“. . . occupation to the occupied resembled daily suffocation. . . .” (Samuel Hazo)

Mideast Gaza Rush to Normalcy
In this Saturday, Sept. 13, 2014 photo, a Palestinian family shelters amid the rubble of their destroyed house in the town of Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)

❶ Israeli siege on Gaza illegal, UN says
❷ Israel to destroy West Bank village’s only water source
❸ Palestinians decry rabbi call to poison West Bank water
❹ Opinion/Analysis: Israeli calls for ethnic cleansing grow louder
❺ POETRY by Samuel Hazo
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ ISRAELI  SIEGE  ON  GAZA  ILLEGAL,  UN  SAYS
Days of Palestine
Jun 18, 2016
A new UN report has reiterated that the Israeli, internationally backed siege on Gaza is illegal and violates humanitarian law.
___The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) confirmed the severe deterioration in various aspects of life in Gaza as a result of the continued Israeli siege imposed on the Strip over the last 10 year.
___In the report, the UNRWA listed the negative impact of the siege on the health and education sectors, as well as the freedom of movement and travel, and the living conditions of Gazans.      MORE . . .     

According to former Attorney General of Israel, Michael Ben Yair:
___“The intifada is the Palestinian people’s war of national liberation. Historical processes teach us that no nation is prepared to live under another’s domination and that a suppressed people’s war of national liberation will inevitably succeed. We understand this point but choose to ignore it. We are prepared to engage in confrontation to prevent an historical process, although we are well aware that this process is anchored in the moral justification behind every people’s war of national liberation and behind its right to self-determination” (“The War’s Seventh Day,’’ Ha’aretz 3 March 2002).
___The continued violence is the product of a systematic denial of self-determination to the Palestinian people and the consequent violation of their human rights. . .  it is arguably one of the major political mistakes of the twentieth century, for the decision to create a Jewish state in the Near East, against the will of the vast majority of people who live in that region, has not only fueled a six-decade long conflict between Israeli Jews and Palestinian Arabs but has contributed to tensions between the Western and Islamic worlds that continue to threaten global stability [. . . .]
___Israel is currently not a legitimate state. The reason is not because its establishment violated the principle of self determination, nor because Israel is an ethnocracy. Instead, its current illegitimacy is based on its continued refusal to allow exercise of the right of self-determination by the legitimate residents of the territory it governs. To deny this conclusion is to deny either that the principle of self-determination places a constraint on state legitimacy or that Palestinians are legitimate residents of region under dispute.

  • Kapitan, Tomis. “Violence And Self-Determination In The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.” Peace & Change 36.4 (2011): 494-526.     SOURCE.  

❷ ISRAEL  TO  DESTROY  WEST  BANK  VILLAGE’S  ONLY  WATER  SOURCE
The New Arab
June 19, 2016
Israel is planning to destroy a West Bank village’s only water holding tank, cutting off a vital supply to the homes of 20 Palestinian shepherd families in the northern Jordan Valley.
___According to Haaretz, Israel intend to carry out the move despite the territories’ coordinator of government promising to international agencies that demolitions would pause in Ramadan. The Civil Administration, however, says that the shepherds’ water tank was built illegally.
___The structure in question collects water from a natural spring, which is then guided into a plastic trough by a rubber hose that is several metres long.
___By destroying the facility, Israeli authorities will deprive the shepherds of Umm al-Jimal of a vital resource used to sustain themselves and their herd of around 700 sheep and goats, 300 cows and several horses.      MORE . . .   

The issue of Israel and the occupied territories is not religion. . .  The issue is colonialism; it is the Zionist agenda of ‘maximum geography with minimum demography’. It is ownership and control of land and water. The issue is humanitarian laws, Geneva Conventions, the International Rights of the Child, and International Court of Justice rulings. . . .
___The [Separation, or ‘Apartheid’] wall is not for security; it is for oppression. It is separating Palestinians from Palestinians. [The Wall] in 2004 was declared illegal by the International Court of Justice and [is] expanding to this day, sealing off villagers from their farmlands and water sources. Villagers protest non-violently and are always met with extreme violence: tear gas, tear gas canisters, rubber-coated bullets, water cannons and something vile that the Israelis call skunk water.
__[In] Ma’ale Adumim, one of many settlements in the occupied West Bank. Settlements are for Jews only. They receive subsidised housing, water, electricity, rubbish collection, and security. Settlements are illegal under international law. Under the fourth Geneva Convention, an occupying power cannot transfer its population into occupied territory.
___ . . . Settlers are allowed plentiful amounts of water, which comes from mountain aquifers. By international law, mountain aquifer water should be a Palestinian resource, but Israel controls all water resources. Palestinians are forced to try to survive with less than minimum WHO requirements. Someone has coined the phrase hydro- logical apartheid.

