“. . . 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.

“. . . For injustice is blind And the judges are wreathed in. . . darkness . . .” (Dareen Tatour)

Capture111-660x330Palestinian Red Crescent Society paramedic evacuating an injured
child from field in Gaza. (Photo PRCS, from Palestine News Network, Nov. 5, 2018)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .
|    ISRAELI  FORCES  RAID  [Hebron Hills] ELEMENTARY  SCHOOL,  KICK  STUDENTS,  TEACHERS  OUT,  ORDER  DEMOLITION
Israeli forces Monday raided an elementary school in Masafer Yatta, in the south Hebron hills, kicked its students and teachers out and informed the administration of the intention to demolish it under the pretext it was built without permit, said a local activist.    ___Coordinator of the Anti-Wall and Anti-Settlements Committee, Rateb Jabour, said that Israeli forces stormed Khalat al-Dabe school, built of caravans to accommodate area youngsters, and forced its 12 students and staff to leave it. He said the military also handed the staff a  notice for demolition of the school.    ___Soldiers also raided Khirbet al-Mufaqara, another Masafer Yatta village, and handed demolition orders for three residential structures.     More . . .
. . . . Related  ISRAELI  SOLDIERS  PREVENT  STUDENTS  FROM  REACHING  THEIR  SCHOOL  IN  WEST  BANK  VILLAGE (Video)
|    IOF  SEIZE  155  DUNUMS  OF  LAND  NEAR  RAMALLAH      Israeli occupation forces on Monday seized 155 dunums of land from areas in Al-Lubban village near Ramallah, northern West Bank.    ___The head of the village council, Aisha Samhan told the WAFA news agency that the Israeli occupation authorities distributed a decision to seize two dunums from Khallet al-Shamiya, 141 dunums of Khallat al-Asfoura and 12 dunums of al-Musawadiya area, in order to create a bypass  road  to  the  SETTLEMENT  of  Beit  Aryeh.    More . . .
. . . . Related  REPORT:  ISRAELI  GOV’T  PROVIDES  FINANCIAL  SAFETY  NET  FOR  INVESTMENTS  IN  SETTLEMENTS
|    WHO  REPORT:  NINE  KILLED  AND  1000  INJURED  IN  GAZA  WITHIN  TWO  WEEKS
Nine Palestinians were killed and 1,306 were injured by the Israeli forces during the reporting period from the 7th to the 20th October, according to the Ministry of Health (MoH).    ___Eight Palestinians, including one child, were killed during the demonstrations, while the ninth was killed due to an Israeli attack, which took place on the 17th October.    ___Out of the total 1,306 injured, 62% (815 people) transferred to MoH hospitals or NGO health facilities, including 168 children and 35 females. The remaining 38% (491) were treated and discharged directly from the trauma stabilization points (TSPs).     More . . .

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .
|    WOMEN  IMPRISONED  IN  ISRAEL:  LIFE  BETWEEN  PRESSURE,  SUFFERING  AND  SUDDEN  TRANSFER 
Dareen Tatour
One month after my release from detention, house arrest and prison that went on, including all of its phases, for three years, during which I have lived through the suffering of imprisonment and detention that is different than any other type of suffering that I have personally experienced. Yet, despite the cruelty of this experience that is full of events, especially those related to female prisoners, and as I write these words, I have left 51 female prisoners behind the bars, each of whom holds a story, a novel per se, that must be talked about, we must dig out the painful reality that each one of them lives through, at both the HaSharon and Damon prison, and the reasons that brought them to prison and detention.    ___I was detained and released from prison, and prison has become past today. It is true that my body was freed and released and is no longer imprisoned, but my thoughts are still tied to everything I lived through there with the female prisoners and I cannot be released of until my last breath, as they live with me through all of my moments even the ones (moments) away from life in detention.    More . . .
|    CATHOLIC  ORDINARIES:  ARABS  IN  ISRAEL  NO  LESS  CITIZENS  OF  THIS  COUNTRY  THAN  JEWS
The Arabs in Israel are no less citizens of this county than the Jews, the Catholic Ordinaries of the Holy Land  said  last  week  on the new Israeli Nation State Law, passed by the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, on July 19.    ___“According to this law, the State of Israel has legislated that the people whose ‘welfare and safety’ it is most concerned to promote and protect are ed to the Jewish citizens of the State of Israel,” the ordinaries said in a statement. “We must draw the attention of the authorities to a simple fact: our faithful, the  Christians,  our  fellow  citizens,  Muslim,  Druze  and  Baha’i,  all  of  us  who  are  Arabs, are no less citizens of this country than our Jewish brothers and sisters.”    More . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

