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Welcome to this Week in Palestine, a service of the International Middle East Media Center, www.imemc.org, for January 25th to the 31st, 2014.
This week American mediators expressed hope of reaching a peace deal between Israeli and Palestinians soon . Meanwhile Israeli army escalated its attacks targeting the Palestinians communities; two civilians were reported killed this week. 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. A journalist was injured and many villagers were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation on Friday when Israeli soldiers attacked the nonviolent protests organized in West Bank villages. IMEMC’s George Rishmawi has the story:
Protests were organized on Friday in the villages of al Nabi Saleh, Bil’in, Nil’in in central West Bank, and Al Ma’ssara village in the southern west Bank.
Israeli soldiers used tear gas and concussion grenades as well as rubber-coated steel bullets to suppress the weekly anti-wall and settlements protests in villages of Bil’in, Ni’lin, and the nearby al Nabi Saleh.
In Bil’in and Ni’lin, Israeli soldiers attacked the protesters as soon as they reached the gate in the wall that separates local farmers from their lands. Several protesters suffered the effects of tear gas inhalation and were treated by field medics.
In Nabi Saleh village, Israeli troops fired several rounds of rubber-coated steel bullets at the villagers and the accompanying human rights workers wounding one journalist moderately. Several other civilians choked form the tear gas inhalation and were also treated on site by field medics.
Eyewitnesses said the Israeli soldiers attacked the civilians before the start of the protest. The soldiers fired tear gas at residential areas causing damage to the houses as some of the tear gas canisters went through the windows inside the villagers’ homes.
In Al-Ma’asara village, Israeli troops stopped villagers and their supporters at the entrance of the village and forced them back, however, no injuries were reported.
For IMEMC News this George Rishmawi
The Political Report
The American envoy for Middle East peace , Martin Endik, announced this week that he hop a framework agreement between Palestinians and Israelis will be soon announced. Meanwhile, the Palestinian Authority condemned Israeli threats against the Palestinian President. IMEMC’s Rami Al Meghari with the details:
Endik’s framework agreement does not refer to Jerusalem and other contentious issues of negotiations between Palestinians and Israelis.
Yet, the draft, according to local media reports, include some security arrangements , using sophisticated technology, with the help of Americans , right on the Jordan Valley area.
It also reads that Palestinians should recognize Israel as a Jewish state and in return, Israel recognize a Palestinian state on the borders of 1967.
The US diplomats looks forward to maintaining peace talks between the two sides until the end of 2014.
Palestinians have not yet agreed to recognizing Israel as a Jewish state and insists that East Jerusalem must remain the capital of future Palestinian state.
Meanwhile, Palestinian presidency spokesperson, Nabil Abu Rudaina, denounced recent Israeli officials threats against Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas, in which they brand the president as an obstacle before peace-making. Abu Rudaina, demanded an official stance by Israeli government, towards those threats.
In another news, the ruling Hamas party in Gaza announced a new initiative for accelerating national unity. The initiative involves holding student unions and municipal councils elections. Rival Fatah party has not responded to the offer.
For IMEMC News, I am Rami Almeghari in Gaza.
The West Bank and Gaza Report
This week two Palestinians were killed and at least seven others injured. Moreover Israeli forces conducted at least 73 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and Gaza. During invasions troops kidnapped 42 Palestinian civilians from different part of the occupied West Bank, including six children. IMEMC’s Eman-Abedraboo Bannoura reports:
This week saw an Israeli army escalated campaign of kidnappings all over the West Bank. Invasions and kidnappings were reported in the cities of Bethlehem, Hebron, Ramallah, and Jenin as well as East Jerusalem.
A Palestinian worker was shot and killed by Israeli soldiers on Wednesday midday near the central West Bank city of Ramallah. Mohammad Mubarak, 20, was gunned down as he was working on road repairs near an Israeli military checkpoint north of Ramallah.
The Israeli army alleged that Mubarak was armed, and opened fire at an Israeli military post between Atarot and Halamesh settlements, north of Ramallah. A Coworker of Mubarak who witnessed that attack told a different story via a video clip that wa s published on Facebook:
“They took him to the military checkpoint then they beat him up, and forced him to run to the street then told him to stand at a nearby fence then they asked him to go back to the road again, the soldiers then ordered him to remove his workers-flak jacket and when he removed his jacket they shot and him dead, he was unarmed, he has been working in that location for the past month and never made any problem.”
Mubarak family demanded an official investigation into the killing of their son and called a yet another crime committed by the Israeli army against the Palestinian people.
Elsewhere in the West Bank, Israeli forces demolished farmers huts and animal shades in the Jordan valley this week. Also Israeli troops demolished two homes in occupied East Jerusalem. Meanwhile settlers uprooted 40 olive trees owned by local farmers near the northern West Bank city of Nablus.
In the Gaza strip this week, a Palestinian teenager died on Monday after being injured due to an explosion which took place, on Sunday, in the al-Boreij refugee camp, in central Gaza. Local sources said that Ashraf Farajallah, 18, died of serious injuries to the head resulting from the blast. Security sources in Gaza said the causes of the blast remain unknown.
Earlier on Monday, soldiers shot and seriously wounded a Palestinian farmer near Deir al-Balah, in central Gaza.
Later in the week seven Palestinians were injured on Friday after the Israeli Air Force fired missiles targeting several areas in the Gaza Strip. Local sources said that the missiles caused excessive property damage, and that the seven wounded Palestinians suffered mild-to-moderate injuries.
For IMEMC News this is Eman-Abedraboo Bannoura.
And that’s all for today from This Week in Palestine. This was the Weekly report for January 25th, to the 31st 2014 from the Occupied Palestinian Territories. For more news and updates please visit our website at www.imemc.org. This week’s report has been brought to you by Samer Jaber, and me Ghassan Bannoura.