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Welcome to this Week in Palestine, a service of the International Middle East Media Center, www.imemc.org, for July 9th to the 15th 2011

Israel continues to illegally confiscates Palestinian land to expand settlements in the West Bank, as the Arab countries back the Palestinian Authority plan to ask for recognition of a Palestinian State at the UN meeting in September, these stories and more are coming up, stay tuned

Nonviolence
Lets us begin our weekly report as usual with the nonviolent activities in the West Bank villages. The details with IMEMC’s Kevin Murphy

There was one injured, another arrested, while scores were treated for effects of tear gas inhalation, as Israeli troops attacked on Friday nonviolent protests organized in a number of West Bank communities. 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.

One man was injured; scores treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation when soldiers attacked the weekly anti wall protest at the village of Bil’in on Friday.
International and Israeli supporters joined villagers and tired to reach local farmers lands the army gave back after rerouting the wall there. Troops fired tear gas and rubber-coated steel bullets at protesters injuring the head of the local village committee Iyad Burnat. Many other protesters were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation.

Also on Friday Israeli troops attacked the weekly anti-wall protest in the 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 the nearby al-Nabi Salleh, villagers and their Israeli and international supporters marched to local farmers lands Israel took to build a new settlement there. Troops attacked protesters with tear gas and rubber-coated steel bullets. Soldiers then arrested Eyad Tamimi, a local organizer after beating him up. Other residents suffered effects of tear gas inhalation.

International and Israeli supporters also joined villagers at al-Ma’sara village near Bethlehem, southern West Bank. Troops attacked villages before they left the village and did not allow them to reach their lands where Israel is building the wall. Soldiers fired tear gas at protesters and forced them back into the village. Local sources reported cases of tear gas inhalation among protesters.
For IMEMC.org this is Kavin Murphy

Political
A meeting of Arab states’ foreign ministers backed this week the Palestinian Authority’s move to win recognition of a Palestinian state by the UN in September2011. The decision comes amidst Israeli refusal to go back to the negotiation table with the Palestinians, based on Palestinian conditions. IMEMC’s Rami Al Meghari has more

The Arab states decision suggests that the PA has the right to ask for the UN recognition; after all international efforts have so far failed to urge Israel to stop illegal settlement activities on occupied Palestinian lands including East Jerusalem.

The PA , from its part, said it is determined to reach the UN by September to get that recognition. PA officials including president Mahmoud Abbas, have hinted at the possibility they would refrain from going to the UN if Israel halts all settlement construction on Palestinian lands
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Israeli leaders including Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, reiterated their refusal to stop the activities and said they are willing to return back to the negotiations table unconditionally.

Israeli opposition leader, Tsibi Livni, stated this week that policies of Netanyahu are counterproductive.

Meanwhile, more than 30 German diplomats and former ambassadors, were reported to have submitted a letter to German’s counselor Angela Merkel, advising her to back a declaration of a Palestinian state on borders of 1967.

The letter also reads that continued Israeli settlement activities would undermine chances of peace in the region.

In another news, Israeli military discussed this week possible military escalation against the Gaza Strip, holding the ruling Hamas party responsible for the latest breakout of violence on Gaza-Israel border lines.

On a different note, Farraht called on the Fatah party in the West Bank go ahead with implementing a recent conciliation agreement with his party in Cairo. Both parties have yet failed to execute the agreement due to difference on the name of premier for an upcoming unity government. Fatah’s leader and PA president Mahmoud Abbas, insists that his current PM Salam Fayyad should assume the post.
Rami Almeghari. IMEMC.org, Gaza

The Israeli Attacks Report Israel denies hundreds of visitors entry to the country as they declared their intention to visit the occupied Palestinian territories, and the Israeli air force shells the Gaza Strip wounding civilians, the details and more with IMEMC’s David Steele.

On Friday, Israeli soldiers abducted three Palestinians in the occupied West Bank including the daughter of a female legislator from the central West Bank city of Ramallah. Three more Palestinians were abducted in occupied East Jerusalem on Thursday at night.

Hundreds of participants of “Welcome to Palestine” were blocked from boarding flights to Tel Aviv’s Ben Guriun Airport at the request of the Israeli security forces. 120 participants who made it through to Ben Gurian were detained and deported. Under fifty people were able to make it through to the West Bank to take part in the week of activities.

