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Welcome to this Week in Palestine, a service of the International Middle East Media Center, www.imemc.org, for November 14th to 26, 2010
The Palestinian Authority insists on settlement freeze in order to resume talks, and Israeli military steps up attacks against Palestinian population in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, these stories and more, coming up, stay tuned.
Nonviolence Lets us begin our weekly report as usual with the nonviolent activities in West Bank. The details with IMEMC’s Ane Irazabal.
This week the anti-wall protests took place in the villages of Bil’in and Nil’in in central West Bank and also in Al Ma’ssara, in southern West Bank.
Like every Friday, Israeli and international supporters joined the villagers at all this locations.
In Al Ma’ssara village, south of Bethlehem, four peace activists and a 15 year-old resident, Mu’tasem Sa’dy, were detained during the weekly protest against the wall. The demonstrators were prevented from reaching the land confiscated by Israelis and pushed back into the village, when some young Palestinians threw stones in the direction of the Israeli soldiers and several rounds of teargas canisters and sound grenades were fired.
In Bil’in, west Ramallah, dozens of protesters suffered tear gas inhalation following clashes during the march organized by the Popular Committee Against the Wall. Peace activists and international supporters joined village residents in the weekly demonstration against the wall and settlements.
Demonstrators carried banners of Abdallah Abu Rahmah, a leader of a popular resistance who is in Israeli detention since July 2009. His 16 year-old son Mohammed was also detained this week, after raiding his house.
Abdallah was due to be released over a week ago, but his detention has been extended. He was convicted by the Israeli Court of “incitement” and “activity against the public order”.
However, as soon as the protesters reach the military fence, the Israeli soldiers who were stationed Political Some Arab leaders warned this week of worsened political atmosphere in the region in case Israel does not comply properly with peace efforts. Meanwhile, Palestinian Authority reiterated position regarding resumption of peace talks with Israel. With IMEMC’s Rami Al-Maghari has more
Egyptian president Husni Mubarak warned of potential violence in the region and possibly in the entire world unless Palestinian-Israeli peace talks resume immediately. The Egyptian president also called on Israel to stop settlements construction and go for such talks right away.
He maintained, during a visit to Bahrain, that Israel might embark on settlement buildings on all parts of the occupied Palestinian territories, if current peace efforts fail.
In Beirut, Prime Minister of Lebanon, Sa’d Alhariri, told New York Times that his country embraces a comprehensive peace deal with Israel and that Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu ‘does not believe in peace’.
Alhariri pointed out that Israel’s security can be guaranteed in any comprehensive peace that would involve the Palestinians, the Syrians and his country.
In reaction to an Israeli bill to hold a referendum on possible withdrawal from a Lebanese village on Israel-Lebanon borders as well as from the occupied East Jerusalem, Syrian foreign minister, Walid Almo’alem, accused Israel of repudiating international obligations and having run mockery of international law and UN resolutions.
The Syrian official asserted that such parts of Arab lands were occupied by Israel in 1967 and Israel since then has not complied with UN Security Council resolutions that demanded Israel to immediately withdraw from which.
Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, said this week that the Palestinian Authority would resume peace talks with Israel if Israel stops all forms of settlement activities in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
Israel had agreed to halt such activities in the West Bank only for a period of three months, based on guarantees from Washington.
At the internal Palestinian level, local independent figures in Gaza met this week with Hamas officials within efforts to bridge the gap between the rival and Hamas parties after they both failed to agree in national unity for the fourth year consecutively.
Rami Almeghari. IMEMC.org, Gaza
West Bank and Gaza
Israeli military extra-judicially kills two Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, and carries out 50 military incursions into the West Bank, the details and more with IMEMC’s Alessandra Bajec
On Saturday, Israeli forces entered Madama village, south of Nablus. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested 4 Palestinian civilians.
In addition, Israeli soldiers invaded Beit Liqya village, west of Ramallah, and fired at several Palestinian boys who had thrown stones at them. No casualties were caused.
On Sunday, a number of houses were searched in Ethna village, south of Hebron, and 3 Palestinian civilians were called for interrogation.
Israeli forces also searched several homes in ‘Aanin, northwest of Jenin, and later established a checkpoint at the entrance of the village stopping and searching Palestinian vehicles.
