Welcome to this Week in Palestine, a service of the International Middle East Media Center, www.imemc.org, for February 04, to the 10, 2017.
Four Palestinians were killed this week by Israeli attacks, meanwhile Israel’s government approves new law facilitating illegal settlement construction and expansion. 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 two were injured, three others detained as Israeli soldiers attacked nonviolent protests organized in West Bank villages using tear gas, rubber-coated steel bullets. IMEMC’s Majd Batjali has more:
In central West Bank, nonviolent protests were organized in the villages of Bil’in and Ni’lin. 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.
At the village of Kufer Kadum, in northern West Bank, Israeli troops used live rounds and tear gas to attack villagers and their international and Israeli supporters. Many residents were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation.
Troops also fired tear gas at residents homes causing damage. Three local youth were detained by the army during home searches targeting the village after the protest.
For IMEMC news this is Majd Batjali.
The Political Report
This week, Israel approves the so-called Regulation Bill of the Israeli settlements triggering a widespread anger by Palestinians, IMEMC’s George Rishmawi with the details:
Israel has passed a controversial bill that retroactively legalizes thousands of settler homes built on privately owned Palestinian land in the occupied West Bank, drawing widespread anger by Palestinian leaders and rights groups.
The bill passed by a small margin of 60 to 52 votes in the Israeli Knesset despite warnings by the state attorney general who had previously called it “unconstitutional”.
Shortly after the vote, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) slammed the law as a means to legalize theft of Palestinian land.
The PLO said in a statement, that the law demonstrated Israel’s will to destroy any chances for a political solution, stressing that the Israeli settlements are anti-peace and destroy chances of the two-state solution.
The so-called “Regulation Bill” applies to about 4,000 settlement homes in the West Bank for which settlers could prove ignorance that they had built on privately owned land and had received encouragement from the Israeli state to do so.
This step is seen by local observers as a serious attempt to a partial annexation of the West Bank which is recognized by the United Nations as occupied territory which makes this move a clear violation of International Law.
In the meantime, European diplomats noted this week that the summit with Israel, which was due to take place on 28 February, had been delayed for five years, following the settlement regularization bill.
The diplomats, who reportedly preferred to remain anonymous, told media that, during this week’s meeting of the European Union’s foreign ministers, several states voiced their opposition to holding the summit, dubbed as the “association meeting.” The meeting was meant to mark the tightened cooperation between Israel and the EU and to set out a work plan and priorities for improving relations between the two sides.
Among the countries that expressed their reservations regarding the summit were France, Sweden, Ireland, Austria, The Netherlands and Finland.
Prior to the EU meeting, chief Palestinian negotiator Dr. Saeb Erekat said that if the EU “rewarded” Israel with a high-level meeting later this month, it would be helping to “bury” the two-state solution, he added that “The Israeli government shouldn’t be rewarded for its systematic violations of international humanitarian law. Rather, there must be accountability.”
For IMEMC News, this is George Rishmawi
The West Bank and Gaza Report
Israeli attacks targeting the Palestinian communities in the West Bank and Gaza this week left four Palestinians killed in separate attacks. IMEMC’s Ghassan Bannoura Reports:
Amer al-Jallad, 24, from the northern West Bank city of Tulkarem died, Friday, from wounds he suffered on November 2016, at the Huwwara Israeli military roadblocks, near the northern West Bank city of Nablus. troops claimed he had a knife when they shoot him.
After his serious injury, al-Jallad was moved to the Intensive Care Unit at Beilinson Israeli hospital, suffering gunshot wounds to the chest, and remained in a critical condition until his death. Al Jalad had lymphoid caner, which resulted in accelerating the deterioration of his health after his serious injury.
Also this week, an elderly man was killed, Wednesday, after being struck by a speeding car of an Israeli colonialist settler, near Daniel illegal colony, built on Palestinian lands in the al-Khader town, south of Bethlehem in southern West Bank.
Suleiman Salaah, 81, suffered very serious wounds, while the colonist who struck him fled the scene, leaving his car behind, on Road #60. Salah was riding his donkey when the car struck them. Also this week, Israeli forces conducted at least 89 military invasions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and Jerusalem. During these invasions, Israeli troops detained at least 59 Palestinian civilians.
In Gaza this week, The Israeli air force fired, on Thursday morning, several missiles targeting a siege-busting commercial tunnel close to the Egyptian border, in Rafah, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip, killing two Palestinian workers, and wounding at least five others. Spokesperson of the Health Ministry in Gaza, Dr. Ashraf al-Qedra, said the two slain Palestinians have been identified as Husam Soufi, 24, from Rafah, and Mohammad al-Aqra’, 38, from Gaza city.
Earlier in the week, Israeli bombardment targeting Gaza left four injured Palestinians on Tuesday, in a series of Israeli army airstrikes in northern Gaza. Israeli sources said that the strikes come in response to a rocket that landed in an open area in the Ashkelon region of southern Israel, Monday morning. At least eight Israeli missiles were fired at several locations across the besieged coastal enclave on Monday by Israel.
Also during the week, Israeli navy ships opened fire, on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of this week at Palestinian fishing boats, close to the shore in the southern, central and northern part of the besieged Gaza Strip. 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 February 04, to the 10, 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.