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Welcome to this Week in Palestine, a service of the International Middle East Media Center, www.imemc.org, for September 23rd to 30th 2011.
More settler attacks in the West Bank as the the UN Security council membership committee convened to discuss the Palestinian membership application, these stories and more, coming up, stay tuned.
The Nonviolence Report
Let’s begin our weekly report with the nonviolent activities in the West Bank. Nine civilians were slightly injured when Israeli troops attacked anti wall protests organized at a number of West Bank communities on Friday. IMEMC’s Ghassan Bannoura Reports
In northern West Bank Israeli troops fired tear gas at villagers and international supporters as they marched against the wall Israel is building on lands owned by farmers from Kufer Kadum village. Five were slightly injured by tear gas and many other suffered effects of tear gas inhalation.
Meanwhile in central West Bank on Friday anti wall protests were organized in the villages of al-Nabi Saleh, Bil’in and Nil’in. Israeli troops attacked the villagers of al-Nabi Saleh and their international supporters before they left the village towards the lands Israeli took over for building a settlement there. Many were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation. Soldiers also invaded the village and fired tear gas at residents’ homes.
In the nearby by Bil’in village people marched towards their lands that the army took to build the wall on it, as soon as people reached the wall troops stationed there fired tear gas and rubber-coated steel bullets, many were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation. Moreover a number of internationals and Israeli activists along with local villagers from Nil’in village, in central West Bank were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation during the weekly protest there on Friday.
Villages in southern West Bank also protested the wall on Friday. Protests were organized at the village of al-Ma’sara and Yatta. At the village of al-Ma’sara 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. No injuries were reported. While in Yatta village three women, two local and one international, were slightly injured when Israeli soldiers attacked the protest there with tear gas.
For IMEMC.org this is Ghassan Bannoura.
The Political Report
A UN Security panel convened in New York Friday to look into the Palestinian Authority’s bid for statehood recognition by the Council. Palestinian officials are said to have been optimistic. IMEMC’s Rami Almeghari has more:
The panel is made up of 15 member states of the UN security council and is expected to submit recommendations to the Security Council in six to seven weeks. U.S has already stated it would veto a Security Council’s approval of the bid.
Meanwhile, Palestinian Foreign Minister, Riyad Almaliky said that at least 8 member states have initially agreed on the Palestinian bid for statehood.
In the occupied Palestinian territories, Israeli government approved a new wave of settlements building in the occupied East Jerusalem, considered by Palestinians as the capital of future Palestinian state.
Palestinian Authority’s president Mahmoud Abbas , responded this week to a Quartet’s proposal that both parties , Israelis and Palestinians, back to the negotiations table. Abbas emphasized on a previous stance that no return to negotiations unless Israel freezes all settlement activities.
Cairo , from it’s part, slammed the new settlements building in east Jerusalem as counterproductive amidst international peace efforts to bring both parties back to talks.
Gaza political analyst Mokhaimar Abu Seda told the IMEMC that such an Egyptian position would mean further complication of already severed Egyptian-Israeli relations following storming by Egyptian crowds of parts of the Israeli embassy in Cairo.
In the West Bank, Egyptian ambassador to the Palestinian Authority, Yasser Othman, warned of what he termed Israeli attempts to wrestle control over the Egyptian peninsuela of Sinai. Othman said that right after the Egyptian revolution in January of this year, Israel has been alleging that the security situation in Egypt is troubled.
For IMEMC. This is Rami Almeghari in Gaza
West Bank & Gaza
This week the Israeli military conducted at least 36 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and Gaza, during which they kidnapped four Palestinian civilians, including a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council who was abducted by an undercover unit in front of the Red Cross office in Jerusalem, the details are in the following report.
In the early hours of Friday, Israeli Air Force bombarded a site, reportedly used as a training center, for the Al Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, in central Gaza.
The site is located near the entrance of the Al Maghazi refugee camp. Local sources said the air strike caused serious damage to the property however, no injuries were reported.
Eyewitnesses said several Israeli war jets were noticed flying over different parts of the Gaza Strip while firing flares, then the missiles were launched at the site.
An Israeli undercover unit kidnapped on Monday, Palestinian legislator of the Change and Reform Block of Hamas, Ahmad Attoun, as he was in front of the protest tent setup in front of the Red Cross office in Jerusalem more than a year ago. The tent was set up by members of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC), who are threatened to be expelled from Jerusalem.
Attoun, who is from the Jerusalem constituency, was preparing for a press conference in front of the tent, when four unknown young men jumped at him and put him in one of their vehicles and took him to an Israeli jail in West Jerusalem. The four youth were apparently an Israeli undercover army unit. Other PLC members survived the raid because they were away from the tent.
Palestinian media sources said that Attoun suffered a heart attack after his abduction in the russian compound jail in West Jerusalem. Hamas held Israel responsible for Attoun’s life.
In other news, the local guard committees foiled on Tuesday night an attack by Israeli settlers that targeted the Palestinian residents of Tel Rumeideh, in Hebron.
Around one hundred settlers gathered and toured from al-Shuhada’ street, and other neighborhoods in Hebron and headed to Tel Rumeideh. Dozens of Palestinian volunteers gathered to stop the settlers, which forced the settlers to flee the scene.
In related news, Palestinian medical sources reported, on Thursday evening, that three residents were treated for the effects of gas inhalation during clashes with Israeli soldiers invading Yasouf village, near the West Bank city of Salfit. Local sources said that clashes first erupted when local guards tried to stop a number of armed Israeli settlers who attacked the village. Israel soldiers invaded the village shortly afterwards and fired several gas bombs at the residents wounding three.
The local guards committees are groups of Palestinian volunteers who patrol their cities and villages to protect them from settler attacks in different parts of the West Bank. In the meantime, a group of armed extremist Israeli settlers destroyed irrigation pipes used by the residents of Madama village, near Nablus.
Settler attacks have increased in the past couple of months especially after the Palestinian Authority decided to go to the United Nations to request a full membership in the world organization.
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 Hussam Qassis and me George Rishmawi