used to hold Palestinians are located inside Israel.    ___Residents of the West Bank who wish to visit their loved ones have to overcome bureaucratic hurdles in order to secure permission from the relevant authorities – the Civil Administration, the IPS and the Israel Security Agency (ISA). After permission is received, the visits themselves entail a long day of traveling due to countless inspections and protracted delays.   More. . .

JERUSALEM  IN  MAPS  from THE  APPLIED  RESEARCH  INSTITUTE  –  JERUSALEM  (ARIJ).     Presents a series of maps showing the changing boundaries of the Occupation in Jerusalem from 1948 to the present.   More. . .

PALESTINIAN  DANCER  FROM  BELGIUM  JAILED  BY  ISRAEL 
There is growing concern in Belgium for a Palestinian refugee and dancer who was detained by Israeli authorities as he tried to enter the occupied West Bank from Jordan a month ago.   ___Mustapha Awad, who was born in Ein al-Hilweh refugee camp in Lebanon, has been granted refugee status and citizenship in Belgium. . . .   ___According to Samidoun, Awad appeared in court on 16 August, and was then returned to an Israeli interrogation center.   ___“My client was arrested at a frontier post for belonging to a terrorist organization, something he firmly denies,” Awad’s Belgian lawyer told media last Friday.    ___The 36-year-old Awad is the co-founder of Raj’een, a Palestinian folk dance group.   More. . .

NOTICES  FROM  ORGANIZATIONS. . . .

THE  PALESTINIAN  CAUSE  ON  WORLD  HUMANITARIAN  DAY     August 19, 2018
There are almost no limits to the pleasure of giving, and there is a great deal of satisfaction to be gained when it is related to taking happiness into the hearts of others. This is, without doubt, one of the benefits of involvement in charitable and humanitarian work. . . .    ___ The Palestinian cause remains one of the most prominent and important of contemporary issues. . . .   ___ The Palestinian cause in general and the siege of Gaza, in particular, are gaining the support of free people around the world, but more must be done. . . .   ___Humanitarian work, therefore, is an essential component of the struggle for Palestinian rights; for justice; and for peace.   More. . .

A LIMITED SAMPLE OF HUMANITARIAN CAUSES IN AND FOR PALESTINE
UNRWA USA  –  United Nations Relief and Works Agency
Charities & Non Profit Organizations In Gaza Palestine
Islamic Relief USA
Bright Stars of Bethlehem  Donate
KINDER USA – Kids in Need of Development, Education, and Relief
Palestine Institute Of Biodiversity And Sustainability 

“POEM  TO  JERUSALEM,”  BY  HARUN  HASHIM  RASHEED  
For the sake of a city that’s imprisoned,
for its Dome and Aqsa Mosque,
for the annihilated sanctuary
where Muhammad’s feet once stood,
for all this city has endured,
and for all it has preserved,
for Mary and Jesus,
for all the beings she has known,
for my city’s sake,
raped and abused,
on its wounded brow
God’s words are effaced.

I call on all our dead
and all our living
with verses from the Bible
if only they could hear
with verses from the Quran
in the name of God
calling the young among them and the very old
calling them from my depths
to every brave fighter
I tell them the struggle is for Jerusalem
I call on them to resolve and have faith
tell them how Jerusalem’s sanctity is wounded
I call upon them all to help Jerusalem
She cannot wait any longer,
she overflows with grief.

From the Atlantic to the Arabian Gulf
I call upon you in the name of God
with the purity of anger I beseech you
for the city with the humiliated eyes
I call you in your name,
I call my Arab people.
―translated by Sharif Elmusa and Naomi Shihab Nye

“. . . our eyes full of dust That never clears in our ceaseless wandering . . .” (Jabra Ibrahim Jabra)

❶ OCHA says reduction in humanitarian aid to UN refugee agency worrying
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Fatah: U.S. action will restrict the work of UNRWA
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴃ) American Arab group condemns US cut in aid to UN agency
❷ After Jenin raid, Israeli army leaves behind devastation, both physical and psychological

  • Opinion:  “In Words and Deeds: The Genesis of Israeli Violence.” The Palestine Chronicle.

. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) Israeli court indefinitely extends detention of Ahed Tamimi and her mother
❸ Israeli army considering taking control of Palestinian areas in Jerusalem
❹ PLO calls on EU to take effective political steps to salvage peace
❺ POETRY by Jabra Ibrahim Jabra
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶  OCHA  SAYS  REDUCTION  IN  HUMANITARIAN  AID  TO  UN  REFUGEE  AGENCY  WORRYING
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA 
Jan. 18, 2018 ― The significant reduction in funding to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) is worrying against the backdrop of an overall decline in humanitarian funding in the occupied Palestinian territories (oPt) in recent years, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) for the oPt said on Wednesday.
___The United States announced this week that it has cut $65 million of its $125 million January installment to UNRWA . . .
___“I am deeply concerned about the significant reduction in funding for UNRWA, which is critical to the provision of humanitarian assistance in the occupied Palestinian territory. Some 2.5 million Palestinians in this area, or about half of the population, need humanitarian aid, including 1.4 million Palestine refugees, who are among the most vulnerable groups in the oPt,” Acting Humanitarian Coordinator for the oPt, Roberto Valent, said in a statement.  MORE . . . 
.  .  .  .  .  ❶ ― (ᴀ) FATAH:  U.S.  ACTION  WILL  RESTRICT  THE  WORK  OF  UNRWA     Palestine News Network – PNN 
Jan. 18, 2018 ―  [. . . .] It is important to note that the U.S. contribution to UNRWA represents neither support nor assistance to the Palestinian National Authority . . .  It is to an agency of the United . . . .
___A statement by the Palestine National Liberation movement (Fatah) in a press release said that this U.S. action will restrict the work of UNRWA and threaten severe deprivation putting Palestinian refugees at even more serious risk.
[. . . .]  “We believe that the methods of extortion and pressure of the U.S. Administration on the United Nations, especially with regard to programs that do not suit Israel and rightwing extremists, are unacceptable to the international community and UN member states.”   MORE . . . 
 .  .  .  .  .  ❶ ― (ᴃ)  AMERICAN  ARAB  GROUP  CONDEMNS  US  CUT  IN  AID  TO  UN  AGENCY
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Jan. 18, 2018 ― The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) strongly condemned on Wednesday the US cut of $65 million in funding for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), which provides education and healthcare to millions of Palestinian refugees in Gaza, West Bank, Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan.
___“This abrupt cut in funding has created an existential crisis for UNRWA,” said ADC in a statement.
___At stake is the education of more than 525,000 students, primary health care for millions, and the provision of emergency relief, including food assistance to one million refugees in Gaza.    MORE . . . 
❷ AFTER  JENIN  RAID,  ISRAELI  ARMY  LEAVES  BEHIND  DEVASTATION,  BOTH  PHYSICAL  AND  PSYCHOLOGICAL 
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
By Mohammad Najim
Jan. 18, 2018 ―  At about 11:00 pm (Jerusalem time) on a cold Wednesday night, Palestinian residents of Wad Burqin neighborhood in Jenin, north of the occupied West Bank, were awakened at the sound of gunfire. It was soon clear that a large Israeli military force has surrounded a number of Jarrar family buildings and opened heavy gunfire at the houses to force a member identified as Ahmad Nasr Jarrar, 26, to come out.     [. . . .] Army units used loudspeakers to call on the family to leave their house, and soon after Ahmad Nasr’s mother, her younger son, Mohammad, and her daughter were out in the cold the army asked them to remove their coats.
[. . . .]  She said the soldiers then asked her daughter to get back to the house and to open all of the windows and doors before their bulldozers approached the house and started to demolish it together with the house of her elder son, Sohaib . . . .   the residents were shocked to find out that three buildings for the Jarrar family had been demolished and a fourth was badly damaged.
___The Palestinian Ministry of . . . . identified the dead person as Ahmad Ismail Jarrar, 31, a cousin of Ahmad Nasr Jarrar.     MORE . . . 

