Welcome to this Week in Palestine, a service of the International Middle East Media Center, www.imemc.org, for March 18, to the 24, 2017.
As Israel’s government refuses selective freeze of settlements construction this week, army attacks targeting Palestinians leave two killed teenagers. 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 soldiers attacked nonviolent protests organized in West Bank villages using tear gas, rubber-coated steel bullets.
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.
The Political Report
This week, Merkel Expresses concerns over the ongoing settlement activities, and Israel rejects an American demand of a selective freeze, IMEMC’s George Rishmawi with details:
German Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed concerns about Israel’s construction of more settlements in the occupied West Bank.
Merkel said that Israel’s ongoing settlement activities undermine any progress towards a two-state solution for the Israel-Palestinian conflict, maintaining that this is leading to an erosion of the basis for a two-state solution.
Merkel told reporters before holding talks with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Berlin that she sees no reasonable alternative to the goal of a two-state solution.
In the meantime, Israel has rejected a US demand to freeze settlement construction in Jerusalem and outside the large settlement blocs. The demand was put forward by US President Donald Trump’s envoy Jason Greenblatt last week. The Israeli government said it has the right to build in any part of the West Bank.
This week, the National Committee of the Boycotts Divestment and Sanctions movement, known as BDS said that Israel’s ongoing attempts to suppress the movement will fail and will eventually increase the ongoing support of the BDS movement.
Mahmoud Nawajaa, the General Coordinator of the movement said in a statement “Israel’s repressive efforts to suppress the BDS movement further illustrate the justice of our cause and will thus only strengthen worldwide support for our nonviolent struggle for our freedom and rights.”
The BDS remarks came after Israel’s Minister of Strategic Affairs, Gilad Erdan, announced that his ministry seeks to create a new database of Israeli citizens who support the grassroots BDS movement.
The statement also said, that this new database is consistent with the Israeli government’s ongoing efforts to suppress the BDS movement for Palestinian rights, precisely because support for the movement is growing both inside Israel and around the world.
The new database will also include others from different countries around the world who support Palestinian rights and call for sanctions against Israel, and the Israeli government is planning to prevent them from entering into Israel.
Israel controls all the entrances to Palestine, thus, anyone in the world who is planning to visit Palestine will have to go through Israeli borders, therefore, Israel is able eventually to prevent anyone who is coming to express solidarity with the Palestinian people.
Nawajaa added that it is not at all surprising that Mr. Erdan and his government should spy on Israeli citizens, whether Jewish or Palestinian, or set up a database of those supporting BDS in order to target anyone working for the freedom, justice and equality of Palestinians.
Support for the BDS movement has been growing around the globe in recent years, as more and more people recognize the brutal reality of Israel’s apartheid regime and more than 60 years of military occupation of Palestinian lands.
For IMEMC News, this is George Rishmawi
The West Bank and Gaza Report
Israeli army attacks this week targeting Gaza and the Wet Bank leave two killed teenagers and a fighter. IMEMC’s Ghassan Bannoura reports:
Unknown gunmen assassinated, on Friday evening, a commander of al-Qassam Brigades and ex-detainee in Israeli jails, Mazen al-Fuqaha. According Hamas Interior Ministry in Gaza policemen found the body of Fuqaha in Gaza city with four bullets in his head.
The gunmen’s weapons were equipped with silencers. Mazen Fuqaha, from Tubas city in the West Bank, was a member of al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas.
Also this week, Israeli forces killed a Palestinian child and seriously wounded a young man Wednesday after firing artillery shells at them when both civilians were near the border fence east of Rafah City.
16-year-old Yousef Abu Ethera was killed as Israeli forces stationed along the border fence east of Rafah City, fired around 15 artillery shells at 3 Palestinian civilians, who were only 300 meters away from the borders. According to the eyewitness, the three were trying to sneak into Israel for work..
On Friday two fishermen were injured, one critically and abducted by Israeli navel forced as they attacked Palestinian fishing boats off Gaza city shoreline. Israeli navy ships attacked, earlier Thursday, several Palestinian fishing boats, in the Sudaniyya Sea area, northwest of Gaza City, abducted two fishers, and confiscated their boats. The navy attacked the Palestinian fishing boats as they were sailing less than four nautical miles from the shore.
This week in the West Bank, Israeli soldiers killed, on Thursday evening, a Palestinian teen, 17 years of age, and seriously wounded three others, after opening fire at their car near the al-Jalazoun refugee camp, north of Ramallah, in central West Bank.
Mohammad Hattab, 17, his parent’s only child, was shot with live rounds in his chest and shoulder, and was rushed to a hospital where he died from his serious wounds, Medical sources reported. The three wounded teens remain in very serious conditions at the Intensive Care Unit.
Moreover, Israeli forces conducted at least 70 military invasions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and East Jerusalem this week. During these invasions troops detained 58 Palestinian civilians, including 8 children. Among those detained this week by the army was a Member of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) Mohammed al-Tol.
Earlier in the week, A Palestinian security officer was killed, two others injured during clashes with gunmen at the Balata refugee camp in northern West Bank city of Nablus.
According to Palestinian security forces sources undercover officers tried to ambushed a gun dealer in the camp when a gunfight broke out, as a result Officer Hassan Abu Al Haj was killed two others sustained wounds.
The wanted man Ahmad Abu Hamada and another gunman were critically injured in the gunfight that lasted for 15 minutes. Abu Hamada was apprehended by security forces and sent to hospital for treatment while the other wounded gunman escaped arrest.
For IMEMC News this is Ghassan Bannoura.
And that’s all for today from This Week in Palestine. This was the Weekly report for March 18 , to the 24 , 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.