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Welcome to this Week in Palestine, a service of the International Middle East Media Center, www.imemc.org, for April 27th through May 3rd 2013
A modified Arab Peace Initiative presented to Washington this week, in the meantime, Israeli military conducts more then 60 invasions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and Gaza, these stories and more, coming up, stay tuned.
The Nonviolence Report
Let’s begin our weekly report as usual with the nonviolent activities organized in the West Bank. This week protests were organized in the central west Bank villages of Bil’in Ni’lin and Al Nabi Saleh, as well as Al Ma’asara village, southern West Bank.
The protests today are dedicated to mark the World Press Freedom Day. In the villages of Bil’in, and Nil’in residents and international and Israeli human rights activists managed to reach the Israeli wall built on lands taken from local villagers.
As protestors arrived to the gate of the wall, Israeli soldiers fired dozens of tear-gas canisters at them. Several youth responded by throwing rocks at the soldiers. A number of residents were also treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation due to the army attack.
In the nearby village of Nabi Saleh Israeli troops also used tear gas and chemical water, to stop the protestors. Several residents and international supporters were exposed to the chemical water canons that leaves bad smell on the victim’s body for a long time, in addition to skin irritations.
Israeli soldiers also fired tear gas inside residents’ homes causing several women and children to choke and suffer the effects of tear gas inhalation as well.
In the southern West Bank, Israeli troops showered the protestors in al Ma’ssara village, near Bethlehem with rubber-coated steel bullets and dozens of gas canisters as they started the protest. Several were treated for the effects of gas inhalation by field medics.
Troops forced people back into the village using rifle buts and batons, some protestors suffered bruises in the arms and the back.
The Political Report
An Arab delegation to Washington, suggested this week a land swap between Palestinians and Israelis in return for a comprehensive peace agreement, based on the Arab peace initiative of 2002.the details with IMEMC’s Rami Al Meghari.
Member of the delegation, foreign minister of Egypt, Mohammad Amro, says the Arab peace initiative does not refer to any land swap and that recent modifications including land swap between Israel and Palestinians, constitute individual positions.
Earlier this week, Prime Minister of Qatar, Hamad Bin Jasem, hinted at what he termed an Arab suggestion to reach comprehensive peace deal between Arabs and Israel, based on a land swap.
The suggestion was met with US and Israeli acceptance , as Israeli opposition leader Tsivi Livini, welcomed the proposal and said it is now time for Israelis and Palestinians to return back to the negotiations table.
United States Secretary of State, Jhon Kerry, also welcomed the new Arab initiative and encouraged both Israelis and Palestinians to go ahead with direct peace talks.
Palestinian Authority did not express any stance towards latest suggestions, while the ruling Hamas party in Gaza, rejected any land swap within a potential peace deal. Hamas premier in Gaza, Ismail Haniya, told reporters in Gaza that his party rejects totally any land swap and that no single inch of Palestine can be renounced.
He reaffirmed his party’s long-standing position that negotiations are not a means for liberating the lands of Palestine, occupied by Israel since 1948.
At the internal Palestinian level, Palestinian sources in the West Bank city of Ramallah say that President Mahmoud Abbas of Fatah party, is involved in internal negotiations over forming a new national consensus cabinet that would lay the foundations for reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas.
The sources add that such a cabinet will be installed in the framework of previous understandings between the two parties, reached by Qatari and Egyptian meditations.
For IMEMC News. I am Rami Almeghari in Gaza
The West Bank and Gaza Report
This week Israeli attacks targeting Gaza left a Palestinian man dead and nine others injured. Moreover, Israeli forces conducted at least 63 military invasions targeting Palestinian communities in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. During these attacks Israeli soldiers kidnapped at least 32 Palestinians, including 7 children. IMEMC’s Ghassan Bannoura Reports
On Tuesday, Israeli forces assassinated a Palestinian man when an attack was launched from an Israeli drone targeting his motorbike in Gaza City. As a result Haitham Mas-hal, 29 died immediately. He worked as a security officer at Shifa hospital in Gaza City. two other civilians were injured in the attack.
Air strikes targeting Gaza continued throughout the week. On Sunday an Israeli warplane launched a missile at a plot of open land, in Khan Yunis, southern Gaza Strip. No injuries were reported. On the same day also in southern Gaza Israeli fighter jets launched a missile at a military training site belonging to the National Resistance Brigades -the armed wing of the Democratic Front, located in Rafah city. No injuries were reported as well.
Moreover A Palestinian child was wounded on Sunday when Israeli forces stationed along the border fence opened fire at a group of boys near Jabalia refugee camp, in the north of the Gaza Strip.
Meanwhile Israeli attacks targeting Palestinian fishermen in Gaza continued this week. The Palestinian center for human rights PCHR documented three attacks this week. On Wednesday Israeli navy attacks targeting Palestinian fishing boats near Gaza shore left a fisherman injured. According to PCHR the Israeli attacks took place as Palestinian fishing boats were sailing in the one nautical mile area off shore.
In the West Bank this week, Two Palestinian civilians were injured on Monday after they were attacked by armed Israeli settlers near the northern West Bank city of Nablus. On Tuesday also near Nablus Israeli forces wounded 4 Palestinian civilians, including a child, while offering protection to Israeli settlers as they carried out attacks in Nablus following the killing of a settler that morning at Za’tara checkpoint, south of Nablus. 3 were wounded in ‘Ourif village, south of Nablus, while the fourth was wounded in Asira village, south of the city.
The Al-Aqsa Brigades, the armed wing of Fateh movement, claimed responsibility for killing the Israeli settler and stated that the attack came in retaliation to the ongoing Israeli attacks against the Palestinian people.
Later in the week, a young Palestinian man was injured on Thursday afternoon by Israeli army gunfire at the town of Beit Ummar near the southern West Bank city of Hebron. The man was injured when soldiers opened fire at residents taking part in a funeral for a local old man.
For IMEMC News this is Ghassan Bannoura.
And that’s all for today from This Week in Palestine this was the Weekly report for April 27th through May 3rd 2013 from the Occupied Palestinian Territories. For more news and updates please keep visiting our website at www.imemc.org. Today’s report has been brought to you by Husam Qassis and me, George Rishmawi