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Welcome to this Week in Palestine, a service of the International Middle East Media Center, www.imemc.org, for September 3rd to 9th 2011.
UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, stated this week that he supporters an independent Palestinian State, meanwhile Israeli attacks on Palestinian communities in both the west Bank and Gaza continues. 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 the anti wall protests with tear gas and rubber-coated steel 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. IMEMC’s Carmen Rodriguez with the story:
This week protests were in support of UN resolution 194 and in support of the state bid at the UN later this month.
In central West Bank, many were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation when Israeli soldiers attacked the weekly protests in Bil’in village. International and Israeli supporters, as well as political leaders, joined villagers after the midday prayers and marched to the lands were Israel is building the wall.
Troops fired tear gas at them, among those who were treated for the effects for tear gas inhalation were the Palestine TV crew covering the protest. Moreover army tear gas canisters cased a fire in a nearby olive orchard. The fire destroyed a number of trees before villages but it off.
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. Israeli troops did not allow protesters from reaching their lands where Israeli is building a new settlement by firing tear gas at them. Later soldiers invaded the village and attacked people homes with tear gas; many were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation.
In 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 and tear gas. Many were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation.
Earlier in the week, dozens of Palestinians accompanied by Israeli and International peace activists gathered in Al-Walaja village west of Bethlehem in an attempt to stop the uprooting of trees in the village. The Israeli military has been uprooting trees to make way for the segregation wall Israel is building on the village’s land. Troops arrested two protestors one Palestinian and one Israeli. One day earlier, Israeli bulldozers uprooted around 100 trees that belong to Palestinian residents of Al-Walaja.
For IMEMC.org this is Carmen Rodriguez
The Political Report
Palestinian Authority kicked off this week what it calls a Marathon for the September bid at the UN to win a United Nations recognition of a Palestinian state on 1967 borders meanwhile United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, stated that he supporters an independent Palestinian State, but added that UN membership for Palestine is an issue that will be determined by member countries..IMEMC’s Rami Almeghari has more:
The Palestinian Authority contends that it’s bid for a statehood is not intended against any body, expressing willingness to return to negotiations table with Israel. Top Palestinian negotiator Saeb Eriqat, told a U.S envoy that the PA is determined to go ahead with the bid despite Washington’s refusal and wish rather for resumed Israeli-Palestinian peace process, stalled for more than a year now due to Israeli settlements building on occupied Palestinian territories.
For the past several weeks, the PA has been relentlessly involved in an intensive campaign worldwide to garner support for the move at the UN. Palestinians claim what they call their right to in independent Palestinian state on 1967 borders including the West Bank , Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem.
From it’s part, Israel has rejected the PA’s bid as counterproductive to peace-making. Also, Israel has been tirelessly embarking on settlements building on lands, dubbed by international law as occupied Palestinian territories, including parts of East Jerusalem and most parts of the West Bank.
Washington and some other European countries such as Germany, have voiced reservation over the bid. Recently, France has launched an initiative based on Israeli recognition of the 1967-based borders but without any commitment from Israel to withdraw forces from those territories.
In the Gaza Strip, top Hamas’s political leader Mahmoud Alzahhar, underestimated the PA’s bid at the UN , saying his ruling party would not allow any related activities in the Gaza Strip.
Alzahar was quoted by the Palestinian Maan News Agency as saying that unless there is Palestinian consensus over that UN bid, Hamas would not embrace it.
On another internal issue, the Hamas’s leader said an implementation of a unity deal struck on May 2011, would not see the light until the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority is actually willing to go further in reconciliation.
Al-Zahar cited what he called PA-led arrests of Hamas-linked people, supporters of leaders in the West Bank. Meanwhile, Palestinian Authority’s president and Fatah leader, Mahmoud Abbas, said earlier that his PA would work out means to implement the May reconciliation deal with Hamas, once PA’s UN bid for a Palestinian state is over.
Rami Almeghari. IMEMC.org, Gaza
The Israeli Attacks
Israeli military and settlers escalate attacks against Palestinians in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, two killed in Gaza and settlers set fire to a West Bank mosque, the details with IMEMC’s George Rishmawi reports:
Two Palestinians were killed and dozens where wounded during the week, as a result of Israeli shelling targeting residential areas in the Gaza Strip.
Israeli Air Force assassinated on Tuesday night a fighter of the Al Quds Brigades, the armed wing of the Islamic Jihad west of Deir Al-Balah in the central Gaza Strip The slain fighter was identified as Rammah Al-Housni, 28, from the Ash-Shati’ refugee camp.
Earlier on Tuesday evening another Palestinian fighter was killed in Khan Younis, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip. Khaled Abu Sahmoud, 22, was killed when a group of fighters tried to stop tanks that invaded the town of Abassan, east of Khan Younis. A unmanned drone fired a missile at him killing him instantly. Additionally, 3 civilian bystanders – an old man and his two children – were wounded.
Spokesperson of Al-Quds brigade, identified himself as Abu Ahmad said Israel is trying to drag the region into escalation by provoking the resistance groups.
Earlier in the same day an Israeli warplane fired a missile at tin-roofed uninhabited house north of al-Nussairat refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip.
The house was completely destroyed and two neighboring houses belonging to al-Ghefari and Ghazal families were damaged. Additionally, Ibtissam ‘al-Ghefari, 43, was injured due to the attack.
In the West Bank, Israeli settlers carried out a number of what is called “Price Tag” attacks against Palestinian civilians and property following Israeli military removal of three settler structure in the unauthorized outpost of Migron, near Ramallah earlier in the Week.
On Monday a number of Israeli settlers from “Yish Kudesh” settlement near Qasra village, southeast of Nablus, broke windows of the first floor of al-Nourain Mosque in the village. And rolled two burning tires into the mosque setting it ablaze.
The mosque was badly damaged as a result of the fire. Residents reported that settlers wrote anti-Arab and anti-Islam graffiti on the outside walls of the mosque. A group of Israeli Rabbis visited the mosque in the next day and expressed their condemnation to the settlers acts.
Israeli forces detained 20 Palestinians across the West Bank overnight Tuesday. Most of the detainees were from the area of Qalqilia northwest of the West Bank.
On the other hand, Israeli settlers accompanied by a number of Israeli soldiers assaulted farmers near the entrance of Halhoul near the West Bank city of Hebron, Tuesday morning. Settlers who work at the Gush Etzion settlement compound destroyed vegetables and fruits the farmers were trying to sell for their daily income.
Hussein Saber, one of the farmers said that settlers assaulted some of the farmers who tried to protect their products.
Israeli soldiers invaded, Thursday morning, the northern West Bank city of Nablus and demolished three water cisterns, while army bulldozers uprooted farmlands in the Nablus district. Armed Israeli settlers also wrote graffiti on a mosque.
The settler violence did not only target Palestinian civilians, but also Israeli military. A group of Israeli settlers infiltrated an Israeli military base and caused damage to military vehicles. Israeli sources said that settlers slashed the tires and cut the cables of around 12 military vehicles.
Palestinian observers expressed concerns over the ongoing settlers violence that seems to be unstoppable, especially that the military have been training settlers to encounter Palestinian demonstrations following the upcoming UN General Assembly meeting later in September, where Palestinians will request an International recognition of a Palestinian state on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip including east Jerusalem.
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.