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Welcome to this Week in Palestine, a service of the International Middle East Media Center, www.imemc.org, for April 18th, to the 24th, 2015.
This week New Zealand announces intentions to revive the stalled peace talks, meanwhile Israeli attacks and siege leave one killed Palestinian and at least 12 others injured. 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. Eight protesters were injured on Friday when Israeli troops attacked anti wall and settlement protests organized at a number of west Bank villages using live ammunition, tear gas and rubber-coated steel bullets. IMEMC’s Majd Batjali has more:
On Friday protests were organized at the villages of Bil’in, Ni’lin and Al Nabi saleh in central West Bank. Anti-wall and settlements protests were also organized in the southern West Bank village of Al Ma’ssara near Bethlehem and in Kufer Qadum in the north.
Seven youth, including one who lost his eye, were injured in Kufer Qadum, when Israeli troops attacked the villagers and their international supporters at the village entrance. Later troops stormed the village and fired tear gas at protesters, many civilians were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation.
Moreover one civilian was hit in his leg by a live round fired by Israeli soldiers in Al Nabi saleh village. Israeli soldiers attacked protesters in Al Nabi saleh before even leaving the village.
At the nearby villages of Bil’in, and Ni’lin, residents and their supporters reached the Israeli wall. Soldiers stationed their showered them with tear gas and chemical water that generate bad smell. Many were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation.
Also on Friday at al Ma’ssara village, Israeli troops stopped 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 is Majd Batjali.
The Political Report
This week, New Zealand announces intentions to revive the stalled Palestinian Israeli peace talks, meanwhile Israel releases the Palestinian Tax revenue ending months of public servants hardship. IMECM’s Saed Bannoura with the details.
New Zealand, as a member of the U.N. Security Council, is preparing a draft resolution meant for reviving the stalled political talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, media sources reported this week.
New Zealand’s United Nations ambassador Jim McLay stated Tuesday that his country has friendship with both Israel and the Palestinian Authority, and wants the Security Council to focus on what he called a “practical outcome.” He added that his country was working on a suitable text that would ensure direct Israeli-Palestinian peace talks are resumed.
McLay stated that the timing of this initiative is good for advancing peace after the elections in Israel, and before the US becomes entangled in the presidential campaign in 2016.
Last month, France said it wants to begin talks with world countries to prepare a draft, setting the parameters for resolving the conflict, and was hoping that the United States would be part of this effort. On Monday, both Israel and the United States refrained from attending a UN Human Rights Council session on the last summer’s 50-day Israeli war on Gaza.
Recently, United Nations Envoy Robert Serry told the Security Council that it must step in and provide a framework for direct peace talks, setting the parameters for achieving peace.
Palestinian Israeli peace talks have been stalled for the past two years as Israel still refuses to freeze settlement construction in the West Bank including Jerusalem and set date for establishing a Palestinian state.
Also this week, The Palestinian Authority, Tuesday, declared that it was able to pay the remainder of civil servants’ wages and pensions for the past four months (40% each), hours after Israel released some 1.85 billion shekels ($473 million) in withheld taxes collected on behalf of the Palestinians.
Earlier this month, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas refused to receive tax revenues collected by Israel, after the latter had made considerable deductions to offset electricity debts accumulated on the PA. On January 4, Israel decided to withhold PA’s tax revenues, in retaliation for Abbas’ move which resulted in Palestine’s accession to 20 international treaties, including the International Criminal court (ICC).
Abbas’ move came as the United Nations failed to approve a draft bill calling for an end to the Israeli occupation and the establishment of the Palestinian state within three years.
For IMEMC News this is Saed Bannoura.
The West Bank and Gaza Report
This week the Israeli army conducted at least 50 invasions into Palestinians communities in the west Bank and Gaza. Moreover Israeli attacks left two residents injured in the West, a worker died in Gaza in a tunnel accident. IMEMC’s Eman Abedraboo-Bannoura reports:
On Monday a Palestinian worker was injured after being stabbed by a radical Israeli man near Tel Aviv. Israeli sources said that the Palestinian was working at a construction site in the town Herzliya near Tel Aviv when he was attacked by a radical Israeli man who was shouting death to Arabs. The attacker escaped.
The Palestinian worker was moved to hospital after sustaining moderate injuries, Israeli sources added.
Moreover, Israeli soldiers invaded, on Tuesday at dawn, an area near the Balata refugee camp, east of the northern West Bank city of Nablus, and clashed with local youths wounding one.
The clashes took place after soldiers, and settlers, invaded the Joseph Tomb area in the city. Medical sources said a young man was shot in one of his legs, and was moved to a hospital in Nablus, suffering a moderate injury.
In Gaza this week, Palestinian medical sources have reported that a young man was killed, Tuesday, in a siege-busting tunnel accident in Rafah, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip. Ahmad Majed Saqqa, 19 years of age, was electrocuted to death in a tunnel accident, sources announced. Dozens of Palestinians work in tunnels as day laborers, smuggling food and medical supplies into the besieged coastal region.
Later in the week, Israeli soldiers fired, late on Thursday night, three artillery shells into an area in the northern part of the Gaza Strip, while navy ships fired dozens of rounds of live ammunition into the Gaza shore. while military helicopters repeatedly violated Gaza air space. Earlier on Thursday evening, a home-made rocket was reported to have been fired from the Gaza Strip into the Negev desert area. No injuries were reported.
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 April 18th, to the 24th, 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.