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Welcome to this Week in Palestine, a service of the International Middle East Media Center, www.imemc.org, for June 20th, to the 26th, 2015.
This week a new UN report shows that Israel has committed war crimes during its latest war on Gaza, meanwhile Israeli attacks targeting Gaza and the West Bank left one killed civilian and at least four others injured this week. These stories and more coming up stay tuned.
The Nonviolence Report
Letâ€™s begin our weekly report as usual with the nonviolent activities organized in the West Bank. scores of protesters were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation fired by Israeli troops who attacked on Friday anti wall and settlements protests organized in West Bank villages. IMEMCâ€™s Majd Batjali has more:
This week anti wall and settlements protests were organized in the central west Bank villages of Bilâ€™in, Niâ€™lin, and al Nabi Saleh. In addition, protests took place in the villages of Kufer Qadum in northern West Bank and Al Maâ€™ssara in the south. Israeli soldiers used live rounds, tear gas and rubber-coated steel bullets against the unarmed protesters.
Scores of residents and their international suporters were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation as Israeli soldiers attacked the weekly protest organized in Kufer Kadum village. Troops also fired tear gas into residents homes after invading the village.
In Bilâ€™in and Niâ€™lin protesters managed to reach the Israeli wall. Meanwhile in 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.
At the village of al Maâ€™ssara, in the southern West Bank 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
This week a new UN report shows that Israel and Hamas have committed war crimes during Israel’s latest war on Gaza in 2014, in the meantime, efforts to form unity government in Palestine are still underway, IMEMCâ€™s George Rishmawi has more:
A long-anticipated United Nations Report on the 51-day Israeli invasion of Gaza in the summer of 2014 was released on Monday, accusing both Hamas and Israel of committing war crimes.
The report, issued by the UN Independent Commission of Inquiry on the 2014 Gaza conflict – faulted the Israeli military with deliberately targeting civilians and civilian infrastructure, which resulted in â€śunprecedented devastationâ€ť and the deaths of 2,251 Palestinians.
The UN News Centre reported that much of the destruction, notes the UN report, could be blamed on Israelâ€™s use of weaponry with a wide kill and injury radius, particularly in the densely populated areas of Gaza where destruction and casualties are very likely. At the same time, the Commission reported that the Palestinian resistance groups had also fired 4,881 rockets and 1,753 mortars towards Israel in July and August of last year, killing 6 civilians and injuring at least 1,600 people.
According to the report, 6,000 airstrikes and approximately 50,000 tank and artillery shells were fired by Israel into Gaza. Moreover the report estimates that 65% of the Palestinians killed by Israeli forces were civilians. The report raises questions about potential violations of international humanitarian law by Israeli officials, which may amount to war crimes.
Israeli authorities refused to cooperate with the UN investigation, which was led by a former justice of the Supreme Court of the State of New York, Mary McGowan Davis.
Judge Davis, stated that the most important part of the UN Human Rights Council’s recent report about crimes committed by the Israeli occupation in the last offensive against Gaza, is that Israel must not use military force. In the meantime, the Israeli government issued its own report last week, in an attempt to preempt the expected UN Report, placing the blame for civilian deaths on Hamas in Gaza. The Israeli governmentâ€™s report claimed, without evidence, that Palestinian fighters used civilians as human shields.
The report was also critical of the indiscriminate nature of Palestinian fightersâ€™ homemade shells, which were fired blindly across the border with Israel because they contain no aiming mechanism. On its part, The Palestinian Authority on Thursday delivered the first batch of evidence to the International Criminal Court in support of its campaign to have Israel investigated for alleged war crimes.
The documents handed over on Thursday consist of two files, one about the war crimes committed by Israel during last summer war on Gaza and the other one deals with Israel’s occupation, including information about the issue of Palestinian political prisoners held by Israel. Chief Palestinian Negotiator, Saeb Ereikat, announced on Friday that the Palestinian move in the ICC is not for revenge but to achieve justice.
Internally, The Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) will discuss forming a new unity government next week, a Palestinian Authority spokesperson said Tuesday, after an announcement on June 16 that the consensus government formed last year would be dissolved.
The unity government, consisting of politically independent technocrats, was formed in June 2014 in a bid to end division between the Fatah-led PLO and Hamas. A year on, however, the political landscape remains deeply divided and the unity government has been unable to operate in the Hamas-dominated Gaza Strip.
PA spokesman Ihab Bseiso said that the national unity government has not yet resigned and will continue for another week until the PLO Executive Committee members complete consultations with PLO factions concerning the structure of the new unity government.
For IMEMC News this is George Rishmawi.
The West Bank and Gaza Report
Israeli attacks this week targeting Gaza and the west Bank left one Palestinian killed and other civilians injured. Moreover, Israeli forces conducted at least 40 military invasions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank During these invasions, Israeli troops kidnapped at least 37 Palestinians, including 11 children. IMEMCâ€™s Eman Abedraboo-Bannoura reports:
A Palestinian man was killed on Friday midday after being shot by Isralei soldiers staffing a checkpoint in the Jordan valley. Palestinian sources said that Hamd Romanien, 27, was driving his car near the Israeli military checkpoint of al Hamra when soldiers opened fire at him killing him. Israeli sources claimed that the man fired at them fist.
Moreover a Palestinian worker was killed on Monday midday at his work place inside Israeli, local sources reported. Hanni Friehat, 22, from the northern West Bank village of Al Yamoun, was killed when he fell off a building under construction, local sources said.
Elsewhere, a Palestinian woman was injured on Thursday evening when a Israeli settler ran her over with his car near Jerusalem old city. Residents said that the woman was lightly injured when the car hit her and knocked her down near Damascus gate outside Jerusalemâ€™s old city.
The settler tried to escape the scene but Palestinian youth blocked hi path and managed to stop him. Later he was handed over to the Israeli police who released without any charges.
Also this weeks, Israeli radical settlers destroyed on Wednesday morning farmlands owned by Palestinian farmers from the village of Tybah near the central West Bank city of Ramallah. According to Palestinian sources, the settlers set a vast are of lands on fire that was planted with wheat near the northern entrance of the village.
The villagers told local media that the settlers came from the nearby illegal settlement of Remonim originally built on lands taken from local farmers. On Sunday settlers cut off 60 oliuve trees onwed by Paestinian farmers from the noethen West Bank city of Nablus.
In the Gaza strip this week, the Israeli air force attacked a target in the northern Gaza Strip in the early hours of Wednesday after another missile fired from the Gaza Strip hit an open area near the town of Ashkelon, in the western Negev. The army said that Ramadan celebrants from the Gaza Strip will be barred from travelling to Jerusalem for prayer in the Al-Aqsa Mosque, this week, following the rocket fire.
Moreover, Israeli soldiers, stationed across the border fence, opened fire, Tuesday, on Palestinian farmers in their own lands and nearby homes, east of Khan Younis, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip. The farmers had to leave their lands fearing additional Israeli military escalation; no injuries were reported. On Monday evening, two Palestinians were injured after the soldiers opened fire on residents, east of Khan Younis.
For IMEMC News this is Eman Abedraboo-Bannoura.
And thatâ€™s all for today from This Week in Palestine. This was the Weekly report for June 20th, to the 26th, 2015. From the Occupied Palestinian Territories. For more news and updates please visit our website at www.imemc.org, This weekâ€™s report has been brought to you by Maher Qasiess and me Ghassan Bannoura.