“You bereaved me from the light . . .” (Fouzi El-Asmar)

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Entrance to Ofer Prison, between Jerusalem and Ramallah. Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 5, 2015.


SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY
   

ISRAEL  TO  BUILD  650  NEW  SETTLEMENT  UNITS  IN  WEST  BANK
The Israeli government decided on Tuesday to build 650 new settlement units, for the benefit of expanding the illegal Israeli settlement of Beit El, one of the biggest settlements, located in the central occupied West Bank district of Ramallah.   ___A Hebrew-language news outlet reported that the Israeli government decided to build the 650 new settlement units along with another 296 units, which had been previously approved for Beit El.   ___The Israeli government reportedly justified the illegal Israeli settlement expansion as a “compensation” to Israeli settlers who were removed from their settlement outposts of Olbana in 2012 and Darinov in 2015.   More. . .
AFTER  SLAYING,  ARABS  BLAME  APATHETIC  POLICE  IN  ISRAEL
Rasha Abou Jalal
Protests continue in the Arab city of Baqa al-Gharbiyye in northern Israel, with citizens accusing Israeli police of neglecting their duty to protect citizens there. Demonstrations began Aug. 11 when one or more unidentified assailants killed local businessman Ahmad Athamneh, 40, and wounded another man.     ___Since Athamneh’s shooting, residents demonstrated for the third time Aug. 17 in front of a mosque to protest the prevalence of crime in their city. The protesters demanded that the Israeli police do their job: Arrest the perpetrators and fight violence in the Arab community.    More. . .
CAMPAIGN    FORCES    ISRAEL’S    ZIM    TO    HALT    SHIPMENTS    TO    TUNISIA        Ali Abunimah 
Palestinians are hailing a campaign that has led Israel’s Zim shipping line to halt its routes to Tunisia.   ___“Zim was forced to indefinitely suspend its services to the Tunisian port of Radès following a popular and trade union boycott campaign in Tunisia and the Arab world,” the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee (BNC) said on Sunday.   ___The BNC is the steering group for the worldwide boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement that aims to pressure Israel to end its violations of Palestinian rights.   ___The BNC called this “the first victory of its kind in the Arab world.”   More. . .
PALESTINIAN  PRISONER  STATISTICS,  JULY  2018.
Total number of political prisoners – 5820. Administrative detainees – 446.  Child prisoners – 270.  More. . .

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION

SAMIDOUN  SOLIDARITY  STATEMENT  WITH  THE  U.S.  NATIONAL  #PRISONSTRIKE
Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network stands in solidarity with the National Prison Strike launching on 21 August in jails across the United States. This important struggle, involving work stoppages, sit-ins, boycotts and even hunger strikes, is a critical confrontation of racism, capitalism and oppression taking place in the center of the U.S. prison system.   ___The dates of the strike are not accidental; instead, they underline the political legacies that have inspired and continue to push forward the movement. August 21 marks the 47th anniversary of the assassination of imprisoned revolutionary and Black Panther George Jackson.  More. . .

NO  POWER,  NO  SUPPLIES,  NO  WAY  OUT:  A  YEAR  WITHOUT  THE  RIGHT  TO  HEALTH  IN  THE  GAZA  STRIP  (Mar 02, 2018)
Defense for Children International Palestine (DCIP)
[. . . .] Instead of advancing, medical care and access in the Gaza Strip is moving backwards, against time. Ten years of Israel’s air, land and sea blockade on the Gaza Strip has played a strong hand in this de-development, bottlenecking the entering stream of both material and human resources into a weak trickle.   ___Current best practice may not even be in reach in the Gaza Strip, where the blockade has seen shelves wiped clean of some pharmaceutical drugs and supply cupboards sit empty. Even during periods of easement, goals often only reach as high as restocking, replacing parts of worn out equipment, or rebuilding bombed buildings.   More. . .

IT TOOK ME THREE DECADES TO DRIVE ONE HOUR FROM GAZA TO JERUSALEM     Abier Almasri
Earlier this year, the Israeli army gave me a permit to leave the 11-by-40 kilometer Gaza Strip for the first time in my life and travel to the United States for work. Last month, I left again – this time, to see the rest of Palestine and Israel. The one-hour trip from the Israel-Gaza crossing to Jerusalem felt like a journey to a distant world.   ___I have always dreamed of smelling Jerusalem’s air and hearing the call to prayer ring from its mosques. When the prospect of traveling there was still a distant dream, I told a colleague, “I just hope to have the chance to pray in al-Aqsa Mosque before I die.”    More. . .