  • Griffiths, Lois, and Martin Griffiths. “The Palestine Story: To Exist Is To Resist.” New Zealand International Review 37.5 (2012): 4-9.      SOURCE.

❸ PALESTINIANS  DECRY  RABBI  CALL  TO  POISON  WEST  BANK  WATER
The Middle East Monitor – MEMO
June 19, 2016
The Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) has denounced a Jewish rabbi’s permission for settlers to poison water sources in Palestinian areas in the occupied West Bank as “an order to kill”.
___Rabbi Shlomo Mlma, chairman of the Council of Rabbis in the West Bank settlements, has issued an advisory opinion in which he allowed Jewish settlers to poison water in Palestinian villages and cities in the West Bank.
___According to Israeli anti-occupation organisation “Breaking the Silence”, the call for poisoning Palestinian water aim to push the Palestinians to leave their villages and pave the way for settlers to take over their lands.         MORE . . .     

❹ Opinion/Analysis:  ISRAELI  CALLS  FOR  ETHNIC  CLEANSING  GROW  LOUDER
The Middle East Monitor – MEMO
June 19, 2016
Israel is a state that owes its very existence to ethnic cleansing, massacres and seemingly perpetual wars.
___The events of 1947-48 when the state was founded are known as the Catastrophe (Nakba) by Arabs [. . . .]
___Palestine was literally wiped off the map, and the refugees were sent into exile in the surrounding countries. They and their decedents have still not been allowed to return until this day.
___ . . . extreme voices in Israel are growing louder all the time, declaring that a slow process is not good enough. They call for swift expulsion. These voices, once on the extreme fringes of Zionism, are now centre stage – even in government . . .     MORE . . .

INTIFADA,” BY SAMUEL HAZO

Singly at first, then doubly
then slowly by the tens or twenties,
then steadily on . . .

Interviewed
about the deathcount in Ramallah,
one sergeant said, “We’ll kill
them all, but we’ll never
forgive them for making us do it.”

Later he aimed his Uzi at a boy
armed with a stone and a slingshot,
One general claimed his soldiers
fired only rubber-coated bullets.
When asked about the difference
to the dead, he frowned and shouted,
“Their leaders and parents use
these children as human shields.”
Despite the contradicting photographs
pundits and lobbyists concurred.
After all, who could deny
that boys with all their lives
ahead of them would happily
seek execution, that mothers loved
to see their sons in open
coffins, that choosing a brave
death instead of a lifelong one
was an option for fools?

No one
would claim that occupation
to the occupied resembled daily
suffocation.
No one would add
that suffocation or the fear of it
begot a courage born
of desperation.
No one compared it
to the fate of being locked
in darkness in a stalled elevator
underground.
Like someone buried
upright and alive, anyone
trapped there would stop at nothing.

from We  Begin  Here:  Poems  for  Palestine  and  Lebanon . Ed. Kamal Boullata. Northampton, MA: Interlink Pub Group Inc (March 30, 2007).
Samuel Hazo was born in Pittsburgh, July 19, 1928. The son of Lebanese and Syrian immigrants, Hazo tackles themes of faith, family, and war in his poems, which are often elegiac in tone. Poet Naomi Shihab Nye noted Hazo’s poems of “immense intelligence, lyricism, and humanity” on awarding his book Just Once: New and Previous Poems (2002) the Maurice English Award for Poetry.

“Despite the contradicting photographs pundits and lobbyists concurred. . .” (Samuel Hazo)

Tear Gas and Flowers
Tear Gas and Flowers

❶ from +972
PHOTOS: ANSWERING TEAR GAS WITH FLOWERS
Photos and text by Oren Ziv / Activestills.org
April 14, 2015
Every Friday residents of the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh, along with Palestinian, Israeli and international activists, attempt to march to the village’s spring. The small spring was taken over by Israeli settlers from the nearby settlement of Halamish years ago, and the Israeli army now prevents Palestinians from reaching it.
___Before the protest this past Friday, children from Nabi Saleh placed flowers they picked from the surrounding hills into spent tear gas canisters fired at protesters in weeks past. The children of Nabi Saleh take part in the protests against the occupation on a weekly basis.
(More . . .)

