“. . . No quiet place to die, with dignity. . .” (Jehan Bseiso)

Dali-5
Cyclist Alaa al-Dali’s leg was amputated after being shot at the Great Return March protests, crushing his dream of participating in the 2018 Asia Games. (Photo: Middle East Eye, 27 April 2018)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY
| OCHA:  ISRAELI  FORCES  KILLED  295  PALESTINIANS  IN  2018   
The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said that a total of 295 Palestinians were killed and over 29,000 others were injured in 2018 by Israeli forces.    ___According to a recent report released by OCHA, 57 of those Palestinian fatalities and about 7,000 of the wounded citizens were under age 18.    ___“This is the highest death toll in a single year since the Gaza conflict of 2014, and the highest number of injuries recorded since OCHA began documenting casualties in the oPt (occupied Palestinian territories) in 2005,” the report said.    More . . .
IOF  KIDNAPS  25  PALESTINIANS  IN  WEST  BANK  RAIDS
The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) at dawn Monday arrested 25 Palestinians during West Bank sweeps.    ___The PIC reporter said that the IOF raided Kobar village, north of Ramallah, and arrested 12 Palestinian citizens.    ___Other Palestinians, including two ex-prisoners and a lawyer, were arrested in campaigns targeting Silwad and Ras Karkar villages, east and west of Ramallah respectively . . .    More . . .
~~  Israeli  forces  demolish  agricultural  structure  in  Masafer  Yatta    More . . .
~~  Israel  seizes  1,200  dunams  of  Palestinian  land  for  new  settlement     More . . .
|  ISRAEL  CONTINUES  TO  DENY  TREATMENT  ABROAD  TO  GAZANS  INJURED  IN  BORDER  PROTESTS
The Israeli authorities continued in November to deny Gazans injured in the border protest access to medical treatment outside the besieged Gaza Strip.    ___In its monthly report on health access barriers for patients in the occupied Palestinian territory for the month of November, the World Health Organization (WHO) said that out of 51 permit applications  in November for people injured during the protests seeking treatment outside Gaza, only four applications were approved, six were denied and 41 delayed.   More . . .
~~  Video:  Israel-Palestine  Tensions:  UN  says  Israel  has  no  justification  for  Gaza  killings      More . . .
~~  Israel  Launches  Aistrikes  on  Gaza      More . . .

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION
|  WHO  REPORT:  PALESTINIANS’  ACCESS  TO  HEALTHCARE  AT  MERCY  OF  ISRAEL    
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has released its monthly report of the situation patients have been facing in Palestine in November 2018.    ___Due to the impoverished circumstances in Gaza, many residents need to travel outside the confines of the Israeli-Gazan border to receive appropriate health care. However, despite necessity of medical care, access to these hospitals and facilities has been routinely obstructed by Israeli security.    ___In November 2018, there were 2,519 applications to cross the Erez border for health care. 29% were children, 16% of applicants were 60 years plus, 43% female and 92% were medically funded by Palestinian Ministry of Health.    More . . .

NOTICES  FROM  ORGANIZATIONS
|  A  CHRISTMAS  MESSAGE  FROM  MAP  (MEDICAL  AID  TO  PALESTINIANS)  CEO  AIMEE  SHALAN
This year has been yet another difficult and tragic one for Palestinians.    ___The shocking use of force by Israeli forces against demonstrators in Gaza has killed scores and injured thousands. . .    ___Demolitions continue to be a day-to-day reality for many Palestinians in the West Bank. Not only have individual homes and buildings such as schools been demolished, but entire villages like Khan al Ahmar have been threatened . . .     ___We have also witnessed a dangerous politicisation of humanitarian aid, with the US administration cutting all funding to UNRWA . . . These cuts greatly threaten Palestinian refugees’ access to healthcare, education and emergency food assistance.    __Amid such bleak circumstances, I am incredibly proud of all that MAP has achieved and want to thank our supporters for their generosity and kind support – facilitating our essential and lifesaving work    More . . .    Donate . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY

“RE:  CEMETERIES  IN  PALESTINIAN  CAMPS  SHORT  ON  SPACE/DAILY  STAR/16.06.12,”  BY  JEHAN  BSEISO

And so, the cemeteries are full –
In Lebanon, Jordan, Syria and Gaza.
We will soon bury Palestinians above ground.
Nowhere to live and now,
No quiet place to die, with dignity.
Raise high the beams – carpenters, death architects.
Soon, your walls will reach the sky.