NOTICES  FROM  ORGANIZATIONS   

EYEWITNESS  PALESTINE:  JOURNEYS  FOR  JUSTICE  WITH  PALESTINIAN  AND  ISRAELI  PEACE-BUILDERS
UPCOMING DELEGATIONS
   There’s only one way to truly understand the realities of Palestine/Israel – through the eyes of those who live there. Palestinians and Israelis welcome us into their homes, offices, and places of worship to learn from them about their lives. Are you ready for an unforgettable journey for justice?   More. . .

“I  AM  THE  SON  OF  THE  LAND,”  BY  FOUZI  EL  ASMAR

You may take my hands
and lock them in your chains
You may also blindfold me.

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

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

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

–From: El Azmar, Fouzi. POEMS  FROM  AN  ISRAELI  PRISON.  KNOW Books, 1973.

“. . . It is my right to behold the sun . . .” (Fouzi El-Asmar)

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Ofer Prison gate. (Photo, a rainy day in November, 2015, Harold Knight)

❶ Palestinian prisoners enter 20th day of mass hunger strike
. . . . . ❶― (ᴀ)   18th day of hunger strike: More prisoners join mass hunger strike

  • Background from journal Public Health Ethics

❷ Solidarity strikes spreading through Europe after Manchester and Edinburgh student hunger strikes launched
❸ Links to related articles
❹ POETRY by Fouzi El-Asmar
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PALESTINIAN  PRISONERS  ENTER  20TH  DAY  OF  MASS  HUNGER  STRIKE
Ma’an News Agency
May 6, 2017
Some 1,600 Palestinian prisoners entered their 20th day of a mass hunger strike demanding humane treatment in Israeli prisons and an end to Israel’s policy of imprisoning Palestinians without charge or trial, as more Palestinian prisoners have joined the strike, while Israel Prison Service (IPS) has continued cracking down on the hunger strikers.
___According to the Media Committee of the Freedom and Dignity Strike — a joint committee formed by the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS) and Palestinian Committee for Prisoners’ Affairs, five more Palestinian prisoners in Israel’s Ofer prison joined the hunger strike on Friday.
[. . . .] ___The committee also added that representative of the prisoners in Ofer prison Akram Hamed said that the hunger strikers’ sections in the prison have been raided daily and subjected to “suppressing procedures,” noting that despite this and the continued deterioration of the healths of some of the hunger strikers, they were determined to continue until their demands are met.    ___Meanwhile, the the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and All the East Gregory III Laham declared a solidarity hunger strike for Saturday in support of the prisoners.     MORE . . .

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Ofer Prison guard tower (Photo, November, 2015. Harold Knight)

. . . . . ❶― (ᴀ)   18TH  DAY  OF  HUNGER  STRIKE:  MORE  PRISONERS  JOIN  MASS  HUNGER  STRIKE
Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association 
May 4, 2017
[. . . .] Over 1500 Palestinian political prisoners and detainees held in Israeli prisons and detention centers began an open hunger strike on 17 April 2017. The call for a hunger strike came as a result of Israeli’s policies and practices towards political prisoners. The hunger striking prisoners’ demands include: an end to the transfer of Palestinian prisoners from the occupied Palestinian territory (OPT) into prisons in Israel; regular family visits; proper medical care; an end to Israel’s practice of detaining Palestinians without charge or trial in so-called administrative detentions; and stopping the use of solitary confinement.
___Punitive measures imposed on hunger strikers have included: the denial of family visits; denial of recreational time; denial of access to the “canteen” (prison store); prohibition from participating in group prayers on Fridays; seizure of salt during the first days of the strike; and. . .
___As a result of the hunger strike, Palestinian prisoners have been subjected to violent and coercive measures and policies by Israeli Prison Service and special units to push prisoners and detainees to end their hunger strikes. Addameer Prisoner Support & Human rights Association visited non-striking prisoners in Remon and Meggido prison on 4 May 2017.        MORE . . .

[. . . .] reflecting on the ethical dilemmas posed to the medical profession by the prisoners’ hunger-strike, Professor Avinoam Reches, chairperson of the Israeli Medical Association (IMA) Ethics’ Committee, called for a joint action of the Ministry of Justice (MOJ), the Ministry of Health (MOH), the IMA and human rights’ organizations. He called on them to work together in order to formulate a treatment policy for hunger-strikers in Israeli prisons, thus avoiding putting all the pressure of difficult decisions on the individual physician. In arguing for his proposal, Reches depicted the main ethical dilemma for the physician as a choice between respecting the rights of his/her patient’s—the hunger striking prisoner—to autonomy, and the sanctity of life. ‘This is a collision between two basic ethical principles: the value of autonomy and the right of the individual to decide on his body, up to the point that he can commit suicide as an expression of his free will; and the value of the sanctity of life, which for its supporters weighs more than the desire to die by any means, including by hunger.’
___In posing the ethical dilemma facing physicians as the tension between the principle of individual autonomy and the sanctity of life, Reches adopts the same liberal perspective that inspires the Malta 2006 declaration, signed by Israel, which broadly placed the question of how physicians should act in cases of hunger-strikes in the context of the tensions between two fundamental bioethical principles: autonomy versus sanctity of life. The declaration gave clear priority to the former, thus disallowing the practice of forced-feeding (World Medical Association). While the tension between these two principles is undoubtedly one of the central dilemmas presented to health practitioners dealing with hunger-strikes, we argue that limiting the ethical question to this tension obstructs and limits the ethical discussion.    FULL ARTICLE . . .

