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Welcome to this Week in Palestine, a service of the International Middle East Media Center, www.imemc.org, for February 14 through 4th March 2011
Attempts to bridge the gap between the two main Palestinian rival parties continue as Israeli settlers and military step up attacks against Palestinian civilians, 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 Ramon M
This week anti wall protests were organized in the villages of Bil’in, Nil’in and an-Nabi Saleh, in the central West Bank, as well as al-Ma’sara in the south. Three were injured and many were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation.
In an-Nabi Saleh, three protesters were injured when troops attacked the weekly protest. Villagers were joined by international and Israeli supporters in a march toward land confiscated by Israel for settlement construction.
The Israeli army sealed off the village and stopped the protesters from reaching the land, and when protestors reached the soldiers stationed at the entrance, the soldiers fired tear gas directly at them.
Hilmi at-Tamimi was hit in the leg with a tear gas canister, Mustafa at-Tamimi was hit in the leg with a rubber-coated steel bullet and moved to an injury, and Bassem at-Tamimi was lightly injured when he fell as he was chased back to the village. Many were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation and the protests ended with clashes between local youth and Israeli troops.
In the nearby village of Bil’in, 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. Many were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation. In the village of Nil’in, Israeli and international supporters also marched with villagers after midday prayers to the wall. A number of protesters suffered the effects of tear gas inhalation.
In al-Ma’sara village, southern West Bank, the weekly protest march ended with no injuries as Israeli troops suppressed the non-violent demonstration within an hour. Neither were there injuries in the central West Bank villages of Ni’lin and Bil’in.
For IMEMC.org this is Ramona M.
Internal Palestinian developments top the news this week as calls for ending the Hamas-Fatah division have been reported. Meanwhile, U.S. President Barak Obama tells a Jewish congregation in Washington that Israel should show flexibility over peace with the Palestinians.IMEMC’s Rami Al-Meghari has more
A number of Hamas’s leaders spoke to a large rally in Gaza city on Friday, demanding an end to the Israeli siege of Gaza and the current division between Hamas and Fatah.
The Hamas’s demos in the city were organized by the ruling Hamas party, ahead of several other previous or upcoming calls for unity among the Palestinian people. The call for ending division comes as Hamas had alienated itself from an Egyptian paper for conciliation that was drafted long ago the latest regime change in nearby Egypt.
Fatah sources in the West Bank downplayed the Hamas’s calls for change, demanding the Islamist party to take actions rather than voicing wishes!
This week, security personnel of the Hamas government dispersed a similar rally, organized by a number of independent bodies in the coastal territory. Some rights groups condemned banning by Hamas of such protests.
On the Palestinian-Israeli peace process track, President of the United States, Barak Obama, told a Jewish congregation in Washington that Israel should show some kind of flexibility towards negotiations with the Palestinian Authority.
U.S had used a Veto against a UN resolution that decries Israeli settlement activities on occupied Palestinian territories. Settlement activities are considered to be a stumblingblock in the path of peace between Israel and Palestinians as the Palestinian Authority still refuses to go back to negotiations table unless Israel halts such illegal constructions.
In another news, some Palestinian media outlets reported that a delegation of the Hamas party in Gaza headed for Damascus to discuss a possible prisoner swap deal with Israel , mediated by a German official.
Prisoner swap has been deadlocked since Hamas captured an Israeli soldier in 2006. Hamas wants to see hundreds of Palestinians prisoners released from Israeli jails in exchange of soldier Gilad Shalit.
Rami Almeghari. IMEMC.ORG, GAZA
West Bank and Gaza
During the week, 2 Palestinians were killed and 9 wounded by Israeli military gun fire in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, and settlers escalate their violence against Palestinian communities. The details and more with IMEMC’s Circarre Parrhesia
Friday and Saturday saw a continuation of clashes in Silwan, a neighborhood in East Jerusalem targeted for Israeli expansion, leaving many Palestinians injured. On Friday, a resident from the neighborhood arrived at an unnamed Jerusalem hospital seriously wounded by a rubber bullet fired by Israeli forces during clashes. The bullet was lodged in the young man’s spine and his condition was described as serious. On Saturday, twenty Palestinian residents were injured by rubber bullets. Three paramedics were also injured.
On Saturday, a group of extremist settlers uprooted 150 Dunams of land near the central West Bank city of Ramallah.
Also on Saturday, a group of fundamentalist settlers of the Yitzhar illegal settlement, near the northern West Bank city of Nablus, invaded Burin, and torched a vehicle that belongs to a local resident.
A Palestinian child was injured, on Sunday, after being run-over by a vehicle driven by an Israeli settler in the district of Hebron, in the southern part of the West Bank.
