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Welcome to this Week in Palestine, a service of the International Middle East Media Center, www.imemc.org, for October 15th to the 21th 2011.
First stage of the prisoner-swap deal between Israel and the Palestinians has been successfully completed and was warmly welcomed by Palestinians, in the meantime an increase in Israeli military operations in the West Bank has been reported this week , these stories and more, coming up, stay tuned.
The Non-Violence report
Lets begin our weekly report with the nonviolent activities in the West Bank. IMEMCís Ghassan Banoura has the story:
In central West Bank protests were organized in the villages of Bilíin and Nilíin near Ramallah. in Bilíin protesters and their international and Israeli supporters were attacked by the soldiers as they reached the gate of the wall separating local famers from their lands.
Many were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation. Witnesses said that troops also fired rubber-coated steel bullets at protesters. Soldiers also arrested Ashraf Aby Rahma befor the protest ended this week.
Meanwhile in the nearby village of Nilíin, the weekly anti wall protest started after the midday prayers at lands near the wall. As soon as people reached the wall, Israeli troops stationed their fired tear gas at them. Many were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation.
Also on Friday Israeli troops used tear gas to suppress the weekly protest in the village of Kufer Kadum, northern West Bank. After the midday prayers villagers and international supporters marched to the entrance of the village blocked by the army since 10 year ago. People demanded the road be open. Israeli troops arrived and fired tear gas at the protesters. Many were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation.
In southern West Bank villagers of al-Maísara, protested the wall on Friday. The protest stared at midday but Israeli troops did not allow people to reach their lands where Israel is building the wall and used rifle buts and batons to force people back into the village. No injuries were reported this week
For IMEMC.org this is Ghassan Banoura.
The Political Report
Israeli Prime Minister announced this week that Israel is considering halt of Israeli settlement activities. Also this week, Palestinians and Israel implemented an Egyptian-mediated prisonerís exchange. IMEMC’s Rami Al-Meghari has the details:
Both Palestinians and Israel implemented this week a prisoners swap deal , in which 477 Palestinian prisoners were released in exchange of captured Israeli soldier in Gaza Gil’ad Shalit.
The deal reached after five years of relentless mediated talks, was greeted warmly in Gaza and the West Bank. In the Gaza Strip, few hundred thousand Palestinian masses took to streets in the coastal territory amidst great deal of joy for what Palestinians considered a day of victory.
The ruling Hamas party in Gaza regarded the deal as a step in the right direction. Speaking to the IMEMC Mrs. Jameela Alshanti, minister of women’s affairs in the Hamas-led government, hailed the agreement, saying this is the path that Palestinians should keep on until all prisoners are released and Palestine is completely freed of the Israeli occupation.
Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas, welcomed the freed prisoners in Ramallah and announced that Israeli promised to release one more patch of prisoners soon. Meanwhile, Abbas stressed on the need for all Palestinian factions including Hamas and his Fatah party to implement a national unity deal.
In Israel, many voices rejected the swap deal to the extent that some of these voices called for taking revenge of the released prisoners.
Under the exchange deal, Israel released 477 prisoners, 136 of them were deported to the Gaza Strip , being residents of the West Bank. In a period of two months, the deal will be completed. for IMEMC.org im Rami Almeghari in Gaza
The West Bank Report
as Israeli this week the Israeli army conducted at least 47 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank, during which they arrested 12 Palestinian civilians, including two children. IMEMC’s William Gibsonhas more.
Monday morning saw the continuing of the Qurtuba School protest in Hebron. The teachers are protesting the Israeli military’s decision that no citizen is allowed to enter the area without undergoing degrading physical searches at the electronic gate, which includes metal detectors and X-ray machines, at al-Daboya portal.
The principal of the School, Ibtisam al-Junaidi, stated that the Israeli Army prevents the teachers and students from entering the school through the main route, due to the above mentioned decision.
She added that teachers have started holding lessons on the path in front of the checkpoint, and were soon joined by local parents and international activists. They have suffered days of harassment and violence from settlers and soldier alike.
On Tuesday, clashes erupted at Betunia terminal in central West Bank when Israeli troops attacked waiting families and friends of freed political detainees. The detainees where released as part of the swap deal which saw the release of captured Israeli soldier, Corporal Gilad Shalit, along with 477 Palestinian detainees from the first phase of the deal.
Dimitri Diliani, Member of the Fatah Revolutionary Council, was detained on Tuesday Morning, and moved to Al-Russian compound detention centre for interrogation.
The Fateh movement in East Jerusalem has accused Israel of targeting Palestinian leaders, academics and intellectuals, many of whom are only performing their national duty towards their land, people and holy sites.
On Wednesday Protesters, organised by the Hurriyat (Freedom) Society and a group of activist youth, gathered for a demonstration in front of the Israeli prison of Ha-Sharon, near Netanya; they demanded the release of the remaining nine female detainees from the Shalit deal.
The Arabs48 news website reported that the police resorted to an excessive use of force against the peaceful protesters, and arrested at least fifteen men and women, including several Jewish activists. The names were not confirmed, but they were taken and held at nearby police stations. For IMEMC.org this is William Gibson.
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 Husam Qassis and me George Rishmawi