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Welcome to this Week in Palestine, a service of the International Middle East Media Center, www.imemc.org, from November 5th to the 11th 2011.
while the Quartet announced this week that will hold separate talks with Palestinian and Israeli leaders, attacks by the Israeli military claimed the lives of three Palestinians. 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. On Friday anti-wall protests were organized against at a number of villages. Israeli soldiers fired tear gas and rubber-coated steel bullets at protesters injuring four and arresting one. IMEMC’s Adam Kerry reports
A man and a child were shot and many were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation when soldiers attacked the weekly protest at the village of al Nabi Saleh in central West Bank.
Villagers and their international and Israeli supporters marched after the midday prayers. Israeli troops attacked them with rubber-coated steel bullets and skunk-water injuring, Tamiem al-Tam-imi, 11, in his abdomen and 62 year old Attallah al-Tam-imi in the head.
Also in central West Bank on Friday anti wall protests were organized in the villages of Bil’in and Nil’in. An international supporter was injured by rubber bullets in Bil’in while many were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation when troops used tear gas to move people away from the wall at the two villages.
In southern West Bank, villagers of al-Ma’sara protested the wall on Friday as well. The protest stared at midday but Israeli troops did not allow people to reach their lands where Israel is building the wall and used tear gas and rubber-coated steel bullets to force people back into the village. One man sustained moderate wounds another was arrested by Israeli soldiers.
For IMEMC News this is Adam Kerry
The Political Report
This week Palestinians marked the death of late president Yasser Arafat, while the International Quartet Committee announced on Wednesday that they will be holding separate meetings with the Palestinian and Israeli leaders next Monday, November 14th, in Jerusalem. IMEMC’s George Rishmawi has the details:
As Palestinians commemorated on November 11th the death of President Yasser Arafat, his family have announced that they will soon release a report into his death which occurred in Paris seven years ago today. The Yasser Arafat Institute will be holding a festival in Lebanon to mark the anniversary of his death. There will also be two festivals in the West Bank, scheduled for later this month.
On the proposed Palestinian-Israeli talks proposed next week, U.S. State Department spokeswoman, Victoria Noland, told reporters that “The meetings are meant to encourage both sides [the Palestinians and Israel] to offer suggestions, especially regarding land and security issues.”
The Palestinian Authority quit direct talks with Israel in September 2010, as Israel refused to freeze settlement activities and had repeatedly announced that it will not stop settlement activities.
During the memorial service this week for late Israeli Prime Minister, Yitzhak Rabin, current Israeli President Shimon Peres called on his counterparts in Palestine to resume peace talks so both sides can work through the issues that are hindering the peace process. He further stated “Rabin believed in the two-state solution”, and that peace process “enjoys the support of the majority of Palestinians and Israelis”.
The chief Palestinian negotiator, Dr Saeb Erekat responded with “the key to starting peace talks is very clear, it is based on Israel stopping all settlement activates, and to be committed to the two-state solution”.
Palestine’s application to the UN for full membership has had a further setback with Great Britain announcing that they will abstaining from the upcoming United Nations Security Council (UNSC) vote regarding the granting of full UN membership to Palestine, only one day after France confirmed that they too would abstain.
The Palestinian delegation have accepted that the chances of them gaining the required two-thirds majority are seemingly out of reach. An option for the Palestinians is to take their case to the UN General Assembly where they are expected to get enough votes to have their current status upgraded to observer status which will allow them access to international bodies such as the International Criminal Court.
For IMEMC News, this is George Rishmawi.
The West Bank and Gaza report
Israeli attacks on the West Bank and Gaza continued this week. These attacks left three Palestinian killed. IMEMC’s William Gibson has the details:
Israeli military fire left In Gaza on Saturday, Israeli soldiers opened fire upon residents in a village east of Gaza city. One man was shot in his thigh and taken to a local hospital. On late Saturday evening, the Israeli Air Force struck the Southern Gaza town of Khan Younis. Local reports indicate that two missiles were fired, killing a 22 year old member of the Al-Quds Brigades, and injuring three others- including a child.
An Israeli settler was injured on Sunday when a Molotov cocktail was thrown at his car whilst driving on a road near the northern West Bank town of Qalqilia. Despite the Israeli army combing the area, no arrests were made. A second Israeli was injured over the weekend after Palestinian fighters fired two shells into southern Israel.
Back in the West Bank, a group of extremist Israeli settlers uprooted over thirty olive trees on Monday, in the village of Madama, just south of the West Bank city of Nablus. This incident the latest in a string of attacks which have been launched by Israeli’s who are dwelling in the nearby illegal settlement of Yitzhar.
Further news from Monday includes another shelling of the Gaza Strip by the Israeli Army. Three residents were injured, one of them seriously, after artillery shells were fired into a neighbourhood just east of Gaza City.
In the north of the West Bank, the Israeli Army set up numerous roadblocks around the city of Nablus early on Tuesday, and detained one resident at one of the impromptu check points. This move was prompted by the aforementioned uprooting of thirty olive trees the day before, out of fear of retaliation by the local Palestinians.
In Israel, death threat graffiti, including Swastikas and references to assassinated Israeli Prime Minister, Yitzhak Rabin, was sprayed at the home a prominent member of the Peace Now Movement.
The vandals hold the group partially responsible for the recent dismantlement of several illegal outposts in the West Bank. Two more air strikes were carried out against Khan Younis at dawn on Wednesday. Damage was reported, but now injuries were. These strikes came only hours after several tank shells landed in northern Gaza.
Three separate attacks Tuesday night and Wednesday morning across the West Bank left one Palestinian dead, and three injured. The deceased was hit by a settler car and died instantly, whilst hours later settlers set fire to parked cars in Hebron, and sprayed ‘price-tag’ graffiti nearby. In Artas village, settler fired tear gas at a Palestinian family, sending a ten-year-old boy to hospital, after the gas rendered him unconscious.
On Friday, a settler Rabbi was accidentally killed by the Israeli military at a recently installed a temporary road blocks in the Hebron district. Soldiers claim that they signalled for the driver to stop, but he did not comply. The soldiers fired onto the vehicle, killing the 60-year-old instantly, and injured two others. It has not been revealed as of yet why the Israeli did not stop when requested.
For IMEMC News 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 Ghassan Banoura and Husam Qassis