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This Week in Palestine Week 25 2011
Welcome to this Week in Palestine, a service of the International Middle East Media Center, www.imemc.org, for June 6 to the 24th, 2011.
Palestinians gaining more political support for the UN vote in September to recognize a Palestinian state, meanwhile, a special nonviolent protest in Bil’in as Israel began to remove parts of the wall, these stories and more are coming up, stay tuned
Lets us begin our weekly report a special story from Bil’in village where the Israeli military started to remove a section of the wall in accordance with an Israeli court ruling made, four years ago, the details with IMEMC’s Kevin Murphy.
Seven people were injured on Friday as Bilāin villagers in central West Bank celebrated the removal of the old Israeli wall built on their lands. The six local’s one French activist sustained moderate wounds as they were hit in the arms and legs by gas bombs fired by Israeli soldiers.
Villages all over the West Bank followed Bilāin’s steps in conducting weekly protests against the Israeli built wall on their lands. Today protests were reported in Niliāin and Nabi Saleh in central west Bank and al Maāssara village in the south. In Nabi Saleh troops injured a nine year old girl and arrested one international activist. In Nilāin many were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation while in al Maāssara soldiers did not allow people to reach the construction site of the wall.
Residents of Bilāin started to organize a weekly nonviolent protest against the Israeli wall six and half years ago. In September 2007 the villagers continued protesting; and the legal proceedings managed to get to the Israeli Supreme Court of Justice, to order a halt to the wall construction. The court ruled for a re-routing of the section of wall built on Bil’in’s land. Due to the ruling, the villagers got back 275 of the 600 acres Israel took for the wall and the nearby settlement of Modiāin Illit. In 2004 the International Court of Justice in The Hague ruled the Israeli wall illegal.
In February of last year and after two years of stalling the Israeli army began rerouting the wall by constructing a new one. This week the new wall was finished and army bulldozers started to remove the old one away; a scene that Bilāin villagers are not accustomed to.
Today like every Friday the protest started after the midday prayers, in addition to Israeli and international supporters who joined the struggle of Bilāin since it started; Palestinian PM Salam Fayyad and Arab MK Mohamed Baraka joined todayās protest.
Every week an Israeli army unit stops the villagers from going through the gate of the wall by firing tear gas canisters, causing dozens to suffer gas inhalation. Today seven were injured as they were hit in the arms and legs by gas bombs fired by troops. The army used live rounds and chemical water known to local as āSkunkā for the bad smell it produces.
Even with the peaceful nature of the Bilāin protests the army faced it with violence; leading to death. In January 2010 Jawaher Abu Rahmah was killed due to severe tear gas inhalation. Her brother Bassem was killed as well when an Israel soldier shot him in the chest with a tear gas bomb in April of 2009. Locals estimate that 1400 people were injured by the army fire in Bilāin protests since they started and as many as 140 people arrested.
For IMEMC.org this is Kevin Murphy
Palestinian Authority says it has gained worldwide backing to its expected move at the United Nations , in which it will ask for recognition of a Palestinian state within 1967 border lines. Meanwhile, both Hamas and Fatah are yet to reach an agreement over the name of a potential candidate for the Prime Minister post. .IMEMC’s Rami Al Meghari has the more.
Top Palestinian negotiator, Saeb Eriqat, said from Turkey yesterday that the PA has received assurances from Anqara that Turkey would back any PA efforts aimed at winning international recognition of a Palestinian State , expected by September2011.
Palestinian Authority’s president , Mahmoud Abbas , reaffirmed a previous position that the PA can never return back to negotiations table with Israel ,unless the latter freezes all settlement activities on the occupied Palestinian territories.
Meanwhile, some Arab media outlets reported this week that there has been a proposal that is based on acceptance by Israel of freezing such settlement activities, in return for halt by the PA of its move at the UN by September2011. No comment by either Israeli or Palestinian sources was reported.
In a related news, Israeli deputy-foreign minister, Dany Ayalon, voiced Israel’s willingness to discuss with the Palestinians any useful thoughts that would lead to a two-state solution, away from the UN. Such a position is the same by Israel since Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas announced the move at the UN.
At the internal Palestinian level, both Fatah party of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and the Islamist Hamas in Gaza, have yet to agree on the name for candidate for the post of Prime Minister of a unity technocratic government.
Reports suggest that Abbas wants his current Prime Minister, Salam Fayyad, to assume the post , while Hamas insists that Fayyad is a persona-non-grata. Abbas flew to Turkay this week to ask for Turkey’s mediation into the issue.
