“. . . their dignity sets them free . . .” (Samah Sabawi)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Israeli street blockade, Hebron, November 17, 2012. (Photo: marthiemombergblog)

❶ Israeli forces raid Yatta [Hebron] after more than 40 days of blockade
. . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Israeli army bulldozers, jeeps, drones enter southern Gaza
❷ Netanyahu [inspecting new wall in Hebron]: Barrier in South Hebron Hills important for Israel’s security

  • background From Postcolonial Studies

❸ Opinion/Analysis:  WHAT  REALLY  DELAYED  UNESCO  VOTE  ON  JERUSALEM?
❹ POETRY by Samah Sabawi
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ ISRAELI  FORCES  RAID  YATTA  AFTER  MORE  THAN  40  DAYS  OF  BLOCKADE
Ma’an News Agency
July 21, 2016
Israeli forces raided several homes in the southern occupied West Bank town of Yatta early Thursday, as the army maintained its weeks-long blockade of municipalities in the Hebron district.
___A coordinator of a popular committee in the southern West Bank, Rateb al-Jbour, said that Israeli forces raided central Yatta and searched the houses of two Palestinian security officer, identified as Majdi Moussa al-Shreiqi and Ahmad Moussa al-Shreiqi, the latter reportedly a former prisoner detained by Israel.     MORE . . .
. . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) ISRAELI  ARMY  BULLDOZERS,  JEEPS,  DRONES  ENTER  SOUTHERN  GAZA
Ma’an News Agency
July 21, 2016
Several Israeli army bulldozers entered the southern Gaza Strip on Thursday morning, locals said.
___Witnesses told Ma’an that four Israeli bulldozers coming from the al-Matbaq Gate entered 50 meters into eastern Rafah City, escorted by four military jeeps as drones flew overhead [. . . .]
___Israeli military incursions inside the besieged Gaza Strip and near the “buffer zone” which lies on both land and sea sides of Gaza, have long been a near-daily occurrence. MORE . . .

❷ NETANYAHU  [inspecting  new  wall  in  Hebron]:  BARRIER  IN  SOUTH  HEBRON  HILLS  IMPORTANT  FOR  ISRAEL’S  SECURITY
The Jerusalem Post
Herb Keinon
July 20, 2016
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu inspected the construction work being done on a new security barrier in the South Hebron Hills area on Wednesday, saying completing it was important for the country’s security.
___“We said that we will close the breaches,” he said. “We will prevent illegal residents and attackers from reaching Israel’s cities.”     MORE . . .
RELATED . . .   NETANYAHU  VISITS  CONSTRUCTION  SITE  OF  NEW  SEPARATION  BARRIER  IN  HEBRON.  Ma’an News Agency  

From Postcolonial Studies
The security barrier was a unilateral Israeli decision. The policy decision to build the barrier nonetheless entailed considerable internal negotiations involving competing political parties and leaders. The resulting compromise gained broad popular and institutional support. Palestinian and international opposition to the barrier has been firm, based in large part on Israel’s placement of sections of the barrier within the Green Line so as to protect Jewish Israel has stated repeatedly that the barrier does not represent a final political border, but it does suggest an initial bid. This was one reason that the Israeli government responded negatively to American president Barack Obama’s declaration of pre-1967 borders as an initial point of negotiation.
___While the international legitimacy of the barrier has not been recognized, its effectiveness has. Thus, it is unlikely that Israel will dismantle the barrier or place it wholly on its side of the Green Line. Legal challenges within Israel have led to a process of internal negotiation among the civil society, the judiciary, and the executive on the exact placement of the barrier — but not on its continued existence. It is unlikely that final status negotiations will include complete Israeli withdrawal from all the West Bank territory won in the 1967 War. The clause of Resolution 242 emphasizing Israel’s right to ‘‘live in peace within secure and recognized borders’’ strongly suggests that Israel will seek to incorporate the security barrier formula into any final status agreements.

  • Lee, Christopher J. “Beyond Analogy: Bare Life In The West Bank.” Postcolonial Studies 16.4 (2013): 374-387.
netanyahu
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu flies plane over West Bank. (Photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)

❸ Opinion/Analysis: WHAT  REALLY  DELAYED  UNESCO  VOTE  ON  JERUSALEM?
Mondoweiss
Daoud Kuttab
July 20, 2016
Despite the Israelis’ initial claims that their efforts have partially succeeded in shelving a pro-Palestinian vote at UNESCO, the story that is emerging now is quite different. Palestinian and Arab officials say the delay in the vote that had been planned for July 20 in Istanbul was postponed due to the failed coup attempt in Turkey.
___Omar Awadallah, the director of UN activities at the Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, told Al-Monitor that UNESCO had postponed voting on all resolutions, not just the one on extending the declaration that Jerusalem’s Old City meets UNESCO’s criteria for being endangered. “Due to the security uncertainty connected to the failed coup in Turkey, UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee decided to postpone all decisions until it meets again in Paris in October,” said Awadallah.      MORE . . .   