From: I  REMEMBER  MY  NAME:  POETRY  BY  SAMAH  SABAWI,  RAMZY  BAROUD,  JEHAN  BSEISO.  Vacy Vlazna, editor. London: Novum Publishing, 2016. Available from publisher.

“. . . I did not steal―did not kill―didn’t oppress . . .” (Mahmoud Darwish)

❶ Israel steals Jerusalem’s documents from Al-Aqsa Mosque

  • Background: “Relations of Ruling in the Colonial Present: An Intersectional View of the Israeli Imaginary.”  Canadian Journal of Sociology.

❷ Israeli forces destroy Palestinian home in East Jerusalem, leaving 4 homeless
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) Jerusalem family has until Wednesday to vacate its home for Jewish settlers
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴃ) Israeli forces delivers 14 demolition notices to Palestinian structures in Area B
❸ Opinion/Analysis: Don’t Historicize the Balfour Declaration: The Past is Still the Palestinians’ Present
❹ POETRY by Mahmoud Darwish
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ ISRAEL  STEALS  JERUSALEM’S  DOCUMENTS  FROM  AL-AQSA  MOSQUE   (Israeli authorities plan to forge documents in favour of Judaization plans) 
Days of Palestine
Aug. 8, 2017.   Israeli occupation forces stole important documents from Al-Aqsa Mosque related to Jerusalem’s properties and endowments, reports revealed on Monday.
___Chairman of Jerusalem International Centre Hassan Khater said that the Israeli occupation stole the documents from the “rooms, libraries, documentary archives” of Al-Aqsa Mosque when its forces were alone during the closure of the Mosque last month.
___“Through these documents, the Israeli occupation is putting its hand on the endowments, properties and real estate of Jerusalem’s endowment department,” Khater said, noting that the theft of these documents is a “real disaster.”
___He noted that these documents include “details, secrets and signatures,” adding that more than 90 per cent of Jerusalem’s Old City is part of these endowments.   MORE . . .
RELATED . . .    “Copies of those documents are kept in Jordan, and the committee will compare the lists of documents to account for any stolen items,” [Shaikh Ekrima Sabri, who heads the Supreme Islamic Council of Occupied Jerusalem] told Gulf News.

Santos, Madalena. “RELATIONS  OF  RULING  IN  THE  COLONIAL  PRESENT:  AN  INTERSECTIONAL  VIEW  OF  THE  ISRAELI  IMAGINARY.”
Canadian Journal of Sociology, vol. 38, no. 4, Oct. 2013, pp. 509-532.
[. . . .]  The seemingly evident contradiction between political Zionism and what is construed as modern secular racism are complexly interrelated. Notably, the increase in anti-Jewish sentiment during the Nazi period resulted in increased support for the Zionist movement which had not received a great deal of backing from Jewish peoples previously. The historical foundation for Zionist ideology that began as a political response to racism “through the construction of an ethnically-defined and exclusively ‘Jewish’ modern capitalist state … moved from a marginal view to one that is hegemonic in global politics”. Prior to this period, many Jewish peoples understood the Zionist idea of creating a Jewish-only state to be accepting of the racist notion that Jews were unable to live with non-Jews and could only live with each other.
[. . . .] To carry on its transformation of historical Palestine into a Jewish majority state, Israel has maintained its practices of ethnic cleansing through land expropriation which are not only geopolitically significant and meaningful in a material sense, but are culturally symbolic and intended to alter the story of Palestine. For instance, through the bureaucratic machinery of the Israeli state, 95 percent of state territory is administered via the offices of the Jewish National Fund according to “laws that differentiate between Jew and non-Jew making it illegal for non-Jews (read Palestinians) to lease state lands”. As a result, most Palestinians who remained within ’48 or what is more commonly considered Israel proper are not legally entitled to own or lease land since Israel has designated almost all of the land within the Green Line as available exclusively to Jews. Known as the “Judaization of land”, these processes include the erasure of Arab villages through their purposeful unrecognition as well as the Hebraicization of Arab villages and street names. In addition to the material dispossession of land and property, displacement of peoples, and the creation of a considerably large refugee population with all of the socioeconomic consequences that result from these processes, the Zionist methods of erasure of Palestinian history, collective memory, and existence are central to the aim of white colonial rule that naturalizes notions of settler nationality and citizenship belonging. [. . . .]  FULL ARTICLE . . .