“BEWARE,”  BY  DAREEN  TATOUR
Beware—
Write, in injustice, what you want
As you want it—
For injustice is blind
And the judges are wreathed in the color of darkness
You are not justice
You are the oppressor
The wretched perversion of the thing
The symbol of hypocrisy

Beware—
Beware—
The essence of a ruling
In the highest court in the land
Poetry is terrorism, something shameful
You criminal!
And so with your million sighs
Write your decision on what you will
As you will—
They won’t bother to read you
As you are, by this verdict, condemned

Beware—
Beware—
The people around me are a state of their own
A source of other rulings
They won’t read you
Instead, they read poetry
Manuscripts of endurance

Am I, with my craft, to be rejected?
Your face is the darkened one, scoured by the ordeal
And your features point to the roots of your weakness
Your voice cracks
Before the revelations of art
While the tune of my poetry is singing

Call out your verdict until you are hoarse
And write, in your decision, what you wish
As you wish—
They won’t read you
For the writer of the new justice
Has been welcomed by the beats of my poems
Light from a new sun
So write in your judgment what you wish
As you wish
You won’t stop my poetry from beating on
For in my heart is the sky

— Translated from the Arabic by Andrew Leber

“An initial collection of [Tatour’s] poems,  THE  LAST  INVASION, was published locally in 2010. A further collection of poems and a novel are completed but are currently on a laptop confiscated by Israeli authorities. Several of her poems were included in the recent bilingual anthology A  BLADE  OF  GRASS:  NEW  PALESTINIAN  POETRY. . .”    Available from Barnes and Noble.

“. . the bed of her elder son, made for the final time . .” (Mourid Barghouti)

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Medical personnel examine bodies of three Palestinian children murdered yesterday. (Photo: Ma’an News Agency)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .
|    ISRAELI  AIRSTRIKE  KILLS  3  PALESTINIAN  MINORS  IN  GAZA
Three Palestinian minors were killed during an Israeli airstrike northeast of Khan Younis, in the southern besieged Gaza Strip, on Sunday.    ___The Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza confirmed that three minors were killed after a group of Palestinians were targeted by an Israeli warplane, near the security border fence with Israel northeast of Khan Younis City.    [. . . .] The  Palestinian  Red  Crescent  Society  (PRCS)  reported . . .  that Israeli warplanes targeted and fired a missile towards a group of Palestinian protesters known as the “Night Confusion” unit, who participated in night protests against the nearly 12-year Israeli siege, near the security border fence.    ___The Israeli army announced that it targeted three Palestinians, who allegedly attempted to place a suspicious object near the security border fence with Israel, which led to their killing.    [. . . .] The  World  Health  Organization  (WHO)  issued a issued a special situation report, which showed that 14 Palestinians, including four children, were killed and 1,434 were injured by the Israeli forces in the past two weeks in Gaza.    More . . .
. . . . Related  Israel’s deliberate targeting of children is an ongoing war crime, says PLO official   PLO Executive Committee Member Hanan Ashrawi Monday strongly condemned Israel’s shelling and murder of three Palestinian children to the east of Khan Younes in the southern besieged Gaza Strip.
. . . . Related  Abu Zuhri: Israel’s murder of Gaza children reflects its terrorism    Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri condemned Israel’s killing of three Palestinian children in an eastern border area of the besieged Gaza Strip as “a reflection of its criminal image and terrorism.”
. . . . Related  Israeli  bulldozers  raze,  level  lands  in  Gaza
|
   PRESIDENT  ABBAS:  WE  ARE  FACING  A  HISTORICAL  MOMENT;  EITHER  TO  BE  OR  NOT  TO  BE
President Mahmoud Abbas said on Sunday during the 30th Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Central Council session held in Ramallah that “the phase we are going through may be the most dangerous phase that the Palestinian people have ever experienced,” stressing that “we are facing a historical moment; either to be or not to be.”    More . . .
|    MOROCCAN  COMMISSION:  PALESTINIAN  CAUSE  IS  THE  NATION’S  KEY  CONCERN
The Moroccan Commission to Support the Nation’s Causes said Jerusalem will forever remain Arabs’ and Muslims’ beating heart.    ___The commission said ever since the US President Donald Trump took office, unprecedented schemes and anti-Palestine measures have seen the day.    More . . .
. . . . Related  Hundreds  rally  in  Istanbul  in  support  for  Return  March

