“. . . is it my country or the source of my exile . . .” (Zuhair Abu Shaib)

SELECTED NEWS OF THE DAY

Israeli army destroys road students in West Bank village use to reach their school

WAFA
August 28, 2019
Israeli army bulldozers destroyed today a road the al-Tira village council had opened a year ago to facilitate movement of students to their school and back as well as movement of residents in general, according to Abdul Jaber Mohammad, head of al-Tira village council located to west of Ramallah. . . .
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ He stressed Israel wants to build a road in that area to connect the illegal Israeli settlement of Beit Horon to the highway that connects Jerusalem to Tel Aviv.    More . . . .

Israel Punishes Gaza with Fuel Cuts

Palestine Chronicle
August 27, 2019
The Israeli government took retaliatory aim at Gaza’s electricity supply Monday ordering fuel shipments into the coastal region to be cut-in-half “until further notice”, over alleged Palestinian rockets attacks against southern Israel on Sunday night.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Mohammad Thabet, a spokesman for the Gaza power company said:  “We already are in a crisis and now the Israeli decision will make it worse. It will have a grave impact on the lives of 2 million people and on vital services such as hospitals.”   More . . . .

Committee Calls on International Community to Protect Palestinian Civilians

IMEMC-International Middle East Media Center
August 28, 2019
The Legal and International Advocacy Committee of the National Commission for the Return and Siege Breaking Marches strongly condemns the continuation of the Israeli occupation forces targeting the Palestinians participating in the return and siege breaking marches in Gaza Strip.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ The demonstrations have been held for 71 consecutive Fridays, and on August 23, 2019, the Israeli occupation forces, deliberately used excessive and lethal force against demonstrators, injuring 122 civilians, 50 of them with live bullets. These injuries included children, women and 3 badged paramedics and journalists.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ The Committee affirms that the return marches and the popular activities that still maintain a peaceful approach, to which the Israeli occupation forces react with deadly force, demonstrating Israel’s arrogance and contempt for the International Law system of human rights. . . .
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Therefore, the Legal and International Advocacy Committee calls for the implementation of the recommendations in the report of the international commission of inquiry, which was adopted at the 40th Session of the Human Rights Council. More . . . .

State of the Gaza Strip Border Crossings (01 -31 July 2019)

Palestinian Center for Human Rights
August 27, 2019
During the reporting period (July), the Israeli authorities continued to impose their closure on the Gaza Strip for the 13th consecutive year along with tightened restrictions on the crossings surrounding the Gaza Strip, contrary to the Israeli claims of easing restrictions on the movement of persons and goods.  Further, the Israeli authorities continued to control entry and exit for pedestrians from the Gaza Strip at the Beit Hanoun “Erez” Crossing as they narrowly allow some categorioes such as patients of urgent cases and their companions, who both undergo a very long and complicated process in order to get travel permits and are subject to tightened security measures while traveling through the crossing.  During July, the Israeli authorities at Beit Hanoun “Erez” Crossing obstructed the travel of 661 patients . . . .  More . . . .

POEM OF THE DAY

“NAME OF THE SOIL,” BY ZUHAIR ABU SHAIB

what is its name?
what is the name of the soil
that falls from my withered body?
what is its name as it drifts and gathers
under my clothes
while, slowly, I build wall after wall?

I picture a sky full of clouds
I see it as I wish it to be
when night falls, I gulp my fill of springs
in darkness I lift my latch
to wise men

I ask my guests
who imprisoned the soul in rock?
who left prophets spread-eagled on doorsteps?
who risks everything to capture the earth?
a man who does not know his own shadow

what can I call this rug of soil?
is it my country or the source of my exile?
is it my miracle or my cross?

what is its name?

――Translated by Tom Pow

From A BIRD IS NOT A STONE: AN ANTHOLOGY OF CONTEMPORARY PALESTINIAN POETRY (Glasgow: Freight Books, 2014).
Zuhair Abu Shaib was born in Deir al-Ghusun, a town near the city of Tulkarm in the northern West Bank and studied at Yarmouk University. He was a teacher and journalist in Yemen, and a book designer. He was also editor of the journal Awraq.

 

“. . . Even her dreams are besieged . . .” (Samih Faraj)

IMG_3240 - Copy

Members of delegation from Sabeel Liberation Theology Center, Jerusalem,
in Hebron’s al-Shuhada Street with gates closing the street and
Israeli soldier in guard tower above. (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 7, 2015)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .

