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Welcome to this Week in Palestine, a service of the International Middle East Media Center, www.imemc.org, for February 28th, to March 6th, 2015.
This week the Palestinian Leadership severed security ties with Israel, meanwhile Israeli army attacks on Palestinian communities leave at least eight 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. Three Palestinian civilians were injured and four internationals supports kidnapped by Israeli troops who attacked the nonviolent protests organized in West Bank villages. IMEMC’s Majd Batjali with the story:
Two villagers were injured and many more were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation as Israeli soldiers attacked the weekly protest organized in Kufer Kadum village, in northern West Bank.
According to local sources, a 17 year old teenager was shot by a live round in his leg and another was hit by a gas bomb in his arm. Both were moved to a hospital for treatment.
Moreover, a Palestinian sustained light wounds and four French supporters were kidnapped by troops, when Israeli forces attacked the weekly anti wall protest in the central West Bank village of Bil’in. In Ni’lin village soldiers attacked protesters with tear gas, many more were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation.
At 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. Moreover Israeli troops 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 the southern West Bank village of al Ma’ssara, Israeli troops attacked the villagers and their supporters at village entrance then forced them back using rifle buts and batons, no injuries were reported.
For IMEMC News this Majd Batjali.
The Political Report
The Gaza Strip this week sinks in darkness while the Palestinians debate the relations between the Palestinian Authority and Israel, the details and more with IMEMC’s George Rishmawi:
The Central Council of the Palestine Liberation Organization, the official representative body of the Palestinian People, voted on Thursday to end security coordination with Israel due to what it described as the Israeli government’s continued non-compliance with past signed agreements.
In a statement, the PLO’s Central Council said that the suspension of security coordination was due to ‘Israel’s systematic and ongoing noncompliance with its obligations under signed agreements, including its daily military raids throughout the State of Palestine.’
The decision came after two days of deliberations by the Council, following the speech given by the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the US Congress on Tuesday.
Whether the Palestinian Authority will fully abide by this decision is an issue of debate among Palestinians. Several Palestinian human rights and political activists stated on social media outlets that they are happy with this decision, however, they are not sure that the Palestinian Authority will implement it.
During the meeting, the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called the council to re-evaluate the tasks of the Palestinian Authority, and held Israel responsible for the delay and freeze of the peace process and reiterated the Palestinian commitment to the Arab Peace Initiative which calls Israel for a full withdrawal from the lands occupied since 1967 in exchange of full normalization between the Arab countries and Israel.
When launched in 2002, Israel rejected this initiative and reinvaded the entire West Bank, killed hundreds of Palestinians and destroyed a significant number of homes and Palestinian Authority headquarters.
In the meantime, the only power plant in the occupied Gaza Strip is shut down since Wednesday due to the lack of fuel leaving more than 1.5 million Palestinians in the darkness for the third day in a row. The power plant so far is shut down 12 hours every day and is expected to shut down 24 hours a day if a solution is not found.
The United Nations has expressed concerns about the economic situation in the besieged Gaza Strip, saying that the lifting of the Israeli siege on the coastal enclave is a “prerequisite” for vitalizing its economy.
The United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Process, Robert Serry said this week that the UN has always been in the forefront in calling for an end to the blockade as a prerequisite for a stable and functioning economy in Gaza, adding that the rehabilitation of the Gaza Strip would take years.
The Gaza Strip has been under a crippling Israeli siege since 2007. The blockade, which has cut off the territory from the outside world, has led to an economic and humanitarian crisis in the densely-populated enclave.
Serry, who is also responsible for the rebuilding of the Gaza Strip said that Gaza is a political problem which must be addressed as part of ending the occupation, he further added: “I am convinced that there can be no peace without addressing Gaza’s needs first.”
For IMEMC News, this is George Rishmawi.
The West Bank and Gaza Report
This week, Israeli navy escalated attacks targeting Palestinian fishermen in Gaza leaving two injured fishermen, meanwhile in the West Bank three Palestinian civilians were reported injured by Israeli gunfire. IMEMC’s Eman Abedraboo-Bannoura reports:
On Friday, a 16 year old boy sustained critical wounds during clashes with Israeli soldiers at Al Jalazoun refugee camp near the central West Bank city of Ramallah. Local sources said that troops invaded the camp and fired live rounds at residents, local youth responded by throwing rocks at invading troops.
Also on Friday, a Palestinian man ran over a group of Israeli soldiers in Damascus Gate in occupied East Jerusalem. As a result seven Israeli soldiers were injured along with the Palestinian driver who was shot by Israeli soldiers. Later Israeli soldiers invaded the house of the Palestinian driver and detained his brother and father, leading to clashes with Palestinian youth in the area.
On Thursday, a number of extremist Israeli colonialists infiltrated the al-Mogheer village, near the central West Bank city of Ramallah, burnt two Palestinian cars, and wrote racist graffiti.
Earlier in the week, Israeli soldiers invaded the town of Qabatia, near the northern West Bank city of Jenin, on Tuesday at dawn. During the invasion, the soldiers shot and injured a young man, while scores of residents suffered the effects of tear gas inhalation.
In Gaza this week, one man was killed and his brother wounded, Saturday afternoon, as a result of the explosion of a suspicious object in the airport area east of Rafah, southern Gaza Strip. Israeli artillery shells and bombs left over from the military offensive on Gaza that began on July 8th are countless and deadly dangerous.
Also in the Gaza Strip, Israeli navy escalated its attacks on Palestinian fishermen. Two Palestinian fishermen were wounded on Thursday morning when Israeli navy vessels attacked, a number of Palestinian fishing boats, in Palestinian waters near the Sudaniyya area, northwest of Gaza City.
Troops also kidnapped four other fishermen during the attack. Two more attacks were reported on Tuesday and Monday of this week. All attacks happened while the boats were in Palestinian territorial waters, within the six allotted nautical miles.
Moreover Israeli troops opened fire at Palestinian farmers while working on their lands near the northern and southern borders of the Gaza strip this week. Attacks were reported on Monday and Thursday of this week. Damage was reported 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 February 28th, to March 6th, 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 Jamber and me Ghassan Bannoura.