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Welcome to this Week in Palestine, a service of the International Middle East Media Center, www.imemc.org, for November 26 through December 2nd 2011
Israel releases the Tax revenue money due to the Palestinians after being withheld for two months, meanwhile, 23 Palestinians were detained during this week. 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. Two journalists and three international supporters were arrested as Israeli soldiers used tear gas and rubber-coated steel bullets to suppress anti wall protests organized at a number of West Bank communities on Friday. IMEMC’s Ghassan Bannoura has the story.
At the village of al Nabi Saleh, in central West Bank, Israeli soldiers attacked the weekly protest as soon as it left the village.
Troops used tear gas and rubber-coated steel bullets against the villagers and their international and Israeli supporters. Two journalists were arrested during the protest along with three international supporters. Witnesses said that Israeli troops beat-up the two journalists as they took them away.
After people moved back into the village troops invaded it and fired tear gas at villagers homes; many were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation.
Staying in central West Bank, Israeli soldiers fired rubber coated steel bullets and tear gas at the villagers of Bil’in, Nilin who also protested the wall along with their international and Israeli supporters. The two protests started after the midday prayers then villages and their supporters marched up to the wall built on local farmers’ lands. Israeli soldiers stationed there fired tear gas and sound bombs at people as soon as they reached the wall. Many were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation.
Meanwhile At the village of al Ma’ssara, in southern West Bank; troops used rifle buts and batons to attack the weekly anti wall protest at the village entrance. No injuries were reported.
For IMEMC news this is Ghassan Bannoura.
The Israeli government has finally relented to international pressure and released the withheld Palestinian tax money but have warned the Palestinians against further unilateral moves.IMEMC’s Adam Kerry reports.
After weeks of mounting pressure from several European countries as well as the United Nations, Benjamin Netanyahu’s government has approved the transfer of October and November’s tax revenue to the Palestinian Authority. The funds were withheld after the Palestinian’s made what the Israelis call “unilateral moves instead of reaching a negotiated peace agreement.” This was followed by a warning that the money will be withheld again if the PA try and circumvent future peace talks with Tel-Aviv.
The Palestinian decision to halt talks with Israel was made due to Israel ongoing invasions and violations, and its resumption of settlement activities in the occupied territories, especially in East Jerusalem. The Palestinian leadership said that it cannot hold talks with Israel while it is ongoing with its settlement construction and expansion activities.
In a move that angered the Israeli government, Kadima Party leader Tzipi Livni has held a meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Amman. The Israeli Radio reported that Livni demanded Abbas return to the negotiating table stating that Israeli-Palestine peace talks can help to bring calm to the region. She also said the reconciliation agreement between Fatah and Hamas and the unity government “limit the chances of reaching a successful peace agreement”.
Netanyahu has rebuked Livni after she phoned him to discuss details of the unapproved meeting. He is reported to have said to her “if the Palestinians want peace, they should hold negotiations with the elected government in Israel.” Livni added that she is not trying to present herself as an alternative to the Israeli government in talks with the Palestinians, adding that she is merely trying to remove Israel from its current state of international isolation.
In other Middle East news, Egypt’s first democratic elections in almost 80 years have begun this week, with provisional results pointing towards a victory for the Muslim Brotherhoods Freedom and Justice Party. The complex counting process will take weeks with the new government not set to take power from the current military rulers until mid-2012.
For IMEMC News, this is Adam Kerry.
West Bank and Gaza report
This week saw more attacks by the Israeli military in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. Numerous incursions took place, whereby 23 Palestinians were detained over the week. Numerous airstrikes were launched in the Gaza strip, which included the targeting of a greenhouse and a training site, and fourteen Palestinian fishermen were arrested of the Gaza coastIMEMC’s William Gibson with the details.
On Sunday at dawn, Israeli fighter jets fired one missile into an area in central Gaza, and two missiles into an area in the southern part of the coastal region. Damage was reported but no injuries were.
Later on Sunday, Israeli military bulldozers leveled farming lands of Qalandia town, to make room for the Annexation Wall, as well as the expansion of the settlement of Atarot.
The route of the wall will thoroughly separate the town from the outside world, and the estimated area which is to be confiscated is around 400 acres.
At dawn on Monday, a group of gunmen detonated an explosive on the Egyptian pipeline, which provides Israel and Jordan with gas.
An Egyptian security official told France Press that, only seconds after the first blast, another explosion took place, hitting the pipeline 100 meters away.
This is the ninth attack of its kind this year; the first attack took place during the revolution against the former Egyptian leader, Hosni Mubarak, and his oppressive regime.
Later in the day, the Israeli Defence Ministry has issued an apology to a pregnant American journalist who was strip-searched, humiliated, and forced into an X-Ray machine, while heading to Israel from Gaza.
Despite a request being sent ahead of time due to the potential harm of an X-ray machine on an unborn baby, the message was not relayed and she was forced to undergo the scan, along with being strip searched in an adjacent room.
On Monday night, Haaretz reported that four Katyusha rockets were fired from Lebanon into an area in northern Israel, causing damage and fires, but no injuries.
Dawn on Wednesday saw the arrest of three Palestinian youths in Beit Ummar town, north of Hebron.The three were identified as Rasheed Awad, Yasser Abu Fanous, and Mohammad khlayyil, aged 17, 17 and 22 respectively.
Awad and Abu Fanous were previously arrested and imprisoned for several months, and recently Beit Ummar has seen 16 residents arrested.
Death threats continue against members of Israeli Peace Now Organisation. One of the members receioved a death threat via text as she was picking up her children from school. This in the wake of numerous threats, including several aimed at the director, Yariv Oppenheimer.
On Thursday, Israeli authorities prevented thirty farmers from reaching their land to tend to their orchards. The farmers, from Anin village, west of the northern West Bank city of Jenin, had the permits required, but were refused permission to cross the Annexation wall to reach them.
The route of the Israeli Annexation Wall is designed in a way that isolates the residents from their lands, an issue that requires them to apply for special permits.
At dawn today, Friday, Israeli soldiers arrested three Palestinians in the Balata refugee camp, east of Nablus city in the northern part of the West Bank. The three were identified as Yasser Badrawy, his brother Jamil, and his nephew Haitham.
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 Husam Qassis and me George Rishmawi