Click on Link to download or play MP3 file || 11 m 0s || 10.0MB || This Week in Palestine 32 2008

This Week In Palestine, a service of the International Middle East Media Center, www.IMEMC.org, for August 2nd, through August, 8th, 2008.

Lead: Israeli Defense Minister, Ehud Barak, stated his belief on Thursday that a peace agreement between Palestinians and Israelis is unlikely by the end of this year. As the Palestinian ceasefire with Israel enters its seventh week death toll in Gaza reaches 227. These stories and more, coming up stay tuned.

Nonviolent Resistance

We begin our weekly report with recent nonviolent actions in the West Bank. IMEMC’s Rula Shahwan has the details:

Nil’in

On Monday morning, Palestinian medical sources in the central West Bank city of Ramallah told IMEMC that 17-year-old Yousif Amira, who was shot in the nearby Nil’in village on Wednesday evening, had been pronounced dead.

Amira was among the villagers who took part in the funeral of Ahmad Mousa, the 11 year old Palestinian boy who was killed by Israeli army gunfire earlier on Tuesday night. As soon as the funeral on Wednesday afternoon was finished, local youth clashed with Israeli soldiers. Amira was among the three who were injured.

On Thursday a group of peace activists including internationals and local villagers marched in a non violent protest against the wall at Nil’in village near the southern West Bank city of Ramallah.

Israeli army soldiers attacked the protesters, during clashes 3 protesters were injured by soldier’s firing rubber-coated steel bullets, and dozens suffered from CS-gas inhalation. The Israeli army kidnapped two members from the local popular committee against the wall and settlement construction.

Bil’in

The Israeli army dispersed the weekly nonviolent protest located in Bil’in village north of the West Bank city of Ramallah on Friday midday with gas, guns and grenades.

After the weekly Friday prayer, a group 300 internationals and peace activists marched a nonviolent protest in solidarity with the people of Bil’in.

The protestors were demonstrating against the Israeli killings of local civilians as well as the illegal closures and confiscation of lands and property. The protestors walked towards the wall with the intention of reaching the villagers lands behind it.

Israeli troops shot CS gas canisters, rubber-coated steel bullets, and concussion grenades at the protesters. A number of civilians reported suffering from gas inhalation and for the first time Israeli troops threw manure at the protestors.

Bethlehem

A group of 150 non violent protesters marched in protest against the illegal wall on Friday midday at al Khader village nearby the West Bank city of Bethlehem.

IMEMC’s correspondents reported that the protest took place after the Friday prayer at the village. A group of 150 non-violent demonstrators marched in protest against the apartheid wall being built on the village lands

Israeli troops stopped the protest by shooting tear gas and sound bombs at the protesters causing two civilians to suffer from gas inhalation.

Moreover, On Friday, the Israeli army attacked the weekly non-violent protest at al Ma’sara village southern the West Bank city of Bethlehem. A group of internationals, peace activists and villagers marched in a protest against the illegal wall being built on the village lands.

The protestors headed towards the wall. Israeli troops attacked the protestors by shooting grenades, gunfire and tear gas causing many to suffer from gas inhalation.

For IMEMC.org this is Rula Shahwan

The political report

LEAD: Israeli Defense Minister, Ehud Barak, stated his belief on Thursday that a peace agreement between Palestinians and Israelis is unlikely by the end of this year. Barak had earlier hinted at the possibility of carrying out a large-scale military offensive on the Gaza Strip. This and more by IMEMC’s Kendra Puryear.

Barak’s remarks are contrary to outspoken optimism by other Israeli and Palestinian officials over the weekend, as a meeting between Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas reiterated the two sides’ willingness to hold more talks for the sake of an agreement.

Palestinian negotiator, Saeb Eriqat, told reporters on Wednesday, following the leaders’ meeting in West Jerusalem, that the two parties agreed to continue talks over outstanding issues until they reach an accord.

Israeli and Palestinian negotiators held a new round of talks in
Washington this week in hopes of seeing an agreement on the two-state solution before President Gorge W. Bush’s term in office comes to an end in January 2009.

Eriqat revealed that Israel agreed to release 150 Palestinian prisoners with long-term sentences and chronic diseases.

Early this week Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, held talks with Jordanian King, Abdullah II, in Amman. The two leaders discussed the need for peace in the region, based on the two-state solution, envisioned by Washington.

Among the contentious issues of negotiations are the continued Israeli settlement activities on occupied Palestinian lands, the status of east Jerusalem, the problem of Palestinian refugees and the borders of Palestinian state.

Israel’s drive towards settlement activities might negate the Palestinians’ right to a sovereign Palestinian state within the borders of 1967, which includes the entire West Bank region, the occupied east Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip.

Meanwhile, the ruling Hamas party in Gaza slammed the recent Abbas-Olmert meeting as ‘a waste of time’ only helpful to Israeli Prime Minister, Olmert, who is facing corruption charges that would topple him’.

