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Welcome to this Week in Palestine, a service of the International Middle East Media Center, www.imemc.org, for July 23rd to the 29th 2011
The Palestinian Authority said it is ready for statehood in September despite an expected US Veto at the UN, meanwhile Israeli settlers and military continue assaults against Palestinian communities in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, 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. with imemc’s Carmen Rodriguez
On Friday four injured and four arrested, as Israeli troops attacked anti-wall protests organized in a number of West Bank communities. Protests took place in the central West Bank villages of al-Nabi Salleh, Bilāin, and Nilāin in addition to al-Maāssara in the southern West Bank.
Three women, two local and one international were injured and a journalist and three activists were arrested as Israeli troops attacked the anti-wall and settlements protests in the village of al-Nabi Salleh. Villagers and their Israeli and international supporters marched to local farm lands Israel had taken to build a new settlement.
Troops attacked protesters with tear gas and rubber-coated steel bullets. Then soldiers forced people back into the village and fired rubber-coated steel bullets and tear gas at journalists and medics. The three injured women sustained moderate wounds as soldiers beat them up. The arrested journalist was identified as Moheeb al-Barghouthi who works for al-Ayam newspaper.
In the nearby village Bilāin soldiers fired tear gas at the weekly protest there as internationals and Israeli supporters joined the villagers after midday prayers. Many were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation. Joining the protest today were a group of supporters from the United Kingdom, Ireland and Scotland, who had reached Palestine by bicycles covering a distance of 7 thousand kilometers from London, to advocate and support the Palestinian popular resistance movements.
Also on Friday in the central West Bank, Israeli troops attacked the weekly anti-wall protest in the village of Nilāin, villagers were joined by Israeli and international supporters after the midday prayers and marched up to the wall. Troops fired tear gas at protesters causing many to suffer from tear gas inhalation.
In southern West Bank, one local organizer was injured, and many treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation as troops attacked the anti-wall protest organized in al-Maāsara village near Bethlehem. Soldiers attacked protesters as they tried to reach land owned by local farmers Israel took for the wall. Mohamed Brijiyah, 35, a local organizer, sustained moderate wounds when soldiers beat him up.
For IMEMC.org this is Carmen Rodriguez
The Palestinian Liberation Organization’s Negotiations Support Unit released a report this week saying that the Palestinian Authority has fully met all requirements for full UN membership. The report, āRoad for Palestine Statehood – Recognition and Admissionā, says that all requirements of the 1933 Montevideo Convention have been met.
The PLO cites UN resolution 181, the 1994 Oslo Accords, and international support for the legitimacy of a two state solution. The right of the Palestinian people for self determination was recognized by the International Court of Justice at the Hague in 2004.
A Palestinian state on the pre-1967 borders has been internationally recognized, and the PA has the ability to establish embassies and missions in over 100 nations. Also, the International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and the European Union have all indicated that the Palestinian institutions are ready for formal statehood.
Unconfirmed reports pointed out that Israel was considering annulling the Oslo Accords if the PA goes to the UN, Israeli officials, however, are denying this reports.
On Wednesday the US again spoke out against the September bid, although it did not mention a Veto this time. On Thursday, Israeli minister of defense, Ehud Barak met with US officials and, among other things, discussed the September bid.
France, on the other hand, has announced it will work with the Arab League on the bid to help avoid a confrontation.
The US has previously made it clear repeatedly that it will Veto any unilateral Palestinian bid, and it has threatened to cut all aid to the PA if it goes to the UN.
Although Israel says it is concerned that violence might breakout in the West Bank after September, local observers say that Israel is actually worried that if the UN approves a Palestinian state on the pre-1967 borders, all Israeli settlements in the West Bank will be outlawed automatically, because in that case, that part of the West Bank will be seen as occupied by military force.
The Palestinian UN observer has stated that more than 120 countries have recognized Palestine on the pre-1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.
It remains to be seen if the PA will ask for recognition as a full member state or as an enhanced observer. Either way, it is assumed that the bill will demand an end to the occupation and a return to pre-1967 borders.
