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Welcome to this Week in Palestine, a service of the International Middle East Media Center, www.imemc.org, for January 16 to 27th 2011.
The leaked documents by Al-Jazeera create tension on the Palestinian political level and the Israeli military and settlers continue assaults against Palestinian civilians in the Wes 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 with IMEMC’s Circarre Parrhesia
This Friday, one person was injured, and many were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation when Israeli soldiers attacked the anti-wall protests in the villages of Bil’in and Nil’in in central West Bank in addition to al-Ma’sara in the south.
In the village of Bil’in, Israeli and international supporters marched with the villagers after the midday prayers and headed towards the wall built on local farm land. A Chilean delegation of MP’s joined the protest this week. As soon as protesters reached the gate of the wall Israeli soldiers stationed there fired tear gas and rubber-coated steel bullets at them. Mohamed Abu Rahma, 17 years old, from the Bil’in was injured when a tear gas bomb hit him on his hand. Many were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation.
In the nearby village of Nil’in, villagers conducted the midday prayers at their lands near to the wall and were joined by Israeli and international supporters. As soon as people reached the wall Israeli soldiers stationed there fired tear gas and rubber-coated steel bullets at them. No injuries were reported.
At the village of al-Ma’sara, near Bethlehem, soldiers attacked the weekly anti-wall protest. Villagers along with international and Israeli supporters gathered at the local school after midday prayers and marched towards lands taken from local farmers to build the wall. Israeli troops stopped the villagers and their supporters from leaving the village, using rifle butts and batons to force them back.
For IMEMC.org this is Circarre Parrhesia.
In the backdrop of Palestine Papers, released recently by the Aljazeera TV and revealed secrets behind Palestinian-Israeli negotiations, Israeli government signaled possibility to soften positions towards the Palestinian side. Meanwhile, Palestinian Authority says the Palestine Papers are an unprecedented shame in modern Arab history. IMEMC’s Rami Al-Meghari has the story.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, says his considering some steps towards the Palestinian side ahead of a meeting of the Quartet Committee for Middle East Peace. Israel says such steps are aimed at avoiding a possible Quartet’s stance against Israel during an upcoming meeting.
The steps include allowing protracted developmental projects in both the Gaza Strip and West Bank, removing a large number of roadblocks across the West Bank. The Palestine Papers revealed a great deal of concessions from the part of Palestinian Authority during rounds of talks with the Israelis.
In the meantime, the Palestinian Authority described the Aljazeera’s leaks as unprecedented same in modern Arab history, accusing the Aljazeera TV of misleading public opinion .
In both the West Bank and Gaza, Palestinians reacted to the papers with various view points, some locals considered them unwanted and counterproductive, while some other regarded them dangerous and alarming for they touch of very sensitive issues such as the Palestinian people’s right to return back to the Palestinian homeland.
Saleh Zeidan, political leader for the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, commented. DFLP is a member of the Palestine Liberation Organization, which has been negotiating Israel for more than two decades.
Actuality ‘ In Arabic’
The ruling Hamas party in Gaza organized anti-PA demonstrations, demanding a trial of those behind the revealed Palestinian concessions at many levels of the Palestinian-Israeli negotiations for more than a decade now.
Such concessions are pertaining to the occupied East Jerusalem, the refugees problem and the borders of a future Palestinian state.
Naji Shurrab is a Gaza-based political analyist. Shurrab says the PA needs to verify facts in front of the Palestinian people.
Actuality ‘ In Arabic’.
The PA is desperately trying to shift attention away from themselves.
Rami Almeghari. Imemc.org. Gaza
West Bank and Gaza Two killed in the Gaza Strip by left behind explosive bodies and he Terkel committee describes Israeli soldiers’ behavior on the Marmara boat as justified, the details with IMEMC’s Ramona M.
On Sunday, a metal scrap collector was killed and two others were wounded in an explosion near the Israeli border fence in Al Zeitoun neighborhood East of Gaza City. The explosion resulted from an undetonated ordnance dropped by the army in a previous invasion to the area.
A similar incident occurred on Thursday, when 13-year-old child was killed when an ordnance dropped by the Israeli army detonated near him close to the Sofa Crossing in the southern part of the Gaza Strip. Six other residents were injured this month by other ordnances.
On Sunday, two workers were shot and wounded by Israeli army fire south of Hebron city.
In the South Hebron hills, settlers assaulted internationals while they were escorting Palestinians to their pasture to graze their herds in Um al Hir, a Beduoin village. Settlers threw stones and hit international activists. They also stole one of their cameras.
The ‘Terkel Commission’, which was created by the Israeli government to ‘investigate’ the Israeli attack on a humanitarian aid flotilla in international waters in May 2010, has issued its first report, claiming that Israeli soldiers “acted in self defense”. The “internal investigation” has been called into question by international bodies for its failure to interview any of the hundreds of witnesses on the ships, relying only on the testimonies of the soldiers themselves.
In related news, the Israeli Military Central Command absolved on Monday two Israeli soldiers who shot and killed two Palestinians at a Nablus roadblock in the occupied West Bank. The army said that the soldiers made “justified decisions”.
On Tuesday, Israeli soldiers kidnapped and arrested 9 Palestinians. The arrests were made in the West Bank districts of Jenin, Tulkarem, Nablus, Ramallah, and Hebron.
This week, the Israeli military launched an arrest campaign in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh which has been staging weekly non-violent demonstrations. On Sunday night, the Israeli army raided the village for the third time in two weeks and arrested a 14 year old boy, Islam Tamimi. On Tuesday, his 10 year old brother, Karim Saleh Al Tamimi was also arrested. Following these arrests, the leader of the Popular Commitee Against The Wall & Settlements in Nabi Saleh, Bassam Tamimi was also arrested and beaten, on Wednesday. He was later released. The two boys are still in Israeli custody.
A group of extremist settlers torched, on Thursday, a Palestinian vehicle in Einabus village, near the northern West Bank city of Nablus. The perpetrators spray-painted ‘Eye for an eye – we won’t forget’ in Hebrew next to it. The police believes that the settlers are avenging a recent order to demolish a number of illegal buildings in Bat Ayin settlement.
A 19 year old man from the village of Iraq Burin, near Nablus, was shot and killed, on Thursday, by settlers.
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