❷ ISRAELI  FORCES  DESTROY  PALESTINIAN  HOME  IN  EAST  JERUSALEM,  LEAVING  4  HOMELESS  
Ma’an News Agency
Aug. 8, 2017.   Israeli forces on Tuesday demolished a Palestinian home in the Jabal al-Mukabbir neighborhood of occupied East Jerusalem, leaving a family of four homeless.     ___The owner of the home, Hamza Shaludi, told Ma’an that bulldozers, escorted by Israeli Jerusalem Municipality crews and large Israeli police forces broke into the family home “without prior notice” and “coerced the family into evacuating the home quickly.”     ___Municipality workers, Shaludi said, removed some of the furniture, but the majority of the family’s belongings remained inside the home and ended up buried under the rubble.   MORE . . .
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) JERUSALEM  FAMILY  HAS  UNTIL  WEDNESDAY  TO  VACATE  ITS  HOME  FOR  JEWISH  SETTLERS 
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
August 8, 2017.   The Palestinian Shamasneh family has until Wednesday to vacate its home located in Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of East Jerusalem following an Israeli court order to turn the home over to Jewish settler organizations.
___The occupation authorities threatened that unless the Shamasneh family leaves its home voluntarily, Israeli police will use force to evict them.
___Meanwhile, activists and supporters of the family have been holding a vigil at the house to protect the family from forceful eviction.
___The Shamasneh family rented the house in 1964 from the Custodian of Enemy Property of the Jordanian government . . . .   MORE . . .
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴃ) ISRAELI  FORCES  DELIVERS  14  DEMOLITION  NOTICES  TO  PALESTINIAN  STRUCTURES  IN  AREA  B  
Ma’an News Agency
Aug. 8, 2017.  Israeli authorities raided the town of Silwad, east of Ramallah in the central occupied West Bank on Tuesday to issue demolition orders for 14 structures.
___Silwad Mayor Abd al-Rahman Saleh told Ma’an that the demolition orders were issued over allegations that they were built without the necessary Israeli-issued construction permits.
___Saleh noted, however, that the structures were located in Area B, under combined Palestinian civil and Israeli military control, not in Area C — the 60 percent of the West Bank under full Israeli military and civilian control — meaning that they should not be required to receive Israeli building permits.
___One of the 14 structures is a private school, which has been operating for more than 10 years and is the only private school that serves villages in eastern Ramallah.   MORE . . .
❸ Opinion/Analysis:  DON’T  HISTORICIZE  THE  BALFOUR  DECLARATION:  THE  PAST  IS  STILL  THE  PALESTINIANS’  PRESENT 
Al-Shabaka: The Palestinian Policy Network   
Yara Hawari
June 27, 2017.   The political turmoil in the United Kingdom following Prime Minister Theresa May’s re-election with a reduced, precarious majority . . .  casts doubt on the way in which the UK will mark the centennial of the Balfour Declaration later this year. As is well known, the fateful letter, signed by Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour on November 2, 1917, promised British support of a Jewish homeland in Palestine, completely disregarding the sovereign rights of the Palestinian people who lived there.
[. . . .] Britain’s involvement in Israel and Palestine has consisted of an almost unwavering support for the Zionist project since its colonial inception. Despite claims of a commitment to peace, Britain has shown that it is Israel’s ally first and foremost. . .   Britain has also failed to sanction Israel for its continued settlement building in the West Bank, which has doubled since the Oslo Accords, with over half a million settlers in areas that would constitute a Palestinian state . . .
___ A century ago, Christian Zionist ideology, which sought to facilitate the return of Jews to the Holy Land to fulfil a biblical prophecy, guided Britain’s political elite. . .   Just over a month after the Balfour Declaration, General Edmund Allenby took Jerusalem from the Ottoman forces, marking the beginning of British colonial rule in Palestine. Though this rule ended at the establishment of the State of Israel in May 1948 and the forcible displacement of and denial of return to the majority of the Palestinian population, British interference in Palestine would continue thanks to Britain’s unwavering commitment to Zionism.     MORE . . .