In the meantime, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported on Friday that the Israeli President Shimon Peres had met with the Palestinian Chief Negotiator Dr. Saeb Ereikat in an attempt to revive peace talks and to avoid the September bid for Palestinian statehood.
The Israeli Attacks Report
Israeli soldiers conduct multiple aggressive raids into the West Bank, a Palestinian man is kidnapped for carrying a sharp tool, and an international observer is attacked by a settler with an iron bar, the details and more with IMEMCās Danny Johnes.
Last week fundamentalist Israeli settlers attacked, on Friday evening, a Palestinian farmer near Qasra village, south of the West Bank city of Nablus, and killed two of his sheep.
This week, a group of extremist Israeli settlers torched Palestinian farmlands that belong to the residents of Sorra village, west of West Bank city Nablus. The attack took place after Israeli soldiers fired gas bombs and concussion grenades at Israeli peace activists who arrived at the scene in an attempt to prevent a group of extremist settlers from uprooting Palestinian farmlands.
Also, three settlers from the illegal West Bank settlement of Havat Maon harassed three Palestinian shepherds and attacked two internationals observers. The masked settlers threw stones at the internationals as well as hitting one of them with an iron bar on the head.
The Israeli army invaded the West Bank many times this week. Mohammed āAmarna from al-Duhaisha refugee camp south of Bethlehem was kidnapped by Israeli soldiers after being summoned for interrogation in Kfar Etzion military post, southwest of Bethlehem.
At the beginning of the week, Israeli forces moved into Nabi Saleh village, northwest of Ramallah. Israeli soldiers fired rubber-coated metal bullets, tear gas canisters and sound bombs at stone throwing children. As a result, a number of Palestinian civilians suffered from tear gas inhalation. Later in the week Israeli soldiers invaded the village again, occupying the house of Hussam al-Tamimi and firing more gas bombs and rubber bullets.
In the early morning of July 26th, Israeli army special forces attacked the Freedom Theatre in Jenin as well as two private homes. Masked soldiers threw stone blocks at windows of all three buildings, kidnapped two theatre staff from the homes, and threatened the other staff at gunpoint. Later in the morning, Israeli troops kidnapped two Palestinians from the village of Al-Walaja near Bethlehem.
Also this week, the Al Aqsa Foundation in Jerusalem published a video showing members of the undercover forces of the Israeli military attacking Palestinian children as they played in Ras Al Amoud Palestinian neighbourhood in occupied East Jerusalem, forcing a thirteen year old boy into their vehicle before driving away. The child was later taken to a graveyard where he was beaten by the soldiers.
Further abductions by Israeli soldiers include āAbdul Wazwaz who was kidnapped south of Hebron because he was carrying a sharp tool and two Palestinian and five Israeli activists who were kidnapped outside Al-Walaja village, near Bethlehem. They were abducted while protesting the bulldozing of an olive tree grove. The Israeli army blocked activists and press from access to the olive grove which is being uprooted.
Israeli soldiers, stationed along the Annexation Wall surrounding Qotna village, near Jerusalem, were behind a fire this week that consumed Palestinian trees in Khallit Al Rabeeā area, in Qotna. The head of the Public Relations Office at the village council, stated that the soldiers hurled several gas bombs at a local home close to an orchard, and that the gas bombs led to fires around the home, consuming several citrus trees.
Two American activists and one Swedish activist were fired upon while helping protect a fishing boat in the Gaza Strip this week. The Israeli Navy fired live rounds of ammunition aimed at the boat, as well as in the water surrounding the boat, for thirty minutes, while the ISM activists were on board. The activists repeatedly made their presence known over a megaphone.
Also in Gaza Strip this week, an adult Palestinian patient died after the Israeli Authorities denied him a permit to be moved to the West Bank for urgent medical treatment.
Israeli has imposed a tight siege on the Gaza Strip since Hamas was elected in 2006, as a result, more than 300 Palestinians died in the Gaza Strip due to lack of medical treatment and for not being permitted to leave the coastal region for treatment in Egypt.
Palestinian medical reports say that the serious fuel shortages in Gaza are about to lead to a āhumanitarian catastropheā and that many major hospitals are shutting down their operation rooms.
For imemc.org, this is Danny Johnes.
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