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Welcome to this Week in Palestine, a service of the International Middle East Media Center, www.imemc.org, for May 18th to the 24th 2013
U.S. Secretary of State in the region in one of the frequent visits in an effort to push the stalled peace talks, in the meantime, Israeli military incursions into the West Bank leave 32 Palestinians in Israeli captivity, 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 protests were organized in the village of Kufur Qadoum in northern West Bank in addition to the villages of al Nabi Saleh, Bilâ€™in, Nilâ€™in, central West Bank and Al Maâ€™ssara and Al Khader villages in southern West Bank. IMEMCâ€™s Saher Al Sous reports:
At the villages of Bilâ€™in and Niâ€™lin, residents and their international and Israeli supporters, managed to reach the wall. Soldiers stationed there fired tear gas and chemical water on protesters. One man, from Bilâ€™in village, was slightly wounded as he was hit by an Israeli tear gas bomb in his foot.
Many others were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation. Also Bilâ€™in gas bombs fired by Israeli troops cased fire that damaged olive trees owned by local farmers.
Meanwhile at the village of al Nabi Saleh, Israeli soldiers attacked the villagers and their supporters before leaving the village. Soldiers used tear gas and chemical water aginst unarmed protesters. Later troops invaded the village and fired tear gas into residentâ€™s homes. Many were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation.
In the village of Kufer Qadoum, Israeli soldierâ€™s stomed the village before the protests even started and fired tear gas at gathering residents. One man was head in the head by a tear gas canister. Also troops fired tear gas at nearby olive trees and cased fire that damaged a number of those trees.
Elsewhere, at al Maâ€™ssara village, Israeli troops stopped the villagers and their supporters at village entrance then forced them back using rifle buts and batons to bush people back, no injuries were reported.
For IMEMC News this is Saher Al Sous
The West Bank and Gaza Report
This week the Israeli army conducted at least 65 military invasions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank. During these attacks Israeli troops kidnapped at least 32 Palestinians, including 2 children. IMEMCâ€™s Ghassan Bannoura with the details.:
This week Israeli invasions and kidnappings were focused in the cities of Jenin and Nablus in the northern part of the West Bank in addition to the Hebron area in the southern part of the West Bank.
On Monday Israeli soldiers invaded Bartaâ€™a Ash-Sharqiyya village, near the northern West Bank city of Jenin, demolished five commercial buildings, and handed demolition notices to a number of residents. A Palestinian owned car dealership was also demolished by the Israeli army in Jerusalem on Monday.
Also on Monday sraeli soldiers uprooted, on Monday, more than four Dunams of agricultural lands in Al-Baqâ€™a village, east of Hebron, in the southern part of the occupied West Bank. Farmers said that the army uprooted and bulldozed the lands, and destroyed irrigation systems.
Later in the week bulldozers of the Israeli Jerusalem City Council demolished on Tuesday a Palestinian home in Khallit Al-Ein area, in At-Tour neighborhood, in occupied East Jerusalem.
Local news sources reported that the soldiers forced members of the Abu Shaâ€™lan family out of their home, and demolished it under the pretext that it was built without a construction permit. The sources added that the soldiers surrounded the area before leveling the home, rendering nine family members homeless.
In the Gaza Strip this week, Israeli navy forces continued to attack Palestinian fishermen in the sea. On Sunday, Israeli forces arrested 2 fishermen and confiscated their fishing boat off al-Waha resort,north of the Gaza Strip.
On Monday and Wednesday of this week Israeli gunboats opened fire at the Palestinian fishing boats that were sailing within the 6 nautical mile limit off al-Waha resort. Neither casualties nor material damage were reported.
For IMEMC News this is Ghassan Bannoura.
The Political Report
US Secretary of State, John Kerry, stated this week that both Israelis and Palestinians are so close on some outstanding issues. Kerry’s remarks came during a visit to the region, the details with IMEMC’s Rami Al Meghari
Kerry says that both Israelis and Palestinians are about to take some important steps towards ending current stalemate of their peace talks. The US Secretary believed that the sides are close on a number of issues, yet he revealed no more details.
He also urged Israel to come out with a position regarding the settlements building. US has considered Israeli settlement building on occupied West Bank as illegal, yet no US action has been taken.
Meanwhile, Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas has been meeting a number of regional leaders within efforts to revive the peace process on basis of previous understandings and accords.
Earlier, Abbas maintained that land swap between Israel and Palestinians has been envisioned by regional and international players and that Palestinians are ready to restart negotiations with Israel once Israel stops all settlement construction on occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, borders of future Palestinian state.
In November of last year, Abbas secured United Nations recognition of a Palestinian state on West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza Strip, a step that the US and Israel had objected to.
Since then, Palestinian Authority has been going through financial difficulties since that has forced the Western-backed PA’s Prime Minister, Salam Fayyad, to resign from post.
At the internal Palestinian level, both Fatah party of Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas and the Islamist Hamas party in Gaza, have not yet reached any agreement regarding their conciliation.
In a related news, senior Palestinian factional leader, Abu Emad Alrefa’y said from the Jordanian capital, where the Palestinian National Council was convened this week, that both Fatah and Hamas are far from reaching such an agreement.
For IMEMC News, I am Rami Almeghari in Gaza.
And thatâ€™s all for today from This Week in Palestine this was the Weekly report for May 18th to the 24th 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