Click on Link to download or play MP3 file|| 08 m 0s || 7.32 MB ||Welcome to This Week in Palestine, a service of the International Middle East Media Center, www.imemc.org, for October 10th to the 16th, 2009
This week 25 member-states of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva voted for Ritchard Goldstone’s Report on war crimes regarding the Israeli attack on Gaza on January. In the meantime military attacks targeting Gaza and the West Bank continued. These stories, and more, coming up, stay tuned.
Let’s begin our weekly report with the nonviolent activities in the West Bank with IMEMC’s Ghassan Bannoura:
Four civilians were injured and scores suffered tear gas inhalation on Friday as the Israeli military attacked the weekly protest against the Israeli wall in the village of Bil’in in the central West Bank.
As has been the case for the past four years, villagers along with their international and Israeli supporters started the protest after the midday prayers.
Demonstrators carried ladders and other tools they use to harvest the olives, once they arrived to the gate of the wall that separates the village from its lands Israeli troops fired tear gas and rubber coated steel bullets.
Four were lightly injured among them one journalist while dozens were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation.
Also in the central West Bank, two Palestinians were injured and dozens suffered tear gas inhalation on Friday when Israeli soldiers attacked the weekly protest against the Wall in the village of Ni’lin.
Villagers joined by international and Israeli supporters marched from the village after the midday prayers and headed towards lands owned by local farmers where Israel is building the Wall.
Undercover forces attacked the protesters as soldiers showered them with tear gas and water mixed with chemicals.
Two were lightly wounded as scores of people suffered tear gas inhalation and nausea.. The protest ended with clashes between local youth and Israeli soldiers.
For IMEMC.org this is Ghassan Bannoura.
The Political Report
25 member-states of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva voted this week for Ritchard Goldstone’s Report on war crimes. The report accuses Israel and the ruling Hamas party in Gaza of war crimes during the last Israeli war on the Gaza Strip in January of this year. IMEMC Jessica Hulsey has the story:
Israel fears the vote over the report would either bring or undermine peace in the region. Many Arab and Palestinian parties welcomed the vote, saying it constitutes victory for justice and are looking forward to a trial of war criminals at the International Court of Justice.
In Gaza, the ruling Hamas party, which sharply criticized deferral of the debate for the Goldstone’s earlier, believed the vote is a step in the right direction, until war criminals are brought to justice.
The Palestinian Authority in Ramallah welcomed the vote as ‘victory for justice’, hoping that the international community would help prevent more Israeli crimes against the Palestinian people.
Meanwhile, as Palestinian-Israeli peace talks continue to stall despite the latest visit by the U.S peace envoy to the region, Israel was reported as deciding to start construction of settlement housing units in ten Israeli settlements.
The decision contradicts U.S-led peace efforts between Palestinians and Israelis, ahead of a visit by U.S Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, to the region next week.
The visit, according to the U.S State Department, aims at encouraging both Israelis and Palestinians to advance stalled peace talks.
Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, was quoted as saying this week that the PA is willing to resume peace negotiations, once Israel stops all forms of settlement activity on occupied Palestinian territory.
At the internal level, the Fatah party of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas signed an Egyptian document for reconciliation with the rival Hamas party in Gaza. Hamas wanted more time before it signs.
Egyptian mediators expected signing of the document by Oct.20 and then a celebration for the signing will be held later.
For IMEMC.org this is Jessica Hulsey.
The Gaza Strip Report
One Palestinian killed and six injured as Israeli attacks were reported in different parts of the Gaza Strip this week, from Gaza IMEMC’s Rami Al Meghari reports:
A Palestinian man was killed and five others were injured on Wednesday in two separate air raids targeting the border area between Egypt and Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip.
Medical sources said that twenty three year old Yousif Abu Mer’y was dead on arrival at the hospital, while five others sustained moderate wounds.
Witnesses said that Israeli fighter jets launched two separate attacks on the border area. The Israeli military said they had bombed tunnels used by local fighters to smuggle weapons into the Gaza Strip.
On Friday two Palestinians were injured as a tunnel between the Rafah and Egypt borders caved in on them.
Israel started its siege on Gaza in June 2007, leaving the 1.5 million Palestinians living there lacking basic food, medical and fuel supplies. The underground tunnels are used in most cases to get needed supplies into Gaza.
Also this week the Rafah Crossing Point has been opened for a few days for a number of patients who received medical treatment abroad and needed to return home to the Gaza Strip. Rafah crossing is the only way for Palestinians in or out of Gaza.
For IMEMC.org this is Rami al Meghari in Gaza.
The West Bank Report
This week the Israeli military conducted at least 21 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and settler attacks continued. Israeli troops kidnapped 18 Palestinian civilians. IMEMC’s Katharine Orwell with the details:
Israeli military invasions and kidnapping were focused this week on the northern West Bank cities of Hebron and Bethlehem in addition to Nablus in the north.
On Thursday the Israeli military warned local farmers in the northern West Bank that they will be charged with a 1,700 USD fine if they would bring international activists to their lands.
Farmers from villages near Nablus said troops stopped them on Thursday morning while being escorted by international activists and informed them on the new law. Farmers say that the presence of international activists allows them to reach their lands near Israeli settlements.
Since the start of the olive harvest season earlier this week military and settler attacks on farmers have been reported on daily basis.
On Monday the military told farmers in the region that they are not allowed to host international activists in their homes. On Tuesday settlers attack on farmers in northern West Bank left one Palestinian injured.
For IMEMC.org this is Katharine Orwell.
And that’s just some of the news from This Week in Palestine. For regular updates, please visit our website at www.IMEMC.org. Thank you for joining us from Occupied Bethlehem. This week’s report has been brought to you by George Rishmawi.