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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

 

“. . . Then I found myself suspended in nothingness . . .” (Yousef El Qedra)

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The Palestine Youth Orchestra (Photo: Edward Said Conservatory of Music Homepage)

❶ Israeli forces demolish 12 homes in Qalandiya village, assault homeowners
. . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Israeli forces demolish 4 structures in East Jerusalem’s Issawiya

  • background from Holy Land Studies: A Multidisciplinary Journal

❷ Uncovering the Lost Palestinian Villages Underneath Glitzy Tel Aviv
❸ Palestinian Orchestra spreads positive message with music
❹ POETRY by Yousef El Qedra
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ ISRAELI  FORCES  DEMOLISH  12  HOMES  IN  QALANDIYA  VILLAGE,  ASSAULT  HOMEOWNERS
Ma’an News Agency
July 26, 2016
Under the escort of Israeli forces, bulldozers entered the village of Qalandiya on the outskirts of the central occupied West Bank district of Jerusalem late Monday evening, where they demolished 12 homes, according to locals.
___Israeli authorities destroyed the homes, which had previously been issued demolition notices, claiming they were too close to Israel’s separation wall and that they lacked the proper Israeli-issued licenses. . . .
___Israeli soldiers reportedly fired rubber-coated steel bullets, sponge bullets, tear gas, and stun grenades at locals, and assaulted residents of the homes before the demolitions.      MORE . . .   
. . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) ISRAELI  FORCES  DEMOLISH  4  STRUCTURES  IN  EAST  JERUSALEM’S  ISSAWIYA
Ma’an News Agency
July 26, 2016
MORE . . .      RELATED . . .  

From Holy Land Studies: A Multidisciplinary Journal
There is a very strong argument that Zionist Israel has committed, and continues to commit, genocide against Palestine and the Palestinians in terms of Lemkin’s famous passage . . .
Genocide has two phases: one, destruction of the national pattern of the oppressed group; the other, the imposition of the national pattern of the oppressor. This imposition, in turn, may be made upon the oppressed population which is allowed to remain, or upon the territory alone, after removal of the population and the colonization of the area by the oppressor’s own nationals.   (Lemkin, R. Axis Rule in Occupied Europe: laws of occupation, analysis of government, proposals for redress. Washington: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 1944.)
[. . . .]
Whilst the daily living reality for a Palestinian citizen of Israel inevitably differs from a Palestinian living in the West Bank, Gaza or the diaspora, the underlying techniques employed by the Israeli government are the same.. . . .  The intention of these policies was clearly stated by ARIEL SHARON IN AN INTERVIEW IN 1988:
_‘YOU DON’T SIMPLY BUNDLE PEOPLE ON TO TRUCKS AND DRIVE THEM AWAY. . . I PREFER TO ADVOCATE A POSITIVE POLICY. . . TO CREATE, IN EFFECT, A CONDITION THAT IN A POSITIVE WAY WILL INDUCE PEOPLE TO LEAVE.’
. . .  it is apparent to Palestinians in different contexts experiencing discriminatory policies intended to drive them away from their land that the ‘Nakba’ of 1948 did not end in that era and is an ongoing process.

  • Rashed, Haifa, Damien Short, and John Docker. “Nakba Memoricide: Genocide Studies And The Zionist/Israeli Genocide Of Palestine.” Holy Land Studies: A Multidisciplinary Journal 13.1 (2014): 1-23.    FULL ARTICLE.

❷ UNCOVERING  THE  LOST  PALESTINIAN  VILLAGES  UNDERNEATH  GLITZY  TEL  AVIV
The Institute for Middle East Understanding (IMEU)
Mira Sucharov
July 19, 2016
Tel Aviv residents are often described as living in a “bubble,” because of their relative distance from the epicenter of conflict and occupation, and because, at least compared to Jerusalem, the zeitgeist of the city tends toward liberalism and open-mindedness.
___But despite all the talk about Tel Aviv’s insulated status, this “first Hebrew city” is very politically saturated — if you look underneath it. I’m thinking of the eight Palestinian villages whose traces, post-1948, are just barely visible beneath the bustling urban center that this place has become. What remains of these villages, whose remnants were absorbed by Tel Aviv’s municipality as the city expanded after the war, and what remains to be done?     MORE . . .  

