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This week in Palestine, a service of the International Middle East Media Center IMEMC.Org for the week of Friday October 28th on Thursday November 3rd.

Israel renews its campaign against, not only Palestinian fighters, but also civilians who are not involved in any of the Palestinian resistance groups.  Large numbers of Palestinians are injured or arrested in attacks on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.  And, the Israeli military attempts to cork the Palestinian weekly peaceful protests against the Separation Wall in the West Bank.  These stories and more, coming up.  Stay tuned.

Jenin 12-year-old boy dies Twelve-year-old Ahmad Al-Khateeb from Jenin was fatally shot by Israeli soldiers on Thursday as he walked by the Secondary School for Girls with his parents.  An Israeli military ambulance transferred the boy to an Israeli hospital in Haifa, where he was pronounced dead.

An Israeli military source excused the killing, saying soldiers had mistaken a toy gun the child was carrying, for a real gun.  The killing happened during an Israeli invasion of Jenin, one of many such invasions this past week.  The invasions are part of Ariel Sharon’s declared hunt for militants.   Anti-Wall resistance In his opening address to the winter session of the Israeli Parliament, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said the Separation Wall is not intended to harm the daily life of Palestinians, and called for construction of the Wall to take top priority.

But in sharp contrast to Sharon’s words, the concurrent reality on the ground illustrated the systemic assault on Palestinian life and property.  Olive orchards and farms, which provide the only source of income for many Palestinians, continued to be bulldozed to make way for the Wall.  Those who peacefully dissented were violently suppressed.

The village of Bil’in, near the West Bank city of Ramallah, came under attack several times this week.  Bil’in has been central in the non-violent resistance movement against the Wall and has been holding weekly peaceful protests for months.

Last Friday afternoon, Israeli soldiers fired gas bombs and rubber-coated bullets at the weekly protest in Bil’in, injuring several unarmed residents. On Saturday at dawn, at least six Israeli vehicles, carrying border police and dozens of infantry, invaded the village.  Soldiers raided dozens of homes and arrested four residents.  Three days later, the Israeli military carried out another dawn invasion, beating several of the village’s inhabitants with clubs, and arresting three people, including two children.

Extra -Judicial killings continue Israel continued its offensive against the Palestinian resistance factions this week, particularly Islamic Jihad, assassinating fighters while demanding the Palestinian Authority to disarm Palestinian militias as a pre-requisite to resuming peace talks.

On Monday at dawn, Israeli soldiers assassinated Islamic Jihad operative Jihad Mohammad Zakarna, age 29, in the town of Qabatiya.  This is the third such attack on Qabatiya since last Sunday’s bombing in Hadera, which killed five and injured at least thirty.  At least ten residents of Qabatiya have been injured, and six more arrested.

Following the assassination, Palestinian fighters fired several home-made shells at the Israeli nearby town of Sderot, causing no injuries.

Meanwhile, Palestinian resistance factions agreed to commit to a unilateral ceasefire while preserving the right to respond to Israeli attacks.

On Tuesday, Israeli gun ships fired several missiles at a Palestinian car in Jabalia refugee camp, in the northern Gaza Strip, killing two fighters.  One was a member of Hamas’ armed wing and the other belonged to the Al-Aqsa Martyrs brigades.  At least nine bystanders were injured.

Hamas called the assassination a declaration of war against the Palestinian people, promised retaliation, and said it would not renew the nine-month ceasefire that expires at the end of this year.

Settlers’ Attacks Seventy-year-old Aziz Abdul-Karim Hanini, from the village of Beit Dajan, east of Nablus, was attacked on Sunday afternoon by two settlers, while he was herding sheep.  He had barely recovered from a similar attack two months before.

One resident was injured in the West Bank city of Hebron, on Saturday at night, as settlers raided dozens of homes in Hebron, and the neighing village of Yatta.

Moreover, residents of the West Bank village of Azmout, near Nablus, complained of repeated attacks carried out by settlers from Alon Moreh settlement, near the village.

Settlers have repeatedly attacked Palestinian families while picking olives in the nearby orchards, obstructing the olive picking season.

Settlement Activity Jewish millionaire, Irwin Moskowitz, announced his sponsorship of a new Jewish neighborhood to be built in the Arab Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, in East Jerusalem.

The proposed settlement will displace the Palestinian inhabitants of the neighborhood, many of whom can trace their lineage back hundreds of years.

The settlement will be built next to the Hayat Hotel and an Israeli police station.  It will consist of 90 housing units spread out over six residential buildings.  Each building will include eight floors, a synagogue, gardens, and other areas reserved for future expansion.

Also this week, Israeli Member of Knesset, Eliezer Cohen, submitted a bill to annex parts of the illegal West Bank settlements of Ariel, Jiv’at Zeev, and Gush Etzion, to Israel.

The bill claimed that these settlements are part of the State of Israel since they are governed by Israeli law, and that they should therefore be officially annexed to Israel and be considered part of it.

Israel began construction of a massive checkpoint near the Tappoah settlement near Nablus.  The checkpoint will include a road with ten lanes, eight leading to the south of the West Bank, and two to the north.  The decision to construct the checkpoint was taken nine months ago and is part of the plan to divide the West Bank into three permanently isolated parts.

While hundreds of checkpoints and roadblocks are placed throughout occupied Palestinian territories, only a handful of such magnitude and permanence have been built, including Abu Holi and Netzarim checkpoints in the Gaza Strip, and Qalandia near Ramallah.  The Abu Holi and Netzarim checkpoints have been removed by Palestinians after the Israeli pullout from the Gaza Strip.

Israel approves European Observers on Rafah Terminal The Israeli Cabinet approved on Tuesday a proposal to allow European Union personnel to operate along the Rafah Border Crossing between the Gaza Strip and Egypt.

The EU personnel would enforce security procedures as stipulated by Israel, and will be granted considerable enforcement capabilities, while Israel would use surveillance cameras to monitor the travel of the passengers in and out of the Gaza Strip.

The idea was suggested by both Palestinian and Israeli governments.  The Palestinian Authority requested third party presence to thwart the gross human rights violations carried out by the Israeli military at the crossing, including random arrests and detentions, and the killings of civilians.  Israel insisted a third party presence would cut down on smugglers bringing weapons into the Gaza Strip.

Almost one month and half has passed since Israel evacuated the Gaza settlements.  However, the Israeli military has retained control of Gaza’s airspace and borders.  The crossing has been closed for much of the time since the evacuation, making Gaza look more than ever like a jail.  Many Palestinians who had traveled to Egypt, thinking the crossing would be left open after the evacuation, now find themselves trapped at the closed terminal and unable to return home.

Palestinian and Israeli security officers have met several times, but failed to agree upon the terms on which Israel will allow the Palestinian Authority to re-open the terminal.

And that’s some of the news this week from Palestine.  For the International Middle East Media Center, IMEMC.ORG in Beit Sahour-Palestine, I am Dina Awwad.