A group of armed Israeli settlers blocked, on Monday morning, a number of roads leading to the northern West Bank city of Nablus. They hurled stones at several vehicles while cursing and insulting the residents.
Angered by the Israeli army for demolishing, on Monday, four homes at the Gilad illegal settlement outpost near the northern West Bank city of Nablus, Israeli settlers carried out several attacks against Palestinians, and vowed further attacks in coming days. Settlers started rioting after the army demolished four homes in the illegal Gilad outpost, and announced that the Palestinians “will pay a high price” for the evacuations. They said that they marked down several Palestinians targets, and that they might also conduct attacks against mosques in the Nablus area.
Israeli soldiers invaded, Tuesday morning, the town of al-Qarara, east of Khan Younis in the southern part of the Gaza Strip, and uprooted farmlands.
A group of armed Israeli settlers attacked, on Tuesday at dawn, several Palestinian neighborhoods in the southern West Bank city of Hebron. The settlers were led by extremist settler-leader Baroch Merzel, in a provocative march in the Old city, and the area around the Ibrahimi Mosque, to protest the evacuation of some homes at an illegal outpost near the northern West Bank city of Nablus. During the protest, the settlers broke the windows of several parked Palestinian vehicles and hurled stones at a number of homes.
An Israeli settler hit a Palestinian boy with his car in Hebron, on Monday evening,
On Wednesday, right-wing Israelis held a march through Jaffa to protest against what they deemed, “the Islamic movement gaining control” over the city. The march was organized by Michael Ben-Ari, an MK (member of the Israeli parliament) in the National Union. 16 left-wingers who were protesting against the march were arrested. The march, which was escorted by a heavy police presence, comes few days after the Tel Aviv-Jaffa municipality announced a plan to build affordable housing exclusively for Jaffa’s Arab residents.
The Palestinian Ministry of Detainee Affairs published a new report Wednesday documenting the torture of children as young as seven in Israeli prisons. Since the beginning of this year, Israeli soldiers have abducted 150 children and all of them were interrogated during the course of their imprisonment. Many were subjected to harm treatment such as hitting, psychological abuse, violence and the threat of violence without a parent or adult representative present.
Israeli soldiers abducted, on Wednesday evening, legislator Azzam Salhab, 54 years old, from the southern West Bank city of Hebron, after stopping him at a military roadblock near Jericho city.
The Research and Documentation Unit at the Jerusalem Center for Social and Economic Rights (JCSER) reported that Israeli soldiers and policemen have kidnapped more than 80 Palestinian children in occupied East Jerusalem since the beginning of this year.
Kerbeh Tanna, north of Nablus, has been demolished for the 6th time, on Wednesday, after residents recently re-built it.
Israeli soldiers kidnapped four children in Silwan on Thursday. Local sources reported that the children are only 13-15 years old, and that the Israeli army intends to prosecute them in a special military court under the pretext of hurling stones at Israeli soldiers.
The Palestinian Ministry of Detainees reported Thursday that Israeli soldiers and under-cover units of the Israeli army broke into the Eshil-Be’er Sheva prison, violently attacked the detainees and searched their rooms. Al Ashqar said that this attack is one of the most violent attacks carried out against the detainees, and that the soldiers searched and ransacked seven room, including the room were Yahia Al Sinwar, representative of Hamas detainees in all prisons is detained, and a room were Islamic Jihad detainees are held.
The Alternative Information Center reports that Israel plans to sue the residents of al-Arakib, a Bedouin village in the Negev desert, for the costs of demolishing their homes. Al-Arakib has been demolished 18 times in the past year by the JNF and security forces.
The Israeli Air Force conducted on Saturday at dawn a series of Air Strikes targeting a number of areas in the Gaza Strip leading to excessive damage; no injuries were reported until the time of this report
Palestinian medical sources in the Gaza Strip reported, on Sunday evening, that one resident was killed and several were injured in a number of Israeli military attacks targeting the Gaza Strip.
Palestinian medical sources reported, Monday morning, that one resident was injured after the Israeli army bombarded an area near the Gaza International Airport, east of Rafah, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip.
The Israeli army killed a man who entered the 300m ‘buffer zone’ in Gaza on Monday.
Israeli Navy boats opened fire, on Wednesday at dawn, at Palestinian fishing boats near the shore in Rafah, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip. Damage was reported, but no injuries.
Palestinian sources reported, on Friday at dawn, that the Israeli Air Force fired at least one missile at a Palestinian vehicle in An-Nusseirat refugee camp in central Gaza completely destroying it; no injuries were reported.
For IMEMC.org . this is Circarre Parrhesia
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