Welcome to this Week in Palestine, a service of the International Middle East Media Center, www.imemc.org, for May 20, to the 26, 2017.
This week, Palestinian political prisoners reach a deal with Israeli ending their 41-day long hunger strike, meanwhile two Palestinian children die this week due to Israeli gunfire. 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 youth was injured on Friday, scores of civilians treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation as Israeli troops attacked nonviolent protests organized in the West Bank. IMEMC’s Majd Batjali has more:
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.
One youth was injured after being hit with rubber-coated steel bullet, meanwhile many residents were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation. Troops also fired tear gas at residents’ homes causing damage.
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. Soldiers showered protesters with tear gas casing many to suffer the effects of tear gas inhalation at both locations.
At the nearby al Nabi Saleh village, troops attacked protesters at the village entrance. Israeli soldiers fired several rounds of rubber-coated steel bullets and tear gas at protesters and nearby homes. Many residents suffered effects of tear gas inhalation as a result.
For IMEMC news this is Majd Batjali.
The Political Report
This week, Palestinian prisoners end their 41-day hunger strike after negotiations with the Israeli Prison Authorities lasted for 20 hours. IMEMCs George Rishmawi with the details:
The committee in support of the prisoners’ hunger strike announced Friday evening that nearly 1800 Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli jails have agreed to end their 41-day hunger strike after 20 hours of negotiations with the Israeli prisons’ services.
The hunger strike ended after reaching an agreement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority and the Red Cross over prisoners’ visitation rights. According to Haaretz online newspaper, the sides agreed that the prisoners would be eligible for two visits a month, as was in the past before being reduced to one visit a month.
Israeli media said, talks are expected to continue over the closing times of prison wings, returning to former modes of eating and cooking at the prisons and the option of resuming studies there.
Initially, Israeli officials said they will not negotiate with the striking prisoners. Israeli Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan said at the beginning of the strike, that there will be no negotiations and that the prisoners’ demands won’t be met, similarly Minister of Defense Avigdor Lieberman said Israel should follow the lead of former British Prime Minister Margret Thatcher who refused to negotiate with the Irish prisoners in the 1980s.
The prisoners’ strike support committee regarded this deal as a victory and said in a press statement that the prisoners have forced Israel to negotiate with the Palestinian imprisoned leader Marwan Barghouthi after refusing to do so for 41 days.
In the meantime, Palestinian observers say the demands of the prisoners are not in the same magnitude of the strike. The main demands were focused on enhancing the liiving conditions of the prisoners, and enhancing education, visitation and food quality, whereas only one demand seemed to be strong, which is to stop the administrative detention.
Ending the strike came shortly before the first day of the month of Ramadan is officially announced, where Muslims fast for the entire month that is considered holy by the Muslims.
While these demands are set for negotiations, it is not expected that all of them will be achieved, while some Palestinians hint that the strike carries an important message to the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah rather than to Israel.
For IMEMC News, this is George Rishmawi
The West Bank and Gaza Report
Two Palestinian children die due to Israeli gunfire in the West Bank and in Gaza Israeli attacks leave one youth injured. IMEMC’s Eman Abedraboo-Bannoura reports:
Fatima Taqatqa, 15, died, on Saturday evening, from serious wounds she suffered two months ago, after an Israeli soldier shot her at the Etzion junction, south of Bethlehem, in the occupied West Bank.
Fatima was shot on March 15, 2017, after Israeli soldiers claimed she “tried to ram them with her car,” near Etzion colony block, south of Bethlehem. The child, from Beit Fajjar town, south of Bethlehem, had no driver’s license and was not experienced in driving a car. She was shot after her car came to the complete halt.
On Monday, Israeli soldiers shot and killed Raed Radayda, 15, at the Container military roadblock, near Bethlehem in southern West Bank. The Israeli army claimed that the child ran towards the soldiers while carrying a knife, and after a short scuffle, the soldiers shot and killed h im.
The army did not report any injuries among the soldiers. Palestinian Red Crescent medics rushed to the roadblock, but the soldiers prevented them from approaching the wounded child, who bled to death.
Israeli soldiers shot and injured, Monday, eighteen Palestinians, including eight with live rounds, including one who suffered a severe injury, and caused dozens of residents to suffer the effects of teargas inhalation, near Qalandia terminal, north of occupied East Jerusalem. The incident happened after the soldiers fired many live rounds, rubber-coated steel bullets and gas bombs at dozens of Palestinians, marching in solidarity with the hunger striking detainees.
A general strike took place on Monday, in all areas of the occupied Palestinian territories, including the Gaza Strip and the diaspora, in solidarity with the hunger-striking prisoners, who have this week entered the 40th day of their hunger strike.
During the week, Israeli forces conducted at least 59 military invasions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank, and Jerusalem. During these invasions troops detained at least 75 Palestinian civilians, including 23 children.
In Gaza, Israeli soldiers shot, and moderately wounded, on Tuesday evening, a Palestinian teen with live fire, east of the al-Boreij refugee camp, in central Gaza. The teen was injured after Israeli soldiers opened fire on Palestinians, protesting near the border fence, and burnt tires before the army started firing live rounds on them.
For IMEMC news this Eman Abedraboo-Bannoura.
And that’s all for today from This Week in Palestine. This was the Weekly report for May 20, to the 26, 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 Ghassan Bannoura.