Welcome to this Week in Palestine, a service of the International Middle East Media Center, www.imemc.org, for February 25, to March 03, 2017.
As US Senators try to block aid money to the Palestinian Authority this week, Israeli attacks leave two workers dead and other dozen civilians injured in both Gaza and the West Bank. 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 Journalist was injured, many protesters were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation when Israeli troops attacked nonviolent protests organized in West Bank villages. IMEMC’s Majd Batjali has more:
Protests were organized this week in the northern West Bank village of Kufer Qadum in addition to of Bil’in, Ni’lin and al Nabi Saleh village in central West Bank.
A Palestinian journalist was shot in the head by rubber coated steel bullet by Israeli soldiers as they attacked the villagers of Kufer Kadum. Troops fired live rounds, and tear gas at protesters and their supporters at the village entrance. Many residents were also treated for the effects of tea gas inhalation. The journalist was moved to a nearby hospital in Qalqilia city.
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.
At the nearby Al Nabi Saleh village troops attacked protesters as soon as they reached the village entrance. Later Israeli forces and armed settlers invaded the village and fired tear gas into residents homes causing damage and many residents to suffer the effects of tear gas inhalation.
For IMEMC News this is Majd Batjali.
The Political Report
An Israeli military court postponed the imprisonment of an Israeli soldier convicted of manslaughter, meanwhile, US senators re-introduce a bill to stop aid to the Palestinian Authority, IMEMC’s George Rishmawi has more:
This week, an Israeli military court, granted the request of Israeli soldier Elor Azarya — who was convicted, last month, of manslaughter for the filmed, execution-style shooting of 21-year-old Abd al-Fattah al-Sharif –to postpone the beginning of his 18-month sentence until a ruling is made on his appeal, according to Israeli media.
Israeli media sources reported that Azarya was set to start his prison sentence on Sunday March 5, but, with the court’s decision, he will remain under “open detention” at his unit’s base, similar to the months he has already spent on open detention. The judge was quoted as saying, during the hearing, that Azarya “has proven he poses no danger to the public and that there’s no fear he would try to escape justice.”
Though the prosecution initially objected to Azarya’s request, saying “the defendant was convicted of manslaughter, carried out an intentional killing, was motivated by the desire for revenge, broke army orders,” the court eventually dropped its objection. Azarya’s lawyer claimed that “nine out of ten soldiers” want Azarya to be released, and went on to note what he called “massive gap” between the guilty verdict and what “millions of Jews in the state of Israel think.”
It is worth mentioning that Azarya is the only Israeli soldier to be charged with killing a Palestinian in 2016 – when at least 109 Palestinians were shot and killed by Israeli forces and settlers — according to Human Rights Watch. According to the Israeli rights group Yesh Din, of the 186 criminal investigations opened by the Israeli army into suspected offenses against Palestinians in 2015, just four yielded indictments.
On March 24, 2016, Al-Sharif was shot and left severely wounded on the ground for several minutes before Azarya stepped forward and shot him in the head, with a number of witnesses quoting him as saying “This dog is still alive” and “This terrorist deserves to die” before pulling the trigger.
In other news, United States senators re-introduced a bill which calls for cutting funds provided to the Palestinians Authority, claiming that it supports “terrorism”.
The bill, according to Israeli newspaper, Haaretz, was reintroduced by Republican South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, in addition to two other senators, demanding a cut on US funding to the PA if it continues to provide monetary support to families of Palestinians involved of attacks against Israelis and others.
“If a young Palestinian is convicted in a court in Israel of being a terrorist, the longer they’re in jail, the more their family receives from the Palestinian Authority,” Graham said. He added that the aim of the new bill is not to destroy the PA rather than forcing it to change its policies.
Graham claimed that he supports peace between Israelis and Palestinians and to achieve peace PA must stop paying money for attackers who harm Israelis. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had raised this issue in his press conference with US President Donald Trump during his first official visit to the US after Trump assumed office.
For IMEMC News, this is George Rishmawi
The West Bank and Gaza Report
This week, two Palestinian workers killed this week by Israeli attacks in the West Bank, meanwhile in Gaza Israeli bombardment leave four injured civilians. IMEMC’s Ghassan Bannoura Reports:
An Israeli settler shot and killed, Wednesday, Sa’adi Qaisiyya, 25, allegedly after he attacked him with a knife and stabbed him, in Teneh Omarim illegal colony, built on private Palestinian land, south of Hebron, in the southern part of the occupied West Bank. Qaisiyya comes from ath-Thaheriyya town, south of Hebron.
Israeli sources said that the wounded Israeli, 33 years of age, suffered mild injuries to his limbs, and received treatment by Israeli medics. Eyewitnesses said that Qaisiyya bled to death without receiving medical treatment.
On Tuesday of this week, Rabea’ Salman, 20, was killed after falling into a deep quarry when Israeli soldiers chased him, and others workers, while trying to enter Israel for work, without permits. The incident took place west of Salfit, in central West Bank. s from Askar refugee camp, in the northern West Bank district of Nablus.
Later in the week, Dozens of soldiers invaded, on Wednesday at dawn, Tulkarem city, in the northern part of the occupied West Bank, and broke into a local print shop, before destroying many of its equipment, and confiscating machines. Also on Wednesday at dawn, Dozens of soldiers and police officers, invaded al-‘Eesawiyya town, in occupied East Jerusalem, and demolished a residential building housing thirty Palestinians, including children, under the pretext of being built without a permit.
On Monday, Israeli troops shot and injured two Palestinian women, one of them in her sixties, at the Qalandia terminal north of occupied East Jerusalem, and abducted the younger woman. This shooting comes few hours after Israeli soldiers shot and injured 72 year old elderly Palestinian man at the Huwwara military roadblock, south of Nablus, in the northern part of the occupied West Bank.
During the week, Israeli forces conducted at least 66 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The army also conducted two limited invasions into the central and southern Gaza Strip. During invasions targeting the West Bank, Israeli troops abducted at least 40 Palestinian civilians, including 4 children.
In Gaza this week, four Palestinians have been injured, earlier on Monday, in a series of Israeli air strikes targeting several areas, in different parts of the Gaza Strip. The Israeli army and air force have attacked at least fifteen targets, in different parts of the coastal region, on Monday, local sources reported. The sources added that most of the strikes targeted areas east of Rafah, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip.
On Thursday of this week, Israeli navy ships fired several live rounds at fishing boats, in Palestinian waters close to the shore, in northern Gaza, while military helicopters flew over various parts of the coastal region. No injuries were reported.
Moreover, one Palestinian youth was injured on Friday when soldiers shot him as they attacked protesters near the northern borders with Israel.
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 25, to March 03, 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.