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This Week In Palestine, a service of the International Middle East media Center,, for August 4 through August11, 2006.

After weeks of attempts, protesters broke through the barrier Friday at the weekly demonstration in Al-Khader village.  The death toll of ’s one month bombing of passes the one thousand mark as one million are forced to flee their homes.  In Gaza the death toll from Operation Summer Rain passes 200.  And abducts the Palestinian Speaker of Parliament.  These stories and more, coming up.  Stay tuned.

Anti-Wall Protests

Internationals, Israelis and local Palestinians from Al-Khader village near Bethlehem gathered in two locations to protest the building of the wall that, once built, will cut through the village, separating Palestinians from 62,000 dunums of land. The additional location constituted a changed strategy from last week’s demonstration, which not only surprised the soldiers, but also allowed the protesters to create a diversion. 

According to Samer Jaber, the demonstration’s organizer, the soldiers were so focused on the protesters at the tunnel road that they did not notice the second group tearing down the wire fence, which had been set up on a hill above them by the Israeli military to prevent demonstrators from reaching the illegally built settler-only road.


Prior to the destruction of the fence, demonstrators at the foot of the hill reached the highway where, according to one protester, Annelise Duerden, settlers slowed down their cars and yelled at the demonstrators to go home.

Nearly 150 Palestinian residents of Bil’in village, near the West Bank city of Ramallah, and 100 Israeli and International peace activists, protested against the Israeli annexation Wall and the ongoing attacks against the Palestinian and Lebanese people.

The protestors carried five coffins, each coffin represent a husband, wife and their child, all killed by Israeli missiles and shells in both Palestine and .

Soldiers fired gas bombs and rubber coated bullets at the protesters and chased dozens of them into the village after barring them from reaching the construction site of the wall.

Declaring the area a closed military zone, troops used loud speakers and demanded the protestors to leave the area which became off-limits even to the villages, who are unable to reach their orchards.

Several injuries were reported, and one Israeli lawyer was hit by a rubber-coated bullet in his head.

Israeli Army Abducts Palestinian Legislator

Israeli troops invaded the West Bank city of Ramallah and abducted Palestinian Speaker of Parliament Abdul Aziz Dweik, in his home.  They then beat him until he had to be transferred to an Israeli hospital in Jerusalem.  From there he was taken to an Israeli prison.

Salah Al Bardawil, spokesperson of Hamas bloc in the Palestinian Legislative Council believes that the main goal of detaining Dweik is to create a void leading to the dismantling of the Palestinian political system,


"There will be no constitutional void. There are two deputies for the Legislative Council who will go on with their functions and will convene in a session tomorrow without problem. The Zionist aim of dismantling or voiding the Palestinian political system, including the government and the legislative council will not be achieved and Palestinians are aware of it".

Fadel Hamdan, a Hamas legislator, was also abducted in Ramallah.   Over eighty Palestinian legislators have been abducted by in the past several months.  Almost all of them remain in jail without charges.

In a separate incident, the office of Deputy Premier Nasser Eddin Al Shaer received an envelope containing poison.  Eight of his employees were transferred to a local hospital after inhaling the contents of the envelope.  The envelope was addressed to the Palestinian Prime Minister Ismael Haniyeh.  Haniyeh accused of attempting to assassinate him.

Al-Bardawil, says that is targeting the leaders of the Palestinian people whether by arrests or by killing

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"This operation is not only a crime but also a coward way, the Israelis conducted the worst kinds of assassination.  They have assassinated late President Yasser Arafat, by poisoning him, if there was a probe, it would prove that was behind his death. They also used this way of poisoning against Mr. Khaled Masha’al in Amman in 1997.  Anyway, aims at targeting the Palestinian leaderships through killing or taking them prisoners"

The Palestinian Legislative Council held an urgent session to discuss the possibility of the dismantling of the Palestinian Authority due to the Israeli targeting of more than half of its members.

Israeli Attacks on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip

The Israeli army continued its attacks against Palestinians in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, killing twenty-five and injuring several more.

In Gaza, Israeli tanks, bulldozers and warplanes, attacked Rafah with live ammunition and missiles in a three-day invasion that killed 12 civilians including two children.  Another three civilians were killed, including a three-year-old girl, when an Apache helicopter fired two missiles at two resistance fighters from the Salah ad-Din Brigade, the armed wing of the Popular Resistance Committees.

The Israeli military has now killed 200 Palestinians, most of them civilians, since the beginning of its Operation Summer Rain on June 28.  779 have also been injured including 218 children and 24 women.

After more than forty days of closure, the Rafah border crossing was opened for a few hours, allowing only a few hundred of the over 2000 people waiting to leave Gaza Strip.

In the West Bank, Israeli army illegally assassinated three resistance fighters of Al Quds Brigade, the armed wing of Islamic Jihad.  One was killed by an Israeli undercover unit in the village of Silat Al Harthya.  The other two were killed in a missile attack on a house in Jenin refugee camp.

Israeli settlers also shot and killed a resident of Nablus this week, and injured his eighteen-year-old son.

War on Update

The death toll in passed the one thousand marker this week, with the numbers expected to increase by the hundreds when the rubble is cleared from the ruins of villages in the south.  3,500 have been injured and a million displaced.

Over a hundred Israelis have also been killed by Hezbollah’s Katyusha rockets, including some Palestinians who hold Israeli citizenship.  Over forty Israeli soldiers have been killed in southern as attempts to occupy the south.

The Israeli army obstructed the delivery of the emergency aid to southern and said it would not be responsible for the death of UN workers who attempted to repair a bridge in order to reach the south.  130,000 people, many of them elderly or infirm, have been unable to evacuate the area, while has said it will shoot anything that moves.

The Arab foreign ministers held an urgent meeting in Beirut this week to discuss the seven-point plan presented by Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Siniora.  The plan includes the release of both Lebanese and Israeli prisoners and detainees through the International Red Cross, the withdrawal of the Israeli army to the blue line and the return of the displaced to their villages.  Shebaa Farms would remain under international jurisdiction until the issue of borders was settled at the UN.  The plan also calls for the dissolution of Hezbollah as a resistance force.  The Lebanese army, supplemented by UN troops, would then take control of all of .

Siniora had first submitted this proposal to the European Union along with Egyptian and Saudi foreign ministers and Condoleezza Rice, during a meeting in Rome on July 26.

The Lebanese government approved the deployment of 15,000 troops into the south after the Israeli withdrawal. Hezbollah has approved this measure.  Whether will withdraw is another question.

Several peaceful rallies were held in various cities In West Bank to protest the Israeli military offensive and the killing of civilians both in Palestine and in .   

In Beit Sahour, near Bethlehem, local residents organized a symbolic funeral procession after Sunday mass to protest the silence of the international community regarding the Israeli military attacks against and Palestine. Demonstrators carried three coffins representing the United Nations, the Arab League and the International Conscience and carried signs and banners condemning the killing of civilians. At the end of the procession, protestors buried the coffins in the ground and the local priest said a prayer.

Dr Jad Issac, one of organizers said, the United Nations represents the interests of one nation only, not all the nations.

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And that’s just some of the news this week in Palestine.  For constant updates, check out our website,  As always, thanks for joining us.  From Occupied Bethlehem, this is Jacqueline Shoen and Dina Awwad.