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Welcome to this Week in Palestine, a service of the International Middle East Media Center, www.imemc.org, for July 16th to the 22nd 2011.
Palestinian diplomats continue attempts to garner International support for their request at the UN to recognize a Palestinian state in September, meanwhile the Palestinian population continue to face Israeli settler and military assaults, 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 villages.
Three injured and seven arrested, as Israeli troops attacked anti-wall protests organized in a number of West Bank communities on Friday. Protests took place in the villages of al-Nabi Saleh, Bil’in, and Nil’in in the central West Bank, as well as al-Ma’ssara and Beit Omer in the south.
At the village of Beit Omer, troops used rubber-coated steel bullets and tear gas to attack protests injuring at least three and arresting two. The protest in Beit Omer started after the midday prayers and villagers were joined by international and Israeli supporters demanding the end of settlement construction and the wall on local farmers’ lands.
In the nearby al-Ma’sara village soldiers attacked protestors before leaving and did not allow them to reach their lands where Israel is building the wall. Soldiers then fired tear gas at protesters forcing them back into the village.
In central West Bank, Israeli troops attacked the weekly anti-wall protest in the village of Nil’in, where the residents and their Israeli and international supporters were holding midday prayers on lands 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. Activists managed to raise Palestinian flags before troops forced them back.
Nearby, in the village of Bil’in, a group of Italian supporters joined the villagers and marched to the land, recently retrieved by the court ruling. When they reached the new section of the wall, Israeli soldiers showered them with tear gas; many were treated for tear gas inhalation. Soldiers also fired live rounds but no injuries were reported. Some trees also caught fire when troops fired tear gas bombs in the fields.
Last month Israel removed the wall built on villager’s property after six years of weekly protests by the people of Bil’in. The rerouting of the wall gave back the farmers half of the land taken by the military.
Also in central West Bank, in al-Nabi Saleh, villagers and Israeli and international activists marched to local farm lands Israel took to build a new settlement. Troops attacked protesters with tear gas and rubber-coated steel bullets. Soldiers then arrested three Palestinians and one Israeli and clashed with local youth while attacking people homes with tear gas, many were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation.
The Palestinian foreign ministry is set to launch a worldwide campaign to garner international support of a possible declaration of a Palestinian state by September. Meanwhile, Palestinian PM said the September move is necessary and can not be maintained without internal Palestinian unity. IMEMC’s Rami Al Meghari has more.
90 Palestinian representatives in world countries have been instructed to start campaigns, aimed at garnering international support for a Palestinian state on the 1967 border lines, something that the Palestinian Authority is determined to get by September 2011, at the United Nations.
Palestinian foreign minister, Riyad Almaliky, was quoted as saying such campaigns would lay the ground for the Palestinian Authority’s effort at the UN. Israel has repeatedly rejected the Palestinian state declaration, calling for resuming stalled Palestinian-Israeli talks instead.
Palestinian prime minister , Salam Fayyad, said this week that having the Palestinian State recognized by the international community comes in due time , while the Palestinian Authority has laid the foundations for a statehood that is based on institutions and civil society building.
Fayyad added that such accomplishments on the ground in the West Bank have been maintained in the shadow of the Israeli occupation and continued illegal settlements building by Israel. However, the PA is keen to have the statehood recognized on 1967 border lines. He also emphasized on the need for internal Palestinian unity.
In a related note, Secretary General for the Arab states league, Nabil Alarabi, said that the UN’s move regarding a Palestinian state is meant to boost up peace between Israel and the Palestinians, not to undermine chances for peace, as Israel might believe. Earlier this month, more than 20 Arab states backed the PA’s effort for statehood at the UN.
On the internal Palestinian level, senior member of the democratic front for the liberation of Palestine, Qais Abdelkarim, blamed both Fatah party of Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas and the Hamas party in Gaza, for failure to implement a unity deal signed on May in Cairo.
Rami Almeghari. Imemc.org Gaza
The Israeli Attacks Report Israeli gunboats attack Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Strip, meanwhile, Israeli settlers and troops continue attacks against Palestinian civilians and resistance fighters, the details and more with IMEMC’s Kevin Murphy.
On 16 July 2011, a fighter with the al-Quds Brigades (the armed wing of Islamic Jihad) was wounded when an Israeli drone fired a missile at him in the northern Gaza Strip.
On 18 July 2011, a Palestinian civilian was wounded in Beit Ummar town, north of Hebron, when Israeli forces fired at Palestinian civilians who were participating in a funeral procession of a dead Palestinian. Israeli sources reported that the Israeli Navy stopped, on Tuesday, the Dignity solidarity ship that was heading to deliver humanitarian supplies to the Gaza Strip, no clashes were reported. Israeli Radio, Reshet Bet, reported that around 10:30 in the morning, the Navy controlled the ship without any clashes, and that the ship will be towed to the Ashdod Port.
On 18 July Palestinian medical sources reported that two fighters were wounded when the Israeli Air Force fired, on Monday at dawn, a number of missiles into an area, east of Khan Younis, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip. Israeli gunboats opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats in the Gaza Strip in two separate incidents. In one of these attacks, on 14 July 2011, Israeli gunboats attacked Palestinian fishing boats and an international boat, Olivia, which monitors Israeli attacked against Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Strip. Three fishing boats and Olivia were damaged.
Israeli settlers uprooted on Tuesday Palestinian farmlands in Sair town, north of the southern West Bank city of Hebron; Israeli soldiers were present but did not attempt to stop the settlers. The Land Research Center in Hebron reported that four bulldozers driven by fundamentalist settlers bulldozed vast areas of farmlands close to the “Asiar” illegal settlement outpost. The settlers came from Afrat illegal settlement. Resident Mustafa Ash-Shalalda told the Land Research Center that the lands in question are not within the boundaries of the illegal settlement, and that they belong to members of his family.
On 18 July 2011, a number of Israeli settlers from “Maghroun” settlement, southeast of Ramallah, attacked 3 Palestinian shepherds from Mikhmas village. The settlers used stones and sharp tools in their attack. As a result, two shepherds were injured.
On 19 July, gold and jewels whose value is estimated at US$ 7,000 were stolen by Israeli soldiers from a house in Tallouza village. At approximately 21:00, Israeli forces moved into Tallouza village, northeast of Nablus. They raided and searched a number of houses and abducted Hussam ‘Abdullah Abu Shaqra, 52, and his son, Rami, 23. They also stolen golden jewels, whose value is estimated at 5,000 Jordanian dinars (approximately US$ 7,000).
On 19 July Israeli military dismantled irrigation networks in the al-Baq’a area near Hebron. The irrigation maintained a 25 dunam area of land belonging to the al Rajabi family. The operation has been the fourth of its kind since the beginning of this year in this area.
Israeli army bulldozers uprooted, on Thursday morning, Palestinian olive orchards that belong to residents of Beit Iksa village, in occupied East Jerusalem, in order to build a section of the illegal Annexation Wall, and to allow the expansion of Ramot illegal settlement. In related news, soldiers decided to demolish a Palestinian home and two sheds in Al Zawiya Palestinian village, near the central West Bank city of Salfit.
For imemc.org this is Kavin Marghy
Conclusion 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