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Welcome to this Week in Palestine, a service of the International Middle East Media Center, www.imemc.org, for December 12, to the 18, 2015.
This week, Israeli approves more settlements in the West Bank, meanwhile Israeli attacks leave seven killed Palestinians in Gaza and West Bank 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. On Friday, Israeli troops attacked anti wall and settlements protests organized in West Bank communities using tear gas and rubber-coated steel bullets. As a result, three youth were injured and scores of protesters were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation. 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, protest took place in the villages of Kufer Qadum in northern West Bank. Israeli soldiers used tear gas and rubber-coated steel bullets against the unarmed protesters.
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 Ni’lin soldiers shot and injured three youth with rubber-coated steel bullets.
At 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. Soldiers also fired tear gas into residents’ homes after invading the village.
For IMEMC News this Majd Batjali.
The Political Report
While the Quartet envoys meet with Palestinian and Israeli officials, Israel approves the construction of more settlement housing units on confiscated Palestinian lands in the West Bank. IMEMC’s George Rishmawi with the details:
Envoys of the Middle East Quartet Committee met this week with both Israeli and Palestinian counterparts separately to discuss current conditions in the region and concrete actions to demonstrate their commitment to a two-state solution.
According to a press release, the envoys from the EU, Russia, U.S., and UN who comprise the Quartet, met with officials from the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office and Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as well as officials from the Palestinian Liberation Organization and Palestinian Authority.
The Quartet envoys reiterated the need for significant steps on the ground, in line with previous agreements, which will strengthen Palestinian institutions, security and economic prospects, while respecting Israel’s security concerns.
The envoys stated that they will review the results of their recent engagement with the parties and with neighboring states, and report to their principals with recommendations on the next steps.
In the meantime, the so-called Israeli Construction and Planning Committee, of the Jerusalem City Council, has approved the construction of 891 units in illegal settlement of Gilo, which was constructed on Palestinian lands, in the Bethlehem territory in the occupied West Bank.
The recent approval in Gilo refers to the initial decision, signed in 2012, regarding new constructions in the hills, south of this colony.
Such approvals are first sent to the Regional Committee for approval, then the City Council issues the construction permits.
The Jerusalem City Council approved the construction on Wednesday, November 7, paving the road for the Construction Committee to render its final approval, back then, to 500 settlement units.
The announcement of the new construction was supposed to be made earlier, but Israel delayed it nearly three weeks ago, until after the visit of Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, to the United States.
Last month, Netanyahu and his government approved the construction of 500 more illegal settlement units in the Ramat Shlomo colony, in occupied East Jerusalem.
In related news, the Beit Sahour Municipality said the Israeli Authorities have decided to confiscate 102 Dunams of Palestinian lands belonging to residents of Beit Sahour, Bethlehem and Beit Jala, for what Israeli called ‘military considerations.’
According to this military order, the lands that would be taken away from Beit Sahour, in Abu Ghneim area, will remain in the hands of the military for ten years.
Palestinian observers believe the Israeli government is not interested in the proposed two-state solution and at the same time rejects talk of a bi-national state, which warns of more future unrests in the region.
For IMEMC News, this is George Rishmawi.
The West Bank and Gaza Report
At least seven Palestinian civilians were killed this week by Israeli gunfire in Gaza and the West Bank. Meanwhile clashes between Palestinian protesters and Israeli troops continues. IMEMC’s Ghassan Bannoura reports:
A Palestinian youth was shot and killed on Monday evening by Israeli police near the central bus station in West Jerusalem. According to Israeli police, Abed Hassounah, 21, was shot dead by police officer after he rammed his car into a group of settlers. Ten settlers were injured, including seven who sustained moderate to critical wounds, the Israeli police stated. it’s not clear whether the incident is a traffic accident or not. Abed is from the town of Beit Hanina in Jerusalem.
Two more youth were killed when Israeli soldiers invaded, on Wednesday at dawn, the Qalandia refugee camp, north of occupied Jerusalem. The two youth were killed in the clashes that erupted between local youth and invading troops.
A third Palestinian died of her wounds on Wednesday after being shot Israeli soldiers at a military checkpoint near Nablus city in northern West Bank. Samah Abd al-Mumen was shot at the Huwwara military checkpoint on Oct. 23 when the Israeli troops opened fire in all directions fatally hitting the teenager and killing Alaa Hashash, 16, after he allegedly attempted to stab an Israeli soldier.
Moreover, Israeli soldiers shot and killed, on Thursday morning, a Palestinian child near the Huwwara roadblock, south of the northern West Bank city of Nablus, allegedly after he attempted to stab soldiers. Israeli sources said the soldiers shot the Palestinian, and claimed that he ‘approached them while carrying a knife.’ Eyewitnesses said the child did not carry any weapon, and never attempted to attack the soldiers.
The slain child was later identified as Abdullah Hussein Ahmad Nasasra, 15, from Beit Forik town, east of Nablus. The soldiers closed all military roadblocks, south of Nablus.
On Friday, Israeli soldiers shoot and killed two youth, on in Gaza and the other in the town of Sliwad near Ramallah in central West Bank. Mohamed Ayad, was killed after troops opened fire at his car at the entrance of Silwad as clashes erupted between local youth and invading soldiers. The Israeli army claimed he tried to hit soldiers with his car.
Meanwhile Mohamed Al Agha, 23, was killed after being shot by Israeli soldiers during clashes between Palestinian protesters and Isralei soldiers at the borders of Khan Younis south of Gaza with Israel. Palestinian medical sources that 40 protesters were injured in Gaza and more than 60 others in the West Bank during clashes with Israeli troops on Friday.
In other news, The Israeli Air Force carried out, on Monday at dawn, two air strikes targeting a training camp for the Al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, and the Palestinian Naval Police, in the besieged and impoverished Gaza Strip. The attacks caused excessive damage; no casualties were reported.
Moreover Israeli soldiers opened fire, on Tuesday morning, on several Palestinian farmers in their lands, east of Deir al-Balah city, in central Gaza. The soldiers, stationed near the Kissufim military base, across the border fence, southeast of Deir al-Balah, fired several live rounds on the farmers, forcing them to leave their own lands, fearing additional escalation.
For IMEMC News this is Ghassan Bannoura.
And that’s all for today from This Week in Palestine. This was the Weekly report for December 12, to the 18, 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 Eman Abedraboo-Bannoura.