❷ from PALESTINE NEWS NETWORK
HUMAN RIGHTS GROUP: ISRAEL WILLFULLY TARGETED, MURDERED GAZA CHILDREN
By PNN/ Bethlehem/
April 19, 2015
A new report by DCIP (Defense for Children International—Palestine) titled “Operation Protective Edge: A War Waged On Gaza’s Children,” displayed documented events proving that that Israel has deliberately murdered Palestinian children in its last offensive on Gaza last summer.
___According to the report, the number of children killed in the last summer offensive on Gaza hit 535, a majority of them under the age 12. Another 3,400 children were injured – over 1,000 maimed for life. They need vital medical care unavailable because of Israel’s lawless siege – ongoing aggression by any standard with full US-led Western support.
(More. . .)
caught-in-clashes-large❸ from +972
WHEN SHOOTING A PALESTINIAN IN THE BACK IS MERELY ‘RECKLESS’
Why trust the military to investigate itself when soldiers who kill unarmed Palestinians are let off the hook time and time again?
By Alma Biblash
April 15, 2015
In January 2013, an Israeli soldier shot a 16-year-old Palestinian who posed absolutely no threat in his back. Samir Awad, from the village Budrus, didn’t survive the valiant military operation, and was killed. Last December, the High Court of Justice harshly criticized the Military Advocate General’s (MAG) handling of the case calling on it to finish its investigation.
___On Tuesday, the State announced that it would charge the soldier reckless and negligent use of a firearm. Had the incident not ended with the death of a teenager, it could have come off as no more than a silly act of mischief.
___Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem, which accompanied the Awad family throughout the legal process, called the decision a “new low . . .”
(More . . . )

❹ from PALESTINE INFORMATION CENTER
PALESTINIAN CHILD RELEASED AFTER FOUR MONTHS IN ISRAELI JAIL
April 17, 2015
RAMALLAH, (PIC) — The Israeli prison authority on Thursday afternoon released 15-year-old Khaled al-Sheikh from Ofer prison.
___The child’s father, Hosam al-Sheikh, told the Palestinian Information Center (PIC) yesterday that the Israeli authorities told him of their intention to release his son.
___“His mother, brothers, and myself are currently at the Ofer jail to make the necessary arrangements for Khaled’s release and we informed the authorities on the matter,” the father said.
___Khaled, kidnapped on December 25 from Anan village in Ramallah, was sentenced to a four-month prison term and fined 2,000 shekels.
(More. . . )

❺ from MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
ISRAELI FORCES CONTINUE TO TARGET BILIN, 2 PROTESTERS SHOT
Ma’an – RAMALLAH
(Updated) April 18, 2015
Two Palestinians were shot, one with live fire, and up to 60 protesters suffered excessive tear gas inhalation when Israeli forces violently suppressed the Bilin weekly march on Friday.
___Hundreds of Palestinians are reported to have taken part in the march against the separation wall, also marking Palestinian Prisoner’s Day.
___Israeli forces fired live and rubber-coated steel bullets at the protesters as well as tear-gas canisters.
___Ahmad Mohammad Mansour, 17, was shot in the chest with a live bullet and was taken to the Palestine Medical Complex in Ramallah, while Munther Ameera was shot with a rubber-coated steel bullet in the lower extremities and treated on the scene.
(More. . .)

❻ from US PALESTINAIN COMMUNITY NETWORK
#BOYCOTTCOKE: BDS FORUM IN MINNEAPOLIS APRIL 19
Sunday, April 19 at 2pm
4200 Cedar Ave S, Minneapolis
In 2005, Palestinians issued a call for boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel, because of its violations of international law and attacks on Palestinian rights. BDS is now a worldwide movement against Israeli Apartheid, and the governments, corporations and other institutions that support it. Many Twin Cities organizations have taken up this call, and will share their experiences and strategies.
(More. . .)

“INTIFADA,” BY SAMUEL HAZO

Singly at first, then doubly
then slowly by the tens or twenties,
then steadily on . . .

Interviewed
about the deathcount in Ramallah,
one sergeant said, “We’ll kill
them all, but we’ll never
forgive them for making us do it.”

Later he aimed his Uzi at a boy
armed with a stone and a slingshot,
One general claimed his soldiers
fired only rubber-coated bullets.
When asked about the difference
to the dead, he frowned and shouted,
“Their leaders and parents use
these children as human shields.”
Despite the contradicting photographs
pundits and lobbyists concurred.
After all, who could deny
that boys with all their lives
ahead of them would happily
seek execution, that mothers loved
to see their sons in open
coffins, that choosing a brave
death instead of a lifelong one
was an option for fools?

No one
would claim that occupation
to the occupied resembled daily
suffocation.
No one would add
that suffocation or the fear of it
begot a courage born
of desperation.
No one compared it
to the fate of being locked
in darkness in a stalled elevator
underground.
Like someone buried
upright and alive, anyone
trapped there would stop at nothing.

from We Begin Here: Poems for Palestine and Lebanon. Ed. Kamal Boullata. Northampton, MA: Interlink Pub Group Inc (March 30, 2007).
Samuel Hazo was born in Pittsburgh, July 19, 1928. The son of Lebanese and Syrian immigrants, Hazo tackles themes of faith, family, and war in his poems, which are often elegiac in tone. Poet Naomi Shihab Nye noted Hazo’s poems of “immense intelligence, lyricism, and humanity” on awarding his book Just Once: New and Previous Poems (2002) the Maurice English Award for Poetry.
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