OPINION:    IN  WORDS  AND  DEEDS:  THE  GENESIS  OF  ISRAELI  VIOLENCE 
The Palestine Chronicle
By Ramzy Baroud
Jan. 16, 2018 ― Not a day passes without a prominent Israeli politician or intellectual making an outrageous statement against Palestinians. Many of these statements tend to garner little attention or evoke rightly deserved outrage.
___Just recently, Israel’s Minister of Agriculture, Uri Ariel, called for more death and injuries on Palestinians in Gaza.
[. . . .] Israeli Education Minister, Naftali Bennett, known for his extremist political views, demanded that Ahed [Tamini] and other Palestinian girls should “spend the rest of their days in prison”.
[. . . .] This violent and revolting mindset, however, is not new. It is an extension of an old, entrenched belief system that is predicated on a long history of violence.
___Undeniably, the views of Ariel, Bennett . . . are all reflections of real policies that have been carried out for over 70 years. Indeed, killing, raping and imprisoning for life are features that have accompanied the state of Israel since the very beginning.
___This violent legacy continues to define Israel to this day, through the use of what Israeli historian Ilan Pappe describes as ‘incremental genocide.’
[. . . .] Israel’s violent birth in 1947- 48 was the culmination of the violent discourse that preceded it for many years [. . . .] Nearly 30 years later, a once wanted terrorist, Begin became Prime Minister of Israel. He accelerated land theft of the newly-occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, launched a war on Lebanon, annexed Occupied Jerusalem to Israel and carried out the massacre of Sabra and Shatilla in 1982.
[. . . .]  Some of the other terrorists-turned-politicians and top army brass include Begin, Moshe Dayan, Yitzhak Rabin, Ariel Sharon, Rafael Eitan and Yitzhak Shamir. Each one of these leaders has a record dotted with violence.
[. . . .] So, when government ministers like Ariel and Bennett call for wanton violence against Palestinians, they are simply carrying on with a bloody legacy that has defined every single Israeli leader in the past. It is the violent mindset that continues to control the Israeli government and its relationship with Palestinians; in fact, with all of its neighbors.     MORE . . .    ..

.  .  .  .  .  ❷  ―  (ᴀ)  ISRAELI  COURT  INDEFINITELY  EXTENDS  DETENTION  OF  AHED  TAMIMI  AND  HER  MOTHER  
Ma’an News Agency   
Jan. 18, 2018 ―  An Israeli military court on Wednesday ordered 16-year-old Palestinian activist Ahed al-Tamimi to remain in custody indefinitely, until she faces trial for a number of charges relating to a video of her slapping and kicking an Israeli soldier.
___The teenager was arrested on December 19, days after the video of her confrontation with the soldiers — who were raiding her hometown of Nabi Saleh in the central occupied West Bank, and had shot her 14-year-old cousin in the face moments before the video was filmed — went viral on social media.
[. . . .]  During the hearing, the judge reportedly said that they could not grant the teenager bail because she was “too dangerous.”
___The court also ruled to indefinitely extend the detention of Ahed’s mother, Nariman, who was detained a day after her daughter. Nariman is being charged with “incitement” for livestreaming the video.     MORE . . .  
❸ ISRAELI  ARMY  CONSIDERING  TAKING  CONTROL  OF  PALESTINIAN  AREAS  IN  JERUSALEM 
Palestine News Network – PNN
Jan. 18, 2018 ― Israeli military forces are considering taking control over Shu’fat refugee camp and Kafr Aqab areas, according to information obtained by Israeli daily Haaretz.
___Whilst the proposed  plan is still unknown, army officials said the decision has been motivated by an increase in unrest and violence in East Jerusalem.     ___The two areas are currently under the jurisdiction of the Jerusalem municipality but are physically cut off from the city [by] the separation wall.     MORE . . .  
❹ PLO  CALLS  ON  EU  TO  TAKE  EFFECTIVE  POLITICAL  STEPS  TO  SALVAGE  PEACE
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA    
Jan. 18, 2018 ― Secretary-General of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), Saeb Erekat Thursday called on the European Union to take effective political steps to save peace in the region.
___This came during a meeting with representatives of the EU countries at the PLO’s headquarters in Ramallah . . . .
___He called on the EU to protect the principles and the human rights’ system that it has built over the years, by translating and embodying its firm position on the two-state solution based on the 1967 borders and recognizing East Jerusalem as the capital of a recognized State of Palestine.
___Erekat reiterated the PLO’s position that the United States’ has lost eligibility to play the role of peace broker after its illegal recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel . .  MORE . . .