“A  DIALOGUE  WITH  A  MAN  WHO  HATES  ME,”  BY  MAHMOUD  DARWISH
Rome was burnt, O crazy man
..Rome is more durable than Nero
Rome will not grasp your poems
..She can recite them by heart
Rome will slice your strings
..My tunes arise from my heart
Your voice echoes a miserable past
..My voice echoes a rocket rage
Your path is long
..I shall not tire
Yehuda** sold you
..I shall not be crucified
My ancestors were cremated in Auschwitz
..My heart is with them
..Pull out the wires from my skin
And the wounds of yesterday?
..A shameful scar―in the face of the executioner over there
What do you carry in your head
..A little wheat
What’s in your chest?
..A picture of a wound
Your face reflects a rancor color
..My face reflects the color of the earth
Then convert your sword into plowshares
..You did not leave me land to plow
You criminal!
..I did not steal―did not kill―didn’t oppress
You Arab! You are a dog!
..O man, may God cure your soul
..Why don’t you try the taste of love
..Why don’t you make way for the sun!!

** The Israeli town of Or Yehuda was established in 1950 on the lands of the depopulated Palestinian villages of Saqiya and Kfar ‘Ana. Jews from Iraq and North Africa settled there.

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.
Mahmoud Darwish Obituary

“. . . the colonel came over and asked why I’d been provocative . . .” (Sam Hamod)

bilin
Palestinian, Israeli and international activists march during a protest marking ten years for the struggle against the Wall in the West Bank village Bil’in, February 27, 2015. (photo: Yotam Ronen/Activestills.org)

❶ Israeli Commander: I Will Make All the Youth of Al-Duheisha Camp Disabled
❷ Israel investigating claim unarmed Palestinian was shot in the back

  • Background from Critique: Critical Middle Eastern Studies.  “. . . territoriality is ultimately about power and is embedded in social relations . . .”

. . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) Five Palestinians Injured by Army Fire during Funeral of Slain Palestinian in Silwad
❸ Israeli forces attack non-violent weekly protest in Bil’in village
❹ POETRY by  Sam Hamod

` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ ISRAELI  COMMANDER:  I  WILL  MAKE  ALL  THE  YOUTH  OF  AL-DUHEISHA  CAMP  DISABLED  
The Middle East Monitor-MEMO  
Aug 27 2016
An Israeli army commander responsible for the Al-Duheisha area, known to locals as “Captain Nidal”, has repeatedly been reported as threatening to make “all youth in the [Al-Duheisha] camp disabled”.
___BADIL, the Resource Centre for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights, reported an Israeli army commander making repeated threats during and after raids on the camp as well as during interrogations.      MORE . . .  

❷ ISRAEL  INVESTIGATING  CLAIM  UNARMED  PALESTINIAN  WAS  SHOT  IN  THE  BACK  
Ma’an News Agency   
Aug. 28, 2016
The Israeli army’s military police have reportedly opened an investigation into the killing of an unarmed Palestinian man who was shot dead by Israeli forces on Friday, an Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an.
___Thirty-eight-year-old Iyad Zakariya Hamed, a resident of the Ramallah area village of Silwad, was shot dead by Israeli forces near a military post at the village’s entrance not far from the illegal Israeli settlement Ofra, when soldiers alleged that they saw Hamed “charging” towards them.
___Israeli media initially reported that Hamed, a husband and father of three, fired shots at the Israeli soldiers, though it was later confirmed that he was unarmed.     MORE . . .    

silwad
Clashes in Silwad after the funeral of Iyad Zakariya Hamed. (Photo: Palestine Chronicle via Twitter)

. . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) FIVE  PALESTINIANS  INJURED  BY  ARMY  FIRE  DURING  FUNERAL  OF  SLAIN  PALESTINIAN  IN  SILWAD  
International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC    
August 26, 2016
Israeli soldiers shot, on Friday, five Palestinians with rubber-coated steel bullets, at the western entrance of Silwad town, east of the central West Bank city of Ramallah, during the funeral procession of a Palestinian who was killed by the soldiers a few hours earlier.      MORE . . .

  • Hallward, Maia Carter. “NEGOTIATING BOUNDARIES, NARRATING CHECKPOINTS: THE CASE OF MACHSOM WATCH.” Critique: Critical Middle Eastern Studies 17.1 (2008): 21-40.

