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Welcome to this Week in Palestine, a service of the International Middle East Media Center, www.imemc.org, for February 5 to 11 2011.
Following the fall of the Egyptian President Hosni Mubark Israeli officials expressed concerns about the future of the Israeli-Egyptian relations, and the Palestinian Authority sets date for municipal elections in July, these stories and more are coming up, stay tuned.
Lets us begin our weekly report as usual with the nonviolent activities in West Bank with IMEMC’s Circarre Parrhesia
Israeli soldiers used tear gas and rubber-coated steel bullets, on Friday, to attack anti wall protests organized in southern and central West Bank villages.
Two international supporters were arrested by Israeli troops during an anti settlement and wall protest at the old city of Hebron, in southern West Bank.
International and Israeli supporters joined residents to protest the expansion of Israeli settlements in the old city. People tried to enter al-Shuhada Street in the old city, which has been closed to Palestinians by the Israeli army since 1994.
Soldiers used tear gas and forced people away using rifle buts and batons.
Near Bethlehem city, also southern West Bank, villagers of the Ma’sara organized their weekly protest against the Israeli wall being built on lands owned by local farmers. The protesters marched after the midday prayers and tried to reach the lands where Israel is building the wall. Soldiers stopped the march at the entrance of the village and forced people back using tear gas.
Many were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation.
In Bil’in village, central West Bank, two were injured and many others were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation when soldiers attacked the weekly anti wall protest there. As has been the case every Friday for the past six years, international and Israeli supporters joined the villagers after the midday prayers and marched up to the gate of the wall separating villagers from their lands.
Israeli troops stationed at the gate fired tear gas and rubber-coated steel bullets at unarmed protesters. Mohamed al-Khateeb, 18, was injured on his hand by a gas bomb, and Mohamed Abu Rahme, 19, was injured on his leg also by a tear gas bomb. Others were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation.
Also on Friday, in central West Bank a number of protesters suffered effects of tear gas inhalation in the village of Nil’in. Villagers joined by Israeli and international supporters marched after midday prayers to the wall. As soon as they reached it, Israeli soldiers stationed there fired tear gas and rubber-coated steel bullets at them. Troops also chased people back to the village. This week the protest ended in clashes between local youths and Israeli soldiers.
The nearby village of al-Nabi Saleh also organized on Friday its weekly protest against the wall and settlements. People marched from the village center towards their lands, where Israel is building settlements. Troops used tear gas, rubber-coated steel bullets and live munitions at protesters. Many were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation and the weekly action ended after local youth clashed with Israeli troops. Thus far two Palestinian men, in their forties,
have been arrested and, at the time of this release, the protest continues.
For IMEMC.org this is Cicarre Parrhesia
Palestinian Authority is set to demand protection for archeological heritage from the UNESCO. Meanwhile the PA set July of this year as the date for municipal elections. IMEMC’s Rami Al-Meghari has the story
The Palestinin move is intended at preserving the cultural and religious locations nationwide in the occupied Palestinian Territories such as the Alqsa mosque, third holiest Islamic shrine.
During a meeting of UNESCO in Geneva, an independent researcher produced an overall study for all cultural archeological heritages in Palestine. Recently, the Israeli authorities have accelerated settlement building around the Alaqsa mosque, jeopardizing structure of such holy Islamic shrine.
In other news, the Palestinian Authority set this week July of 2011 to be the time for municipal elections. In response, the ruling Hamas party in Gaza refused as ‘unfitting current state of division between Gaza and the West Bank’.
Hamas contends that the Fatah-led PA in the West Bank replaced democratically-elected municipal councils in 2007 as the internal infighting between Hamas and Fatah. Hamas only accepts election once a national unity deal is reached.
Other Gaza-based faction, except the Islamic Jihad group and few other minor parties, welcomed the call for elections.
According to Palestinian constitution, both Hamas and Fatah should go for ballots after terms of parliament and presidency came to end about two years ago.
Rami Almeghari. Imemc.org. Gaza
West Bank and Gaza
The Israeli military wounded more than 15 Palestinian civilians and abducted more than 30 in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, the details with IMEMC’s Ramona M.
The Israeli military abducted, on Monday morning, four Palestinians, three of whom were children, from the Hebron district in the West Bank.
On Monday, the Israeli military and police destroyed the Bedouin village of Al- Araqib, located in the Negev desert in southern Israel. This is the 12th time that Israeli forces have destroyed the village, which is ‘unrecognized’ by the Israeli government.
Early Tuesday morning, the Israeli military abducted three Palestinians from Jenin Refugee Camp, during a raid on houses in the camp, and abducted four more Palestinians from the town of Selat al-Haritheya.
On Tuesday, an 18 year old man was shot with rubber coated steel bullets in the West Bank village of Beit Ummar, by the Israeli military. He was shot in the back, neck and hands. He is in the hospital where he is being treated for moderate wounds.
On Tuesday four projectiles were fired from the Gaza Strip into Southern Israel. The projectiles landed in kibbutz Sha’ar Hanegev. No injuries were reported.
Also on Wednesday, a Palestinian youth was wounded after being shot in the leg by the Israeli Army in Urif, close to Nablus. He was shot with rubber coated ammunition by the Israeli army after a group of children started shouting and throwing stones at the armored vehicles passing them.
On Thursday, Residents of southern village of Al-Arakib in Israel clashed with JNF workers who came to plant trees in the area. Three people were arrested for allegedly hurling stones.
On Thursday, two homes were demolished by the Israeli Army in the village of Khirbet Tana near Nablus.
On Friday, Israeli soldiers and policemen broke into the homes of three Fateh leaders in occupied East Jerusalem and kidnapped them before moving them to Al Maskobiyya interrogation facility in the city. Member of the Revolutionary Council of Fateh movement in Jerusalem, Dmitri Diliani, stated that the Israeli army and police are stepping up their attacks against Fateh leaders and other political leaders in the West Bank, especially in occupied East Jerusalem, amidst ongoing clashes between local residents and armed Jewish settlers who are constantly attacking Palestinian homes and property in the city.
On Sunday, three Gazan rubble collectors collecting rubble to use as building materials were shot and injured by Israeli soldiers.
On Wednesday, Palestinian medical sources reported that ten residents were wounded in a number of air strikes targeting several areas in the Gaza Strip. Eight residents, including two children and three women, were wounded after the army bombarded a medical storage facility east of Gaza City.
For IMEMC.org this Ramon M
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