Audio Link After Link
Welcome to this Week in Palestine, a service of the International Middle East Media Center, www.imemc.org, for February 14th, to the 20th, 2015.
This week Israeli attacks targeting Palestinian communities in Gaza and the west Bank continued, one fighter dies in Gaza in a tunnel accident. In the meantime the US State Department voiced out concern about shortfall of Palestinian Authority’s budget. 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 used tear gas and rubber-coated steel bullets on Friday to attack anti wall and settlements nonviolent protests organized in West Bank villages. IMEMC’s Anna Palulina has more:
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.
As a result many protesters suffered the effects of tear gas inhalation and were treated by field medics. In Ni’lin, residents and their supporters managed to reach the wall and raise a Palestinian flag on it.
Earlier in the week, Palestinian activists with the support of internationals, kept rebuilding the protest tent village, Jerusalem Gate, on lands Israel want to take over to build the settlement block called E1.
On Wednesday, for the ninth time in just over two weeks following another raid and demolition by the Israeli military, residents, local and international activists have rebuild the protest tent village.
E1 Israeli plan if completed will effectively cut off the southern West Bank from northern west Bank, destroying an hope of establishing a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders as stated in past signed agreements between Israel and Palestine.
For IMEMC News this Anna Palulina.
The Political Report
This week, Arab Secretariat General of the Arab States issued a statement on a number of Middle East concerns, including the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Meanwhile, US State Department voiced out concern about shortfall of Palestinian Authority’s budget. IMEMC’s Rami Al Meghari with the details:
Mr. Nabil Alaraby, Secretary General of the Arab States’ League, emphasized on the need for resolving the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, based on United Nations resolutions, mainly 242 and 338.
In a special written statement over a number of contentious Middle East issues, underway, including the situation in Libya, Alaraby maintained that it is time to realize a two-state solution for both Palestinians and Israelis. He called for finding proper mechanisms to realize such a solution, which Alaraby views as workable.
Meanwhile, United States voiced out this week it’s concern that the Palestinian Authority could collapse, unless needed funds are channeled to the currently cash-strapped PA.
The US’s concern came in the backdrop of Israeli government decision to withhold tax money, due to the PA. For more than a month, now, Israel has been withholding hundreds of millions of US dollars, which Israel collects in tax revenue, on behalf of the PA. This has affected the PA’s ability to pay for salaries of public sector’s employees.
At the internal Palestinian level, a meeting of representatives for Palestine Liberation Organization, is yet to take place. The meeting is meant to push forward a stalled unity deal between the Islamist Hamas party in Gaza and the Fatah party of western-backed PA president , Mahmoud Abbas.
Last April, both Hamas and Fatah signed a unity deal in Gaza, ending seven years of political split and allowing a consensus government to replace the Hamas-led government, which has been in charge of Gaza, since 2007, when Hamas ousted Fatah-linked PA forces.
For IMEMC. I am Rami Almeghari in Gaza
The West Bank and Gaza Report
This week, a Palestinian fighter was killed in Gaza, meanwhile in the west Bank Israeli forces conducted at least 67 invasions into Palestinian communities. During these invasions, Israeli forces arrested at least 44 Palestinians, including 6 children. IMEMC’s Eman Abedraboo-Bannoura reports:
Invasions and home searches this week were focused in the cities of Nablus and Jenin, northern West Bank, as well as Bethlehem and Hebron, in southern West Bank.
On Thursday, a Palestinian fighter with Al Qassam brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, was announced dead, Palestinian media reported. The brigades said in a press statement that Mohmaed abu Mattar, 25, was killed in what the group called it a Jihadist mission in Rafah city, southern Gaza strip. Medical sources said that Mattar was killed in an accident inside a tunnel at the Gaza-Egypt borders and gave no further details.
On Tuesday, three children were injured when an explosive object dropped by the army during the offensive on Gaza last summer, detonated near them in northern Gaza, Palestinian medical sources reported.
The sources said the children suffered very serious injuries, and were moved to the Kamal ‘Adwan Hospital in Beit Lahia, in the northern part of the Gaza Strip. During the Israeli aggression on Gaza in the summer of 2014, the army dropped thousands of missiles and shells into different parts of the Gaza Strip, while many of those shells did not explode upon impact.
On Tuesday morning, Israeli forces opened fire towards Palestinian shepherds near the cemetery in Jabaliya, in the northern Gaza Strip, while Israeli gunboats targeted fishing boats in Khan Younis, in Gaza’s southern region. No injuries were reported in both attacks.
In the West Bank this week, Israeli settlers attacked on Thursday evening a Palestinian man from Yatta village near the southern west Bank city of Hebron. Jibrieel No’man, 55, sustained light wounds due to the settlers attack and was moved to a local hospital in Hebron city for treatment. Witnesses said that No’man was working in his land when he was attacked by Israeli settlers coming from illegal settlements near Yatta.
On Tuesday morning, Dozens of Israeli settlers stormed into Joseph’s Tomb, east of Nablus, under the protection of occupation guard patrols. According to Palestinian sources, some seven busloads of Israeli settlers forcibly entered Joseph’s Tomb, in order to practice religious rituals in a recognized Muslim holy site.
On Friday, Extremist settlers stormed Al Aqsa Mosque under guard of special Israeli police forces. Local sources said that 60 extremist settlers, divided in small groups, stormed Al Aqsa’s courtyards from the Mughrabi Gate. According to witnesses the settlers carried out a provocative tour in front of Palestinian worshippers.
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 14th, to the 20th, 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.