UN  APPOINTS  NEW  CHAIR  OF  COMMISSION  ON  VIOLATIONS  AGAINST  PALESTINIANS
The President of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) . . .  announced the appointment of Santiago Canton of Argentina to serve as a member and chairperson of the Council-mandated Commission of Inquiry on the 2018 protests in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.   Canton . . .  will replace David Michael Crane of the United States who recently stepped down as a member of the three-person Commission.   ___The Commissioners have been mandated by the Human Rights Council to investigate all alleged violations and abuses of international humanitarian law and international human rights law in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, particularly in the blockaded Gaza Strip. . .    More . . .

SPAIN  READY  TO  RECOGNIZE  PALESTINIAN  STATE
Spain has become the latest country to voice its readiness to recognize the State of Palestine and that it will promote a European Union (EU) move to recognize Palestine as an independent state.   ___Spain’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Josep Borrell, spoke at a conference of EU leaders in Austria, saying that the Spanish government will promote an EU move to recognize Palestine.   ___Borrell said that “if the EU is not able to reach a unanimous decision, then each to their own.”   More . . .
Related . . . MEMBERS  OF  EU  PARLIAMENT  CALL  ON  EU  TO  RECOGNIZE  PALESTINE

ISRAELI  FORCES  SEVERELY  ASSAULT,  DETAIN  HEBRON  RESIDENTS    Israeli forces raided a Palestinian home, on Wednesday night, the southern occupied West Bank city of Hebron, and assaulted its residents.   ___Locals said that Israeli forces raided the home of Palestinian, Ghaleb Abu Sbeih, in the Old City of HEBRON and thoroughly searched it, damaging most of his furniture and personal belongings.  ___Israeli forces assaulted two Palestinians, Shaher and Ibrahim Abu Sbeih, during the raid. . .   More . . .
Related . . . ISRAELI  FORCES  INJURE  DOZENS  OF  PALESTINIAN  STUDENTS  IN  HEBRON

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .

HEBRON:  6  ILLEGAL  SETTLEMENTS,  95  PHYSICAL  OBSTACLES,  2200  ISRAELI  SOLDIERS  TO  PRIVILEGE  850  ILLEGAL  SETTLERS.
For centuries, Al-Khalil (Hebron) has been considered a holy city, primarily because of the Ibrahimi Mosque/The Tomb of the Patriarchs, which followers of Judaism, Islam, and Christianity consider a sacred site of pilgrimage. Today, Al-Khalil is an openly segregated city. The daily lives of its 215,000 Palestinian residents are severely disrupted to privilege just 850 hard-line Israeli settlers, enabled by hundreds of heavily armed Israeli soldiers. More . . .   Join  Visualizing Palestine . . .
Related . . .  OCCUPATION  CAPTURED  09/18:  PHOTOS  OF  PALESTINIAN  LIFE  AND  ISRAELI  OCCUPATION  IN  THE  WEST  BANK  CITY  OF  HEBRON
Related . . .  PALESTINIAN  POLICE  PAY  FIRST-EVER  SYMBOLIC  VISIT  TO  HEBRON’S  OLD  CITY

NOTICES  FROM  ORGANIZATIONS. . . .

ECUMENICAL  ACCOMPANIERS  PROGRAM  IN  PALESTINE  AND  ISRAEL  (EAPPI)    The World Council of Churches’ Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI) was created in 2002 by the WCC. . .    1,800 ecumenical accompaniers (EAs) have worked to create conditions for a just peace.   EAPPI advocates for justice and peace based on non-violence and a non-partisan approach. . . To insure adherence to these vital principles at a local level in Israel and Palestine, a Local Reference Group (LRG) with representatives from the Christian, Muslim and Jewish communities, is appointed . . .     More . . .   Donate . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

“A WOMAN,” BY SAMIH FARAJ

Take one step towards the old house
And another down the stairs to the home
Where a woman sits in the early evening light:
Light, the radiance of a dove, shining;
Or light like the light from a shrine.
No one knows where she has come from –
Through which quarter or distant land she passed.
What shadow the light cast when she’d gone.
No one knows the flood she passed through –
The risks she took, the daily deluge.
No one can measure the vast sea she crossed,
The hazards she held in her small hands.
An ordinary woman: one step at a time, one step
On the land lacking, on the barren soil; one step
On the time passing; one step on the clock ticking.
Except for something in her now rising, hot, scolding,
Even her dreams are besieged, it seems; yet
In the middle of a siege it’s still possible to dream.
A dream of the old house, and her first step.
—Translated by Jackie Kay

Samih Faraj is a teacher in Deheishe Refugee Camp and a lecturer at HEBRON and Bethlehem Universities. He has been editor-in-chief of several journals, including VOICE OF THE NATION.
Poem from A BIRD IS NOT A STONE: AN ANTHOLOGY OF CONTEMPORARY PALESTINIAN POETRY (Glasgow: Freight Books, 2014).

