Welcome to this Week in Palestine, a service of the International Middle East Media Center, www.imemc.org, for May 14, to the 20, 2016.
Two Palestinians injured, more than 36 kidnapped by Israeli troops including two lawmakers in Israeli attacks targeting Palestinian communities, meanwhile international efforts to resume peace talks are underway. 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 protests were organized at the villages of Bil’in, Ni’lin and Al Nabi Saleh in central West Bank. Anti-wall and settlements protests were also organized in the northern West Bank village of Kufer Qadum.
Scores of residents and their supporters were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation in Kufer Qadum, when Israeli troops attacked the weekly protest. Later troops stormed the village and fired tear gas at residents homes causing damage.
Meanwhile, Israeli soldiers attacked protesters in Al Nabi saleh before even leaving the village. At the nearby villages of Bil’in, and Ni’lin, residents and their supporters reached the Israeli wall. Soldiers stationed their showered them with tear gas and chemical water that generate bad smell. Many were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation.
The Political Report
International diplomatic efforts are underway to resume stalled Palestinian-Israeli peace talks. IMEMC’s Rami Al Meghari has more:
Egyptian president, Abdelfattah Alsisi, said this week that there is still a chance for peace in the region. He called on Israel to accept a long-time Arab offer for peace, based on the 2002’s Arab peace initiative, land for peace.
The Egyptian leader believed that the two-state solution between Israel and Palestinians is workable and viable. On the other hand, he called for unity between Palestinians, saying that Egypt will continue taking it’s vital role in mediation between the rival Hamas party and the Fatah party of Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas.
These calls come in the backdrop of a French initiative for peace in the Middle East, to resume peace negotiations between Israel and Palestinians.
Meanwhile, Israel has downplayed the Egyptian calls, amidst Israeli view of the French offer for an international peace conference. Israel had earlier conditioned that if it to accept the conference invitation, parties concerned, mainly the Palestinians should recognize Israel as a Jewish state. Recognizing a Jewish state contravenes with the Arab states call for peace on two-state basis.
In the Gaza Strip, a senior Hamas leader and speaker of the Hamas-dominated parliament in Gaza, Ahmad Bahar, rejected the French call , as derogating Palestinian rights. He emphasized on his party’s long-standing strategy that resisting the Israeli occupation is the solution, amidst what he termed failure of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.
In other news, an Israeli cabinet reshuffle, led to a coalition government in Israel, including hardliner Avigdor Lieberman. Lieberman took the post of Israeli minister for army.
For IMEMC News, I am Rami Almeghari in Gaza
The West Bank and Gaza Report
Two Palestinians injured as Israeli attacks escalate targeting Palestinian workers in the West Bank and Gaza farmers and fishers. IMEMC’s Ghassan Bannoura reports:
Palestinian medical sources have reported, on Sunday at night, that Israeli soldiers shot a Palestinian man with a rubber-coated steel in the head, in Abu al-Hummus area, east of the West Bank city of Bethlehem.
The sources said the man, Ahmad Omar Abu A’mar, 32, was shot while trying to enter Jerusalem, heading to his work, through Wadi Abu al-Hummus area, near the al-Khass and an-No’man villages, east of Bethlehem.
Many Palestinian workers were recently injured in the same area, as the army frequently ambushes them while trying to enter Jerusalem to work, after Israel refused to grant them work permits in the occupied city, and other parts of the country.
Later in the week, Israeli soldiers demolished, on Wednesday at dawn, a Palestinian home in Shu’fat neighborhood, north of occupied East Jerusalem, after surrounding and isolating it. Army bulldozers proceeded to demolish the property, without allowing the family to remove all of its belongings and furniture.
On Tuesday at dawn, the soldiers demolished two Palestinian homes in the Suwwana neighborhood, east of the city walls of occupied East Jerusalem, rendering 23 Palestinians homeless.
Also this week, Israeli forces conducted at least 60 military invasions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and in occupied East Jerusalem. During these invasions, Israeli troops kidnapped at least 36 Palestinian civilians, including five children and two lawmakers.
In the Gaza Strip this week, Essa al-Ejla, 19, sustained a bullet wound, on Monday, to the right leg when Israeli forces stationed at the border fence, east of Gaza City, opened fire at Palestinian farmers working their lands. al-Ejla was working in his farmland that is about 500 meters away from al-Muntar (Karni) crossing.
Later in the week, Israeli navy ships attacked, on Tuesday morning, several Palestinian fishing boats, kidnapped two fishers, and confiscated their boat, before towing it to the Ashdod Port.
Moreover, Israeli soldiers opened fire, on Thursday morning, targeting several Palestinian farmers east of Khan Younis, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip, while navy ships also opened fire on fishers in Palestinian territorial water, near Gaza city.
There are approximately 3500 fishers in the Gaza Strip; they own around 700 boats, and provide income to more than 70.000 Palestinians.
According to Palestinian Human rights group, PCHR, Israel conducted 47 attacks against the Palestinian fishers since the beginning of this year. The attacks included 24 incidents of live navy fire against the fishers, leading to the injury of five of them, and the abduction of 35 others, in addition to the confiscation of nine boats.
For IMEMC News this is Ghassan Bannoura.
And that’s all for today from This Week in Palestine. This was the Weekly report for May 14, to the 20, 2016. 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 George Rishmawi and me Eman Abedraboo-Bannoura.