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .
|    THE  ISRAELI  MYTH  OF  THE  UNCIVILIZED  PALESTINIAN
Recently, in another shocking incident, Israel’s Culture Minister Miri Regev was outraged by a Palestinian children’s novel written by Walid Dagga, a Palestinian prisoner who spent more than thirty years in jail for resisting the occupation. In her opinion, he is in jail not to write novels but to be punished. This might cause shock to some, but this falls perfectly in line with how Israel’s official discourse stereotypes Palestinians: as mere demons who are able only to kill indiscriminately. Writing novels? Well, this does not fit in this stereotype.    More . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

“HOW  ARE  YOU?”  BY  MOURID  BARGHOUTI
Waiting for the school bus,
watching his breath turn into mist near his nose
in the icy morning,
the schoolboy’s fingers are frozen,
too stiff to make a fist.

On the pillow of regret,
the defeated soldier
lazily tries to get up,
raising his broken toothbrush
to his teeth.

Early or late,
The stranger awakens in his exile, his homeland.
Their clothes, their car number pates, their trees,
their quarrels, their love, their land, their sea
belong to them.
His memories are like rats gathering on his doormat,
new and warm
in front of his closed door.

On a lonely pillow,
the mother throws a quick glance
at the bed of her elder son,
made for the final time
and empty, forever.

A voice from the neighbouring window is heard:
“Hello, good morning, how are you?”
“Hello, good morning, we’re fine,
we’re fine!”

From: Barghouti, Mourid.  MIDNIGHT  AND  OTHER  POEMS.  Trans. By Radwa Ashour. Todmorden, Lancashire, UK: Arc Books, 2008. Available from B&N.

 

“. . . Do you remember your panic―at the reign of death? . . .” (Samih Al-Qasim)

IMG_2862 - Copy
As a guest at Al-Aqsa, November 5, 2015. Photo: by Harold Knight.

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .

WHO:  10  PALESTINIANS,  INCLUDING  4  CHILDREN,  WERE  KILLED  BY  ISRAELIS  IN  GAZA  IN  2  WEEKS 
The latest figures provided by the Ministry of Health (MoH) indicate that during the demonstrations between 10th and 22nd September, 10 Palestinians including four children were killed and 1,193 were injured by the Israeli forces, the World Health Organization (WHO) said in a special situation report on Gaza published on Thursday. Most of the killings and injuries occurred during protests as part of the March of Return on the Gaza border with Israel.    ___Out of the total 1,193 injured, 690 patients required transfer to the MoH hospitals or NGO clinics, including 127 children and 37 females. Of the hospitalized injured, 19 cases were critically life threatening, 275 moderate, 386 mild . . .  More . . .

OVER  500  ISRAELI  SETTLERS  STORM  AL-AQSA  ON  4TH  DAY  OF  SUKKOT
Hundreds of Israeli settlers stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, on Thursday, through the Moroccan Gate on the fourth day of their Jewish holiday of Sukkot.   ___The Islamic Endowment Department (Waqf) confirmed that 509 Israeli settlers stormed the compound via the Moroccan Gate that was opened at 7 a.m. until 9:30 a.m. and the numbers are expected to increase throughout the day.   ___Israeli forces and police were deployed across the compound, by the Moroccans Gate and by the Chain Gate, in addition to Israeli police being deployed by the doors of the mosque and into the streets leading up to the compound in the Old City.   More . . .
Related . . .Fanatic  Israeli  settlers  perform  provocative  rituals  in  Samou
Related
. . .Israeli  forces  injure  20  Palestinians  as  settlers  visit  Joseph’s  Tomb     

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .

EREKAT:  WHAT  TRUMP  SAID  IS  A  REWARD  FOR    AGGRESSORS  FOR  THEIR  CRIMES
PLO Executive Committee Secretary Dr. Saeb Erekat  said in  his response to President Trump’s Speech at the UNGA today that President Trump has confirmed that his administration has closed the doors to peace and cannot play a role in peacemaking by stating that his decision to move his embassy to Israel to Jerusalem, in violation of Security Council resolution 478, was a “recognition of reality”. Rather, what his administration did, and continues to do, is to reward and incentivize violations of international law, colonization, war crimes, and apartheid.    ___His rejection of the International Criminal Court is a rejection of international law. It should be noted that Israel, the occupying power, did not implement any of the UN Security Council and General Assembly resolutions Erekat said.   More . . .
Related . . .Officials  address  Palestine  at  UNGA

“PREVENTING  PALESTINE”:  A  MUST  READ  HISTORY  OF  FAILED  PEACE-MAKING
James J. Zogby
Seth Anziska’s “Preventing Palestine: A Political History From Camp David to Oslo” is a deeply insightful and profoundly disturbing book that traces the tortuous path of Middle East peace-making during the past four decades. It was quite painful to read.     ___Having been a close observer and sometimes participant in many of the developments that have unfolded since the end of the 1973 War, Anziska opened old wounds while shedding new light on the painful events and acts of betrayal that have shaped recent Palestinian history.     ___Through all of the twists and turns of this period, the brutal wars and the diplomatic initiatives, the one constant that emerges is the Israeli determined refusal to recognize the Palestinian right to self-determination and statehood and the self-serving acquiesce to their intransigence by successive American administrations and key Arab leaders.  More . . .

NOTICES  FROM  ORGANIZATIONS. . . .   

BRIGHT  STARS  OF  BETHLEHEM:  “Room  for  Hope,”  (Dallas,  Austin,  Houston,  Texas,  USA),  Oct.  5-7,  2018.    It’s finally here! Bright Stars is coming to Texas for a multi-city festival of Palestinian culture.  After postponing last year’s festival due to Hurricane Harvey, we are thrilled to be in Texas this fall.   Information . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . .

“BUCHENWALD,”  BY  SAMIH  AL-QASIM
Have you forgotten your shame at Buchenwald?
Do you remember your flames at Buchenwald?
Have you forgotten your love in the lexicon
of silence? Do you remember your panic―
at the reign of death, in the nightmare of time―
that the whole world
would become a Buchenwald?
Whether you’ve forgotten or not,
the dead’s images linger
among the wreaths of flowers,
and from the dismembered corpses
a hand emerges,
a nail in the palm and tattoo on the wrist―
a sign for the planet.
Do you remember? Or not?
Buchenwald― whether or not you’ve forgotten,
the images of the murdered
remain among the wreaths of flowers . . .

From Al-Qasim, Samih. SADDER  THAN  WATER.  New  and  Selected  Poems.  Trans. Nazih Kasis and Adina Hoffman. Jerusalem: Ibis Editions, 2008.

 

“. . . silence my argument with chains . . .” (Samih Al-Qasim)

❶ Poland to equip the Palestinian rapid intervention team
. . . . . ❶― (ᴀ) Ireland describes Israeli settlement expansion as provocative

Background: “Apartheid in the Holy Land: Theological Reflections on the Israel And/Or Palestine Situation from a South African Perspective.” Hervormde Teologiese Studies