“IN  THE  DESERTS  OF  EXILE,”  BY  JABRA  IBRAHIM  JABRA
Spring after spring, in the deserts of exile,
What are we doing with our love,
When our eyes are full of frost and dust?

Our Palestine, green land of ours;
Its flowers as if embroidered of women’s gowns;
March adorns its hills
With the jewel-like peony and narcissus;
April bursts open in its plains
With flowers and bride-like blossoms;
May is our rustic song
Which we sing at noon, in the blue shadows,
Among the olive trees in our valleys,
And in the ripeness of the fields we wait for the promise of July
And the joyous dance amidst the harvest.

O land of ours where our childhood passed
Like dreams in the shade of the orange grove,
Among the almond trees in the valleys―
Remember us now wandering
Among the thorns of the desert,
Wandering in rocky mountains;
Remember us now
In the tumult of cities beyond deserts and seas;
Remember us with our eyes full of dust
That never clears in our ceaseless wandering.
They crushed the flowers on the hills around us,
Destroyed the houses over our heads,
Scattered our torn remains
Then unfolded the desert before us,
With valleys writhing in hunger
And blue shadows
Scattered into red thorns
Bent over corpses left as prey for falcon and crow.

Is it from your hills that the angels sang to the shepherds
Of peace on earth and goodwill among men?
Only death laughed when it saw
Among the entrails of beasts
The ribs of men,
And through the guffaw of bullets
It went dancing a joyous dance
On the heads of weeping women.
Our land is an emerald,
But in the deserts of exile,
Spring after spring,
Only the dust hisses in our face.
What then, what are we doing with our love,
When our eyes and our mouth are full of frost and dust?

About  Jabra Ibrahim Jabra      Related
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.

“. . . 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.

“. . . I plant my dreams in the streets . . .” (Majid Abu Ghoush)

❶ Erekat : we will put on hold all our communications with this American administration
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Arab league approaches US over PLO’s Washington office closure
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴃ) Dr. Ashrawi: U.S. is disqualifying itself as a peace broker in the region

  • Background: “The Concept of Palestine: The Conception of Palestine from the Late Bronze Age to the Modern Period.” Journal of Holy Land & Palestine Studies.

❷ Israel to demolish residential structures near Hebron
❸ Dozens of Jewish settlers defile Aqsa Mosque
❹ POETRY by Majid Abu Ghoush

Special notice: Museum of the Palestinian People  (Please make a contribution. Thanks to a generous donor, any gift you make will be matched up to $25,000 by the end of November. This amount will count toward our 2018 budget of $168,000.)
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
EREKAT  :  WE  WILL  PUT  ON  HOLD  ALL  OUR  COMMUNICATIONS  WITH  THIS  AMERICAN  ADMINISTRATION       
Palestine News Network – PNN 
Nov. 19, 2017 ― Saeb Erekat , secretary general of the Palestine Liberation Organization’s (PLO) Executive Committee, said that if the American administrations close PLO offices in Washington, D.C., we will put on hold all our communications with this American administration.”
___Erekat added that “the US State Department notified us with an official letter that they cannot certify the continuance opening of the PLO office in Washington D.C. due to the fact that we are pursuing and encouraging the ICC (International Criminal Court).”
___“This is very unfortunate and unacceptable. This is the pressure being exerted on this administration from the Netanyahu government.    MORE . . .
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) ARAB  LEAGUE  APPROACHES  US  OVER  PLO’S  WASHINGTON  OFFICE  CLOSURE
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA 
Nov. 19, 2017 ―The Arab League Sunday announced that its Secretary General Ahmed Aboul Gheit has approached the US administration after the latter announced it will close the Palestine Liberation Organization’s (PLO) office in Washington.
___The league said in a press statement that Aboul Gheit and Minister of foreign affairs Riyad al-Malki met and discussed the latest developments on the ground and possible means to resume the peace process between the Palestinian and Israeli sides.
___Al-Malki briefed Aboul Gheit on the official position of the Palestinian Authority regarding the closure of the PLO’s Washington office, saying it will harm the peace process and the role of the US as peace broker.
___Aboul Gheit’s spokesman said the league is working to maintain official communication channels between the Palestinian Authority and the US administration. . .   MORE . . .
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴃ) DR.  ASHRAWI:  U.S.  IS  DISQUALIFYING  ITSELF  AS  A  PEACE  BROKER  IN  THE  REGION    
Palestine News Network – PNN    
Nov. 19, 2017 ― In response to media inquiries concerning the U.S. administration’s refusal to extend the waiver of statutory restrictions on the General Delegation of the PLO to the United States in Washington D.C., PLO Executive Committee Member Dr. Hanan Ashrawi condemned such a move and said:
___“Instead of holding Israel liable for its persistent violations of international law and conventions, the U.S. administration and Congress are threatening to punish the Palestinian people because of statements made by President Mahmoud Abbas at the United Nations and other leaders pertaining to ICC accountability for Israel and for its war crimes in Palestine.   MORE . . .

Masalha, Nur. “THE  CONCEPT  OF  PALESTINE:  THE  CONCEPTION  OF  PALESTINE  FROM  THE  LATE  BRONZE  AGE  TO  THE  MODERN  PERIOD.”
Journal  of  Holy  Land  &  Palestine  Studies
, vol. 15, no. 2, Nov. 2016, pp. 143-202.
The celebrated English historian Edward Gibbon, writing in 1776, noted that ‘Phoenicia and Palestine will forever live in the [collective] memory of mankind’. . . Palestine is the collective watan (homeland) of the Palestinian people —the indigenous people of historic Palestine. The Palestinian people have a multi-religious and multicultural ancient heritage and a multi-layered identity deeply rooted in ancient history. Palestinians often speak of Biladuna Filastin: ‘Our Country, Palestine’ (colloquially: Bladna Falastin). The country of Palestine as a distinct political geography-with its own distinct and diverse traditions and a mélange of styles —is deeply rooted in the indigenous psyche and consciousness; the toponym (place-name) of Palestine is deeply rooted in the ancient past from the Late Bronze Age onwards. . . . For a millennium and a half of Classical Antiquity and Byzantine Christianity as well as under Islam in the Middle Ages the term Palestine also acquired official administrative status.
[. . . .] For over 1200 years the name Palestine was used most commonly, consistently and continuously throughout Classical Antiquity, from the highlight of classical Athenian civilisation . . . [until] the occupation of Palestine by the Muslim armies in 637 AD.
___To substitute the vague and semi-mythical term Cana’an for the real historical and official toponym Palaestina for a spectacular classical period lasting over one millennium would be tantamount to the elimination of the actual history of this important region . . . [and] eliminate the possibility of any real historical knowledge of one of the most important periods in the ancient history of the region, namely: early Christianity and Byzantine greater Palaestina. Greek-speaking Byzantine Christianity in Palestine began in the reign of the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great (306—337 AD) and lasted until the beginning of Islamic rule in Palestine in 637 AD.
[. . . .] Furthermore, when referring to the ancient history of this region modern European scholarship (and even early Zionist scholarly societies such as the ‘Jewish Palestine Exploration Society’, founded in 1914) universally and unanimously talk about ‘Palestine’, even when referring to Jewish history. [. . . .]  SOURCE . . .

