Welcome to this Week in Palestine, a service of the International Middle East Media Center, www.imemc.org, for April 15, to the 21, 2017.
Hundreds of Palestinian political detainees held by Israel announce this week an open ended hunger strike, meanwhile Israeli troops kill a Palestinian man during a West Bank attack. 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 seven protesters and a journalist were injured as Israeli soldiers attacked nonviolent protests organized in West Bank villages using tear gas, rubber-coated steel bullets. This week protests were in solidarity with hunger sticking Palestinian political detainee held by the Israeli army. 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.
Israeli soldiers attacked, Friday, the weekly protest in Kufur Qaddoum village, in the northern West Bank governorate of Qalqilia, shot and mildly injured eight Palestinians, including a journalist and an Israeli peace activist. Troops also fired tear gas at residents homes causing damage.
For IMEMC News this is Majd Batjali.
The Political Report
Palestinian Prisoners in Israeli jails started an open hunger strike this week in most of the Israeli jails, while Israeli officials call for a no-negotiation policy, in the meantime, the City of Barcelona joins the boycott of Israel. IMEMC’s George Rishmawi with the details:
More than 1,500 Palestinians detained in Israeli prisons launched a massive open-ended hunger strike on, issuing a list of demands ranging from better medical services to telephone access.
In response, Israeli Minister of Defense Avigdor Lieberman called for a policy of non-negotiation with Palestinian hunger strikers, following the steps of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s policy in dealing with Irish Catholic hunger strikers in 1981.
Avigdor Lieberman suggested taking the approach of Thatcher, who publicly refused to accede to the demands of IRA hunger strikers in 1981, 10 of whom died.
Among the demands of the hunger-striking prisoners are better medical services and more family visitations and better transfer vans in addition to better access to education and ability to sit for exams while in jail and ending the administrative detention policy.
Some 6,500 Palestinians are currently jailed by Israeli authorities. Of those, 62 are women and 300 are minors. Some 500 are held under administrative detention, which allows for imprisonment without charge.
In other news, in light of the Barcelona City Council’s vote to condemn Israel’s occupation, call to end complicity in Israel’s violations of international law, and affirmation of the legitimacy of the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement for Palestinian human rights, the Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC) released a statement of support and salutation to the Barcelona City Council for taking this historic decision.
Rafeef Ziadah, member of the International Secretariat of the BNC, warmly welcomed this decision and described it as a victory for human rights.
The BNC said in their statement, “Recognizing how similar measures have contributed to ending apartheid in South Africa, Palestinian civil society salutes the Barcelona City Council for its historic decision to end complicity in Israel’s occupation and human rights violations by voting to condemn the Israeli occupation and policies of colonization of Palestinian territories and the plunder, exploitation, destruction and depletion of Palestinian natural resources and wealth, including land and water.”
The council also voted to ensure that its public procurement policies incorporate clauses guaranteeing respect for human rights in order to “prevent the Barcelona City Council from having any kind of complicity with this occupation, violation of human rights and plundering of resources.”
With this landmark decision, the Barcelona City Council joins more than 70 local authorities across Spain that have adopted diverse measures to end local complicity in Israel. Dozens of these local authorities have passed motions in support of the BDS movement, for Palestinian rights and declared themselves “Apartheid Free Zones”.
For IMEMC News, this is George Rishmawi
The West Bank and Gaza Report
This week, Israeli gunfire leave a Palestinian young man killed in the West Bank, and a Qassam fighter dies in Gaza tunnel accident. IMEMC’s Ghassan Bannoura Reports:
Israeli soldiers shot and killed, Soheib Mashahra, 21, on Wednesday, near Etzion Junction, south of Bethlehem, in the occupied West Bank. The army claimed “he deliberately carried out a ramming attack with his car, wounding one Israeli man.
The Israeli army is claiming the young man carried out what it called “a deliberate vehicular attack,” but phototrophs from the scene, and the fact that his car crashed into the rear of an Israeli bus, indicate a normal traffic accident.
Later in the week, A Palestinian teenage girl was injured, Thursday, after an Israeli colonialist settler rammed her with his car, while she was on the sidewalk, in Teqoua’ Palestinian town, east of Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank, and fled the scene.
Kawthar Shawriyya, 17, suffered moderate wounds after being rammed by the Israeli car, and was transferred to Beit Jala governmental hospital in Bethlehem city.
Also this week, Israeli soldiers, accompanied by military bulldozers, invaded on Wednesday the al-‘Isawiyya town, in occupied East Jerusalem, and demolished a Palestinian farm.
The army also destroyed doors of a carwash facility and four farms, and posted demolition orders targeting two farms, car repair shop and a car dealership. The soldiers surrounded the town before invading it, and imposed a tight siege, preventing the Palestinians from entering or leaving it.
During the week, Israeli forces conducted at least 39 military invasions into Palestinian communities in occupied West Bank including Jerusalem. During these invasions troops detained more than 40 Palestinian civilians, including 19 children.
In Gaza this week, Anas Abu Shaweesh, died on Monday morning, when a tunnel collapsed on him. The Al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) issued a statement revealing that Abu Shaweesh died after a tunnel, on the Gaza-Egypt border, collapsed on him while he was working in it.
Moreover, Israeli navy ships attacked on Thursday and Wednesday of this week Palestinian fishing boats off Gaza city shoreline as they were sailing in Palestinian territorial waters. Damage to boats was reported but no injuries.
Earlier in the week Israeli troops stationed at the northern borders with Gaza opened live gunfire at Palestinian farmers working their lands forcing them out of the area.
For IMEMC’s News this is Ghassan Bannoura.
And that’s all for today from This Week in Palestine. This was the Weekly report for April 15, to the 21, 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.