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Welcome to this Week in Palestine, a service of the International Middle East Media Center, www.imemc.org, for February 7th, to the 13th, 2015.
While Israel’s government continues to withhold Palestinian tax money, Israeli attacks this week targeting Palestinian communities in Gaza and the west Bank, leave at least 20 injured civilians. 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. At least ten civilians were injured and many others were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation on Friday when Israeli soldiers attacked anti wall nonviolent protests organized in West Bank village using tear gas and rubber-coated steel bullets. IMEMC’s Majd Batjali has more:
Protests were organized on Friday in the village of Kufer Kadum in northern West Bank, the villages of al Nabi Saleh, Bil’in, Nil’in, central West Bank, and Al Ma’ssara village in southern west Bank.
One youth was injured in his leg by a live round when troops attacked the villagers and their supporters in Kufer Kadum. Troops stopped the march at the entrance of the village and attacked protesters forcing them back into the village using tear gas and live gunfire.
Elsewhere on Friday, Israeli soldiers used tear gas and sound bombs as well as live gunfire to attack the weekly anti wall and settlements protests at villages of Bil’in and Ni’lin, and the nearby al Nabi Saleh.
In Bil’in protesters held photos of the three Arab American students were shot to death on Tuesday night inside their apartment near Chapel Hill, North Carolina by white male terrorist.
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. Ten civilians were wounded in Bil’in village by the army attack and troops kidnapped two international supporters. Moreover many were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation in both villages.
At the same time in the nearby al Nabi Saleh village, troops attacked the unarmed protesters before even leaving the village. Later soldiers stormed the village and fired tear gas into residents’ homes causing damage.
Meanwhile Israeli troops attacked the villagers of al Ma’ssara and their supporters at village entrance then forced them back using rifle buts and batons, no injuries were reported.
For IMEMC News this is Majd Batjali.
The Political Report
Palestinian leadership calls on world countries to intervene over PA’s funds, withheld by Israel. Meanwhile, unity between Palestinian parties is still stalled. IMEMC’s Rami Al Meghari with the details:
Palestinian Authority says the funds are due and that the Israeli decision to withhold tax revenues, is baseless and unjustified. The PA called on world countries to intervene to release those funds. Meanwhile, it called on Arab countries to fill in a gap in PA’s funding.
According to Israeli media, senior Israeli military commanders warned of a breakout of violence by April, as a result of the freeze of PA’s funds , due to the Palestinian Authority.
Israel had decided to withhold tax revenues of about 450 million dollars, affecting the PA’s ability to pay for it’s employees’ salaries. Israel argued the decision was in response to PA’s involvement in international conventions including that, pertaining to the International Court of Justice.
Meanwhile, Sweden opened the first embassy for the Palestinian state, after the country had recognized a Palestinian state on the occupied Palestinian territories, including the Gaza Strip, West Bank and East Jerusalem.
At the internal Palestinian level, a meeting between Fatah leader Azzam Alahmad and Hamas’s Mousa Abu Marzouq, is expected soon. The meeting is meant to accelerate conciliation moves between the two parties.
In a related news, a delegation of Palestine Liberation Organization, is scheduled to visit the Gaza Strip, for the same purpose.
For IMEMC.org, I am Rami Almeghari in Gaza.
The West Bank and Gaza Strip
This week Israeli settlers uprooted more Palestinian owned trees in the west Bank and in Gaza Israeli navy continued to attack fishermen. IMEMC’s Eman Abedraboo-Bannoura reports:
Extremist Israeli settlers cut down over 70 Palestinian olive trees in the southern West Bank district of Hebron on Monday, according to local farmers. The trees had been planted a week ago in an area threatened with annexation, near the illegal settlement of Metzad, located in the Gush Etzion bloc near Hebron. Locals have organized a campaign to replant the trees.
On Tuesday, Israeli military bulldozers demolished a house belonging to the al-Absi family of the Silwan neighborhood, to the south of al-Aqsa Mosque, in occupied East Jerusalem.
According to eyewitnesses, Israeli forces again went ahead with demolition procedures under the pretext of building without permission. Another home was destroyed by Israeli Authorities in the Lod town near Jerusalem on Tuesday.
From January 20-23, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) recorded the Israeli demolition of 42 Palestinian-owned structures in the Ramallah, Jerusalem, Jericho and Hebron governorates. In 2014, OCHA recorded 590 Palestinian-owned structures in Area C and East Jerusalem destroyed by Israeli authorities. As a result 1,177 people lost their homes. It is the highest number recorded since the agency started monitoring displacement in 2008.
On Wednesday, Israeli forces have demolished the symbolic popular struggle village ‘Jerusalem Gate’ in Abu Dis, which continues its stand against Israeli policies of demolition and ethnic cleansing by relocating Bedouins in East Jerusalem to the Jordan Valley region.
In Gaza this week, on Monday Israeli warplanes carried out mock air raids over Gaza skies, while Israeli navy gunboats opened fire at fishermen off the Gaza shore. Loud explosions were heard across the Strip, spreading fear and panic among residents, and particularly children.
Meanwhile, Israeli naval troops targeted fishing boats sailing within the six-nautical miles allowed for fishing. However, no injuries were reported among them. Fishermen were forced to leave the sea for fear of being killed, injured or arrested.
Later in the week, Israeli soldiers opened fire, on Friday morning, on a number of Palestinian homes, east of Khan Younis in the southern part of the Gaza Strip. The shooting did not cause injuries, but caused damages to a number of homes, while local farmers had to leave their farmlands, fearing additional Israeli military escalation.
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 February 7th, to the 13th, 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 George Rishmawi and me Ghassan Bannoura.