ISRAEL  TO  DEMOLISH  RESIDENTIAL  STRUCTURES  NEAR  HEBRON 
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA 
Nov. 19, 2017 ― Israeli authorities notified Palestinians about a decision to demolish residential structures and animal barns in Masafer Yatta area, to the south of Hebron in the occupied West Bank, according to local sources.
___Rateb Jabour, who monitors settlement activities in the area, said Israeli forces handed a written notice to locals informing them about their intention to demolish a number of residential structures and a barn used for raising livestock in Kherbet Shaab al-Butum, a village in Masafer Yatta area. The barn was built with funding from the European Union.   MORE . . .
DOZENS  OF  JEWISH  SETTLERS  DEFILE  AQSA  MOSQUE  
The Palestinian Information Center
Nov. 19, 2017 ― Dozens of Jewish settlers broke into the Aqsa Mosque in Occupied Jerusalem on Sunday morning under Israeli security protection provided by special police forces.     ___The PIC reporter said that 86 settlers entered the holy Islamic site via the Maghareba Gate in six separate groups and roamed its plazas.     ___He added that 35 Israeli students toured the Aqsa Mosque compound along with guides, who explained to the students the history of the alleged Jewish Temple.     MORE . . .

“RESISTANCE,”  MAJID  ABU  GHOUSH
I plant my poetry
in the streets,
in every quarter
and every alley,
a poem…resisting the conquerors!
I plant my fingers
in the streets,
in every hole,
in every flower pot:
a finger…resisting the conquerors!
I plant my blood
in the streets,
on every sidewalk,
on every roadsign:
a drop of blood…resisting the conquerors!
I plant my dreams
in the streets,
in the heads of passers-by:
an infant dream…resisting the conquerors!
I plant the names of my loved ones
in the streets,
on every tree, on every wall:
the name of a martyr resisting the conquerors!
I plant the colors of the flag
in the streets,
on every house,
and every window and door:
a color…resisting the conquerors!
I plant my children’s luggage
in the streets
at every roadblock,
at every checkpoint:
a suitcase…resisting the conquerors!
I plant my hands
in the streets,
on every corner:
a firm hand resisting the conquerors!

Majid Abu Ghoush (b. Amwas) is a prolific poet, a member of the Secretariat of the General Union of Palestinian Writers, and a founding member of Poets Without Borders Palestine. Abu Ghoush reading one of his own poems.  See also. 
From: University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, Middle East Affairs
Special Programs,
Commemorating the Intifada’s Tenth Year, April 10, 1998
Prof. Naseer Aruri

“. . . the chains of an arrogant fate . . .” (Fadwa Tuqan)

❶ 100 years on Balfour Declaration
❷ Saeb Erekat: Nothing is more shameful than [the British] celebrating colonialism

  • “The Palestinian Nakba and Its Continuous Repercussions.” Israel Studies.
  • “Britain’s Secret Re-Assessment of the Balfour Declaration. The Perfidy of Albion.” Journal of the History of International Law.
  • “Political Engagement: The Palestinian Confessional Genre.” Arab Studies Quarterly.

❸ POETRY by Fadwa Tuqan
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
100 YEARS ON BALFOUR DECLARATION 
Alray-Palestinian Media Agency
Nov. 2, 2017 ― Palestinians around the world are marking 100 years since the Balfour Declaration was issued on November 2, 1917.
___The Balfour Declaration (“Balfour’s promise” in Arabic) was a public pledge by Britain in 1917 declaring its aim to establish “a national home for the Jewish people” in Palestine.
___The statement came in the form of a letter from Britain’s then-foreign secretary, Arthur Balfour, addressed to Lionel Walter Rothschild, a figurehead of the British Jewish community.
___It was made during World War I (1914-1918) and was included in the terms of the British Mandate for Palestine after the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire.
[. . . .] Unlike the rest of the post-war mandates, the main goal of the British Mandate there was to create the conditions for the establishment of a Jewish “national home” – where Jews constituted less than 10 percent of the population at the time.    MORE . . .
❷ SAEB EREKAT: NOTHING IS MORE SHAMEFUL THAN [THE BRITISH] CELEBRATING COLONIALISM 
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA         
Nov. 2, 2017 ― Secretary General of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Saeb Erekat said on Thursday that by celebrating the centenary of the Balfour Declaration, the British government has chosen to celebrate 100 years of injustice, racism, and violence.
___“Today we mark the centenary of the Balfour Declaration, when the British colonial power promised Palestine, a land that wasn’t theirs, to the Zionist movement, thus ignoring the political and national rights of the indigenous Palestinian people. To implement the Balfour Declaration, the United Kingdom made use of the British Mandate of Palestine by oppressing the Palestinian national liberation movement and changing the identity of Palestine,” said Erekat in a statement marking this occasion. MORE . . .    …