❷ How Israel engages in ‘water apartheid’
❸ Israeli forces detain 66 Palestinians, majority teenagers, in overnight raids
. . . . . ❸ ― (ᴀ) Joint report reveals that 431 Palestinians were arrested in September 2017
❹ POETRY by Samih Al-Qasim
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ POLAND  TO  EQUIP  THE  PALESTINIAN  RAPID  INTERVENTION  TEAM 
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Oct, 23, 2017 ― The Palestinian International Cooperation Agency (PICA) signed on Monday a cooperation agreement with the Polish representative to Palestine in which the latter will contribute to equipping PICA’s team for rapid intervention [“first responders”].
___PICA director Imad Zuhairi signed the agreement with the Polish representative to Palestine, Aleksandra Bukowska, who welcomed it and considered it the beginning of growing cooperation between Poland and Palestine that would later include various sectors.   MORE . . .
. . . . ❶― (ᴀ)  IRELAND  DESCRIBES  ISRAELI  SETTLEMENT  EXPANSION  AS  PROVOCATIVE 
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA 
Oct. 23, 2017 ― Ireland condemned last week Israel’s settlement expansion in the occupied Palestinian territories describing them as provocative.
___“I condemn decisions this week by the Israeli authorities approving the construction of thousands of housing units in Israeli settlements in the West Bank,” said Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Simon Coveney.
___“This week’s announcements include construction in areas such as Hebron, which are far from the 1967 border, and which could never be included in any possible agreed land swap between the parties. The relentless expansion of settlements, especially in such sensitive areas, break up the land area on which a Palestinian state is to be established.’   MORE . . .
❷ HOW  ISRAEL  ENGAGES  IN  ‘WATER  APARTHEID’  
Days of Palestine
Mersiha Gadzo
Oct. 22, 2017 ― World Health Organisation says that an illegal Israeli settler in West Bank consumes three times more water than a legal Palestinian resident.
___Jordan Valley, Occupied West Bank – Water is not scarce in the Jordan Valley, known as the traditional “breadbasket of Palestine” – yet Palestinian farmers struggle to survive, with little water to nourish their crops. They say the amount of water that Israeli authorities allocate to them has been decreasing daily since the Second Intifada.
___Meanwhile, neighbouring settlements consume copious amounts of water. They grow produce, such as bananas, requiring large amounts of water, which is mostly pumped from wells in the occupied West Bank, and they export a rich variety of fruits, vegetables, flowers and spices to Europe and the United States.
___In the village of Ein al-Beida, barbed wire divides a field in two.
___On one side are rows of orange trees covered in lush green leaves, grown by Israeli settlers from a nearby illegal settlement; on the other is barren land allocated for Palestinians, where nothing grows except stiff stalks of yellow grass, long dried out due to  the lack of water.   MORE . . . 

Pillay, Jerry.
“Apartheid in the Holy Land: Theological Reflections on the Israel And/Or Palestine Situation from a South African Perspective.”
Hervormde Teologiese Studies, vol. 72, no. 4, Oct. 2016, pp. 1-9.
[Jerry Pillay, Department of Church History and Church Polity, Faculty of Theology, University of Pretoria, South Africa.]
The word ‘apartheid’ comes from an Afrikaans word meaning ‘apartness’ or ‘separateness’. . .  it is actually an official policy of racial segregation, involving political, legal and economic discrimination against ‘non-white’ people. It is a policy or practice of separating or segregating groups. This policy separated white and non-white people in South Africa from 1948 to 1994. . . During the 19th century. . . [t]his became the paradigm for the foundation of the Israeli state which exists up to this day with great cost to human rights and lives. The Palestinians continue to fight for their independence in the face of Israel’s continuation to take Palestinian land. Hence, the analogy between Israel and apartheid1 entails a comparison between Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians and South Africa’s treatment of non-white people during its apartheid era. . .
[. . . .] Justice is a very significant theological theme in the context of the Israel-Palestine situation – as much as it was, and still is, in the South African context.
[. . . .] An investigation into the meaning of justice (tsedeq and tsedaqah) in the Old Testament shows that, in the context of creation, it has wider meaning. Justice for Israel, like all its neighbours in the ancient Near East, manifests itself in the right and harmonious order of creation. In order to understand the peculiar nature of ancient Near Eastern conceptions of justice, it is important to realise that creation does not primarily refer to the origin of the world at the beginning but to a process by which cosmos, order, replaces chaos, not only in nature but in society as well. Creation therefore encompasses two realms, which for us are usually quite distinct: the realm of nature and the realm of society.   MORE . . .

❸ ISRAELI  FORCES  DETAIN  66  PALESTINIANS,  MAJORITY  TEENAGERS,  IN  OVERNIGHT  RAIDS  
Ma’an News Agency
Oct. 23, 2017― Israeli detained at least 66 Palestinians during overnight raids Monday in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, according to Palestinian and Israeli sources.
[. . . .] According to United Nations documentation, Israeli forces conducted 121 search and arrest operations across the West Bank and arrested 205 Palestinians, including nine children, between September 26 and October 9.
[. . . .] Israeli police forces raided the neighborhood of al-Issawiya overnight and detained 51 Palestinians after searching dozens of homes in the area.
[. . . .] Lawyer of the Palestinian Committee of Prisoners’ Affair Muhammad Mahmoud, who visited detainees at different detention centers, said that he followed up on the cases of 27 of the detainees, who he said were all teenagers between the ages of 15 to 18.   MORE . . .  
. . . . . ❸ ― (ᴀ) JOINT  REPORT  REVEALS  THAT  431  PALESTINIANS  WERE  ARRESTED  IN  SEPTEMBER  2017 

