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Welcome to this Week in Palestine, a service of the International Middle East Media Center, www.imemc.org, for June 27th, to the July 3rd, 2015.
This week the United Church of Christ join the boycott movement against Israel, meanwhile Israeli attacks targeting Palestinians leave one youth killed and at least five 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. One child was injured; scores were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation when Israeli troops attacked nonviolent protests organized in West Bank villages on Friday. IMEMC’s Majd Batjali with the details:
Ahmad Bashar, 12, was hit in the head by a rubber-coated steel bullet fired by Israeli soldiers at the village of Kufer Kadum in northern West Bank. Many more residents were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation as Israeli troops attacked the weekly protest there. Troops later stormed the village and fired tear gas into residents homes,
Meanwhile in the villages of Bil’in and Ni’lin, in central West Bank, Israeli soldiers attacked the protesters as soon as they reached the gate in the wall that separates local farmers from their lands. Many protesters suffered the effects of tear gas inhalation and were treated by field medics at both locations.
At the nearby al Nabi Saleh village, troops attacked protesters at the village entrance. Israeli soldiers fired several rounds of rubber-coated steel bullets and tear gas at protesters and nearby homes. Many residents suffered effects of tear gas inhalation as a result.
In the village of al Ma’ssara near the southern West Bank city of Bethlehem, soldiers attacked villagers and their international supporters as soon as they reached the village entrance and forced them back. No injuries were reported.
For IMEMC News this Majd Batjali.
The Political Report
This week The Vatican signs a historic accord with Palestine and the United Church of Christ votes in support of Israel boycott bill, IEMMC’s George Rishmawi has more:
The Vatican signs a historic accord with Palestine and the United Church of Christ votes in support of Israel boycott bill, the details with IEMMC’s George Rishmawi.The U.S.-based United Church of Christ voted on Tuesday to divest from companies involved in the Israeli occupation of Palestine.
According to this resolution which passed by 508 – 124 votes, the United Church of Christ calls for the church to divest from the Israeli occupation, to boycott Israeli settlement products, to persist in pressuring Congress to end unconditional U.S. military aid to Israel, and to study the Kairos Palestine document produced by prominent Palestinian Christians, which calls on Christians around the world to take action to support the basic human rights of the Palestinian people.
By this resolution, the United Church of Christ joins a number of churches in the United States and some other European countries in boycotting Israel adhering to the call by the Palestinian Civil Society Organizations in 2005 to Boycott, Divest and impose sanctions on Israel until it ends its military occupation in Palestine.
In the meantime, the Vatican signed a historic accord with Palestine this week, two years after the most important Catholic body recognized it as a state.
Palestinian Foreign Minister Dr. Riyad Al-Malki, said ‘For the first time, the agreement includes an official recognition by the Holy See of Palestine as a State, in recognition of the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, freedom and dignity in an independent state of their own, free from the shackles of occupation.’
Al-Maliki said this ‘historic’ accord enshrined Palestine’s special status as the birthplace of Christianity and the cradle of the monotheistic religions – Christianity, Islam, and Judaism.
Archbishop Paul Gallagher, the Vatican’s de facto foreign minister, signed the accord on behalf of the Holy See in the presence of guests including Vera Baboun, the mayor of Bethlehem, the Palestinian town considered to be the birthplace of Jesus Christ.
Gallagher said ‘In this context, it is my hope that the present agreement may in some way be a stimulus to bringing a definitive end to the long-standing Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which continues to cause suffering for both Parties.’
The treaty sparked a backlash from Israeli leadership who argued it was a step-back in the peace process. The Vatican is one of 136 countries to have recognized Palestine as a state, although the number is disputed and several recognition by what are now European Union member states date back to the Soviet era.
For IMEMC News, this is George Rishmawi
The West Bank and Gaza Report
This week, one Palestinian youth was killed and at least four others injured During Israeli attacks targeting Palestinian communities in Gaza and the West Bank. Moreover, Israeli troops have kidnapped at least 41 Palestinian civilians including 6 children during invasions targeting the West Bank including East Jerusalem. IMEMC’s Eman Abedraboo-Bannoura reports:
Mohamed Al Kassabah, 17 years old, was killed on Friday when Israeli soldier shot him at the Qalandia checkpoint separating the central West Bank city of Ramallah from Jerusalem.
Al Kassabah, from Qalandia refugee camp, was trying to climb the Israeli wall to get to Jerusalem to pray in Al Aqsa mosque when Israeli soldiers shot him and left him to bleed. Later a group of residents found Al Kassabah and moved him to Ramallah hospital where he died of his injuries.
Shortly after the announcement of Al Kassabah death, clashes erupted between local youth and Israeli soldiers. Israeli sources said that one soldier was slightly injured by the youths’ stones. Troops responded with rubber-coated steel bullets and tear gas. No injuries reported. Both bothers of Al Kassabah, Yasser 14, and Samer, 15, were killed by Israeli troops’ gunfire in 2002.
Also at Qalandia checkpoint earlier in the week, Israeli troops shot and injured a Palestinian youth when on Tuesday when he was crossing the checkpoint in his way back home. Earlier on Tuesday Amir Hamad, 19 years of age, was shot with a rubber-coated metal bullet in his left leg as soldiers invaded Tall village near the northern West Bank city of Nablus.
Moreover a Palestinian man in his 60s was injured, after a number of extremist Israeli settlers assaulted him near the main entrance of his village on Tuesday late night.
Also this week, a number civilians including journalists and foreigner activists were wounded by Israeli forces during a protest which closed the entrance of Adam illegal settlement, near Ramallah, Thursday. The protest was meant to commemorate the first annual anniversary of 16-year-old Muhammad Abu Khdeir (16) who was kidnapped and burnt alive by settlers from the Adam settlement, after dawn prayers near Jaba’ village, north-east Jerusalem.
In the Gaza Strip this week, In the Gaza strip, Several Israeli bulldozers, Wednesday morning, carried out a limited incursion to the east of Deir al-Balah, near Abu Mutabiq and east of Maghazi, in the central Gaza Strip.The army opened heavy gun fire toward Palestinian agricultural lands, with no injuries reported.
Earlier on Monday, Israel’s navy has boarded and taken over an activist ship seeking to break its Gaza blockade and escorted it to Ashdod Israeli port. The Swedish boat was carrying 20 activists, among them Member of Israeli Keenest Basel Ghattas of the Joint Arab List, and former Tunisian president Moncef Marzouki. The Israeli army said that all activists well be deported back to their countries
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 June 27th, to the July 3rd, 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 by Maher Qasiess and me Ghassan Bannoura.