“. . . Of the rubble that was your eyes I erect my home . . .” (‘Abd al-Latif ‘Aql)

A general view of the Dome of the Rock in the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound and the East Jerusalem Silwan neighborhood, a densely populated Palestinian area on a steep hillside flanking the southern walls of Jerusalem’s Old City. (Photo: Agence France‑Presse/Ahmad Gharabli)
A general view of the Dome of the Rock in the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound and the East Jerusalem Silwan neighborhood, a densely populated Palestinian area on a steep hillside flanking the southern walls of Jerusalem’s Old City. (Photo: Agence France‑Presse/Ahmad Gharabli)

❶ Foreign Ministry Seeks UN Resolution to Freeze Settlement Construction
. . . . . ❶―(ᴀ) Breaking news: Ratifying the settlement project “Kedem” in Silwan
❷ Israel Detains 23 Palestinians during West Bank Raids
❸ UN: Israel’s execution of wounded Palestinian gruesome, unjust
❹ UN passes 4 Palestinian-backed resolutions in landmark victory
❺ Opinion/Analysis: WHY  NETANYAHU  IS  SO  THREATENED  BY  BREAKING  THE  SILENCE
❻ Poetry by ‘Abd al-Latif ‘Aql
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
FOREIGN  MINISTRY  SEEKS  UN  RESOLUTION  TO  FREEZE  SETTLEMENT  CONSTRUCTION
PALESTINE NEWS AND INFORMATION AGENCY – WAFA
March 24, 2016
Ministry of Foreign Affairs called on the international community to seek a United Nations resolution to force Israel to halt its settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territories.
___The Ministry, in a statement Thursday, called upon world countries to support Palestinian and Arab efforts aiming to hold an international peace conference on Palestine.
___The statement came in response to Israel’s approval of a controversial plan pushed by the settler organization ‘Elad’, which aims to construct settlement units in the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan.      MORE . . . 

Developer’s rendering of Kedem project (Photo: Altahrir, News of Islam, Muslims, Arab Spring and special Palestine)
Developer’s rendering of Kedem project (Photo: Altahrir, News of Islam, Muslims, Arab Spring and special Palestine)

. . . . . ❶―(ᴀ) BREAKING  NEWS:  RATIFYING  THE  SETTLEMENT  PROJECT  “KEDEM”  IN  SILWAN
WADI HILWEH INFORMATION CENTER – SILWAN
March 23, 2016
The District Council for Planning and Building ratified on Wednesday night the project of Elad settlement organization known as “Kedem project- City of David- Old City of Jerusalem” which is intended to be established at the entrance of Wadi Hilweh in Silwan south of Al-Aqsa Mosque.      MORE . . .
RELATED . . .

ISRAEL  DETAINS  23  PALESTINIANS  DURING  WEST  BANK  RAIDS
PALESTINE NEWS AND INFORMATION AGENCY – WAFA
March 24, 2016
At least 23 Palestinians, including a minor girl, were Thursday detained by Israeli forces. . . .
___PPS said Israeli forces stormed the village of Beit Fajjar, south of Bethlehem, and detained 14-year-old Salwa Hayyan. . . . In Jerusalem, Israeli police detained seven Palestinians . . . Meanwhile in Ramallah district . . . In the northern West Bank, city of Nablus . . .   MORE . . .

UN:  ISRAEL’S  EXECUTION  OF  WOUNDED  PALESTINIAN  GRUESOME,  UNJUST
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
March 25, 2016
A UN official on Friday condemned in the strongest terms the brutal “extrajudicial execution” of a wounded Palestinian by an Israeli soldier that was captured on camera in Hebron the day before.
___Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov said he strongly condemned the apparent “extrajudicial execution” of the Palestinian, who was shot in the head at point-blank . . . .
___”This was a gruesome, immoral, and unjust act that can only fuel more violence and escalate an already volatile situation,” Mladenov said.      MORE . . .
RELATED VIDEO . . . .

UN  PASSES  4  PALESTINIAN- BACKED  RESOLUTIONS  IN  LANDMARK  VICTORY
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
March 24, 2016
In a landmark victory for the Palestinian leadership, the UN Human Rights Council on Thursday passed four resolutions relating to the occupied Palestinian territory, one of which will draw up a “blacklist” of companies who do business in illegal Israeli settlements.
___The PLO Negotiations Affairs Department said that in addition to the resolution regarding settlements — which passed 32 to 0 — a resolution was adopted recognizing the inalienable right of the Palestinian people to self-determination.   MORE . . .  