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A home lies in ruins after a raid by Israeli troops in the Qalandia refugee camp near Ramallah. (Photo: Alaa Badarneh / European Pressphoto Agency, November 15, 2016)

❸ PALESTINIAN  ORCHESTRA  SPREADS  POSITIVE  MESSAGE  WITH  MUSIC
Days of Palestine
July 25, 2016
Glasgow -A group of Palestinian young orchestrates are trying to travel around the world to spread a positive message about Palestinian with their orchestra.
___It is lunchtime on a sunny day in the Scottish city of Glasgow, and the general director of The Edward Said National Conservatory of Music is making a thoughtful observation about the aims of its Palestine Youth Orchestra (PYO).
___Suddenly, a ping-pong ball bounces across the table. Suhail Khoury barely bats an eyelid.
___“Having an orchestra can tell people that young Palestinians are like anyone else, despite their situation,” he says. “They like to play music, they like to have fun.”    MORE . . .    –   VIDEO . . . (Music begins 9:45)

“I  HAVE  NO  HOME,”  BY  YOUSEF  EL  QEDRA

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

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

Yousef El Qedra is a young poet and playwright living in Gaza. He has his BA degree in Arabic Literature from Azhar University, Gaza. Since 2006 he has worked as a project coordinator of theater and youth groups for the Cultural Free Thought Association in Gaza City. He has written several books and plays and published four volumes of poetry, translated into French and Spanish.
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. Available from Amazon.

“. . . The deadly silence in the hearts of the living . . .” (Fouzi El-Asmar)

shuafat
Israel’s separation wall surrounds the Shuafat Refugee Camp, which is technically inside Jerusalem’s municipal borders and was unilaterally annexed by Israel. (Yotam Ronen/Activestills.org)

❶ Israel demolishes Hebron home of 16-year-old Palestinian accused of killing Israeli settler
. . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) UN slams Israel’s punitive measures against Palestinians following Tel Aviv attack
❷ How to end cycle of violence between Palestinians, Israelis
❸ Opinion/Analysis: DIVIDING JERUSALEM, SOLIDIFYING THE OCCUPATION
❹ POETRY by Fouzi El-Asmar
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ ISRAEL  DEMOLISHES  HEBRON  HOME  OF  16-YEAR-OLD  PALESTINIAN  ACCUSED  OF  KILLING  ISRAELI  SETTLER
Ma’an News Agency
June 11, 2016
Israeli forces early Saturday raided the village of Beit Amra in the municipality of Yatta and destroyed the family home of a 16-year-old Palestinian accused of stabbing and killing an Israeli settler in January, amid an ongoing Israeli blockade imposed in central Yatta.
___Popular resistance coordinator in the village Ratib Jbour told Ma’an that after a large number of Israeli forces at 2 a.m. raided Beit Amra west of Yatta in the southern occupied West Bank district of Hebron, Israeli bulldozers razed the two-storey house belonging to Mourad Badir Adais’s family to the ground. The building housed ten people.     MORE . . 

House demolitions are another example of violations that Israel commits and justifies in a manner that is inconsistent with its obligations under the provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention. Since the start of Israel’s occupation in 1967, Israel has demolished thousands of Palestinians’ houses. Many of these houses have been demolished because a family member participated in what Israel calls a ‘terrorist’ attack.
___This act qualifies as a form of collective punishment as Israel is in fact punishing an entire family for the alleged conduct of one of its members. However, Israel does not recognise such acts as collective punishments prohibited under Article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention. It has referred to the demolitions as ‘deterrence’, intended to dissuade others from attacking Israeli soldiers or civilians. In so doing, Israeli authorities ignore the protected status of the family members and their home. In other words, it is a message to those who think about committing similar acts and their families that they will face the same consequences.
___To avoid referring to such actions by their correct name – that is, collective punishment – and evade possible criminal responsibility for an act that qualifies as a war crime, Israel calls it ‘deterrence’. By providing this justification, Israel violates IHL and the core humanitarian tenets referred to by the president of the ICRC.

  • Jabarin, Shawan. “The Occupied Palestinian Territory and International Humanitarian Law: A Response to Peter Maurer.” International Review of the Red Cross 95.890 (2014): 1415-1428.     ARTICLE.

. . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) UN  SLAMS  ISRAEL’S  PUNITIVE  MEASURES  AGAINST  PALESTINIANS  FOLLOWING  TEL  AVIV  ATTACK
Ma’an News Agency
June 10, 2016
The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights condemned on Friday the deadly Tel Aviv shooting which took place on Wednesday, while slamming the punitive security measures implemented by Israel in the aftermath as constituting collective punishment against Palestinians.
___”We are also deeply concerned at the response of the Israeli authorities, which includes measures that may amount to collective punishment and will only increase the sense of injustice and frustration felt by Palestinians in this very tense time,” Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein said in a statement released by the United Nations.      MORE . . .   

As its name implies, international humanitarian law is primarily designed to serve the basic humanitarian interests of people affected by armed conflict. Whether displaced, under siege or occupation, facing attacks from a regular army or rebel groups, in detention or held hostage, all are in dire need of protection. The international community is well aware of the dangers inherent in armed conflict marked by unregulated violence. The purpose of humanitarian law is to lay down a series of inviolable standards of humanity, as well as to preserve and safeguard core values even in the midst of horrendous violence.
___International humanitarian law is meant to strike a balance between military necessity and humanitarian considerations. It does not allow military endeavours that aim to make permanent changes to occupied territory; to force people to leave their homes; or to unlawfully seize land and resources from communities. Humanitarian law is and will remain a tool for the protection of the life and dignity of civilians and combatants and thus for a modicum of stabilisation in the midst of conflict.

  • Maurer, Peter. “Challenges to International Humanitarian Law: Israel’s Occupation Policy.” International Review of the Red Cross 94.888 (2012): 1503-1510.  ARTICLE.
Israeli policemen work inside a restaurant following a shooting attack that took place in the center of Tel Aviv
Israeli policemen work inside a restaurant following a shooting attack that took place in the center of Tel Aviv June 8, 2016. (REUTERS/Baz Ratner )

❷ HOW  TO  END  CYCLE  OF  VIOLENCE  BETWEEN  PALESTINIANS,  ISRAELIS
Al-Monitor (Palestine Pulse)
Daoud Kuttab
June 10, 2016
The cycle of violence in Palestine and Israel has become so predictable that almost anyone following the news can easily forecast what will happen next. For Palestinians, Israelis and the international community, the predictability of the cycle of violence points to lifting the Israeli occupation as the most effective way to end the violence. The June 8 attack on a market in Tel Aviv that left four Israelis dead is no exception to this dynamic.      MORE . . .

When it comes to directly dealing with Palestinians, the Israeli discourse is to argue that all measures are necessary for security. All Palestinians are considered a threat. As such, Israel has never fully endorsed the applicability of the Geneva Conventions to the oPt. Rather, it has expressed its willingness to abide by the ‘spirit’ of the convention. The ‘spirit’ of the convention is increasingly being couched in humanitarian terms, a trend that has become uncomfortable for many of the participants interviewed.
___Framing the ‘spirit’ of International Law in humanitarian terms has enabled Israel to resemble the ‘good guy’ while completely sidestepping any legal responsibilities. By acknowledging International Law, Israel would be compelled to respect it.
___ Israel has been empowered to sidestep international law in such a manner because of its support from the USA [emphasis added]. This support dates back to the pre-Oslo period, but is most evident in the Oslo agreement itself.

  • Whittall, Jonathan. “‘It’s Like Talking To A Brick Wall’: Humanitarian Diplomacy In The Occupied Palestinian Territory.” Progress In Development Studies 9.1 (2009): 37-53.    SOURCE.

❸ Opinion/Analysis:  DIVIDING  JERUSALEM,  SOLIDIFYING  THE  OCCUPATION
+972 Blog
June 11, 2016
Last weekend was the 49th anniversary of Jerusalem’s “reunification.” This anniversary comes in the context of a popular uprising in the city unlike any since 1967. Although “Jerusalem-the-eternal-undivided-capital-of-Israel” was never more than a hollow myth, 49 years post-“unification” the city is physically divided by walls of mutual fear and hatred, buttressed by violence and mistrust, as never before.      MORE . . .