“DEFYING THE UNIVERSE,” BY SAMAH SABAWI

Are your loved ones trapped behind the wall
Do they need the army’s permission
For their prayers to reach the sky
For their love to cross the ocean
And touch your thirsty heart
Are your loved ones trapped

Do you yearn to be in your family home
And when you call, do they always say
“we are fine, alhamdollelah”
Does it surprise you that they are whole
While you… are broken|
Must they always worry about you
Urge you to have faith in your exile
Must they always pity you
For not breathing the air
Of your ancestors’ land
Must they always comfort you
Even when the bombs are falling
Do you ever wonder who is walled in
Is it you…or is it them
And when it finally dawns upon you
That their dignity sets them free
Do you feel ashamed of your liberty

About Samah Sabawi  
From: Valentine, Douglas. “Poetry, Palestine and the Language of Resistance.” Counterpunch. September 20, 2013.

“. . . Both his knife and the storm Are his destiny . . .” (Fouzi El-Asmar)

yatta
Israeli forces tighten closure on the town of Yatta. (Photo: Ma’an News Agency, June 15, 2016)

❶ Israeli army commander testifies soldier had no justification for shooting al-Sharif
❷ PCHR Report on Israeli Human Rights Violations in the oPt (09 – 15 June 2016)
❸ Opinion/Analysis:  IS  TEL  AVIV  ATTACK  REVIVAL  OF  THE  JERUSALEM  INTIFADA?

POETRY by Fouzi El-Asmar
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ ISRAELI  ARMY  COMMANDER  TESTIFIES  SOLDIER  HAD  NO  JUSTIFICATION  FOR  SHOOTING  AL-SHARIF
Ma’an News Agency
June 16, 2016
An Israeli army commander [Maj. Tom Neeman] testified in court Thursday that Elor Azaria, the Israeli soldier who shot dead Abdel Fattah al-Sharif while he was lying wounded on the ground after an alleged attempted stabbing in Hebron, saying there was no “operational justification” for Azaria’s actions, according to Israeli news media [. . . .]  __”I approached him and asked, ‘Why did you do it?’,” Neeman continued, “He answered me, ‘This terrorist was alive, and he needs to die.'” Neeman added: “I was angry at him for doing this. Essentially a shooting had been conducted at the scene that I was in charge of, without my permission.”     MORE . . .  

[Note: the two articles quoted today are not specifically about extra-judicial killings by individual IDF soldiers in the moment of a perceived attack by Palestinians. They, however, provide background for the general attitude of the IDF toward the killing of “terrorists.”]  

The IDF suggested . . . that the setting of the conflict between Israel and the different Palestinian organizations be referred to as a “state of armed conflict short of war”—a state that on the one hand is more than a police action that necessitates a law enforcement paradigm, and less than a “total war” that would not have been acceptable on the international community [. . . .]
___Jean-Philippe Kot attests that Palestinian civilians were deliberately put at risk due to a flawed interpretation of civilian immunity. Kot attests that in practice, the Israeli soldiers’ right to life unjustifiably superseded the rights of its enemy population. (Jean-Philippe Kot, “Israeli Civilians versus Palestinian Combatants?” Leiden Journal of International Law.)
___Philosophy professor Asa Kasher, who . . .  specializes in moral doctrines that shape parameters of military actions, says that the principle of distinction is a most important moral principle. Yet . . . a soldier’s life should not be put in unreasonable risk in favor of enemy citizens. The value of an enemy civilian life does not outweigh the value of the soldier’s life. In Kasher’s contentious view, the State’s primary responsibility is to protect the lives of its citizens and its “responsibility for one’s own citizens takes precedence over the other responsibility to the non-dangerous neighbors.”

  • Falk, Ophir. “Permissibility Of Targeted Killing.” Studies In Conflict & Terrorism 37.4 (2014): 295-321.     SOURCE.  
al-sharif
Still from video footage was expected to be shown to the Israeli military court at the trial of Elor Azaria. (Photo from Ma’an News Agency, June 16, 2016)

❷ PCHR  REPORT  ON  ISRAELI  HUMAN  RIGHTS  VIOLATIONS  IN  THE  OPT  (09 – 15  JUNE  2016)
International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC
June 16, 2016
Israeli violations of international law and international humanitarian law in the occupied Palestinian territories continued during the reporting period (09 – 15 June 2016).
___Shootings: Israeli forces have continued to commit crimes, inflicting civilian casualties [. . . .]
___Incursions: During the reporting period, Israeli forces conducted at least 89 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and 6 ones in occupied East Jerusalem and its suburbs [. . . .]
___ Collective Punishment Policy:  On Thursday, 09 June 2016, Israeli bulldozers closed the northern main entrance to Yatta, south of Hebron, in addition to the bypass roads leading to the city and its villages. Israeli forces imposed this cordon after declaring the city as a closed military zone [. . . .]      MORE . . .   