Territoriality has a tendency to ‘neutralize’ the relationship between identity and geographic boundaries by classifying according to area rather than type. This means that all who live within a specific area are classified accordingly, regardless of felt identification or other personal characteristics (such as language, culture, etc.) . . .  Palestinian movement between areas is regulated according to the identity card—each of which is identified with a particular geographic location—they carry, regardless of family, personal, or work-related considerations. Likewise, discussions of Jewish settlements are often framed in ‘neutral’ planning language . . . rather than noting . . .  location on the West Bank, or Jewish-only population in the midst of a Palestinian Arab population, etc. Territoriality is ultimately about power and is embedded in social relations; an ‘area’ becomes a ‘territory’ only once its boundaries have been established. . . Boundaries must be maintained constantly . . .  they are applied in various degrees to different people and at different times . . .
[. . . .]
Checkpoints serve as gatekeepers; they delimit a boundary and soldiers staffing them enforce regulations regarding who can cross . . .  The vast majority of checkpoints are located deep within the West Bank  . . . consequently, they primarily affect Palestinians trying to conduct their daily lives. However, checkpoints also make Israeli–Palestinian interaction extremely difficult: Israeli law forbids Israeli citizens from entering areas under nominal Palestinian control . . .  and it is extremely difficult for Palestinians to obtain permission to travel to Jerusalem or areas within 1948 Israel. Such restrictions amplify tendencies to stereotype the ‘Other’ as ‘Enemy’ and further solidify place (area)-based boundaries of identity. Official language used to justify the checkpoints often reflects the displacing tendency of territoriality, as it shifts focus away from the location of the checkpoints . . .  as well as the relationship between the controllers and the controlled (it focuses on the regulation of who can cross and not on who has the power to make that classification).

❸ ISRAELI  FORCES  ATTACK  NON-VIOLENT  WEEKLY  PROTEST  IN  BIL’IN  VILLAGE    
International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC
August 27, 2016 12:06 AM
On Friday afternoon, dozens of local residents from the village of Bil’in, along with Israeli and international activists, marched toward the site of the Israeli Annexation Wall constructed on village land. They were pushed back by Israeli forces who attacked the protesters with rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas and concussion grenades.  ___According to the Popular Resistance Committee of Bil’in, this week’s protest focused on the recent desecration and attacks on holy sites by Israeli settlers and soldiers. These attacks have included armed marches by settlers and soldiers into the Al-Aqsa mosque, as well as the defacement of numerous Christian churches by Israeli assailants.  ___Palestinian residents of Bil’in have been protesting every Friday for the past eleven years, and the weekly protests recently entered the 12th year.      MORE . . .  

“AT THE ISRAELI CHECKPOINT – A POEM,” BY SAM HAMOD
(In memory of Mahmoud Darwish, the greatest of Arab Poets)
At the checkpoint, the
Israeli private asked me my name, I told
her, my name is
Zaitoun, she asked, what does that mean,
I told her 4,000 year old trees, she laughed,
asked for my real name, I told her, “Dumm,” what?
i said, it means blood, she said, that’s no name, I told her
blood of my grandfather, my father, my uncle
and even mine if necessary, she bridled, called the corporal,
he came running up, said, what kind of threat is that,
I said, it’s no threat, it’s just a fact,
he called the sergeant, he came up and hit me before he spoke,
my mouth  bled,  I told him, this is the blood I mean, that same
blood, you are afraid of, it’s over 4000 years old, see how dark it is
he called the lieutenant, who asked why my mouth was bleeding,
the sergeant said I had threatened him, the lieutenant asked me
if that was the truth, I told him, I had only stated facts, that
they would be true, after they conferred, he called the
colonel, the colonel came over and asked why I’d been provocative,
I said,all I was doing was stating facts; he asked what I did,
I told him, I was a farmer, he asked what kind, I told him
a farmer with words, what some call a poet—
he asked me if I knew the work of Amichai, I told him yes,
that I’d met him, that he knew what I meant, that Amichai was
sorry for what he’d felt he “had to do”—the colonel shrugged
dismissed the others and told me, “pass on,
I understand, but they don’t, they are not Jews, I am Jew,
not a Zionist”
I pulled the qhubz arabi from my pocket, pulled some zaitoun
from another, some jibbin from my bag and gave it to him–
we laughed, he split the bread in half—
we ate together, we laughed at how sad and foolish all this was

-Sam Hamod is a poet who was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry, has published 10 books of poems, the winner of the Ethnic Heritage Prize for Poetry, taught at The Writers Workshop of The U. of Iowa, Princeton, Michigan, Howard and edited THIRD WORLD NEWS in Washington, DC. He contributed this poem to PalestineChronicle.com. Contact him at: samhamod@sbcglobal.net.

