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Welcome to this Week in Palestine, a service of the International Middle East Media Center, www.imemc.org, for March 3rd to 9th 2012
Three Palestinians killed this week in as Internal Palestinian reconciliation arrives at a deadlock. Meanwhile, Palestinian prisoner Hana Ash-Shalabi continues her hunger strike demanding to be released from Israeli jail. 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. This week many were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation as soldiers suppressed anti wall protests organized in a number of West Bank villages. IMEMC’s Carmen Rodriguez Reports
This week protests in West Bank villages were in solidarity with Hana Ash-Shalabi, the Palestinian Prisoner in Israeli jails who is hunger strike since 23 days.
In central West Bank, troops attacked the weekly anti wall protests organized at the villages of Bil’in, Nil’in and al Nabi Saleh.
Israeli and international supporters joined villagers after the midday prayers at all three locations. Troops used tear gas and rubber coated steel bullets at all three locations. Many were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation.
Meanwhile In southern West Bank also on Friday villagers of Al Ma’ssara, along with their international and Israeli supporters protests the Israeli wall.
Troops stopped protesters at the village entrance before they reached lands owned by local farmers that Israel took over to build the wall on. Later troops forced people back into the village using rifle-buts. No injuries were reported.
For IMEMC News this is Carmen Rodriguez.
The Political Report
Some political analysts suggest that current controversy over potential Israeli strike to Iran will further protract solution for the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Meanwhile, intra Palestinian conciliation is said to be deadlocked for the time being, the details with IMEMC’s Rami Almghari
Following a visit to Washington, Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu says that an Israeli attack on Tehran is a matter of time and that such an attack may occur within months.
During his talks with US officials, Netanyahu hinted at what he believed to be an imminent Iranian threat to Israel, given Tehran’s nuclear program that is still in progress. He said that once Iran halts its nuclear development, Israel will reconsider an attack on the country but the PM did not drop the choice completely during the Washington talks.
Amidst such a talk, some political analysts suggested that the Palestinian issue is going to be further sidelined by international players, in a time the Palestinian Authority will submit the issue again to the United Nations.
Some PA officials warned of stopping negotiations with Israel to make the latter agrees to halting settlement activities on occupied Palestinian lands in the West Bank and Arab East Jerusalem.
At the internal Palestinian level, Hamas and Fatah officials traded blame for a protracted unity deal signing after PA’s president Mahmoud Abbas of Fatah and Hamas’s exiled leader Khaled Mash’al, agreed in Doha last month to start implementing a Cairo-signed unity deal.
Hamas’s senior political leader in Gaza, Mahmoud Alzahhar, put much of the blame on Fatah, calling on the Abbas-led Palestinian Authority to stop security coordination with Israel if it wanted to implement the agreement.
From his part, Fatah’s senior representative to the unity talks, Azzam Alahmad, accused Hamas of blocking the deal by disallowing the elections committee in Gaza to reopen in preparation for agreed-upon legislative and parliamentary elections.
Alahmad added that a recent visit by Hamas’s Prime Minister, Ismail Haniya, to Tehran did help further delay implementing the conciliation deal.
Rami Almeghari. IMEMC.org, Gaza
The West Bank and Gaza
This week three Palestinian were killed; three others injured while Palestinian political detainee Hana Ash-Shalabi entered her fourth week of hunger-strike protesting her detention and ill-treatment by her Israeli captives. This and more with IMEMC’s Vika Awad
A twenty-two year old man was killed and a teenager injured in the West Bank on Thursday, as Israeli troops conducted raids on the village of Yatta. Israel’s goal was to re-arrest Khalied Makhamreh a former political prisoner released during a prisoner swap last October. The Israeli military says that troops in Yatta village opened fire after one of them was stabbed by a local youth. But Mohamed, who declined to give his last name, witnessed that killing, and has another story to tell:
Also this week two Palestinian children were killed five others injured on Tuesday afternoon when an Israeli military bomb detonated near them, local sources reported. Local sources said that the explosion took place at a farm land east of Hebron city. Palestinian police said that bomb was a left over by the Israeli military. Residents of the area told local news that two years ago a bomb exploded near the location of today’s incident and killed two children.
Earlier on Monday 19 year old Mohamed Abu Awad, was critically injured by Israeli troops when they opened fire at a group of Palestinian youths conducting a commemoration protest near the central West Bank city of Ramallah. The protest was organized near the entrance of the Israeli settlement of Offer near Ramallah. The youths were commemorating the second anniversary of the death of five members of the Abu Awad family. The family members died after their car was hit by an Israeli military jeep at the gate of the Offer settlement.
Also this week political prisoner, Hana Ash-Shalabi, who was also rearrested after being released in the prisoner swap, is began her fourth week of hunger strike in Israeli detention. She is protesting Israeli admistrative detention. Israel used administrative detention to hold Palestinians without charges for many years.
Earlier in the week Lawyers for Ash-Shalabi petitioned the Israeli military court over the weekend. They are accusing soldiers of torturing Hana as well as strip-searching her as she was tied down while a male-soldier was present in the room. Mohamed Hassan, is a lawyer for the Palestinian Prisoner support group Addameer, and one of those representing Ash-Shalabi :
While Ash-Shalabi continues her hunger-strike, the Israeli army continues to arrest Palestinians. According to the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, this week alone the Israeli military conducted at least 71 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank, during which they arrested 40 Palestinian civilians, including 13 children.
For IMEMC News this is Vika Awad
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