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Welcome to this Week in Palestine, a service of the International Middle East Media Center, www.imemc.org, for July 18th, to the 24th, 2015.
Two Palestinians are killed this week by Israeli army gunfire meanwhile Israel continues to put obstacles in the path of peace by increasing settlement activities. 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. This week, three civilians including a child 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.
Two men , 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 child was hit in his head by a rubber-coated steel bullet 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. In Bil’in Israeli tear gas bombs cased a fire that destroyed some trees owned by local farmers.
In southern West Bank, Palestinian villagers were joined by more than 600 Israeli and international supporters to protest the Israeli military decision to demolish half of the homes of Susiya village in the southern Hebron plains south of the west Bank. From the Israeli side the Combatants for Peace movement, CFP, helped in organizing the protest.
More than 450 members of CFP took part in the march. The protesters marched near the homes Israel wants to demolish chanting against the Israeli occupation and held signs demanding the halt of home demolishing policy by Israeli targeting Palestinian villagers.
For IMEMC News this is Majd Batjali.
The Political Report
Israel continues to put obstacles in the path of peace by increasing settlement activities and the UN Security Council calls for speeding up the reconstruction process of the destroyed Gaza Strip, IMEMC’s George Rishmawi with the details:
The Israeli justice ministry established a committee this week that attempts to give a legal face to the settlements set up on the West Bank lands.
Israeli cabinet secretary Avichai Mendelblit will head the committee, which had been called for in the coalition agreement between Naftali Bennett’s Habayit Hayehudi and Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud. It will submit its conclusions in 60 days.
According to Israeli justice minister Ayelet Shaked, the panel will discuss formulating an outline for regularizing the settlements outposts built in West Bank lands with the involvement of Israeli authorities. According to Shaked, the status of the settlement outposts is ‘legally ambiguous’.
The Israeli government has also approved the construction of some 900 new illegal settlement units in the settlements of Beit El, near Ramallah, Ma’aleh Adumim, and Giv’at Zeev near Jerusalem.
There are currently over 500,000 settlers illegally living in the West Bank including Jerusalem.
In the meantime, the UN Security Council met this week to discuss the humanitarian situation in Gaza. It was agreed that the current state of the Strip could not continue, and that the illegal Israeli siege must end as a prerequisite to speed up the reconstruction process.
The Council discussed the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip and the responsibilities of the UN a year after the 2014 Israeli aggression in Gaza.
Malaysian ambassador Ramlan Ibrahim stressed the necessity of the UN taking responsibility for the continuing situation.
Jordanian ambassador Deena Qa’war said that the international community must address the root causes of the humanitarian situation in Gaza, the most important being the continued siege and violations of the ceasefire. She called on Israel to respect international law and commit to UN resolutions.
Palestinians in the Gaza Strip celebrated this week the reconstruction of the first house, one year after the destructive war Israel waged against the Gaza Strip which lasted for 51 days, which claimed the lives of over 2104 Palestinians and 69 Israelis according to a UN report.
There are over 100 thousand Palestinians who were forced to leave their homes either because they were destroyed or severely damaged. Local observers express serious concerns about the slow rhythm of construction of the destroyed houses and infrastructure in the Gaza Strip.
For IMEMC News, this is George Rishmawi
The West Bank and Gaza Report
This week, two Palestinians killed during Israeli army invasions targeting West Bank communities, meanwhile two fishermen injured in Gaza due to continued attacks targeting fishing boats. IMEMC’s Eman Abedraboo-Bannoura reports:
Israeli soldiers shot and killed, on Thursday at dawn, a Palestinian man who was in his own home, in Beit Ummar town, north of the southern West Bank city of Hebron. Falah Abu Mariya, 53 years of age, was shot dead in his home, while two of his sons, Mohammad and Ahmad, were injured by Israeli army fire, after dozens of soldiers surrounded their home, and stormed it.
The family said soldiers fired two live rounds at Mohammad, one of Abu Mariya’s sons, wounding him in the pelvis. The father then rushed to help his wounded son, before the soldiers fired two more rounds, striking Abu Mariya in the chest.
On Wednesday, a Palestinian man killed by Israeli troops’ gunfire during an army invasion targeting the village of Burqin, near the northern West Bank city of Jenin. During clashes with Israeli soldiers a live round struck the slain Palestinian below his heart, and seriously wounded him. He died later at a local hospital in Jenin city, local sources reported.
Later in the week, a large Israeli military force invaded, on Friday at dawn, the Deheishe refugee camp in the West Bank city of Bethlehem, and clashed with scores of local youths, wounding two in the head and arm.
Meanwhile Israeli soldiers kidnapped this week more than 45 Palestinians including five children during invasions that targeted West Bank communities this week.
In Gaza this week, Israeli navy ships opened live fire, on Tuesday at dawn, on a number of Palestinian fishing boats in Beit Lahia, in the northern part of the Gaza Strip, wounding two fishers, and kidnapped two including one of the wounded, before towing a boat to the Ashdod Port. Ahmad Ismael Sharafi, 20 years of age, was shot with a live round in the back, and several rubber-coated metal bullets in his arm, and was moved to the Shifa Medical Center in Gaza, suffering a moderate injury.
Later in the week, several armored Israeli military vehicles carried out, earlier on Wednesday, a limited invasion into Palestinian agricultural lands, north of Beit Lahia, in the northern part of the Gaza Strip. Army also fired on farmers and their lands, in central Gaza. 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 July 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 by Maher Qasiess and me Ghassan Bannoura.