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Welcome to this Week in Palestine, a service of the International Middle East Media Center, www.imemc.org, for April 30th through May 6 2011.
Palestinian factions to meet soon to decide on the unity government, meanwhile Israeli military invades several West Bank villages, these stories and more, are coming up, stay tuned.
Lets us begin our weekly report as usual with the nonviolent activities in the West Bank. David Steele
On Friday three civilians, including a child, were injured and four arrested as Israeli troops attacked the weekly anti-wall protests taking place in Bil’in, Nil’in, al-Nabi Salleh, in the central West Bank, as well as al-Ma’ssara village in the south. This week protesters marched under the slogan of “National Unity is not for Sale”.
In Bil’in, one teenager was injured another one arrested as many were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation during the weekly protests there. As is the case in every Friday for the past six years international and Israeli supporters joined the villagers after the midday prayers and marched up to the wall to protest. People carried a coffin written on it “Division” symbolizing the end of the Palestinian division.
Upon arriving at the gate of the wall, troops stationed there fired tear gas and rubber coated steel bullets at protesters, Mohamed Abu Rahma, 18 year old, was hit with a tear gas bomb in his leg. Troops also arrested Eyad Ra’ed al-Khatieb, 15.
In the nearby village of Nil’in, villagers along with their Israeli and international supporters, marched up to the wall where soldiers fired tear gas and sound bombs as well as live rounds at them. Many were treated for effects of tear gas. This week protest ended with clashed between soldiers and local youth.
In an-Nabi Salleh, one local woman and one international supporter were injured when troops attacked the weekly protest against the wall and settlements. Today Israeli troops invaded an-Nabi Salleh in the morning and surrounded the village. Soldiers fired tear gas at the protesters as soon as they left the local mosque after the midday prayers. A 24 year old woman was injured in her leg by a tear gas bomb, for 15 minutes troops refused to allow the ambulance to take her to a hospital, witnesses told PNN.
After people ended the weekly protest soldiers detained a group of children and did not allow them to go home, when Nariman Tamimi, a local resident, tried to free the children soldiers beat her up.
Also on Friday In the village al-Ma’sara village in the southern West Bank, international and Israeli supporters joined the weekly protest against the wall and settlements there and Israeli troops stopped villagers from reaching the construction site of the wall. Troops ordered people back into the village but protesters refused and had a sit-in. Some time later, people left. As protesters were walking back to the village, troops attacked them and arrested Mahmoud Zawahra, one of the organizers of the weekly protests and two Israeli supporters.
For IMEMC.org this is David Steele
This week in Palestine, major political parties, Hamas and Fatah agreed to a national reconciliation in Cairo, putting an end to a four-year-long split. The agreement comes on the heels of stalled Palestinian-Israeli peace process. IMEMC’s Rami Al-Meghari has more
Egyptian mediation for the past years has eventually brought together the rival Hamas and Fatah parties into an agreement over their national unity. On Wednesday, representatives for both parties including Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas of Fatah and top Hamas’s political leader, Khaled Mash’al, signed the deal.
Under the new agreement, they agreed to form a new government that would prepare for elections, reform their separate security forces and free political prisoners. The agreement was cheerfully welcomed by Palestinian masses and got worldwide reactions.
Atef Abu Saif is a Gaza-based political analyst. Abu Saif believes that both parties might face difficulties, implementing the deal.
Actuality ‘ In English’
‘ I think that reconciliation has a potential to succeed. Palestinians want to reach this agreement to reach some of their goals. Hamas realizes that four years of division didn’t bring much for the movement; it lost international legitimacy’.
The unity deal comes on the heels of a deep rift between the two major parties in Palestine and ahead of the Palestinian Authority’s efforts to win recognition of a Palestinian state by the United Nations by September 2011.
Hamas’s top political leader Khaled Mash’al says that his party will accept a sovereign Palestinian state in the occupied Gaza Strip , West Bank and East Jerusalem.Recently, Israel has warned against the Palestinian national unity agreement, claiming that Hamas is dedicated to the destruction of Israel.
Envoy of the International Quartet Committee for Middle East peace, Mr. Tony Blair, considered the agreement as a good chance to push Palestinian-Israeli peace forward. Blair said that Hamas can be involved in the negotiations process.
In Italy, where the contact group over Libya held a meeting this week, U.S secretary of state , Hillary Clinton, said that her country is currently assessing the deal and its outcome and did not rule out negotiations with a Palestinian unity government.
Italy echoed the same position. Meanwhile, French president Nicolai Sarcuzi, welcomed the Palestinia conciliation, regarding it a chance for peace.
Hamas and Fatah have been at loggerheads over each other’s political agenda. The International community including the United States, the United Nations and the European Union have called on Hamas to renounce violence, recognize Israel and accept existing peace agreements with Israel, before the party wins international recognition.
Rami Almeghari. IMEMC.org. Gaza
The Israeli Attacks Report
Israeli soldiers invade a number of Palestinian villages in the West Bank, and an Israeli court put a Palestinian writer under administrative detention, the details with IMEMC’s Kevin Murphy
The Palestinian Human Rights Center Weekly Report has recorded a series of attacks and detentions throughout the week. The report noted that international activists have been prevented from peacefully demonstrating against illegal settlement activity in the West Bank and arrested eight in total in the last week.
In the Gaza strip the report stated that 21 year old Khalad Khalil al Silawi, who has been missing since the 30th of April, was detained in Ashkelon prison in Beersheba in Israel. The removal of prisoners from one jurisdiction to another is illegal under international law.
Five men were picked up on Monday morning during dawn raids. The Israeli military said the men were on their wanted list. All five were said to be moved to detention centres.
19 year old Ala Sharawnah was attacked by Israeli settlers in West Jerusalem on Monday night on his way home from work. From hospital Ala told reporters that he thought he was going to die.
Six Palestinians were arrested on Tuesday morning in separate instances. Israeli military forces arrested two during an incursion into Aida refugee camp and conducted house to house searches in neighboring Bethlehem. In Nablus Israeli soldiers arrested two Palestinians during clashes when settlers tried to storm Josephs tomb near the city. Medical sources said many were treated for gas inhalation. Two more were arrested during house to house searches in the Northern West Bank.
An Israeli military court sentenced Palestinian writer Ahmad Qatamish to six months of administrative detention on Tuesday. The writer was due to be released however a last minite decision was made to extend his sentence.
The weekly anti wall demonstrations taking place in Al Masara, Bi Lin, Ni Lin were interrupted by the Israeli military today causing confrontation between activists and the military. In Al Manara there were four arrests including local leader Mahmoud Zwehre. Elsewhere, smoke grenades and stun bombs caused three civilian casualties including one child.
For IMEMC.org this is Kaven Murphy
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 me George Rishmawi.