Audio Link After Text
Welcome to this Week in Palestine, a service of the International Middle East Media Center, www.imemc.org, for January 3rd, to the 9th, 2015.
The Palestinian Authority signs ICC application, in the meantime Israeli attacks targeting Palestinian communities in Gaza and the West Bank leave two injured civilians 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. One civilian was injured, scores were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation on Friday when Israeli soldiers attacked the nonviolent protests organized in West Bank villages.
Anti- wall and settlements protests were organized this week at the village of Kufer Kadum in northern West Bank, In central West Bank villages of Bil’in, Ni’lin and al Nabi Saleh. In addition to In Al-Ma’asara village, southern West Bank.
In Kufer Kadum and Al-Ma’asara villages, Israeli soldiers, attacked residents and thie international and Israeli suporters at the entrance of the villages and forced people back using rifle buts and batons.
In central West Bank, at the villages of 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. One civilians was hit by a rubber-coated steel bullet in his leg in Bil’in, meanwhile many other civilians were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation at both locations.
In the nearby al Nabi Saleh village, Israeli troops fired several rounds of rubber-coated steel bullets at the villagers as soon as they reached the village entrance. No injuries were reported.
The Political Report
The Palestinians signed application to join the International Criminal Court and will be officially a member in April, a step expected to trigger series of actions against the Palestinian Authority by Israel and the U.S., IMEMC’s George Rishmawi with the details:
The United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon said this week that Palestine will be a member of the International Criminal Court by April 1, 2015. The UN chief’s comments came in a statement posted on the UN’s treaty website Tuesday night, following receiving documents from the Palestinian Authority declaring acceptance of the court’s jurisdiction.
This paves the way for the court’s investigation of Israeli crimes committed during the recent war on Gaza which killed over 2,000 people, mostly from the civilian population. When Palestine accedes to the Rome Statute, the Hague-based court would be able to prosecute Israeli officials for crimes they have committed, over the past months, in Gaza and the West Bank.
The ICC started its work in early July of 2002, when the Rome Statute entered into force as the foundational and governing document. Currently, there are 122 states, which are party to the Rome Statute and, thus, members of the ICC. The United States and Israel, along with Sudan, have said that they no longer intend to become states parties and, therefore, have no legal obligations arising from their former representatives’ signature of the Statute.
Both Israel and the United States have expressed their rejection to the Palestinian move, describing it as unilateral and counter-productive.
Israel has also halted the transfer of more than USD 120 million in due taxes belonging to the Palestinians, in retaliation for their application to join the ICC, and have vowed collective punishment.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas signed the request to join the ICC after the United Nations Security Council rejected a Palestinian proposal for statehood on December 30.
On his part, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin said that he opposed a freeze in the transfer of taxes to the Palestinians, yet he supports sanctions against the Palestinian Authority.
The tax revenues make up two thirds of the Palestinian Authority’s annual budget, excluding foreign aid. Israeli officials suggested, Sunday, that the tax freeze was only the first of a series of punitive measures it could take against the Palestinian government.
US aid to the PA comes to some $400 million annually, and administration is concerned about the ramifications of halting this financial assistance, as it is liable to make it impossible for the PA to pay the salaries of tens of thousands of employees.
For IMEMC News this is George Rishmawi.
The West Bank and Gaza Report
This week Israeli navy continued to attack Palestinian fishermen off Gaza shoreline injuring one, and in the West Bank settlers and troops’ attacks leave a number of injured civilians and trees uprooted. IMEMC’s Eman Abedraboo-Bannoura Reports:
On Monday morning, several armored Israeli military vehicles and bulldozers invaded, the town of Husan, west of the West Bank city of Bethlehem, and demolished a car-wash structure, and two warehouses used for storing sanitary supplies.
On Tuesday, The Israeli Prison Authority transferred wounded female detainee, Amal Taqatqa, 22, from an Israeli hospital to prion, despite her need for further medical attention, and treatment. The Palestinian Detainees Committee stated that Taqatqa, 22 years of age, was moved from the surgery ward of the Hadassah Ein Karem Israeli hospital, in Jerusalem, to the women’s section of the HaSharon Israeli prison.
The Committee said Taqatqa has not recovered from her injuries, cannot perform simple tasks, and requires constant medical treatment and observation.
Taqatqa underwent several surgeries, and currently cannot move around without a wheelchair, and is still facing sharp pain in her loin, left leg and arm. On December 1st, Taqatqa was shot by several rounds of live ammunition, fired by Israeli soldiers at the Etzion Junction, south of the West Bank city of Bethlehem, after the army alleged she stabbed an Israeli settler, causing a minor cut to his neck.
Later in the week, Israeli serttlers uprooted 300 olive trees in the village of Yatta near the southern West Bank city of Hebron on Friday. According to residents the settlers came from Sousia illegal settlement near the village.
In Gaza, israeli Navy boats opened fire, on Saturday at dawn, on a number of Palestinian fishing boats, in Gaza waters in Rafah, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip, seriously wounding one fisherman. Local sources said the navy fired dozens of rounds of live ammunition, and a shell, seriously wounding Jamal No’man, from the Shaty’ refugee camp, west of Gaza city. No’man was moved to the Abu Yousef an-Najjar Hospital, in Rafah.
Later in the week, Israeli soldiers, stationed on across the border fence, opened fire on Thursday evening targeting Palestinian homes and lands east of the Khan Younis district, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip. Local sources said soldiers stationed on military towers across the border fence, and on a number of armored vehicles, fired dozens of rounds of live
ammunition, and several flares, into border areas.
The Israeli army carries out repeated similar assaults against Palestinian farmers and workers, in Palestinian lands close to the border fence, and targets nearby homes, in addition to frequent assaults against fishers in Gaza territorial waters.
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 3rd, to the 9th, 2015. 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 Samer Jabber and me Ghassan Bannoura.