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Welcome to this Week in Palestine, a service of the International Middle East Media Center,, for January 21 to the 27th 2012

As Israeli and Palestinian senior negotiators meet several times in Jordan in bid to boost the peace process, Israeli military continue to kidnap Palestinians and demolish homes, 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. Five civilians, among them two journalists, were injured this week when Israeli troops attacked anti wall protests organized in a number of West Bank villages. IMEMC’s Ghassan Bannoura Reports:

One young man and a journalist were injured on Friday when Israeli troops attacked the weekly protests at the central West Bank village of al Nabi Saleh. Villagers, joined by their international and Israeli supporters marched after the midday prayers and demanded freedom for all political prisoners currently held by the Israeli military.

Israeli soldiers stopped the march before it left the village heading towards lands taken by the military to build a settlement there. Troops forced people back into the village by firing tear gas and rubber coated steel bullets at them. A local cameraman and another young man from the village were hit with rubber-coated steel bullets, many were also treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation.

Also on Friday at the nearby Bil’in and Ni’lin villages, residents along with their international and Israeli supporters protested the Israeli Wall on their lands. The two protests reached the gate of the wall separating farmers from their lands. Israeli soldiers stationed there fired tear gas and sound bombs at people , one journalist was hit with a rubber coated steel bullet in Nil’in, and many were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation.

Meanwhile in southern West Bank village of Al-Ma’asara, two local men were injured when Israeli troops attacked the weekly anti wall protest there on Friday.

The protest started after midday prayers, Israeli soldiers stopped protesters at the village entrance before reached lands owned by local farmers that Israeli is building the wall on. Later troops forced people back into the village using tear gas and rifle buts, slightly injuring two men.

For IMEMC News this is Ghassan Bannoura.

Political Report

Palestinian Authority says the Amman-based exploratory talks didn’t bring about a change in Israel’s policy and discussions are underway to find out more prospects for peace, IMEMC Rami Al-Meghari has more

Palestinian President’s spokesperson, Nabil Abu Rodaina, hinted at what he termed failure of the Amman-based meetings between the Palestinian Authority and Israel under the auspices of international players.

Abu Rodaina revealed that the PA is set to hold a series of internal meetings to evaluate the situation following January 26, the deadline for the Amman meetings. Recommendations will be submitted to the Arab League’s follow-up committee, the spokesperson maintained.

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the US State Department, said that parties concerned need a break and that they should meet again soon in order to come out with an understanding on resumption of stalled peace talks.

Since the beginning of January through January26, US and European players have brought Palestinians and Israelis to preliminary talks in the hope of resuming peace talks that were stalled in September 2010, after Israel insisted on continuing settlement activities on occupied Palestinian lands including Arab east Jerusalem and the West Bank.

In September 2011, PA’s president demanded United Nations recognition of a Palestinian state on the occupied Palestinian territories that lie within the 1967 lines, including Arab East Jerusalem, West Bank and Gaza Strip. Abbas’s demand was vetoed by the US, main patron of Palestinian-Israeli peace process.

In the Gaza Strip, efforts are underway to bridge the gab between the rival Fatah and Hamas parties, ahead of implementing a pending unity deal that both parties signed in Cairo in May 20111.

The London-based newspaper Alhayat suggested that Hamas’s exiled leader, Khaled Mash’al and PA’s Western-backed President, Mahmoud Abbas will likely meet in Gaza to sort out difficulties.

Hamas and Fatah have been at loggerheads over each’s political agenda; Hamas’s strategy is based on resistance against the Israeli occupation, while Fatah’s is based on peace negotiations. International players such as the US and the EU have demanded Hamas to renounce violence since the party won parliamentary elections back in 2006.

This week, Catherine Ashton, EU’s external relations commissioner, visited the Gaza Strip and did not meet with Hamas’s officials in the territory. Ashton called on Israel to lift the blockade that Israel has imposed since the Islamist Hamas party wrestled control over Gaza in 2007, amidst infighting with Fatah party of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

Spokesperson for the Hamas-led government in Gaza, Taher Alnouno, described Ashton’s statement as merely ‘ lip service’.

For, I am Rami Almeghari in Gaza.

West Bank and Gaza report

Over the week, the Israeli military carried out roughly sixty incursions into the West Bank. Last weekend saw an explosion of incidents around numerous checkpoints, and air strikes in Gaza wounded several others; including resistance fighters and civilians, IMEMC’s William Gibson with the details.

On Saturday, the Israeli Air Force bombarded an area in the Gaza Strip; a military spokesperson claimed they were targeting a resistance fighter who had just fired a Qassam rocket into the Negev. No damage or injuries was reported for either launch.

The Bank of Palestine had to temporarily stop its online services to prevent another hack in the ongoing cyber war between Saudi and Gazan bases hackers, against Israeli hackers. Israeli credit card details were also released by a Saudi hacker, and the websites of the Tel Aviv Stock exchange and El Al have also been targeted recently.

Also on Saturday, a border Policeman was stabbed in the neck with a screw driver by a Palestinian man, who fled the scene. A crowd gathered at a military road block near Shufat refugee camp, East Jerusalem, where two injured Palestinians were being held up. One man stabbed the policeman, who suffered mild injuries, and was taken to hospital along with the two injured workers.

In a separate incident, Israeli soldiers were forced to fire warning shots near the illegal settlement of Susya, when a Jewish settler approached a military post without identifying himself. The settler was not hurt and was taken into custody for questioning.
A squadron of soldiers also invaded Hebron, and raided a community centre, arresting Issa Amr. He was released Saturday night, and claims that he suffered beatings and ridicule, and was spat upon.

At Qalandia checkpoint on Saturday, a Palestinian man was shot, after brandishing an axe and failing to halt his advance. Soldiers shot a man in the legs, before taking him to hospital. His family claims he has a long history of mental health problems.

On Monday, nine Palestinians were detained in a series of pre-dawn raids, in Anabta, Marka, and Hanoun village, near Tulkarem, Jenin, and Bethlehem respectively.

Tuesday saw more air strikes against Gaza, with several Palestinians suffering mild injuries. Two fighters were also injured when the Israeli Air Force targeted areas in Jabalia and Beit Lahia, believed to be used for training resistance fighters.

On Tuesday morning, the Israeli Army arrested two Palestinians near the Ibrahimi Mosque, Hebron. Both were detained after being found in possession of a knife. The two were identified as Ayman al-Rajabi, and Jihad Al0Rajabi.

Sheikh Mohammad Freihat, aged 46, a religious figure and political leader of the Hamas movement in al-Yamoun town was arrested on Tuesday evening by the Israeli Army. Dozens of soldiers raided his home, before taking him away.

The Sheikh has been arrested and interrogated numerous times by the Palestinian Authority in the past, for his political views and ties to Hamas.

For IMEMC News this is William Gibson.

That was just some of the news from This Week in Palestine, for more updates; please visit our website at Thank you for joining us from occupied Bethlehem, This report has been brought to you by Husam Qassis and me George Rishmawi