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Welcome to this Week in Palestine, a service of the International Middle East Media Center, www.imemc.org, for July 2nd, 2011.
At the time the Palestinians reaffirm their position to ask for recognition of independent Palestine in September, Israel denies hundreds of Internationals entry to visit Palestine, these stories and more are coming up, stay tuned
Israeli troops attacked on Friday the weekly nonviolent protests in a number of West Bank villages. This week protesters marched in solidarity with Freedom Flotilla 2 detained in Greece and the Welcome To Palestine participants. The details with IMEMC’s George Rishmawi
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.
In Bil’in village on Friday, international and Israeli supporters joined villagers and replanted trees on land given back to local farmers after the army adhered to the court order and rerouted the wall around Bil’in giving the villages half of their lands back.
Also on Friday, one boy and a youth were slightly injured when troops fired tear gas at the marchers in the village of al-Nabi Saleh near Ramallah. Villagers and their Israeli and International supporters dragged a mock-ship they named “Popular Resistance Flotilla.” As soon as they moved outside of the village troops showered them with tear gas. In addition to the two injured many were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation.
Protests were held in Greece after the Greek government prevented the Gaza flotilla boats from sailing of its shores to Gaza and detained the captain of the ship. Passengers, mostly Americans, gathered in front of the U.S embassy in Athens to demand the release of the captain and the ships as well. The flotilla passengers stated their goal is to reach Gaza and bring to its population essential material, Israel forbids its entry to the besieged coastal region.
In the nearby village of Nil’in, where the residents and their Israeli and international supporters held the Friday midday prayers near the Israeli wall, protestors then marched up to the wall. Troops fired tear gas at protesters causing many to suffer from tear gas inhalation.
In southern west Bank on Friday, villagers protested against the wall and settlements in al-Ma’sara village near Bethlehem. Israeli troops stopped villagers from reaching the construction side of the wall, and fired tear gas at them to force them back into the village..
The Welcome to Palestine campaign was launched by 40 Palestinian organizations, popular committees and the political parties who invited hundreds of Internationals from different parts of the world, to come to Palestine and meet local families and visit Palestine and stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people in their peaceful struggle.
While campaign organizers insisted that all their participants are committed to nonviolence, Israel attempted to prevent them all to arrive to the country.
The Israeli ministry of Interior addressed all the airlines and provided them with a list of around 400 people who Israel said they are not allowed to enter Israel, and threatened the airlines in case any of those people boarded on their planes, Israeli airport security will delay the flights and force them to go back to their countries on the same plane.
Many of the airlines contacted the passengers and cancelled their reservation based on this request from Israel.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu assigned the Minister of Internal Security to act with determination against any of those participating in the Welcome to Palestine campaign.
When some participants of the campaign arrived at the airport, where some managed to go through, dozens were detained and sent back. Israeli peace activists welcoming participants at the airport were also arrested and attacked by both security forces and some other Israeli civilians.
The campaign organizers held a press conference Friday morning at the peace center in Bethlehem where they addressed the international community and explained the purpose of the campaign.
Dr. Mazin Qumsiyeh a spokesperson of the campaign said, the campaign is designed to start on July 9, the day when the International Court of Justice ruled the wall illegal in 2004 and demanded the world to act to remove it. One year later, the Palestinian Civil Society Organizations launched their call to the International community to act in order to implement the World Court’s ruling.
For IMEMC.org this is George Rishmawi
Palestinian Authority reaffirms it is going to ask for UN recognition of a Palestinian State on 1967 border lines. Meanwhile, Israel says it is barring access of international solidarity activists into the occupied Palestinian territories. IMEMC’s Rami Al Meghari has more
In response to the U.S congress’s warning to the Palestinian Authority that Washington would withhold annual financial aid if the PA goes ahead with it’s state declaration move at the UN, secretary general of the Palestinian People’s Party and MP, Bassam Alsalhi , said that the PA should go ahead with the move. Alsalhi considered such a position as an utter and rude siding with the Israeli occupation that continues to disregard UN resolutions pertaining to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. The MP also added that Palestinians and Arabs should have a unified stance by moving ahead to the UN. Meanwhile, Israeli government has been relentlessly involved in meetings that are aimed at blocking arrival of Freedom FlotillaII aid convoy ships for Gaza.