On Sunday morning, Israeli soldiers positioned at a checkpoint in the south of Hebron, and arrested a 14-year-old boy on his way to school, near the Ibrahimi Mosque. The troops believed he attacked an Israeli settler. The child was released on bail on the following day.
On Monday, several other houses were raided and searched in Beit Oula village, west of Hebron, where 12 Palestinian civilians were arrested.
Also, several Israeli settlers from ‘Shilo’ settlement, south of Nablus, escorted by Israeli forces, expelled Palestinian farmers from their lands in the south of Qaryout village.
On Tuesday, Israeli forces conducted searches into homes and arrests in the villages of Taqqou’, southeast of Bethlehem, Yatta, south of Hebron, Ni’lin, and in the old town of Hebron.
Israeli troops were also reported entering Jabal al-Mukabber village, southeast of Jerusalem, where they seized a building and forced its residents out. Later, settlers set up observation cameras and a fence around the building. The block housed 15 Palestinian civilians, including 7 children, from the Qara’in family.
In other news, several Israeli settlers from ‘Ma’ale Shomron’ settlement, east of Qalqilya, set fire to agricultural land, belonging to a Palestinian from the village of ‘Azzoun, and burned at least 10 olive trees.
On Wednesday, Israeli bulldozers destroyed 4 barnyards and two tin-made houses in al-Jiftlek village, north of Jericho, killing 15 sheep. Israeli forces claimed that the facilities were set up without licenses. Although many Palestinian civilians attempted to stop the demolition, Israeli soldiers injured four civilians and abducted 3 civilians.
On Thursday, Israeli army demolished the house of two brothers, in the village of Yatta, east of Hebron. Several houses in the area are threatened to be confiscated for the benefit of the nearby settlement of Karmi’el.
Also on Thursday, a local source reported that a 4-year-old girl was wounded two weeks ago in the Shu’fat refugee camp, north of Jerusalem. The incident took place after Israeli soldiers pushed her mother while she was carrying her on the way to a Jerusalem hospital.
On Friday, sources claimed that Israeli soldiers demolished ten structures in two areas in the occupied West Bank, mainly in a village north of the Jordan Valley.
In a separate report issued by Palestine Solidarity Project, four Palestinians were arrested in a late night raid, on Thursday, in Beit Ummar. Two of the detainees were identified as the brothers Yousef and Mousa Abu Maria, both prominent activists. The two brothers are accused of organizing the weekly demonstrations against the illegal settlements in the area.
On Thursday, the humanitarian “Road To Hope” convoy arrived in the Gaza Strip, carrying 30 vehicles filled with aid and 101 humanitarian aid workers, including eight who survived the Israeli attack on the Freedom Flotilla that killed nine activists in May this year. The aid convoy crossed France, Spain, Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, and Libya before heading to Egypt and Gaza. The convoy was stranded for nine days at the Libya-Egypt border as the Egyptian authorities failed to grant permission to allow it to cross into Egypt by land. The issue forced convoy organizers to hire a Greek ship to sail to Egypt.
In addition, a fighter of the al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of the Hamas movement, was killed, when he accidentally shot himself while cleaning his gun in Jabalia refugee camp, in the northern part of the Gaza Strip.
Militants of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, the Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades, claimed, also on Thursday night, to have detonated two explosive charges beneath an invading patrol of undercover Israeli troops in the northern Gaza strip. No injuries were caused.
On Wednesday, Israeli army fired a missile at a motor cycle rider in Al Zeitoun neighborhood, south of Gaza City. No injuries were reported. However, later in the day, Palestinian fighters exchanged fire with Israeli soldiers stationed nearby.
On Monday, The al-Mezan Center for Human Rights reported that an explosive charge was placed and detonated by unknown gunmen in front of a home in al-Boreij refugee camp in central Gaza. The targeted home is a three-story building inhabited by nine family members, including four children. One of the residents, Yousef and his son Ahmad, 22, were both wounded in the blast, and excessive damage was reported to the property.
On Saturday, resident Maysara Mohammad al-Sa’idi, 18, was wounded in his leg when an explosive placed one kilometer from the border fence detonated while he was working there. He was moved to a local hospital in Dir al-Balah suffering moderate wounds.
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 and George Rishmawi