Click on Link to download or play MP3 file || File 11.9MB || Time 13m 0s ||This Week In Palestine, a service of the International Middle East Media Center, www.IMEMC.org, for February 23rd through to February 29th, 2008.
As Israeli attacks on Gaza leave 44 Palestinian dead this week, the Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas demands the rival Hamas party cease firing homemade shells from the costal region into nearby Israeli towns These stories and more coming up, stay tuned.
Let’s begin our weekly report with the nonviolent actions in the West Bank, IMEMC’s Manar Jebreen with the details:
The villagers of Bil’in, along with international and Israeli supporters, conducted their weekly protest against the illegal Israeli wall being built on village land.Israeli troops attacked protesters injuring four.
Bil’in village, located near Ramallah held its weekly protest, as it has for the last three years. The protest started after Friday prayers, with participants marching from the village center towards the construction site of the Wall.
The theme of this weeks protest was solidarity with Gaza, where Israeli attacks killed 44 Palestinians, this week. Villagers and their supporters managed to reach the gate of the Wall, the barrier that has confiscated their land.
Soldiers prevented the peaceful protesters from crossing at the gate, showering them with tear gas and sound bombs. Four protesters; Ibraheem Bornat, Adeb Abu Rahmah, Wa’el Nasser, Aiyed Burnat, were abducted by the soldiers and moved to a nearby military post.
Also On Friday around 100,villagers of Al Khader, Israeli and international peace activists held a nonviolent protest against the illegal Wall, now being constructed on lands owned by the villagers of Al Khader located near Bethlehem.
After Friday prayers at the village mosque, the protestors marched to the construction site of the illegal Israeli wall. They were blocked by a dozen Israeli soldiers prevented the march to continuing. Speeches in Arabic, English and Hebrew were delivered by the protesters, after a short standoff with the army; the organizers ended Friday’s action promising to return next week.
For IMEMC.org this is Mannar Jebreen.
From Cairo, Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas demanded that the rival Hamas party stop firing homemade shells from Gaza into nearby Israeli towns, ‘so as to not give Israel, more excuse to attack Gaza, IMEMC’s Conscience Londres with the details:
Egyptian Foreign minister, Ahmad Abu Elghiet, expressed his concern over the conditions in Gaza and reiterated his country’s willingness to get Abbas of Fatah and the Hamas together for the sake of Palestinian national interests. Both Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, voiced pessimism this week over reaching a peace deal by the end of 2008. Olmert said, that Israel will try to make that agreement possible.
The Israeli government, in the meantime, decided to strike heavily against the Gaza Strip, to undermine the ruling Hamas party, which is involved in armed struggle against Israeli occupation. U.S Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, meeting with Olmert in Tokyo, said she was concerned over the humanitarian situation in Gaza.
Olmert, , announced the Israeli army, will make Hamas pay a ‘heavy price’ for the homemade shells, fired from Gaza onto nearby Israeli areas. Concurrently, Qatari Foreign Minister, Sheikh Hamad Ben Jasem, met this week with Israeli left-wing MP, Yusi Belin in Douha.
Ben Jasem emphasized the need that President Abbas of the Palestinian Authority should return to dialogue with the elected Hamas party, without which, peace negotiations with Israel ‘will be fruitless’.
The Palestinian-Israeli peace talks have been advancing very slowly, without concrete results, since they were first revived by the US-sponsored peace summit of Annapolis in November 2007. Yemen produced a new proposal for reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah. Hamas welcomed the Yemeni initiative and said it is willing to engage in a dialogue, provided that no conditions be set..
President Abbas has outlawed Hamas; after the Islamist party took over the coastal territory in June of last year a midst a power struggle Fatah. Since then, Abbas has been demanding Hamas renounce control of Gaza, before any dialogue is commenced.
In February 2007, both rivals concluded a unity deal in the Saudi Arabian city of Mecca, followed by the formation of the first unity government. However, infighting broke out, a few months later, after the National Unity government was shunned by Israel and the west.
Earlier this week, Israeli foreign minister, Tzibi Livni, said that part of Israel might be given up for a peace agreement with the Palestinians. Livni’s remarks came during a Jerusalem meeting with Jewish leaders. The above -mentioned developments come on the heels of deadly Israeli attacks on the coastal region, in which more than 44 Palestinians including 12 children have been killed and scores of others wounded.
For IMEMC.org this is Conscience Londres.
The Israeli attacks
The Gaza Strip
This week the Israeli army continues to attack the Gaza strip, leaving at least 44 Palestinians killed, in Gaza IMEMC’s Rami Al Mughari explains:
By Friday the death toll in Gaza, reached 44, the Israeli army radio reported that the army has laid the ground-work for a wide scale offensive targeting the Gaza Strip. Matan Vilnai army spokesman stated that the Palestinian firing of home made shells will bring upon themselves, a bigger holocaust.
On Friday two Palestinians were reported killed by the Israeli attacks on the coastal region with four others, two of whom, children, were injured. Doctors at Gaza city hospital announced the death of Ala Al Burno, 20, from wounds sustained on Thursday evening when Israeli jet fighters shelled a Palestinian police station west of Gaza city. Mohamed Shamiyiah, 25, was killed and two others injured when an Israeli F16 fired missiles at a car belonging to the Palestinian Electricity Company.