OPINION/ANALYSIS:  WHY  NETANYAHU  IS  SO  THREATENED  BY  “BREAKING THE SILENCE”
+972 BLOG
Dotan Greenvald
March 21, 2016
Breaking the Silence has classified information in its possession. The information is so confidential that its publication could pose a genuine threat. I hope you are sitting down, because I am about to disclose that information. Just don’t tell me later on that I went first and told the gentiles or anti-Semitic foreign governments. You are hearing it firsthand from me, a silence breaker: Israel is a country that controls the lives of millions of Palestinians with no rights, and its elected officials are doing one hell of a job of keeping it from you.    MORE . . . 

(Palestinian poets frequently use the image of “lover” for Palestine.)

“LOVE  PALESTINIAN-STYLE,”  BY  ‘ABD AL-LATIF ‘AQL

In times of drought you are my figs and olives,
Your barrenness is my fragrant gown.

Of the rubble that was your eyes I erect my home,
I love you alive, I love you in death.
When hungry, I feed on thyme.

I feel your hair against my face and I pine,
My weary face turns red.

I am born in the palms of your hands, and embryo,
I grow and grow, and I reach maturity.

I drink the meaning of my life from your gaze,
Then my being is awakened and is intoxicated.

I journey across frontiers, you are my suitcase,
You are my forged passport.

I boast that I can smuggle your eyes
Across borders;
I boast and boast and pride surges within me.

And when soldiers confiscate you,
Even before hashish,
And gouge the pupils of my eyes,

I feel I have been cleansed of the shame;
I have become purer
And more immaculate.

When they fear what may be under my armpits,
They confine me in small cells
I sign your name
At the end of police reports.

And when I am led all alone
To be whipped and humiliated,
And lashed at every police station,
I feel we’re lovers, who died from ecstasy,
A dark-skinned man and his woman.

You become me and I become you―
Luscious figs and shelled almonds.
And when soldiers smash my head
And force me to sip the cold of prison
To forget you―I love you even more.

‘Abd Al-Latif ‘Aql was born in 1942 in Deir Istiya, a village near Nablus. His family was exiled in 1948, and he lived in Amman and studied in Damasus and the U.S. where earned a PhD in social psychology. He worked as a school teacher in the West Bank for many years. He has published many volumes of poetry. His two plays incurred the wrath of the Israelis, and were forced to end performance at Bir Zeit University.
FROM: Parmenter, Barbara McKean. GIVING  VOICE  TO  STONES :  PLACE  AND  IDENTITY  IN  PALESTINIAN  LITERATURE.  Austin, Texas : University of Texas Press, 1994.  The Database of Arabic Literature in Western Research (DAL). OxLit Literary Publication and Documentation

“. . . Each river has its own springs, Its own course and its own life. . .” (Mahmoud Darwish)

Palestinian water resources
Palestinian water resources

from PALESTINE INFORMATION CENTER
On the occasion of World Water Day
SETTLERS CONSUME SEVEN TIMES MORE WATER THAN NATIVE PALESTINIANS IN WB

RAMALLAH, (PIC)– A Palestinian statistical report clearly showed unfair distribution of shares of aquifers in the West Bank in comparison between the Israeli settlers and the Palestinian natives.

The report, issued by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) on March 22, which marks the World Water Day, showed that the Israeli daily share per capita of water consumption reached seven times higher than the Palestinians.

Palestinian water resources are fully controlled by Israel, according to the provisions enshrined in the Oslo Accords. According to some estimates, Israel is using more than 85 percent of the water in the West Bank, covering around a quarter of its own needs.
(More. . . .)

Swimming pool at the illegal Israeli settlement at Ariel
Swimming pool at the illegal Israeli settlement at Ariel

from INTERNATIONAL MIDDLE EAST MEDIA CENTER
SETTLERS ATTACK PALESTINIAN CHILDREN IN SOUTH HEBRON HILLS, INJURE 6-YEAR-OLD GIRL
by IMEMC News & Agencies
March 23, 2015

Masked Israeli settlers from the illegal settlement of Ma’on, south of Hebron, threw stones at Palestinian children and injured a six-year-old child, Saturday.

The child sustained a head injury and was taken to the nearest hospital for medical treatment, according to witnesses.

An Israeli army spokeswoman did not have any immediate information, but told Ma’an News Agency that she was looking into the incident.

The Hebron Defense Committee has reported that two masks settlers threw stones, on Saturday afternoon, at two children from Khirbet a-Tawil, southeast of Yatta town.

The Committee added that a child, identified as Sojoud ‘Awad, 6 years of age, was struck in the head, and one of her legs.

