“. . . settlers sucking the breath from your lungs . . .” (Susan Abulhawa)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .
|    ISRAEL,  GAZA  CLOSE  TO  CEASEFIRE:  ISRAELI  SOURCE
Israel and Palestinians in the Gaza Strip are close to an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire, a report said Saturday, citing a high-level Israeli source.    ___According to the Israeli Public Broadcasting Corporation, an unnamed senior political figure leaked that a deal was in the making between Israel and the Gazan administration to allow Qatar to provide the enclave with funds to pay its civil servants as well as fuel.    ___The source added that the Israeli side would audit the funds to ensure they were not being used for “terror activities”.    More . . .
. . . . Related  ISRAEL-HAMAS  GAZA  DEAL  REPORTEDLY  INCLUDES  PARTIAL  LIFTING  OF  SIEGE,  END  OF  VIOLENCE  BY  YEAR’S  END
|   TEENAGE  GAZAN  DIES  OF  INJURIES  SUSTAINED  IN  2014  ISRAELI  AIRSTRIKE
A Palestinian 14-year-old boy died, on Saturday morning, of wounds he had sustained in an Israeli airstrike that targeted his family home in the besieged Gaza Strip in 2014.    ___The al-Wafaa Hospital for Rehabilitation and Specialized Surgery announced that Muhammad al-Rifi, 14, died of his injuries on Saturday morning.    ___The hospital pointed out that al-Rifi had sustained a critical injury in his cervical vertebrae, which left Muhammad Quadriplegic and on ventilators for four years.    More . . .
|    ISRAELI  MILITARY  INTENSIFIES  CRACKDOWN  ON  TULKARM
Israeli forces on Saturday evening raided many homes and terrorized their residents in the city of Tulkarm, northern West Bank, in a step seen as a collective punishment measure against the city’s population, according to witnesses.    [. . . .] For almost a month, the city has been a target of almost daily raids and searches by the Israeli army under the pretext of pursuing Ashraf Na’alweh, 23, the main suspect in killing two Israeli settlers in the illegal Israel settlement of Barkan on October 7.    More . . .
|    RESEARCHER:  AL-AQSA  MOSQUE  THREATENED  WITH  COLLAPSE
Fakhri Abu Diab, a Palestinian expert in Jerusalem affairs, on Thursday said that al-Aqsa Mosque and all of its facilities and walls are on the verge of collapse.    ___Abu Diab said that the Israeli authorities have prevented the restoration of al-Aqsa Mosque’s eastern wall after damage and change in the colors of its stones appeared lately.   More . . .

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .
|    THIS  IS  JUST  THE  BEGINNING’:  PALESTINIAN  REFUGEES  IN  JERUSALEM  FEAR  MUNICIPALITY  TAKEOVER  OF  UNRWA
It was a typical Tuesday morning in the Shufat Refugee Camp in occupied East Jerusalem. . .    The camp’s residents were surprised to find 15 sanitation workers from Israel’s Jerusalem Municipality, escorted by Israeli border police and garbage trucks, picking up trash in the streets. Among them was Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat.    [. . . . ] The cleanup, largely regarded by locals as a power play by Barkat, was publicized by the right-wing Mayor as the first step in his plans to “end the refugee lie” and shut down UNRWA operations in Jerusalem — plans which he announced earlier this month.    More . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 
(Susan Abulhawa is deported from Israel for second time in three years.   More . . .)

“WALA,”  BY  SUSAN  ABULHAWA     

It’s 3 am
In the cattle cage
The line is long
A jibneh sandwich
With cucumber
In a plastic bag
Clutched in your callused laborer’s hand
Your wife prepared your breakfast and lunch
She was up before you
And together you prayed a predawn salat
She kissed your face and said
Allah ma’ak ya habibi
Allah be with you, my love
You kiss the faces of your sleeping babies
You haven’t seen them awake in months
And you wonder
Has Walid’s voice begun to crack yet?
Have Wijdad’s hips begun to flare?
How big was Suraya’s smile when she came home
with her report card?
It’s 4 am
In the cattle cage
Still, you wait
The line before you is so long
And behind you now, it is longer
Few speak
You’re packed so damn tight
That you hold one another upright
You see your own fatigue
Reflected in the weariness etched on
The faces all around you
You look away
Pine for a smoke
But who the hell can afford that?
You stare at the graffiti beyond the
Iron bars holding you in
Written just for you
Written
By zionist settlers sucking the breath from your lungs
You understand the meaning
Of their English words
“Die Sand Niggers”
Sometimes
You pine for that, too.
It’s 5 am
In the cattle cage
The soldiers arrive
The line loosens
You take one step forward
Propelled by the weight of bodies
Behind you
Your jibneh sandwich
With cucumber
In a plastic bag
Is crushed.
It never survives
It’s 7 am
In the cattle cage
Now is your turn
You produce your papers
Unfold and refold
Eyes down
Heart dow
Your shoes are down on their luck
But
You’re out of the line
Fifteen men before you were pulled aside
And you tried not to look
Not to hear the one begging
Don’t hit me
It’s 7:30 am
On the cattle busYou ride
The country they stole from you
Seeds outside your window
And you imagine
The man you would have been
The man you should have been
Out there
Riding the family steed
The thoroughbred mares your grandfather
Raised and nurtured and love
In a Palestine
Un-raped
Un-stolen
It’s 8 am
You get off the cattle bus
Your crushed jibneh sandwich
With cucumberIn a plastic bag
In one hand
Your eyes down
Heart down
You put your toolbox down to knock
On the zionist settler’s back door
Where the help goes
But
The zionist settler boss-man yells
Wala
Mish hon el yom!
Not there today
Boy!
And all you can do is thank Allah that your
Wife and your babies are not
There to hear them call you