Addameer  Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association
Oct. 8, 2017 ― A joint, monthly report released by Adameer, The Prisoner’s Club, and Al Mezan Center for Human Rights has revealed that 431 Palestinians were arrested by the occupation forces in the month of September 2017.
___Of these 431, 98 were children, 11 were women, and 3 were journalists.
___133 were arrested from Jerusalem governate, 60 from the Hebron governate, 45 from the Nablus governate, 40 from the Ramallah governate, 38 from Jenin governate, 28 from Bethlehem governate, 15 from Tubas governate, 10 from Salfeet governate, 9 from Tulkaram governate, 7 from Jericho governate, and 6 from Gaza.      MORE . . .

“I  DEFY,”  BY  SAMIH  AL-QASIM
Talk about exile―I defy
silence my argument with chains
and a foolish prison cell
I defy

Turn plague and sadness against me
I remained defying
cut my wrist
with my bloody chest I defy
cut my leg
I mount the wound and walk
and with my violence I defy
with my forehead I defy
and with my teeth
and the teeth of songs―I defy

and kill me―I defy
I kill death
and come to you a defying God

All that I own of my father’s and grandfather’
inheritance is to defy!

All that I understand from the
wind and the secrets of erased villages
and the songs of springs
on dying grass
a concealed sob
the roots of the tree
memorize it for me
a sob: To defy

All the eyes of children living within me
in bloody exile
All that I live of my absent country
in name and deed
a scream bruising me―to defy!

My anger drips oil and honey
my pain bears almonds, flouts and roses
so jail my piece of bread
I defy

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.
About Samih Al-Qasim.

“. . . Access is a fundamental element of the right to health . . .” (Dr. Gerald Rockenschaub)

makassedmaternityinvasion
Oct. 28, 2015. Israeli soldiers Invade Maternity Ward of al-Makassed Hospital (Photo: Silwanic)

❶ . World Health Organization: Substantial Israeli restrictions on access to health

  • Background: “Attitudes Of Palestinian Medical Students On The Geopolitical Barriers To Accessing Hospitals For Clinical Training: A Qualitative Study.” Conflict & Health 

❷ . In Jerusalem, insurance becomes extortion
❸ . Teacher with Down syndrome breaks stereotypes for Gaza’s mentally disabled students
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ .  WORLD  HEALTH  ORGANIZATION:  SUBSTANTIAL  ISRAELI  RESTRICTIONS  ON  ACCESS  TO  HEALTH  
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Dec. 1, 2016
Marking the United Nations declaration of November 29 as the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, the World Health Organization (WHO) published a 2-year report on health access for Gaza patients to highlight how the Israeli permit system and physical barriers obstruct health access for Palestinian patients, ambulances and health workers.
___The study “Right to health: crossing barriers to access health in the occupied Palestinian territory, 2014 – 2015,” was based on data provided by Palestinian Authority ministries and non-profit health providers, as well as patient interviews and field studies, said a WHO press release.     “Access is a fundamental element of the right to health. . . .   ” said Dr. Gerald Rockenschaub, the WHO head of the office in the West Bank and Gaza. “Yet the data indicates substantial restrictions for thousands of patients and their companions who are trying to travel to their places of referral.”    More . . . 

  • Shahawy, Sarrah, and Megan Diamond. “Attitudes Of Palestinian Medical Students On The Geopolitical Barriers To Accessing Hospitals For Clinical Training: A Qualitative Study.” Conflict & Health 10.(2016): 1-9.   ARTICLE.

