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Welcome to this Week in Palestine, a service of the International Middle East Media Center, www.imemc.org, for March 9th to 15th 2013
Obamaâ€™s first upcoming visit to Palestine and Israel as president met with lack of hope by Palestinians, meanwhile Israelis form a very right wing coalition one day before legal period expires, these stories and more, coming up, stay tuned.
The Nonviolence Report
Letâ€™s begin our weekly report as usual with the nonviolent activities organized in the West Bank. This week Israeli soldiers used chemical water and tear gas to attack unarmed protesters against the Israeli wall and settlements. Protests were organized at a number of West Bank communities. IMEMCâ€™s Salam Qumsiyeh with the story:
On Friday of this week anti wall and settlements protests were organized at the villages of Bilâ€™in, Nilâ€™in and Al Nabi saleh in central West Bank and Al Maâ€™ssara village in the south.
At the village of Bilâ€™in, and Nilâ€™in villagers and their supporters mamanged to reach the Israeli wall built on lands taken from local famers.
Israeli troops stationed at the wall in both locations used tear gas to and chemical water to force people back many were treated for the effects o tear gas inhalation.
At the village of Al Nabi Saleh, soldiers stopped the march at the village entrance and used chemical water, tear gas, and rubber-coated steel bullets to force people back.
Soldiers then invaded the village and fired tear gas at residentsâ€™ homes many were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation.
Also on Friday at al Maâ€™ssara village, southern West Bank, Israeli troops stopped the weekly anti wall protest there at the village entrance. Soldiers forced people back into the village using rifle buts and batons to bush people back, no injuries were reported.
For IMEMC News this is Salam Qumsiyeh.
The Political Report
Palestinians skeptical about the upcoming Obama visit, meanwhile, Israeli right wing factionsâ€™ coalition to form the new government, the details with IMEMCâ€™s Gahssan Bannoura.
The upcoming visit of the US President Barack Obama to the region is met with a rather fluctuating attitude in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
It is one of the few cases where the Palestinian civil society and the Palestinian Authority are in agreement that Obamas trip does not bring any hope to the region.
While the Palestinian Authority is taking some security measures in preparation for the visit that was not publicly announced until Thursday, the Palestinian civil society organization, which has a strong impact on the public opinion in Palestine, does not feel comfortable with the visit.
At least one hundred Palestinian Non-governmental organizations have signed a letter to President Barack Obama asking him to pressure Israeli authorities during his upcoming visit to the region to end settlements on Palestinian land.
The organizations stated that Obama has to work first for the immediate release of all detainees, the removal of all Israeli barriers, more than 600 barriers, in the West Bank and the end of the Gaza siege in order to achieve peace in the region.
There must be a timeframe for the application of the international law in order to ensure the Palestinian right of return, self-determination, and the establishment of an independent Palestinian state, Mohsen Abu Ramadan Chairman of the Board of Palestinian NGOs Network stated during a press conference on Thursday.
Another group of young civil society activists launched a campaign they called â€śObama Ahlainâ€ť, meaning Welcome Obama, yet in a sarcastic tone. The goal of the campaign is to try to meet with the US president and deliver a message that includes, but not limited to, pressuring Israel to release all Palestinian political prisoners from its jails, and an immediate end to the Israeli military occupation in the Palestinian territories occupied in 1967, in addition to other demands listed on their page on the facebook.
In the meantime, three right-wing Israeli parties signed an agreement to form a coalition that would enable them to form the new government in Israel. The three parties are the Likud, Habayit Hayehudi (The Jewish House) and Yish Atid (There is Future).
The new government is expected to focus on the construction of more settlements in the West Bank which puts more nails in the coffin of the two-state solution, which is the same trend the previous government has been following.
Former Israeli member of Knesset and leader of Israelâ€™s Gush Shalom, (the peace bloc) Uri Avnery saidâ€ť The Future has arrived, and it looks suspiciously like the Past. Indeed, the New Politics look very much like the Old Politics.â€ť
For IMEMC News this is Ghassan Bannoura.
The West Bank and Gaza Report
This week Israeli attacks on Palestinians left one young man dead and another one critically injured while Israeli troops conducted at least 54 military invasions into West Bank communities. During those invasions soldiers kidnapped 31 Palestinians, including 2 children. IMEMCâ€™s Eman Batjali has more:
On Tuesday of this week, 25 year old Mahmoud at-Teety, was shot and killed by an Israeli dum-dum bullet to the head, in the Al-Fawwar refugee camp, in Hebron, in the southern part of the occupied West Bank. Two more Palestinians were shot by live rounds, and six by rubber-coated metal bullets. at-Teety died when soldiers clashed with local youth near his home. He works as an online journalist.
Earlier in the week a Palestinian child was injured on Monday afternoon when she was hit by an Israeli settlerâ€™s car in occupied East Jerusalem. 9 year old Nadin Jolies, was walking home from her school when a settler hit her with his car and fled the scene, eyewitnesses told local news.
Meanwhile Palestinian teenager was seriously injured on Thursday by Israeli army fire in the in Tulkarem district, in the northern part of the occupied West Bank. Local sources reported that the army invaded the area, and opened fire at a number of residents, seriously wounding one Palestinian identified as Hamza Haloub, 18.
A Red Crescent ambulance rushed to the scene and moved Haloub to a Hospital, in Tulkarem. He suffered a gunshot injury to the lung. Earlier on Thursday Palestinian medical sources in Nablus in the northern part of the occupied West Bank, reported that dozens of Palestinians have been treated for the effects of teargas inhalation, after the army invaded Talfeet nearby village and clashed with local youths.
In the Gaza Strip this week, Israeli forces conducted two limited invasions targeting boarder areas in the costal enclave. On Monday army tanks and bulldozers invaded areas close to Gaza city and destroyed farm lands.
Later on Thursday Israeli tanks and bulldozers uprooted trees and destroyed farm lands at the southern Gaza borders with Israel. Moreover on Thursday Israeli navy opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats causing damage but no injuries.
For IMEMC News this is Eman Beitjali.
And thatâ€™s all for today from This Week in Palestine this was the Weekly report for March 9th to 15th , 2013 from the Occupied Palestinian Territories. For more news and updates please keep visiting our website at www.imemc.org. Todayâ€™s report has been brought to you by Husam Qassis and me, George Rishmawi