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Welcome to this Week in Palestine, a service of the International Middle East Media Center, www.imemc.org, for April 21th to the 27th 2012
Thousands of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails are on hunger strike, meanwhile, the Palestinian leadership is planning another attempt to win full-UN membership status, 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. Many were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation this week when Israeli troops attacked anti-wall and settlements protests on Friday at a number of West Bank communities. IMEMC’s Sarah Steele with the details:
At the village of Nabi Saleh, in the central west Bank, one man and a journalist were injured when they got hit in the head by tear gas bombs. I international and Israeli supporters along with people of the village tried to march toward local farmers land taken by Israel with the intention of building a settlement. Soldiers stopped them at the village entrance and forced them back using tear gas and rubber-coated steel bullets.
Meanwhile, many were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation at the nearby villages of Bil’in and Nil’in. Both protests started after midday prayers on Friday. In the two villages, soldiers stationed at the Israeli wall attacked protesters with tear gas and sound bombs. Many were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation.
Also this week, the villagers of Al Ma’ssara, in the south of the West bank and residents of Beit Jala near Bethlehem marched against the wall. Soldiers used tear gas in al Ma’ssara village; many were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation.
For IMEMC News this is Sara Steele
The Political Report
The Palestinian leadership weighs going back to United Nations for the recognition of a Palestinian state on 1967 border lines. Meanwhile, the leadership emphasizes the need to end the suffering of thousands of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails; IMEMC’sRami Al-Meghari has more.
Leader for the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Nayef Hawatma, says from Jordan that the Palestinian leadership is considering going back to the United Nations to further claim recognition by United Nations of a Palestinian state on 1967 border lines.
Hawatma’s remarks come amidst stalemate of the Palestinian-Israeli peace process in a time Israel continues illegal settlement building on occupied Palestinian territories including the West Bank and the Arab east Jerusalem.
Meanwhile, Washington is disturbed for what it regards Israeli attempts to legalize illegal settlement outposts on occupied Palestinian territories. Washington says such attempts are unhelpful to peace-making.
Recently, European Union called on both Israelis and Palestinians to resume peace talks, stalled since late 2008. The EU said both sides should hold their responsibilities towards peace in the region. Yet, Palestinians insist that Israel should first halt all forms of illegal settlement activities on occupied Palestinian territories, with the 1967 border lines.
In another issue, the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah and the Hamas-led government in Gaza, agreed this week on the need to end the suffering of few thousand Palestinian prisoners inside Israeli jails.
In a phone call between President Mahmoud Abbas of Fatah and political leader of Hama, Khaled Mash’al, the two affirmed that more diplomatic pressure should be practiced in order to push Israel to ease prison conditions of those prisoners.
Abbas was quoted as saying that there can not be any peace agreement with Israel unless more than 4700 prisoners, including women and children, are released from Israeli jails.
In Gaza, Prime Minister Ismail Haniya of Hamas called on Egypt as a long-time mediator between Palestinians and Israel, especially in the last prisoner swap deal of October 2011, to pressure the Israeli side to end solitary confinement of hundreds of prisoners, allow regular family visits for many hundred others and install proper medical care inside prisons.
Last week, the number of prisoners who have launced a hunger strike in protest of prison conditions, stood at almost 3000, while at least 8 of them were reportedly admitted to hospitals for serious health complications. Some of those hospitalized remained fasting for more than 50 days.
For IMEMC News, I am Rami Almeghari in Gaza
The West Bank & Gaza Report
As Palestinian political prisoner in Israeli jails continued their protests, this week the Israeli army conducted at least 81 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank during which, 15 civilians were kidnapped, including 5 children, the details and more with IMEMC’s Ghassan Bannoura.
As invasion were focused around Ramallah and Hebron this week eight Palestinian children injured, on Monday, as settlers attack a West Bank village. Local sources said that the children were injured, on Monday, when a group of Israeli settlers from the illegal Yitzhar settlement, attacked them in Orif village, near the northern West Bank city of Nablus.
In other news an Israeli military court rejected, this week, an appeal filed by lawyer Jamil Al-Khateeb, on behalf of two Palestinian Prisoners who are on hunger strike. Bilal Thiab and Thaer Halahla, declared an open-ended hunger strike demanding the end of their administrative detention, their immediate release and end of maltreatment of other Palestinian prisoners by their Israeli captives. Until this moment, the Israeli authorities did not bring any charges against both prisoners.
The number of hunger-striking Palestinian political prisoners, held by Israel in various prisons, detention camps and interrogation facilities around the country, will likely reach 3000 as waves of detainees intend to join the strike, demanding their internationally-guaranteed rights.
Hundreds of detainees are currently on hunger-strike that officially started last Tuesday; the strike, dubbed as “the battle of empty bowels”, aims at ending Israel’s illegal administrative detention polices, halting all violations against the prisoners and their families, and improving the living conditions of the prisoners.
For IMEMC News this is Ghassan Bannoura.
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.