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Welcome to this Week in Palestine, a service of the International Middle East Media Center, www.imemc.org, for November 26th to December 3rd 2010.
The PA has condemned a new Israeli plan to build more settlements. In the meanwhile, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyya declared support for a Palestinian state, within the 1967 borders, if all Palestinians choose it through a national referendum.
In addition, Israeli military assaults against Palestinians continue in the West Bank and 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. The details with IMEMC’s Ane Irazabal.
The Nonviolence Report
This week,the anti-wall protests took place in the villages of Bil’in, Nil’in and al Nabi Saleh, in the central West Bank.
Like every Friday, Israeli and international supporters joined the villagers at all these locations, after the midday prayers.
In the village of al Nabi Saleh, northwest Ramallah, many people were treated for tear gas inhalation after Israeli troops violently suppressed the protest.
Soldiers fired tear gas canisters, rubber bullets and gaseous missiles, prohibited by international law in demonstrations. Basem Al-Tamimi, Nariman Al-Tamimi and Naji Al-Tamimi, members of a family and local protesters were injured due to inhalation of the incendiary material.
In addition, a Palestinian boy, Mohammed Abdul latif Rushdie was treated of suffocation.
In the nearby Bil’in, dozens of protesters suffered tear gas inhalation following clashes during the march organized by the Popular Committee Againts the Wall.
As soon as the protesters reached the military fence, the Israeli soldiers threw tear gas, sound bombs and rubber bullets at them. In addition, some olive trees were burned. No arrest were reported.
The protest also echoed the released from prison of Mohammed Abu Rahma, 16, who was arrested last week, after paying a deposit of NIS 8000.
His father, Abdallah Abu Rahma, leader of the nonviolent popular resistance movement, is in Israeli detention since July 2009.
In the village of Nil’in, two demonstrators were heavily injured of asphyxia due to tear gas inhalation. The march began under the title ‘No Peace with Occupation.’
When the demonstrators arrived near the wall, they started knocking, asking the soldiers, who were stationed behind them, to open the gate.
The clashes between the protesters and the Israeli troops lasted until three in the afternoon, as protesters remained near the gate despite the violent response from the Israeli army.
For IMEMC’s Ane Irazabal.
The Palestinian Authority condemned this week an Israeli plan to build 625 new units in Pisgat Zeev settlement, in occupied East Jerusalem. The PA defined the decision as a slam to the U.S-led peace efforts between Israel and Palestinians. Meanwhile, the Prime Minister of the deposed government of Gaza Ismail Haniyya said that Hamas would accept a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders, if the Palestinians chose it through a referendum. IMEMC’s Rami Al-Meghari has more.
Top Palestinian negotiator, Saeb Eriqat says that the announcement
will destroy chance of peace between the Palestinians and Israelis in
a time U.S has been trying to bring together Palestinian President
Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu together
back to direct talks.
No comment was released from Washington or Tel-Aviv, as Israeli PM has
hinted at the possibility to temporarily freeze settlement building in
the West Bank settlements not in the occupied East Jerusalem.
The expected construction will take place in the Bizgat Zee’v
settlement built on the occupied East Jerusalem, after Israel had
confiscated the region following the 1967’s Israeli-Arab war.
On Wednesday, Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniya reiterated his
party’s willingness to establish a Palestinian state within 1967
borders, if approved by a worldwide referendum of Palestinian people.
Referring to a peace agreement, Haniya said Hamas would accept the
results of a referendum even if it contradicts their current policies.
This seems to imply that Hamas would be willing to support a peace
agreement that includes recognition of Israeli Statehood, as long as a
majority of Palestinians support it.
But Talal Aukal, a Gaza-based political analyst, does not believe
Hamas would go that far.
‘In essence, there is no chance to achieve a peace agreement with
Israel. Yet this statement is a message from Hamas that the party is
more flexible and the responsibility lies on the shoulders of the
international community to forge a compromise with Israel. The problem
lies in Israel, not with Palestinians.’
This comes as the peace process seems to be stalled once again.
Rami Almeghari.IMEMC.org, Gaza
West Bank and Gaza
Tension remains in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of al-Isawiyya, Israeli forces carried out raids into different cities of the West bank and arrested eight Palestinians including a boy. In Gaza, six Palestinian workers were wounded and three were killed near the border of the Gaza Strip. IMEMC’s Alessandra Bajec
On Saturday, 17 Palestinian workers driving in their vehicle were injured, near the Israeli settlement of Beitar Illit, after being chased by the army.
On Sunday night, Israeli forces raided into a village near Hebron and arrested a 17-year-old boy after searching his house.
Also, the Ahrar Center for Detainees’ Studies and Human Rights reported that two detainees, known as Sheikh Jamal Abu Al Haija, from Jenin refugee camp, and Ahed Abu Ghalama, from Beit Forik, began a hunger strike this week demanding to be removed from solitary imprisonment and to be allowed visits.
In addition, Hamas political prisoners, detained by the PA at the Jericho Prison, began a hunger strike in protest to what they called “cruel treatment and humiliation”.
Also this week, a report by the al-Maqdese Society for Development on Israeli violations in occupied East Jerusalem, revealed that since 1967 the Israeli authorities have demolished, and issued orders to demolish 1,485 Palestinian homes.
Between Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, seven Palestinians were arrested during a series of Israeli army raids carried in different cities of the West bank. One of the detainees was identified as Sheikh Khalil Nayef Rajoub, a legislator abducted by the military from his house in the west of Hebron.
On Wednesday, clashes were reported in the neighborhood of al-Isawiyya, in East Jerusalem, between dozens of residents and Israeli police after the Jerusalem municipality demolished a Palestinian home and print workshop.
Further clashes broke out in Isawiya on Thursday evening, between Palestinian residents and Israeli troops patrolling the area. Eight people were treated for tear-gas inhalation.
In other news, on Thursday evening, several extremist Israeli settlers set fire to dozens of Palestinian olive trees in Khallit Awwana area, near the evacuated settlement of Homesh, west of Nablus.
On Friday morning, the PNN reported that Israeli troops entered the refugee camps of Barqin and Aqaba, in the area of Jenin, carrying out a round of patrols. No arrests were confirmed.
On Monday, in the Gaza strip the armed wing of Islamic Jihad, known as al-Quds Brigades, claimed responsibility for firing mortars at Israeli army that invaded the east of Beit Hanoun, in the north of Gaza.
In addition, security forces operating under Hamas prevented two Fatah leaders, sent to hold talks with Hamas, from entering Gaza.
On Tuesday, five Palestinian workers were injured by the Israeli army while they were collecting stone aggregates in northern Gaza, near the Israeli settlement of Eli Sinai. The incident followed a rapid series of sniper attacks.
Another worker was shot and wounded, on Wednesday, as he was collecting stones and rubble in the northern part of Gaza.
On Thursday, the Israeli military killed two Palestinians near the northern border of the Gaza Strip. According to Israeli sources, the two men were attempting to infiltrate in a kibbutz outside Gaza.
In addition, one Gazan boy was killed due to an electrical shock inside one of the tunnels in the Rafah district.
Also, Palestinian sources reported that on Thursday evening, Israeli soldiers shelled several homes in the eastern part of Khan Younis, south of Gaza, causing excessive damage.
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 Saher Alsous.