  • 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, vol. 7, no. 3, Nov. 2014, pp. 229-238.

SOLIDARITY  STRIKES  SPREADING  THROUGH  EUROPE  AFTER  MANCHESTER  AND  EDINBURGH  STUDENT  HUNGER  STRIKES  LAUNCHED 
Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network   
May 3, 2017
Student groups at the University of Manchester in England and Edinburgh University in Scotland have launched solidarity hunger strikes in support of the Palestinian prisoners’ strike for freedom and dignity that have now extended for days of action in support of the prisoners’ struggle. Their campaign is now spreading across Europe, with activists in Madrid, Turin, Brussels, London and elsewhere joining growing solidarity strikes that highlight the prisoners’ demands and their urgent calls for support.
___After 1500 Palestinian prisoners launched their hunger strike on 17 April for a series of demands, including an end to the denial of family visits, the right to access distance higher education, appropriate medical care and an end to solitary confinement and administrative detention, imprisonment without charge or trial, protests across Palestine and around the world have demanded freedom for Palestinian prisoners and urged the immediate implementation of their demands. Now in their 17th day without food, strikers are facing harsh repression – including denial of legal visits, frequent transfers, and isolation of strike leaders – inside Israeli prisons.
___In Palestine, a number of solidarity hunger strikes and fasts have been organized to support the prisoners, including a large one-day strike in Gaza, a five-day strike by Lina Khattab and fellow Bir Zeit University students who are themselves former prisoners, and ongoing open-ended solidarity strikes in the protest tents in Qalqilya, Jenin, Nablus and elsewhere. A call has been issued from Palestine for a day-long solidarity strike by artists and other cultural workers on 3-4 May, linking with ongoing art actions by Decolonize this Place in support of the strikers.      MORE . . .
RELATED  ARTICLES
“European Hunger Strike Seeks to Strengthen Palestine Prisoners, Expose Israeli Apartheid.” TeleSUR English. May 5, 2017.    MORE . . . .
“Thousands rally to back Palestinian prisoners’ hunger strike.” ABCNews. By Mohammed Draghmeh, Associated Press. May 3, 2017.    MORE . . . .  
“A thousand Palestinian prisoners are on a hunger strike. This woman is fighting for their rights.” Washington Post. By Ruth Eglash. April 27, 2017.     MORE . . . .

“THE WAY,” by Fouzi El-Asmar

I shall not despair;
Whether my way leads to a jail,
under the sun
or in exile
I shall not despair.

It is my right to behold the sun
To demolish the tent and banishment
To eat the fruit of the olive
To water the vineyards
with music
To sing of Love
in Jaffa, in Haifa
To sow the fertile land
with new seeds
It is my right.

Let my way be
The reaching of one hand to another
That a tower of dreams be built.

This is my way
And if the last price to pay
is my sight
my life
I shall
but will not give up
my way.

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

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University of Manchester students demonstrate their solidarity with the Palestinian political prisoners (Photo: BDS Campaign – University of Manchester)

“. . . The stranger awakens in his exile, his homeland . . .” (Mourid Barghouti)

demolition
Palestinian couple at the debris of their house after it was demolished on February 5, 2014 in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Jabel Mukaber. (Photo: AFP – Ahmad Gharabli)

❶ Death in numbers: A year of violence in the occupied Palestinian territory and Israel

  • Background from Journal Of Applied Philosophy

❷ September 2016 report: 436 Palestinians arrested, nearly 8000 since October 2015
❸ Consultations to begin in New York over draft resolution on settlements
❹ IOF forces Jerusalemite to demolish his house
❺ Poetry by Mourid Barghouti
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
DEATH  IN  NUMBERS:  A  YEAR  OF  VIOLENCE  IN  THE  OCCUPIED  PALESTINIAN  TERRITORY  AND  ISRAEL
Ma’an News Agency  
Oct. 4, 2016
In October 2015 began what has been in turn called a wave of unrest, a Palestinian upheaval, or even the “Jerusalem Intifada.” Whatever the name, the past year has seen an intensification of deadly violence in the occupied Palestinian territory and Israel.    ___Over the course of the year, Ma’an has collected data regarding every person who has died as part of this latest chapter in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.    ___In total, Ma’an has recorded the death of 274 individuals from Oct. 1, 2015, to Sept. 30, 2016. Of these dead, 235 were Palestinians (85.8 percent of deaths), 34 were Israeli (12.4 percent), and five (1.8 percent) were foreign nationals — two Americans, one Eritrean, one Sudanese, and one Jordanian.       More . . .  

