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Welcome to this Week in Palestine, a service of the International Middle East Media Center, www.imemc.org, for May 21st to 27th, 2011.
Israeli military kills a Palestinian Youth in the Gaza Strip and kidnaps dozens in the West Bank, meanwhile, France welcomes the unity deal between Fatah and Hamas as a unity government nears, 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 with Carmen Rodriguez
Israeli troops attacked the weekly anti-wall protests in a number of West Bank communities this week injuring one man and a child, as well as arresting six protesters. Protests were reported this Friday in Bil’in, Nil’in, al-Nabi Salleh villages in central West Bank, as well as al-Ma’ssara village in the south.
One child was injured in the arm, six arrested, and home caught fire on Friday when Israeli troops attacked the weekly protest in the village of al-Nabi Salleh, central West Bank. Israeli troops attacked the villages and their International and Israeli supporters as they gathered after the midday prayers. Ahmad al-Tamimi, 8, was injured in the arm by a tear gas bomb fired by soldiers. Later troops invaded the village and fired tear gas into people homes. One house owned by Abed al Rahman Tamimi caught fire from a tear gas bomb, residents managed to but off the fire; the house sustained damage but the family escaped unharmed.
Also in central West Bank, one civilian was injured, many treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation when Israeli troops attacked the weekly anti wall protest in Bil’in village. As is the case for the past six years international and Israeli supporters joined the villagers after the midday prayers at the local mosque and marched up to the gate of the wall separating local farmers from their lands.
Soldiers stationed at the gate of the wall separating local farmers from their lands fired tear gas and rubber coated steel bullets at protesters. Ibraheem Burnat, 29, was lightly wounded when a tear gas bomb hit his shoulder. Many were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation.
In the nearby village of Nil’in Israeli and international supporters joined the villagers after the midday prayers and marched up to the gate of the wall marking the fourth year of protests in the village. Soldiers fired tear gas and sound bombs at them. Many were treated for effects of tear gas. The tear gas bombs cased a fire that destroyed 1 Acer of land that has olive trees.
Also on Friday villagers of al-Ma’sara , in southern West Bank , were joined by Israeli and international supporters and protested against the wall and settlements there. Israeli troops stopped villagers from reaching the construction-side of the wall. Later troops attacked protesters using rifle buts and batons. No injuries or arrests were reported.
For IMEMC.org this is Carmen Rodriguez
Political Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said this week efforts are underway to form a unity government between his Fatah party and Hamas. Meanwhile, international players’ including France has welcomed the unity deal between Abbas’s Fatah party and Hamas, amidst conflicting views towards Washington’s stance concerning Middle East peace. IMEMC’s Rami Almeghari has more.
Fatah MP and senior leader, Nabil Sha’ath, arrived in Gaza this week to sort out difficulties ahead of a national unity government with Hamas. Sha’ath met in Gaza with Hamas officials as well as Gaza-based Fatah leadership, within efforts to bridge the gap between the two major Palestinian parties.
In France, French President Nicholas Sarcouzi, praised the Fatah-Hamas reconciliation as important for moving ahead with the stalled Palestinian-Israeli peace process. Russia and some other European countries like Brussels, echoed the same position.
Such positions are contradictory to of U.S President Barak Obama’s remarks in Washington, in which he considered the Hamas-Fatah reconciliation an obstacle to peace, unless Hamas complies with three demands; recognizing Israel, renouncing violence and accepting past-signed agreements with Israel.
Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, welcomed this week Obama’s statement over prospects for peace with the Palestinians, based on the 1967 borders. Yet, Netanyahu said his country won’t accept return to what he termed ‘indefensible’ borders.
Obama had hinted at the possibility that both Palestinians and Israel can agree on the shape of their borders, within a land swap. Palestinian Authority responded by regarding Obama’s stance something that can be built on, yet it rejected Netanyahu’s statements completely as counterproductive towards peace-making.
In Israel, at least 20 Israeli figures including leftist and prize winners, demanded their Prime Minister, Natnayahou to accept a UN recognition of a Palestinian state over 1967 borders. Palestinian Authority is expected to request a UN recognition of that state by September 20111.
Rami Almeghari. IMEMC.org, Gaza
The Israeli Attacks Report A Palestinian Youth killed in the Gaza Strip, and dozens kidnapped in the West Bank, and Amnesty calls on Israel to cease the demolition of Al-Araqib village, this and more IMEMC’s David Steele
Palestinian medical sources reported Saturday at night that a Palestinian youth was killed by Israel army fire, east of Al Boreij refugee camp, in central Gaza. The sources added that medics located the body of Ibrahim Mohammad Farajallah, 17, from Al Nusseirat refugee camp in central Gaza, near the border fence area. Local sources reported that soldiers opened fire on Farajallah as he was near the border fence in Al Boreij refugee camp, and that he died of his wounds before Palestinian medics managed to reach the area.
Palestinian medical sources reported, Saturday evening, that eight Palestinians, including four children, were treated by the effects of teargas inhalation during clashes with Israeli soldiers and settlers in the Old City of Hebron, in the southern part of the West Bank. The sources added that local medics transferred the eight wounded residents to the Hebron governmental hospital in the city. The Maan News Agency add that dozens of Israeli settlers hurled stones at Palestinian homes in the Old city leading to clashes with the residents while the soldiers fired tear gas bombs and rubber-coated metal bullets.
A man who had previously been imprisoned for working as a spy for Israeli occupation forces was shot and killed on Saturday in Beit Dajan village near Nablus, in the northern West Bank.
Amnesty International has called on Israel to cease the demolition of the Bedouin village of al-‘Araqib in the Negev desert in southern Israel. It claims that the village has been demolished over 20 times in recent months.
At dawn on Thursday, Israeli soldiers abducted seven Palestinians in the central West Bank city of Ramallah. Israeli Army Radio reported on Thursday morning that the army invaded several villages and towns in the Ramallah district, and took what were described as “wanted” Palestinians. It is unknown what the men were wanted for. It was also reported that 5 were abducted from the Hebron area. One minor, 15 years old, from Al Samu village south of Hebron, was kept in detention until his brother turned himself in. Both boys were subsequently released.
According to Maan news agency, on Friday 27th May, the Israeli Navy fired on Palestinian fishing boats in Gaza injuring three. The men have been taken to hospital after the Israeli Navy fired on their fishing boat causing moderate injuries. The Israeli military claims to have no record of the event.
Conditions have been dangerous for Palestinian fishermen fishing off Gaza since Israel imposed a ban on all fishing outside a small perimeter from the shore. Gaza fishermen staged a sit-in at Gaza’s port this week to protest the hazardous conditions they work under and to call for the removal of the restrictions on fishing imposed by the Israeli military. The ban is part of Israel’s blockade on Gaza since 2005 when Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit was seized by Hamas.
For IMEMC.org this is David Steele
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 Kevin Murphy.