[. . . .]  We designed a qualitative study using focus group discussions to explore the attitudes of Palestinian medical students at Al-Quds University on the barriers they face reaching hospitals for clinical training.
[. . . .] The findings from this study identify some of the hardships that Palestinian medical students face when undergoing their clinical training in the West Bank and Jerusalem. Living and studying in an occupied territory characterized by permit and checkpoint regulations significantly hindered the students’ ability to access high quality medical training.
___Medical students who had their permits to enter Jerusalem rejected were unable to train at Al-Makassed Hospital and were often forced to rely on clinical training in the West Bank, which they felt was less adequate.
[. . . .] Consistent with other literature on the challenges of receiving an education under occupation, focus groups highlighted how the emotional and psychological burden of the occupation specifically affected them as students, as it was hard to concentrate on their studies due to a stressful commute and surrounding political instability and violence. Their quality of life was impacted with little time for sleep or social activity. In the face of these challenges, Palestinian medical students exhibited extraordinary resilience, resourcefulness, and dedication to their education.
___Obstacles to accessing education in the occupied Palestinian territories are not limited to medical students. Since the beginning of the Israeli occupation, confrontation and tension surrounding Palestinian education has been pervasive at all educational levels.
[. . . .]  Conclusion:  Our findings suggest that medical students living and studying in the occupied Palestinian territories receive sub-optimal training due to ambiguous permit rules, barriers at checkpoints, and the psychological burden of the process. These results highlight the impact that military occupation has on the education and quality of life of Palestinian medical students in a setting in which there is regular violence and many health indicators are already poor. New transparent policies and a larger context of peace and sovereignty will be required to build an effective health care system in which Palestinian medical students can pursue adequate clinical training that will prepare them to care for their people in a resource-poor and war-torn setting.

❷ . IN  JERUSALEM,  INSURANCE  BECOMES  EXTORTION 
The Electronic Intifada
Joharah Baker
Nov. 28,  2016
Earlier this year, new regulations made it mandatory for all residents in Jerusalem with temporary family unification permits to obtain Israeli medical insurance.
___The law, which came into effect on 1 August, will cost those affected a monthly fee in addition to a large backdated one-time charge.
___It has caused an angry uproar among Jerusalem’s Palestinians, who see it as yet another attempt by Israeli authorities to target their community and make their precarious existence in the city even more challenging.       More . . .

hiba-04-001
Hiba Anis Mustafa Shurafa guides students in her Gaza classroom, Nov. 30, 2016 (Photo: Mondoweiss)

❸ . TEACHER  WITH  DOWN  SYNDROME  BREAKS  STEREOTYPES  FOR  GAZA’S  MENTALLY  DISABLED  STUDENTS 
Mondoweiss  
Mohammed Asad
Nov. 30, 2016
Hiba Anis Mustafa Shurafa guides students in her Gaza classroom, instructing them on the art of how to hold a pen and keep a steady hand when writing out letters. She understands the task is challenging because, like her students, Shurafa has Down syndrome.
___The 27-year old teacher at the Right to Life Society school in Gaza City was once a student at the institution where she now instructs pupils with mental disabilities. Researchers at Bir Zeit University found that among Palestinians with disabilities in the occupied territories and Lebanese refugee camps, more than one-third never attend school. A further 87 percent will never be employed, making Shurafa and the Right to Life Society all the more unique.       More . . .

“. . . the bed of her elder son, made for the final time and empty. . .” (Mourid Barghouti)

HEBRON: Israeli settler Itamar Ben Gvir (right), dressed as a Palestinian prisoner, marches in a parade celebrating the Jewish holiday of Purim on Shuhada Street, heavily guarded by Israeli police and military forces, Hebron, West Bank, February 24, 2013. (Photo: ActiveStills, file)
HEBRON: Israeli settler Itamar Ben Gvir (right), dressed as a Palestinian prisoner, marches in a parade celebrating the Jewish holiday of Purim on Shuhada Street, heavily guarded by Israeli police and military forces, Hebron, West Bank, February 24, 2013. (Photo: ActiveStills, file)

❶ Israeli Forces Shoot Dead Two Palestinians in Hebron
❷ Israeli forces level large swathe of land, demolish shack near Hebron
❸ Israelis converge on West Bank [Hebron] holy sites in ‘provocative’ visits
❹ On World Water Day, Palestinians in West Bank refugee camps struggle with scarce resource
❺ Opinion/Analysis: DABKA,  NOT  TANGO:  THE  PALESTINIAN  ISSUE  IS  ON  HOLD
❻ Poetry by Mourid Barghouti
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
ISRAELI  FORCES  SHOOT  DEAD  TWO  PALESTINIANS  IN  HEBRON
PALESTINE NEWS AND INFORMATION AGENCY – WAFA
24 Mar. 2016
Israeli forces Thursday morning shot dead two Palestinians in Tal Rumeida neighborhood in the center of the southern West Bank city of Hebron, said the Health Ministry. . . .
___Israeli media reported that the two men were killed after they allegedly stabbed and wounded a soldier at a checkpoint by the neighborhood.      MORE . . . 

