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This Week in Palestine- Week 32 2010
Welcome to this Week in Palestine, aservice of the International Middle East Media Center,www.imemc.org’ www.imemc.org, for August 7th, through August13th, 2010.
As pressure on the Palestinian Authority to start direct talks accumulate, Palestinian leadership is mulling the option, meanwhile, Israeli raids into Palestinian communities continue in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. these stories and more are coming up, stay tuned.
Lets us begin our weekly report as usual with the nonviolent activities in West Bank with the Details IMEMC.’Bart Farrell.
The Nonviolence Report
This week anti wall protests were organized at the villages of Bil’in, Nil’in, and Al Nabi Saleh, central West Bank, in addition to the villages of Walaja and Al Ma’ssara,in the southern West Bank.
One Israeli peace activist was injured other civilians suffered tear gas inhalation as Israeli troops attacked the weekly anti wall protest in the village of Bil’in, central West Bank.
Villagers along with Israel and international supporters marched on Friday midday from the village to local farmers’ lands behind the Israeli-built wall. As soon as protesters reached the gate of the wall separating villagers from their lands Israeli troops stationed their fired tear gas and sound grenade at them.
An Israeli peace activist was hit with a tear gas bomb in her hand; other protesters suffered effects of tear gas inhalation and were treated by local medical crew. The weekly protest ended with clashes between soldiers and local youth, no injuries were reported during those clashes.
At the village of Nil’in, also central west Bank, Israeli soldiers used tear gas and sound grenade to suppress the weekly anti wall protest. Protesters reached the gat of the wall before soldiers attacked them with tear gas and sound grenade.
Troops also beat up some protesters after following them back to the village, local sources reported.
In the nearby Nabi Saleh village, soldiers fired tear gas canister directly at the protesters and then chased them back to the village, Mohamed Al Tamimi, a local organizer reported. Al Tamimi said that people managed to reach their lands were Israeli is building the wall and settlers is trying to take over to expand their nearby settlement. A number of people suffered from the effects of tear gas inhalation during the protest Al Tamimi added.
In southern West Bank soldiers also attacked the anti wall protests organized in the villages of Al Walajah and Al Ma’ssara. Palestinian man sustained light wounds two others arrested by Israeli soldiers during the weekly anti wall protest in Al Walajah. Dozens suffer tear gas inhalation during the weekly protest.
I Witnesses said that soldiers were very violent with the protesters. Troops stormed the house front yard dragged people to the street and beat them up, the wiotnsses added.
For IMEMC.org this is Bart Farrell
European Union says that Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas might soon accept starting direct peace talks with Israel. IMEMC’s Rami Almaghari has more.
Following close intervention by international interlocutors like Europeans and Americans, EU’s foreign relations chief, Catherine Ashton, believed that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas would begin direct peace talks with Israel.
Ashton also believed that that Palestinians and Israelis would reach a peace agreement within 24 months. Ashton’s remarks come as both Israelis and Palestinians have reached a deadlock since late 2008.
Israel has repeatedly refused a Palestinian demand that Israel should halt all settlement activities before resuming peace talks.
This week, Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, told media outlets that reports over Israeli willingness to stop settlement construction in the occupied West Bank are false and baseless.
On development, Israeli police allowed only almost 40,000 Muslim worshippers to perform prayers at the holy shrine of Alaqsa Mosque, instead of few hundreds of thousands.
On Friday, Muslims in the occupied Palestinian territories mark the first Friday sermon in the holy month of Ramadan that began by mid this week.
Rami Almaghari IMEMC.org Gaza
West Bank and Gaza
Israeli military and settler assaults against Palestinian communities continue in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip with more than 66 Palestinian civilians abducted by Israeli military, the details with IMEMC’s Jenka Soderberg.
Over the last week, Israeli authorities have continued to maintain tight control over the movement of Palestinians throughout the West Bank, through the use of hundreds of checkpoints and street closures. In addition, Israeli troops conducted 9 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank.
During those invasions, Israeli forces abducted 66 civilians, including 3 human rights defenders, 4 children and 45 people abducted en masse from Jalboun village near Jenin.
Israel has continued to take measures aimed at creating a Jewish demographic majority in Jerusalem, as stated in the 1996 E1 plan for expansion into Palestinian East Jerusalem. Over the last week, Caterpillar brand bulldozers owned by the Israeli Municipality of Jerusalem destroyed around 200 graves in the Ma’man Allah Islamic Cemetery in Jerusalem. The Al-Aqsa Association for Islamic Heritage had filed a petition at the Israeli District Court demanding that the Israeli Municipality of Jerusalem’s plan to destroy graves in Ma’man Allah Cemetery be stopped. On Monday noon, the court issued a ruling allowing the municipality to demolish part of the cemetery to establish an Israeli court compound.
The Israeli Municipality of Jerusalem claimed that the graves that it would demolish were new graves that are not related to the historic cemetery. However, the lawyers of al-Aqsa Association proved with documents and photos that the graves had existed before 1948, and only the grave stones had been renewed. On August 10th, the Israeli Municipality of Jerusalem demolished the gravestones of at least 70 graves in the Ma’man Allah Cemetery. Press crews were not allowed to get close to the cemetery. The Israeli Municipality of Jerusalem has so far desecrated 90% of the graves they had marked for demolition.
Israeli forces have continued settlement activities in the West Bank and Israeli settlers have continued to attack Palestinian civilians and property. On August 9th, Israeli forces moved into the ‘Ein al-Hilwa area in the Northern Jordan Valley in the northeast of the West Bank. They dismantled 6 tents belonging to Mohammed and Ismail Nawaj’a, claiming that the tents were set up in a closed military zone.
On Saturday, 07 August 2010, dozens of Palestinian civilians and international and Israeli human rights defenders demonstrated in the center of Beit Ummar village, north of Hebron. They moved towards Zaher al-Brahish area, where Israeli forces plan to confiscate areas of Palestinian land to the north of the Israeli settlement of ‘Karmi Tsur.’ Israeli troops attacked the demonstrators and fired tear gas canisters and sound bombs at them. As a result, 4 civilians, including two journalists and an international human rights defender, were injured. One of the injured was Ahmed Khalil Abu Hashem, 43, Secretary of the Committee against Settlement in Beit Ummar village.
Gaza Strip Report:
In the Gaza Strip this past week, Israeli forces continued to fire at Palestinian farmers and workers in the Gaza Strip’s border areas.
On Monday August 9th, at approximately 19:35, Israeli gunboats stationed opposite to Beit Lahia beach in the northern Gaza Strip opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats. No casualties or damages were reported.
Also on Monday, 09 August 2010, Israeli troops stationed at the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel, east of Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip, fired at dozens of Palestinian civilians who were peacefully protesting the creation of a security zone by Israeli forces along the border. No casualties were reported.
Israel has continuously closed all border crossings to the Gaza Strip for over three years. The illegal Israeli-imposed closure of the Gaza Strip, which has steadily tightened since June 2007, has had a disastrous impact on the humanitarian and economic situation in the Gaza Strip. 1.5 million people are being denied their basic rights, including freedom of movement, and their rights to appropriate living conditions, work, health and education.
The main concern of the population of the Gaza Strip is to obtain their basic needs of food, medicines, water and electricity supplies. Unemployment rates are currently at about 80%.
For IMEMC.org this is Jenka Soderberg.report
And that was just some of the news from this week in Palestine, for more updates, please visit our website at www.imemc.org. Thank you for joining us from occupied Bethlehem, this report has been brought to you by George Rishmawi.