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Welcome to this Week in Palestine, a service of the International Middle East Media Center, www.imemc.org, for March 22nd to the 28th, 2014.
The Palestinian- Israeli peace talks stumbles further more as the Israeli government refuses to release the last wave of Palestinian political detainees. On the ground Israeli army attacks targeting Palestinian escalates. Troops killed three men during West Bank invasions 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. Israeli troops attacked anti wall protests organized on Friday in West Bank village. Troops injured one civilian. IMEMC’s Salam Qumsiyeh with the details:
Protests were organized this Friday in the village of Bil’in, Ni’lin and al Nabi Saleh, in central West Bank in addition to the village of Al Ma’ssara in the southern part of the West Bank.
In Bil’in and Ni’lin, Israeli soldiers attacked the protesters as soon as they reached the gate of the wall that separates local farmers from their lands.
Troops stationed their attacked the villagers and their international and Israeli supporters with tear gas and chemical water. One young man was lightly wounded and many others were treated for the effect of the tear gas inhalation.
At the nearby village of al Nabi Saleh soldiers stop the protest before leaving the village. Later soldiers stormed the village and fired tear gas into residents’ homes causing damage.
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 is Salam Qumsiyeh.
The Political Report
Israeli government announced this week its intentions of not releasing the last patch of Palestinian political prisoners. From their side the Palestinian leadership announced that Israel will regret this decision. IMEMC’s George Rishmawi has more:
The Israeli government will not release the last patch of Palestinian veterans from its jails; a deal that was stroke with the Palestinian leadership with American mediation so that the Palestinian authority will not go to the United Nations organizations and not to take Israel to the International Court of Justice.
With this patch, the number of prisoners that should have been released as part of this deal would have been 101 released on four groups. There are around 5000 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails, and the number never drops as Israel detains more Palestinians every week.
Israel has demanded that the Palestinians should guarantee the resumption of talks in order to release the last group of prisoners. The Palestinians however say there should be no conditions to release the fourth patch, as this is agreed upon already.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said there is no way the Palestinian Authority will accept preconditions to release this group of prisoners.
On his part, senior Fatah leader Dr. Hazem Abu Shanab, said Israel will regret this decision if it does not consider it. He added that the options are numerous and the Palestinian leadership will be ready to take serious measures to hold Israel responsible for the failure of the peace talks.
Israel on the other hand, not only refuses to release the prisoners, however, it is moving ahead with the construction of new settler units in the illegal settlements in the West Bank.
In their latest meeting, the Arab leaders said in a statement issued last week, in the closing remarks of their summit, that they refuse the recognition of Israel as a Jewish state, an Israeli demand which threatens to derail peace talks.
The statement added that the Palestinian cause will remain a high priority for the Arab nations, who called on the UN Security Council to shoulder its responsibility towards the Palestinian cause.
For IMEMC News, this is George Rishmawi
The West Bank and Gaza Report
This week the Israeli army conducted at least 69 military invasions Palestinian communities in the West Bank and Gaza. Israeli troops killed three men and kidnapped 46 civilians during these invasions targeting the West Bank. IMEMC’s Eman Abedraboo-Bannoura Reports:
Invasions and home searches in the West Bank were focused in the cities of Jenin, Hebron, Bethlehem and Ramallah.
Moreover Israeli forces invaded farm areas near the southern and northern Gaza Strip borders with Israel and destroyed lands. Among those kidnapped from the west Bank this week there were three children, and three Palestinian civil defense officers.
On Saturday, Israeli forces killed three Palestinian men and wounded 11 civilians in Jenin refugee camp in the northern part of the West Bank. The Israeli army claimed that troops killed 3 Palestinians during an exchange of fire.
According to an investigation conducted by the Palestinian center for Human rights – PCHR – confirmed that 2 civilians were killed and 11 others were wounded when dozens of residents attempted to recover the body of the Palestinian fighter who had been already killed by invading soldiers.
Elsewhere, in Aida refugee camp in Bethlehem city, Israeli troops clashed with local youth from Saturday till Tuesday of this week. As a result, eight youth and an Italian journalist were injured. Witnesses told local media that soldiers fired tear gas into residents homes causing damage.
On Wednesday a 55-year-old Palestinian woman was moderately injured, after being hit by a settler’s car in Teqoua’ village, east of Bethlehem, late on Wednesday night.
In Gaza this week, Four fishermen were wounded on Wednesday after Israeli navy ships opened fire on their fishing boats near the Rafah shore, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip.
Medical sources said that the four wounded Palestinians were moved to the Abu Yousef an-Najjar Hospital in Rafah suffering moderate injuries. Moreover Israeli navy boats also fired shells at homes near the shoreline homes and boats were hit by army fire, causing excessive property damage.
On Thursday Israeli navy warships opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats, docked at the Gaza coast, and at a number of homes in the area, causing damage but no 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 March 22nd to the 28th 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.