 

“. . . what of my comrades in this cell? You ask. . .” (Fouzi El Asmar)

Some 250 Palestinians being held in Israel’s Negev prison have begun an open-ended hunger strike in protest to their administrative detention. Shiite News Photo.
Some 250 Palestinians being held in Israel’s Negev prison have begun an open-ended hunger strike in protest to their administrative detention. Shiite News Photo.

MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
5  PALESTINIANS  JAILED  WITHOUT  TRIAL  CONTINUE  HUNGER  STRIKES
August 29, 2015
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Five Palestinian prisoners in Israel’s Negev jail on Saturday continued a hunger strike they began on August 18 to protest their internment without trial or charge, the Palestinian Authority Committee for Prisoners’ Affairs said.
____Fadi Obeidat, a lawyer for the PA committee, met with some of the hunger strikers Saturday and said that they were demanding an end to Israel’s policy of administrative detention.
____The Negev jail — also known as the Ktz’iot prison — is one of Israel’s largest detention centers and has been site to frequent tensions between administrative detainees and prison personnel in recent months.
More. . .

INTERNATIONAL MIDDLE EAST MEDIA CENTER (IMEMC)
INCLUDING  A  CHILD,  THREE  PALESTINIANS  KIDNAPPED  IN  RAMALLAH  AND  JERUSALEM
August 30, 2015
Israeli soldiers invaded, on Sunday at dawn, the town of Silwad, east of the central West Bank city of Ramallah, kidnapped a child, and held his 10-year-old brother in the bathroom while interrogating and threatening him. The army also kidnapped two young men in occupied East Jerusalem.
____The child, Hamza Shokri Hammad, 15 years of age, was kidnapped after a large number of soldiers smashed the family’s main door, and detained him in one of the rooms after forcing him brother Bilal, 10 years of age, into the bathroom, where he was threatened and interrogated.
____Hammad was taken prisoner before the soldiers left the property; the family said the army confiscated mobile phones, Game CD’s, in addition to destroying a computer.
More. . .

INTERNATIONAL MIDDLE EAST MEDIA CENTER (IMEMC)
PCHR  REPORT  ON  ISRAELI  HUMAN  RIGHTS  VIOLATIONS  IN  THE  OPT  (20- 26 AUGUST 2015)
August 28, 2015
Israeli forces have continued with systematic attacks against Palestinian civilians and their property in the occupied Palestinian territories (oPt) for the reporting period of 20- 26 August 2015.
____During the reporting period, Israeli forces used excessive force against Palestinian civilians participating in peaceful protests in the West Bank. In the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces continued to open fire at border areas along the Gaza Strip border. . . .
____In the West Bank, Israeli forces continued to use excessive and systematic use of force against peaceful protests organized by Palestinian civilians and Israeli and international human rights activists. . . .
____Moreover, Israeli forces arrested 3 protestors, including 2 photojournalists and a human rights activist, participating in al-Nabi Saleh protest, northwest of Ramallah, under the pretext that they were present in a closed military zone. Two of whom were taken to Benjamin police station, east of occupied Jerusalem, while the third one was taken to Oferdetention facility, southwest of Ramallah.
More. . .

Samidoun: Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network Photo
Samidoun: Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network Photo

ALTERNATIVE INFORMATION CENTER (AIC)
VIDEO!  LINA:  STUDENT  ACTIVIST,  FORMER  PRISONER
Samidoun: Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network
August 23, 2015
The new short film, “Lina | لينا”, by Palestinian filmmaker Osama Abed, tells the story of Palestinian student activist and former political prisoner Lina Khattab. The 11-minute film, in Arabic with English subtitles, covers Lina’s arrest, abuse by occupation soldiers, Israeli military trial, struggle and her freedom, and her ongoing involvement in the struggle for the freedom of Palestine, its land and people.
____Abed is a filmmaker whose work has been accepted at multiple film festivals in the region and has received awards for his filmmaking from several Palestinian municipalities; he is currently directing “Let Me Live.”
More. . .

