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Welcome to this Week in Palestine, a service of the International Middle East Media Center, www.imemc.org, for August 22nd, to the 28th, 2015.
As Palestinians prepare to elect a new executive committee for the Palestine Liberation Organization, at least 5 civilians including a journalist are injured this week during Israeli army attacks targeting Palestinian communities. 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. At least three civilians including a journalist were injured on Friday and scores of protesters were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation when Israeli troops attacked 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.
One youth was injured after being hit by a live round in his foot and scores of residents and their international supporters were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation as Israeli troops attacked the weekly protest organized in Kufer Kadum village. 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 Bilin a journalist was injured after being hit by a rubber-coated steel bullet fired by the Israeli military. In the meantime in al Nabi Saleh a young boy was hit with a rubber-coated steel bullet in his arm.
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.
Earlier in the week, Israeli troops attacked local farmers and their supporters at the town of Beit Jala during an anti-wall protest organized on Tuesday.
For IMEMC News this Majd Batjali.
The Political Report
The Palestinians to elect new executive committee in the coming few weeks and Netanyahu might be facing an arrest during his upcoming visit to the UK in September. IMEMC’s George Rishmawi with the details:
The Palestinian National Council, the legislative body of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), is scheduled to hold an emergency meeting in the next few weeks, to elect new members to the PLO’s Executive Committee.
This move followed the resignation of 11 out of 18 members of the executive committee of the PLO, including the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and the newly appointed Secretary Dr. Saeb Ereikat.
The National Council consists of 740 members representing around 9 million Palestinians in Palestine and in the Diaspora. The last emergency meeting of the council was in 2009 and the last regular meeting was in 1996 in Gaza during which the last elections of the executive committee of the PLO were held.
The elections will include all the committee members, who usually are representatives of all the political factions, however, some independent figures are expected to run in the new elections.
The composition of the new committee will have an impact on the performance of the Palestinian Authority since the executive committee is the official reference of the PA.
In other news, British activist launched a petition and published it on the official British Government and Parliament’s petition website demanding the immediate arrest of the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during his upcoming visit to the UK in September.
The petition accuses Netanyahu with committing war crimes against the Palestinian people by being responsible for the death of over 2000 Palestinians during the latest Israeli war on Gaza in July 2014.
The petition reads “Benjamin Netanyahu is to hold talks in London this September. Under international law he should be arrested for war crimes upon arrival in the U.K for the massacre of over 2000 civilians in 2014”
The UK government responded by saying “Under UK and international law, visiting heads of foreign governments, such as Prime Minister Netanyahu, have immunity from legal process, and cannot be arrested or detained.”
Despite expectations that the petition will fail, so far, it has reached over 88 thousand signature rapidly approaching the 100 thousand, the number needed for the government to seriously look into the petition.
Although there is a high chance to reach the limit, not much is expected from the British government at this point.
For IIMEMC News, this is George Rishmawi
The West Bank and Gaza Report
This week Israeli troops conducted at least 64 military invasions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank. During these attacks, Israeli troops kidnapped at least 64 Palestinians. In Gaza this week, Israeli jetfighters targeted areas in Gaza. IMEMC’s Eman Abedraboo-Bannoura reports:
This week army invasions, homes searches and kidnappings of civilians were reported in Hebron, Bethlehem, Ramallah, Jenin and East Jerusalem.
Among those 64 civilians kidnaped this week there were 19 children according to the Palestinian center for Human Rights weekly report.
Also this week Israeli troops conducted a demolition campaign targeting Palestinian owned homes and structures in occupied East Jerusalem. Several Israeli police and army vehicles invaded, on Tuesday morning, Jabal al-Mokabber village, in occupied East Jerusalem, and demolished two homes. The homes were supposed to house two families of nine members.
Israeli soldiers demolished, on Wednesday at dawn, several commercial and residential structures in the al-‘Ezariyya town, east of occupied East Jerusalem, after surrounding the town and invading it. The demolished structures were removed for the construction of a section of the Annexation Wall in the area, local sources reported.
Meanwhile on Monday of this week, Unknown assailants have set fire to a Palestinian house in Douma village, near Nablus; no causalities reported. Locals believe that Israeli settlers are behind the attack.
According to local sources the house of Mnour Dawabsha was burned, causing suffocation among the inhabitants. They were taken to the hospital immediately.
The circumstances of this arson attack is similar to the attack on Sa’ad Dawabsha’s family, last month, in which one-year boy was burned alive, His father later died of injuries sustained in the fire, while his brother and mother are still in critical condition.
In the Gaza strip this week, Israeli forces conducted two limited invasions on Tuesday targeting the northern part of the costal enclave, during which they levelled farm lands and withdrew later.
On Thursday, Israeli war plans bombed a site of the Hamas movement, claiming that a rocket was fired from there into Israel. Damage was reported but no injuries. According to Israeli media sources the Israeli attack came after a rocket was fired from Gaza into Eshkol, in an open area of the Negev desert, with no damages 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 August 22nd, to the 28th, 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.