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Welcome to this Week in Palestine, a service of the International Middle East Media Center, www.imemc.org, for October 1st to October 7th 2011.
At least 12 Palestinians were injured this week by Israeli settlers and military attacks targeting Palestinian communities in Gaza and the West Bank. Meanwhile Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas continue his efforts to generate support for the UN State bid. 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. At least Seven Palestinians were injured this week by Israeli troops fire during anti wall protests organized at a number of West Bank villages.
Villages of al-Maâ€™sara, al-Wallajeh, Beit Omer, and Yatta in southern West Bank protested the wall on Friday. Two Palestinian men were lightly wounded when Israeli troops attacked protesters at the village of al-Maâ€™sara before it left the village.
In al- al-Wallajeh, four locals were arrested during the weekly protest against the wall there. Troops also attacked protesters with tear gas and detained a local ambulance and its staff that belongs to the Palestinian Medical Relief Society PMRS.
Moreover many were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation at Beit Omer village while in and Yatta two local youth sustained moderate wounded when Israeli troops attacked the anti wall protests there with tear gas.
Elsewhere, in central West Bank on Friday anti wall protests were organized in the villages of Bilâ€™in, Nilâ€™in and al-Nabi Saleh,.
Five civilians, three women and two men were injured as 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 as well.
In the nearby by Bilâ€™in, and Nilâ€™in villages many were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation when troops fired tear gas at them as they protest at the Israeli wall built on local farmers lands there.
The Political Report
This week, Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas spoke to European convention in Strasbourg to ganarate support for the UN State bid, internally Hamas party, called for a comprehensive internal Palestinian dialogue this week IMEMC’s Rami Almeghari has more:
President Mahmoud Abbas called on European Countries to back the move at the UN and help Palestine gets a recognition as an independent Palestinian state with full membership at the UN. The PA’s president called for forcing Israel to stop all settlement activities on the occupied Palestinian territories for the sake of peace talks that have been stalled for over a year now.
Meanwhile, Abbas harshly criticized the Israeli government for keeping up policies that are counterproductive to peace.
In the Gaza Strip, the ruling Hamas party, called for a comprehensive internal Palestinian dialogue under the auspices of Cairo in order to find a way out of current impasse regarding internal conciliation.
Fatah party of Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas and the Islamist Hamas reached a conciliation agreement in Egypt in May2011, yet both parties have failed to implement the deal.
Hamas has objected recently to Abbas’s bid at the UN, saying the move would derogate other legitimate Palestinian rights like the right of return stated in UN General Assembly resolution 194.
On the ground, Palestinian masses in both Gaza and the West Bank, took to streets this week in protest against what they call Israeli harsh treatment of Palestinian prisoners inside Israeli jails. More than 7,000 Palestinians have been staging a hunger strike for the second week consecutively.
In the West Bank City of Ramallah, Egypt’s ambassador to the Palestinian Authority, Yasser Othman, met with the minister of Palestinian prisoners affairs, Esa Qaraqe3, in bid of support to the prisoners issue. Noteworthy, prisoners profile has been one of the contentious issues of Palestinian-Israeli peace talks over the past two decades.
For IMEMC.org, This is Rami Almeghari in Gaza.
The Israeli Attacks Report
As thousands of Palestinian Political prisoners continued their hunger strike, this week the Israeli military conducted at least 35 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and Gaza, during which they arrested 30 civilians. Also settlers attacks on Palestinians saw an increase this week. IMEMCâ€™s George Rishmawi reports:
An Israeli drone fired a missile at a house in the northern Gaza Strip town of Beit Hanoun on Saturday wounding two Palestinian civilians by shrapnels. An old woman also sustained bruises. The Israeli army claimed they targeted a number of Palestinians who intended to launch home-made rockets into Israeli towns.
This week witnessed a number of Israeli settlers attacks in numerous parts of the West Bank.
Three Palestinian civilians were hit by settler cars in two separate incidents. Two Palestinian sisters were injured on Tuesday when an Israeli settler hit them with his vehicle at the Huwwara Road, south of the northern West Bank city of Nablus. Palestinian medical sources said the victims suffered bruises and fractures in addition to external wounds that were described as moderate. Another hit and run incident by a settler was reported on Wednesday morning also near Nablus the target this time was a local youth, who escaped with light wounds.
Settlers also vandalized a number of olive orchards that belong to Palestinian farmers and set fire to hundreds of olive trees. Thousands of Palestinian citizens of Israel took to the streets in the southern town of Bir Sabi’ in the Negev to protest the destruction of the village of Al-Araqeeb for the thirtieth time and what they called the policy of forcible migration, used by Israel against the Arab residents.
On Wednesday, dozens of Israeli policemen and members of the so-called â€œIsrael Land Authorityâ€ demolished and removed all tents and structures in Al Araqeeb village in the Negev.
In other news, special military forces of the Israeli Army broke into the Asqalan and Nafha prisons on Tuesday in an attempt to stop the ongoing hunger strike declared by Palestinian prisoners. Palestinian prisoners in several Israeli jails started an open-ended hunger strike demanding the internationally guaranteed rights of prisoners and an end to Israeli attacks and solitary confinement policy used against them. Palestinians in numerous West Bank cities and villages organized activities to support the prisoners in their demands.
Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza orgnized daily activities to support the prisoners in their for better living conditions and better treatment by the Israeli jail administration and to end the solitary confinement that some prisoners have been subject to for years.
Hundreds also declared solidarity hunger strikes in front of the offices of the International Committee for the Red Cross demanding an intervention to save the 8000 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails.
On Wednesday midday, Israeli military bulldozers destroyed two water cisterns and some rooms built by the farmers in their farmlands in Kufr ed-Deek village near the West Bank city of Salfit.
On Thursday morning, Israeli bulldozers demolished a number of stockades, cowsheds, and tents in the valleys near the West Bank city of Tubas. Farmers reported that more than twenty military vehicles, accompanied by Israeli military bulldozers arrived in the area and randomly demolished the properties of the residents. They added that there was no prior notice.
A group of extremists settlers burnt on Sunday at night a mosque at the entrance of Toba Zanghriyya village, in the Galilee, and wrote â€œPrice Tagâ€ and â€œRevengeâ€ on its walls. The fire spread through the mosque, consuming most of its property, while hundreds of village residents rushed and managed to extinguish the fire.
Following the attack, the villagers held a protest march in the streets, confirming that they will not be silenced. A number of youth also burnt tires and closed the main entrance of the village. In early September, Israeli settlers torched a mosque in Qasra village near Nablus, and wrote similar graffiti as well.
Settler violence against Palestinian civilians intensified after the Palestinian Authority decided to go forward with applying to the United Nations for full membership and after Israeli authorities removed one of the unauthorized outposts in the West Bank near Ramallah.
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.