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Welcome to this Week in Palestine, a service of the International Middle East Media Center, www.imemc.org, for August 27th through September 2nd 2011.
Palestinian efforts for the UN state bid intensify; Israeli attacks this week leave a child dead in Gaza. These stories and more are coming up, stay tuned
The Nonviolence Report
Let’s begin our weekly report with the nonviolent activities in the West Bank. Israeli troops attacked this week’s anti wall protests with tear gas and rubber-coated steak bullets. IMEMC’s Carmen Rodriguez with the story:
Israeli troops attacked the anti wall protests with tear gas and rubber-coated steak bullets. Protests on Friday were reported in the villages of al-Nabi Saleh, Bil’in and Nil’in in central West Bank, addition to al-Ma’ssara in the southern West Bank.
Four civilians were injured and one international supporter was arrested by Israeli troops when they attacked the weekly anti wall protest organized at the southern West Bank village of al-Ma’sara. Villagers and their supporters gathered after the midday prayers and marched towards local farmers’ lands. Troops attacked the protest before it left the village with rifle buts and batons injuring four villagers and arresting one international supporter.
Elsewhere, Israeli soldiers used tear gas to attack villagers and their Israeli and international supporters protesting the Israeli wall in central West Bank villages. Many were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation and a number of olive trees were destroyed by a fire that tear gas canisters started in a nearby grove.
In the nearby village of Nil’in villagers marched along with their international and Israeli supporters. As soon as people reached the wall built of villagers’ lands troops fired tear gas; many were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation.
Also in central West Bank Israeli troops used live rounds and tear gas to attack the weekly anti wall protests at the village of al-Nabi Saleh. One international
supporter and a local young man were injured both lightly. Villagers said troops did not allow protesters from reaching their lands and attacked their homes with tear gas; many were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation among them children. This week the protest ended with clashed between village youth and invading Israeli soldiers, no injuries were reported.
For IMEMC.org this is Carmen Rodriguez
The Political Report
Palestinian Foreign Minister, Riyad Almaliky, refuses a French proposal that is based on allowing a Vatican-like Palestinian state on 1967 borders. Meanwhile, Palestinian Authority has been carrying out an intensive campaign worldwide to garner backing for it’ endeavor to win UN recognition of a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as the capital. IMEMC’s Rami Almeghari has more:
FM Almaliky says the PA would consider the French proposal, yet for the moment the PA can not accept a Vatican-like independent Palestinian state, something that Palestinians could have maintained long ago.
According to the proposal, Palestinians can have a state of their own within the 1967 border lines and Israel should not necessarily pull back forces beyond those lines. However , the Palestinian official said that the PA is determined to go ahead with the UN move and there might be a chance for the PA to consider the French proposal before any action is taken at the UN.
In a related remark, Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas, said he would not allow outbreak of a violent uprising in the occupied territories, nevertheless, he supported peaceful protests. This comes in the shadow of Israeli warnings against the UN move.
In the meantime, Israel warned against the PA’s UN move; some Israeli officials warned of nullifying Israel-PA Oslo accords of 1993.
In other news, the UN-linked Palmer Commission, which has investigated an Israeli navy attack on aid ship convoy off international waters near Gaza, released it’s report this week. The report finds that Israeli blockade on Gaza is justified legally because Israel faces a security threat. It also hinted at what it termed ‘ Israeli soldiers were in a position of self-defense’, when the Israeli navy killed 9 Turkish nationals onboard of the Flotilla last May.
In response, Turkey decided to scale back its diplomatic ties with Israel for what Turkey termed Israeli’s refusal to apologize for the killing of the Turkish nationals. By September 7, Israeli ambassador to Ankara along with his deputy, are expected to leave the Turkish soil.
In the Gaza Strip, the ruling Hamas party and other Gaza-based factions hailed the Turkish step and called for more actions against Israel, which continues to besiege the coastal territory.
For IMEMC.org, I am Rami Almeghari in Gaza.
The Israeli Attacks
This week Israeli military attacks continued to target Palestinian communities in both the west Bank and the Gaza Strip. One child from Gaza died of wounds while troops arrested a Palestinian MP from Ramallah. IMEMC’s George Rishamwi with the details:
In the Gaza Strip, 14 year-old Haitham Ma’rouf, died on Monday of wounds inflicted when the Israeli military bombarded the northern town of Beit Lahia in mid August. The child remained in the Intensive Care Unit at the Al Shifa Medical Compound in Gaza city until he succumbed to his injuries.
Last week Israeli warplanes launched 41 air strikes against targets in the Gaza Strip, killing 17 Palestinians, including 5 civilians (two children, a physician, a worker and a farmer). The air strikes also wounded 20 Palestinians, including 6 children and two women in the coastal region, and 3 others in the West Bank. Additionally, a Palestinian resistance fighter died of a previous wound in the Gaza Strip.
In related news the Greek authorities prevented, on Friday the “Dignity” solidarity ship from sailing to the Gaza Strip to deliver humanitarian supplies. Ship organizers reported that Greek coastguards held the ship in Crete Island, south of Greece, after receiving a direct order in this regard. Claude Leostic, spokesperson of the solidarity ship, told media that the Dignity ship was moved to the Sitia Port in Crete after it was intercepted by the Greek coastguards as it was refueling in a nearby port.
Last Monday, Greek coastal guards intercepted a Canadian ship carrying thirty peace activists from Canada, Belgium, Switzerland, Turkey and Italy, and forced the ship to dock in Crete Island.
In the West Bank on Wednesday at night, the Israeli military kidnapped a senior Hamas leader from Ramallah. Palestinian media sources said that Sheikh Hassan Yousef, one of prominent leaders of Hamas and a member of the Palestinian Parliament was kidnapped by Israeli soldiers. Yousef was released from Israeli jail two weeks ago after serving a five-year sentence.
On his part, Salim Al-Za’noun head of the Palestinian national Council condemned the kidnapping of Yousef saying that this is a grave violation of diplomatic regulations. He demanded Israel to immediately release him and all other Palestinian members of Parliament.
In the meantime, Israeli media sources reported that the Israeli military is training the settlers to encounter demonstrations expected to be organized by Palestinians over the upcoming September meeting of the United Nations General Assembly, where the Palestinian Authority is expected to request an international recognition of an Independent Palestinian State on the pre-1967 borders.
The military equipped the settlers with gas bombs, concussion grenades and rubber-coated steel bullets to deal with demonstrations.
The Palestinian Authority has repeatedly confirmed that its security forces will not allow demonstrations to go beyond the PA controlled area, which will not allow any confrontation with the Israeli military and settlers.
For IMEMC.org this is George Rishmawi.
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.