  • Gross, Michael L. “Assassination And Targeted Killing: Law Enforcement, Execution Or Self-Defence?.” Journal Of Applied Philosophy 23.3 (2006): 323-335. (Michael L. Gross, Department of International Relations, The University of Haifa, Mount Carmel, Haifa.)

[NOTE: Gross is writing about planned targeted assassinations, not attacks on soldiers, i.e. alleged knifings at checkpoints. However, substituting “immediate killings” for “targeted killings” the question remains the same: Are targeted killings (or immediate killings) acts of self-defense or extra-judicial execution?]

___Paradoxically, targeting terrorists, that is, those who egregiously violate humanitarian law and wantonly murder civilians, complicates the conceptual framework that justifies killing during war and distinguishes it from murder. As observers evaluate the merits of targeted killing and assassination, they find it difficult to categorize the actors and their actions clearly. Are targets of assassination ordinary soldiers, war criminals or illegal combatants? Do perpetrators of assassination seek retribution, deterrence, interdiction or pre-emption? Are targeted killings acts of self-defense or extra-judicial execution?
[. . . .]
The criminal behaviour of terrorists may then lead officials to invoke the law enforcement paradigm. This demands that states treat terrorists just as they would any heinous criminal, whether an ordinary lawbreaker or war criminal. Law enforcement entails arrest, trial and sentencing, and only permits law enforcement officers to use lethal force when either their lives or the lives of bystanders are in immediate danger. . . . Without due process, named killings are nothing but extrajudicial execution and murder. . . .
___. . . soldiers may kill during armed conflict when it is necessary, proportionate and consistent with the demands of utility. These are the common principles of just war and the conventional laws of armed conflict. Necessity allows nations to exercise armed force only when no other means are feasible to stave off armed aggression. Utility demands that belligerents do not cause more harm than the good they hope to achieve while proportionality limits excessive harm so that even important or necessary goals may not be secured at any cost. . . . Unless nations face a ‘supreme emergency’ that is, an otherwise unavoidable genocidal threat, there are no grounds for violating the laws of armed conflict.

SEPTEMBER  2016  REPORT:  436  PALESTINIANS  ARRESTED,  NEARLY  8000  SINCE  OCTOBER  2015
Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network  
Oct. 3, 2016
Israeli occupation forces arrested 436 Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza in September 2016, including 73 children and 11 women (including 3 minor girls.)
___151 of those arrests took place in the Jerusalem Governorate, 81 in Al-Khalil, 40 in Bethlehem, 40 in Nablus, 35 in Jenin, 32 in Ramallah and El-Bireh, 23 in Tulkarem, eight in Qalqilya, six in Tubas, six in Salfit, five from Jericho and nine from the Gaza Strip.      ___There are approximately 7,000 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails, including 59 women, 12 of them minor girls. There are a total of approximately 350 children in Megiddo and Ofer prisons. There are 700 Palestinians held in administrative detention without charge or trial. 122 administrative detention orders were issued in September, including 44 new orders.       More . . .    

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Israeli forces stand guard near the Zaatara military checkpoint where a Palestinian was shot dead stabbing a border police officer in August 2015. (AFP/Jaafar Ashtiyeh, File)

CONSULTATIONS  TO  BEGIN  IN  NEW YORK  OVER  DRAFT  RESOLUTION  ON  SETTLEMENTS   
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA  
Oct. 4, 2016
Foreign Minister Riyad Malki Tuesday stated that the Arab Ministerial Quartet has decided to start consultations in New York to push for a United Nations Security Council resolution on Israeli settlements.
___Speaking to WAFA before leaving Cairo where he attended the Arab meeting, Malki said that consultations will start in New York on submitting a draft resolution to the UN Security Council condemning and calling for a halt to Israeli settlement construction in the occupied Palestinian territories.          More . . .

IOF  FORCES  JERUSALEMITE  TO  DEMOLISH  HIS  HOUSE
Alray-Palestinian Media Agency     
Oct. 4, 2016
Israeli occupation authorities forced on Monday the Jerusalemite Samer Dkaik to demolish part of his house in Assadeiah neighborhood in Old Jerusalem under the pretext of unlicensed building.
___Dkaik said that Israeli authorities forced him to demolish a 30-m2 room in his house that he built a year ago.
___He explained that he along with his wife and his daughter and sons live in just one room, so that he built the other room for his sons, “No words can express the pain when you are forced to demolish your own house,” he said.     More . . .  

“HOW ARE YOU?” BY MOURID BARGHOUTI
Waiting for the school bus,
watching his breath turn into mist near his nose
in the icy morning,
the schoolboy’s fingers are frozen,
too stiff to make a fist.