In the Gaza Strip, Prime Minister, Ismail Haniya of Hamas, called on both parties not to return to square one and rather go ahead with advanced steps regarding their recent reconciliation agreement.
Under auspcies and mediation by Cairo, Hamas and Fatah signed last month a reconciliation agreement that put an end to a four-year-long split between Gaza and the West Bank.
Rami Almeghari. IMEMC.org, Gaza.
The Israeli Attacks Report Israeli military invaded West Bank areas at least 35 times in addition to two limited incursions into the Gaza Strip kidnapping 12 civilians, the details with IMEMC’s David Steele On Saturday, a group of extremist Israeli settlers torched on Friday Palestinian farmlands planted with wheat in the Al Mogheer village, north of the central west bank city of Ramallah. This comes shortly after its mosque was burned to the ground in a previous attack.
25 Palestinian political prisoners in the Al Ramla Israeli detention facility are facing imminent death due to illegal Israeli policies that deprive the detainees from their right to medical treatment.
A Palestinian man was severely injured when Israeli soldiers shot him in the legs for allegedly carrying a knife at a checkpoint near the northern West Bank city of Qalqilia on Sunday.
On Monday, Israeli soldiers abducted a Palestinian minor from the town of Hasan near Bethlehem. Israel soldiers detained 14 year old Muhammad Hamamrah after entering his home and searching the house.
Also on Monday, Israeli soldiers demolished seven Palestinian homes and tents that belong to residents of Khirbet Bir Al-Ad, east of Yatta town, near the southern West Bank city of Hebron, according to reports from the Pal Telegraph.
A visit to Hebron, in the southern West Bank, by the Archbishop of Jerusalem, Fuad Twal, was cut short on the same day, when Israeli forces stopped the Archbishop from entering the central city.
Early on Wednesday morning, the Israeli air force attacked an underground tunnel running from the Gaza strip into Israel. According to military officials the strike was in response from a rocket fired from the Gaza strip into the Nagev. Neither incident caused death or injury.
The Israeli military placed two flying checkpoints in Beit Sahour also on Wednesday. The raids did not result in any major incident. In Hebron, however, one Palestinian civilian was abducted after the town was invaded, according to PNN and Maan news agencies.
According to a recent B’Tselem report, 103 residential structures in Area C, most of them tents, huts, and tin shacks, in which 706 persons lived (including 341 minors) have been demolished by the Israeli army in 2011 so far. In comparison, during the same period in 2010 there were 86 residential demolitions and in 2009 there were 28. In the last week alone 33 residential structure were demolished; home to 238 persons, 129 of them minors.
Workshops were destroyed by Israeli forces in Barta’a ash-Sharqiya near Jenin village. The demolition began at approximately six o’clock on Wednesday morning. The workshops are located in the West Bank but are on the Israeli side of the separation wall. Significant quantities of machinery were confiscated at the same time.
The damage caused by the action is estimated at tens of millions of shekels. As a result of the demolitions, fires started on the property and continued for some hours, until Palestinian fire-crews were allowed onto the property. Two tractors, belonging to Jamal Sharif Amarnah and Yasser Uthman Qabha were also confiscated.
A plan to build 2,500 Arab housing units in East Jerusalem was stopped by right-wing pressure groups and Haredi city council members on the grounds that it was a ‘politically dangerous’ and ‘poorly conceived’. Additionally, the Israeli Jerusalem municipality has continued to Judaise East Jerusalem through the renaming of Arab street names and monuments in the city, according to Wafa news agencies..
The Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) issued a report warning of the sharp deterioration of the water situation in the besieged Gaza Strip due to the devastated infrastructure in Gaza resulting from Israel attacks, and the establishment of wastewater treatment plants on top of fresh water reservoirs.
An Israeli military court decided Thursday to renew, for six more months, the administrative detention order against elected legislator, Mohammad At-Til, from Al Thaheriyya town, south of the southern West bank city of Hebron.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said that he will toughen conditions for Palestinian detainees in Israeli prisons in response to Hamas’s refusal to allow the International Red Cross access to detained Israeli captive Gilad Shalit or give proof that he is still alive.
The Beersheba Municipality has rejected a petition by the Bedouin Muslims of the Negev to pray in the old mosque of Beersheba.
For IMEMC>org This is David Steele
And that was just some of the news from this week in Palestine, for more updates; please visit our website at www.imemc.org. Thank you for joining us from occupied Bethlehem, This report has been brought to you by Husam Qassis and me George Rishmawi.