Click on Link to download or play MP3 file || 12 m 50s || 11.07 MB ||
Welcome to this Week in Palestine, a service of the International Middle East Media Center, www.imemc.org, for June 5th to the 17th, 2011.
Israel threatens to nullify peace accords with the Palestinians if the UN recognizes a Palestinian state, meanwhile, Israeli troops kidnap a number of civilians form several Palestinian communities, 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 IMEMC’s Kevin Murphy.
Ten civilians were injured as Israeli troops attacked the weekly nonviolent protests organized at a number of West Bank communities. This week, protests were reported in the villages of al-Nabi Salleh, Bil’in, and Nil’in in the central West Bank, as well as al-Ma’ssara in the south.
Seven civilians were injured and scores treated for tear gas inhalation as troops attacked the weekly protest in the village of al-Nabi Salleh, central West Bank. On Friday morning, villagers and their international and Israeli supporters gathered near land where Israel plans to build a new settlement. Troops attacked villages as soon as they started to march. The protest ended with clashes between local youth and troops that invaded the village.
Earlier on Friday, a group of officials from a number of EU consulates visited al-Nabi Salleh and watched the protest from a distance. Local sources said that the EU officials were shocked by the military way of dealing with the protesters.
Also in central West Bank, in Bil’in village, one man was injured and many treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation when Israeli soldiers attacked the weekly protest against the wall. Bil’in villagers have been protesting at the wall for the past six years. International and Israeli supporters joined the villagers after the midday prayers. As soon as people reached the gate of the wall separating villagers from their lands, troops fired comical water, tear gas and sound bombs at them.
A group of young men decided to take a “shower” with the military chemical water to show refusal to the army attack. One man was injured when a tear gas hit him in his back. Olive trees near the wall were set on fire by the tear gas bomb, when local farmers and their supporters tried to stop the fire soldiers attacking them with tear gas.
In the nearby village of Nil’in, protesters held the midday prayers near the Israeli wall and marched up to the gate separating local farmers from their lands. Troops fired tear gas at them and many were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation.
In the southern West Bank village of al-Ma’ssara, near Bethlehem, villagers were joined by international and Israeli supporters to protest the Israeli wall being built in local farmers lands. As soon as the protesters reached the entrance of the village troops stopped them and did not allow them to get to the construction site of the wall. Soldiers later attacked protesters using rifle butts and batons, lightly wounding two villagers.
For IMEMC.org this is Kevin Murphy.
Israel’s President Shimon Peres believes that Israel will be doomed and would cease to be a Jewish state, unless Palestinian-Israeli peace process is resumed immediately. Meanwhile, Israeli foreign minister says that a UN recognition of a Palestinian state will null previous peace accords between Israel and the Palestinians. IMEMC’s Rami Al Meghari has the details.
Resumption of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks has become far less expected as Israel continues settlement building on occupied Palestinian lands and Palestinians still insist that Israel should stop such settlement activities and appear determined to go for a UN vote on an independent Palestinian state based on 1967 lines.
Washington’s envoy to Middle East peace arrived this week in Palestine and Israel to make further efforts to bridge the gab between Israelis and Palestinians, amidst stallmate of the peace process. The envoy’s efforts were reported to have failed.
Meanwhile, during a visit of her to Jerusalem this week, EU’s foreign relations commissioner, Catherine Ashton, reiterated the EU’s stance that the peace process should be restored back to its track and that both parties should make every possible effort to achieve that end.
From his part, Israeli foreign minister, Avigdor Liberman, told reporters following a meeting with Ashton in West Jerusalem, that Israel would likely consider previously signed peace agreements with the Palestinian Authority, nullified, if the PA moves ahead with attempt to win UN recognition of a Palestinian state on 1967 border lines.
Israeli leaders including Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, have so far rejected a solution based on those borders, claiming that such borders are indefensible. Washington has proposed the solution , calling on the parties concerned to agree on a certain lad swap for the future Palestinian state.
Israel has recently demanded the Palestinians to recognize Israel as Jewish state before sitting on any negotiating table, something the PA has not responded to either negatively or positively.
In related news, Egyptian foreign minister, Nabil Alarabi, called this week for seizing the opportunity for peace and that both Israelis and Palestinians should reach an agreement based on international legitimacy resolutions. Alarabi announced that his country would back a UN vote for a Palestinian state, expected by September2011.
On the internal Palestinian level, representatives of both Fatah and Hamas met in Cairo Tuesday to reach an agreement over their upcoming unity government of technocrats, ahead of general elections in the occupied Palestinian territories.
Both parties expected an agreement over the new temporary cabinet by next Tuesday in the presence of the western-backed Palestinian president , Mahmoud Abbas and the supreme political leader of the Islamist Hamas, Khaled Mash’al.
Talal Aukal is a Gaza-based political analyst.
Actuality ‘ In Arabic’
‘I believe that there is a willingness to reach an agreement, despite the fact of some slowdown or delay from time to time. I do believe that the current regional Arab developments along with existing Israeli and American challenges require the parties to reach an agreement and implement the reconciliation deal’.