On the pillow of regret,
the defeated soldier
lazily tries to get up,
raising his broken toothbrush
to his teeth.

Early or late,
The stranger awakens in his exile, his homeland.
Their clothes, their car number pates, their trees,
their quarrels, their love, their land, their sea
belong to them.
His memories are like rats gathering on his doormat,
new and warm
in front of his closed door.

On a lonely pillow,
the mother throws a quick glance
at the bed of her elder son,
made for the final time
and empty, forever.

A voice from the neighbouring window is heard:
“Hello, good morning, how are you?”
“Hello, good morning, we’re fine,
we’re fine!”

From: Barghouti, Mourid. Midnight and other Poems. Trans. By Radwa Ashour. Todmorden, Lancashire, UK: Arc Books, 2008. Available from B&N.
Mourid Barghouti (born July 8, 1944, in Deir Ghassana, near Ramallah, on the West Bank)

 

 

“. . . To put me in prison, as they did, is a very easy thing . . .” (Rashid Hussein)

prison
Blindfolded Palestinian prisoners in Israeli detention facility. 46 Palestinians at Etzion Prison on hunger strike to protest mistreatment. Mar. 4, 2016 (File Photo: PressTV)

❶ Palestinian prisoners declare 3-day hunger strike after death of fellow detainee
. . . ❶ ― (ᴀ)  Samidoun demands accountability for Israeli medical neglect in the death of Palestinian prisoner Yasser Hamdouna

  • Background from Biography: An Interdisciplinary Quarterly

❷ Detainees Committee: “Israeli Soldiers Kidnapped 1000 Children This Year”
. . . ❷ ― (ᴀ)  Pilot programme to limit night arrests – update
POETRY by Rashid Hussein
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PALESTINIAN  PRISONERS  DECLARE  3-DAY  HUNGER  STRIKE  AFTER  DEATH  OF  FELLOW  DETAINEE      
Ma’an News Agency
Sept. 25, 2016
Palestinian prisoners held by Israel announced a three-day hunger strike in protest and mourning after a fellow detainee died in Israeli custody on Sunday morning following a fatal stroke.
___Residents of the occupied West Bank village of Yaabad in the Jenin district, said that Yasser Thiyab Hamduna, a 41-year-old Palestinian from the village, died of a stroke on Sunday in the Israeli prison of Ramon.
___Israel Prison Service (IPS) spokesman Assaf Librati confirmed to Ma’an that a Palestinian prisoner held in Ramon had had a “heart attack or stroke,” and was pronounced dead by medics at around 8:30 a.m. on Sunday.
___Local sources in Yaabad said that Hamduna, who was serving a 14-year prison sentence, had been suffering from a number of health issues, including shortness of breath, heart problems, and ear pains.       MORE . . . 
. . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) SAMIDOUN  DEMANDS  ACCOUNTABILITY  FOR  ISRAELI  MEDICAL  NEGLECT  IN  THE  DEATH  OF  PALESTINIAN  PRISONER  YASSER  HAMDOUNA  
Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network    
Sept. 25, 2016
Palestinian prisoner Yasser Diab Hamdouna, 41, died on Sunday morning, 25 September, in Israeli Ramon prison
[. . . .]  Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network condemns the ongoing medical neglect and mistreatment of Palestinian prisoners by the Israeli occupation prisons and demands the immediate release of the sick prisoners in Israeli jails.
[. . . .]  Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network affirms the responsibility of the Israeli occupation state for the medical neglect, mistreatment and death of Yasser Hamdouna and dozens of fellow Palestinian prisoners . . .  and demand international accountability for the death of Hamdouna and the ongoing threats to Palestinian prisoners’ lives due to medical neglect.     MORE . . .  

  • OMAR, SA’ED. “Food Is Not Our Issue”: Reflections On Hunger Striking.” Biography: An Interdisciplinary Quarterly 37.2 (2014): 556-559.    FULL ARTICLE.  

It’s impossible to ignore the smell of meat when you are dying from hunger.
___But food is not our issue. We don’t live to eat. We eat to live. If your life is without dignity, you don’t need life. That’s how we look at things in prison.
___Even in prison, you are home. Being restricted from entering Palestine is our greatest fear, to be deported or prevented from going home. The Prison Administration offered to deport us, to Jordan, to Syria, anywhere we wanted. They offered us freedom if we would leave Palestine. But we preferred jail to freedom outside of Palestine.
___This is the life we live here. We have a government that doesn’t support its own people. It just chases its political and economic projects.
___And a few people who fight every day for their freedom.
___And over our heads, Occupation.