. . . this is precisely the argument that the Rapporteur and others make . . .  Article 51(3) of the First Additional Protocol to the Geneva Convention, [ ] provides that ‘[c]ivilians shall enjoy the protection afforded by this section, unless and for such time as they take a direct part in hostilities.’ [Rapporteur] reads this to mean except when actually firing on enemy soldiers, ‘… and as soon as they cease to do so, they regain protection …. They maintain their civilian status …. They cannot be hunted down and summarily executed’.
___Amnesty International similarly holds that “Armed Palestinians who directly participate in hostilities—for example by shooting at Israeli soldiers or civilians—lose their protected status for the duration of the attack …. [But t]hey are civilians …. Because they are not combatants, the fact that they participated in armed attack at an earlier point cannot justify targeting them for death later on.”
[. . . .]  Michael Schmitt offers a more plausible perspective on the same passage:
“. . . assume that the group has committed terrorism against the state and is expected to do so again in the future. In this scenario … the various terrorist acts may be regarded as part of a continuous operation. This characterization is analogous to the battle/war distinction. Once war has commenced, the initiation of each battle is not evaluated separately. . . .”
___On this more plausible reading, terrorists are assumed to be engaged in ongoing struggle and therefore remain legitimate targets.

  • Plaw, Avery. “Terminating Terror The Legality, Ethics And Effectiveness Of Targeting Terrorists.” Theoria: A Journal Of Social & Political Theory 54.114 (2007): 1-27.    SOURCE.

❸ Opinion/Analysis: IS  TEL  AVIV  ATTACK  REVIVAL  OF  THE  JERUSALEM  INTIFADA?
Al-Monitor (Palestine Pulse)
Adnan Abu Amer
June 15, 2016
The pace of the attacks against Israelis during the Jerusalem intifada, which broke out in October 2015, has been increasing at times and decreasing at others. Up until early March, 620 attacks had been carried out in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and Jerusalem, resulting in the death of 33 Israelis and 209 Palestinians.
___The Tel Aviv attack June 8 was the most ruthless Palestinian armed attack against Israelis, targeting a shopping mall in Tel Aviv, a short walk from the headquarters of the Israeli Ministry of Defense. Cousins Mohammad and Khaled Mahamra from the town of Yatta in Hebron governorate were able to pass through the security measures and the Israeli military checkpoints, and started shooting at people killing four Israelis and wounding six others.
___On june 9, the Israeli government promptly decided to impose a series of collective punishments on the Palestinian residents of Yatta        MORE . . .  

“FOUR WHISPERS,” BY FOUZI EL-ASMAR

I.
Since our life is barren
like desert sands
As are our minds
We sow our hopes
in plains of deadly gold
and set up our own temptations
to lure us like a mirage
at dawn

II.
When a man is reduced to a butchered lamb
And his will to a helpless, flapping sail
Lost in the ocean
Both his knife and the storm
Are his destiny.

III.
We are consumed in guarding
Against the bit of the adder,
Meanwhile neglecting
The labour of the ant on our land.

IV.
Oh, brothers
The thorn bears no fruit
Its stem throbs with a deadly poison.
It shall be uprooted.

About Fouzi El-Asmar  
From El-Asmar, Fouzi. THE  WIND-DRIVEN  REED  AND  OTHER  POEMS.  Washington, D.C.: Three Continents Press, 1979.    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.

 

 

“. . . Sorrow crawled naked in my city . . .” (Fadwa Tuqan)

Hundreds of Palestinians wait in line at Checkpoint 300 in Bethlehem to cross in to Jerusalem.
Hundreds of Palestinians wait in line at Checkpoint 300 in Bethlehem to cross in to Jerusalem.

From MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
ISRAEL RESTRICTS THE ENTRY OF PALESTINIANS TO JERUSALEM
July 1, 2015
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israeli authorities set new restrictions Tuesday on Palestinians entering Jerusalem from the occupied West Bank after attacks targeting Israeli military and settlers, revoking the entry permits of hundreds set to travel during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.
____The announcement by COGAT, the agency that manages civilian affairs in the occupied Palestinian territory, was the latest reversal to measures easing movement for Palestinians for Ramadan.
____The new restrictions now require a permit for women aged between 16 and 30 to enter Jerusalem on Fridays. The same applies for men aged 30-50, while those under the age of 12 and over 50 can enter without a permit.
(More. . .)