From  MY  VOICE  SOUGHT  THE  WIND.   Available from Barnes and Noble.

“. . . What sacred verses can explain Sniper fire . . .” (Samah Sabawi)

Soldiers
Israeli snipers seen on the border with Gaza during the Great March of Return, March 30, 2018. (IDF Spokesperson)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .

|  UNRWA  DEPLORES  PALESTINE  REFUGEE  FATALITIES  AND  THE  DETERIORATING  HUMANITARIAN  CRISIS  IN  GAZA
The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) deplored in a statement on Sunday the rise in fatalities among refugee students killed in the Israeli army crackdown on March of Return . . .  and the deteriorating humanitarian crisis.        [. . . .] This latest death brings to 13 the total number of UNRWA students who have been killed since 30 March . . .   Between 31 March and 30 September, UNRWA’s 22 health centers across the Gaza Strip have provided 4,104 consultations for injuries . . .  more than 770 of which related to children. The majority of these (86 per cent) have been gunshot injuries. . . for casualties of such violence and all involved in their care, the effects are lasting; rehabilitation is often long, costly and uncertain, said the UNRWA statement.   More . . .
. . . .Related:   PCHR:  “Two  Fishermen  Arrested  and  One  of  Them  Wounded”
. . . .Related:  Egypt  opens  Rafah  crossing  after  3  days  of  closure 
. . . .RelatedPalestinians  protest  high  unemployment  in  Gaza
|  WB:  IOF  ARREST  19  PALESTINIANS,  CONTINUE  COLLECTIVE  PUNISHMENT  POLICY
Israeli occupation forces have launched a large-scale campaign of arrests, taking at least 19 Palestinian civilians throughout the West Bank and occupied Jerusalem, including raids on dozens of Palestinian homes.     ___The arrests were concentrated in Tulkarm, Nablus and Qalqiliya, where the Israeli occupation forces launched raids and searches and closed roads as a form of collective punishment, in response to the operation in Barkan settlement on Sunday, in which two Israeli settlers were killed.    More . . .
. . . . Related  Settlers  destroy  40  olive  trees  in  village  near  Ramallah
. . . .Related:  Settlers  say  they  plan  to  take  over  Palestinian  land  to  open  a  road  for  themselves
. . . .Related: Israeli  army  prevents  farmers  from  harvesting  their  olive  crops  in  Tulkarm  area

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .

|  ISRAELI  PM  SHOULD  KNOW,  ‘IT  TAKES  TWO,  NOT  THREE,  TO  TANGO!’
By Mahmoud el-Yousseph, Retired US Air Force Veteran
They say it takes two to tango, but if one of them is Benjamin Netanyahu, then you need three. . .  the Israeli Prime Minister saw fit few days ago to plead with the UN Secretary General to urge the international community to put pressure on Hamas in order to release the remains of two IOF soldiers killed in Gaza during the 2014 assault . . .  [. . . . ] Israel is currently holding the remains of 261 Palestinians. Those were people who were killed during the fighting, killed during midnight raids or at checkpoints.   More . . .

NOTICES  FROM  ORGANIZATIONS. . . .

The Jerusalem Fund for Education and Community Development  presents “THE  HISTORICAL  ROOTS  OF  CHRISTIAN  ZIONISM,  ITS  THEOLOGICAL  BASIS  AND  POLITICAL  AGENDA.”
October 24, 2018 12:00 PM.  Reverend Dr. Stephen Sizer is the founder and director of Peacemaker Trust, a charitable organization dedicated to peacemaking . . .   The Palestine Center, 2425 Virginia Avenue, NW; Washington, DC 20037 USA   Information . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . .

“GOD  FORSAKEN,”  By  SAMAH  SABAWI

  • In the aftermath of Israel’s bombardment of Gaza, codenamed Cast Lead in 2009, in which 1400 Palestinians were killed, some IDF soldiers wore t-shirts depicting a pregnant Palestinian woman with her belly in the crosshairs of a rife with the caption, “1 SHOT TWO KILLS.