ISRAELI  FORCES  LEVEL  LARGE  SWATHE  OF  LAND,  DEMOLISH  SHACK  NEAR  HEBRON
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
March 23, 2016
Israeli forces on Tuesday leveled 40 dunams (9.88 acres) of land west of Hebron and demolished a tin shack in the Masafer Yatta area in the southern occupied West Bank, locals said.
___Village spokesman Abdul-Rahman al-Tumazi told Ma’an that Israeli troops leveled the lands in the Suba area of the village of Idhna in order to illegaly annex it to a nearby Israeli settlement.      MORE . . .  

ISRAELIS  CONVERGE  ON  WEST  BANK  [HEBRON]  HOLY  SITES  IN  ‘PROVOCATIVE’  VISITS
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
23 Mar. 2016
Hundreds of Israelis, including large numbers of settlers, converged on religious sites across the occupied West Bank on Wednesday morning ahead of the Jewish holiday of Purim, in visits Palestinians condemned as “provocative.”
___In the southern West Bank city of Hebron, Israeli settlers as well as other right-wing Israelis held celebrations in the Old City’s Ibrahimi Mosque. . . . used the mosque’s loudspeakers “to sing racist songs that call for the expulsion of ‘Arabs’ from Hebron.”      MORE . . .

Israeli demolition in Khirbet Jenbeh on March 22, 2016. (Photo Credit: B'Tselem/Nasser Nawaj'a, File)
Israeli demolition in Khirbet Jenbeh on March 22, 2016. (Photo Credit: B’Tselem/Nasser Nawaj’a, File)

ON  WORLD  WATER  DAY,  PALESTINIANS  IN  WEST  BANK  REFUGEE  CAMPS  STRUGGLE  WITH  SCARCE  RESOURCES
MONDOWEISS
Abed Al Qaisi and Sheren Khalel
22 Mar. 2016
As the world celebrates World Water Day this week, Palestinians in refugee camps across the occupied West Bank are preparing for the summer, when water becomes scarce.
___While the World Health Organization recommends 100 liters of water per person per day, Palestinians in the occupied West Bank use less than 73 liters, with those in refugee camps using even less. In Israel, residents use an average of 183 liters per person, per day.   MORE . . . 

OPINION/ANALYSIS:  DABKA,  NOT  TANGO:  THE  PALESTINIAN  ISSUE  IS  ON  HOLD
PALESTINE CHRONICLE
Yasser Ali
23 Mar. 2016
The Palestinian issue is experiencing paralysis due a number of international, regional, local and personal reasons, all of which have pushed it into a negative status quo. It is no longer moved or activated by major events, such as the Jerusalem Intifada, and no longer has any historical figures, like Yasser Arafat, who can break the mold dramatically, one way or the other.
___. . . .  the process must be like the Palestinian dabka, which needs every participant’s efforts to be made in a unified line, standing shoulder to shoulder for the overall good of everyone involved.       MORE . . .

“HOW  ARE  YOU?”  BY  MOURID  BARGHOUTI

Waiting for the school bus,
watching his breath turn into mist near his nose
in the icy morning,
the schoolboy’s fingers are frozen,
too stiff to make a fist.

On the pillow of regret,
the defeated soldier
lazily tries to get up,
raising his broken toothbrush
to his teeth.

Early or late,
The stranger awakens in his exile, his homeland.
Their clothes, their car number pates, their trees,
their quarrels, their love, their land, their sea
belong to them.
His memories are like rats gathering on his doormat,
new and warm
in front of his closed door.

On a lonely pillow,
the mother throws a quick glance
at the bed of her elder son,
made for the final time
and empty, forever.

A voice from the neighbouring window is heard:
“Hello, good morning, how are you?”
“Hello, good morning, we’re fine,
we’re fine!”

From: Barghouti, Mourid. MIDNIGHT  AND  OTHER  POEMS. Trans. By Radwa Ashour. Todmorden, Lancashire, UK: Arc Books, 2008. Available from B&N.
Mourid Barghouti (born July 8, 1944, in Deir Ghassana, near Ramallah, on the West Bank) is a Palestinian poet and writer. While Barghouti was studying at the University of Cairo in 1967, the 6-Day War broke out, and he was unable to return to the West Bank until 1996. He was expelled from Egypt in 1977 and was exiled in Budapest.
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