Manna, Adel.
“THE PALESTINIAN NAKBA AND ITS CONTINUOUS REPERCUSSIONS.”
ISRAEL STUDIES, vol. 18, no. 2, Summer2013, pp. 86-99.
[. . . .] During the late 19th Century . . . Jews in Europe established an organized Zionist movement aiming to transform Palestine into a Jewish homeland. Furthermore, thousands of Zionist Jews started to immigrate into Palestine and settle it, beginning in the 1880’s.
___However, only at the end of World War I did the Palestinians start to fully grasp the serious challenge of the Zionist project, which by then had earned the official support of Great Britain with THE BALFOUR DECLARATION, ISSUED IN NOVEMBER 1917. The British, who succeeded the Ottomans in controlling Palestine and other neighboring Arab countries, posed a special threat to the national aspirations of the Palestinians. In the next two decades, the Arabs in general and the Palestinians in particular did their best to persuade the British to end their support for the Zionist project, but failed to achieve this aim by peaceful means in the 1920’s (See: Muhammad Muslih, The Origins of Palestinian Nationalism. New York, 1988: 191-210.)
___Palestinians who watched the construction of the infrastructure for a Jewish state turned to violence as a last resort to defend their country against British rule and the Zionist newcomers. However, the Jewish state-in-the-making gathered more and more strength and support, particularly after World War II and the disclosure of the horrors of the Holocaust. The climax of international support for establishing a Jewish state in Palestine materialized fully in the UN partition plan, approved on 29 November 1947. Notwithstanding these new realities, the Palestinians were absolutely confident in their cause and believed that justice would prevail.
___At the end of 1947 the Arabs of Palestine were more than two thirds (about 1,350,000) of the country’s two million people. Furthermore, they possessed about 90% of Palestine’s privately-owned land. Hence, as an indigenous stable majority, they believed in their right to take control of a free and complete Palestine.   SOURCE . . .

Quiley, John.
“BRITAIN’S SECRET RE-ASSESSMENT OF THE BALFOUR DECLARATION. THE PERFIDY OF ALBION.”
JOURNAL OF THE HISTORY OF INTERNATIONAL LAW
, vol. 13, no. 2, Oct. 2011, pp. 249-283.
[. . . .] In the British Cabinet’s internal discussion of Palestine, however, the prospects of success in meeting these two goals were rated as low. The Arab and Jewish sectors of Palestine’s population were immediately at odds with each other. In 1923 the Cabinet undertook a comprehensive re-assessment of the Jewish national home project. The Cabinet concluded that it could not promote a Jewish national home, yet ensure a peaceful outcome that would protect the Arab population and move Palestine towards independence. For reasons relating to its own interests, however, the Cabinet decided to persist in promoting a Jewish national home. The unfortunate consequence was an Arab-Jewish confrontation that ultimately saw Britain depart unceremoniously from Palestine in 1948, setting the stage for conflict that continues to the present day.
[. . . .] In Palestine, Britain as the administering power committed itself to bringing in an outside population that entertained the goal of establishing itself in a way that seemed to threaten the status of the local population.
___This commitment was contained in the Balfour Declaration, a 1917 document of the British Government. The Balfour Declaration committed Britain to promoting a Jewish “national home” in Palestine, a project being urged by the World Zionist Organization, a Jewish group based in Europe. At the time, Jews constituted 10% of Palestine’s population. The other 90% of the population was Arab. The declaration, issued in the form of a letter signed by A.J. Balfour, the foreign secretary, read:
___His Majesty’s government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of the existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.    COMPLETE ARTICLE . . .

Mir, Salam.
“POLITICAL ENGAGEMENT: THE PALESTINIAN CONFESSIONAL GENRE.”
ARAB STUDIES QUARTERLY
, vol. 35, no. 4, Fall2013, pp. 360-377.
[. . . .] Fadwa Tuqan’s personal history strikes an unusual inverse parallel with that of Palestinian people. Nineteen seventeen, the year of Tuqan’s birth, coincided with the Balfour Declaration in which the British government promised to establish a Jewish National Home (JNH) in Palestine. Nineteen forty-eight, the year of Tuqan’s father’s death, was the year the poet began to participate in politics and the world outside. Forty-eight was also the time of Nakba, the “Catastrophe,” when Palestine was divided and Israel established. By 1948, Tuqan was the up-and-coming poet who focused mainly on personal concerns and love poetry.
___When her father died and Palestine was lost in 1948, a slight shift in Tuqan’s journey for self-fulfillment takes place. The familial and sociopolitical changes signaled a turbulent period for country and poet.
[. . . .] A Mountainous Journey, An Autobiography by Palestinian poet Fadwa Tuqan (1917-2003) was first published serially in 1978-79, in the Arab Israeli magazine al Jadid. Autobiography is a personal account of the coming of age of this accomplished Palestinian poet, who is among the most celebrated contemporary women poets in the Arab world.   SOURCE . . .

“THE ROCK,” BY FADWA TUQAN
Look how this black
rock has been fastened over my chest
with the chains of an arrogant fate, with the chains of senseless time.
Look, how it grinds beneath it
my fruit and my flower,
carves me with time
and crushes my breath.
Let be! We can’t overpower it.
The chains of my prison will hold.
I shall remain
in isolation
while fate is my jailor.
Leave me
so: no light,
no tomorrow,
no hope.
There is no escaping this black rock,
no refuge.
In vain I try to budge its weight from my chest
by forgetting myself―
how I roamed in
the heart of life
and travelled in
every direction.

I played,
I sang
in the streams of youth,
held up my cup
and greedily drank
until absent to the world.
How the world of pleasure deceived me,
my pain and my misery in its lap!
I have escaped from
the world of my feelings
and dance, swift as birds
laughing in madness. Then from
the depths of my pessimism
a call shook my spirit
and in secret thundered on:

“You will not escape,
here I stay!
There is no running from me, no refuge!”

The shadow of the black rock casts
deformed pictures.
In vain I try to budge it,
in vain seek to escape.
There is no refuge.

How I have probed the land of misery!
I smell the elixir of consolation
in the misery of prisoners like me,
prisoners of fate.
I came among the people
where tragedies are,
and tears,
where whips sizzle and fall
over the hordes,
over the naked backs
and the crushed necks,
where the slaves
are tamed
and rush in groups, each one
foundering in his own
tears,
blood and sweat.

I keep on: I seek comfort
but there is no refuge.
The curse of this black rock
was born with me,
a constant trial.
Mute,
it follows me,
its shadow dogs my steps.
Look how it has settled
in its arrogance
over my chest!
Let be; we can’t overpower it.
The chains of my prison will hold.
My spirit is locked; I am
alone in my struggle
alone
with pain
with time
with fate
alone
and this black rock grinding.

There is no refuge.

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.  Available from Barnes & Noble.