The Israeli Air Force carried out, on Saturday at night, an air-strike targeting a brick factory, east of Gaza city. Extensive damage, including to local homes, was reported, but there were no injuries.

Palestinian medical sources reported on Saturday at night that Israeli soldiers, based near the northern Gaza border, opened automatic fire at a number of Palestinian homes wounding a young Palestinian woman and inflicting damage to property.

on Sunday evening, Israeli troops invaded the Al Esawiyya town, in occupied Easy Jerusalem, and clashed with local youths who hurled stones and empty bottles at them. The army also used its under-cover forces in attacking the residents. Soldiers fired gas bombs and rubber-coated metal bullets leading to several injuries, medical sources in Jerusalem reported. Also, troops broke into Biddo Club, northwest of Jerusalem, and confiscated several computers after destroying furniture and property.

Pre dawn raids occurred on Tuesday in the West Bank village of Husan near Bethlehem. Two youths, including a minor, were detained during the raid by Israeli military forces.

The Israeli army allegedy destroyed wells and water pumps in 3 Jordan Valley villages on Tuesday. The villages of al-Akrabanyah, an-Nasaryah and Beit Hassan all allegedly had the equipment confiscated or destroyed. The villages are apparently located in Area A. The destruction of wells and associated equipment in an occupied territory is illegal under article 53 of the 4th Geneva convention.

The Israeli Army has decided to expropriate large areas of Palestinians land in the Bethlehem district in order to expand the Efrat illegal settlement, built on lands illegally annexed from residents of Al Khader District, south of Bethlehem.

Palestinian medical sources reported that a 19-year-old college student was shot and killed, on Wednesday at dawn, by Israeli military fire in Al Far’a refugee camp, north of the northern West Bank city of Nablus; several residents were abducted.

Eyewitnesses reported that at least eleven armored Israeli military vehicles invaded the refugee camp approximately at 3 a.m., broke into and searched several homes causing damages. The eyewitnesses added that as Sarhan was walking towards the camp’s mosque to perform dawn prayers, soldiers opened fire at him hitting the major artery in his thigh. Soldiers then allegedly left him to die by preventing local medics from attending to him.

On Wednesday at dawn, The Israeli Air Force carried out, two air strikes targeting a blacksmith workshop in Gaza City, leading to damage and one injury. The blacksmith worship was destroyed and several nearby homes sustained damages, while the main waterline in the neighborhood was shattered. Two hours after the initial attack, the Air Force struck the same area again causing further damage and destruction.
Eleven Palestinian teenagers were arrested in the Palestinian district of Silwan in East Jerusalem. The teenagers, aged between 14-17, were taken from their homes by Israeli military on Wednesday during a raid of the area.

Palestinian medical sources reported Wednesday that a Palestinian youth was injured when a group of Israeli settlers ambushed a Palestinian car, near the northern West Bank city of Jenin, and hurled stones at them from a close range while threatening to shoot them dead.

The Israeli Air Force carried out on Wednesday at night an air strike targeting the border area, between Gaza and Egypt, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip, and a shed in Gaza City. Palestinian medical sources reported that five residents were injured, and one remained missing, likely buried under the rubble, after the Israeli Air Force bombarded a tunnel at the Gaza-Egypt border, in Rafah, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip.

As Israel escalates its arrests campaign against Palestinians in Jerusalem, including children, a leading member of the Al-Bustan Popular Committee has reported that Israel collected more than 900.000 USD in fines imposed on Palestinian children in Jerusalem over the past nine months.

The Palestinian Society for Fishing and Water Sports reported that the international boat, Olivia, run by human rights activists to monitor Israeli violations against Palestinian fishermen, was located in front of the Gaza Shore after losing all communications for one hour as the Israeli Navy attacked it. The navy used water cannons against the boat causing damage to its communication systems, and damaging its engine. Several international activists were onboard the boat when the attack took place.

The Israeli Air Force carried out a series of airstrikes targeting several areas in the Gaza Strip leading to damages and four injuries among the civilian population, two of the wounded are children. Adham Abu Salmiyya, spokesperson of the Higher Committee of Emergency Services in Gaza, reported that the two children were injured when the army bombarded a land, where they played, near a residential building in Gaza city. Two more residents were wounded when the army bombarded an area in the central Gaza, and were moved to the Al Aqsa Hospital.
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 George Rishmawi

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