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Welcome to this Week in Palestine, a service of the International Middle East Media Center, www.imemc.org, for October 30, through November 5th, 2010.
The Palestinians are moving forward with the attempts to reach national unity and allow extra time for Washington to press for settlement freeze, meanwhile Israeli military continue its assaults against Palestinian civilians 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 IMIMc’s Ane Irazabal with the details
This week anti-wall protests took place in the villages of Bilâ€™in, Nilâ€™in, and Al Nabi Saleh, in the central West Bank, and also in Al Maâ€™ssara and Al Walejeh villages, in southern West Bank.
Like every Friday, Israeli and international supporters joined the villagers at all five locations.
This week protests marked the anniversary of the Balfour Declaration.
In Al-Nabi Saleh village, three civilians were injured and many others treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation, after Israeli troops violently suppressed the protest.
Israeli soldiers closed down the village in the early morning and as soon as protesters reached their lands, stationed troops fired tear gas, rubber-coated steel bullets and sound bombs at them.
An unnamed American supporter was hit with a gas bomb in her leg, 16-year-old local boy was hit in the arm with a tear gas bomb, and 21-year-old woman was taken to hospital after troops fired tear gas into her home while she is inside.
In addition, soldiers also assaulted journalists, including Bilal Al-Tammemi, a local cameraman. Other troops forced journalists to leave the village.
On Friday morning, Israeli troops also searched some homes of the village, including those of Bassem and Mohamed al-Tammemi, two local organizers. They threatened them with arrest if either attended today’s protest.
In Bilâ€™in and Niâ€™lin, many people were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation as they tried to reache their lands on the other side of the wall.
Elsewhere, in the village of Al Walejeh, protesters reached the construction site of the wall and managed to dismantle a small part of it. Soldiers forced people back to the village by using sound bombs and tear gas.
On Friday, the nearby Al Maâ€™ssara village also held its weekly protest against the wall. I that case, soldiers used tear gas and sound bombs to suppress protesters, a number of civilians were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation.
For IMEMC.org this is Ane Irazabal.
Palestinian Authority to give Washington more time to convince Israel of stopping settlement activities before direct peace talks between Israel and Palestinians are launched. Meanwhile, an intra-Palestinian dialogue will be held in Damascus to sort out obstacles to national unity. IMEMC’s Rami Al-Meghari has more
Top Palestinian negotiator, Saeb Eriqat, says that his Palestinian Authority does only accept halt of all Israeli settlement construction in the occupied Palestinian territories as a pre-condition for resumption of direct talks.
Speaking from Washington, the Palestinian official maintained that in Oct9, Arab leaders gave Washington a chance of one month to help re-launch the direct talks and this time might slip but the Palestinian demand might not.
U.S Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, said this week that her administration is tirelessly involved in mediation between the two parties and that a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, is scheduled soon for the same purpose.
Israeli Premier, hinted that Israeli settlement construction is vital and that his country is not interested in any halt.
Last month, Palestinians pointed out the possibility to ask for international recognition of a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders, a request opposed by Washington as ‘ unacceptable complication’.
In related news, spokesman for the British government, Martin Day, told Maan News Agency this week that his country is opposed to settlement construction and that Palestinians have the right to statehood living side by side with Israel, with Jerusalem as capital for the two states.
On the internal Palestinian level, representatives of both Fatah and Hamas parties are set to meet in Damascus next week in order to end up differences and reach a national unity that is pending since the two parties have split in 2007.
Hamas’s spokesman in Gaza, Fawzi Barhum, was quoted as saying that the Damascus-based dialogue is an addition to previous Cairo-mediation efforts and that his party is willing to reach an agreement based on political partnership with the Fatah party of Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas.
Rami Almaghari IMEMC.org Gaza
West Bank and Gaza
Tension continue in the East Jerusalem Neighborhood of Silwan and Israeli military carried out 29 invasions into Palestinian communities, and kidnapped a dozen Palestinian civilians including three children, the details with IMEMC’s Alessandra Bajec.
This week, Israeli troops kidnapped two Palestinians in a village near Hebron, after breaking into their homes. One of them is a minor. Also, the army invaded several houses in towns nearby Hebron, and installed checkpoints inspecting Palestinian vehicles and checking passengers’ identities.
On the 54th anniversary of the Israeli massacre in Kafr Qasim, villagers commemorated the 49 Palestinians killed by Israeli troops on the evening of October 29, 1956. On that day, Kafr Qasim had been placed under curfew when the unarmed civilians, including 23 children and a pregnant woman, were shot on their return from home
An old church was burned in Jerusalem by right-wing Israeli settlers.
On Sunday, the Israeli court charged a border police officer and his friend with firing live rounds at Palestinian-Israeli citizens last weekend in Safad. The attack came in the midst of a widespread rhetoric by local Rabbis and city officials who claim that Safed should be an ‘Arab-free zone’.
On Monday, Israeli army issued a statement revealing that Israeli soldiers arrested a Palestinian, identified as member of Hamasâ€™ al-Qassam Brigades, on suspicion of being involved in a shooting attack against settler’s vehicles that took place two months ago near Bethlehem.
The Israeli army detained four brothers in the village of Kor, south of Tulkarem. Detention was accompanied by invasion, house searching, and firing of grenades and artillery.
Israeli troops detained eight Palestinian activist in the West Bank allegedly wanted for ‘security violations’. The activists are involved in non-violent protests against the Israeli wall and the settlement construction.
Also on Friday, a Palestinian teenager was placed under five-month house arrest on suspicion of throwing stones at Israeli soldiers in the West Bank.
On Thursday evening, some clashes were reported between dozens of residents of Silwan, located south of the al-Aqsa Mosque in East Jerusalem, and Israeli soldiers invading the area.
Israel Lands Administration illegally transferred properties in the Silwan neighborhood and the Old City of Jerusalem to right-wing groups Elad and Ateret Cohanim, according to an investigation conducted by Haaretz.
On Tuesday, a Palestinian citizen was shot by Israeli soldiers in the east of al-Bureij refugee camp in the central area of Gaza Strip, while he was collecting plastic from a garbage dump.
Furthermore, the region witnessed tension on Tuesday morning after the Abu Ali Mustafa Brigade, the armed wing of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, fired five mortar shells at the Israeli positions.
Hamas also banned a demonstration in Gaza City, which was organized on the anniversary of the Balfour Declaration. Palestinian Popular Struggle Front official, Mahmoud Zak, commented the prohibition to be a breach of freedom of speech.
On Wednesday, one Palestinian was killed and several others were wounded in a car explosion in Gaza City. Civil defense officials claimed that an Israeli drone targeting the car was behind the blast, while Israel Radio said the incident may have resulted from the premature detonation of a car bomb.
On Thursday at dawn, Egyptian authorities prevented a Gaza poet from traveling to a poetry competition in Abu Dhabi, arguing security concerns.
For IMEMC.org this is Alessandra Bajec
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 andGeorge Rishmawi