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Welcome to this Week in Palestine, a service of the International Middle East Media Center, www.imemc.org, for August 6 to the 12th 2011.
Israeli attacks targeting West Bank and Gaza communities leave one killed at 31 arrested while Israel’s government announces more settlements in the West Bank, these stories and more are coming up, stay tuned
The Nonviolence Report
Lets begin our weekly report as usual with the nonviolent activities in the West Bank villages. On Friday three children were injured many were treated for the effects of tear gas in halation 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, Bil’in, and Nil’in in addition to al-Ma’ssara in the southern West Bank.
Three children were lightly wounded as Israeli troops attacked the weekly anti wall protest at the village of al-Ma’sara, southern West Bank. As soon as people marched to the land where Israel is building the wall troops attacked people with rifle buts and batons injuring Abada Brijiyah, 11, Osama Brijiyah,9, Hareth Brijiyah,10, witnesses reported.
Also many were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation 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 were 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.
In the nearby village Bil’in 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.
At another location in the meantime Israeli troops attacked the weekly anti-wall protest in the village of Nil’in, 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.
The Political Report
While the Palestinian Authority is heading to the UN in September to request recognition of an independent Palestinian State on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, Israel continues to build more settlements in the West Bank and more specifically around Jerusalem. more with IMEMC’s George Rishmawi with the details
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated that the chances of reaching a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians will diminish should the United Nations approve the Palestinian demand on international recognition of an independent state this September.
Netanyahu made his statement following a meeting this week with 26 U.S. Congress members in Jerusalem.
Netanyahu added that the only way to reach a peace treaty with the Palestinians is through direct negotiations. The Palestinian Authority conditioned the restart of peace talks with a complete halt of settlement activities, a request that Israel strongly rejects.
On his part, Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, told the US legislators in his meeting with them in Ramallah, that the future Palestinian state will be under the security responsibility of a third party, NATO forces, led by the United States of America.
Abbas said that the official Palestinian policy aims at arriving to a political solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, based on the two-state solution, and a full Israeli withdrawal from all Palestinian territories occupied in 1967, with East Jerusalem as the capital of this state.
He said that “the first, second and third options that the Palestinians prefer is to achieve an independent state through negotiations”, and added that Israel is acting in a way that voids the whole peace process, mainly by the ongoing construction and expansion of Jewish-only settlements in the occupied territories.
Abbas’s statement comes as the Israeli government has approved the construction of 1600 new settlement units near Jerusalem, and is expected to approve another 2700 in the coming few days. Last week, Israel approved the construction of 930 settlement units in the West Bank.
An official Fatah report claims that former Gaza security chief, Mohammad Dahlan, was responsible for the poisoning of the late Palestinian President Yasser Arafat. It also accuses Dahlan of stealing millions of dollars in US aid money.
In the past, Dahlan has been blamed for Fatah’s electoral loss in 2006 and eventual ousting from the Gaza Strip in 2007.
In June of 2011, Fatah forced him out of the party and several weeks later Palestinian Authority police raided his home. There they seized files, weapons, computers, and arrested several members of his private security force.
For IMEMC.org this is George Rishmawi
The Israeli Attacks
This week Israeli troops conducted at least 31 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and Gaza. One Palestinian killed as by Israeli attacks while troops arrested 31 civilians, including 5 children. Seventeen of the detainees were arrested in Hebron. IMEMC’s Carmen Rodriguez reports:
On Wednesday, the Israeli army responded to a non-violent protest at Al-Walaja with gas and sound bombs. They detained five Israelis and one Palestinian, chasing the protestors from the olive grove into the village.
On Tuesday, a Palestinian ambulance carrying victims of the accident to the hospital was delayed at Zatara checkpoint, south of Nablus. Eyewitnesses report that the soldiers delayed it for 30 minutes. There were no fatalities as a result of the delay
Reports from Tamimi Press indicate that also on Sunday evening, the Israeli army invaded the Palestinian town of Nabi Saleh in the West Bank. Israeli settlers from the illegal settlement Halamish also attacked cars on the main road of the town. They fired live ammunition and gas bombs and clashed with local youth. There are no confirmed reports of any injuries yet.
Furthermore, the Israeli army invaded Beit Ummar and kidnapped four individuals. The soldiers fired live ammunition and gas bombs during the invasion.
In the Gaza Strip, the Al Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of the Hamas movement, reported that one of its fighters, Ali Nayef Al Hajj, 20, was killed, on Wednesday, in an explosion that took place in his home in Rafah, southern part of the Gaza Strip. The Al Qassam brigades stated on its website that the fighter was killed by accident, apparently while preparing explosives to use against the Israeli army
On Tuesday night, residents from Gaza lost internet, cell phone and landline phone service, creating a communication blackout similar to one which occurred just before a massive Israeli invasion in 2008. The blackout sparked fear among Gaza residents that an Israeli invasion might be underway. The Israeli military did not issue any statement or comment on the communication cut-off.
On Sunday, Palestinian sources reported that Palestinian fighters fired a number of shells at Israeli armored vehicles invading Al Shejaeyya, east of Gaza City. On Sunday evening, Palestinian fighters fired a homemade shell that landed in Sha’ar HaNegev. No injuries were reported.
For IMEMC.org this is Carmen Rodriguez.
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 Ghassan Bannoura and Hussam Qassis.