DETAINEES  COMMITTEE:  “ISRAELI  SOLDIERS  KIDNAPPED  1000  CHILDREN  THIS  YEAR” 
International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC   
September 25, 2016
The Palestinian Detainees Committee reported Saturday that Israeli soldiers have kidnapped at least 1000 children, between the ages of 11 and 18, since the beginning of this year. Testimonies from six detained children are included in this report.
___In a press release, the committee said that the numbers showed an %80 increase when compared to the number of child abducted in the same period of 2015.
___It stated that some of the kidnapped children have been imprisoned under arbitrary Administrative Detention orders, without charges or trial, while many others were sent to court, faced high fines and even were sentenced to actual prison terms.       MORE . . .   

arrest6alray
On International Children’s Day, Israel Kidnaps 400 Palestinian Children. Nov. 22, 2015 (Photo: IMEMC News)

. . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) PILOT  PROGRAMME  TO  LIMIT  NIGHT  ARRESTS – UPDATE
Military Court Watch
Sept. 22, 2016
Following widespread criticism of the use of night raids to arrest children in the West Bank, the military authorities announced in February 2014, the introduction of a pilot programme to issue written summonses in lieu of night arrests.
___The programme commenced operation in the Nablus and Hebron districts but was temporarily suspended in or about September 2014 due to “increased violence”. At the time of the suspension the military authorities stated that they did not keep any statistics during the initial operation of the programme making any official assessment impossible.
[. . . .]  During the course of 2016 there appears to have been a sharp decrease in the use of summonses which are currently being issued in just 2 per cent of cases documented by MCW. Meanwhile, the practice of arresting children at night is currently unchanged and remains at 2013 levels.     MORE . . . 

“JAIL  AND  CHILDREN,”  BY  RASHID  HUSSEIN
Don’t be sad, Darling!
To put me in prison, as they did, is a very easy thing!
But what can they do about the sun
Shining outside and torturing new rebels?

I should like to be romantic and say to you:
If my being in jail
Did nothing more than bring you to visit me
And cry in my arms ―
Then my arrest was not in vain.

But I’m not feeling romantic right now!
(How can one be romantic with the bedbugs
having such a feast?)
I’m just scratching away, and writing to you,
And asking myself this banal question:
If I and others don’t go to prison,
How will the prison guard
Feed his children?

Darling! I would so like for us
To have a baby!
We spoke of it once,
But I don’t know if
We’ll ever be given the chance.
That is why, for the time being, I give myself
To thoughts about the babies of others
Including my enemies’ babies!
And because they cannot understand this simple feeling
They put me here in prison.   

From: Aruri, Naseer and Edmund Ghareeb, eds. ENEMY OF THE SUN: POETRY OF THE PALESTINIAN RESISTANCE. Washington, DC: Drum and Spear Press, 1970.  Available from Amazon.  
Rashid Hussein (1936-1977) was born in Musmus, Palestine. He published his first collection in 1957 and established himself as a major Palestinian poet and orator. He participated in founding the Land Movement in 1959. He left in 1966 and lived in Syria and Lebanon and later in New York City where he died in February, 1977. He was buried a week later in Musmus. His funeral was attended by thousands of Palestinians

 

“. . . was consistent with a study of Cambodian refugees who experienced political violence. . . .” (Clea McNeely)

prisoners
Palestinian prisoners at the Megiddo Prison. (Photo: Agence France‑Presse/)

❶ August 2016 report: 516 Palestinians arrested by Israeli occupation forces
❷ Report: Israel detained 30 Palestinian teens in August, majority report being tortured

  • Background from Journal Of Traumatic Stress. “. . . the feelings captured by this scale were interpreted by Palestinians to be symptoms of social suffering associated with the injustice and violence of the Israeli military occupation . . .”

❸ Ten Palestinians arrested in West Bank
❹ POETRY by Fouzi El Asmar
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ AUGUST 2016 REPORT: 516 PALESTINIANS ARRESTED BY ISRAELI OCCUPATION FORCE
Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network
September 2, 2016
During August 2016, Israeli occupation forces arrested 516 Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza, including 73 children and ten women, including two minor girls. The institutions noted that 143 arrests took place in Jerusalem; 100 in al-Khalil; 57 in Bethlehem; 51 in Jenin; 37 in Ramallah and El-Bireh; 35 in Nablus; 34 in Tulkaren; 18 in Qalqilya; nine in Tubas; five in Jericho; and four in Salfit.
___There are approximately 7,000 total Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons, including 56 women prisoners. This number includes 13 minor girls. The total number of child prisoners is 340, held mostly in Megiddo and Ofer prisons. 159 administrative detention orders were issued in August, including 52 new orders issued for the first time.    MORE . . .

  • McNeely, Clea, et al. “Political Imprisonment And Adult Functioning: A Life Event History Analysis Of Palestinians.” Journal Of Traumatic Stress 28.3 (2015): 223-231.   FULL ARTICLE.

