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Welcome to this Week in Palestine, a service of the International Middle East Media Center, www.imemc.org, from November 12 to the 18th 2011.
As Palestinian leading factions, Fatah and Hama, heads for unity talk; Israeli attacks left Four Palestinians killed, and seventeen injured. 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. Israeli soldiers used tear gas to suppress anti wall protests were organized at a number of villages on Friday.
In central West Bank, Israeli soldiers fired tear gas and sound bombs at the villagers of Bil’in, Nilin and al Nabi Saleh who protested the wall along with their international and Israeli supporters.
Five civilians were moderately injured when troops fired tear gas and comical water at protesters in al Nabi Saleh village. Soldiers attacked the protest before it even left the village.
Meanwhile in the nearby Bil’in and Nil’in soldiers fired tear gas at protesters as soon as they reached then wall, many were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation.
In northern West Bank, villagers of Kufer Kadum along with their international supporters marched against the army closer of the road leading in and out of the village since ten years. as soon as people reached the road block troops fired tear gas at them. Many were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation
Elsewhere three civilians were injured when troops attacked the weekly anti wall protest at the village of al Ma’ssara, in southern West Bank. Troops attacked protesters at the village entrance using rifle buts and batons injuring three local men.
The Political Report
Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas has figured strongly in the news this week as a meeting with his Hamas head, Khaled Mashal has been announced to take place in Cairo. Abbas also calls on the United States for support in future negotiations with Israel. IMEMC’s Adam Kerry Reports:
Mahmoud Abbas has stated that he would like the US to take a balanced role in dealing with any international resolutions and the construction of future Israeli settlements. In his speech at a memorial ceremony for Yasser Arafat he said “We do not want or seek a clash with the United States. Despite its strong ties with Israel, it also provides essential and considerable support to the Palestinian people, and the Palestinian Authority. He also added that the PA maintains contact with American President Barack Obama and is seeking a two-state solution based on the 1967 borders.
He mentioned that Israel continues to make life difficult within the Occupied Territories with their constant flaunting of International laws and agreements. Abbas said all Palestinians should resist the occupation through both peaceful and non-violent means.
In other news, it was announced this week that Abbas will be meeting with Khaled Mashal, the head of the Political bureau of Hamas in order to achieve “comprehensive Palestinian reconciliation”. The meeting has been scheduled for the 25th November and will be used to try and implement the National Unity agreement that was signed in May.
Dr. Aziz Dweik of Hamas stated that Abbas and Mashal will sign a document regarding the implementation of the Unity Agreement, and that the meeting is considered “an ice-breaking meeting between Fatah and Hamas, and not a new wave of talks.”
The meeting between the two parties will also be used to decide the details for the upcoming elections which are due to be held next year as well as the make up of the Interim government. Reports this week said that current Prime Minister Salam Fayyad was still his choice to lead the caretaker government.
For IMEMC News, this is Adam Kerry.
The West Bank and Gaza report
This week saw continued attacks by the Israeli military on the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. Four Palestinians have been killed as a result, and seventeen civilians have been injured. The wounded included a child, a pregnant woman and five naval police. Fourteen people have been detained- including three fishermen from Gaza, and countless homes have been raided: IMEMC’s William Gibson with the details:
The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs published a report that compared to 2010; this year witnessed a 40% increase in attacks carried out by Israeli settlers against the Palestinians. The OCHA reports revealed that three Palestinians, including two children, were killed by Israeli settlers in 2011, and that 167 were injured.
Israeli settlers also uprooted, damaged or destroyed more than 10,000 Palestinian Olive Trees in 2011, significantly undermining the livelihoods of hundreds of families.
On Saturday night, clashes took place between dozens of Palestinians and Israeli soldiers after the army invaded Silwan town, south of the Al Aqsa Mosque, in occupied East Jerusalem.
The soldiers fired gas bombs and concussion grenades at the protestors, also hitting a number of homes in the area, while local youths responded by hurling stones and empty bottles, and sources said that soldiers arrested one resident, Mahmoud Atiyya, 20, in Be’er Ayyoub neighborhood.
At dawn on Monday, the Israeli Air Force bombarded a Naval Police station north west of Beit Lahia, in the northern part of the Gaza Strip.
The French Consul in the Gaza Strip, Majd Shaqqoura, lived 200m away, yet him and his family did not escape the blasts. His windows all shattered, he suffered shrapnel injuries, along with his 13 year old daughter. His two month pregnant wife suffered a miscarriage.
Twenty-two year old First Sergeant Mohammad Al-Kelani died in the attack, and five other naval policemen were injured.
Arrests were made earlier in the week, after Rashad Qarraja, an uncle of one of the recently freed detainee, was arrested after the army incaved Safa village at dawn on Tuesday. Two others were arrested in a separate sweep in Jenin.
On Wednesday, more strikes occurred, as Israeli aircraft targeting various regions along the coast. Medical sources confirmed that three people were injured in the attacks that occurred at dawn.
During the evening, Palestinian Prisoners TV show host, Isra’ Salhab, was detained by the Israeli police after being served a notice to attend a nearby police station.
The following morning, during Thursday dawn, seven arrests were made across the West Bank, two of whom were arrested in Doura town, and a third in Sammoa, in the Hebron district.
Four youth, all aged seventeen, were arrested after soldiers raided the town of Azzoun, east of the northern West Bank city of Qalqilia.
Israel soldiers instigated a checkpoint south of Nablus, at Beta entrance, preventing Palestinians from passing through it. Any Palestinian car passing was searched, but no arrests were made, nor any reasons given.
Earlier today, Friday, a group of of Israeli settlers attacked a family in al-Khader Village, near Bethlehem, while they were in their farm.
Hassan Salah, one of the family members, said that they were surprised when they saw the settlers cultivating olive trees on their land. The settlers used their dogs and sticks to assault them when they tried to stop them. This resulted in the injuries to the mother aged 70.
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