“. . . Any hope of peace in the future will just vanish . . .” (Saeb Erekat, Palestinian negotiator)

kerry-erekat
US Secretary of State John Kerry and Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat shake hands, Jan. 4, 2014, in Ramallah. (Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images)

❶ . PLO will revoke Israel recognition if US moves embassy, top official warns

  • Background: “Jerusalem In The Courts And On The Ground.” Florida Journal Of International Law

❷ . ‘Israel replaces one land theft with another,’ NGO says
❸ .  Father of slain Palestinian teen objects to plea deal with Israeli officer
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ . PLO  WILL  REVOKE  ISRAEL  RECOGNITION  IF  US  MOVES  EMBASSY,  TOP  OFFICIAL  WARNS   
The Times of Israel
Dec. 20, 2016 – If the incoming Trump administration moves the US embassy to Jerusalem, the PLO will revoke its recognition of Israel, the prospect of a two-state solution will be over, and any hope of Israeli-Palestinian peace in the future will vanish, the top Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat warned on Monday.
___Speaking on a conference call organized by the Wilson Center . . .   Erekat reeled off a list of what he said would be the consequences of President-elect Donald Trump honoring his campaign pledge and relocating the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
[. . . .]  Erekat noted that he held meetings last week in Washington with State Department officials, but failed to secure meetings he had sought with incoming Trump administration officials. “I don’t know any of them,” he said of Trump’s personnel.     More . . .

(Note: The following article is a detailed and documented history of the U.S. policy on the status of Jerusalem over the years. The sections quoted here present only a small part of the writing about the continually evolving realities “on the ground” of the status of Jerusalem.) 

  • Halabi, Sam F. “Jerusalem In The Courts And On The Ground.” Florida Journal Of International Law 26.2 (2014): 223-270.  (Sam F. Halabi is Associate Professor, University of Tulsa College of Law. J.D. Harvard, M.Phil. Oxford, B.A. Kansas State University.) FULL ARTICLE.

[. . . .] In 1967, Israel conquered all of Jerusalem and the West Bank, politically reunifying the city and obtaining control over the Temple Mount which it left under the stewardship of the Islamic waqf. It offered Israeli citizenship to Arabs living in Jerusalem in 1967, most of whom rejected the offer. They became so-called Jerusalem residents, neither citizens of Israel nor civilians subject to the same rules of occupation which applied to other Palestinian residents living in the West Bank.
___In 1980, Israel officially annexed East Jerusalem and the areas within the redrawn municipal boundary which included settlements built over the 1967 “Green Line.” The U.N. Security Council declared the “Jerusalem Law” null and void and a violation of international law. In 1993, Israel and the Palestinians agreed to settle the final status of Jerusalem and other matters by negotiation. U.S. Executive Branch policy from 1948 forward never recognized Israeli or Jordanian sovereignty over any part of Jerusalem. In 1949, when Israel announced its intention to convene its parliament’s first meeting in the part of Jerusalem it controlled, the United States refused to send a representative to attend, noting that the U.S. Government “cannot support any arrangement which would purport to authorize the establishment of Israeli . . . sovereignty over parts of the Jerusalem area.” The United States similarly opposed the Jordanian effort to declare East Jerusalem its “second” capital (after Amman) in 1950. The State Department established a formal diplomatic presence in Tel Aviv for relations with Israel and separate consular offices in Jerusalem. Arab and Jewish U.S. citizens born within Jerusalem’s 1948 municipal borders are designated as having been born in “Jerusalem” consistent with this non-recognition.
___Congress, however, became more active on the issue after the 1980 Jerusalem Law, both directly and indirectly seeking to have the city’s status as Israel’s capital formalized. Several U.S. Presidents, including Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and William Clinton, have stated that Jerusalem should remain united and its final status should be determined by negotiation, implying that Israelis and Palestinians might both establish recognized capitals there and further implying that U.S. policy disfavors separation of the type experienced between 1948 and 1967 [. . . .]

❷ . ‘ISRAEL  REPLACES  ONE  LAND  THEFT  WITH  ANOTHER,’  NGO  SAYS
Days of Palestine
Dec. 19, 2016 – Israeli settlers of the illegal settlement of Amona in occupied West Bank agreed to move to another private Palestinian land, an Israeli NGO said.
___The Israeli Jewish settlers of Amona, which the Israeli High Court decided it be evacuated by December 25, agreed to a deal offered by the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his Education Minister Naftali Bennett.
___According to the new deal, adopted by the Israeli occupation government, the illegal Jewish settlers are going to move to another private Palestinian land on a hilltop nearby Amona.    
[. . . .]
Israeli rights group Peace Now said that the latest Israeli government compromise would see the relocation of 40 settler families to nearby land privately owned by Palestinians.
___“The Israeli government is replacing one land theft by another,” Peace Now said in a statement.      More . . .  

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Israeli flags flying over confiscated Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem. (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 2015)


❸ .  FATHER  OF  SLAIN  PALESTINIAN  TEEN  OBJECTS  TO  PLEA  DEAL  WITH  ISRAELI  OFFICER  

Ma’an News Agency
Dec. 20, 2016 – The father of a 17-year-old Palestinian who was shot dead . . .  in 2014 said he strongly objected to the plea deal being prepared for the Israeli border police officer who killed his son.
___Siyam Nuwarah told Ma’an Monday evening that he sent a letter to the Israeli Attorney General saying that his family was “extremely saddened” about the recently published reports regarding the Attorney General’s intent to sign a plea deal, in which the officer would receive a reduced sentence.
[. . . .]  Nadim Siyam Nuwarah was shot and killed with live ammunition in the chest during a protest rally marking the 66th anniversary of the Nakba on May 15, 2014. The incident was captured on video.     More . . .