What is a life worth?
A grain of earth
A drop of oil
A flag on a hill of holy soil
A cross…a star…a crescent moon…
Is it worth ending a life too soon?

What sacred verses can explain
Sniper fire. . .
And white phosphorus rain?
What Holy Scripture gave the command
“Thou shall wipe out they villages
And scorch their land”

And after the massacre
Did they lament?
Did they seek forgiveness?
Did they repent?
Did they try to sanctify their burdened souls
While besieging a people behind their walls
Or did they wear with pride their murderous skills:
A pregnant woman with a caption “1 SHOT 2 KILLS”

No rest for the less sacred, no safety, no light
No benediction no prayer no end in sight
No bread, no medicine no shelter no salvation
No angels can survive this holy Occupation

TELL ME THIS:
What is the life of a Palestinian worth,
In your God forsaken earth?

—From Palestine Chronicle.

“. . . After being killed I washed by the river . . .” (Ibrahim Nasrallah)

❶ Health Ministry: Two Palestinians killed in Israeli shelling on Gaza
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Israeli forces detain 17 Palestinians, assault others in West Bank raids
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴃ) Student injured during Tulkarm university protests over Trump’s announcement
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴄ) Clashes with soldiers reported in some West Bank locations

  • Background: “Trumpian Ethics and the Rule of Law.” Creighton Law Review.

❷ Tens of thousands of Israelis hit the streets, and it has nothing to do with Trump
❸ Opinion/Analysis: Opinion/Analysis: Will the Jerusalem Freedom Intifada break out?
. . . . . ❸ ― (ᴀ) Trump protests evoke memories of the Second Intifada
❹ POETRY by Ibrahim Nasrallah
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ HEALTH  MINISTRY:  TWO  PALESTINIANS  KILLED  IN  ISRAELI  SHELLING  ON  GAZA 
Palestine News Network – PNN
Dec. 12, 2017 ― Two Palestinians were killed in Israeli strikes on northern Gaza on Tuesday afternoon.
___The Palestinian ministry of Health announced that two youths were killed after an Israeli scouting plane in Beit Lahia town, northern Gaza strip.
___The ministry said that the two bodies of martyrs were moved to the Indonesian Hospital in the strip, while another youth is still suffering injuries.    MORE . . .
.  .  .  .  .  ❶  ―  (ᴀ)  ISRAELI  FORCES  DETAIN  17  PALESTINIANS,  ASSAULT  OTHERS  IN  WEST  BANK  RAIDS 
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Dec. 12, 2017 ― Israeli forces Monday night and early Tuesday detained at least 17 Palestinians and assaulted several others mostly in multiple raids across the West Bank, said security and local sources.   MORE . . . 
.  .  .  .  .  ❶  ―  (ᴃ)  STUDENT  INJURED  DURING  TULKARM  UNIVERSITY  PROTESTS  OVER  TRUMP’S  ANNOUNCEMENT 
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Dec. 12, 2017 ― At least one Palestinian was injured on Tuesday during renewing clashes between Israeli forces and students at the campus of Palestine Technical University in Tulkarm, northwest of the West Bank, according to local sources.   MORE . . . 
.  .  .  .  .  ❶  ―  (ᴄ)  CLASHES  WITH  SOLDIERS  REPORTED  IN  SOME  WEST  BANK  LOCATIONS     
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Dec. 12, 2017 ― Palestinians clashed on  Tuesday with Israeli soldiers in at least two locations in the occupied West Bank, according to reports.   MORE . . .

MCKAY, JOHN.
“TRUMPIAN  ETHICS  AND  THE  RULE  OF  LAW.”
CREIGHTON LAW REVIEW, vol. 50, no. 4, Sept. 2017, pp. 781-799.
[Begin page 788] Anyone working for human rights in troubled places of the world will question whether their work contributes to peace. Working in the Middle East alone neither answers the question of how such a conflict ends between Israel and Palestine, nor answers how Israel might live in peace with its neighbors. Like many Americans who work for Palestinian rights and statehood, I came to this region supporting and believing in the State of Israel, and I left supporting the State of Israel. However, when I became deeply aware of the political situation and, in particular, of the policy of the occupying Israeli forces toward the Palestinians, my reaction was shock and dismay. As a law professor, lawyer, and human being, I condemn the violence that has been inflicted on both sides of this conflict. Scores of Palestinians have lost their freedom and many have lost their lives, as have Israeli soldiers and innocent civilians in both Israel and in Palestine. I cannot imagine, from the Palestinian side, how knife attacks against elderly couples in Tel Aviv or elsewhere in Israel, or against children, can ever be justified. Clearly the only path to a Palestinian state is the path of nonviolence, including the nonviolent refusal to cooperate in the Occupation. The peaceful paths of Gandhi and Martin Luther King are the only ones possible in this place. But for the Israeli side, the violence and slavery of nearly fifty years of occupation of the Palestinians, Israeli settlement-building, and the killing and imprisonment of Palestinian youth must end.
___The biggest obstacle to peace in the region is the unfettered building of settlements by Israel in occupied Palestinian lands. Almost everywhere you travel in the West Bank, when you look up to the hills, you will see an Israeli settlement, illegal in every way under international law. And they are building all the time. When asked whether I have hope for peace in the Holy Land, my answer has to be “No.” I do not have hope about how this problem can be resolved.  FULL ESSAY. . .

