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Welcome to this Week in Palestine, a service of the International Middle East Media Center, www.imemc.org, for March 10th to 16th 2012
Palestinian Prisoners continue their hunger strike protesting ill treatment by their Israeli captives meanwhile Israeli air strikes targeting Gaza leave 26 Palestinians dead this week as Gaza resistance groups insist on right to fight back. 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 eight were injured, one seriously. Many were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation when Israeli soldiers attacked anti wall protests in a number of West Bank villages. IMEMC’s Jake Hernandez with the details:
Protests were organized in the central West Bank villages of Bil’in, Nil’in and al Nabi Saleh. Eight protesters including one international supporter were injured by Israeli fire at a protest in the village of al Nabi Saleh. The international activist was seriously injured when she was hit with many rubber-coated steel bullets fired by Israeli troops.
al Nabi Saleh villagers and their international and Israeli supporters marched after the midday prayers on Friday to protest Israel’s confiscation of their lands to build a settlement. Troops attacked the march before they even left the village. Soldiers invaded the villages and fired tear gas into people’s homes; many were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation. Soldiers also sprayed resident’s homes with chemical water.
Also on Friday, soldiers used tear gas and rubber coated steel bullets to suppress the anti wall protests at the villages of Bil’in and Nil’in. Many there were also treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation.
The Bil’in protest was in solidarity with the recent attacks on Gaza and with Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike. Nil’in also marked the anniversary of the killing of US activist Rachel Corrie by the Israeli army in Gaza in 2003. Nli‘in also marked the anniversary of the injury of US activist Tristan Anderson. He was shot in the head with a tear gas canister by Israeli troops in Nil’in in March, 2009.
Elsewhere In southern West, villagers of Al Ma’ssara, along with their international and Israeli supporters protested the Israeli wall. Troops stopped protesters at the village entrance before they reached lands owned by local farmers but which Israel confiscated to build the wall on. Later troops forced people back into the village using rifle-butts. No injuries were reported.
For IMEMC news this is Jake Hernandez
The Political Report:
In the wake of the latest Israeli wave of strikes against the Gaza Strip, resistance groups insist on right to fight back if attacked by Israel, IMEMC’s Rishmawi has more:
The latest Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip which left over a dozen Palestinian dead and others wounded, was seen as a threat to Iran especially after the statements made by the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu commenting on the latest Israeli attacks on Gaza that “Israel can not afford to be lax on Iran’s nuclear threat.”
The Israeli newspaper Haaretz said on its online edition that although Israeli officials did not explicitly threatened to attack Iran, however, several senior officers at Netanyahu’s office have repeatedly hinted that this scenario can not be ruled out.
Netanyahu blamed the Israeli Kadima party for the 2005 unilateral disengagement from the Gaza Strip as he claims this step allowed Iran to takeover there. He added that what he called Iran’s base in the Strip will be uprooted sooner or later.
On his part, senior Hamas political leader, Mahmoud Zahhar, stated this week that resistance against the Israeli Military occupation is strong, solid and ongoing until liberation is achieved.
Zahhar’s statements came in a meeting with the Iranian Foreign Minister, Ali Akbhar Salehi, during a visit to the Islamic Republic of Iran.
He further stated that Arab revolutions in the Middle East and North Africa are “on the path of Islamic goals, and a victory to the Palestinian people”.
In the meantime, the Islamic Jihad movement stated that they are committed to the Egyptian-mediated truce, however, they will retaliate if Israel strikes first.
Despite continued sporadic exchanges of fire between the two sides, the level of violence has dropped for the past few days. None of the Palestinian groups in Gaza has claimed responsibility for the attacks launched since the ceasefire was announced.
senior Islamic Jihad leader, Ahmad al-Mudallal told the Ma’an news Agency his movement had agreed to the ceasefire after Egyptian mediators promised that Israel would stop the extra judicial killing of its operatives.
al-Mudallal said ‘We don’t trust the occupation but we trust our steadfastness and resistance. We cannot be quiet during any aggression on the Palestinian people,’ he adding that the resistance is ready to respond to any Israeli attacks.
For IMEMC News, this is George Rishmawi
The West Bank & Gaza Report
This week more prisoners joined Hana Ash-Shalabi on her hunger Strike which she started 30 days ago. She is protesting ill-treatment and administrative detention by her captives. Meanwhile Israeli attacks on Palestinians in the Gaza Strip left 26 Palestinians dead. IMEMC’s Ana Orwell reports:
On Tuesday of this week Egypt mediated a truce deal between Israel and Palestinian groups in Gaza ending five days of fighting. The Israeli attacks left 26 people dead and about 80 others injured, mostly women and children. The latest round of escalation started last Friday after the Israeli army assassinated the leader of the armed Popular Resistance Committees in Gaza and his assistant.
However the Israeli military again violated the announced truce every day since Tuesday. Israeli jet fighters conducted air raids targeting a number of locations in Gaza city. One of the targeted buildings was a wood factory. The factory was completely destroyed.
Meanwhile, Palestinian political detainee Hana Ash-Shalabi entered her 30th day of hunger strike this week. The Palestinian Prisoners society announced on Thursday that 20 more Palestinian political prisoners held at the Israeli Majido detention facility entered their 10 days of hunger strike. The prisoners joined Hana Ash-Shalabi, who is protesting administrative detention and ill-treatment by her Israeli captives.
Ash-Shalabi was released from Israeli detention last October as part of the Egyptian mediated swap deal between Israel and Palestinian groups. Ash-Shalabi’s brother, Ammar, Called for international support for his sister:
Israel uses administrative detention to hold Palestinians for a number of years without charge or trial. 300 of the more than 4500 Palestinian prisoners are held under administrative detention.
While Hana and her comrades continue their hunger strike this week the Israeli military conducted at least 56 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank, during which they arrested 11 Palestinian civilians. Two of these were prisoners released during the Egyptian mediated swap deal last October.
For IMEMC News this is Ana Orwell
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 Ghassan Bannoura.