Welcome to this Week in Palestine, a service of the International Middle East Media Center, www.imemc.org, for January 21, to the 27, 2017.
Israeli new settlements drew international and Palestinian condemnation this week, meanwhile one Palestinian youth was killed and two others were injured in separate Israeli attacks in the West Bank and Gaza this week. 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 used tear gas and rubber-coated steel bullets to attack protesters marching against the wall and settlements. IMEMC’s Majd Batjali has more:
This week protests were organized in the villages of Bil’in, Ni’lin in central West Bank, and in the northern West Bank village of Kufer Kadum.
Many residents and their supporters were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation fired by Israeli soldiers as they attacked the villagers of Kufer Kadum.
In central West Bank, at the villages of Bil’in and Ni’lin, Israeli soldiers attacked the protesters as soon as they reached the gate in the wall that separates local farmers from their lands. Many protesters suffered the effects of tear gas inhalation and were treated by field medics at both locations.
For IMEMC News this is Majd Batjali
The Political Report
The Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs condemned Israeli settlement construction on Palestinian land, meanwhile a Palestinian report reveals names of Israeli senior politicians living in illegal settlements, IMEMC’s George Rishmawi with the details:
This week, the Planning and Housing Committee at the Municipality of Jerusalem, approved the sweeping settlement expansion project. Around 560 units will be allocated to the settlements of Pisgat Ze’ev, Ramot, and Ramat Shlomo.
The Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has condemned this decision saying that it puts obstacles for any future peace efforts.
The ministry said in a statement that “The Israeli government, headed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has begun setting up obstacles in front of the administration of the new US President Donald Trump to counter peace efforts between the two sides”.
In December 2016, a member of the Jerusalem Planning and Housing Committee said that Netanyahu postponed a vote on the same settlement project, due to fear of straining ties with the U.S. The plan’s approval suggests that such fear has dissipated since the inauguration of Trump.
Netanyahu also told his security cabinet on Sunday that he would lift all restrictions on settlement construction in East Jerusalem “resulting from international diplomatic pressure.”
Israel’s accelerated colonization of Jerusalem stands in direct opposition to United Nations Security Council resolution 2334, which passed in December of 2016. The resolution demands an immediate halt to Israeli settlement construction and reiterates the practice as a “flagrant violation” of international law.
The statement also says that enforcing resolution 2334 has become a priority, because it guarantees the resumption of peace and fruitful negotiations.
In the meantime, a report, released this week by the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), documented a number of top Israeli officials living in illegal Israeli settlements, many of whom are tasked with displacing Palestinians or demolishing their homes.
An example is the Israeli Finance Minister Avi Cohen, who lives in a colonial settlement outpost of 40 fixed and mobile structures, which was constructed on land stolen from Palestinian owners in the villages of Qaryout, Saweiya and Al-Luban in the Nablus region.
The settlement where Cohen lives is an expansion of the larger settlement of ‘Eli’. This outpost that is hosting a minister was not approved by the Israeli government which is in direct violation of both Israeli and international law. However, since Cohen has headed the Regional Unit on Planning and Construction, under his watch the unit has allowed the expansion of settlements like this one on Palestinian land.
For IMEMC News, this is George Rishmawi.
The West Bank and Gaza Report
Israeli attacks in the west Bank this week leave one youth killed and one injured. Meanwhile Israeli aerial, sea and ground attacks targeting Gaza leave one fisherman injured. IMEMC Ghassan Bannoura reports:
Israeli soldiers killed, on Wednesday evening, a young Palestinian man at a bus station close to an illegal colony, east of the central West Bank city of Ramallah, after he reportedly tried to ram soldiers with his car. Hussein Abu Ghosh, 24, drove his car off the road and crashed into the bus station, near “Adam” settlement, where many soldiers and settlers were waiting, and alleged that he “carried a knife, but did not leave the car.”
Abu Ghosh, from Qalandia refugee camp, was shot multiple times and bled to death after the soldiers prevented Palestinian medics from approaching him; the army placed his corpse in a black bag, and loaded it in their jeep, before driving to Jerusalem.
Also on Wednesday evening, Palestinian medical sources said that a young man was injured after the soldiers shot him near ‘Aboud village, northwest of Ramallah.
The Israeli army claimed that the young man, who was driving a car, fired several bullets at a military base, near ‘Aboud, and that the soldiers fired back at him, causing serious wounds.
Elsewhere, Israeli soldiers demolished, Wednesday, a storage room, a parking structure and walls surrounding it, in the al-Abbasiyya neighborhood, and a warehouse for construction materials, in Wad Qaddoum, in Silwan town, in occupied East Jerusalem. Moreover, Israeli soldiers demolished, Wednesday, several sheds and barns in Qrontol Mountain area, in Jericho district, in the occupied West Bank, under the allegation of being built without permits.
On Monday of this week Israeli soldiers demolished several sheds, tents and barns, owned by Palestinians living in the al-Jiftlik town, in the West Bank’s Northern Plains, north of Jericho.
This week, Israeli forces conducted at least 60 military invasions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and in occupied Jerusalem. During these invasions, Israeli troops abducted at least 58 Palestinian civilians, including 8 children.
In the Gaza strip this week, A Palestinian fisherman, on Monday morning, sustained serious wounds after he was shot in the head with a rubber-coated metal bullet by Israeli naval forces. Israeli forces attacked Palestinian fishermen sailing off of western Beit Lahiya with heavy machine gun fire. In the meantime, Israeli soldiers fired, on Tuesday at night, several missiles into a site, run by an armed resistance group, east of the al-Maghazi refugee camp, in central Gaza, causing excessive damage.
Also on Tuesday, Israeli soldiers opened fire on Palestinian farmers in their lands, in the eastern part of the Gaza Strip, while navy ships fired many live rounds at fishing boats, in southern Gaza. Damage was reported but no injuries.
For IMEMC News this is Ghassan Bannoura.
And that’s all for today from This Week in Palestine. This was the Weekly report for January 21, to the 27, 2017. From the Occupied Palestinian Territories. For more news and updates please visit our website at www-dot-imemc-dot-org, This week’s report has been brought to you by Sa’ed Naji and me Eman Abedraboo-Bannoura.