Hamas, which lies under strict Israeli blockade, also urged President Abbas to restart a stalled dialogue with the Hamas party instead.

Earlier this week, rivalry between Hamas and Fatah reached a climax, with Hamas using arms against a Fatah-linked clan in Gaza city, and finally forcing more than 150 members of such a family out to Israeli territories.

Abbas of Fatah, in turn, reiterated his demand to Hamas that the party should renounce control over Gaza, following the Saturday’s clashes with Fatah-allied people.

Since 2006 parliamentary elections, both Fatah and Hamas have been at loggerheads until the democratically-elected Islamic Hamas party took over Gaza completely and ejected Fatah-loyal security forces in June 2007.

Over the past 14 months, Israel has placed the coastal enclave under a strict military blockade and has carried out sporadic attacks on Palestinian resistance groups there, involving the governing Hamas.

For IMEMC this is Kendra Puryear.

Gaza Strip

Lead: As the Palestinian ceasefire with Israel enters its seventh week, the death toll in the Gaza Strip reached 227. This and more from IMEMC’s Rami Al Mughari in Gaza:

In the Gaza Strip, the number of patients who have died due to the Israeli siege has reached 227 as one more patient dies this week; Medical sources pronounced the death of 53-year-old Suad Abd Rabuh who died of cancer. She was not able to leave the Gaza Strip to receive life-saving medical treatment.

In addition, Palestinian security sources told media outlets that Israeli gunboats fired at fishermen in the Sudaniya area in northern Gaza and the city of Khan Younis in the south. No causalities were reported.

Since the outbreak of the Al-Aqsa Intifada in September 2000, more than 5000 Palestinian fishermen have been exposed to almost constant harassment by Israeli naval forces.

The Israeli army has continued to close all border crossings of the Gaza Strip for more than one year and a half. The total siege imposed by Israeli army on the Gaza Strip has left disastrous impacts on the humanitarian situation and has violated the economic and social rights of the nearly 1.5 million Palestinian civilian populations, particularly the rights to appropriate living conditions, health and education. It has also paralyzed most economic sectors.

Furthermore, severe restrictions have been imposed on the movement of the Palestinian civilian population. The siege imposed on the Gaza Strip has severely impacted the flow of food, medical supplies and other necessities such as fuel, construction materials and raw materials for various economic sectors. Israeli forces have continued to prevent the entry of raw materials into the Gaza Strip, and subsequently many factories have stopped their industrial activities.

For IMEMC this is Rami Al Mughari.

West Bank

Lead: Israeli forces killed a Palestinian civilian in Nil’in village, west of Ramallah. In addition, 2 Palestinian civilians were wounded by the Israeli gunfire. During 38 invasions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank, Israeli forces kidnapped 49 Palestinians, including 3 children. IMEMC’s William Bascom has the details:

This Weeks attacks were focused in the cities of Nablus, Hebron, Jenin and Ramallah. The number of Palestinian civilians kidnapped by the Israeli army in the West Bank since the beginning of this year now stands at 1,718.

On Monday morning, Palestinian medical sources in the central West Bank city of Ramallah told IMEMC that 17-year-old Yousif Amira, who was shot in the nearby Nil’in village on Wednesday evening, had been pronounced dead.

Amira was among the villagers who took part in the funeral of Ahmad Mousa, the 11 year old Palestinian boy who was killed by Israeli army gunfire the previous Tuesday night. Following the funeral on Wednesday afternoon, local youth clashed with Israeli soldiers. Amira was among the three who were injured during the clash.

Also on Monday the Israeli army invaded al-Far’a refugee camp, south of Tubas. Israeli troops besieged a house belonging to the family of Yousef Mohammed Sarhan, 27. Soon after, Israeli military vehicles moved into the camp to support the Israeli army. Israeli soldiers called through megaphones for Sarhan and his family to get out. The family followed the orders which resulted in Israeli troops kidnapping Sarhan. Israeli soldiers then moved into the house and searched it, confiscating 2 computer sets.

On Tuesday, a group of Israeli settlers attacked the West Bank city of Hebron. Eye witnesses reported that the Israeli settlers attacked Palestinian cars by throwing stones. Settlers also attacked several houses in Wad Al Nasara village in an attempt to break in.

Also in the village of Wad Al Nasara, medical sources reported that Israeli settlers attacked eighty year old Aish Al Ja’bari who sustained moderate injuries and bruising. He was transported to a local hospital for treatment.

Israeli forces have continued to impose severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem. During the reporting period, Israeli troops positioned themselves at various military checkpoints in the West Bank and kidnapped 4 Palestinian civilians.

For IMEMC.org this is William Bascom

Conclusion

And that’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 week’s report was brought to you by George Rishmawi and Husam Qasiss.

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