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Welcome to this Week in Palestine, a service of the International Middle East Media Center, www.imemc.org, for February 1st to the 6th, 2014.
This week, Israeli leaders criticize US Secretary of State, Jhon Kerry for his mediation efforts in the peace process, meanwhile Israeli attacks targeting Palestinians this week leave dozens injured. 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. At least 40 Palestinian civilians were injured on Friday as Israeli soldiers attacked nonviolent protests organized in West Bank villages. IMEMCâ€™s Anna Ferensowicz with the details:
Around 42 Palestinian civilians were injured and dozens were kidnapped as Israeli troops attacked the village of Ein Hajlla in the Jordan valley. Palestinian activist set up Ein Hajlla village last week on land the Israeli state is planning to takeover to use for illegal settlements in the Jordan valley.
According to activists, soldiers stormed the village and violently attack people there injuring 42 and then foced all the people there into buses and drove them away from the village.
All activists were released near Ramallah on fridya morning. Witnesses said that Israeli troops attacked journalists and forced them out as well.
Later on Friday midday, anti wall and settlements protests were organized in the villages of al Nabi Saleh, Bilâ€™in, Nilâ€™in, central West Bank, and Al Maâ€™ssara village in southern west Bank.
In Bilâ€™in and Niâ€™lin, Israeli soldiers attacked the protesters as soon as they reached the gate of the wall that separates local farmers from their lands.
At the nearby village of al Nabi Saleh soldiers stop the protest before leaving the village Later soldiers stormed the village and fired tear gas into residentsâ€™ homes causing damage.
For IMEMC News this is Anna Ferensowicz
The Political Report
This week, Palestinian Authority rejected the recognition of Israel as a Jewish state meanwhile Israelis leaders attacked US Secretary of State, Jhon Kerry, over a framework agreement, the latter has proposed. IMEMCâ€™s Rami Al Meghari has more:
Top Palestinian negotiator, Saeb Eriqat, met this week with US peace envoy, Martin Endik , in the West Bank city of Jerusalem. Eriqat informed the US official about Palestinians refusal of continued Israeli settlements construction on occupied Palestinian territories.
US-led peace efforts in the region have not so far bridged the gab between the two sides, as Israel insists that Palestinians should recognize a Jewish state in return for Israeli recognition of a viable Palestinian state on parts of the occupied Palestinian territories.
Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas has made clear that a Jewish state on the lands of Palestine would undermine the Palestinian people’s right to return back to original towns, occupied by Israeli back in 1948.
Meanwhile, Israeli officials attacked Abbas for his refusal and slammed US Jhon Kerry for the latter’s proposed framework agreement that would guarantee a Palestinian state on 1967 border lines. Abbas had suggested a demilitarized Palestinian state, once agreed upon.
In a related news, the ruling Hamas party in Gaza and the Islamic Jihad group led this week protests in northern Gaza, condemning the Kerry proposal and demanding Abbas to halt what both factions termed ‘ aimless negotiation process that would hijack the Palestinian people’s rights to return and to Jerusalem as the capital of future Palestinian state’.
In another development, the Islamist Hamas party in Gaza said it is going ahead with some conciliation-related moves like allowing entry into the territory of some Fatah leaders. As of this week, four prominent Fatah leaders including Nabil Sh’ath, visited the coastal enclave on ways to reach an understanding with the rival Hamas.
The Islamist Hamas and the secular Fatah party of Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas, have split since 2007, one year after Hamas won parliamentary elections. Hamas and Fatah have different political agendas.
For IMEMC News, I am Rami Almeghari in Gaza.
The West Bank and Gaza Report
The Israeli army this week carried out more than 72 invasions into Palestinian communities in the occupied West Bank and Gaza. Meanwhile Israeli troops kidnapped 58 Palestinians during invasions targeting the west Bank. IMEMCâ€™s Eman Abedraboo-Bannoura reports:
The Israeli army invasions and kidnappings were focused in the northern West Bank cities of Jenin and Nablus in addition to Ramallah city and Jerusalem, as well as the southern West Bank city of Hebron. Among those kidnapped this week by Israeli soldiers from the west Bank there were three children.
In the meantime on Monday, Israeli settlers kidnapped two Palestinian men from the village of Jabaâ€™, near the northern West Bank city of Jenin. According to local sources, the settlers kidnapped the two men as they were herding their sheep just outside the village. The settlers released the two civilians hours later, after beating them up, local sources said.
Later in the week five Palestinians were injured on Tuesday when dozens of Israeli soldiers invaded the al-â€˜Arroub refugee camp, north of the southern West Bank city of Hebron, and clashed with local youths. Troops fired dozens of rubber-coated metal bullets, gas bombs and concussion grenades, wounding the five Palestinians while several others suffered the effects of tear gas inhalation.
Furthermore, scores of soldiers were extensively deployed at the entrance of the camp, especially during evening hours, and harassed residents trying to enter or leave it.
One resident was injured on Wednesday when Israeli military vehicles invaded al-Farâ€™a refugee camp, in the Tubas district, northern West Bank.
Elsewhere on Wednesday the Israeli army demolished a Palestinian owned home, and partially demolished another at the town of Sur Baher, south of occupied East Jerusalem.
In Gaza this week, a number of armored Israeli military vehicles carried out a limited invasion into an area east of Khan Younis, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip on Thursday.
Eyewitnesses have reported that four armored bulldozers and a number of military vehicles, stationed at the Sofa military base, across the border, invaded the Palestinian neighborhood of al-Fakhary, bulldozed and uprooted farmlands.
Israeli drones were flying over the area during the invasion. The soldiers also fired rounds of live ammunition at several farmers, forcing them out of their lands.
For IMEMC News this is Eman Abedraboo-Bannoura.
And thatâ€™s all for today from This Week in Palestine. This was the Weekly report for February 1st to the 6th 2014 from the Occupied Palestinian Territories. For more news and updates please visit our website at www.imemc.org. This weekâ€™s report has been brought to you by George Rishmawi, and me Ghassan Bannoura.