“THE  WANDERING  REED,”  BY  FOUZI  EL-ASMAR

Of what benefit is it, if man were to gain the whole world
But lose the green almond in his father’s orchard?
Of what benefit is it, if man
Were to drink coffee in Paris
But none in his mother’s house?
Of what benefit is it, if man were to tour the whole world
But lose the flowers on the hills of his native land?
He gains nothing but deadly silence
Within the hearts of the living.

You look through the mirror of lands not your own
And see your exiled face;
You recognize your face
Despite the deadly dust of travel
From Jaffa, to Lydda, to Haifa,
Through the Mediterranean to exile;
You recognize your face
And try to deny that face!
Your worship your own face
Even though exile has obliterated its features;
The hangman of the twentieth century assumes the countenance
Of the eternal face!
You close your eyes
To worship your face in the darkness of this century.
You deny . . . you worship,
You deny . . . you worship,
And the God of truth cries to your face:
“He who denies his face
Is renounced by all the birds of paradise in this universe,
And those whom silence has turned mute
Will never be heard by the roses of the field
He who kills the nightingale of his dreams
Will be buried in the forgotten graveyard of the living.”
You open your eyes
And see the face of your country in the mirror of exile.

The deadly silence in the hearts of the living
Strips away the skin of your face
It cuts and dries your flesh.
Then hangs what remains on poles
Under the forgotten sun of the West.

From THE  PALESTINIAN  WEDDING:  A  BILINGUAL  ANTHOLOGY  OF  CONTEMPORARY  PALESTINIAN  RESISTANCE  POETRY. Ed. and Trans. A. M. Elmessiri. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2011. Reprint from Three Continents Press, Inc., 1982. Available from Palestine Online Store.
Remembering Fouzi El-Asmar.

 

 

ON THE OCCUPATION – Special Edition “. . . The invaders smile . . .” (Majid Abu Ghoush)

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Founder of the Zionist movement, Theodor Herzl (1860–1904) was also author of the pamphlet “The Jewish State” (Photo: ZETEO, 11.05.2015)

TEL  AVIV  MAYOR  SAYS  THE  OCCUPATION  IS  A  CAUSE  OF  PALESTINIAN  TERROR
+972 Magazine
Edo Konrad
June 9, 2016
Tel Aviv-Jaffa Mayor Ron Huldai shocked many Israelis Thursday morning when he cited Israel’s occupation as one factor that leads Palestinians to turn to terrorism. Speaking on Army Radio about Wednesday’s deadly shooting attack in Tel Aviv and reported celebrations of it in the West Bank and Gaza, Huldai argued that Israelis should focus instead on the fact that Israel is “perhaps the only country in the world holding another nation under occupation without civil rights . . . . There is no courage to do what needs to be done in order to reach a [peace] agreement.”
___“There is no way to hold people in a situation of occupation and think that they will reach the conclusion that everything is okay and they will continue to live like that,” Huldai added.      MORE . . . 

❷ HISTORICAL NOTE: 

The vision of Zionism’s founder, Theodor Herzl, became institutionalised in the Jewish National Fund (JNF), the body that today coordinates with the Government of Israel and largely oversees the continuing land acquisition process (n88). By the close of 1937, the JNF-linked Jewish Agency had established the Population Transfer Committee, and in 1940, director of the JNF Lands Department Yosef Weitz wrote:
___“It must be clear that there is no room in the country for both peoples.… If the Arabs leave it, the country will become wide and spacious for us … There is no room for compromises … There is no way but to transfer the Arabs from here to the neighbouring countries, to transfer all of them, save perhaps for Bethlehem, Nazareth and old Jerusalem. Not one village must be left, not one [bedouin] tribe … For this goal funds will be found … And only after this transfer will the country be able to absorb millions of our brothers and the Jewish problem will cease to exist. There is no other solution” (n89).

(n88) For discussion of the legal relationship of the Jewish National Fund to the Israeli government, see Kenneth Lewan and Uri Davis, The Jewish National Fund, London: Kegan Paul, 1989.
(n89) Yosef Weitz, Yomani Ve’igrotai Labanim [My Diary and Letters to the Children] Vol I, entry for 20 December 1940, p181; as quoted in Benny Morris, The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem, 1947-1949, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1987, p 27.

  • Schechla, Joseph. “Ideological Roots of Population Transfer.” Third World Quarterly 14.2 (1993): 239-275.   ONLINE.   

