April 15 – 21, 2005

This week in Palestine –a service of the International Middle East
Media Center IMEMC. Org, for the week of Friday, April 15 to Thursday,
April 21, 2005

Download MP3: http://radio.indymedia.org/uploads/april05_week_3.mp3

Despite criticism by the United States, the
Israeli government moved ahead with expanding settlements and grabbing
more lands for the construction of the separation wall.

Thursday, Israeli Prime minister Ariel Sharon affirmed that a thousand
housing units are under construction in the West bnak settlement of
Betar Eliet and hundreds more in that of Maalee Adumim.

Earlier in the week, the Israeli cabinet issued tenders seeking bids
for construction of 50 new houses in the West Bank settlement of Elkana
near the West Bank city of Salfit.

The Palestinian Authority complained to the American Administration, which in turn requested explanations from Israel.

Sharon and the American Administartion agreed that Israel should keep
hold of large West Bank settlement blocs in any future agreement, but
differ on Israel’s intentions to keep expanding settlements contrary to
road map obligations.

The Palestinian Information
Center issued Tuesday a report on Israeli violation to the Sharm ‘s
truce agreement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

The center reported 920 Israeli army incursions into Palestinian
territories during the past two months. During the same period, the
center monitored 600 cases in which army opened fire or shelled
Palestinian populated areas.

The center said that in total
Israel has violated the truce agreement in 3854 cases since the signing
of the Sharm’s understandings on Feb 8.

The Israeli
government is leaning to postpone the implementation of the
disengagement plan for three weeks for religious reasons.

Israeli vice-premier Shimon Peres from the Israeli laborparty expressed
surprise that only now the government discovers a Jewish holiday.

Minister Israel Katz from the Israeli Likud party called Tuesday for a
further delay up to October 25. The cabinet is expected to make a final
decision soon after the defense ministry agreed Friday to the proposed

Saleh Al-Na’aami political analyst from Gaza said
Israel’s unilateral with drawl from Gaza Strip is meat only to manage
the conflict.


Israeli High court ordered Wednesday a halt of the construction of
Ariel wall section, but approved the construction of the Bethlehem
section. The court injunction followed a petition submitted by
Palestinian villagers in the Salfit region.

On the other hand
the court allowed the cabinet to resume the construction of the wall
near Bethlehem after it was halted by a court injunction on October

Jamal Daraa’wi member of land defense committee


The Palestinian Authority said Thursday is ready for the Gaza pullout.
A Palestinian Authority technical committee has been preparing lists of
structures now in Gaza settlements believed to be helpful for the
development of the economy of the Gaza strip if remained intact.

Saleh Naa’mi a political specialized in settlements issues said there
still debates whether current settlements should be torn down after
pull out or remain for reoccupation by Palestinians.


The Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas met on Wednesday in Ramallah
with the two U.S. envoys, David Welch, deputy secretary of state, and
Elliot Abrams, deputy national security advisor.

Both sides
focused talks on the intended Israeli unilateral disengagement plan and
preparations for the next month visit of Palestinian President Mahmoud
Abbas to Washington.

Also on Wednesday Palestinian
legislators approved the election bill without modifications, paving
the way for elections to take place on July 17.

decision ended a crisis between Fatah legislators and the Islamic
opposition groups over fulfillment of commitments signed during the
March 15 Cairo talks.

8000 Palestinian prisoners held a two days hunger strike starting Sunday to commemorate Palestinian Prisoners Day.

Palestinian prisoners expressed hopes that the PA would show more
urgency and seriousness to the prisoners’ file in the renewed
Palestinian-Israeli negotiations.

Israel imposed an entire
closure over the occupied Palestinian territories during Jewish
holidays. The closure went in effect starting Thursday night and would
last until Monday morning. As Jewish holydays coincides with Christian
Easter, Palestinian Christians are expected to suffer the most.

Samer Kokali from Alternative Tourism Group Beit- Sahour wondered why
the Jewish people celebrate their holidays while the Palestinians do
not have the same right.


For the International middle East media Center IMEMC I’m Manar Jibrin in Beit Sahour , Palestine.