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This Week in Palestine week 8 2011
Welcome to this Week in Palestine, a service of the International Middle East Media Center, www.imemc.org, for February 13 to 25th 2011.
Four Palestinians killed and 17 wounded in Israeli military attacks in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, and the US vetoes UN resolution against Israeli settlements, 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 Anti wall protests were organized in the village of al-Ma’ssara and the Old City in Hebron, southern West Bank, as well as Bil’in, Nil’in and Nabi Saleh in central West Bank.
Troops used tear gas and sound bombs to stop the protestors in the Old City in Hebron. Upwards of 500 Palestinians along with international and Israeli supporters marched in Hebron, on Friday, demanding the opening of Shuhada Street. The Israeli military has kept the street closed to Palestinians for the past 10 years and only allows Israeli settlers to use it.
As people reached Shuhada Street soldiers attacked and arrested ten persons, including a Palestinian journalist. Many were injured by the soldier’s attack. The protest ended as local youth clashed with Israeli soldiers. Witnesses said that Palestinian police, who control parts of the city, stopped the Palestinian youth and did not allow journalists to re-enter the Old City to document events.
In the village of al-Ma’ssara, between Bethlehem and Hebron, soldiers stopped residents from reaching their land on which Israel is currently building the Annexation wall. Protesters were forced back to the village by soldiers. Israeli and international supporters joined the villagers in al-Ma’ssara for their weekly anti wall protest.
In the central West Bank villages of Bil’in, Nil’in and Nabi Saleh today’s protests against the wall condemned the US veto to the proposed anti settlement resolution by the UN Security Council last week and was in support of the Libyan people.
In Bil’in, 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 land.
Soldiers stationed at the gate attacked people with tear gas and rubber coated steel bullets. One man from Bil’in was suffered injury to his hand and many others were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation. In 2007 the Israeli High Court of Justice ruled that the Annexation wall in Bil’in was illegal and should be rerouted, returning half of the land taken to build the wall to the villagers. The army still refuses to implement the court’s order.
In the nearby village of Nil’in, Israeli and international supporters marched with villagers after midday prayers to the wall. A number of protesters suffered the effects of tear gas inhalation.
Two men were mildly injured and an Israeli activist was arrested by soldiers as they attacked the weekly anti wall and settlements protest in the village Nabi Saleh. Soldiers forced people back to the village using tear gas and sound bombs, and then attacked people’s homes with tear gas. The weekly protest ended with clashes between local youth and soldiers.
For IMEMC.org this is Circarre Parrhesia.
Political Israeli Prime Minister is set to produce a new peace package in two weeks time. Meanwhile, repercussions of the U.S veto against a UN resolution that condemns Israel’s illegal settlement activities continue to unfold in the occupied Palestinian territories. IMEMC’s Rami Al-Meghari has the story
Mass protests in the West Bank denounced this week the U.S veto , as the Palestinian Authority asserted on the need for an international community’s firm stance against Israeli illegal settlement building on the occupied territories.
Palestinian Prime Minister, Salam Fayyad, told reporters in the West Bank that Palestinians are not ready to concede their legitimate right to a statehood with East Jerusalem as it’s capital, at any rate.
Fayyad was responding to Washington’s demands from the PA to return back to negotiations table after the UN failed to condemn Israel over settlement construction due to Washington’s Veto.
In the meantime, Fayyad suggested that in order for Palestinians to encounter current peace process impasse, all Palestinian political parties including Hamas, Fatah should form a unity cabinet.
Fayyad was set to reshuffle his own cabinet under orders by president Mahmoud Abbas. However, the ruling Hamas party in Gaza refused the call and rather demanded a reformation of the whole Palestinian political spectrum.
Such developments came amidst calls by popular and political Palestinian bodies to end current division between Hamas and Fatah, in place since Hamas has taken over the Gaza Strip and ousted Fatah-linked PA from there in 2007.
Hamas contends that Fayyad along with President Abbas’s PA have failed to achieve minimimu of the Palestinian people’s aspirations. Hamas rather wants a reformation of the Palestine Liberation Organisation, on basis of power sharing.
As the Palestinian-Israeli peace process has reached a deadlock, Israeli prime minister, told this week German counselor, Angela Merkel, over a phone call, that he plans to announce a new peace proposal to the Palestinians.
Last week, Germany backed a UN draft resolution that condemned Israeli unilateral actions in the occupied Palestinian territories including building hundreds of settlement housing units in the occupied East Jerusalem, which Palestinians consider as capital of their future Palestinian state.
Rami Almeghari. IMEMC.ORG.Gaza
West Bank and Gaza
Israeli forces conducted 47 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank, and bombarded the Gaza Strip killing 4 Palestinians, the details with IMEMC’s Ramon M.
On Saturday, Israeli settlers threw stones at several Palestinian residents in the city of Hebron and the nearby town of Yatta, wounding at least one.
Also on Saturday a child and the mayor of Beit Ummar, were wounded after the Israeli army opened fire at the weekly nonviolent protests against the Wall and settlements. The mayor was shot in his left leg, while the child was mildly injured after being hit by fragments of a concussion grenade.
In related news, on Saturday, ten residents were treated for the effects of teargas inhalation after Israeli soldiers attacked a nonviolent protest in Dir al-Ghsoun village, north of Tulkarem in the northern part of the West Bank.
On Monday, a group of settlers uprooted olive trees and damaged Palestinian farmland near Nablus.
Also on Monday, the Israeli military abducted two Palestinians from the town of Yatta, south of Hebron, and erected multiple checkpoints.
Also on Monday, the homes of a Bedouin community in the south Hebron hills have been bulldozed by Israeli authorities. A total of five tents, which housed approximately 50 residents, were demolished, together with the community’s olive trees and water sources.
On Tuesday, the Israeli army uprooted over 230 olive trees near Bethlehem.
Also on Tuesday, Sheikh Salah, head of Hamas in Israel, was arrested by Israeli police and soldiers. He was taken on suspicion of involvement in an arson of a Jewish National Fund forest
In related news, Israeli soldiers abducted another Hamas political leader in the northern West Bank city of Nablus, after breaking into his home and ransacking it.
A group of armed extremist Israeli settlers attacked, on Tuesday, at-Tiwana village, near the southern West Bank city of Hebron and uprooted several olive trees.
On Thursday morning, Israeli soldiers abducted two Palestinian children from the town of Beit Ummar, north of Hebron, and searched several houses.
Confrontations erupted on Thursday evening between Israeli forces and Palestinian residents of the East Jerusalem village of Silwan, Violence was concentrated in the Baten al-Hawa area, where Israeli soldiers have been occupying the roof of a Palestinian residence for over six months now.
On Tuesday, a group of workers in Gaza gathering materials near the border were shot at by Israeli soldiers.
On Wednesday, The al-Quds Brigades, the armed wing of the Islamic Jihad, reported that one of its fighters died of wounds suffered during clashes with Israeli forces invading Gaza City.
Also on Wednesday, a Palestinian child was killed, and three residents were wounded, in an explosion that took place in Khan Younis, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip.
On Thursday, the Israeli Air Force fired missiles at a Palestinian vehicle driving in Rafah, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip. Four were wounded, and damage was caused to nearby homes and property.
For IMEMC.org this is 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