From PALESTINE NEWS & INFORMATION AGENCY – WAFA
ISRAELI POLICE BAN WORSHIPPERS ENTRY INTO AL-AQSA MOSQUE, PHYSICALLY ASSAULTS GIRL
July 2, 2015
Israeli police Thursday banned a Palestinian young man’s entry into Al-Aqsa Mosque compound and physically assaulted a small girl inside the Mosque compound in East Jerusalem.
____WAFA correspondent reported that police banned Tamer Shala‘ta, from Sakhnin, entry into the Mosque compound for 17 days and fined him 8,000 NIS (about $2120). . . . purportedly for chanting ‘Allahu Akbar’ to protest the presence of Israeli settler groups that forced their way into the compound.
____Meanwhile, a special unit police officer physically assaulted a young girl inside the compound purportedly for shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’ in protest of the presence of more Israeli settler groups.
____The 10-year-old child, who remains unidentified, sustained wounds in her legs and was treated at the scene.
(More. . .)

Mosque in Yatta
Mosque in Yatta

From PALESTINE NEWS & INFORMATION AGENCY – WAFA
ISRAELI ARMY RAZES LAND, NOTIFIES TO DEMOLISH STRUCTURES NEAR HEBRON
July 2, 2015
Israeli army forces on Thursday razed a Palestinian-owned four-dunum area near Hebron, as well as notified to demolish a house and a water well near the town of Yatta, south of Hebron, according to local sources.
____A farmer residing east of Hebron told WAFA that an Israeli army force . . . broke into the area and razed the land of Mohammad Mustafa Jaber, a local villager. The land is close to bypass road 60.
____Meanwhile, army forces broke into the villages of Dirat and Umm Sharara, just east of the town of Yatta, and notified a local resident about their intent to demolish his house along with a water well, which he owns in the area.
(More. . .)

❹ Opinion
From ALTERNATIVE INFORMATION CENTER (AIC)
JERUSALEM, AWARENESS AND ENTRY PERMITS
Rasem Obeidat
June 25, 2015
[. . . .]
We are witnessing a tsunami of normalisation on the grassroots level, which particularly focuses on and in the city of Jerusalem. The real tragedy here, of course, is that this normalisatin is sponsored and embraced by official Palestinian bodies. Normalisation works against the interests of the Palestinian people. . . . Intellectually, culturally, politically and ideologically, the opposition has not worked effectively, particularly with young Palestinians, against the risk of normalisation and its occupation of Palestinian consciousness.
____In such a situation, and with the weak and fragmented internal situation of the Palestinians who are divided against themselves, Palestinians are inciting more against each other than against the occupation.
(More. . .)
VIDEO: Interview with Jerusalem affairs minister, Khaled Abu Arafe

❺ Opinion
From ELECTRONIC INTIFADA
NEW EVIDENCE FROM 1967 WAR REVEALS ISRAELI ATROCITIES
Ilan Pappe
June 23, 2015
In the wake of the June 1967 war, the Israeli author Amos Oz, then a reserve soldier in the Israeli army, together with a friend collated interviews with Israeli soldiers who participated in the war and asked them about the emotions the fighting triggered in them. The interviews were published as a book titled Conversations with Soldiers . . . .
The military censor . . . erased 70 percent of the evidence since he claimed it would have harmed Israel’s international image.
This month an industrious Israeli filmmaker, Mor Loushi, is showing her new documentary based on most of this erased material. . . .
The aim is to cleanse the tormented soul of the victimizer and there is nothing like a good confession to make it all go away.
(More. . .)

“MY SAD CITY,” BY FADWA TUQAN
(The day of Zionist Occupation, June 27, 1967)

The day we saw death and betrayal,
The tide ebbed.
The windows of the sky closed,
And the city held its breath.
The day the waves were vanquished, the day
The ugliness of the abyss revealed its true face,
Hope turned to ashes,
And gaging on disaster,
My sad city choked.

Gone were the children and the songs,
There was no shadow, no echo.
Sorrow crawled naked in my city,
With bloodied footsteps,
Silence reigned in the city,
Silence like crouching mountains,
Mysterious like the night, tragic silence,
Burdened,
Weighed down with death and defeat.
Alas! My sad and silent city.
Can it be true that in the season of harvest,
Grain and fruit have turned to ashes?
Alas! That this should be the fruit of all the journeying!
―Translated by A.M. Elmesseri

From BEFORE THERE IS NOWHERE TO STAND: PALESTINE ISREL POETS RESPOND TO THE STRUGGLE. Ed. By Joan Dobbie and Grace Beeler. Sandpoint ID: Lost Horse Press, 2012. Available from B&N.
Obituary for Fadwa Tuqan, 2003.

Al Aqsa Mosque, Jerusalem
Al Aqsa Mosque, Jerusalem