 

“. . . measures are intended to perpetuate the control and the superiority of Jewish over Arab Jerusalem. . .” (Menachem Klein)

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Outpost situated near the Israeli settlement of Shiloh, outside of Jerusalem. March 2014. (Photo: Mendy Hechtman/FLASH90)

❶ The ‘NYT‘ finally realizes: Netanyahu doesn’t care what Obama thinks

  • Background: “Jerusalem Walls: Transforming and Segregating Urban Fabric.” African & Asian Studies

❷ PLO says criticism of Israel’s settlements not enough

  • Background: “Conflict’s Tools. Borders, Boundaries and Mobility in Jerusalem’s Spatial Structures.” Mobilities 

❸ EU joins the US in condemning Israel’s new settlement plans in Palestinian territory
❹ Israel confiscates tent used as classroom by Bedouin community after school demolition
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
The  ‘NYT‘  FINALLY  REALIZES:  NETANYAHU  DOESN’T  CARE  WHAT  OBAMA  THINKS
+972 Online Magazine
Lisa Goldman
Oct. 7, 2016
The New York Times editorial board has realized, about a decade too late, that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu does not care what the Obama administration — or any U.S. administration, for that matter — thinks about his policies regarding the Palestinians.    ___ According to the editorial published Friday, October 7, headlined “At the Boiling Point With Israel,” the catalyst for this realization was Netanyahu’s decision to approve the building of a new settlement deep in the West Bank, only three weeks after the U.S. finalized a package of military aid for Israel to the tune of an unprecedented $38 billion. . .       More . . .     

  • Thawaba, Salem A. “Jerusalem Walls: Transforming and Segregating Urban Fabric.” African & Asian Studies 10.2/3 (2011): 121-142.   Source . . .

The rightist Israeli government was not satisfied with this and strives for exclusive Israeli control over all the area annexed in 1967. This demands the destruction of the demographic, urban and metropolitan reality which developed since 1967 in Arab Jerusalem:

“The East Jerusalem metropolis must be destroyed both by damaging its periphery
and by weakening of the center itself, as well as cutting it off from its natural
hinterland. All these measures are intended to perpetuate the control and the
superiority of Jewish over Arab Jerusalem”
(Klein, Menachem. Jerusalem: The Contested City. London and New York:
C. Hurst and New York University Press, 2001).

PLO  SAYS  CRITICISM  OF  ISRAEL’S  SETTLEMENTS  NOT  ENOUGH
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Oct. 8, 2016
The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) demanded that action be taken against Israel’s settlement policy instead of only criticizing it.
___The United States, the United Nations and other world powers have issued strongly worded statements criticizing Israeli plans to build hundreds of new settlement units in the occupied West Bank.    
___PLO Secretary General Saeb Erekat said . . .  “Although we welcome the [US] State Department’s criticism of Israel’s plans to construct a new settlement in the occupied State of Palestine, we expect the United States to translate its statements into real action,” he said.       More . . .     

  • Pullan, Wendy. “Conflict’S Tools. Borders, Boundaries and Mobility in Jerusalem’s Spatial Structures.” Mobilities 8.1 (2013): 125-147.   Source . . .  

The primary route east from Jerusalem has been replaced by a motorway that addresses Israeli needs and uses, connecting West Jerusalem to Maale Adumim and other settlements.  [. . . .]  
___Other smaller centres have been detached from their long-standing places in the Jerusalem orbit. For example, to the north of Jerusalem the wall has been built to encircle a group of Palestinian villages in what is referred to as the Bir Nabala enclave.
___As another example of bounding the border, beyond the wall is an outer circle of Israeli settlements. Historically, the Palestinian centres were known as ‘Jerusalem villages’ in a system where familial connections, market outlets, religious sites and reciprocal courtesies and protection gave structure to the continuity of rural and urban space. In modern times, these villages continued to be linked symbiotically to Jerusalem [by] institutional support such as hospitals and the main al-Aqsa mosque. . . . A recent study notes the importance of these reciprocities and the widespread social and economic deterioration of the villages since they were severed from Jerusalem by the wall. The villages have been wrapped together by the separation barrier and transformed into an enclave, with one exit by tunnel under a bypass road to Ramallah. They have been unilaterally reoriented northwards to a different city (Ramallah) where the concurrence of socio-economic factors with spatial realities is no longer present: the socially primed economic connections have gone dead, houses lie empty, the Ramallah hospitals cannot cope and villagers cannot get to al-Aqsa mosque.
___The spatial realities of the closure policy are embedded in a complex system of ethnic identification measures that feed the very roots of the occupation.

EU  JOINS  THE  US  IN  CONDEMNING  ISRAEL’S  NEW  SETTLEMENT  PLANS  IN  PALESTINIAN  TERRITORY
Ma’an News Agency        
Oct. 7, 2016
The spokesperson for the European Union Friday strongly condemned Israel’s plans to construct 98 new housing units in occupied Palestinian territory in the northern West Bank for the establishment of a new Israeli settlement. The condemnation came two days following notably harsh criticisms by the United States over Israel’s illegal settlement enterprise.
___Last month, the Higher Planning Committee (HPC) of Israel’s Civil Administration approved for “depositing” — the planning phase prior to final approval — a plan for 98 housing units for a new settlement to be located east of the already established settlement of Shiloh, on lands of the Palestinian village of Jalud in the northern West Bank district of Nablus. It is part of a larger plan for 300 units yet to be promoted.       More . . .

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West Bank Jewish settlement of Maale Adumim near Jerusalem (Photo: Reuters/Ammar Awad)

ISRAEL CONFISCATES TENT USED AS CLASSROOM BY BEDOUIN COMMUNITY AFTER SCHOOL DEMOLITION
Ma’an News Agency
Oct. 6, 2016
Israeli forces reportedly confiscated a tent used as a classroom in the Bedouin community of Abu Nuwwar on Tuesday, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) told Ma’an on Thursday.
___OCHA Communications and Information Analyst Ofir Feuerstein told Ma’an that “Israeli authorities confiscated a tent in Abu Nuwwar” . . .  one of several Bedouin villages facing forced relocation due to plans by Israeli authorities to build thousands of homes for Jewish-only settlements in the E1 corridor.
___The “E1 corridor,” a contentious zone set up by the Israeli government to link annexed East Jerusalem with the mega settlement of Maale Adumim, would virtually cut the occupied West Bank in half, making the creation of a contiguous Palestinian state impossible.        More . . .

“. . . Israeli actions constitute a deliberate and crude exercise of power and an attempt to isolate the Palestinian people from the rest of the world . . .” (Hanan Ashrawi)

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The Women’s Boat to Gaza, Freedom Flotilla Coalition composed of civil society organizations  from more than a dozen countries. (Photo: Global Research, Sep. 29, 2016)

❶ Israel detains all-female crew of Gaza Freedom Flotilla in Givon prison
. . . ❶ ― (a) Israeli women betray their sisters, intercept Women’s Boat to Gaza

  • Background: “An ‘Invented People’: Palestinian Refugee Women and Meanings of Home.” ACME: An International E-Journal for Critical Geographies.