❷  TENS  OF  THOUSANDS  OF  ISRAELIS  HIT  THE  STREETS,  AND  IT  HAS  NOTHING  TO  DO  WITH  TRUMP 
+972 Magazine
Dec. 11, 2017 ―   Anti-corruption protests against Netanyahu are growing, and have already notched a win or two. And while the occupation couldn’t be further from the agenda, the movement could serve as a new rallying point for resistance to the authoritarian right.  MORE . . .
❸ OPINION/ANALYSIS:  WILL  THE  JERUSALEM  FREEDOM  INTIFADA  BREAK  OUT?  
The Palestinian Information Center
Dec. 12, 2017 ― The Palestinian people took to the streets in all the governorates of the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and the occupied city of Jerusalem, expressing their anger and rejection of the announcement by US President Donald Trump in which he recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
___“The uprising of the freedom of Jerusalem”, coincided with the anniversary of the first Intifada or “the Intifada of Stones”, which began on 8 December 1987, and documented the struggle of the Palestinian people and was considered a milestone in the history of the Palestinian cause after attempts to obliterate it and at a time the violations and measures against the Palestinian people by the Israeli occupation forces had increased.
___In an atmosphere similar to the one experienced prior to the first intifada, thousands of youths took to the checkpoints and contact points with the Israeli occupation forces in a number of locations, during which youths threw stones and Molotov cocktails at the Israeli occupation forces.   MORE . . .
.  .  .  .  .  ❸  ―  (ᴀ)  TRUMP  PROTESTS  EVOKE  MEMORIES  OF  THE  SECOND  INTIFADA  
+972 Magazine
Zizo Abul Hawa
Dec. 12, 2017 ―   I was nearly 13 when the Second Intifada started. We were in school when Ariel Sharon visited the Temple Mount [Sep. 28, 2000]. School ended early when the rioting began. The children were told to return home; parents came to pick up their kids. My school was in the center of East Jerusalem, very close to the Old City.
[. . . .] We turned on the news and I thought to myself that surely this is a one-off event — tomorrow, it will all be over. No one could possibly want more of this, despite what I heard all around me: “tomorrow will be even worse, it’s Friday.”
[. . . .] Each day, it was the same, a kind of ritual: wake up, clean the blood and bullets from the streets, then riots and fires would start again. Tear gas and burning eyes. . . .
[. . . .] We didn’t return to school until January of 2001. We stayed home for more than three months. When we returned, it wasn’t the same. More than half of the class was gone, schoolchildren, 12- and 13-year-olds like me: some because their families had fled the area, or because they were wounded and in the hospital, or because they were arrested and in jail, or because they were buried deep in the earth. They say children always pay the highest price in war.     MORE . . .

“A  SPECIAL  INVITATION,”  BY  IBRAHIM  NASRALLAH
My corpse hovered over a sea of silence.
My house was a cloud of dust,
the streets were a wild extinguishing dream
and the night was like the face of a friend divided
between silence and earning one’s keep.
The trees opposed their own colors
and the wind opposed riding a song,
a bird in the air was a period
then a comma in conversation.
The sky was arid.
After being killed I washed by the river
and the green along its banks
and when the mourners were late
I rushed to a wave in my mind and plucked a song.
I sang it for two whole nights until it waned
and broke like a mast.
When they were late
I turned onto every path to darkness,
like the soul breaking over the rims of flowers and wooden cups
and said: They will catch up with me on the way.
The road was lonesome and the moon ripped apart my body
although this was not the Age of War.
= = =
My funeral proceeds on its own
moved by the power of darkness to the grave site.
I heard him ask:  “Where are they?”
I recognized him by his clothes, his fear, his blue face,
and the blood on the collar of his shirt,
by the bullets embedded in his flesh.
I recognized him, I did.
But the mourners were late.
So I said:  “Invite my killer. . .”

Ibrahim Nasrallah   
From Nasrallah, Ibrahim. RAIN  INSIDE:  SELECTED  POEMS. Trans. Omnia Amin and Rick London. Willimantic, CT: Curbstone Press, 2009. Available from Barnes and Noble.