In this representative sample from the occupied Palestinian territory, 26% of men aged 32 to 43 years were imprisoned for political reasons between 1987 and 2011. This equates to nearly 48,000 men in the full population (Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, 2012).
[. . . .]
The Palestinian context makes it possible to study political imprisonment in community samples due to the frequency with which Palestinian boys and men are imprisoned. An estimated 750,000–800,000 Palestinians, mostly males, have been detained or imprisoned by Israel for political reasons since 1967. There are few families that have not had at least one male family member imprisoned. Indeed, political imprisonment has become endowed with particular significance to Palestinians, whether as an ultimate symbol of resistance to Israeli military occupation of Palestinian land or as evidence of the invasive military occupation. The unique persistence of trauma-related stress over many years—but not other forms of mental suffering—was consistent with a study of Cambodian refugees who experienced political violence. We described the measure as trauma-related stress (instead of PTSD) to deny any implication that it assesses a clinical disorder. Rather, the feelings captured by this scale were interpreted by Palestinians to be symptoms of social suffering associated with the injustice and violence of the Israeli military occupation.
[. . . .]
Of note, two domains of functioning were not affected by recent imprisonment: economic and family. Economic functioning may not have been worse because the Palestinian Authority provided financial support to families of prisoners during the imprisonment period. Family functioning may not have been worse, compared to never-imprisoned men, because wives and mothers of political prisoners worked hard to maintain family cohesion and support for the prisoner.
___The finding of the widespread suffering of the recently imprisoned illustrates the value of searching beyond the conventional focus on psychopathology to include functioning across the multiple contexts affected by political conflict. In terms of practice, the findings suggest that efforts to support former political prisoners in the occupied Palestinian territory pay particular attention to those who have been imprisoned most recently.

❷ REPORT: ISRAEL DETAINED 30 PALESTINIAN TEENS IN AUGUST, MAJORITY REPORT BEING TORTURED
Ma’an News Agency
Sept. 5, 2016
Israeli forces imprisoned 30 teenage Palestinians over the month of August and collected 65,000 shekels ($1,727) from their families as fines, the Palestinian Committee of Prisoners’ Affairs said Monday, with the majority of the detainees saying they were beaten and tortured during their detention, interrogation, and transport from one detention center to another.
___A statement released Monday quoted the committee’s lawyer Luay Akka as saying that among the detainees were minors as young as 13 years old.
___Akka added that 17 of the detainees were taken from their homes during military raids, five were detained from off the street, four at military checkpoints, and four arrived voluntarily to detention centers after they received summons from Israeli authorities.    MORE . . .  
❸ TEN PALESTINIANS ARRESTED IN WEST BANK
Alray-Palestinian Media Agency
Sep. 6, 2016
Ten Palestinians were arrested on Tuesday at dawn as the Isareli occupation forces (IOF) stormed different areas in the occupied West Bank and closed a fireworks shop in Hebron.
___Israeli media sources claimed that the IOF arrested three “wanted” Palestinians from Hebron, a Hamas activist from Jalazon camp north of Ramallah, another citizen form Qalandia camp, north of Jerusalem, two from Beit Reema town and two from Moughair village near Ramallah.
___Another Palestinian from Kofel Hares town north of the West Bank was arrested.   MORE . . .     

“TO  THE  BELOVED  MOTHERLAND,”  BY  FOUZI EL-ASMAR
Night in my cell
is life still in bud.
Beloved, you are like the breaking of light,
Like truth
Like a song dissolved into longing
Tearing apart the draped evening
Wrecking the flow of moans.

Beloved,
The joy of daylight
embraces the darkness
in my cell;
persistent silence here
will turn back the blade
of the swindler, the torturer
the thief of my childhood dreams
in the day’s heat.

Beloved, in your name
dusk has touched my forehead
grey dreams flooded my head
But my will remains uncowed
for since I came to manhood
with my eyelashes
I have borne your ancient love
You remain my lighthouse
and only refuge.

Beloved,
we are here to nurse at life
Your full breast
stretches are lightening
of hope and will
It shall flower a new prophecy
in our souls
It shall loosen the chains
and hurl light over our love.

Beloved,
The prison is a brief cloud
The bitter winds
of a cold journey
which we must accomplish.

Our road is wrapped in sighs, tears, and thorns
In all that dark claws can weave
but our love shall triumph
At the end of the road.

There
We shall meet with the sun
Its rays shall enter every house
Fill every crack
Flooding mountains, hills, and plains.

As I sit in a corner of my dim cell
lacing the seeds of the little light
stretching them to these lines for you
I am struck with the joy of a child:
Beloved,
With all that tears this life apart
They forget they cannot put
my mind in jail.

El-Asmar, Fouzi. THE  WIND-DRIVEN  REED  AND  OTHER  POEMS. Washington, DC: Three Continents Press, 1979.
Available at Amazon. 
About Fouzi El-Asmar.