On Thursday 19 Palestinian were killed in the Gaza Strip in more Israeli attacks. Among those killed were 10 civilians including six children. Four more Palestinian children were killed and one critically injured when Israeli jet fighters shot several missiles at civilians in Jabalia town, located in the northern Gaza Strip on Thursday afternoon.
Medical sources identified the four as, Mohamed Hamudah, 7, Ali Dardonah, 8, Omer Dardonah, 14, and his brother Deib, 11. Meanwhile Amjad Al Sakani, 12, was found dead after being shot by the Israeli army in Rafah city in the southern part of the Gaza strip. Mohamed Al Bara’y, five months old, was announced dead on Thursday after sustaining wounds on Wednesday evening when Israeli jet fighters bombed the Palestinian Authority offices, and surrounding areas, in Gaza City.
An Israeli strike on Wednesday evening killed three Palestinian children in northern Gaza and wounded 17 others. Palestinian medical sources reported that two Palestinian farmers were killed, on Wednesday afternoon, during Israeli shelling of farm land near Gaza city in the northern part of the coastal region.
Five resistance fighters, members of the Al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, were killed, and three others wounded in Israeli air strike in the early morning. Also on Wednesday afternoon, Israeli media sources reported that 17 Palestinian home made shells fired from Gaza landed in the nearby southern Israeli town of Sderot, killing one Israeli man, and injuring three others.
Late on Tuesday night, an Islamic Jihad fighter was reportedly killed in Israeli fire near the Gaza-Israel border in the Al-Bureij refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip. A farmer in central Gaza Israeli borders was killed by Israeli army fire on Tuesday afternoon.
Palestinian sources reported that four Palestinians were killed by Israeli fire during three separate operations in the Gaza strip on Monday. Hussam Abu Hieen was killed when Israeli jet fighters shelled residential areas east of Gaza city on Monday at dawn, medical sources reported. Meanwhile Hani Abu Salah and Tha’er Misbah were killed when Israeli drones, fired missiles at a group of resistance fighters in Khan Younis city in the southern part of the Gaza strip.
Midhat Awad, 20, was found dead, on Monday near the Gaza international airport located east of Gaza city. Local sources reported that Awad was killed by invading Israeli troops that attacked the area on Sunday.
On Saturday three Palestinians were killed after an Israeli shell hit them in the northern Gaza town of Beit Hanoun. Witnesses said that an Israeli missile targeted the three young men to the east of Beit Hanoun city, leading to their instant death.
For IMEMC.org this Rami Al Mughari in Gaza.
The West Bank
This week the Israeli army conducted at least 36 military invasions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank. During invasions the Israeli army killed 3 Palestinians kidnapping another 67. IMEMC’s Louisa white has more:
With this week’s kidnappings, the number of Palestinian civilians kidnapped by the Israeli army from the West Bank since the beginning of 2008 now stands at 499.
On Thursday the Israeli army killed two resistance fighters from the northern west Bank city of Nablus. Palestinian sources reported that two Palestinian fighters were shot and killed on Thursday at dawn during armed clashes with Israeli forces which had invaded Balata refugee camp, east of the city of Nablus. Two other fighters were injured and abducted by the army.
Nablus city was also attacked on Wednesday. A special undercover unit of the Israeli army invaded the city of Nablus on Wednesday morning, killed one, injured four and kidnapped them.
Eyewitnesses stated that troops disguised as vegetable traders drove a truck into the city. Troops opened fire at a Palestinian security office in Nablus city as five resistance fighters from the Al Aqsa brigades the armed wing of Fatah were leaving. One was killed and four others were injured and kidnapped by the army.
On Wednesday morning Israeli forces detained a Palestinian photo-journalist in Jenin, taking footage of the separation wall which annexes ‘Aneen village, west of Jenin city. Eyewitnesses reported that Israeli soldiers attacked Hazim Bader from Hebron, a photojournalist for the French Press and they also confiscated his camera. Bader was handcuffed and was detained for at least two hours.
On Tuesday morning, Israeli forces invaded several buildings belonging to the Islamic charitable Association and Muslim Youth Association in the southern West Bank city of Hebron. The Army confiscated equipments and documents from the properties.
The army issued military orders to close down the Associations transferring ownership of all offices and buildings to Israeli authorities.
A group of Israeli troops and settlers attacked Palestinian farmers in the village of Al Towani, located near the southern West Bank city of Hebron on Sunday morning.
as farmers grazed their sheep near their village, Israeli troops attacked them and their herds, forcing them to leave. This followed a previous attack on Saturday by a group of settlers as the farmers herded. They complained that the settlers, injured one sheep.
The Israeli army along with radical Israeli settlers from the nearby settlement of Havat Maâ€™on regularly attack of Al Towani villagers and their herds.
For IMEMC.org this is Louisa white.
And thatâ€™s just some of the news this week in Palestine. For constant updates, check out our website, www.IMEMC.org. Thanks for joining us from Occupied Bethlehem; this is Morwenna Pencarrow and Ghassan Bannoura.