Settlers routinely carry out acts of violence against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank but are rarely held accountable, as Israeli authorities are often complicit in the attacks on Palestinians, their property and their lands, according to Israeli human rights organization B’tselem.
(More. . . .)

from THE PALESTINE CHRONICLE
WEST PUNISHED PALESTINE WHEN IT VOTED FREELY; ENDORSES ISRAEL’S VOTE FOR OCCUPATION
By Ghada Ageel
March 23, 2015

The 2006 elections were an amazing demonstration of Palestinian democracy in its multi-coloured beauty. The people under occupation expressed their determination to resist Israel’s attempt to force them to surrender through its colonisation efforts, expansionist strategies and racism. And the people have kept their word. Even where there is occupation with its control over their lands, lives and destinies, there is still no surrender.

The elections were significant in that they owed nothing to American pressure and to the selective effort by the USA to promote only those democracies that fit its own agenda. Ironically, the elections were also a dramatic surprise for the EU. They had spent millions of dollars on the illusive peace project and had threatened to cut off the aid to Palestinians if the outcome was not in line with that project. Instead, the elections were a stunning testimony to the fact that Palestinian civil society is more vibrant than ever and can be mobilised into an organised political force. It also proved that Palestinian politics has its own effective dynamic that has little to do with pressure, bribery and blackmail from the outside but much to do with the political, social and economic demands of ordinary people in their atrocious situation. Although Palestinians had become poorer, more vulnerable, less secure and more targeted through the “peace process,” they rejected all pressure and reaffirmed their demand for freedom.

In response, they have been made to suffer the drastic consequences that followed.
(More. . . .)

from MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
ISRAEL ‘BOYCOTTS’ UN RIGHTS COUNCIL SESSION ON GAZA WAR
March 22, 2015

GENEVA (AFP) — Israel’s representative was conspicuously missing when the UN Human Rights Council started a special session Monday on the situation in the Palestinian territories and the 2014 Gaza conflict.

“I note the representative of Israel is not present,” said council president Joachim Ruecher.

Israel provided no immediate explanation for their absence at the session dedicated overwhelmingly to discussion of its policies and alleged abuses, but a source close to the council said it clearly amounted to a boycott.

“We won’t comment on that,” a spokeswoman with the Israeli mission in Geneva told AFP.

The United States was also absent from Monday’s discussions.
(More. . . .)

from THIS WEEK IN PALESTINE
A KAIROS PERSPECTIVE OF TOURISM AND PILGRIMAGE: COME AND SEE
By Rifat Odeh Kassis
March 2015

When we created the Kairos Document (launched in December 2009), we at Kairos Palestine tried to reflect on what tourism and pilgrimage really mean to us. In our advocacy, we try to see and respond to both our reality and our rights. We address churches, tourists, and pilgrims of all faiths and ethnicities in hopes they will see the injustice happening in Palestine and walk and work in solidarity with us along the path to justice. Kairos Palestine believes in facilitating the “sight” of the many people who visit our land, whether they are tourists or pilgrims.

To be a tourist is to play an unusual role.

You arrive in a place you’ve never seen before and stay for some time. You explore. Perhaps you read a book that tells you where to go, or recruit a guide to take you there. You take pictures, you look and look, and what you see will be the only material you can use to make sense of where you are. Perhaps you realize that the information offered to you is, in itself, a purposeful narrative that will demand your acceptance and affirmation, often at the exclusion of other narratives.

Because of this, tourism is a heavily political business anywhere you go, whether or not the politics are advertised.
(More. . . .)

Throughout his career, Rifat Odeh Kassis has been advocating for the effective application of international human rights and humanitarian law in Palestine through various professional and voluntary positions. He was the driving force and one of the co-authors of Kairos Palestine document and has been the general coordinator of the Kairos Palestine Movement since its inception. He has published two books: Palestine, A Bleeding Wound in the World’s Conscience and Kairos for Palestine.

“CONCERNING HOPES,” BY MAHMOUD DARWISH

Don’t tell me:
I wish I were a baker in Algeria
To sing with a fighter.
Don’t tell me:
I wish I were a shepherd in Yemen
To sing for resurrection.
Don’t tell me:
I wish I were a waiter in Havana
To sing the victories of the oppressed.
Don’t tell me:
I wish I were a young porter in Aswan
To sing for the rocks.
The Nile will never flow into the Volga,
Nor will the Congo or the Jordan flow into the Euphrates.
Each river has its own springs,
Its own course and its own life.
Our land, my friend, is no barren land.
Each land gives birth in due time,
And each fighter will see the dawn.