“. . . 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.

“. . . From the narrow window of my small cell . . .” (Samih Al-Qasim)

ahmad-manasrah
14-year-old Palestinian boy Ahmad Salih Manasra being led into court on Tuesday. (Photo: Worldbulletin News)

❶ Shaikh Raed Salah will continue to defend Al-Aqsa, even in prison
❷ Israeli forces detain 14-year-old Palestinian, 15 others in detention raids
❸ Israel court convicts 14-year-old Palestinian
❹ Hunger-striking Palestinian prisoner refuses meeting with ICRC over Israeli restrictions
❺ Opinion/Analysis: PALESTINIAN  PRISONERS  DAY  [April 17]  STATEMENT:  IN  STRUGGLE,  TOWARDS  LIBERATION
❻ POETRY by Samih Al-Qasim
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ SHAIKH  RAED  SALAH  WILL  CONTINUE  TO  DEFEND  AL-AQSA,  EVEN  IN  PRISON
The Middle East Monitor – MEMO
Mohamed Ahmed Al-Hajj
May 9, 2016
Shaikh Raed Salah has managed to accomplish what no other Palestinian has been able to do in the Palestinian territories occupied in 1948. In addition to being the protector of Al-Aqsa Mosque, he has also shattered the Israeli dream of “Israelising” the Palestinians in these areas. He did so by creating a bridge to link the Palestinians in Israel to their fellow Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, extending to Palestinian refugees across the world.
___He is the most radical in his view of the relationship with the Zionists: no normalisation with the occupation government . . . .       MORE . . .    

ISRAELI  FORCES  DETAIN  14-YEAR-OLD  PALESTINIAN,  15  OTHERS  IN  DETENTION  RAIDS
Ma’an News Agency
May 10, 2016
Israeli forces carried out predawn detention raids across the occupied Palestinian territory on Tuesday, detaining at least 16 Palestinians, including a 14-year-old, Israeli and Palestinian sources said.
___In the town of Qatanna, located in the Jerusalem governorate, Israeli forces detained . . . .      MORE . . .   

1-Sheikh-Raed-Salah-6-1200x800
Shaikh Raed Salah, the head of the Islamic Movement in Israel, speaks at a 2009 event commemorating the arson attack on Al-Aqsa Mosque which took place in August 1969. (Photo: MEMO)

❸ ISRAEL  COURT  CONVICTS  14-YEAR-OLD  PALESTINIAN
Worldbulletin News
May 10, 2016
An Israeli court on Tuesday convicted a Palestinian minor of “attempted murder” and possession of knife, a family member has said.
___An Israeli district court convicted Ahmad Manasrah, 14, of attempted murder related to an alleged knife attack in East Jerusalem last year.      MORE . . .  

❹ HUNGER-STRIKING  PALESTINIAN  PRISONER  REFUSES  MEETING  WITH  ICRC  OVER  ISRAELI  RESTRICTIONS
Ma’an News Agency
May 10, 2016
Palestinian prisoner Sami Janazreh, who has been on hunger strike for 69 days, refused to meet with representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) on Monday after Israeli wardens insisted that his hands and feet remain in chains during the meeting.
___Janazreh, 43, from al-Fawwar refugee camp near Hebron, has been on a hunger strike for more than two months in protest of his administrative detention — a widely-condemned Israeli policy that allows for internment without charge or trial for six-month intervals which can be renewed indefinitely.      MORE . . . 

❺ Opinion/Analysis: PALESTINIAN  PRISONERS  DAY  (APRIL 17)  STATEMENT:  IN  STRUGGLE,  TOWARDS  LIBERATION
Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network
April 17, 2016
On 17 April, Palestinian Prisoners’ Day, Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network salutes the struggle of 7,000 Palestinian prisoners inside Israeli jails: struggling for not only their own freedom, but for the freedom of the land and people of Palestine [. . . .]
___Imprisonment has always been a weapon of colonialism in Palestine. From the British colonizers who suppressed Palestinian revolts through mass imprisonment, home demolitions, and execution . . . . the colonizers of Palestine have imprisoned strugglers, leaders, fighters, and visionaries.      MORE . . .   

“END  OF  A  TALK  WITH  A  JAILER,”  BY  SAMIH  AL-QASIM

From the narrow window of my small cell
I see trees that are smiling at me
and rooftops crowded with my family.
And windows weeping and praying for me.
From the narrow window of my small cell―
I can see your big cell!

From Al-Qasim, Samih. SADDER THAN WATER. NEW AND SELECTED POEMS.  Trans. Nazih Kasis and Adina Hoffman. Jerusalem: Ibis Editions, 2008.   Available from Amazon
Samih Al-Qasim Obituary, August 20, 2014