HAVANA TIMES – Welcome to this Week in Palestine, a service of the International Middle East Media Center, www.imemc.org, for March 30th to April 5th 2013
A wave of protests in the West Bank met with excessive use of live ammunition which resulted in the death of two young Palestinians following the death of a Palestinian political prisoner in Israeli hospital, these stories and more follow.
The Nonviolence Report
Let’s begin our weekly report as usual with the nonviolent activities organized in the West Bank. This week protests were organized in the central west Bank villages of Bil’in Ni’lin and Al Nabi Saleh, as well as Al Ma’ssara village, southern West Bank.
Israeli soldiers fired tear gas and chemical water at villagers and their supporters before they left the village of Al Nabi Saleh. Later troops stormed the village and fired tear gas at residents’ homes. As a result many, among them children, were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation.
At the village of Bil’in, and Nil’in villagers and their international and Israeli supporters managed to reach the Israeli wall built on lands taken from local famers.
Israeli troops stationed at the wall in both locations used tear gas and rubber coated steel bullets against the unarmed protesters. Many were treated for the effects o tear gas inhalation.
At al Ma’ssara village, southern West Bank, also on Friday, Israeli soldiers stopped the weekly anti wall protest there at the village entrance. Soldiers forced people back into the village using rifle buts and batons to bush people back, no injuries were reported.
The Political Report
The Palestinian Authority is angry with what it called excessive Israeli use of lethal force against West Bank demonstrators this week. Meanwhile, Palestinian prime minister of Hamas says Hamas will never recognize Israel unless Palestinian people’s rights are restored.
Palestinian Authority sources say that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will not consider submitting an official complaint to the United Nations in protest against ‘ Israel’s use of lethal force’ against West Bank demonstrators this week.
This week, Israeli military used force against demonstrators in various West Bank areas following the death of a veteran Palestinian prisoner, Maysara Abu Hamdiya, inside an Israeli jail. More than 20 Palestinians were reported injured and two others killed in protests.
The PA is refraining temporarily to allow some intervention by international players in an attempt to guarantee that Israel would not repeat use of force , given the protests were peaceful ones.
In the Gaza Strip, Palestinian prime minister of Hamas, Ismail Haniya, told reporters in Gaza that his party can never recognize Israel unless Israel ends occupation of the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem.
Haniya returned back from Cairo following talks with Egyptian officials in the now Islamists-run country.
A spokesperson for the US state department said reiterated this week three international demands from Hamas ; recognizing Israel, accepting past-signed agreements between Israel and Palestinians and renouncing violence, before the US could start approaching Hamas.
The West Bank and Gaza Report
This week two Palestinians were killed by Israeli army gunfire during clashes with Israeli soldiers in protest of the death of a political detainee held by Israel, also in Gaza Israeli air force and naval forces conducted a number of attacks targeting the coastal region.
Naji Balbissi and Aamer Nassar, both 18 years old, were protesting with other youth near a military checkpoint NOT FAR FROM the northern West Bank village of Anabta when they were shot by Israeli troops Wednesday night. Soufyian Barakat, from Anabta village was at the checkpoint shortly after the killing:
Balbissi body was recovered by villagers on Thursday morning. Palestinian medical sources announced that around 80 Palestinians have been injured this week by Israeli troops’ gunfire since Tuesday.; many others have suffered effects of tear gas inhalation.
The Clashes were in protest of the death of political detainee held by Israel Maisara Abu Hamdiyya who died of cancer on Tuesday.
Many Palestinians accuse the Israeli military of failing to provide Maisara Abu Hamdiyya with the proper medical treatment. Abed Al Fatah Khalil is with The Palestinian Political Prisoners society:
Abu Hamdiyya is the third Palestinian political prisoner held by Israel to die this year. In February Arafat Jaradat also from Hebron city died after being tortured by Israeli Interrogators. In January, Ashraf Abu Thrayia’ died due to deteriorating health conditions just three days after the Israeli army released him. The deaths have raised many concerns by Palestinian human rights groups. Kaven Kally, is from Addameer association for prisoners support and human rights:
Also this week Inside Israeli army detention facilities Palestinian detainees carried out a three day hunger strike to protest Abu Hamdiyya’s death while three other prisoners continue their long term hunger strike demanding better conditions and their freedom.
Moreover this week the Israeli military conducted at least 65 military invasions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank. During these attacks, Israeli troops kidnapped at least 30 Palestinians, including 3 children.
In the Gaza strip this week two airstrikes were launched by the Israeli air force on Gaza City and the north of the Gaza Strip targeting an open land, a green house and water well. No casualties were reported. Three more attacked were also reported this week by Israeli navy targeting Palestinian fishing boats. According to local source that attacks cased damage but no injuries.
And that’s all for today from This Week in Palestine this was the Weekly report for March 30th to April 5th , 2013 from the Occupied Palestinian Territories. For more news and updates please keep visiting our website at www.imemc.org. Today’s report has been brought to you by Husam Qassis and me, George Rishmawi