Last month, Cairo brokered a reconciliation agreement between Hamas and Fatah, ending a four-year-long separation between the Hamas-ruled Gaza and the Fatah-ruled West Bank.
Rami Almeghari. IMEMC.org. Gaza
The Israeli Attacks Report The Israeli military invades a number of West Bank villages and kidnaps several civilians, the details with IMEMC’s David Steele
The Al Aqsa Foundation for Waqf and Heritage stated that on Friday 10th June, Israeli soldiers broke into the yards of the Al Aqsa Mosque, in occupied East Jerusalem and attacked dozens of worshippers and fired gas bombs at them. Israeli soldiers invaded on Saturday evening Bil’in village, near the central West Bank city of Ramallah, and fired rounds of live ammunition, rubber-coated bullets and gas bombs in different directions leading to clashes with the locals.
On Sunday morning, Israeli soldiers arrested a Palestinian woman at the Um Al Reehan roadblock, near the northern West Bank city of Jenin, and claimed that she was carrying an ID card and a permit that do not belong to her. On Saturday afternoon, Israeli soldiers abducted three international peace activists participating in the weekly non-violent protest against the Israeli Annexation Wall and settlements in Beit Ummar town, near the southern West Bank city of Hebron.
The Israeli army abducted a 17-year-old boy from a village near Bethlehem, according to locals. Another was arrested near Nablus. An Israeli army spokesperson claimed that the two were arrested overnight and detained because they were ‘wanted for terrorist activity’. The army further claims that they have been ‘transferred for security questioning’. No more details have been given as to the whereabouts of the youths or their alleged activities.
The families of Mahmoud Sabateen and Usama Shusha claim that soldiers forcibly entered their homes at around 2am and forced residents outside whilst searches were carried out. The Israeli military also entered the village of Anata at 1:30am and handed out summons to several villagers.
It was reported that Israel demolished 5 wells in Hebron area on Tuesday morning. According to Ma’an, the wells belonged to the al-Jamal family and were located in the south of the city. Soldiers from the Israeli ‘Civil Administration’ arrived on the property early in the morning and assaulted members of the family who tried to stop the demolition going ahead. Tear gas was deployed to force family members from the area.
According to residents, ten Bedouin homes were demolished on Tuesday morning in the Jordan valley area, leaving dozens homeless. The small village of Fasayil, north of Jericho was invaded by 2 bulldozers, escorted by 14 military Jeeps at approximately 6am on Tuesday morning. The ten village homes were crushed, burying any possessions inside and electricity meters were confiscated by the army. This will leave the village totally disconnected if they rebuild their homes.
Dozens of fundamentalist Israeli settlers, living in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron, hurled on Tuesday at night, stones at five Palestinian homes in the city while chanting racist slogans and slurs at the Palestinian natives of the city. Mofeed Sharabaty, a local resident, stated that approximately 100 settlers attacked his home, the homes of his brother Zeidan, and the homes of Abdul-Rahman Al Salayma, Idrees Zahda, and Ali Al Nather. The army was present in the area but did not attempt to stop the settlers.
Israel soldiers attacked Qidar Prison on Tuesday with violence towards Palestinian political prisoners being reported. Over half of the prisoners were subsequently transferred to the Ramon detention facility; at least four detainees were injured.
According to local sources, several squadrons of Israeli soldiers invaded the Nablus region at around 2:30 am Wednesday morning, abducting 8 Palestinians from their homes.
According to local sources, Israeli forces attacked a non-violent action by Palestinian men, women and children trying to block Israeli bulldozers from bulldozing their farmland and orchards on Wednesday. Seven were injured in the protest.
A number of armed extremist Israeli settlers torched on Wednesday at night dozens of olive trees that belong to villagers of Bil’in village, near the central West Bank city of Ramallah. The trees are located in Palestinian orchards isolated behind the Annexation Wall. The Committee added that Israeli soldiers stationed in the area obstructed the work of local fire-fighters trying to reach the burning orchards. It also stated that dozens of youth gathered near the gate in an attempt to help the fire-fighters but the army fired gas bombs at them leading to clashes.
On Thursday at dawn, Israeli forces abducted legislator Dr. Samir Al Qadi, 55, after breaking into his home in Surif town, north of the southern West Bank city of Hebron, and took him to an unknown destination.
A Palestinian worker was seriously injured on Thursday after being attacked and stabbed by an Israeli man in Netanya, in the north of the country. He was repeatedly stabbed in his chest and back after he exited a supermarket in the city. Israeli medics arrived at the scene and took him to a nearby hospital.
On Thursday evening, dozens of extremist Israeli settlers torched Palestinian Olive orchards near the illegal Itamar settlement, south of the northern West bank city of Nablus. The attack is one of numerous attacks carried out by extremist settlers in the West Bank under the so-called “Price Tag” as they blame the Palestinians for the evacuation of some illegal small settlement outposts dismantled by the Israeli army in the West Bank. 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 George Rishmawi