❸ A  DEFINITION  OF  “LEGAL”  OCCUPATION: 

We argue that the legality of the phenomenon of occupation, as it relates to the function of managing the situation, is to be measured in relation to three fundamental legal principles:
(a)          Sovereignty and title in an occupied territory are not vested in the occupying power. The roots of this principle emanate from the principle of the inalienability of sovereignty through actual or threatened use of force. Under contemporary international law, and in view of the principle of self-determination, sovereignty is vested in the population under occupation.
(b)          The occupying power is entrusted with the management of public order and civil life in the territory under control. In view of the principle of self-determination, the people under occupation are the beneficiaries of this trust. The dispossession and subjugation of these people violate this trust.
(c)           Occupation is temporary. It may be neither permanent nor indefinite.
___The violation of any one of these principles, therefore, unlike the violation of a specific norm that reflects them, renders an occupation illegal per se. This is the nature of the Israeli occupation of the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT).

  • Ben-Naftali, Orna, Aeyal M. Gross, and Keren Michaeli. “Illegal Occupation: Framing the Occupied Palestinian Territory.” Berkeley Journal of International Law 23.3 (2005): 551-614.  ONLINE.

Oma Ben-Naftali is a senior lecturer at the Law School, The College of Management, Academic Studies in Tel-Aviv; Aeyal Gross is a senior lecturer at Tel-Aviv University Law Faculty; and Keren Michaeli is a senior research fellow at the Law School, The College of Management, Academic Studies in Tel-Aviv.

Dheisheh1
Dheisheh Refugee Camp is a Palestinian refugee camp located just south of Bethlehem. (Photo: United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, April 26, 2012)

❹ THE  CONSEQUENCE  OF  OCCUPATION  FOR  THE  PALESTINIANS: 

As a diaspora of over nine million people, Palestinians are everywhere: second-class citizens of Israel, stateless residents of fragmented and walled-in Bantustans in the occupied West Bank, refugees residing inside and outside of camps in Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan; and immigrants, students, professionals and nationalised citizens in virtually every country in the world. . . In the framework of international law, however, Palestinians are virtually nowhere. As stateless persons they occupy a liminal and interstitial space in the international legal and political order, an order that . . .  remains founded upon and grounded in the interests of sovereign nation-states rather than in the claims of sub or transnational actors, whether individuals or groups.
[. . . .]
___The defining event of the 1990s for Palestinians was the signing of the Oslo Accords . . .  Oslo, however, was not founded on international law or treaties but, rather, constituted a negotiated agreement between unequal partners. It was an agreement that side-stepped [international agreements emphasising Israel’s duty to uphold International Humanitarian Law] and to abide by all of international treaties it has signed.

  • King-Irani, Laurie. “Exiled To A Liminal Legal Zone: Are We All Palestinians Now?” Third World Quarterly 27.5 (2006): 923-936.  SOURCE.

Laurie King-Irani is Associate Professor of Teaching, Department of Anthropology, Georgetown University, Washington, DC.

OCCUPATION,”  BY  MAJID  ABU  GHOUSH
Occupied Ramallah 17/11/06

Strange days cast dour shadows
Dusk. The fragrance of death
on a windowsill.
In the lingering heat
an impossible burden weighs
down on eyelids and chest;
the throat aches, the spine throbs.

Rose petals all tarnished with foul dust
from the poisoned world.
Black limousines sail past, flying
the skull and crossbones.
The grave yawns open early,
nightmares never leave.
Death squads. Detention camps.

Somewhere, an oud
pronounces its sad chords.
The invaders smile; tap their feet.
―Translated by John Glenday

Majid Abu Ghoush (b. Amwas) is a prolific poet, a member of the secretariat of the General Union of Palestinian Writers, and a founding member of Poets Without Borders, Palestine.
From A BIRD IS NOT A STONE: AN ANTHOLOGY OF CONTEMPORARY PALESTINIAN POETRY. Ed. by Henry Bell and Sarah Irving. (Glasgow: Freight Books, 2014).
Available From Amazon.com. 

