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Welcome to this Week in Palestine, a service of the International Middle East Media Center, www.imemc.org, for June 15th to 22nd 2012
Tension escalates in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, meanwhile Palestinians express caution regarding Israeli foreign Minister remarks on Abbas, 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 protesters surfed effects of tear gas inhalation when Israeli forces cracked-down on anti wall protests organized in central and southern West Bank this week. IMEMC’s Ghassan Bannoura with the details.
In central West Bank on Friday anti wall protests were organized at the villages of al Nabi Saleh, Bil’in and Nil’in. in the villages of al Nabi Saleh the protest their started after midday prayers then people marched to lands taken by Israel to build a new settlement and part of the wall on.
Israeli troops stopped people at the village entrance and attacked them with tear gas. Later soldiers invaded the al Nabi Saleh and fired tear gas and chemical water into residents’ homes. Many residents surfed effects of tear gas inhalation, manly women and children.
Meanwhile in the nearby villages of Bil’in and Nil’in villagers’ also central West Bank, anti wall protesters were met by tear gas and rubber-coated steel bullets by Israeli soldiers. one residents was injured by rubber-coated steel bullets in Bil’in and many were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation at the two villages.
In southern West Bank this Friday, Al Ma’sara villagers and the village of Sousia organized anti wall and settlements protest. In Al Ma’sara Soldiers forced people back into the village. No injuries were reported.
While in Sousia, villagers and their international and Israeli supporters were met with tear gas by Israeli soldiers. Local sources said that many surfed effects of tear gas inhalation. This week the Israeli army gave 58 home-demolition orders to families from Sousia to make way for new Israeli settlements in the area.
For IMEMC News this is Ghassan Bannoura.
The Political Report
The Palestinian Authority sees latest remarks by Israeli foreign minister against PA president Mahmoud Abbas, as serious threats against the Palestinian leader. Meanwhile, stalemate of the peace process is still looming. IMEMC Rami Al Meghari has more.
PA officials warned against remarks by Israeli foreign minister, Avigdor Liberman, in which he attacked the PA’s president for what Liberman regarded as Abbas’s inaction to resume peace talks with Israel.
Meanwhile, deputy-Israeli Prime Minister, Shaol Mofaz, said that Israel is ready to go through negotiations with the PA. Yet, PA officials still insist that any peace talks should be preceded with Israel’s halt of illegal settlement activities on occupied Palestinian territories.
At the internal Palestinian level, sources within the Islamic Hamas party and the Fatah party of Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas, confirmed that later in June, there could be a declaration for a new consensus government.
The new government will lay the foundation for the upcoming conciliation between the two parties, leading them both to a power sharing government. In a period of six months, there will be general presidential and parliamentary elections in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza Strip.
For IMEMC News. I am Rami Almeghari in Gaza
The West Bank & Gaza Report
Israeli settler attacks continued during the week. Israeli settlers vandalize a mosque in Jaba’ village in the West Bank, meanwhile, A new wave of violence rocks the Gaaza Strip during which three Palestinian civilians killed and 12 others injured, the details and more in the following report
The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in the occupied Palestinian territory, OCHAoPt issued its Protection of Civilians weekly report.
According to the report, Israeli settlers set fire to a mosque in Jaba’ village, near Jerusalem and sprayed “price tag” graffiti on its walls, causing some damage to the mosque’s walls and carpet.
This incident, which has the potential to trigger further violence, comes in the context of the so-called ‘price tag’ strategy, by which settlers attack Palestinian property, and in some cases also Israeli military facilities, in an attempt to deter the Israeli authorities from removing unauthorized settlement outposts.
A total of 12 mosques have been vandalized by settlers since 2011. While the Israeli authorities indicated that they have opened an investigation into this week’s attack, according to Israeli media reports none of the previous incidents have resulted in the prosecution of suspects. Also this week, an Israeli settler threw a stone at a Palestinian in Huwwara village (Nablus), injuring him. Reports from the same village also indicate that settlers set 50 dunums of land on fire, damaging 250 olive and almond trees. Additionally, settlers threw stones and rubbish in a cistern belonging to At Tuwani village in Hebron.
On 17 June, an Israeli truck driver from southern Israel shot and killed two Palestinians (aged 32 and 35), south of As Samu’ village in the Hebron district; the driver was reportedly injured during the incident. According to the Israeli media, this event took place in the context of a confrontation between the Palestinians killed and the driver, when the Palestinian attempted to steal the truck. The Israeli and Palestinian authorities indicate that the incident was criminal in nature.
This week, the Israeli authorities demolished 14 residences and nine animal shacks, two storage rooms and two latrines in a Bedouin community in Al Hirma area, near the Area C village of Obeidiya near Bethlehem, due to the lack of Israeli-issued building permits. Consequently, 64 people, including 37 children, were displaced and the livelihoods of nine families were affected.
In addition, a house and two animal shelters were demolished by their owners in the Area C sections of Kafr Qaddum near Qalqiliya and Beit Iksa near Jerusalem respectively, after receiving demolition orders from the Israeli authorities. Since the beginning of 2012, seven structures have been demolished in the same context.
This week, there was a significant escalation in violence, resulting in casualties, including the first civilian fatalities since 30 March this year, and damage to property in Gaza and southern Israel. This wave of violence, , follows three months of relative calm.
On 17 June, Israeli airstrikes targeted a metal workshop in Rafah city and a military training base in Gaza City. As a result, five Palestinian civilians were injured and a number of houses, as well as two workshops, sustained damage. No injuries or damage to property was recorded as a result of the firing of projectiles by Palestinian armed groups. Two farmers were also injured by Israeli troops near the fence separating Israel and the Gaza Strip during an Israeli incursion into Gaza.
Also this week, two separate Israeli air strikes targeted armed Palestinians in areas located some 1 -1.5 kilometeres from the fence separating Israel and the Gaza Strip, in the Beit Hanoun area, killing four of them and injuring another one. Two other air strikes were launched on 19 June in the middle area and the Az Zeitoun area in Gaza City, injuring three Palestinian men, including one civilian.
The same day, Palestinian factions homemade shells firing, hitting open areas inside Ashkelon City in southern Israel and injuring four Israeli border policemen. Also. in two incidents on 18 and 19 June, an 18-month-old Palestinian baby was killed and four other children, aged between 3 and 12 were injured when Palestinian rockets fell short inside Gaza and hit two houses in the Beit Hanoun and Az Zeitoun areas.
Also on 19 June, Israeli forces patrolling the fence opened fire on three civilian men, killing two and injuring another one. The men were reportedly attempting to infiltrate into Israel.
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.