Opinion
+972 BLOG
‘WHAT’S  THE  NUMBER  OF  YOUR  ROOM,  CHILD?’
Sawsan Khalife
August 29, 2015
(Sawsan Khalife is an independent journalist.)
[. . . .]
According to Defense for Children International, each year approximately 500 to 700 Palestinian children, some as young as 12, are detained and prosecuted in the Israeli military court system. The most common charge is stone throwing.
____. . . I wondered whether there is a room for children in the West Bank similar to “Room Number 4,” which Palestinian children in East Jerusalem know all too well.
____It would be surprising to find a child, or even an adult, in East Jerusalem who is not familiar with “Room Number 4.” This is the name of the interrogation room in Jerusalem’s police station in the Russian compound neighborhood, where Palestinian residents, including children, are interrogated.
____While hundreds of children are arrested annually, it is the conditions they undergo during their arrest and interrogation that represents possibly the most severe violation, under both Israeli and international law.
More. . .

(Blogger’s note: This poem was written 45 years ago. Its timeliness today cannot be disputed.)

“TWENTY  COMRADES,”  BY  FOUZI  EL ASMAR
Beloved, you ask me
Of life in this prison, this cell
what of the chains
chafing my wrists
what of my food and drink
and the comrades of my cell?

Beloved, let me tell you:
Our clouds are indeed heavy
But our being here
is a smile of spring,
The shock of thunder
in autumn, after draught.
We are not defeated
Like our jailers.

Life in this prison, this cell
is a palm tree impregnated
at the dawn.
My chains are the round
echo of a muezzin,
Their clank is the ringing
of my people’s bells.

Beloved, you as me
of the meaning of my food
Here beloved
we grow like the wild flowers.

And what of
my comrades in this cell? You ask
They are the twenty candles
lighting the darkness of this cell
The twenty songs
shaking the walls of this cell
The twenty revolutions
that will eternalize this cell
And we, beloved
we shall not be stopped.  (June, 1970)

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

Israeli soldiers arresting a Palestinian boy for allegedly throwing stones at an Israeli police station on Salahaddin Street, East Jerusalem. [Middle East Monitor file photo]
Israeli soldiers arresting a Palestinian boy for allegedly throwing stones at an Israeli police station on Salahaddin Street, East Jerusalem. [Middle East Monitor file photo]

“. . . they come arresting the earth. . .” (Omar Shabbanah)

The Nakba Museum Project of Memory and Hope, founded by Bshara Nassar, hosts a two-week art exhibit at the Festival Center in Washington D.C. from June 13-27, 2015. Mohammad M'ali is one of six featured artists. His 2015 painting, titled
The Nakba Museum Project of Memory and Hope, founded by Bshara Nassar, hosts a two-week art exhibit at the Festival Center in Washington D.C. from June 13-27, 2015. Mohammad M’ali is one of six featured artists. His 2015 painting, titled “The Wall,” depicts the Aida refugee camp in Bethlehem.

From MONDOWEISS
UNTOLD STORIES: FIRST-EVER US NAKBA MUSEUM OPENS IN WASHINGTON DC
Kayla Blau
June 12, 2015
[After a successful fundraising campaign earlier this year, that project will formally launch on June 13, 2015, with the opening of a two-week art exhibit at the Festival Center in Washington D.C. ]
When Bshara Nassar arrived in Washington, DC, he strolled along the National Mall and passed myriad museums dedicated to exposing the painful history of oppressed peoples. . . . He quickly recognized there was no “place for the Palestinian story to be told,” which inspired him to launch the first-ever Nakba Museum Project of Memory and Hope.
____As Nassar worked on a master’s degree in conflict transformation, the thought of a space dedicated to Palestinian voices became a working reality. He was particularly interested in telling the little-known story of the “Nakba,” which means “catastrophe” in Arabic. . . .
____A non-partisan team of Palestinian and Jewish-American artists formed to support Nassar’s dream. One of the artists whose work will be featured in the upcoming exhibit, painter Ahmed Hmedat, curated the show by recruiting other Palestinian artists and helping assemble their work for display.
(More. . .)
(The Museum Project website)

from INTERNATIONAL MIDDLE EAST MEDIA CENTER (IMEMC)
DOZENS INJURED AS ISRAELI SOLDIERS ATTACK BILIN’S WEEKLY PROTEST
June 13, 2015
Dozens of residents suffered the effects of tear gas inhalation after Israeli soldiers assaulted the weekly nonviolent protest against the Wall and Settlements in Bil’in village, near the central West Bank city of Ramallah. Israeli gas bombs also caused fire in olive orchards.
____The villagers, accompanied by Israeli and international peace activists, marched from the center of the village, carrying Palestinian flags and chanting for national unity, ongoing resistance against the occupation, and the release of all detainees.
____Today’s protest comes in solidarity with hunger striking Palestinian detainees in Israeli prisons, and to demand local, regional and international human rights groups to pressure Israel into releasing all political prisoners.
(More. . .)