“. . . Will you become . . . an ordinary country? . . .” (Samih Al-Qasim)

bedouin
A demolished house in an unrecognized Bedouin village in the Negev, December 2010 (photo: Times of Israel)

❶ Bethlehem: Settlers Raze Lands in Al-Khader
❷ 1,000 civilian structures demolished by Israeli authorities in Negev
❸ Israeli police to ban burial of Jerusalemite martyrs in their areas
❹ Opinion/Analysis: AFTER  TEL AVIV  ATTACK,  WHAT  IS  GOING  BACK  TO  BUSINESS  AS  USUAL?
❺ POETRY by Samih Al-Qasim
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ BETHLEHEM:  SETTLERS  RAZE  LANDS  IN  AL-KHADER
International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC
June 8, 2016
Israeli settlers, Wednesday, razed Palestinian-owned lands in the village of al-Khader, to the south of occupied Bethlehem, according to local sources.
___Hasan Burajeya, of the Anti-Settlement Committee in Bethlehem, told WAFA that a group of illegal Israeli settlers, accompanied by a military escort, proceeded to raze about 15 dunams of land near al-Khader. The razed land belongs to local Palestinians from the village.
___Burajeya asserted that the razing of said lands comes as part of Israeli plan to construct a yeshiva (Jewish school) at the site.      MORE . . .  

LATE THIS past June [2012], a group of Israeli settlers in the West Bank defaced and burned a mosque in the small West Bank village of Jabaa. Graffiti sprayed by the vandals warned of a “war” over the planned evacuation, ordered by the Israeli Supreme Court, of a handful of houses illegally built on private Palestinian land near the Israeli settlement of Beit El. The torching of the mosque was the fourth such attack in 18 months and part of a wider trend of routine violence committed by radical settlers against innocent Palestinians, Israeli security personnel, and mainstream settler leaders — all aimed at intimidating perceived enemies of the settlement project.
___This violence has not always plagued the settler community. Although many paint all Israeli settlers as extremists, conflating them with the often-justified criticism of Israeli government policy in the West Bank, the vast majority of them oppose attacks against Palestinian civilians or the Israeli state. In the past, Israeli authorities and the settler leadership often worked together to prevent such assaults and keep radicalism at bay. Yet in recent years, the settler movement has experienced a profound breakdown in discipline, with extremists now beyond the reach of either Israeli law enforcement or the discipline of settler leaders.

  • Byman, Daniel, and Natan Sachs. “The Rise Of Settler Terrorism.” Foreign Affairs 91.5 (2012): 73-86.      Complete Article.     

❷ 1,000  CIVILIAN  STRUCTURES  DEMOLISHED  BY  ISRAELI  AUTHORITIES  IN  NEGEV
The Palestinian Information Center
June 9, 2016
The Israeli authorities demolished 1,041 Bedouin structures in Negev between 2013 and 2015, with a further 1,711 structures being destroyed by their owners after receiving demolition orders. According to a new report by the Negev Coexistence Forum for Civil Equality (NCF), in 2015 alone, nearly 1,000 structures were demolished in Negev — 365 by the Israeli authorities, and 617 by the homeowners themselves.
___The waves of demolitions have displaced thousands of Bedouins over the past three years, according to Michal Rotem, the author of the report.      MORE . . . 

The Negev/Naqab region in southern Israel is a socially segregated landscape rent by clashes between Bedouin and Jewish residents and government bodies over access to land for farming and homes and over the status of Bedouin villages. Though Bedouin residents once migrated within the region and bordering grazing areas, they have been struggling for the past half-century to gain a firm and recognised place within the Israeli state. Approximately half of the Negev’s 180,000 Bedouin Arab residents live in villages and family clusters that the government deems illegal. The other half live in government-planned townships, which hold legal legitimacy as residences.
[. . . .]
However . . . formal citizenship does not guarantee the equal distribution of political rights and economic resources. Rather, ‘differentiated citizenship’ means that social goods are distributed unequally along racial or class-based social divisions. Such is the case for a Jewish–Arab differentiation in Israel. Whereas Israel’s Basic Laws promise equal rights to all citizens . . .  rights are systematically denied to non-Jews (e.g., land purchases and the benefits accruing to military service).
___How does this differentiation happen? Of critical importance for the case of land rights, socially privileged citizens have more influence in defining legitimate and illegitimate land uses. An examination of the media campaigns, protests, court cases and Knesset debates involved in Negev struggles against eviction reveals  the  importance  of  leveraging  cultural  recognition.  Residents in both these cases lived dispersed, agro-pastoral lifestyles that were initially prohibited by the Israeli government. Jewish residents were able to gain legal recognition for their land-use practices, while Bedouin residents were not.

