Audio Link After Text
Welcome to this Week in Palestine, a service of the International Middle East Media Center, www.imemc.org, for February 5, to the 12, 2016.
As Israeli right wing lawmaker denies the existence of the Palestinian people, a Palestinian child is killed by Israeli troops during West Bank invasions. 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 Palestinian youth was critically injured as Israeli soldiers attacked nonviolent protests organized in West Bank villages. IMEMC’s Majd Batjali with the details :
In central West Bank, nonviolent protests were organized in the villages of Bil’in, Ni’lin and Al Nabi Saleh. Troops used tear gas and rubber coated bullets against the unarmed protesters. Both Bil’in and Ni’lin villagers and their international and Israeli supporters managed to reach the Israeli wall built on local farmers lands.
In Al Nabi Saleh, the soldiers attacked the protest at the village entrance. Later troops stormed the village and fired tear gas into residents homes.
A Palestinian youth was critically injured in Ni’lin after he was hit by a rubber-coated bullet in the head. He was moved to the nearby Ramallah city hospital for treatment. Many residents suffered effects of tear gas inhalation in all three villages.
Elsewhere, Palestinian activists and farmers planted 100 olive trees in lands close to the Israeli wall that belongs to farmers from Yabod village near the northern West Bank city of Jenin. The action today is part of a campaign by the Arab Society for Protection of Nature in – Jordan in cooperation with Palestinian NGOs.
This campaign aim to plant one million olive trees in areas were Israeli built the wall on Palestinian lands and uprooted olive trees owned by local farmers.
Staying in northern West Bank, Palestinian famers and Israeli activists from Combatants for peace movement organized a protest in Nabi Elias village near Qalqilia city against the confiscation of hundreds of donoms of Palestinian farmers lands to build a new road for illegal settlements in the area.
The Protesters held the Friday midday prayers at the land then marched up to the main road holding flags and banners demanding halt to the destruction of Palestinian farm lands and olive trees by Israeli settlements. The protest ended without any clashes with Israeli soldiers.
For IMEMC News this Majd Batjali.
The Political Report
Israeli lawmaker Anat Berko denies the existence of the Palestinian people and Egypt to open the Rafah Border crossing for two days. IMEMC’s George Rishmawi has more:
Israeli right wing lawmaker Anat Berko, said that there was no such thing as a Palestinian people, since Arabic doesn’t have the consonant “P.”
Berko made this statement in a speech to the Israeli Parliament known as the Knesset on Thursday. Israeli newspaper Haaretz said in its online edition, “While the lawmaker was correct in saying that Arabic doesn’t have a ‘P’ sound, the word for ‘Palestine’ in Arabic begins with the consonant ‘F,’ the same as in Hebrew, and is pronounced: ‘Falastin.’
According to Haaretz, Berko was met with derision in the Knesset plenum after she made this statement. On his part, Jamal Dajani, a senior officer at the Palestinian Prime Minister’s office said that Israeli politicians have increased their rhetoric and incitement towards Palestinians.
Dajani added that statements like this are meant to dehumanize Palestinians, and distract from the Israeli crimes committed against our people on a daily basis, especially in Area C, that is totally under Israeli control.
This is not the first time that Israeli politicians have made hateful and racist remarks towards Palestinians; Israeli Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked was previously quoted calling for the slaughter of Palestinian mothers who give birth to “little snakes.”
In Other news, the Rafah border crossing between Egypt and the Palestinian Gaza Strip will be open Saturday and Sunday, February 13 – 14.
The opening was ordered by Egyptian President Abdel Fatah Al-Sisi. Egypt wants to normalize the opening of the Rafah border crossing but insists that the Palestinian side would have to be controlled by the Palestinian Authority and not by any single Palestinian faction signaling to Hamas who controls the coastal enclave.
The Rafah border crossing has been ordered to be reopened in both directions on Saturday and Sunday. It is the first time in three months that the border crossing will be open. The border checkpoint has been sporadically opened to facilitate travel and not least much-needed humanitarian aid for the besieged strip.
Tensions between Egypt and Gaza arose when Hamas took over the Gaza Strip in 2007. Egypt has largely kept the Rafah border crossing closed with rare random openings since the ouster of Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi in 2013.
The Rafah border crossing is the only passage that is not under direct Israeli control. Israel controls all other entrances and exits of the strip. This week, a European parliament delegation was blocked by Israeli authorities from entering the Gaza Strip.
The EU said in a statement that members of the delegation were not given a reason for being barred from the blockaded enclave, where they were due to assess the damage caused by the Israeli military attacks in 2014 as well as the progress of EU-funded reconstruction efforts.
Head of the seven-member delegation, Irish MEP Martina Anderson said ‘The systematic denial by Israel of access to Gaza to European Parliament delegations is unacceptable, and added, this raises questions: what does the Israeli government aim to hide? We shall not give up on the Gazan people.’
At least 2,200 Palestinians were killed and tens of thousands of homes were demolished by Operation Protective Edge in July 2014, which Israel’s army claimed it launched to stop rocket fire into Israel from Gaza. Several Arab and European countries promised to rebuild the destroyed houses, however, it has been more than a year and half and the Gaza Strip is still leveled.
For IMEMC News, this is George Rishmawi
The West Bank and Gaza Report
This week, Israeli troops kill a child during invasions targeting West Bank communities and in Gaza two Palestinians die in tunnel accidents. IMEMC’s Ghassan Bannoura reports:
On Wednesday of this week, Omar Jawabra, 15 was killed by Israeli troops in the al-‘Arroub refugee camp, north of the southern West Bank city of Hebron, after several military vehicles invaded it. Doctors at the al-Mezan Hospital in Hebron said the child was shot in the chest and that the bullet hit his heart killing him.
Eyewitnesses said the soldiers clashed with dozens of local youths, after the army invaded the refugee camp, and fired many rounds of live ammunition, rubber-coated steel bullets and gas bombs, including at a number of homes.
They added that a soldier pointed his gun at the child, and shot him in the chest. Many Palestinians suffered the effects of tear gas inhalation, and received the needed medical treatment.
Also this week in the West Bank, Israeli forces, destroyed over 40 Palestinian homes and structures on Thursday in the Tubas district of the occupied West Bank.
Meanwhile Israeli forces, on Tuesday, demolished more than 10 Palestinian homes and structures in the village of Khirbet Tana, east of Nablus, northern West Bank.
Moreover, Israeli forces conducted at least 94 military invasions into West Bank communities and Jerusalem this week. During these attacks Israeli troops kidnapped at least 78 Palestinian civilians, including 13 children.
In the Gaza Strip, one Palestinian was killed, on Monday at dawn, when a tunnel, used for smuggling goods into the besieged coastal region, collapsed on him. Moreover a Hamas fighter was killed on Tuesday, when a tunnel collapsed in the southern Gaza Strip.
While the tunnels are used by Hamas as a source of tax revenue and inflow of weapons, they also supply highly-demanded necessities for Gaza’s 1.8 million residents under the blockade, including food, medicine, as well as infrastructure materials like concrete and fuel.
Staying in Gaza, a delegation from the European parliament was blocked by Israeli authorities from entering Gaza on Tuesday, the EU said in a statement.
The delegation said, according news sources, that they were not given a reason for being barred from the blockaded enclave, where they were due to assess the damage caused by an Israeli military operation in 2014 as well as the progress of EU-funded reconstruction efforts.
For IMEMC News this is Ghassan Bannoura.
And that’s all for today from This Week in Palestine. This was the Weekly report for February 5, to the 12, 2016. 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.