Click on Link to download or play MP3 file|| 8 m 50s || 8.08 MB ||
Welcome to this Week in Palestine, a service of the International Middle East Media Center, www.imemc.org, for October 2nd, to 8th, 2010
Settler and army violence increase in the West Bank and Arab leaders meet for a possible resumption of peace talks between the Palestinians and the Israelis, these stories and more are coming up, stay tuned.
Lets us begin our weekly report as usual with the nonviolent activities in West Bank.
Two journalists were wounded and dozens suffered effects of tear gas inhalation during the weekly nonviolent demonstration in the village of Bil’in on Friday.
This week’s action was dedicated to the olive harvest season, and the residents of Bil’in were joined by international and Israeli supporters.
Protestors waved Palestinian flags and pictures of the nonviolent activists held in Israeli jails, and went through the village carrying ladders and tools needed to harvest the olives, chanting slogans calling for the end of occupation and the release of the at least 8000 Palestinian prisoners from Israeli jails.
As soon as the marchers arrived near the wall, they were surprised by the Israeli soldiers hiding behind the concrete blocks near the fence. Troops ambushed the protesters and fired tear gas bombs and rubber-coated steel bullets wounding dozens including two journalists.
The two were identified as Haron Amayra 25, reporter of Palestine TV and Photojournalist Abbas Omani, 36.
In the nearby village of Ni’lin , hundreds of villagers took to the streets in a protest against the construction of the wall on their land. The protest which was organised by the Popular Committee Against the Wall and Settlements in the village started after the Friday prayers, and was joined by international peace activists.
Israeli troops stationed at the construction site of the wall showered the protestors with tear gas canisters, causing dozens to choke, and one protester twisted his ankle.
Salah Khawaja from Ni’lin told IMEMC that this week’s protest was dedicated to the farmers in their olive harvest, and added that Palestinian Parliament member Dr. Mustafa Barghouthi also joined the demonstration.
In Bethlehem area residents of Al-Ma’sara village organized their weekly anti-wall protest in solidarity with their neighbouring village of Beit Fajjar.
The protesters were joined by two groups of international supporters form Swizerland and France.
Israeli soldiers closed the entrance to the village and did not allow the protestors to reach their land for prayer.
In the meantime, villagers of Beit Fajjar held their Friday prayer in the street in front of their mosque which had been torched last week by extremist Israeli settlers, causing serious damage to the floor and walls.
Political In the backdrop of recent violence in the West Bank, a follow up ministerial meeting of the Arab countries discusses Friday possible resumption of peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians. Meanwhile, Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas has signaled out resignation from office in response to deadlocked process. IMEMC’s Rami Al-Meghari has the details.
The Arab ministerial meeting comes one day before an exceptional Arab states summit in the Libyan city of Sort. The summit will be discussing U.S call to the parties concerned to resume peace talks amidst Israeli refusal to renounce settlements construction on occupied Palestinian lands in the West Bank and Jerusalem.
Top Palestinian official, Nabil Sha’ath, told the Palestinian MaanNews Agency Friday that resignation of Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas from his post will send out a message to the entire world that Abbas is committed to the inalienable Palestinian national rights, on top of them, the right to recognized boundaries.
Israeli intransigence over the settlement issue is said to have been attributed to differences among Israeli cabinet members. While Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Natenyahou is willing to extend a moratorium of settlement construction for a couple of months, others like his foreign minister, Avigdor Liberman, opposes such a proposal and has repeatedly said that peace is far from reaching for the time being.
Egyptian President urged Israel this week to resume peace talks with the Palestinians, hoping that the two sides will reach an agreement within one year from now, as promised by Washington.
From his part, Monarch of Jordan Abdallah II believed that unless the parties reach an agreement, there will be more chance for violence to erupt widely in the region.
So far, Israel has not announced position regarding the settlements issue and looked forward on Friday that the Arab league summit tomorrow will convince the Palestinians to resume peace talks irrespective to the settlements standoff.
In the Gaza Strip and West Bank, many political factions including the Islamist ruling Hamas and some other leftist groups opposed peace talks with Israel unless Israel stops settlement constructions and cease attacking the Palestinian territories.
As peace efforts are underway in the region, Israeli army killed earlier on Friday two Hamas operatives, Israel accused of carrying out an attacks against four Israeli settlers six weeks ago in the West Bank city of Hebron.
Palestinian Prime Minster, Salam Fayyad, considered the said Israeli attack as a stumbling block in the path of peace and stability in this part of the world.
Rami Almeghari. IMEMC. Org, Gaza.
West Bank and Gaza
Israeli forces conducted at least 18 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank, during which they abducted 14 Palestinian civilians, IMEMC’s Cheryl Hogan has more.
Early on Friday, Palestinian medical sources in Hebron reported that there were two deaths and 10 wounded after 40 Israeli military vehicles and bulldozers surrounded a three story residence, opened fire and started to demolish it. The army claimed that resistance fighters were barricaded inside the building and refused to surrender.
Media sources said that the army believes the main target of the attack were two Hamas operatives said to be involved in the attack against Israeli settlers near Hebron in August which claimed the lives of four settlers.
Earlier in the week, a Palestinian worker, Izziddin Kawazba, 37, was shot dead by Israeli police as he attempted to cross the annexation wall to reach work in the Ma’ale Adumim settlement east of Jerusalem.
Many other workers doing the same witnessed the killing, and saw that the police barred an Israeli ambulance from approaching the wounded man, whose body was later returned to his family in the village of Sa’ir near Hebron.
There were 18 separate Israeli military incursions into Palestinian communities during this week. On September 30 in the village of Kharsa near Hebron the home of Judge Jabal Abdul Majid Shadid, 42, was invaded at 2:00 a.m.. He was abducted and his home was searched, according to his brother. The judge was taken to Ofer prison west of Rammalah.
On Monday October 4, settlers entered Beit Fajar, south of Bethlehem, and set fire to the Prophets Mosque, causing severe damage.
On the same day, settlers from the outpost of Aadi Aad entered the vicinity of al-Mghayer village near Ramallah and attempted to steal olives before the army appeared.
Also in the West Bank on October 5, the army entered Far’oun village near Tulkarem and delivered demolition orders for a playground and several homes.
Meanwhile, settlement construction has continued all over the West Bank, with 350 units currently being built: from 34 to 56 units in each of 5 larger settlements, and one unit each in another 9 settlements.
In northern Gaza, an Israeli military incursion attacked a group of Palestinian workers trying to collect raw materials for construction. One of the men was shot and wounded while salvaging construction materials near the border with Israel.
For IMIMC this is Cheryl Hogan.
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 Husam Qassis and George rishmawi