❷ Israeli forces detain 40 Palestinians in West Bank, East Jerusalem night raids
❸ Israeli Soldiers Uproot 40 Dunams Of Palestinian Agricultural Lands Near Hebron
❹ World condemns settlement: Palestinians say we expect to translate statements into real action
~~~~~~~~~~~~~
ISRAEL  DETAINS  ALL-FEMALE  CREW  OF  GAZA  FREEDOM  FLOTILLA  IN  GIVON  PRISON
Ma’an News Agency
Oct. 6, 2016
Female activists who were sailing on board the all-women solidarity ship “Zaytouna” heading towards the besieged Gaza Strip are currently being detained in the Israeli prison of Givon, the Israel Prison Service (IPS) told Ma’an on Thursday.
___The 13-person crew of the Zaytouna — which means “olives” in Arabic — was intercepted by Israeli naval forces on Wednesday as their boat entered Israel’s unilaterally declared buffer zone or “military exclusion zone,” off the coast of Gaza.
___The women were then detained and taken to the Israeli port of Ashdod, before being taken to detention facilities.        More . . .
. . .― (a) ISRAELI WOMEN BETRAY THEIR SISTERS, INTERCEPT WOMEN’S BOAT TO GAZA
Gaza.Scoop.ps – Real Time News From Gaza
October 5, 201
Israeli women soldiers led the attack in international waters on the Women’s Boat to Gaza, Zaytouna-Oliva, on Wednesday evening Gaza time, and kidnapped the 13 international women on board.
___The 13 freedom sailors included New Zealand Member of Parliament Marama Davidson, 1976 Nobel Peace Prize laureate Mairead Maguire from Ireland, and retired US army colonel Ann Wright.   More . . .

Holt, Maria. “An ‘Invented People’: Palestinian Refugee Women And Meanings Of Home.” ACME: An International E-Journal For Critical Geographies 14.2 (2015): 98-106.   Full Article     In December 2011, US Republican presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich declared that the Palestinians are an ‘invented people’. . . . The persistent negation of Palestinian identity has deep roots. In a speech in Haifa in 1969, Moshe Dayan remarked: ‘Jewish villages were built in the place of Arab villages. You do not even know the names of these Arab villages, and I do not blame you because geography books no longer exist; not only do the books not exist, the villages are not there either’ (Ha’aretz 1969).
[. . . .] 
Far from disappearing, as the ‘Arab villages’ had disappeared, Palestinians have preserved not only a strong sense of identity but also an image of ‘a place called home’. The recollection of home and homeland remains powerful for Palestinian refugees and, out of this rooted identity, has emerged a resistance movement determined to make real again the Palestine that has been lost. Inspired by memories of their homeland, successive generations have enacted forms of resistance, from militant activism to resilience and survival. As refugee camps have been invaded, homes destroyed and lives fragmented, they have responded with steadfastness and the abundant fruits of memory and imagination. Their efforts embody the ‘tension between identity and territory.’
[. . . .] 
In 2013 in the Gaza Strip, an 80-year old woman called Ghatheyya Mifleh al-Khawalda recalled her home village of al-Qastina, which she left in  1948; in her words: ‘Of course I am not allowed to go there anymore, but I still think about my village after all these years. Al-Qastina crosses my mind very often. It doesn’t make sense that I cannot be in my home, on my land, in the place where I grew up. I still dream of the days of the land’ (Palestinian Centre for Human Rights 2013). However much the lives of refugee women improve or a new ‘narrative of heroism’ develops, there cannot be satisfaction, in terms of justice and morality, until this core issue of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict has been satisfactorily resolved. Then, at last, women such as Umm Walid and Asma in the West Bank, Huda in Lebanon and Ghatheyya in Gaza will no longer have to suffer the pain of being dismissed as an ‘invented people’.

ISRAELI  FORCES  DETAIN  40  PALESTINIANS  IN  WEST  BANK,  EAST  JERUSALEM  NIGHT  RAIDS 
Ma’an News Agency     
Oct. 6, 2016
Israeli forces detained at least 40 Palestinians, including at least 11 minors, in overnight raids in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem between Wednesday and Thursday, Palestinian and Israeli sources told Ma’an.     East Jerusalem
___Israeli forces reportedly raided homes in at least three neighborhoods of occupied East Jerusalem, detaining 16 Palestinians, Palestinian sources said.       More . . .  

uproot_tree
Israeli armored bulldozers, invaded Palestinian lands west of Hebron, and uprooted trees, Oct. 5, 2016 (Photo: IMEMC News)

❸  ISRAELI  SOLDIERS  UPROOT  40  DUNAMS  OF  PALESTINIAN  AGRICULTURAL  LANDS  NEAR  HEBRON
International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC
October 6, 2016
Israeli soldiers, accompanied by a number of armored bulldozers, invaded Thursday the at-Tass area, west of Kharas town, west of the southern West Bank city of Hebron, before bulldozing and uprooting 40 Dunams (9.88 Acres) of Palestinian lands.      ___Abdul-Fattah Qodeimat, the head of Kharas Local Council, told the Maan News Agency that the lands were planted with almond and olive trees.    More . . .
WORLD  CONDEMNS  SETTLEMENT:  PALESTINIANS  SAY  WE  EXPECT  TO  TRANSLATE  STATEMENTS  INTO  REAL  ACTION
Palestine News Network – PNN       
Oct. 6, 2016
While the world condemning Israeli settlement policy in the occupied Palestinian territories, the Palestinians demand to transfer these convictions into action in order to force Israel to stop it.
___PLO Secretary General Dr. Saeb Erekat said in statement that PNN received via email on US State Department’s Criticism of Israeli Settlements and Israel’s Response saying that Palestinian want to world to translate its condemning statements in to real action.     ___Erekat said: “Although we welcome the State Department’s criticism of Israel’s plans to construct a new settlement in the occupied State of Palestine, we expect the United States to translate its statements into real action.”     More . . .    
Related . . . U.S.  condemns  Israeli  settlements,  ending  thaw  in  once-frosty  relationship