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Welcome to this Week in Palestine, a service of the International Middle East Media Center, www.imemc.org, for May 11th to the 17th 2013
Hamas and Fatah meet in Cairo to advance the reconciliation and Israel continue with settlement activities and land grab while the Palestinians commemorate 65 years of forced dispossession and displacement, 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 villages of al Nabi Saleh, Bil’in, Nil’in and Silwad in central West Bank, in addition to Beit Omer and Al Ma’ssara in southern west Bank. IMEMC’s Saher Alsous with the story
At the villages of Bil’in and Ni’lin, residents and their international and Israeli supporters, managed to reach the wall.
Soldiers stationed there fired tear gas and chemical water on protesters. Many were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation.
in Bil’in gas bombs fired by Israeli troops cased fire that damaged olive trees owned by local farmers. Soldiers also fired tear gas at residents who tryied to but off the fire.
At the nearby village of al Nabi Saleh, Israeli soldiers attacked the villagers and their supporters before leaving the village.
Later troops stormed the village and fire gas bombs into resident homes. Many were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation.
Elsewhere, at al Ma’ssara village, Israeli troops stopped the villagers and their supporters at village entrance then forced them back using rifle buts and batons to bush people back, no injuries were reported.
The West Bank and Gaza Report
This week Palestinians marked the 65 anniversary of the Palestinian Nakba. Moreover the Israeli army conducted at least 61 military invasions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank. During these attacks Israeli troops left at least 2 civilians injured and kidnapped 47 Palestinians, including 13 children. IMEMC’s Ghassan Bannoura with the details:
This week Israeli army invasions and kidnapping of civilians were focused in the cities of Hebron, southern West Bank, as well as Jenin and Nablus, northern West Bank.
On Thursday of this week two Palestinians have been injured by Israeli fire during clashes with Israeli soldiers invading the Al-Arroub refugee camp, north of Hebron. Also, the soldiers violently attacked and beat a Palestinian youth, causing fractures in his feet.
A Palestinian child sustained wounds on Tuesday midday when an Israeli settler hit her with his car in the old city part of Hebron, southern West Bank. Local sources said that the little girl was moved to a hospital in Jerusalem after sustaining hit to the head. Residents said that the settler hit the child and run away.
Palestinian sources reported on Monday that a group of extremist Israeli settlers attacked and destroyed Palestinian property, destroyed graves and wrote racist graffiti in As-Swiya village, south of the northern West Bank city of Nablus.
In Gaza this week Israeli forces conducted 2 limited incursions into the costal enclave. The first incursion was conducted in the northeast of Beit Hanoun, in the north of the Gaza Strip. The second incursion was conducted in the northeast of Jabalia, in the north of the Gaza Strip. Damage was reported but no injuries
Also this week thousands across the West Bank and Gaza marked on Wednesday the 65th anniversary of the Palestinian Nakba. In Jerusalem Israeli soldiers attacked residents and local activist using tear gas, water mixed with chemicals, and rubber coated steel bullets.
According to local sources 20 residents were injured many were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation, medical sources reported that there were journalists among those injured in Jerusalem on Thursday. Moreover Israeli soldiers attacked residents using horses and kidnapped 30 residents.
At the city of Bethlehem, southern West Bank, The procession was held at the Manger Square in Bethlehem, while scout troops and more than 5000 Palestinians marched carrying Palestinian flags and signs affirming the legitimate Palestinian rights, and their right to return to their homeland.
In the central west Bank city of Ramallah, residents marched towards the Ofer Israeli military base at the city entrance. As soon as people reached the main road, Israeli soldiers showered them with tear gas and rubber coated steel bullets. As a result at least 30 people were injured and many more were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation.
For IMEMC News this is Ghassan Bannoura
The Political Report
Hamas and Fatah are closer than ever to the national conciliation which is expected within three months time, in the meantime, Israel continue with settlement activities despite freeze claims, the details with IMEMC’s Rami Al Meghari
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas vowed to keep moving forward with the reconciliation efforts between the two main rival parties, Fatah and Hamas. Abbas’ statements came during his meeting with the Egyptian counterpart, President Mohammad Mursi in Cairo on Thursday.
On his part, Azzam Al-Ahmad, head of Fatah delegation who met with a Hamas delegation in Cairo last week said that the two parties agreed to form a national unity government to be headed by the Mahmoud Abbas. He added that Palestinian Authority has to approve the election law of the Palestinian National Council and to assign a date for the elections.
In the meantime, meetings are on going between the two parties to name the rest of the Interim government ministers, which in turn will prepare for presidential and legislative elections within three months.
While Palestinians commemorate the 65 anniversary of the forced displacement of the Palestinian people by the zionist groups in 1948 after which Israel was created, The International Palestinian Right of Return Coalition issued a statement calling on all Palestinian factions to reach an agreement and end the dispute and to stick to ‘the legitimate Palestinian rights, topped by the Right of Return of the refugees to their homeland,’ and the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital.
The coalition added that Palestinian leaders must denounce the Arab League for suggesting land swap with Israel, and for sending a delegation to Washington to discuss this issue, and stated that the internationally recognized Palestinian Right of Return and independence are nonnegotiable.
Israel on the other hand continue with its settlement activities despite claims of the freeze, in addition, the Israeli government is mulling the legalization of four settlement outposts in the West Bank.
Israeli daily online paper, Ynetnews, reported that the Israeli government informed the Supreme Court that it is examining the legalization of four illegal settlement outposts, built on privately owned Palestinian lands.
In 2003, the court ordered the removal of the four outposts, but the Israeli government did implement the ruling.
According to Ynetnews, Israel is weighing the possibility of avoiding the removal of the outposts, and claimed that Givat Asaf outpost, one of the four outposts, is mainly built on ‘purchased’ lands. Givat Asaf should have been evacuated a year ago.
For IMEMC News. I am Rami Almeghari in Gaza.
And that’s all for today from This Week in Palestine this was the Weekly report for May 11th to the 17th 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