This week, Israeli aviation authorities have taken some measures at Israel’s airports to prevent hundreds of international pro-Palestinians activist from landing on those airports in support of the Palestinian people. Earlier this week, two French and Swiss ships managed to set sail to Gaza shores from Greece sea ports, despite a Greek decision to stop 10-ship Flotilla from setting sail to Gaza , in an attempt to break the Israeli blockade of the territory, in place for five years now. On the internal Palestinian level, Hamas’s senior leader in Gaza, Dr. Mahmoud Alzahar, blamed Palestinian President of Fatah, Mahmoud Abbas, for the delay in implementing a reconciliation deal signed in Cairo a couple of months ago.
Alzahar asserted that any would-be prime minister of a temporary Palestinian unity cabinet , should be agreed upon by means of consensus. Abbas insists that his current western-backed PM , Salam Fayyad, should assume the same post for any unity cabinet. International community including the European Union and the U.S have welcomed the reconciliation deal cautiously, calling on any upcoming Palestinian government to comply with three demands; recognizing Israel’s right to exist, renouncing violence and accepting signed peace deals between Israel and the Abbas-led Palestine Liberation Organization. Rami Almeghari. IMEMC.org. Gaza
The Israeli Attacks Report Two Palestinians killed in the Gaza Strip and other wounded, meanwhile Israeli government approves 900 new settlement units in the West Bank, the details and more with IMEMC’s Kevin Murphy
On Saturday July 2, 2011 Palestinian police and the Palestinian National Security Service injured over 20 peaceful Palestinian demonstrators in Hebron, according to the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights. Many of the demonstrators suffered injuries from beatings as well as tear gas inhalation. The demonstration began after the afternoon prayer. The demonstrators were commemorating “the 90th anniversary of the collapse of the Muslim Caliphate.” The demonstration was organized by the Hizbut Tahrir, the Islamic Liberation Party.
The Israeli municipality of Jerusalem announced on Monday that it had approved the expansion of the Jewish only settlement of Gilo in East Jerusalem. The municipality approved the construction of the 900 Jewish only residential units on what was previously Palestinian private property despite opposition to the plan by the Middle East Quartet. Gilo is home to 40,000 Jewsih only residents in East Jerusalem.
Israeli soldiers invaded Khirbit Zakariyya area, surrounded by the Gush Etzion settlement bloc, south of the West Bank city of Bethlehem, and demolish one Palestinian home on Tuesday morning. Local sources reported that the home belonged to Mohammad Khalil Sa’ad, from Ertas town, near Bethlehem. The army claimed that the one-story home, inhibited by eleven family members, was built without a construction permit. Human rights organisations such as B’tselem claim Palestinians are rarely granted permission to build homes to house growing families.
On Tuesday 05 July 2011 The Palestinian Center for Human Rights has claimed that Israeli warplanes killed two Palestinian activists in Gaza when they fired a missile resulting in fatal shrapnel wounds.The activists were at an olive field in the east of al-Musaddar village in the central Gaza Strip, nearly 600 meters away from the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel when the incident happened, according to PCHR. Israeli media reported the attack occurred as the individuals were attempting to launch a missile into Israel. Israeli forces fired at a number of Palestinian resistance activists in Gaza City wounding the activists and damaging the shop they were in.
Israeli soldiers kidnapped on Tuesday at dawn a Hamas political leader in Jaba’ town, near the northern Western Bank city of Jenin, along with two other residents, and took them to unknown destinations. Three more Palestinians were kidnapped in different West Bank areas. Local sources reported that, approximately at 1 after midnight, the army surrounded the house of Nazeeh Abu ‘Oun, 50, and used loud speakers ordering him to step out before detaining the Hamas leader.
An Israeli Army soldier was slightly injured Thursday after an explosion occurred near the tank he was in, in the Southern Gaza Strip. The injuries he sustained were minor, from the shrapnel caused by the explosion. The armoured tank was not damaged. A Fatah linked organisation has taken responsibility for the attack.
The Israeli Civil Administration has approved the state confiscation of private Palestinian land in the Palestinian village of Karyut in the Occupied West Bank for Israeli settlement activity. The 189 Dunams will go to the Israeli settlement of Eli. The move, which undermines Israeli agreements with the US not to confiscate Palestinian land for settlement expansion, was justified under 1958 Ottoman land law that states those who cultivate land for 10 years gain ownership of that land irrespective of how it was obtained.
Israeli police have violently arrested pro Palestinian activists at Ben Gurian airport who were due to greet members of the “Welcome to Palestine” campaign and protest Israel’s blocking their movement into Palestinian territory. Protesters have stated that they were attacked by members of the Israeli public who spat and punched the group of six as they were being lead away by police. Two members of the “Welcome to Palestine” campaign have been deported and 30 are currently being detained, also due for deportation.
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 Danny Johnes