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Welcome to this Week in Palestine, a service of the International Middle East Media Center, www.imemc.org, for July 11th, to the 17th, 2015.
This week Israel approved the Jewish State bill, meanwhile the army escalate attacks targeting Gaza fishers and farmers. 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 youth was injured with live gunfire in the meantime scores of protesters were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation when Israeli troops attacked on Friday anti wall and settlements protests organized in West Bank villages. IMEMC’s Majd Batjali has more:
This week anti wall and settlements protests were organized in the central west Bank villages of Bil’in, Ni’lin, and al Nabi Saleh. In addition, protests took place in the villages of Kufer Qadum in northern West Bank and Al Ma’ssara in the south. Israeli soldiers used live rounds, tear gas and rubber-coated steel bullets against the unarmed protesters.
A Palestinian youth was shost in his hand by a live round fired by Israeli troops in Kufer Kadum village. Scores of residents and their international supporters were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation as Israeli soldiers attacked the weekly protest organized in Kufer Kadum. Troops also fired tear gas into residents’ homes after invading the village.
In Bil’in and Ni’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. In Bil’in village Israeli tear gas bombs caused a fire that destroyed a number of trees owned by local farmers.
At the village of al Ma’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
Israel has finally responded to the European Union’s urge to revive limited negotiations with the Palestinians while a Knesset committee approves the Jewish state bill, IMEMC’s George Rishmawi with the details:
Israel told the European Union that it will not include political issues in the talks, if resumed, and will limit the scope of discussion to economic issues only, within a specified frame of demands. Israel confirmed to the EU that it was ready to talk about improving the economic situation in Gaza and the West Bank, without mentioning settlements whatsoever.
The Israeli statement came in response to the European demand to revive the negotiations about settlements, and all obstacles hindering the two-state solution.
The European demand was proposed in November of 2014, and the response was stalled for 9 months. Israel claimed that it was late because of the Knesset elections which took place in March. About three weeks ago, the French minister of Foreign Affairs, Laurent Fabius, met PA President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah, and the Israeli PM in occupied Jerusalem, to urge the resumption of negotiations.
In the meantime, Israel’s Ministerial Committee for Legislation has passed a controversial “Jewish State’ bill that defines the country as Jewish national homeland.
According to media sources, Likud Party deputy Benny Begin submitted an amended version of the bill for debate in the ministerial committee. The bill will be submitted to the Israeli parliament known as Knesset following its approval by the committee. The bill states that Israel is the nation state of Jewish people based on the foundations of liberty, justice, and peace in light of the vision of the prophets of Israel. It ads that it will uphold equal rights for all its citizens.
Arab member of the Israeli Knesset, Usama Es-Sadi, told media that the approval of the bill was not surprising given the presence of a rightist Israeli government which was bent upon approving all racist laws against Arabs. Ed-Sadi said, ‘As Arabs, we will prevent these laws which make Jews claim rights on everything and make Arabs a minority.’
Palestinian observers believe The Israeli government is playing time games, on one hand they say they are willing to resume talks with Palestinians and at the same time, get first draft approval of the Jewish State bill and approves the construction of a huge jewish settlement on a historic Islamic cemetery in Jerusalem which is a clear indication of the lack of Israel’s seriousness in the peace process.
For IMEMC News, this is George Rishmawi
The West Bank and Gaza Report
This week Israeli forces conducted at least 45 military invasions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank, and the airfare bombarded areas in Gaza. IMEMC’s Eman Abedraboo-Bannoura Reports:
The Israeli Air Force carried out, on Thursday at dawn, two air strikes targeting sites in the northern and central parts of the Gaza Strip; the army claims it was responding to a rocket fired into an area in the Hof Ashkelon Regional Council. Palestinian sources said the army fired two missiles into the Civil Administration Office, in Jabalia town, in the northern part of the Gaza Strip, causing damage but no casualties. The army also fired missiles into a site, used by an armed resistance group, in the al-Boreij refugee camp, in central Gaza, causing damage but no casualties.
Israeli navy ships attacked, on Tuesday morning, several fishing boats in Palestinian waters near Gaza city, while Israeli soldiers opened fire on farmlands and homes, in central Gaza. The navy fired dozens of rounds of live ammunition on fishing boats in the Sudaniyya Sea, northwest of Gaza city, causing damage to at least one boat. The fishers had to sail to shore fearing additional Israeli fire, no injuries were reported.
also on Tuesday soldiers stationed across the border fence, opened fire on Palestinian farmers in their own lands, east of the al-Boreij refugee camp, in central Gaza. The soldiers also targeted a number of nearby homes, causing damage but no injuries.
In the West Bank, Israeli forces this week kidnapped at least 40 Palestinians, including eight children. Eleven of these civilians, including the 5 children, were kidnapped in East Jerusalem. Invasions and homes searches were reported in the West Bank cities of Ramallah, Nablus, Hebron and Bethlehem.
On Sunday, a 55-year-old civilian from Shu’fat refugee camp, north of occupied Jerusalem, sustained a bullet wound to the eye when Israeli forces moved into the refugee camp to arrest some civilians.
Moreover, Israeli soldiers arrested, Thursday, a Palestinian teenage girl, who allegedly stabbed a soldier, east of the Central West Bank city of Ramallah, according to the Israel Security Agency (Shabak). The Shabak said Rawan Abu Matar, 17 years of age, stabbed a soldier, on Wednesday afternoon, at a military roadblock, outside of the Nahliel settlement, northwest of Ramallah.
Also this week, Israeli authorities ordered the demolition of around half of the homes, in a village south of Hebron, to be carried next week. Rabbis for Human Rights and B’Tselem said, in a statement, that pressure fromIsraeli settlers had led to the decision to carry out demolition orders in the village of Khirbet Susiya after Ramadan, although a high court hearing regarding the case is currently scheduled for August 3.
The court case has been ongoing since 2012, when residents of Khirbet Susiya applied for the Israeli Civil Administration to approve an outline plan for northern part of the village. Susiya villagers reportedly built homes in 1986 on agricultural land they owned, after being evicted by Israel from their previous dwellings on land declared as an archaeological site.
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 July 11th, to the 17th, 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.