  • McKee, Emily. “Demolitions And Amendments: Coping With Cultural Recognition And Its Denial In Southern Israel.” Nomadic Peoples 19.1 (2015): 95-119.  Available.

❸ ISRAELI  POLICE  TO  BAN  BURIAL  OF  JERUSALEMITE  MARTYRS  IN  THEIR  AREAS
The Palestinian Information Center
June 9, 2016
The Israeli occupation police on Wednesday decided not to allow funerals and burials for Palestinian martyrs from east Jerusalem in their neighborhoods or town and to choose the Muslim cemeteries they would be buried in.
___Yedioth Ahronoth website said this decision was taken following the funeral of martyr Alaa Abu Jamal several weeks when about 200 persons gathered at the Jabel Mukaber cemetery and chanted incitement slogans against Israel and support for the deceased, whom it described as a “terrorist”.
___After reporting what happened at that funeral, minister of public security Gilad Erdan ordered a freeze on returning the bodies of “terrorists” to their families until the incident could be investigated and new conditions could be imposed to ensure funerals would not contain incitement.       MORE . . .

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Reporter’s notebook: Scenes from the Tel Aviv terror attack – Arab-Israeli Conflict – (Photo: Jerusalem Post)

❹ Opinion/Analysis:  AFTER  TEL AVIV  ATTACK,  WHAT  IS  GOING  BACK  TO  BUSINESS  AS  USUAL?
972 Magazine
Mairav Zonszein
June 9, 2016
I was out last night in Tel Aviv at a poetry book launch for a good friend when the news flashed on my phone that there was a shooting in the Sarona Market . . . .
___Life does go on here despite the violence. That’s just the reality. But when I read the statement by Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai that Israelis cannot let such terror “disrupt our lives” and that we should “return to business as usual” tomorrow, I become enraged. Why shouldn’t this disrupt our lives? [. . . .]
___The word “disruption” here also dismisses the fact that the lives of so many Palestinians are “disrupted” all the time. The entire city of Yatta, where the two murderers are from — a population of about 65,000 people in the occupied West Bank — is now under military lockdown. This is collective punishment, a mass “disruption.”
MORE . . .  

“IF ONLY,” BY SAMIH AL-QASIM

My homeland, an earring dangling

from the ear of the earth;

my homeland . . . a woman

whose thighs are opened by the western wind;

my homeland, the oars of the boat;

my homeland, the absent son:

Will you one day rouse what is in me?

Will you become . . . an ordinary country?

From Al-Qasim, Samih. SADDER THAN WATER. New and Selected Poems. Trans. Nazih Kasis and Adina Hoffman. Jerusalem: Ibis Editions, 2008.
Samih Al-Qasim  Obituary, August 20, 2014   
About Ibis Editions.  Available from Amazon.  

 

“. . . towards what remained of her home . . .” (Majid Abu Ghoush)

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Israeli police at the scene of a home demolition in East Jerusalem’s Shuafat refugee camp on Wednesday, December 2, 2015 (Israel Police)