Tear gas in Bil’in. Photo by Shadi Hatem.
Tear gas in Bil’in. Photo by Shadi Hatem.

From PALESTINE NEWS & INFORMATION AGENCY (WAFA)
ISRAELI FORCES ATTACK, INJURE PALESTINIANS NEAR RAMALLAH, TARGET JOURNALISTS, CIVIL DEFENSE
RAMALLAH, June 13, 2015 (WAFA) – Two Palestinians were injured and many others suffocated by tear gas as Israeli forces clashed with Palestinians late Friday in the town of Silwad to the east of Ramallah, according to local sources.
____Sources reported that Israeli soldiers raided several homes in the town, forced residents out and took over their rooftops, turning them into military outposts to target residents.
____Forces fired tear gas canisters, stun grenades, and banned Toto bullets towards residents, injuring a Palestinian youth with a banned Toto bullet, while another sustained injuries after being hit with a stun grenade. Dozens other Palestinians suffered from suffocation due to tear gas inhalation.
____Forces further targeted journalist attempting to cover the clashes as well as a civil defense vehicle while it attempted to to put out fire caused by tear gas canisters that exploded in a land near the scene of the clashes.
____Forces fired a hail of tear gas bombs toward the civil defense vehicle and targeted journalists with stun grenades.
____An increasing number of unarmed and peaceful Palestinians were either killed or seriously injured as a result of Israel’s constant use of tear gas against them.
(More. . .)

from INTERNATIONAL MIDDLE EAST MEDIA CENTER (IMEMC)
EU TO LABEL PRODUCTS MADE IN ILLEGAL SETTLEMENTS
June 13, 2015
The European Union (EU) will soon begin to mark the products of Israeli settlements, according to the Associated Press.
____According to Al Ray, the EU had frozen its decision to put marks on settlements products under the pressure of the United States, in 2013, but this move was restored again and approved by 13 European countries.
____The report added that 16 foreign ministers of EU demanded in less than two months, to go forward with procedures to mark settlement products in European marketing networks.
(More. . .)

❺ A special report
From JADALIYYA (ARAB STUDIES INSTITUTE)
WHAT IS SPECIAL ABOUT ISRAEL?
By Ran Greenstein
June 3, 2015
(Ran Greenstein is an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa.)

This time of the year we commemorate sixty-seven years to the 1948 war and Nakba, and forty-eight years to the 1967 war and occupation. As always, the question of why particular attention must be paid to these events comes up. Is there anything special about them, and about Israel as a state?
____Israeli hasbara officials and their supporters overseas frequently invoke the notion of “singling out” as a problem in analyses and campaigns aimed to address Israeli state practices. They do not necessarily deny that there are problems with government policies, formal and informal discrimination within the Green Line, and denial of rights beyond it. . . . These measures, the argument goes, are not unique to Israel. . . . Why regard Israel, then, as a unique state deserving of unique treatment?
____In what follows I suggest possible answers to this question, seeking to identify the particular features of the case of Israel and explore their implications both for analysis and political activism.
(More. . .)

“SEVENTH SENSE,” BY OMAR SHABBANAH

Tonight they come
arresting tender shoots from the walls of the home
arresting lilies and olives
arresting fresh rosebuds
arresting the night
the lemon water
the very substance of happiness from my chest
the vessel of sleep
the cup of rest
and the violated dance
Tonight they come
arresting the earth and all that they leave
is fire on a haunted horizon.

― translated by Mona Zaki

From Contemporary Palestinian Poetry. Edited by Michael Smith. Online.
Omar Shabbanah was born in 1958 in Amman and studied at the University of Jordan. He has published four collections of poems, most recently in 2013. He is a cultural correspondent for several Arab newspapers and lives in Amman. His long poem “The Poet,” a description of the importance of poetry in Arab cultures, is in A Bird Is not a Stone.

Nakba refugee camp, Palestine, 1948
Nakba refugee camp, Palestine, 1948