❶ Israeli forces demolish homes of 2 Palestinian attackers in Jerusalem
❷ Settlers breach wall of Palestinian home in Jerusalem’s Old City
❸ Israeli settlers attack Palestinian home near Nablus
❹ Netanyahu targets Palestinians in Israel
❺ Opinion/Analysis: The road to hell is paved with ‘national security’
❻ Poetry by Majid Abu Ghoush
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
ISRAELI  FORCES  DEMOLISH  HOMES  OF  2  PALESTINIAN  ATTACKERS  IN  JERUSALEM
Jan. 4, 2016
Israeli forces on Monday demolished the family home of a Palestinian attacker killed in October and sealed off the home of another attacker’s family with cement, the families told Ma’an.
___The homes, in the Jabal al-Mukabbir neighborhood of East Jerusalem, belonged to relatives of Alaa Abu Jamal and Baha Elayyan who were both shot dead on Oct. 13 after carrying out separate attacks that left four Israelis dead.
___Israeli forces reportedly stormed the homes and ordered the families to evacuate them before they proceeded with the demolitions.   More . . .
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
SETTLERS  BREACH  WALL  OF  PALESTINIAN  HOME  IN  JERUSALEM’S  OLD  CITY
Jan. 4, 2016
Israeli settlers on Sunday made a number of breaches through the wall of a Palestinian home belonging to Noura Sub Laban in the Old City of Jerusalem, family members told Ma’an.
___Noura’s son, Ahmad Sub Laban, said the family was shocked to find at least six breaches through the wall, which borders a settler enclave that was established just two weeks ago.
___Ahmad said the family called Israeli police, who arrived on the scene and asked that the settlers repair the damage without bringing any formal procedures against them, despite the settlers admitting to breaching the wall.   More . . .
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
ISRAELI  SETTLERS  ATTACK  PALESTINIAN  HOME  NEAR  NABLUS
Jan. 3, 2016
Israeli settlers on Saturday attacked a Palestinian home in the village of Beit Furik near Nablus in the occupied West Bank, a Palestinian Authority official said.
___Ghassan Daghlas, a PA official who monitors settlement activities in the northern West Bank, told Ma’an that settlers threw stones at the home of Nihad Hanani before leaving behind a Molotov cocktail and a letter.
___Daghlas said that the settlers — believed to be from the nearby illegal settlement of Itamar — were chased by locals as they fled the scene after attacking the home. The attack is the most recent to be carried out by settlers in the occupied West Bank.   More . . .

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Netanyahu remained committed to invigorating incitement against Palestinian citizens of Israel at Sunday’s Cabinet meeting. (Photo: Alternative News Agency)

ALTERNATIVE NEWS AGENCY
NETANYAHU  TARGETS  PALESTINIANS  IN  ISRAEL
Sergio Yahni
Jan. 4, 2016
Following Friday’s attack in Tel Aviv, which Israeli police suspect was carried out by a Palestinian citizen of Israel, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu opened Sunday’s cabinet meeting with a call for greater law enforcement in “the Arab sector.”
___On Friday, two people were shot dead and six others were wounded in a shooting at a crowded pub at 130 Dizengoff Street in Tel Aviv.
___The police have yet to officially refer to Friday’s shooting as a terrorist attack. . . .
___Nertanyahu visited the scene on Saturday and immediately treated the event as a terrorist attack.   More . . .
Opinion/Analysis
INTIFADA PALESTINE
THE  ROAD  TO  HELL  IS  PAVED  WITH  ‘NATIONAL  SECURITY’
CJ Werleman (from Middle East Eye)
Jan. 3, 2016
If you wanted to trace the roots of any of the world’s evil, conflict and chaos, you could start where you first heard the words “national security”.
___In the name of “national security,” Germany invaded Poland, the Nazis cleansed the Jews . . . while Israel ethnically cleansed more than 500 Arab villages, annexed Palestinian land, and enclosed it with a “security barrier”.
___More recently, it is the god of “national security” that has not only given us the self-defeating “war on terror” but also Guantanamo Bay . . . . It is also under the guise of national security that the US homeland-security-industrial complex has boomed to more than $50 billion per year . . . .
___In the wake of the recent Paris and San Bernardino attacks, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government is turning the West’s fixation on Islamic State-inspired terrorism into an opportunity to expand both its apartheid laws and its militarisation of the West Bank.  More . . .

“RETURNING,”  BY  AMJID  ABU  GHOUSH

the woman was dragging her feet
and what remained of her children
towards what remained of her home
towards what remained
of the sea
towards what remained
of the heart
towards what remained of the heart

she raised her hand softly
wiped a tear which rolled down her cheek
and smiled when the beautiful one
she met on the way asked her:
why are you going back?

to water the jasmine tree
to shade the names of the martyrs

—translated by Magi Gibson

MAJID ABU GHOUSH was born in Amwas. He is a prolific poet, a member of the Secretariat of the General Union of Palestinian Writers and a founding member of Poets Without Borders Palestine.
From A  BIRD  IS  NOT  A  STONE:  AN  ANTHOLOGY  OF  CONTEMPORARY  PALESTINIAN  POETRY  (Glasgow: Freight Books, 2014) –available from Amazon.com.